Up, off and away...for a while
Just a short three week break from whingeing about politicians and the US's pathetic attitude towards guns and gun laws, amongst other subjects worthy of a whinge!.
I'm taking time off to head north to spend Christmas - and more - with family. No blogs until mid January, when I hope to have some refreshing and interesting topics to expound on. (Well, I'll try!)
Happy Christmas to all.
This is the last time I will post a blog that speaks of the recent shooting atrocity in USA. All I wish to say is that people, normal, everyday people in America, must realise that it is time they spoke out against the powerful gun lobby and Rifle Association morons to make sure that Barack Obama is able to pass legislation to control the use of the horrendous fire-arms that proliferate throught the USA. He says that "we must stop this" and he is the only one who can help to stop such massacres, but he must first make sure that the powerful right wing maniacs are unable to press and bribe their way into USA politics to prevent the changes that are needed.
Let's hope he has the guts and the ability to actually "do something".
Australia, still the lucky country.
In all my years of teaching, I have never been in a school where the doors had to be locked once the children were inside. All schools at which I taught, had many open doors; people from the community, as well as parents and grandparents were welcome to call in at any time. What is it with the USA that schools have to be locked like prisons? And, even so, a locked door didn't prevent this latest tragedy.
The other thing about Australia is that, although there are guns in the hands of some, they are either guns used for legitimate (legitimate hunting? What's that? Just another way of killing, I suppose, but innocent animals)...well, guns in Australia are either used for (let's call it) "legitimate hunting" or are in the hands of criminals such as drug dealers or other sorts of drug runners. Low lives they may be, but I cannot entertain the thought that a person in Australia, even a deranged one, would go into a school and blow small children to pieces.
After all, the assault rifle used in USA, was (apparently) capable of firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Why on earth would anyone have such a weapon? WHY?
Some years ago, after a terrible massacre in Tasmania, the Prime Minister of the day (John Howard) called a gun amnesty and thousands of gun owners gave up their weapons to (hopefully) enable us to live in a safer country. It was a good move, but, even so and, even in Australia, there were some people who thought it was a threat to their "right" to own a gun.
However...we, in Australia, are a fortunate lot for not having a gun culture like the one in USA.
We can only hope that Barrack Obama takes a lead and goes against the gun fanatics and makes it illegal to own (at least) the most powerful of these weapons. Please?
Why a gun?
Why would anyone...ANYONE ...want to own a gun? A gun is for shooting. A gun is for killing. That stupid statement that members of the gun lobby (gun lobby???) say about "it's not guns that kill people, it's people who kill people" is rubbish! How ridiculous! How crazy! Sure, it was a person who killed those children (& adults) in the USA school, but it was a person who was using a GUN! If that (obviously extremely deranged) person did not have access to a gun, he may have punched a hole in a wall...or even punched his father. How come a 20 year-old male has access to a gun that fires multiple rounds of ammunition? Sure, in the old "Wild West" they had guns, and, according to the old movies, men would have a stand-off, face each other and then shoot. One shot, maybe two. But dozens? Maybe hundreds? What's that all about? Why would someone, (anyone?) even want to have a gun that was able to fire so many, many, bullets?
I just don't get it! Is it too late for the USA to stop this sort of thing? Too late for them to make the keeping of guns illegal? Sadly, I think so.
And..why do angry, mentally ill people who hold grudges, go to schools and kill children? I don't get that, either. Does anyone?
One of the saddest things I have just read is that, after the nearby hospital prepared for "incoming wounded" (as in M*A*S*H, for God's sake!) there was hardly any need, as the gunman had made sure that almost every little person he shot was shot dead. Only three little ones needed treatment for wounds. All others, who weren't lucky enough to escape the onslaught by hiding in a classroom closet, were shot dead. Who, on earth can imagine that horror?
WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE GUNS? WHY? WHY?
I can think of no reason for owning, let aone using a gun. They are evil
A couple of days ago, when I was whingeing about politicians, I quoted the saying about how it's difficult to "fly with eagles, when turkeys are in charge". Not sure if that's the correct saying, but it seems right somehow. Several years ago, when I was teaching in a school with an ineffectual and oft-times inebriated principal in charge, I put up a poster in the staff room with a similar message. It hit the mark, you could say, and I was in quite a bit of hot water for many weeks. However, my point was made and it still amazes me that the person to whom this otherwise almost innocuous startement was directed, immediately saw that it was him to whom it was aimed!
