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.


(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.




The future is not yet now

On my Facebook newsfeed today


And just below it








Bill Moyers and the need for campaign finance reform.


Where do I sign?

And of course, it’s no surprise that there isn’t a SINGLE REPUBLICAN sponsor to any of these bills. That should speak volumes.



I read an article once in a newspaper about what was wrong with the article — that too much time is spent telling people the things they already know before they Get To The Point. So I’m going to get to the point as quickly as possible.

We all know what’s been going on in the past couple of weeks with lacks of indictments of officers (white) using deadly force against unarmed black “suspects.”

This makes me feel that the situation, our future, any chance of us ever living in what might be considered an “enlightened” society, is doomed; hopeless.

And I’m not saying that there isn’t some shared responsibility. I don’t know what happened with Michael Brown — did he attack? Did the officer actually feel threatened, or was this a story concocted later to cover his actions? The problem is, without a trial and the transparency that ensues, we will probably never know.

I also believe that a part of an officer’s training addresses exactly this, at least it should — how to avoid CREATING the situation in the first place.

I’m reminded of the movie Fruitvale Station, (excellent, btw), and realize how the situation STARTED out of control.

And yes, we should all be polite and respectful to police men and women; we should answer their questions calmly and keep our hands in plain view and not make sudden or violent moves. We should ALL do that. But how is it that someone can hold someone in a chokehold, for MINUTES, while the person is audibly gasping and saying he can’t breathe; that the death can be ruled a HOMICIDE, and yet no one is accountable?

How can we believe that we can trust the people who WE are hiring to be OUR public servants to keep US safe when they are also the people with guns, and apparently, omnipotence?

We’re supposed to be smarter than this. We know enough about biology to know that there are no differences in intelligence or capacity between different races. We know enough about society to know that we’re ALL better off if we take care of each other, trust each other, work together. We know that racism is learned not innate. We know that we all want the same things: safety, shelter, sustenance, love.

Yet, even knowing all of this, it still seems too difficult.

Even knowing all of this, it still seems impossible.


the disease of busyness

Read this.

I believe it, I agree with it.

I also feel that there is too much time spent in “pursuit” of something, and not enough time left to create. People don’t sit and stare and watch the world and think creative thoughts — what happens to our poets and playwrights, our composers and artists, when every minute to spare is spent being entertained by our phones? Parents drive their children to take more and more AP classes and to be on every academic team available and to prepare for way too many standardized tests, but don’t support their school district’s music and art programs and, as soon as the child gets “too busy,” discontinues their music lessons, even though this is probably the ONE area of the child’s life that involves personal expression, investigation, long-term discipline and artistic creativity.

I’m aware of this almost daily when I contemplate how much more financially comfortable my family could be if I were willing to work more hours and realize that I really don’t want to. That my time for yoga and reading and knitting and weaving and sitting on the couch every night with my husband watching hockey or Netflix movies or worthwhile TV series on DVDs (currently The Good Wife, although we’re almost out of discs — any recommendations?) is as or more important to my and my family’s comfort and happiness than a few hundred more dollars a month in our checking account. And then I’m SO grateful that I have that option, that I get to make that DECISION rather than being forced to work 2 or 3 minimum-wage jobs just to pay the mortgage and buy minimal groceries — a situation I know is true for many.

But many of these choices that lead to what I’m going to call Diseased Busyness ARE choices. Even Only Daughter right now has 3, 14-hour days each week because of extensive Nutcracker rehearsals. She leaves the house at 7 a.m.; is home for half an hour and then at ballet until 9 (if they let her out on time, which they rarely do), at which point she comes home and eats dinner and does her homework. She’s not getting enough sleep, she’s stressed half the time, she’s probably not eating enough, but this is just for a couple of months, so I accept it. Even though I don’t think it’s particularly good for her in a short-term sense, I believe it is in the long-term, but only because it is short term. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, I fear this lack of “down” will exact a cost on all of us, on society, ultimately on our success as PEOPLE (not automatons, not worker bees, but thinking/feeling/creative/compassionate people).

I believe it so much I’m going to do something I don’t usually do, but post this on BOTH of my blogs, and link to it on my personal AND professional Facebook pages.

Let’s start a rebellion. Let’s not over schedule. Let’s not pull out our phones when we have less than 10 minutes to wait for something. Let’s try to maintain a balance for ourselves and our children of work-, hobby-, and creative/artistic pursuits. Let’s leave our houses dirty and eat dinner together. And when we ask someone how they are, ask how their heart is — not about how many awards their child has won or how many committees they are on, but really ask — How ARE you? And then take those minutes (since you’re not going on your phone anyway, remember?) to really listen to the answer.


the story goes. . .

. . .that the writer’s assistant was inspired,
and so,
taking up a sheaf of papers from his master’s desk
scribbled his own story on the back of
the pages;
but the master’s pages were shuffled,
and the assistant’s pages became likewise
so that the stories overlapped and confused
between themselves

and the story goes that e.t.a hoffman wrote this down,
this story of these confused-between-themselves
stories and that robert schumann took up
this story and wrote this piece


each movement three fragments–
first and third from
the master’s paragraphs with the
shuffled overlapped paragraphs in

and i can see robert,
ruffling the hair of his children as he
sends them off to school,
Clara practising in the other room,
or Lying Down upstairs with a headache and a
Cool Cloth on her forehead

and then i see him walking through the lights and
shadows of sun coming through windows down a long
hallway, shoes clicking softly and handsclasped armscrossed behind
his back, watching his own feet as he walks,
and then sitting at his desk
peering at his reflection in the polished surface
quickly evaluating today’s level of sane-
trying to remember where he was
last.. .

the slow movements in particular
you can almost hear him thinking
worming working his way through this
melody and then
And then this one again but only just a little.
You can hear him scratching his head,
chewing on his pen,
humming a little bit to himself
and then
sneaking peaks
not looking at himself looking at himself

trying to remember where he was

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