Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring of Change

For the last 20 years or so, I've awakened, turned on my desktop, fixed a cup of tea, and returned to my office chair to see what I could see.

I have been reading the news from various sources for a long time. These days I might watch videos, read Facebook comments, read things from a variety of newspapers (The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian (British paper) and any number of blogs. I also read the local newspaper every day (though that is the print copy and I do it whilst eating breakfast).

Recently, the news has been so unbearable that I think it is time for a change.

Because it's a sickening way to start the day.

I'm particularly disheartened by the various state-level laws and bill proposals that would make women second class citizens.
Apparently now is the time the good ol' boys have been waiting for - time to put those snippy women back in front of the stove. It is a concerted effort and if successful, which in many areas it looks to be, it will set back women's rights and society by a good 50 years or more. I have never seen such regressive legislation; neither has anyone else.

Here are a few links. Read at the risk of your own enlightenment.

Top 10 Shocking Attacks of the GOPs war on women

MSNBC video about the war on women

No Country for Weak Women

Is There a Republican War on Women

The Absurdity of the War on Women

10 Reasons the Rest of the World thinks the US is Nuts


Note that this is some of this morning's reading material (and it's 7:45 a.m. as I finish this blog entry up). Note too that I read from both sides of the aisles. I always have, though I do draw the line at some topics and some things are just so morally objectionable that they cannot be tolerated.

However, the point of this blog entry isn't to enlighten you or to ask you to take sides.

The point of this is to beg the world to make it stop. Stop pounding me over the head with stupidity. Stop invading my space, taking my rights, and making me less-than.

For God's sake, people, grow up.

The US has the emotional maturity of a fruit fly. I do not think this is going to change anytime soon. Nor is the nature of public discourse going to change, either.

I fear that the people who are yelling the loudest and making the most grotesque changes are the ones who will win, simply because their vileness is stronger. In the end, snakes win out because they don't need the strength to stand. They don't have any legs.

I cannot change this.

The one thing I can change is my morning habit. After 20 years, maybe it's time I started reading this stuff at lunch time or at 4 p.m. Maybe I need to start my day off by reading more eloquent words than those found in newspapers and in online dribble.

I doubt I can stop reading the news entirely. I have never been one of those people for whom knowledge is abhorrent; I love to learn and I believe in knowledge for knowledge's sake; despite my college degrees I am also an autodidact, eager to stretch my brain and take on new challenges.

My brain never stops thinking.

But lately I find I am weary, and growing more tired every day. I long for discussions that are truly give and take, not people talking over one another, arguing their points without listening to what the other person is saying. I ache for beauty and peace, for love and joy, for kindness and morality, the kind born not from bible thumping but from true wisdom of right and wrong.

A kinder, gentler world.

To be sure, I won't know what to do now, if I change my morning habits. The world won't stop if I don't know about the latest atrocity than man has flung against his fellow human being. But a 20-year habit is a tough one to break.

I plan to try.  Maybe I will be a bit more at peace.

5 comments:

  1. I've cut way back on the news reading each morning, but I think that's what the snakes want. To make us so tired of it all that we just lay down and give in to the absurdity of it all.

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  2. I start my morning with blogs and Facebook and some of the Roanoke Times (which doesn't have much actual news). I'll hold off the news websites until later.

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  3. I can relate, Anita...I'm a news junkie myself. In fact, one of my favorite jobs I've had was as a newspaper librarian. I got paid to read the paper! But lately, I've been taking news vacations every other day. Better for my blood pressure and my health in general. I find such peace in being outside in the lovely hopefulness of Spring.

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  4. It's shocking to me how backwards this all is. The comment made by a Republican about women putting an aspirin between their legs for contraception still haunts me. Did you read the video poem I posted or see it on Moveon.org about this. It is powerful!

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  5. This is a conundrum. I have a girlfriend who never reads the news. She is much more peaceful than I am. I'm the one getting the ulcer because I'm stewing about things, full of anger and frustration. She's serene. I grapple back and forth between giving it up and not. If I give it up, I can spend my days going to yoga class like she does and worrying about which variety of flower is the better one to plant, like she does. But isn't that what the bullies want? Fanatics and extremists are passionate in general--about their religion and their guns and whatever THEY are interested in or think is right. Because they are fanatics and extremists and that's their nature. So they yell the loudest. They even, as we all know, LIE to get what they want. Liberal leaning people, who generally hate war and love and open their arms to all kinds of people even if they are different than they are, tend to be a gentler sort. They don't want to fight. They're quieter. They have better things to do. BUT we're in danger. The right-wing whackos have been attacking anyone who's different than them--blacks, immigrants, Muslims. Now they're after the women. We cannot give up because it's hard. Don't think this whole thing couldn't turn into a science fiction story if we are complacent. Therefore, I continue to read the news and I continue to write the occasional letter-to-the editor stating my opinion so others like me know they are not alone just because we're quieter, but I don't do it in the morning! I don't want to start out my day like that. I get going around lunchtime, lol.

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