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Archive for November, 2015

Yes, I’ve done this before. Yes, I’ll probably do it again. Yes, I’ll be home watching football. Yes, I’m thankful for what I have – that’s why I’m staying home, so I can enjoy it. You should, too.

No Shopping on Thanksgiving

And to my non-USA readers: Have a wonderful Thursday, 26 Nov 2015.  😉

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Hate is easy.

We hate Mondays. We hate work. We hate losing football teams, or okra, or black cats. We hate our hair, that dress you’re wearing, the creepy guy across the hall. We also hate libtards, or conservicants, or rednecks, or atheists. We spread around hate like butter on toast. Hate is part of each and every single day, for each and every single one of us. It’s so much a part of our daily routine, we no longer recognize it for what it is.

Hate is also taught. We were taught what to hate by our parents and the society around us. That religion is false. Those people are criminals. These theories are stupid. We pass that hate along to our children. We encourage it in our friends. We foster it inside ourselves. We roll in hate like a dog rolls in shit and then wonder why we stink.

Starbucks debuts a red cup for the holiday season, and it suddenly becomes yet another salvo in the “War on Christianity.”[1] Meanwhile, a real war on Christianity – and Islam, and Judaism, and (insert noun here) – is happening in the Middle East, where a bunch of fucktards have declared war on everything that is decent and loving and helpful, in direct violation of the very writings they purport to follow. Or, at least, what modern Muslims follow.[2]

I’m not about to give that mangy bunch of fanatical monsters the satisfaction of seeing yet another essay with their “name” attached. You all know of whom I’m talking about. They have taken gleeful responsibility for some of the most atrocious crimes the world has ever seen, including the most recent attacks in Paris. Because of their actions – and the ongoing military responses to them – millions of refugees are fleeing their home countries and making agonizing journeys to Europe in the hopes of safety…

…where they are receiving yet more grief…

…because of the fear and hatred felt by the natives…

…due to the campaign of fear and hate by the fucktards in the Middle East…[3]

The sad irony is – that’s exactly what those asshats want. They want us hating the predominately Muslim refugees because they can use it in their continuing hate campaign against the rest of us. They want everybody hating each other and fighting each other because it feeds their delusions. Waleed Aly of Australian TV’s The Project explains it better than any I’ve seen so far.[4]

But too many of us have already fallen into the trap. Some European countries are actively discouraging refugees, while several state governors here in the US have declared they will outright refuse to allow any in their states. And the Internet is ablaze with vitriolic hyperbole from patriotic Christian Americans demanding all Muslims be rounded up and locked in internment camps.

Really? Have we not learned anything from our past?[5]

Sadly, I have people in my life who appear to whole-heartedly support those ideas. They share hateful memes filled with lies about our “Muslim-gun-stealing-constitution-shredding-nonAmerican president” that can easily be disproven with about ten seconds of Internet research. Every evil on the face of the planet is his fault and we’re all going to be locked in FEMA camps any second now if we don’t grab our guns and defend ourselves. Some of those people have been “friends” of mine for years and years, and I thought them to be intelligent, caring individuals. But they’ve let the fear and hate eat at them and have turned into bigoted, insensitive, irrational Chicken Littles with their fingers in their ears and blinders over their eyes wandering about moaning “la, la, la, death panels, la, la, la…”

We’ve gone from innocent until PROVEN guilty to just straight guilty, shoot the bastards now before it’s too late.

Guess what – the terrorists have won. We’ve fallen right into their trap, hook, line, and sinker. They want us afraid and we are. They want us to hate and we do. They ran us into the box canyon and are breaking us like the gutless wonders we have become, instead of the feisty mavericks we pretend to be.

But it wasn’t really hard, with so much hate already drowning us. If something is different, it’s bad. If someone disagrees with us, they’re violating our rights. Women who want birth control are sluts. Police are murderers. Whites hate blacks, and blacks are nothing but criminals and welfare queens. A little kid can’t even write an affectionate note to a friend without being accused of sexual harassment[6]. We’ve just gone bonkers, people.

Frank Herbert wrote, “Fear is the mind-killer.” And when our mind is dead, so is our soul. We revert to our baser selves. Fear allows hate to thrive in our little animal brains, pushing out love and empathy and compassion because none of those emotions support the basic fight-or-flight instincts. Run and hide or stand and kill. That’s how animals do things.

We are not animals. We don’t have to let fear and hate rule us. Don’t give the bastards what they want. Start today. Start right now. Hate is easy. But love conquers all.

 

[1] Perpetrated by an Internet troll who claims to be a pastor and makes his money feeding the hate of the narrow-minded bigots swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool. See “Who is Josh Feuerstein…” by Colby Itkowitz of the Washington Post.

 

[2] See “What ISIS Really Wants” by Graeme Wood of the Atlantic. It’s lengthy, but definitely worth the read.

