And The White Lion Roars

This WordPress.com site is for those who refuse to accept mythology as literal truth, and instead question everything!

Month: December, 2014

But Wait, There’s More!

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There were a couple of weeks recently when our internet at home was down, so I’ve had some questions and comments boiling into a White Lion’s Roar. I had to put it aside, as all mammals do, when I talked about the babies yesterday. But today, the roar can no longer be contained. Some are just simple questions about life and the things that fill it. For example, why is it called “dill weed?” It’s not a weed, it’s an herb. I’ve grown it-it is wonderful. The dill fragrance is lovely. In fact, the huge plants in my yard smelled so lovely that it attracted some gorgeous caterpillars which I was loathe to remove, and my dill died. But the little bottle of ‘dill weed’ that I keep in my pantry for cooking is labeled just that, dill weed. I don’t get it.

The week of Thanksgiving my husband and I took a trip to visit some family in Illinois. From where we live we had to go through Dallas. In Dallas, TX there are miles and miles of HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes. Theoretically no one should be in those lanes unless they have two or more riders. I’ve heard lots of stories of crazy things people will do to be able to drive in the HOV lane, such as having a sex doll in the passenger seat. But mostly what we saw that night as we drove through Dallas was empty HOV lanes while the rest of the traffic was squeezed into the other lanes. Isn’t it time to admit that HOV lanes are a great idea in theory, but they do not inspire people to car pool, which is the original intent. HOV lanes are good in the dream phase, but they don’t work.

Am I the only one who finds ventriloquists just plain creepy and unconvincing? There was probably a more innocent time in which people were entertained, and maybe even fooled by ventriloquists, but not anymore. Anymore than Harry Houdini would be convincing today. I guess I’ve seen some movies in which the ventriloquist’s mind was taken over by the dummy, which to him is a real, living entity, so maybe that’s why they creep me out just a bit. But by the way, their lips always move. Always.

And speaking about pop culture, and the culture of rape and violence against women, I may have had an epiphany recently. I’m not sure I still believe that violent, misogynistic rap is what feeds that horrible mindset that says no woman has the right to say no to any man ever. I’m thinking it may be the songs that say it much more gently and subtly. I am quite certain that a society complicit in allowing rape to go unpunished, or that allows blame to be dumped on the victim so regularly could get there without some women being convinced that it was partly the woman’s fault. So songs such as “I’ll Be Watching You,” by The Police, or “Animal,” by Maroon 5, contribute more than a share. I’ve been chastised by some rock fans for suggesting that “I’ll Be Watching You” is not a romantic tune, but a stalker’s anthem. But these songs that separate passion from consensual, respectful, loving relationships put tiny doubts into the minds of little girls. They sound so romantic; Sting and Adam Levine are SO HOT! Surely what they say isn’t wrong. Watch the bloody video of “Animal.” It should creep you out more than a little. On the surface it is about mad, passionate desire. More deeply it is, again, about a guy who stalks a woman until she gives in to him, and then they both wind up in a wild embrace, covered in blood. Society is taken apart a brick at a time, not with giant bombs. Am I suggesting that the misogyny of violent rap, in which all women are bitches and hos are okay? Not at all. But we have been trained in revulsion toward those songs, and the guys who perform them have become cartoonishly recognizable. The subtle messages creep in until they change the way we look at a woman who breaks it off, or rejects a man who believes he has the right to her.

The year 2015 will be starting in in about three days. Let’s let this year be the one in which rapists and those who let them off because it is the victim’s fault get educated to the realities of life. Let women own their sexuality and not allow themselves to be victimized. Let our military see that women and men can serve their country together well only if both sides respect one another and take care to protect the rights of all who serve. And let’s not glorify stalking by mistaking it for love gone wrong.

Failure is not the worst that can happen…

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In early December I posted to Facebook some sentimental feelings about new babies born into my extended family. Between November 17 and December 8 I had two new grandnieces and one grandnephew born, though only one has any biological relation to me. I love babies and children, for who they are, but even more (is it an age thing?) for what they represent. I thought I’d moved on, but Christmas Eve I held one of the precious babies as everyone else opened gifts, and I felt that I had the best gift of all in my arms. My sister, his grandmother, sat beside me in the family circle and we laughed at all the funny faces that five-week old babies make. Another sister watched me with amusement as I continuously talked to him, not in baby talk, but just carrying on a one-sided conversation that hopefully stimulated his mind, and will help him in learning speech. Yah, I think about stuff like that when I hold an infant. Anyway, with a few modifications and additions, I decided to share the post here as we approach a new year.

“Autumn is the season of reflection, and I’ve been doing much of that this week. Since November 17 we have added 3 new babies to our extended family, Two grandnieces and one grandnephew. It makes me think of the world as it is, and what I would like to see them inherit. That world is a long way from existing at this point, but it is not impossible to achieve. So, Dustin, Rowen and Miriam, I wish you love. I know you will have that because your parents and grandparents, and your great aunts and uncles love you already. But I also wish you a clean world, where your health is not threatened by consciensceless people who would rather rationalize the chemicals they vomit into our environment than try to fix their way of doing things. This is not unfixable. I hope the people who care about these problems can make a difference before you have asthma, diabetes, reproductive problems caused by these chemical disruptions of your air, water and food supply. I wish you green places that are so beautiful they take your breath away. I wish you wildlife to fill you with awe at nature’s wonders.

But more than anything, I wish you a world of peace. One in which people’s differences excite each other for the opportunity to learn instead of filling people with fear and hate. I wish a world where religion does not lead to hate, fear, and killing. Peace and love are not just hippie dreams, they are possible, and the world can achieve these things if it wants to. The presence of the three of you in the world makes me want to work harder for these things, because babies are signs of hope, and you three are proof to me that there will be another generation can fix the world that has been so degraded by our generation.”

When your grandparents and I were children we would go to holiday celebrations, and family reunions, and there would always be old women there who would want to hug us with their flabby arms, carry on about how much we’d grown, how much we looked like which ever parent was on their side of the family. At the time we made fun of those flabby arms, and claimed to hate the hugs and kisses from these strangers. But now I get it. I understand now what we represented to those whose lives were put on hold by war, and whose dreams were put on hold by marriages and children, and the expectations of a world that can be very hard on dreams. We looked like what they still felt themselves to be in their minds. I get it because in my mind I’m still young enough to follow those dreams of my youth, though in reality it is too late, and I’m not that young. So to me now, you represent those chances I didn’t take. You represent the hope that fear and laziness won’t stop you from trying to achieve all the things I believe you have in you. So let me promise you now that I will be that old lady with the flabby arms, hugging and kissing you, carrying on about how fast you grow, and how much you look like my relative.

I implore you now, while there is still time, never be afraid to try to achieve a dream. No matter how hard it is, and how great your chance of failure, if you don’t try you will grow old with regret. Regrets drain the joy out of every day, and I don’t want that for you. Failure may happen, but when it does all you need to do is reassess, “Do I try again, or is this really the wrong dream for me?” If the answer is try again, then try again. Failure is not the worst thing that can happen. And your family is there to help you pick up the pieces. Just as your family is there to be filled with hope at the new life you have, with all the potential it contains. Just live it. To the fullest. Never let fear hold you back. Never be afraid to fall, or work, or get dirty. Take our lives and failures as lessons. And live your life better than we’ve lived ours. Don’t fail your children as our generation failed your parent’s generation. Make the world you will leave behind in one-hundred years or so a better place. It can be done. And I believe your generation is the one that can do it.