From gool ol’ Charlie Brown:
Have a happy, safe holiday everyone
December 25, 2011
December 13, 2011
In 1961 a Lillian Hellman play (circa 1930′s) was adapted to film. It raised eyebrows and hackles as it slipped into neighbourhood movie theatres across America. Polite people didn’t openly say the word lesbian as a rule back then much less make it the focus of a movie and more than one religious-right group had it banned from their town. Thing is, the movie wasn’t about lesbians – it was about how quick the public is to embrace hearsay as truth and the ensuing collective knee-jerk reaction that causes permanent damage to those accused before the facts are ever brought to light.
As actresses, Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine took a lot of flack for their portrayal of two single teachers wrongly accused of being lesbians by one of their students. The fact of their characters’ innocence made no difference to those offended by the topic. The movie itself was actually falsely labelled perverse before movie-goers had a chance to see for themselves it was neither sexually explicit nor about lesbians – ironically reinforcing the entire moral of the story.
Regardless of a person’s defense of or offense taken, the movie made a strong statement about the manipulation of public opinion: Once an accusing finger has been pointed there will be those who forever believe the accusation in spite of any evidence ultimately pointing to the contrary. It is the epitomy of the old adage – Once a bell is rung it can never be un-rung.
Karen and Martha are longtime friends who open a school for girls. They are hard-working, good teachers and the school attracts many affluent families. Karen has a boyfriend, Martha does not but Karen and her boyfriend include Martha in everything they do. The women’s strong bond and warm personalities contribute to their success as teachers.
Enter the mean girl, Mary, who’s punished for telling a lie and gets even with her teacher by beginning a rumour that the two schoolteachers are lovers. Before the rumour can be disproved, parents pull their daughters from the school and the two women are shunned by the town.
The disgrace and violence the women endure as a result of the false accusation is sadly no different from what happens today. As a society we are every bit too quick to pass judgement now as we were 60-70-80 years ago. Especially when we feel our children may be at risk.
If this is a movie you’ve never seen, I strongly recommend it. The acting is superb and the story is gripping.
This is my head’s up to you because over the next few days I’d like to open a discussion about last month’s events at Penn State. It’s not a happy story – not for anyone – but certain contradictory facts are beginning to bubble to the surface and I’d seriously like to be able to talk about them with you.
Here’s a bit from tomorrow’s post:
December 12, 2011
December 10, 2011
These are amazing! Spouse just found this site and I have laughed and giggled and cried for about an hour already!
For the past couple of years returning soldiers have planned surprise visits to loved ones and captured it all on film. With all the negative crap that goes on everyday in the news it’s a shame these clips don’t get more play. These little glimpses into ‘real-life’ experiences help put other things into perspective and are lovely to share… well done guys!
Welcome Home Blog has stacks of these. This was the one on youtube that caught spouse’s eye:
As a matter of fact I think I’ll add this to my blog roll
December 9, 2011
Yup I’m pretty sure while he saw the jab coming from the debate stage, he aimed this straight at your stupid Fox interview, FB rant, not just the idiot crowd you’re endorsing. And I’m not super sure, but pretty sure The Donald may have had his topknot ruffled as well.
Two morons, one idiot and a whiner all backhanded in one fine stroke. Not bad.
Oh and I especially like the countdown clocks behind him letting the country know whose responsibility it is if the middle class has their taxes raised.
December 9, 2011
Stuck with a relative who’s still into Sarah?
Get paired up at work with a Palinbot for the office Silent-Santa gift exchange and don’t know what to get?
Well even if all you want to do is give a liberal a laff, I found THE PERFECT gift for Palin fans at this website.
Welcome to Holiday Hell…
Tacky Sarah Palin Christmas sweater! On this sweater, Sarah Palin is wearing her own tacky sweater, complete with decorations. She’s got happy jazz hands, wearing her winter gloves. Bust = 42″ Length = 25″. Sleeves are 12″ half-length.
You might even want this one for yourself! You know – to prove to the world that while you might be a liberal, you’re also too fair and balanced!
T-neck red Tacky Sarah Palin Christmas Sweater! Sweater has a rear zipper at the neck for easy on-off. This sweater is 2-sided! The front has Sarah wearing a pair of festive antlers. On the back of the sweater, Sarah Palin is wearing her own tacky sweater, mittens, and a santa hat! Decorative accents include beads, pom poms, bows, and trim. This festive sweater is a winner! Bust=34″. Length= 22″.
AND THAT’S NOT ALL! Each of these lovely creations is not only a steal at $64.95, they are also too pre-owned which means you’d be helping other lucky gift recipients to recycle!
I don’t know about you guys but I sure know where I’m going shopping for my stocking stuffers this year!!!
Ugly Christmas Sweaters Dot Com – where have you been all my life!!! (omg I am so into the sweaters with twinkle lights!)
December 8, 2011
this is brilliant -
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE and GRAHAM BOWLEY
Published: December 6, 2011
They call it the Robin Hood tax — a tiny levy on trades in the financial markets that would take money from the banks and give it to the world’s poor.
And like the mythical hero of Sherwood Forest, it is beginning to capture the public’s imagination.
