I’m not dead

As far as I know, anyway. But what is reality, anyway?

Time keeps on slipping into the future. I’m starting to feel the itch to write again, though.

I’m not going to start another novel again, though, until I have at least a chapter outline on paper. So never?

 

I Believe That We Will Win

I’ve been enjoying watching the Women’s World Cup thus far, especially the United States’ matches. Hopefully they have their best football yet to come. The World Cup surely isn’t a given. Anyhow, they don’t play again until Monday so I had to go back and watch that moment from the 2011 World Cup. Goosebumps.

Via Slate: On The Briefcase, poor Americans have to “prove” themselves

This show sounds like an enormous pile of excrement.

And I guarantee the majority of those watching this show, judging these people, and patting themselves on the back are one illness/job layoff/honest mistake from finding themselves in the exact situation as those they are judging. Or maybe they did have things happen in their lives but were able to survive it because they had someone in their lives to fall back on like a family member. And yet these people will act like they’ve achieved all of this success on their own.

But the rich in this country, those that want to pay less taxes and eliminate programs such as welfare (because they got theirs so screw everybody else), they’ve already won. They already have the rest of us convinced that the poor are only poor because they are lazy. Because they are bad people. Which has no basis in reality, of course. But that ship has sailed, I’m afraid.

But I bet this show will be a massive success. And now I’m mad because before I read this article I would have had no idea this show even exists. Happy Friday.

“America perceives poverty as a moral failure, which is why the participants on The Briefcase have to perform generosity to such an extreme degree. These people have to “prove” themselves as virtuous—to themselves, to one another, but in particular to a viewing audience at home—to show how unlike other poor people they are. We’re not really poor, we just had a string of really bad luck, unlike those other people who are poor on purpose. I’m not suggesting the families on the show aren’t actually nice. In fact, many of them seem incredibly loving and wonderful, people any of us would be lucky to know. But even assholes are entitled not to live a life of abject suffering. Why does the burden of helping “struggling” people fall on other struggling people? Is Les Moonves pulling his car over to throw up because he’s so paralyzed by trying to do the right thing? If he is, make a show about that. If he’s not, make a show about why not.”

via On The Briefcase, poor Americans have to “prove” themselves..

New Comics Haul – May 27th

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I picked up these comics today at my local shop. There are some good ones in there. But that’s not the best part of this post. The real story of my visit is the nice (older-ish?) couple, fulfilling their son/daughter/grandson/granddaughter’s pull list, while talking over the phone and consulting a hand-written list. This was FANTASTIC.

Seriously, I love everything about this. I love that they care enough to come in to the shop and pick up the comics. I love that they had a list prepared and a cell phone at the ready. And I LOVE that the cell phone connection wasn’t strong so the older gentleman had to yell things like: “SOUTHERN BASTARDS? Yeah, they have SOUTHERN BASTARDS. Issue #6? No? Oh, issue #7.”

If only the person had requested Sex Criminals.

I’ll tell you what, though. They had a big stack of comics to buy. Whomever they were buying for, they certainly love them.

Of course I have a few theories in my mind about what was really happening.

Perhaps the person on the other end of the phone has some terminal illness, and these kind young people are fulfilling her list so she can escape, for just a little while at least, the pain of this world.

Or…

The person on the other end of the line is the kingpin of some underground crime syndicate and these are his lackeys, forced to fulfill his every whim. Even acquire some random-ass comics from a local shop. Maybe he is making these two run all kinds of errands for him. Maybe he won’t even read the comics.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that is the real story.

This comic makes privilege incredibly easy to understand – Boing Boing

I’m sick and tired of people complaining about and denigrating the poor, and those on food stamps or welfare. Many of the people making such complaints are on my Facebook feed, and many whom I grew up with and know they most likely grew up in a household that received some type of assistance. Some still live there. The median income for a household in the borough was $29,219 as of the 2000 census. 12.3% of the population live below the poverty line. And it seems like 90% have absolutely lost any type of empathy.

I make pretty good money now that I have 15 years of work experience in my field, but I can certainly see all of the little breaks I’ve received over the years of no skill of my own. Growing up, we had enough to eat. We had a roof over our heads. My parents were loving and spent time with me and read to me what I was young. I was to afford to go to college. I chose a good major. And on and on.

Anyhow, the comic referenced below does an excellent job of illustrating this privilege. You should check it out.

“The idea of “privilege” can be a difficult concept to grasp for a lot of people, especially when advantages seem small and invisible to people on the receiving end. In the comic “On a Plate,” cartoonist Toby Morris breaks down how the subtle differences afforded to some people—in this case, on the basis of class and money—can make huge differences in their opportunities over time. Make sure you read all the way to the end—it’s worth it”

via This comic makes privilege incredibly easy to understand – Boing Boing.

Bill Nye to Grads: Become the Next Great Generation | TIME

I love the idea of somebody some day getting to Mars and reading the message: “To those, who visit here, we wish a safe journey and the Joy of Discovery.” A weary traveler reading a hopeful message from home.

You should head over and read the rest of the speech. Bill Nye is a good guy.

By the way, while you’re on Mars, stroll by The Spirit, Opportunity, or Curiosity Mars rovers. Each is fitted with a photometric calibration target, a small sundial that serves as a test pattern for their cameras. Look closely. Engraved on each are these words: “To those, who visit here, we wish a safe journey and the Joy of Discovery.” The joy of knowing: that’s science; that’s what drives us. It brings out the best in us — and makes our species worthy of the future.

via Bill Nye to Grads: Become the Next Great Generation | TIME.

Recommended: Melinda Gates Article – Three Stories That Explain Why I Am Relentlessly, Passionately, and Impatiently Optimistic

I read a lot of excellent articles on the web. I know it’s lazy, as a blogger, to just link and post about things others have written. However, I also think it is important that articles such as this one written by Melinda Gates are seen by as many people as possible. So I don’t apologize for the signal boost here.

“In Bihar, I visited a school called Prerna, founded by an incredible woman named Sister Sudha. Prerna is a Hindi word that means “inspiration” — and it only takes about five minutes on campus to realize the name is an apt one!

Most of the students at Prerna come from the marginalized Mushahar community, which is considered the very lowest rung of the caste system. All their lives, these girls have been taught that they are untouchable, that their lives have no value, and that they should expect nothing for themselves.

But at Prerna, Sister Sudha teaches these girls that each one of them is precious and that all of them are filled with potential and possibility. That’s why, in addition to learning the usual subjects — like reading, writing, and (my personal favorite) computers — Prerna students also study activities like drumming and karate. Sister Sudha explained to me that the curriculum is designed to help girls see themselves as having power.

Despite the fact that so many of them come from difficult backgrounds, the girls I met at Prerna were brimming with confidence in themselves and optimism about their futures. They are proud to wear their uniform of blue salwar kameez, which they say makes them feel like “girls who study.” When I peeked into their classrooms, they were excited to try out their English on me. (“How are you feeling today?” was a question I got a lot.)”

via Three Stories That Explain Why I Am Relentlessly, Passionately, and Impatiently Optimistic — Medium.