Archive for May, 2009

28
May
09

Who are we

Some times to really see yourself, you have to see yourself through someone else’s eyes.  So, while watching this video, I kept wondering exactly who we are.

 

And I kept thinking that we are fools.  This is a big country and there is a range of opinions that cover the entire spectrum on all issues including this one.  Still, at our core, don’t most of us know what is really being said regardless of the language being used?  We know that “harsh” or “brutal interrogation techniques” is torture, don’t we?  Or were we not listening when they described water boarding?  Did we not see the simulations and drawings of what it would be like?  Come on, didn’t you wonder what it would be like to go through that when you heard?  If so, surely you also thought it would be torture.  Regardless of what we call it, is that really who we are as a people? 

 

Or maybe we just didn’t hear the reports.  Maybe we were too busy watching 24 where it is ok to torture and it actually produces results.  Maybe we are already living in Idiocracy where we think that TV is reality.  We already believe that reality TV is reality when it is anything but, so is it that hard to make the jump to over dramatic TV dramas being real too?  Then there is Cheney.  I think he really believes what he says. 

 

Then there is the media who gives credence to anyone willing to say anything that might cause a buzz but too afraid to call the obvious the truth.  It is the most blessed thing that everyone has a right to state their opinion.  We should not forget, however, that it is also our right – and the media’s duty – to call out those that have no credence and to simply state that there is no proof or fact to support their claim.  If all voices are given equal credence under all circumstances, there is no relevance to the debate. 

 

There are a gazillion voices on line blogging and tweeting and opinionating on everything under the sun.  It is just so unfortunate that those with the biggest platform often have the least to say and yell it loudly to the lowest common denominator.

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22
May
09

No Contest near the Hilla

Ok. Have we all heard enough about the dueling security speeches yet?  I have been so frustrated with the coverage.  I didn’t have a chance to see the speeches live, but heard clips of Cheney and read the text of Obama.  I just don’t get the coverage of the speeches.  They act like these guys are even on the same playing field.  Please.

 Dick.  It’s over.  You guys lost.  Defining your policies as successful successful because we have not had another terrorist attack in this country… well, that’s just not the full picture now is it?  The world at large learned to hate us over the last seven years of the Bush administration making terrorism more of a threat than ever before.  All the scowling and menacing talk peppered with 9-11 is just the same tired arguments you have  been pedaling since 9-11. 

 The coverage didn’t seem to reflect what I saw.  What we heard from the news is that each man gave a speech.  The discussion of the content was minimal.  Come on people.  We have one guy arguing for continuing to torture people and another guy saying we should live by the law.  Geez.  I wonder who really has a case and who is just a mental case.  Most disappointing was the three minutes I heard on NPR where they spent considerable time discussing the headline in the paper “Thrilla Near the Hilla”  with the comparison to the Thrilla in Manila.  Please.  There was even discussion about them continuing this debate and selling tickets as if it was some real contest.  It was about as much of a contest as if BHO and Dick in his wheelchair hit the court for a little one on one.  Also disappointing was the Daily Show taking the easy way out for the coverage – splicing BHO and Bush using similar phrasing, but liked the visual of what I’m trying to say here when they showed BHO on the beach and Cheney in his chair.

And for the comic geeks out there – I think we got us a comic guy as Prez.   He said, “Because in our system of checks and balances, someone must always watch over the watchers…”  Alright.  That sounds like a Watchmen reference to me

13
May
09

Maoist India

What do you think of when you think of India? The world’s largest democracy? Tech centers? Developing nation? Sure, we know there is poverty and slums – we got those, too. Still, you think up and coming and modernizing, right? At least I do

I finally got to last week’s Newsweek today and was floored by the article on India. Am I the only person that has missed this story? I thought I was up on things, but I had not heard anything about this before. Did you know that there are armed Maoist rebels operating in a large swath of India?

Captors of the Liberated Zone

13
May
09

What it’s like to live as an ugly chic

It never goes away.

No matter how many times you tell yourself it doesn’t matter, an unexpected glance at your reflection in the glass can remind you that it does.

No matter how much you protest that you are not jealous of the Barbie doll that just got a promotion, deep down, you know that you are. She could be the most wonderful person of the planet and have an IQ of 172, but you know that her life was easier if only because she never had to struggle with self-confidence.

It never goes away.

No matter how many times your husband tells you that he loves you, how gorgeous you are, how hot you are, you never really hear it. But, you always hear him when he says the latest ‘it girl’ is flawless because it confirms the fact that you are not.

It never goes away.

And if you think I am crazy and it doesn’t matter, then see the comments by The Donald Trump. “Carrie is totally beautiful. And her answer, because of that, took on greater importance….If her beauty wasn’t so great, nobody really would have cared.” Thanks Donald for making my point. (When can we fire him?)

07
May
09

The darkness of bellybuttons

I had not heard the term until I met my husband. He referred to the deep introspective mood that would come over him as “bellybutton gazing”. We are both introspective and introverted by nature and the term made perfect sense to me. I had been gazing at my belly my whole life. Once, in a conversation of such things, we decided that ignorance could be bliss; all those happy, bubbly people that we didn’t understand just never looked too close at things. We envied their happiness but not enough to give up our need to pick and prod at every detail of life.

Over the past week or so, I’ve dealt with the worse bout of depression I’ve felt in some time. I simply couldn’t break free of it. It was a vicious and ugly cycle of feeling down, looking inward and knowing it was selfish and self-centered, then feeling guilty about that, confirming I was a horrible person. Around and around. I clung to it and embraced it with a long, loving kiss. It is comfortable and known and easy. And dangerous. It clung back and held me longer than most of my little forays to the dark side. It scared me. Even knowing the answer to how to break free, I couldn’t quite do it. My perspective played tricks with me. I would drag my eyes back from my bellybutton, that abyss of darkness, and raise my eyes only to feel everything anyone said to me as a slap to put my head back down. I knew I had to make some connection outside myself and would watch from what seemed like miles away as other people could strike up conversations. It was a task I could simply not fathom. When I answered the telephone at work and made my voice pleasant, it felt false and distant.

It started getting better the other day when my friend called. He was down and I listened to him. I told him I hadn’t been so happy either, but I didn’t have any reason for it. Admitting that, just talking to him, help break through it a little. I took the hint. I forced myself into a couple other conversations and admitted to my husband that I had been battling depression for a while. He told me he knew. We talked about our boy. We talked about things that needed to be done. My focus moved out and forward. Then I got an email from my brother-in-law of this video. I had heard the story about it on NPR but had forgotten all about it. I watched it a couple of times and then downloaded the cd and it has been on a constant loop since then. I guess thinking about it is still being introspective, but I’m looking back in order to go forward now. I shudder. I don’t want to go there again.

Stand By Me

03
May
09

Defining Events

Yesterday, I was at work when a storm passed through. For a few moments, the building shook. A young kid, new to the company from New York was unfamiliar with such storms. After things calmed down, he said his first day of high school was 9-11 and he saw the smoke from the buildings. He said that when the building shook, it was the first thing he thought of. September 11 is a defining event for us all. But, what if you were a young kid, just starting your formative years when it happened? How are you different if your high school and college days were in the post 9-11 world? You grow up with terror alerts and the war on terror. Does it make the world seem permanently unstable? How do you respond to that? Perhaps we look to places who have had to live with this for a while, like Israel. Maybe the perpetual turmoil in the Middle East is a microcosm of the world at large. What can we take from that? In Israel, terrorism is a part of life, but it is a modern and growing country. We see that a harsh stance against the terrorist has not been effective. On the other hand, there can be alliances made – i.e. Jordan and Egypt.