politics

Kids these days…

We all remember being hard-headed as a kid. Having to learn some of our major lessons through experience and not through the wisdom of others. It’s one of the things that, as an adult, I’m now learning how to sit back and let it happen.

Working with kids can be both amazing and frustrating. Sometimes, all rolled into one moment. Working with them in a challenging sport just maximizes both ends of the spectrum. These kids put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect in this sport (competitive gymnastics) that adding pressure as a coach runs a fine line. Especially if there’s a parent on the back end complicating it.

I got lucky as a kid. Gymnastics was my sport, just as Hockey was my brother’s. Sure, my dad was a coach in his own right, but neither of us felt pressured by him so much as we learned patience from him. Neither of my parents put pressure on my performances. In fact, whenever I questioned whether or not I wanted to continue, they led me through the breaks, the restarts and let me process the frustrations. In the end, I pushed through to my first year of college and ultimately made the decision that it was time to retire and move on to my next sport.

But what I find interesting, is to see the development of where a child’s psychology comes in, as I get to see the generational intersection at competitions. There’s an extent to which I do become sad, because I’m one of those people who firmly believes in self-reflection and not passing on my bad habits to those who come after me. And in some of these cases I see that the internal work wasn’t done (or no one ever called them on the habit) and the issue just gets handed down like great grandma’s formal china.

When I see these habits, I do what I can to provide an alternative view point, counteract where I can, and hopefully stop that habit in its tracks by teaching a method of self-reflection and encouraging that. But I also have to let go when the idea doesn’t root and hope that the continuation eventually hits a point where the fact can’t be denied – whether it becomes from a positive or negative experience.

Ultimately, our goal as adults in a child’s life is two-fold: provide guidance where and when we can and be an example to strive beyond. Instead of raising them in our image, we should be teaching them how to be better than ourselves.

As winter arrives…

The weather is finally starting to commit to winter around here. As I’ve lived here for the last 20ish years, winter has been an elusive beast that tempts you into thinking that the season exists right as it morphs directly into spring.

But that seems to be shifting, as more and more winter comes out of its hiding place and firmly displays the 20 degree temperatures and the copious precipitation that comes with it.

It starts with the rains, they come heavy for days. Then the temperature drops, and the water begins to crystalize and the scent of outside begins to give off that pure scent that says “snow is here”. This is how we renew, casting off the things that die and no longer serve us, so they can become the nourishment for the new things allowed to grow in the space where death once roamed.

I think this is one issue we have in our society. We no longer have an acceptance of death. It’s more of something we either seek to hide away in hospitals or communities of elder care facilities and cemeteries. We look to modern medicine and “fountain of youth” treatments to avoid the natural progression of life. In our great progress to treat our disease of self, we’ve created a new bug. Not one created from a virus or bacterium but one that is in our heads and our social structures.

It makes us immune to the effects our words and conduct have towards others. The “sticks and stones” rhyme made real. Failing to see the consequences of our thoughts made real. And if we do, see those consequences, they’re shrugged off with simple dismissal that it’s someone else’s problem.

Ramblings…

So I have a new non-fiction book (well, fiction if you consider that the topic is about fake news and smear campaigns) that I seem to not shut up about. I love reading stuff that is a bit off the wall but grounded in analysis – maybe that’s the Sherlock Holmes wanna be in me that gets stoked. At any rate, The Smear, by Sharyl Attkinsson (sp?) is my latest reading binge. It’s taking me away from Turn: George Washington’s spys on Netflix.

I’m ranking it up there with Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches by Marvin Harris. Mainly because I love perspectives that make me rethink how I look at things, as well as possibly gain an insight that I tend to miss being an anti-social hermit.

The main reason I’m devouring it has more to do with what I’ve been seeing on my FB feed and the various stories propigated by friends and acquainences. It also lends an interesting perspective to the fallout I’m seeing from the recent Gillette commercial addressing “toxic” masculinity and the debate that has been sparked. I followed the rabbit hole and read through the comments on the YouTube post, and if you can’t tell the majority of the comments are the same, or just slight modifications of the same post.

It half makes me wonder what would happen if all of us ceased posting, what would the bots and the humans paid to write the reviews come up with, if all of us just didn’t pay attention to it. It really reads like those article transcripts of people who set up a couple of AIs and let them talk to each other. The only difference is that AIs will debate, argue, and discuss their subjects. These things just regugitate a single talking point.

It half reads like a modernized theatrical production based off Huxley’s Brave New World with some Fahrenheit 451. The only difference is that we’re living it, instead of reading and discussing it in our Senior year lit class in HS.

Art imitates life, which imitates art…

On a plane to Paris, and I manage to pull up 12 Years a Slave. Thanks to my parents, I’ve always been one to seek out the art that pulls some type of emotion out of me. Stirs my thoughts in ways that my environment might otherwise not let me explore.

There was a point, where Fassbender’s character has a conversation with Pitt’s character, about how there will come a day where there will be a reckoning. It echo’s me back to Lee’s White Man’s Burden, where the societal rolls are flipped in order to explore the human experience.