 

[3] See John Oliver’s take on it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umqvYhb3wf4

 

[4] If you can’t get the Australian link to work, I was able to see the clip on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theprojecttv/videos/10153243154568441/

 

[5] http://www.densho.org/

[6] http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/boy-9-face-sexual-harassment-charges-love-note-article-1.2432300

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Nearly three weeks ago I had cataract surgery in my left eye. You know, the one that’s been a major butt-head for a couple years now. First the mondo-Cthulhu-floater-from-the-Underdark, and then the detached retina – the laser surgery repair of which greatly accelerated the cataract already growing there. Just part of the fun of us blue-eyed Northern European-types.

And while this type of surgery is pretty routine here in the Western Civilized World, it still meant someone was poking sharp things in my eye. Not something I think anyone can look forward to. Of course, my anxiety was greater than the sum of the procedures. I walked into the surgery center at 11:00am and was being driven home by 2:30pm. The actual time under the knife was about fifteen minutes, during which my doctor chatted with his staff about training for his latest triathlon. I got a nice shot of sedative, so pretty much just laid under the drape muttering “Duuudde…” while watching vague shadows moving in the bright light shining into my eye. Even being loopy from the sedative and dealing with an eye so dilated it looked like I had no iris anymore, I could see better that afternoon than I had in years. I so love our modern advancements…

I do have a bit of double vision when wearing my glasses now, because of the difference in prescriptions and their relative focal points. But I still had two sets of contact lenses from before all this eye BS started. Rigid gas permeable lenses that had been carefully sealed in storage containers. Yes, it had been years, but when I opened them up, they appeared to be in beautiful condition. A good cleaning, some fresh solution for an overnight soak, and then the test-drive.

I’m one of those people who is really lucky with contact lenses. I received my first pair when I was 14. My eyes were changing so rapidly and so drastically, it was costing us loads of money every six months just so I could sit in the front row at school and squint at the chalk board (yes, chalk board, not white board). The doctor was the one that suggested contacts, citing studies that had shown hard lenses actually slowed down – and in some cases could reverse – the changes in my eyes. Being that geeky teenager everyone at school loved to tease, I jumped at the chance to have one less piece of fuel for that fire. We did a test fitting with lenses that were close to my prescription, just to see if it would work. Some people just can’t do contact lenses of any type, while others can manage with soft lenses (which weren’t really that common at the time). I was one of those cases that jumped right in without much of a problem. Within 15 minutes in the test pair, I was able to look up at the doctor. Apparently that was a big deal, since most people can only look at their feet for the first few days. At least, that’s how it was forty years ago.

Grumpy Cat with Glasses

I saw clearly once. Hated it.

https://www.facebook.com/TheOfficialGrumpyCat

So, there I was a few days after cataract surgery putting a contact lens into the right eye and looking around at a newly clear world. I could read street signs again. There were no more rainbows around every friggin’ light at night. And I had depth perception, too. I could see well enough to feel comfortable driving at night, and in unfamiliar places – something I hadn’t felt good about for over a year. The song says you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. This is a case of not really comprehending how much was gone until you get it back. It was cool to just sit in the car and look out the window again, enjoying details I hadn’t seen in ages.

The left eye does still have some residual damage from the detachment, though. There’s no such thing as a straight line with it. Everything’s slightly distorted, sort of like a funhouse mirror, but much more subtle. The cool thing about the human brain is that it can compensate for such things, as long as the right eye has the contact lens in. Left eye (artificial lens) + right eye (contact lens) = hey, I can see!

Unfortunately, I’m losing my one superpower – microvision. Because of my nearsightedness, I could see details on miniatures and with my stitching that other people often couldn’t. That’s gone in the left eye as the artificial lens was meant for middle/far distances. In a few more years it’ll be gone in the right eye as it gets the same surgery. I’ll need to wear glasses for reading and figure out where to get the magnifying lenses I need for my close-up work. There will be some adjustments involved, and I’ll be annoyed for a while because it won’t work like I’m used to. But at least it’ll work, which is something millions in the developing world can’t say.[*]

It has also become pretty obvious that I don’t have my poor eyesight to blame anymore for my lack of production with words and wool. Here again is where my husband proves just how good he is for me. In another of our late-night-deep-conversations he revealed that the eyesight was never the problem – it was all my attitude. You might be saying “Well, duh!” but sometimes us depressive creative types are a little slow to pick up on stuff like that. When my writing and weaving and needlework went from being just something I did for fun to agent-hunting-publication-submitting-commission-building-next-sales-event-searching, the fun got lost in the shuffle. And we humans have a bad habit of pouting and refusing when someone tells us we HAVE to do something. The wise man I sleep with told me to just forget that shit and have fun again.

So that’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to have fun watching clouds, wrangling words, and playing with string, and not give a damn what happens afterwards. I’m going to enjoy seeing everything anew again. Including myself.

 

[*] Here are some charities and their facts on this global issue (among many – don’t just take my word on it. Do your own research, too.):

http://missioncataractusa.org/

http://www.sightsavers.org/

http://www.ascrs.org/

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