Driven by populist anger at bankers as well as government needs for more revenue, the idea of a tax on trades of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments has attracted an array of influential champions, including the leaders of France and Germany, the billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and George Soros, former Vice President Al Gore, the consumer activist Ralph Nader, Pope Benedict XVI and the archbishop of Canterbury.
“We all agree that a financial transaction tax would be the right signal to show that we have understood that financial markets have to contribute their share to the recovery of economies,” the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, told her Parliament recently.
December 6, 2011
For me, the story of Christmas began to unravel when I was around age ten. I loved the hymns and carols and candles and lights and Sunday mass in a church full of beautiful flowers and good friends. It was comforting and despite my personal epiphany, I’m glad my parents took me to church every Sunday when I was young.
But this particular year would be my last as an honest believer in Orthodox Christianity.
I remember sitting in the choir loft with my mom and looking down at the tops of all the ladies hats. I was playing my weekly game of guessing which hat belonged to which lady when the priest took to the pulpit and began his Christmas Day sermon about the birth of Baby Jesus. I knew the story by heart and although it was nice to hear again I was ten after all and not really listening. My good behaviour in church was inspired more by not wanting the wrath of my mother’s silent glare than interest in the good priest’s words. (My mother had a way of levelling whole buildings with a single raised eyebrow and I hardly wanted to find myself in trouble on a day like today.)
So listening to Father Harris that Christmas morning was more like skimming through a book you’d already read. My ears only picked out certain key words that let me know how the story was progressing so I could follow along and work out how much longer I had to sit quietly. Presents, opened and then abandoned to get dressed for church had my real attention.
Blizzard… Mary… no room… Joseph… barn… bright star… wise men… myrrh… the heavy scent of incense wafted up into the loft. It was not a pleasant aroma for me and I curled my nose into the folds of my mother’s choir robe and breathed in the softer smell of her white rose corsage. When younger, the combined chemicals of incense, multiple ladies’ perfumes, fresh-cut flowers and men’s cologne made me (literally) faint and I learned to sidestep that embarrassing event with a breathing-slash-counting game taught to me by my paediatrician. With face full of purple cotton I pretended to count the miles it took to get from our house in the city to my grandfather’s farm two hours south.
Shepherds… bright star again… so if the bright Christmas star appeared in the sky the moment baby Jesus was born and was used by the shepherds and wise men to guide them to the scene of the birth – how in the world did this all happen in one night? It took forever just to get to my grandfather’s farm and these shepherds were coming down whole mountains and wise men were riding camels into Jerusalem from deserts of far off lands – none of which could have been even remotely close to the manger in which Christ was born.
And wasn’t there a blizzard? How did anyone see the stars through a sky filled with rain and snow clouds? And if it took several weeks or months for these visitors to actually reach Mary and Joseph why were they still in the barn? One by one and thread by thread the warm, protective layers of blind faith began succumbing to the cold light of reason.
My mom was great. She told me some stories were told to make us feel better – to give us hope in troubled times. Stories taught us lessons in humility and generosity and helped us overcome greed and show compassion toward each other. It didn’t matter if the events surrounding the birth of baby Jesus happened all in one night or over an entire year – the lesson was about how no matter our differences, all living things can share the joy offered by the miracle of birth.
And as I watched my baby sister growing up I realised how some stories were told to keep children who couldn’t understand more sophisticated reasoning safe from the grown up things that could hurt them. Like shouting No! Hot! if you saw her walking toward the stove while mom was putting dinner on the table. At three a toddler can’t quite grasp the whole ‘mom’s cooking so you need to stay out of the kitchen for a while’ thing. But HOT can be grasped in an instant.
And although I can’t be one hundred percent certain, I’m reasonably sure that this is the premise upon which entire religions are based: Creating easy-to-understand rules that makes a cohesive society out of an otherwise nomadic, chaotic existence.
Humans need rules. I get that. I just believe we’ve sufficiently evolved past the need for the fairytale explanations our priests and politicians think we need in order to swallow the truth.
And sometimes I think I was smarter at age ten than I am today…
December 5, 2011
I’m probably going to Hell anyway so what the heck… this is dedicated to the creative team over at the Perils of Palin who are busy working up a slightly blasphemous nativity scene. When I ‘got’ the picture below I laughed for days – and when I read the latest PoP post I knew it was time to share:
Can’t get the song out of your head now can you…
Having grown up in both a protestant and orthodox house I have always considered myself a good Christian. And even though I put my whole heart and soul into traditional Christianity as a kid, there simply came a time I outgrew believing in all the abracadabra and smoke and mirrors of religion.
I believe in being a good friend and neighbour – in not destroying the environment where I can help it, in sharing what I have with those who have less, never causing harm to another living being and always striving to be someone others can trust.
I don’t see why it’s necessary to have faith in a supreme being in order to have a conscience but if you do, that’s ok too
December 4, 2011
Even though Herman Cain has suspended his presidential campaign, he is still collecting money from the public and the whole thing just reeks of fraud. Political PACS have lost the plot and border on snake oil salesmanship. But at least on other PACs – SarahPAC included – they use actual photos of perpetrators. This phoney photo of ‘old man in field’ is just pathetic. Take away the sepia tone and the man doesn’t even look like black.
December 3, 2011
Oh and it shows this pretty chart too!
So come on republicans… tell us… nOw whatcha gunna bitch about?