Monday, July 28, 2014

Dijango and Gone With the Wind

I read a negative review of the movie "Gone with the Wind".  The writer for the Atlanta Journal was offended by the black characters and the story in general.

Margaret Mitchell's book tried to dispel the romance and glamour associated with the antebellum South. Then like all Hollywood adaptations of a 700 page book, they blew perspective and reality out the window. In the book, the characters were more complex.

I'm not defending slavery. You can never underestimate the cruelty of people coupled with indiscriminate power.

As a retired teacher, I have listened to many dreams. It is important to have dreams. It is also important to recognize that success and wealth does not always mean a life has been well lived. The value of a human being is not based on their mistakes but a balance of their mistakes with their successes.

Pride is a sin in that it makes us do dumb things to save face and prevents us from appreciating what we do have.

Both of my grandfather's walked behind a mule. My dad and his brothers joked that they enlisted and went to fight World War II in order to get a pair of shoes.

Those images are people who in spite of circumstances persevered. Abraham Lincoln's quote "God must love the common man, he made so many of them."  The relationships between people and the circumstances they live in is complex.

Again, I agree there is nothing lovely about slavery or being a slave. If someone remained with an owner after emancipation, it would be because of a strong, positive relationship or the lack of opportunity to support themselves, or like a bad marriage - stay because you can't see anything better.

As a young woman reading the book, I saw a woman who didn't wait for a man or society to open doors. She did it herself albeit stepping on a lot toes to get there. What I liked about this review is it opens my mind to how point of view affects what we hear in a story.

I never realized it but which character in "Gone With the Wind" would I be most like. I would be Mamie. I would say the relationships are clearly fiction. But look around at all our relationships. We are loyal to people who don't deserve our loyalty and friends at times to people we don't like. You know what I mean. People are strange.

I thought the book "And Ladies of the Club" by Helen Hooven Santmyer is a better piece of fictional history during the mid 1800's.

Take care.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Robert Burn's poem: Man Was Made to Mourne A Dirge

I watched the movie, Lee Daniel's: The Butler.

Painful history. The movie demonstrated so much change due to the civil right's movement with a fictional butler which was loosely based on the real White House butler, Eugene Allen. This is an incredible feat to cover so much territory and create a story.

Oprah Winfrey and Forrest Whitaker were great. Incredible acting throughout the film. Lenny Kravitz played a White House butler. He is so good looking. He is one of those men who looks better as he ages.

I recommend the movie. There is so much flotsam and conspiracy theory jazz in media today. This movie was a refreshing break even if so many scenes tore your heart out.

It ended well. Life is bittersweet. I like the Jewish tradition at Passover of eating something bitter and something sweet because both are a part of life. What I felt later was  I wonder what injustices will we hear about thirty years in the future about today.

I may or may not be here. We do need to do right by those children on our country's border.

Man's inhumanity to man was cited in 1784 by Robert Burn's poem,  The phrase is probably thousands of years old.

Man was made to mourne: A Dirge.

When chill November's surly blast 
Made fields and forests bare, 
One ev'ning, as I wander'd forth 
Along the banks of Ayr, 
I spied a man, whose aged step 
Seem'd weary, worn with care; 
His face furrow'd o'er with years, 
And hoary was his hair. 

"Young stranger, whither wand'rest thou?" 
Began the rev'rend sage; 
"Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain, 
Or youthful pleasure's rage? 
Or haply, prest with cares and woes, 
Too soon thou hast began 
To wander forth, with me to mourn 
The miseries of man. 

"The sun that overhangs yon moors, 
Out-spreading far and wide, 
Where hundreds labour to support 
A haughty lordling's pride;- 
I've seen yon weary winter-sun 
Twice forty times return; 
And ev'ry time has added proofs, 
That man was made to mourn. 

"O man! while in thy early years, 
How prodigal of time! 
Mis-spending all thy precious hours- 
Thy glorious, youthful prime! 
Alternate follies take the sway; 
Licentious passions burn; 
Which tenfold force gives Nature's law. 
That man was made to mourn. 

