Saturday, December 21, 2013

Musings and Reflections...

2013 is quickly drawing to a close (where on earth did the year go??), and I realized it's been over a year since I wrote anything here.  And so much has happened!  So many things have changed (some in quality, many only in degree), and so many others have remained, depressingly, the same...

Some highlights (there's a great list of noteworthy 2013 world events here):

  • Sarah Palin still gets news coverage.  I truly don't get it...  And Martin Bashear had to resign from MSNBC for telling the truth about how vacuous and vile she really is.
  • Speaking of vacuous...I like Alec Baldwin.  I really do.  And his show on MSNBC, Up Late, showed some real promise.  And then, Alec opened his mouth off air in a crass manner that's become all too closely identified with Alec.
  • And speaking of opening your mouth in a crass manner!  I love Duck Dynasty.  Don't ask me why...there are all kinds of reasons I shouldn't.  And I love Phil Robertson's life story of redemption, finding his own personal spirituality, and building a successful business off of something as pedestrian as duck calls.  And you know what?  I even think it's ok for him to harbor the religious beliefs that he harbors, though I think he's fairly selective about the portions of the bible that matter to him.  And I even think it's ok for him to speak of his beliefs publicly.  They're his beliefs, not mine, and whether I find them admirable or reprehensible, he's entitled to them!  But dude, go to charm school!  Talking about women's vaginas and men's anuses in a piece in GQ is, well, completely classless.

  • Politics.  Sigh...  A year ago, I wouldn't (and didn't) believe that things could sink lower than where they were in terms of comity, plain old decency, and, well, civility.  From an article that Robert Kennedy, Jr. wrote in the Huffington Post, following the shooting of Gabby Giffords and others in Tucson, "In 1964, Americans repudiated the forces of right-wing hatred and violence with an historic landslide in the presidential election between LBJ and Goldwater.  For a while, the advocateds of right-wing extremism receded from the public forum.  Now they have returned with a vengeance -- to the broadcast media and to prominent positions in the political landscape."
    • The Republicans, in what is either an act of pure stupidity, or one of anarchy, shut down the government, because nothing else they'd tried had succeeded in getting rid of the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare).
    • In 2013, a candidate for Selectman in Maine (not Alabama, or Mississippi, or Louisiana, but Maine!) posted a picture of Barack Obama -- you know, the twice elected President of the United States? -- on Facebook, with the caption "Shoot the Nigger."  And there are sites and pages all over the internet that no longer even attempt to hide their racism.  I grew up in the 1960s...50 plus years later, I feel like I'm living back there again.  Truly sad...while I've never believed that we had gotten to a post-racial society, I certainly didn't believe that we'd regressed 50 years...
  • Speaking of post-racial society...Nelson Mandela died recently at 95.  His is an amazing story of endurance and forgiveness and of knowing where true power lay and how to wield it for the benefit of all.
So many things this year, some good, some bad, some personal, some professional, some private, some public.  The year has flown by, faster it seems, than years before, but that's how life works, right?  Each twelve months a smaller percentage of all the twelve month chunks you've lived until that point.  And I find as I grow older, that with each passing twelve months, I care less about the particulars of what have happened, and more about whether the world feels like a better or worse place to me, and what have I done to affect it...and how will it look when my children are my age, and I'm at the end of my time here, or close to it.  Will I leave a better world behind for my children to live in?

With each passing twelve months, I grow increasingly despondent that the world my children will navigate through with their children will be a much less welcoming place than the one I've shepherded them to adulthood in...

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