Monthly Archives: August 2014

Words Have Meanings

This may come as a surprise to some, but words have meanings. Some words have very broad definitions and can be used in any number of circumstances. In my neck of the woods, the word “wicked” is such a one. “Wicked” may be used as an adjective to mean “evil” (The Wicked Witch of the West tried to hurt Dorothy and her friends.); it can be used as an interjection (“Kids, we’re going to the new water park today.”  “Wicked!”); and in true Bostonian fashion (which is really a general Massachusetts thing), a modifying adverb or compound adjective (“wicked awesome”, “wickedly brutal”, etc.) Wicked is neither good nor bad in this last case; it just demonstrates something is “more”. Sort of like “good, better, best”. After “best”, there is “wicked”.

Where am I going with this? One of the most popular phrases today is “war on women”, as it relates to pretty much anything the Democrat party says blocks “free” contraception and abortion-on-demand. A quick Google search for the term brings back 363,000,000 hits. Allow me to paint another picture of the “war one women”, with some help from our good friends over at Merriam-Webster:

war:
a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2) :  a period of such armed conflict (3) :  state of war

Hmm. I like to think that of all things, my dictionary at least won’t lie to me. While tensions in the hallowed halls of the Capitol building can get pretty hostile, I don’t think any real brawls have broken out since  1858* or so. As arguing over who should pay for a woman’s birth control is really more of a philosophical difference than an issue akin to those that caused the American Revolution, the War Between the States, WWI, WWII, etc., I’m going to go ahead and say that the current “War on Women” is more hyperbole than anything else.

If we’d like to discuss a real war on women, let us turn our heads to Iraq right now, where a full-blown genocide is taking place. Oh yes, genocide. Everyone is probably tired of that word, since we heard it bandied about so much in conjunction with Rwanda (and no one seemed very interested then) and if we throw Iraq into the mix, people will just be even more disinterested. After all, haven’t we dealt enough with Bush and his mess**?

However, if even MSNBC is calling the ISIS and Sunni violence against Iraqi Christians a genocide, then there is a problem. MSNBC is among the least watched and trusted of all the mainstream news sources and definitely left-leaning, so if they are even jumping on the “Baghdad, we have a problem” wagon, I’ll go ahead and say there’s a problem.

Would you like to know what a real war on women looks like?

It’s watching your child get beheaded, and his head stuck on a pike in a park because his parents are Christians.

It’s being forced to give birth with your legs shackled to the stone floor of your jail cell while your toddler looked on because you would not renounce Jesus and convert to Islam.

It’s watching your husband hanged because he would not give up his Christian faith.

It’s being gang-raped, beaten, and left to starve for no other reason than the fact you are a woman.

It’s having to be covered from head-to-toe, because you are a woman.

It’s not having any control in whom you marry, because you are a woman. The men in your life – your father, brothers, and husband – make all your decisions, because some other man once decreed that women are only half as smart as men.***

It’s submitting to domestic violence, because your religion says that wife-beating is okay, even necessary.

It’s giving yourself or your daughter to a pedophile, because your prophet took a child-bride.

It’s not being allowed an education, or risking your life for one, because your are a woman.

It’s having your clitoris and labia cut off and the wound sewn shut, allowing only a tiny hole for menstrual blood and urine, for no reason other than to control your sexual behavior.

That is a war on women.

Let’s remember the true meaning of war and what our sisters and brothers on the other side of the world are going through right now. The next time you hear someone mention that idiotic phrase, be sure to tell them what a war on women really looks like.

 

*1858: the caning of Charles Sumner. There have been a few fistfights in state legislatures and maybe one or two in Congress, but none as epic as this one.
** I need a sarcasm font.
***http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/women_top_ten.htm

 

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Nature: 3, Blonde: 0

As previously stated, I’ve been on vacation and out of the realm of the interwebs the last two weeks or so, except for a day here and there to do laundry. This jaunt started with a whirlwind trip to upstate New York to visit some amazing friends* and continued with my traditional camping ** trip in the wilds of northwestern Massachusetts.

There is a memorable scene in Titanic in which Rose attempts to commit suicide by jumping off the back of the ship. Jack, in trying to distract her, describes ice fishing and claims he thought she was “more of an indoor girl”. As much as I like the beach, hiking, horseback riding and swimming… I like those things as afternoon activities or at most, day trips. Camping and I go together about as well as oil and water. This has always been the case, so I don’t know why I was so darn surprised this time around.

My first camping experience came when I was nine years old and in Girl Scouts. Somewhere there is a picture of me on my front porch, proud as can be with my backpack, pillow, and Barbie sleeping bag. We were going to tell scary stories around the campfire and sleep in tents. This lasted all of one night, because the heavens opened up and it POURED. The troop, all fourteen of us plus our three troop leaders, got moved into a cabin. That second night, one of the girls stayed up all night vomiting. It wasn’t a simple food poisoning, or stomach bug, or even home-sickness.

Scarlatina. More than half of us came down with it, myself included. I missed a week of school. My ballet recital was that week, and I remember sitting with another girl backstage with paper bags and buckets until we could go do our dance and then leaving immediately. I don’t recall ever*** being so sick.