"Look not alone on youthful prime, 
Or manhood's active might; 
Man then is useful to his kind, 
Supported in his right: 
But see him on the edge of life, 
With cares and sorrows worn; 
Then Age and Want-oh! ill-match'd pair- 
Shew man was made to mourn. 

"A few seem favourites of fate, 
In pleasure's lap carest; 
Yet, think not all the rich and great 
Are likewise truly blest: 
But oh! what crowds in ev'ry land, 
All wretched and forlorn, 
Thro' weary life this lesson learn, 
That man was made to mourn. 

"Many and sharp the num'rous ills 
Inwoven with our frame! 
More pointed still we make ourselves, 
Regret, remorse, and shame! 
And man, whose heav'n-erected face 
The smiles of love adorn, - 
Man's inhumanity to man 
Makes countless thousands mourn! 

"See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight, 
So abject, mean, and vile, 
Who begs a brother of the earth 
To give him leave to toil; 
And see his lordly fellow-worm 
The poor petition spurn, 
Unmindful, tho' a weeping wife 
And helpless offspring mourn. 

"If I'm design'd yon lordling's slave, 
By Nature's law design'd, 
Why was an independent wish 
E'er planted in my mind? 
If not, why am I subject to 
His cruelty, or scorn? 
Or why has man the will and pow'r 
To make his fellow mourn? 

"Yet, let not this too much, my son, 
Disturb thy youthful breast: 
This partial view of human-kind 
Is surely not the last! 
The poor, oppressed, honest man 
Had never, sure, been born, 
Had there not been some recompense 
To comfort those that mourn! 

"O Death! the poor man's dearest friend, 
The kindest and the best! 
Welcome the hour my aged limbs 
Are laid with thee at rest! 
The great, the wealthy fear thy blow 
From pomp and pleasure torn; 
But, oh! a blest relief for those 
That weary-laden mourn!"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lining up the headlines.

How your arms help you run is the headline. Sort of a no-brainer unless you are training for the Olympics where it is a science for the win.

Louise looks out the back window to bark at something in the woods. I would think she was just making things up but I know dogs and cats are fairly serious. Yes, I have owned a dog that limped feigning a past injury for a special request. But other than a little hypocrisy with one another, they are as honest and truthful as their love of plenty of water.

I am addicted to Facebook's feed. I've subscribed or liked several news outlets and follow many intelligent people. I don't follow those feeds with outrageous headlines. Like my dogs, I like to keep it real. However, I have friends that like them and I get to read and sometimes will follow the link to see what the impassioned like to read.

It's that sense of justice that they love to tweak. So much irony in using the average peoples sense of justice to persuade them them to an extreme viewpoint. I am grateful to my original teachers, my parents, to make me question what does not sound right. I don't fall for deals too good to be true.

Today's twisted headline was

Collecting Rainwater Now Illegal in Many States as Big Government Claims Ownership Over Our Water

I would not provide the link because ignorance shouldn't be shared. I noticed they had the comments turned off.

My response is:  This is in very dry states. To maintain the water table so wells do not go dry, they have regulations that ensure the water is used in a manner to replenish the water table. This is much like requesting people not water their lawns everyday during a drought on the east coast. With an ever growing population, conservation is a real issue. We can't take clean water for granted.

Another commentator questioned the origins of Christianity. There is mythology mixed with the story of Christianity. What survives in any religion is the spirit. A spirit that can enrich a believer's life.. Like every message it can be twisted to persuade people.

 While I agree with the commentator, I don't agree with the sentiment. I grew up with the craziest, evangelical Christians. They are fine people who will give you the shirt off their backs. The message gets twisted not the religious beliefs.

For a long time, I did not know where that put me in the scheme of thing. I don't go to church because I am not keen on where the tithe goes. I am not in favor of pushing a dogma, buying the pastor a Mercedes, replacing the carpet before it is worn. Helping the poor would be an incentive. My biggest problem is with the politics. I am an independent voter' when I see a pregnant 12 year old, I believe there is a place for abortion; homosexuals have a right to live the life they chose.

Like I say, I have a fascination with the motley Facebook feed. It is like playing one of the computer games where you constantly line up pieces. I could be doing something more productive but it does exercise my brain.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don't ja be puttin' words in my mouth

It has been a long day.

