Friday, October 31, 2014

Separation of Church and Halloween

The church is killing the community. Sounds wrong, doesn’t it?  We’ve been told that the church is all about community.  Somehow, though, it has replaced the real community with a faux community conjured up from a homogeneous group brought together in a vast cinderblock bunker with a steeple on top and a 20-acre parking lot.

My daughter is going trick-or-treating tonight with a friend.  Sounds easy.  Took a lot of work to get to that point.  We live in an area with poor public schools.  Most everyone goes to private school.  My daughter knows almost no children in her neighborhood.  I guess you can say that private schools are killing the community, but that is for another post.  So back in early September, I set up a trick-or-treating date with my daughter’s best friend who lives 40 minutes away.  I communicated back and forth with the mom about Halloween plans and the sleepover.  All seemed well.  Until Monday, when I was informed that the girl couldn’t come because she had to volunteer at the “Fall Festival” at her church.

Yep.  Fall Festival.  Not Halloween.  Not trick-or-treating.  Why would anyone want their kids roaming their neighborhoods in costumes?  Seeing their neighbors.  Carving scary jack o’lanterns. The church feels a need to put an end to that.  Perhaps Satan has been found residing in Smarties and mini Twix bars.

And if the “Fall Festival” replacement is annoying, could it be worse than Trunk-or-Treat?  Skittish parents drive into their church parking lot and back their cars into a circular formation.   They fill their trunks with candy, pop the door open and the kids, unaware there is a real world out there, circulate among the trunks and fill their bags with candy.  Trunks are not for kids and candy.  They are for luggage.  Bald tires.  Low-level mobsters bound for the East River.  Sigh.

In a few hours, my daughter and another friend will roam the streets.  They will get to see neighbors they know and meet new ones.  My daughter will enlarge her community each time she rings a doorbell and says “trick or treat.”  I will go with them on the more unfamiliar streets and I, too, will enlarge my community.  And I get to look into other people’s houses.  I love that!

I’m so looking forward to seeing the little, happy kids.  And the bigger happy kids.  Hopefully not the really, really big kids, but I guess that’s ok as long as they are polite.  I’ve heard that we should expect around 150 kids.  Everyone will be out in this neighborhood – the children of the elite that live in $10,000,000 houses, college students, and the kids that live in public housing 3 blocks away.  My community will grow.  And it will only cost me 300 pieces of chocolate.  And I can leave my car parked in the drive.

Come on and ring my doorbell.  Ain’t nobody going to hell.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Back to the Future. With SCOTUS.

The amazing side effect about the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling is that it has made every individual (hurry, while there are still individuals in this country) a constitutional lawyer.  At least for the next day or so.  The bandwagon is lurching down my street and, by golly, I’m jumping on.

But first, I had to check into the United States Consitution and its posse of amendments known as the Bill of Rights.  And right away, I can plainly see that the first amendment has been tinkered with until it pretty much says the opposite today.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. – First Amendment of the Bill of Rights  (1791)

The individuals that run a corporation of 13,00 employees (formerly individuals) is now prohibiting the free exercise of religion of these employees.  Individual religious practice has been incorporated by the Hobby Lobby CEO. A “victory” for the free exercise of religion now means the ability of an individual, group, or corporation to assimilate the rights of other individuals.  (2014)

I originally thought that the rights laid out in all of those old, dusty documents just applied to white, male citizens. But now I can see that, at least for Hobby Lobby, women of all color and position are included.  They believe what the CEO believes.  They are all one.  All for one and one for one. 

Perhaps every female Hobby Lobby employee willingly hands over her ovaries at the Hobby Lobby door each morning.  If she desires, she can check them back out at night, but must relinquish them again the next morning.  If that’s what each individual agrees to, fine.  Somehow I doubt every female employee agrees wholeheartedly.  But what if the CEOs of Hobby Lobby change their mind?  Tomorrow they have another issue? Suppose they whip up an amendment to the Hobby Lobby Constitution?  Would all 13,000 employees be required to adhere to the new rules?  Yes, according to SCOTUS. 

On our way back to the dark ages, why don’t we just stop at 1791?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dead Man's Daughter Talking


Are we really going to take 15-year-old Bindi Irwin to the gallows because she has an opinion on how her peers are dressing?

Did Miss Irwin suggest that women wear a burqa?  Has she written a slut-shaming blog?  Has she been quoted that women and girls should keep their opinions to themselves and only speak when spoken to?  No.

However, people seem to be telling Bindi Irwin that she should shut up.  She’s being told that her young opinion does not matter, or is even bad.  Imagine in this day and age, a 15-year-old girl is told to keep her opinions to herself.

In my (much older) opinion, I think this might just be a little worse than a girl suggesting that other girls her age cover their asses.

When I was Bindi’s age, I spent far too much time in my room reading beauty and style magazines aimed at teenage girls.  These periodicals were filled with articles about how to make my eyes up to look dangerously sexy.  How to wear a bra to everyone else’s pleasure.   How to walk in high heels.  How to appear confident and coy at the same time.  How to say things to please my boyfriend.
I’m thinking these magazines still exist today.  I’m sure the editors are still at work getting young girls to dress and act in a way that Bindi Irwin might not like.  Bindi and Bindi-like girls don’t have to take that advice nor do non-Bindi-like girls need to take Bindi’s advice.

I do think that women and girls should dress how they want.  It might not always work for them, however.  Job interview?  Dress how you want.  You might not get that job, though.  A young man showing eight inches of underwear probably won’t get that job either.

