30
Mar
15

casting out demons

Went for a walk today,
first time outside in a long time,
casting out demons as I went.
Begone!
No pigs to cast them into,
just a few robins, one really
fat
squirrel.

Encountered someone the other day,
a sad, small person
with too much power and an inordinate willingness to use it;
a complete dearth of professional courtesy,
unapologetic disregard for anyone’s needs except her own
need
to exert that power.

She was the first to go.

Begone!

Also cast to each side other
demons too numerous to mention here,
and anyway I know that they only lurked behind the
bare trees and followed me home again;

but I closed the door quickly,
turned the bolt in its lock,
and took a nice long hot shower

leaving them mewling on the porch.

Perhaps the postman will take them
when he leaves the day’s packages.

Cuz apparently we're assholes.

Cuz apparently we’re assholes.

Play Ball! Well, maybe in a month or two...

Play Ball!
Well, maybe in a month or two…

Swoop!

There is actually a bird in this picture -- a very small black and white speckled thing that is apparently "designed" to blend in with tree bark. Can you find it?

There is actually a bird in this picture — a very small black and white speckled thing that has clearly evolved to blend in with tree bark. Can you find it?

Waiting for Spring...

Waiting for Spring…

I know

24
Mar
15

speaking of things that don’t exist in nature

overphotoshopped

 

Right after France has joined the list of countries banning underweight models.

Can’t we ban photoshop too?

Sheesh.

24
Mar
15

the true milestones

Not marriage, maybe, nor childbirth,
grandchildren, retirement;
No,
not those.

Just a few moments.

The moment that you realize

that the world
doesn’t
owe you anything;

that the one-hundred-percent-right
decision
to Raise Your Own Children
would have Lasting Professional Impact;

that you have a
right
to be happy;

that there is not a single person on this earth
who can learn
from your mistakes;

that you are,
always,
in some ways,
alone,

and that this is,
in fact,
okay;

that it all matters
if you make it.

So make it.

05
Mar
15

the real reason Rapunzel was locked up in that tower

rapunzelsketchMaybe Rapunzel was an eighth grader, going to public school.

Maybe all Rapunzel could talk about was boys, and all she worried about was her hair, her complexion, her makeup, her clothes, and whether the “popular” people (who, apparently, no one actually liked) liked her or not.

Maybe the boys on Rapunzel’s bus constantly made sexually suggestive and, therefore, (duh) inappropriate, comments and watched carefully to see what her reaction would be so as to know whether they could continue to make sexually suggestive and inappropriate comments or not.

Maybe Rapunzel thought it was so  important that these skanky excuses for human beings liked her and that she not seem a prude that it never even occurred to her to point out that their behavior made her uncomfortable. Maybe she had so little sense of herself and her own rights that their behavior didn’t even make her uncomfortable. And maybe this caused her parents great distress.

Maybe, at the same time, she was being treated to the state-approved “Sex Education” curriculum, “Willing to Wait” also known as “If you have sex you will get chlamydia and die” program.

Not helping.

I imagine Rapunzel’s parents would have been reassured if the class had involved realistic and valid discussions about the physical and emotional implications of having sex WHEN BARELY A TEENAGER; or discussions about what is and is not appropriate to say or to have to listen to.

I imagine Rapunzel’s parents would have felt better about Rapunzel’s outlook on life, career, education, her self and her agency and her responsibility for her own life if more of Rapunzel’s focus was less about what the world thought of her and more about what she thought of herself. It might also have helped if part of the discussion in these “Willing to Wait” classes included teaching the boys that what won’t be appropriate to say in the workplace when they’re 30 is also not appropriate to say when they’re 15, even if they are currently suffering from hormone-induced mental illness. Or if someone besides Rapunzel’s mother was telling her daughter that whether the boy liked her or not was less than half as important as whether she liked the boy; or that the first thing the girl needed to learn how to do was to support herself so that she would never need to rely on someone else for housing or food.

I imagine Rapunzel’s parents thought that shutting her up in a tower until she was 25 was actually for her own good.

rapunzeltower

I imagine I could agree.

It is too bad that the “happy ending” in this story requires her being rescued by a handsome prince.

rapunzel and prince

Alas.

Even better: a kick-ass job with a six-figure salary and a complete disregard for what anyone else in the world thinks about her appearance.

kickassrapunzel

01
Mar
15

education and equality

An interesting article about a school system (Finland’s) that seems to be much more effective than the American one.

Knock three times if this description sounds familiar:

“Instead, the public school system’s teachers are trained to assess children in classrooms using independent tests they create themselves. All children receive a report card at the end of each semester, but these reports are based on individualized grading by each teacher. Periodically, the Ministry of Education tracks national progress by testing a few sample groups across a range of different schools.”

And we decided this wasn’t working because. . .  ??? (Seemed to work pretty well for me. And I’m not THAT old.)

Probably can’t make that fly here, though, because, despite everyone’s recognition that money gives other people’s children advantages we can’t necessarily give our own, we must preserve that right, just in case someday we’re one of the people with money.

(Apologies for the circular argument.)

Alas.

 

25
Feb
15

back to the 7th century; or the 1970s at least

Putin scares me. Just type “Putin and his quest for world domination” into your search engine and read a few of the links. I can’t help but wonder if we’re going to end up back like when I was a child, teaching our children to hide under their desks in the case of a nuclear attack. (Yeah, that’ll help.)

But ISIS and what it represents scares me more.

If you haven’t read Infidel yet, you should.

And this article is interesting. A bit long, but worth it, although I disagree with the author’s idea that we should encourage the “quietest” Muslim movement — I think the tenets of Islam are counter to those of modern civilization, and should be radically denounced.

I have this image as I drive down the road of men stopping my car at a stop light and dragging me out. Or being forbidden to work, or to have my hair or face seen in public.

womaninburka

(There were lots of these women in London when I was there last June. Beautifully made-up eyes, magnificent manicures, toting bags and bags from Marks and Sparks and Harrod’s. I couldn’t help but wonder why they were spending all this money on clothes no one would ever see, but I guess they have to have something to look forward to and this might be it.)

These concerns seem to be even more critical than the one for equal pay, or whether Beyoncé is or is not actually a feminist; and while less immediate, and we can all comfort ourselves (in the Western world at least) by its geographical distance from our actual lives, but I wish I were a screenplay-writer — there’s a kickass blockbuster dystopian book or movie here, where we’re all going complacently about our lives, trivializing the rising impact of “radical” Islam, until it’s staring us in our faces and we’re all back in the 7th century, where all the men have beards, all the women are property, and all of our children are raised to believe this is the One and True Way. Except it’s not purely a work of fiction, and it probably is something we should risk seeming paranoid about and actually do something.

And I agree with Sam Harris — liberals making excuses, while not actually addressing or distributing the threat to the point where it no longer exists, doesn’t help.

 

 

23
Feb
15

The future is not yet now

On my Facebook newsfeed today

PatriciaArquette

And just below it

VSecAd

Discuss.




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