This morning, in another universe if feels like, I heard again that whenever a Southerner says, "Bless your heart." It is a backhanded compliment. It is supposed to mean you're a little dense but I love you anyway.

One of the biggest frustrations as a native born Southerner is you hear your culture defined all the damn time it seems. I'm in the habit of saying "Bless your heart." I got it from my dad. It means "Bless your heart." only. It is an endearment.

I asked my mom what connotations she knew. It was the same as mine. Dang, it is part of my lexicon. I've said it all my life. I like the way it rolls from my mouth and the good feelings I have when I say it.

Aggravating -----

I heard Hillary Clinton tell Terri Gross on NPR. "Those are not my words, don't put words in my mouth." Well that might not be the precise words but it is the precise sentiment. I'm on Clinton's side. She lives in a world where everything can be interpreted any way the political pundit wants. She can hardly speak with the social candor of Terri Gross.

Today, the light turned green as I was putting Button's harness on. I swear I did not sit there forever. The truck next to me had not moved either. A long angry horn blew the moment the light changed. I was looking even if my hands were engaged. Anyway, the old guy did his arm at me in the FU motion as he blew the horn passing me.

I have this fantasy water balloon tosser which would spring load a juicy balloon in his lap.

By the way, I am that older chick you pass. Aggravating people one car at a time. Anyway, Buttons looked smashing and had a wonderful walk.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Moving away.

Been busier than a bee this past week. I've had to help a brother who lives a 2 1/2 hour drive away. I am so exhausted when I get home. My bulldog walks into the house and looks at the other dogs like she is a celebrity.

I drove by a house I lived in for about 13 years. They cut my fig tree down and all the daylilies were gone. But an apple tree I planted was loaded and the azalea that were still alive looked pretty big and good. I recognized my former neighbor on his front porch with some kids. I thought of saying hello but time takes it toll on friendships too.

Built up is what old Fayette County Georgia looked with humongous weeds where Lake Peachtree should have been in places. It costs money to dredge a lake.

What struck me the most were memories of people and places that are gone. They are so real but no longer exist. What was once 4 eighth grade science teachers in the county is more like 50 now.

My bully looked at me like why are we going down these roads. Her face softens and looks wistfully down the road as we get closer to my home. I was stopped by a train two miles from home. I just turned the engine off and read.

Anyway, it is shorter another way. Life moves on.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Time is so Short

Time is so short
You want to grow up
Get through school, graduate, get a job.

Then you slog through that job in good times and in bad. You may even be paid for your work. My mother was a housewife. As my dad got older, he would tell me how my mom had made his life better. He would have been a slob if she had not kept him cleaned up as he told it.

One of the ironies of life is that a woman needs a man earlier in adulthood and a man needs a woman late in life. I know you think of how that old guy can be a real peacock at the senior center which is true. Its just that women have always been allowed to have strong emotional relationships with friends. Men sometimes only let their feelings down with their wife.

I'm retired and one big stress in life is reduced, earning that payday. The only problem is having to make what I get go farther than it does. I'm spending some savings to get my house re-roofed, purchase a newer vehicle and remodel my mom's bathroom to be more handicap accessible. Grab bars placed all over the house.

This house is the first one I bought that I knew was to be lived in more than worrying about the resell value. I haven't regretted the choice. It has an odd floor plan. A teeny tiny piece of me wanted to try to create the perfect house. Then I drive by the castle some people work so hard to build only to live in so little because life is so short.

There is a horse farm next to me. It is on it's third set of owners in 18 years. The first people got out because they hated the 24/7 nature. The second one died of breast cancer which is very sad. A year after her death, her husband who I never met sold all of her horses cheap at an auction. It blows my mind how people just sell a horse so easily. I have dogs and get so attached to them. The latest set is a couple in their late forties with a 27 year old daughter. I have a feeling I will see at least three more turnovers in the next 18 years. God willing I live 18 more years.

I've spent time with my older brother today. It's a little terrifying to discuss financial choices you are making with the rationale you might as well spend it while you are here. Where are my mom and dad when they used to boss me around and make me so mad.