I also think that young women should be able to express themselves through actions and words and not just their clothing.  Bindi Irwin has done that.  She’s not throwing stones at homosexuals or women whose ankles are exposed.  She’s not donning a white sheet and burning crosses.  She’s not advocating revoking women’s right to vote.  She had an opinion.  She voiced it.  If you disagree, fine.  Wear what you want and don’t have Bindi for a friend.  I’m sure she would give this advice to a friend and would listen to a friend who had fashion advice for her.  She doesn’t have to act on it and neither do you.

It is far more important to help a young girl express her opinions in this world than to shut her down because once a girl has been silenced, it is unlikely she will share her opinion again.  This future silenced opinion could be far more vital than fashion advice.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What Color is Your Easter Bunny?

Aww, how cute!  And she's gray!

My Easter Bunny is brown.  I’m thinking perhaps a light brown hare.  Strong and wirey.  Able to truck lots of chocolate eggs about.

I’m not sure what color Megyn Kelly’s is.  Quite possibly white.  Angora.  Because isn’t that really what all bunnies look like.  All bunnies are just white.  And super fluffy.

I think Easter Bunnies come in all colors and it has little to do with the color of the Peep and Jelly Bean recipient.  There are gray bunnies, tan bunnies, black and white spotted bunnies.  Bunnies whose ears go up and bunnies whose ears go down.

I’m so glad that Easter Bunnies come in different colors.  Aren’t you?  How bland would this world be if all bunnies were the same color?

Now, what about the Tooth Fairy?  Mine is Caucasian, I think.  Her hair is dark brown with a bit of gray.  She is not Disney Princess young and gorgeous.  She is not wizened and old.  Actually, I think she looks a lot like me.

What color is your Tooth Fairy?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Five Pound Box of Bullets

Ho Ho Ho from the Lowcountry.

Here's what hangs on trees in Nikki Haley's state:

Yes, if a real gun isn't enough, we can hang an armed glass duck made in China.

And if you require more festive shooting accessories, just string these lights all about the house.

Ah, get the eggnog.  Get out the stockings.  Get your guns.  It's Christmastime in Charleston.  And that crackling sound you hear as you sit by the toasty yule log --- it might just be gunfire.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Traditional Christmas Card Post

Once again, my Christmas Card complaint (formerly a request)

I love gifts.  A surprise in the mail makes my holiday.  In lieu of that, a festive card is almost as good.  I do love to know that I'm not alone in the world.  

If I am on your Christmas Card list, I'm delighted.  Whether you are a friend, an acquaintance, or merely someone who has repaired my furnace or cleaned my teeth, it doesn't matter.  I love a card.  I like those cards to be cute, glittery, gorgeous, filled with confetti, festooned with ribbon, city stylized, kissing kousin kountry, red and green, blue and white, black and yellow, and decorated with Jesus, snowmen, zebras, angels, trees, RVs, balls, bells, and whistles.

I also will read your newsletter.  If you care to send me the long form, I will happily read it because, chances are, I care.  And I really like it when you tuck in a photo of your kids, your dogs or your vacation home.   Especially the kid.   If I like you, then I probably like your kid.  I even want to know if they've made the honor roll or graduated from braces and headgear.

Just please, please, please don't send that one-sided, unsigned, undecorated photo of your dog, kid, or vacation home that poses as a complete holiday card.  And when you print out the envelope on your computer and your housekeeper then stuffs all of the envelopes, I'm going to want to tell you to stuff it.   Put a bit of ink on the damn thing or don't send it.  I'd rather you send me a picture on facebook of your middle finger.  At least that's personal.

Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas
Happy Kwanzaa
Happy Chanukah
and so on

Monday, October 7, 2013

Desperate for a new television show

I feel somewhat sad this morning.

I finished watching the final episode of Desperate Housewives on Netflix last night.

First of all, I am slow.  That's ok.  I don't need to be on trend or ahead of the curve.

The housewives have kept me company for more than two years now.  Once the hubby's travel picked up, his leaving town was not quite as bad when I had the housewives to keep me company after the young one went to bed at night.  We all had wine together and I could yell at them when they were being ridiculous and happy when life worked out well for them.  When things went south we could commiserate with another glass of wine and when there was joy and a celebration, we could celebrate with another glass of wine.  And when Bree was on the wagon, I actually felt guilty for drinking in front of her.

It took me a bit of time to find the right photo for this post.  Most of the photos were way sexy glamour shots.  While this was not uncommon on the show, most of the character were far more down to earth than "normal' folks on other television shows.  Often, they appeared on screen in sweat pants.  Sometimes they rocked them, other times not.

Sure, each character was a bit bigger than life.  Yet, I could relate to many of the situations on the show.  Why?  These characters were my age (or close).  These women weren't just being shown as some awesome cool teenager's bitchy, clueless mom.  Or some Wall Street executive's two-dimensional bitchy, clueless wife.  Or a running menopause joke.  Or a running PMS joke.  From kids to kidneys, I could relate.

Each trip for my husband was a poker game and a hit-and-run accident for me and my women buddies.  If I ever wanted to say or do something hurtful and completely regrettable, I knew they would do it for me.  When I wanted to move and hopefully improve my life, they moved with me.  And now they're gone.  Moved from Wisteria lane.  I went through the deaths of their family members and I could turn to this show when I was hurting from the deaths of my parents.

I didn't even know the end was coming.  I never bothered to find out how many seasons there were.  Those last 10 minutes of the final episode caught me by surprised. I found myself doing that backseat driver putting on the brakes movement.  My right foot could find no traction, no brake.  The screen went black and that was that.  I couldn't stop it.  Couldn't create a new season with my own desperation.

So, I've been through season one of Ugly Betty.  Good show, but it can't replace the housewives.  I am on the lookout for a new show.  It can't be a great show, because then my husband will want to watch, also.  So I have to find something good, not much man appeal, not full of phony Kardashians, and loads of episodes.  Any ideas?