Today I came across another saying that I love. It's "A tiger doesn't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep." Isn't that great? I mean, it's not supposed to make you feel superior (I don't think!), but it's to help you be strong enough not to worry about what others think of you. The only thing wrong with this statement is the fact that I quite like sheep...real sheep, that is. But, then again, thay are not aware of this saying and what it implies. Blissful unawareness! Wonderful! That's anothe sort of sheep.
Honest, not grumpy
Sorry if my last post made me sound really 'grumpy'. However, that's ok, as I do think that, as we age, we realise that we don’t have to ‘put on a show of tolerance’ if we disagree with something or someone. I have always admired older people who were open and honest and “called a spade a spade”, (without being mean, of course!) ...and I am now coming to the conclusion that as I am getting older, I am entitled to stick to my beliefs, and do not have to put up with others’ bull-shit (to put it impolitely!). I have a right to hold on to opinions that may not match those of other people....I don’t have to be openly rude to those whose ideas clash with mine, but nor should I have to put up with spending time with those people or having to listen (passively) to their opposing views!
Well, that did sound grumpy, didn't it? But so be it.
I don't know about everyone else but I think that a large proportion of the population is heartily sick of politics and politicians. I am so p---ed off with all the sleaze and rubbish that goes on! What future hope is there for our world when politics lives in the gutters? The old saying that (vaguely) asks: "How can we fly with the eagles when turkeys are in charge?" comes to mind.
On another topic......what about "pranks"? Pranks and (likewise) so called "practical jokes", rely on humiliating someone. Is that nice? Is that the way we should behave? If every practical joke (joke?) depends on its "success" by humiliating someone, then that's not the way I wish to live. Same goes for "pranks'!
I have three sisters...adults, with grown children. They "have everything" and, like me, do not need any more "stuff" in their homes.
Christmas giving then becomes a problem. I had thought of giving them Oxfam "gifts", where they would receive a card telling them that they had given a goat to a family in need, or helped to provide fresh water to a community who has none. I thought about that for quite a while and perused the leaflet showing all the variations of gifts to help the poor and hungry. But I didn't do it!Yes, I know it was mean to not go ahead with that sort of gift. Maybe I will do so next year (?).
However, I have sorted out the gifts for my sisters now and have even warpped them in readiness, as I will have to hand them over to one sister to help deliver, as we all live far apart.
This is what I ended up with: I made three shopping bags; bags for them to take to the supermarket. I sewed them in a bright fabric, adorned with a cartoon-type green frog design, lined and with thick tape handles. Then I bought three large boxes of chocolates and, finally today, I have baked several batches of shortbread, which I have placed in 'snap-lock' food containers.
Now each lot is wrapped in gold paper, tied with a big red bow, with a Santa 'head' attached.
The gifts look good.
I know that I would be pleased to receive such a gift. Will they like it? Hard to know, but the chocolates & shortbread are something that they may share with the rest of their family and the shopping bag will (hopefully) be a useful addition ot their shopping days.
Well that's three gifts sorted!
What if money didn't matter?
Received an interesting link on Facebook entitled, "What if money didn't matter?" An extremely interesting and thought-provoking short video. (It can be found on youtube). It appears to be part of a website called "Tragedy and Hope", with quite a few links to different discussions by various thinkers on topics including "The Ultimate History Lesson". There are segments (both long & short) devoted to encouraging independent thinkers. What a great idea! Although some videos and/or audios attached to this site are a little on the heavy side, I would love schools to make their highest level students aware of the discussions available here.
So, today I'm being a bit over-the-top serious...but we have to have some thinkers to keep our planet safe ...and sane.
Even if you just check out the "What if money didn't matter" youtube clip. That's enough to get you thinking!
Grumpy old woman...I am!
Tonight I received a phone call from a Red Cross 'telemarketer' wanting to have a talk to me about Red Cross. As I naturally thought he was about to ask for a donation, I tried to make the phone call a quick one and started to say that I would give what I could if I could and that he'd be better off talking to someone else. But, no, he still wanted to discuss the different projects that the Red Cross had going and needed to spread the word about what next year wold bring and how Red Cross, as an organisation, was helping in many ways. He mentioned homeless children and I wasa grumpy enough to say that there should be no need for children to be homeless. He then went on to say that some people had lost jobs and were so poor that they were "living in cars". I was so grumpy that I said that if they had had a job, then why did the loss of that job mean that they had to "live in cars"? How was it that they were so hopeless at managing their finances that they suddenly had nothing, especially as they would have been eligible for unemployment benefits and all the other (so-called) "safety nets"? When he got on to the subject of Red Cross helping to supply breakfasts for children who were sent to school without anythng to eat, I really turned into a very grumpy old woman! If you have a child, I said, then you must feed it! Simple! I will not contribute towards a system that feeds kids at school, because the parents are too lazy to make (or supply) breakfast for their own kid/s. The Red Cross caller tried to explain that it wasn't the kids' fault. I know, I said, but I think it's time that organisations such as Red Cross looked at the source of WHY there are homeless children - and children who are not fed. The root of the problem needs looking into and looking into NOW!