Being a grownup is not all it all cracked up to be. It ain't no bed of roses. However, I have rooted and planted the most rose bushes. Tomorrow I go whack away at them. I'll be rewarded in a few weeks with a riot of lovely flowers. Life has whacked me more than once. It feels good to still have the chance to have a dream and be a part of it all.

As my brother always says, have a good day and a better tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2014

hijacked email

I changed my phone service to prepaid Verizon and opened another Google email account. I've got the password somewhere. Fearful when I knew someone had taken claim to the account with my blogger picture from Google plus, what do I do get plastic surgery.

Fortunately, the phone seems secure and the Google plus with this email account was not compromised. This is why I would use blog spot or their big competitor. An individual doesn't have the clout of a large corporate entity like Google.

The email is open on my cell phone. I could not access it because someone has changed the emergency contact. I found a compromise. I hope my Google plus account and blog doesn't disappear. I changed the name on the Google email plus account to stolen email and the name change is under review by Google.

I didn't know any other way to shut the email down. I don't like that it could be used with my picture to dupe other people. In essence, the account is not accessible because of this action.

I write down all the crazy passwords I have made up. I started fresh when my hard drive crashed from a virus a few months back. What an aggravation. I'm keeping a diary of when I register for sites so I can close them down several months down the road when I don't use them.

Friday, July 11, 2014

What's the bigger fantasy John Tesh?

I finished reading Buck's Landing by Cameron Garriepy which was a lovely, breezy story.

Buck's Landing

John Tesh and some man on his radio show warned that women need to be careful about becoming addicted to romance novels. As the too much sage advice host warned, reading too many romance novels could lead to unrealistic expectations. I thought that was the purpose of a romance novel, the fantasy.

Many elements went into this novel which makes it a good read. The prose was exceptional. You were lost in the story.

What fantastical elements did I like. The sex was always incredible and passionate. Sofia Buck was ever beautiful. Evidently, she did not need to pluck chin hairs like the rest of us brunettes. Of course the meals were exceptional;, she did not burn the marinara; the fried dough had not set under a heat lamp; and Silas knew exactly which restaurant to go to or what dessert to bring to an affair.

Did I tell you that Silas was great with children and stayed when Sofia busted out bawling. Sharing more of what a wonderful man Silas was would ruin the story.

It's hard to believe Sofia walked away from him. The question for the reader, what happened to the two passionate lovers. I can guarandamntee you will not be disappointed with their fates.

I don't read romance often. A chick flick I loved was "It's Complicated" with Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep. You should have seen her garden. It looked like something out of Disney. The movie was panned. But it was a great fantasy story all the same.

You don't need a vampire lover or tinkerbell to get a good fantasy going. Slip on over to the romance department.

John Tesh said men get into action/adventure stories. Yeah, like those aren't fantasies too.

Sort of like the men who see themselves waking in the middle of the night and besting the ax murderer who has come for them and their families. Those fantasies can also be dangerously unrealistic.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In the quiet

I have a college aged acquaintance. Idealistic and driven, he is on the cusp of starting his life. I heard him say he did not have time to read the "Game of Thrones" even though he is a big fan of the show.

I haven't watched the show which I know has to be very exciting. No time is the reason. You really have to pick and choose what you do. Time seemed more plentiful when I was younger but I have always found myself running.

It's in the quiet when I have had my best ideas.

I lost my job in 1982 due to a cutback in teaching positions but more due to the fact I did not have a grip on discipline at the high school I worked at.  Working at a peach packing house in the evenings, I realized I needed to quit and find a job that summer while I still was being paid for my previous year's teaching.

It was that tedium of looking for bad peaches that allowed me to think. When working on a screenplay, I cleared so many facets while doing water aerobics. Currently, I have epiphanies as I mow grass. I came across the name for imaginary characters in a children's book I am writing as I walked my dogs.

The ideas are all there. You just need to slow down for them to come out. I understand meditation. It is not the clearing of your mind. It's the reduction of thoughts to have something of importance to get your attention. I've never been a prayer in the conventional sense. I don't do a long petition to God. It is more like I send a thought to God, then I send it again, again, and yes again. Put a little energy in my petition each time.

I try not to give advice because no one really likes advice unless they are grasping at straws. Even then it can wear on their nerves. But what I would tell my friend is choose what you do carefully. Don't bite off too much. When everything gets real noisy you accomplish very little. I know from experience.