Nature: 1, Blonde: 0

A year or so later, a went camping for a week with family friends. Surely, the first time was a fluke and this was really a great way to vacation. We were on an island in Maine, almost right on the beach. Sure, it was a hike to the restrooms, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

Unless you get food poisoning.

Nature: 2, Blonde: 0

I (wisely) didn’t go camping again until I was in high school and went away to “God-Camp”. I loved it. I went for two consecutive years without a problem, and during the school years, volunteered with the organization that ran the camp. For the last five years, I babysat some of the younger members -children of those who run it but aren’t old enough to be campers yet. It’s a ton of fun and I enjoy being up there. I never really considered babysitting there to be “camping”. I sleep in a lodge with indoor plumbing, electricity, and hot water. I sleep on an air mattress with real sheets, blankets, and pillows. There’s a mouse or two, but a cat would take care of that problem. I can shower daily without worry. No big deal.

Famous last words. The first week I was there was great. Normally I’m only up there for one week because of my work schedule, but fate allowed me to stay for two this time around. First, by the start of week #2 I was tired and my ears were bothering me, but I had just done three rock concerts**** in less than a week. I wore earplugs everywhere the main group was gathered, from the meeting hall to the mess hall. Monday I dealt with mutated daddy long legs crawling down my neck and into my shirt. Tuesday I found a tick embedded in my scalp. Wednesday I was so overtired I thanked God for the earplugs and managed (just barely) not to doze off during rock concert #4. Thursday I woke with a sinus infection, slept most of the day, and ended up having to call my dad and my brother to pick me up early. After hacking up a lung all Thursday night and most of Friday morning, a visit to the doctor confirmed my suspicion of sinusitis.

Nature: 3, Blonde: 0

Next vacation I take is going to be in a 5 star hotel on a really, really nice beach somewhere.
*the type who pick you up when you’re stranded for a ride, even when you neglected to mention that you were in the area
** “camping” – queen sized, double thick air mattress with sheets and pillows in a lodge with indoor plumbing and electricity
*** Until I had menengitis in college
****and guess who sat really close to the speakers at the first three concerts, including “Panic! At the Disco”

 

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GofundYourself

I’d like to rant a bit about a new trend I’m seeing… well, everywhere. It has blown up with the help of a website I’ve referenced in the title of this entry. I will not name names, mostly because my readers have the common sense to figure it out for themselves and also because I don’t want to direct any more traffic to that site than necessary.

For those living under rocks, the new trend involves begging others for money to pay for a dream vacation, a house remodel, a move, bills, or anything you can think of. Shamelessly.

What happened to personal responsibility? Setting a goal and saving up for it, if one can’t afford it right away? Why should I, as your friend/total stranger be badgered into paying for your lifestyle choice in the name of “charity”? I think we need to take another look at the definition of “charity”.

From our friends at Merriam-Webster:

charity:

the act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.; also : something (such as money or food) that is given to people who are poor, sick, etc.

: an organization that helps people who are poor, sick, etc.

: the organizations that help people in need

If one were to look at that website’s front page today, of the top 12 most popular, 5 are collecting to offset medical expenses for humans. Two others are collecting to offset veterinary expenses for dogs. One is to extend a wish made by the “Make a Wish” foundation for a child. Another is collecting to build a playground at a hospice hospital. One is a memorial to cover a child’s funeral expenses. One to send a cancer survivor on vacation to Hawaii. One is trying to fund an invention. All heart-wrenching causes, to be sure, but others are more than questionable. Sending a birthday boy to Universal in FL? Buy me a PS4 for my birthday? “I’m moving, pay for my flight?” “Send me to meet XYZ!”

How about, no.

For me, gift giving is fun. I like to take the time to shop, pick out something I think the recipient will enjoy, wrap it up all pretty, write a special message, and give it to him. I like to watch his face when he opens it. For this reason, I don’t like to give money and only rarely will I give gift cards. I prefer surprise, even when a gift is expected for something like a birthday or Christmas.

I don’t like to give to gimme-pigs.

This website is just one more example of the entitlement culture many millennials (my generation, I’m very sorry to say) have. The thought-process that leads to expecting a raise or promotion just for showing up to work every day. The culture that started with everyone getting a trophy and the elimination of competition. Instant gratification and the loss of personal responsibility.

There’s an old, old saying that goes something like this: “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” I agree. Need a few extra thousand dollars to pursue your dream? Get a second (or third) job. Sacrifice. Save. Throw all that change in a piggy bank – a literal one if it makes you feel better about it. (Yes, I have one, and it’s painted to look like Raphael from TMNT.)  Dreamer – fund thyself.

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Out of Office

In case I neglected to mention earlier –

The Blonde has been on vacation the last week, and with the exception with this brief stop at home to do laundry, will be out enjoying that vacation for the next two weeks with very little access to the interwebs. I’ll be back mid-August sometime when I finally reach the point I need a vacation from my vacation.

So you won’t miss me too much, here’s one of my favorite silly Star Wars edits:

star wars company

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