I really think that people should pay for the privilege of having children, not be paid (by the government each time they produce a baby!. There was an article in today's newspaper about a family with seven children, who were living in a 2 bedroomed house and were complaining that they might have to wait many years before they could get a government house with the 4 bedrooms that they need. They had produced a baby nearly every year...year after year! Now, no one can tell me that, nowadays, people don't understand what causes a baby to pop into a belly! And, there is no one who doesn't know how to halt or prevent this process. So, if you can't afford a 4 bedroom house, don't have seven children! Simple!
I could go on.....but, at least I held the ear of the poor Red Cross caller, who, incidentally agreed with me on several counts, but asked me not to quote his views as those of the Red Cross. I, the Grumpy Old Woman had a small win! After I had apologised to my Red Cross caller for beig a "Grumpy Old Woman", his reply was that he was rapidly turning into a "Grumpy Old Man". (He was 26!
Socks with sandals..mmmmm!
I have a secret. I have occasionally been wearing socks and sandals (together!). I think I have discovered the most comfortable footwear ever possible. Yes, I know that there is a sort of joke that only doddery old men wear socks and sandals because they are so unaware of how stupid they look. Guess what? Those socks and sandal wearing old fogies are not at all stupid - or crazy - or senile. They are definitely "onto" the best footwear secret in the world! Seriously! Try it sometime. Of course it has to be in secret, lest someone sees you and labels you 'nutty'! If ever I have the sandals & socks thing going and am enjoying the blissful comfort of it, I am also extremely aware that I must not be seen in such apparel. The other day, I was sitting at the computer, wearing some ordinary comfortable clothes that I don't mind people seeing me wearing, but that also included socks and sandals..... and, when I heard a car pull up in the driveway, I was very careful - and very quick - to slip off the sandals and pull of the socks, chucking them under a cushion, before the visiting friends came to the door. It's a bit like hiding a drinking problem or pretending not to have just had a forbidden cigarette, or something. The socks must not be seen with the sandals. Sandals on their own are OK. As are socks, I guess. But the fact remains...socks with sandals = bliss for feet!
One day this sock & sandal 'double act' will be the newest fashion statement and people will be embracing the latest comfort look! Just you wait and see. (And all those old men will be laughing!
Pleased, not proud.
In yesterday's blog, I said that I was "proud" to say that I hadn't viewed any of the supposed 'worst' TV programs. I now realise that the word "proud" is not the right word. I was PLEASED to have not watched any 'worst' programs. And PLEASED to notice that I didn't watch most of the other (supposedly) 'best' programs also.
Proud is not really a good word to use, because being 'proud' indicates pride, which is not often a good thing to have..IMHO.
Popular TV viewing?
Just reading about the year's best and worst TV programs of 2012. I am proud to say (boast, boast!) that of all the 20 programs listed as the 'worst', I am not guilty of watching even one of them. I am also proud that, of the 30 'best' programs, I have only watched 4 (four!) of them. Thirteen listed 'best' programs I have never even heard of! What were they? (Of course, I will not name them, but do wonder where they have been hiding).
And, now I am wondering WHY exactly I am proud of only enjoying FOUR of what have been named the 'best' on TV this year. Why am I proud of this fact? Is this a sign of being elitist or smug? Or am I saying that I don't watch much TV?...because that is simply not true. I do enjoy watching TV to relax at night time. But what I consider to be the 'best' - and the shows that are my favourites - never seem to be listed as "everyone's favourites".
Which leads me to the ratings. How on earth can programmers claim to know how many people watched which program? It's ridiculous! I know NO-ONE who has ever been asked to record their viewing habits. Come to think of it, if anyone I knew had even been asked to do such a thing, I think (hope!) they would have refused. I mean, if you think it would be a good ide to record every minute of your TV viewing time, I think it would be time to (as they say) "get a life". Perhaps that's why the big viewing numbers seem to be for the dumber shows. Only bogans or people who don't have anything better to do with their lives than record what they are watching on TV would surely be inclined to do that "job". Ooops, there I am being elitist, but.......?
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.