Friday, July 4, 2014

My way or the highway

There was lots to think about today. It was hectic but not strenuous. My sister went to the heart doctor. Waiting is such a hassle. We got out in pretty good time, two hours.

I took mom and her home afterwards. Enough time to do nothing at the house and I took a little nap. I went back to pick my brother up from the workshop and I saw a young man waiting to cross the road with his skateboard. He was about 16. Beautiful kid, smooth skin, shiny cap of black hair, he had to check his phone as he waited. He seemed so young, too young to be out in town on his own. But I know he was old enough and looked to have enough sense to navigate the world via skateboard.

I took my brother to the barbershop and read GQ. The June 2014 issue had an interview with Glenn Greenwald who has helped Eric Snowden leak documents he took from NSA. Why don't women magazines have a little more meat?

For the record, I don't approve of Eric Snowden's actions. He has released confidential files which compromises the United States. It is naive for anyone to think any developed country does not have files such as these. To think the world has our comprehensive cat video files is shocking.

The whole whistle-blowing by Snowden is a two headed monster with one head being Snowden and the other one the sloppiness with NSA that allowed it to happen.

I have been surprised at Americans upset about all this information gathering. Did they not know about the Patriot Act. It was reported loudly and often in the media. For the record, I was not keen on all the information gathering or the initial invasion of Iraq.

Greenwald states that all the major outlets in the world are on the take. Snowden did the right thing in choosing his conspirators. Greenwald has won two writing awards based on the files. Greenwald is obviously biased.

It's the individual that can make all the difference. I just don't think Snowden's actions did anything but create more tension in the world. I get it that he thinks he is a hero. I just think staying in the United States and releasing those files to the FBI would have been more patriotic. He may have served jail time. That may be better than spending the rest of his life as a Russian.

The article did make you sympathetic to Snowden and Greenwald. Greenwald is a great litigator.

It's just a growing problem in this country. Individuals are so intent on the my way or the highway that congress can not function. Ted Cruz for president. This is a scary thought. Snowden would make Cruz a good running mate. They may not agree ideologically but their minds work the same.

I know it is Edward Snowden. I just don't want to give him any more press than he has gotten.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fraud Alert! Fart Alert!

Fraud Alert! Fart Alert!

Such similar things at times.

But the info does niggle at me. Makes me want to name names and pick up the bits later.

Not that it has any real prize. Alas, the world is not fair. Akin to those websites that get you to click with tempting headlines and no content.

Wading through so much and learning so much that you could have lived without knowing. What bothers me is the stepping on others for so little.

I haven't gotten into the television show Big Brother yet this summer. It is not real life but those kids are so tough. It is a vicious one man upmanship, political dynamic.They would make me cry in no time. Then vote my butt out.

 It took the feedback from an online editor serious, then I noted they were wrong when they said my work was full of spelling errors, run-on sentences and sentence fragments. Word  points out errors as I work. That's when I realized the editor may just not like my writing.

The editor who I shall call Negatini did me a favor. I also need to work on my five open writing projects. In addition, I take care of three people and my house needs cleaning. I enjoy the challenges. I love reading everyone else's work. I just don't have the time to do it and write too.

Anytime I deal with a trades person or salesperson, I stop working with them when they get too negative. It is such a manipulative tool. Needless to say, Negatini won this week on the blogroll. Her response was an upper middle class anecdote.

The negativity principle was at work. I think it could be a stylistic point of view problem as well as plain cheating. Since the winner wins with about 8 votes total, A clique could control the outcome. In addition, the editors also compete which is a conflict of interest. I made a donation for the website; but, the editors may not be paid.

One aspect of writing is it makes you a critic. You revel in the really good stuff. I understand why I have always been a book snob.

My future blog posts will include more book reviews. I read so much good stuff.  Tomorrow I plan to finish reading "Buck's Landing" by Cameron Garriepy on my Kindle while I wait at the doctor with my sister. I've read the first chapter and I can't wait to read the rest.


 Zephyr is a soft, peaceful breeze. And I thought it had to be an imaginary animal. For many of you, we will not meet again until the next A...