That brings me to our current events, in the States, where I do believe we are on the precipice of a reckoning. First Nations are no longer relegated to the “out of mind” position that the reservation system sought to contain. Voices are now being heard, that should be heard. They’ve been drowned out by the arrogance of those who think they know best. And now, those who have consistently been trampled upon and shouted down have the opportunity to rise.

But…and there’s a big one…we run the risk of just letting the pendulum swing back the other way instead of stopping it in its tracks. So the choice is ours, all of ours. Will we return the favour and punish all for the sins our predecessors committed, or will we – as T’Challa found – find a better way forward for all by recognizing the failures of those who came before us and recognizing that we are not them. We are better. We can be better. We can listen to each other, learn from each other, and grow into a better society.

The phoenix must be consumed by its fires before it can be reborn, renewed. All of our myths talk of this. And now, we must be part of it, without letting the chaos consume us and burn us with its hatred.

Out with the new, In with the old? Or is it a case of Old is the New new?

I’m watching the world right now, political warfare, mythical retaliation, and my brain trying to wrap my head around all of this.

The volcanoes erupting, particularly in Hawai’i due to corporate greed tapping into things that they refuse to admit even exist – Pele. It makes me think back to the tales in the Irish Book of Invasions, how various peoples immigrated to the land and how long they maintained sovereignty was determined by how well they took care of the land. Of course, that’s Ireland and the volcano in this case is home to a Goddess who would probably be more of a friend to the Morrigu. The more I read about what has been going on there the more I look to the land guardians who have been fighting the corporate takeover of the land. They have been offering their prayers to let Pele know that they are with her, even though their strength has been limited by governmental interference.

Watching them gives me hope. As it does in the States, where a rising tide of our First Nations is bringing more attention and gaining momentum to their charge to the land here. For us, it is a similar issue – power. Literal and figurative. What I see to be a further insult is the “environmental groups”, namely the outdoor companies that have a stated purpose in line with what the land guardians want but seem to want to ensure that they don’t partner together. To some, it’s called privilege, mainly of the white kind; I’d go a step further and say it’s mainly a “Westerner” privilege – of the Roman of old variety. This idea that humans are not caretakers of the land – charged with working in balance, but sovereign over the land to force the land to conform to us.

What I’m starting to think we’re seeing is us being put in our place, thanks to the more over-zealous segment of our population who follows that thought process. Mainly those who are under the ill-formed thought process that they control everything. But I do think we’re hitting a point where this will all be unveiled and the tales of old – Ragnarok, the Rapture, etc, are about to reveal what they meant.

I don’t view this as a bad thing, when taken into the bigger picture. Scary, sure. But in order to evolve, old structures have to be taken down – like in a forest. Trees have to fall, decompose and prepare the soil for what comes next. Fire has to clear out the under-brush so there’s room. Same goes for governments and society.

Who knows….

I have no clue where I’m going to go with this entry, maybe no where. I feel the need to retreat from this world, or at least this country. I’m proud that we’re finally waking up and the catalyst to do so was the result of the curtain being removed from around the land of Oz. And as always, there is a but here…

It saddens me, in all of this, to watch voices be silenced because of disagreement – even if they are of an opinion I disagree with. I’ve pretty much hit the point where I don’t feel I can even talk to most people, rationally, about anything these days. So I sit in silence, occasionally giving a thumbs up, going about my business, and keeping my head down. It’s not worth it anymore and I’d rather spend my time obsessing over philosophy and the trends of nature. But this is a trend. Chaos must precede order, death must come to make room for life. Just as the wildfires and floods cleanse the land for the smaller trees and flora that need the ash and space to grow, so too must the world of man exist in similar fashion.

There’s an extent to which I look forward to the cleansing this brings to the socio-political world, but it’s a question of who to trust in the aftermath and whether or not they are what they seem. There’s a lot of fog around me these days, physically and metaphysically. These days, it makes me wonder if it’s a sign of things to come and whether the idea of being a secluded mystic is more the path for me than being in public. And the more I contemplate the idea, the more life seems to work for me. It also seems to be the direction the universe is sending me.

Ugh…(much bitching ahead skip if needed)

This day can just not get any better. Started out great…then I got to the office. It seems over the weekend something happened and the top drawer in my file cabinet decided to relocate further towards the middle drawer. In doing so, it jacked up the lock on the locked drawers – you know those ones that only I'm supposed to have access to? Well, 3 hours later, I fixed it. Still can't fix the lock, so I'll have to get a new file cabinet. Also found out that my printer doesn't feel like printing. It didn't feel like scanning either, which would be nice, except for the fact that all of Pastry's gov't bullshit has to go out tonight. Then, go to write the check, well – not enough money in the checking account and I don't have any checks for the account that does. Basically, the fees add up to half a month's check. Nice, isn't it? Gov't punishes those who do it legally and rewards those who don't. I wish he'd come from a country that gets the sympathy vote and an Executive Order that allows a mostly free pass with fines that aren't near what the legal folks have to pay. Oh, and Google has decided that I can't log in to my mail. Isn't that nice?

I'm so over this day. I'm beyond pissed.

Oh, I signed the check "Legal Immigration fine". Yeah, I'm in that kind of mood. Hopefully, sleep makes it go away.