Tag Archives: jon stewart

Going to the Rally!!! and/or the March??

Standard

I’m SOOOO excited!!!!

Reserved my hotel room (days inn Alexandria south still has plenty rooms for $80/night, despite what orbitz etc say. Right off end of yellow line),  blocked out the days & making plans for what to take with us that we can carry on the Metro & lug around the Mall.

Attempting to blackmail Hubby in to coming along. We’ll see if that works! This will be the first time we leave Dad home alone while we go somewhere since Mom died. I don’t think he’s quite sure he’ll be OK, but he’s going to try.

Meanwhile, Nik & I will plot out which sights to see on the other days we’ll be there. I figured if we were going to go, we might as well stay & do some of the sight-seeing I’ve been promising Nik – Including the National Gallery.

I want to carry a sign saying “I’m afraid of…” on one side &  “unreasonable people” on the other – Or “talk softly & carry a reasonable argument”!! Sanity needs to be restored AND we need to be afraid of the consequences if it isn’t.

See you on the Mall, Saturday Oct. 30th!!



Advertisements

Does “Unschooling” mean letting Nik run wild?

Standard

Well, that’s what my Dad thinks. He’s certain I give Nik too much freedom & not enough “discipline” (whatever that means – I seem to remember belts & yard sticks…).  That is, until he need him to do something in the middle of the day, like walk the dog. Then he’s sooo glad Nik is there….

*In reality, Nik needs very little “discipline”. Well, in the evening after his meds wear off, he does get kinda goofy & loud – but he also respects my migraines or times he really has to be low-key. He’s (as I’m sure I’ve said a few times before…) an old soul; quite wise for 14 1/2. These last few weeks, after Dad’s surgery & Mom was dying, he stepped up & took on a lot of responsibility.  This is a child who whines if he doesn’t get to weekend meditation at our Won-Buddhist temple. Where did he come from???

*As for running wild? Nik uses his freedom (from the routine of the robot-producing public school system) very well. He continues to do wonderful photography. We entered 2 photos in every category of the NC Wildlife Magazine photo contest. We’ll find out by the end of October whether he got any recognition. I think several of his pictures have a “wow” factor that will at least attract the judges’ attention. Last year, a 16 yo girl won the Grand Prize – bet there were a bunch of miffed pros!! I’m posting several of the photos at the bottom.

*So, you might say “but what about academics? How is he going to learn about history, government, English literature?”  & all those other wonderful little boxes schools like to put “knowledge” in? Hmmm… 2 years ago we did that critical comparison of Lord of the Flies & To Kill a Mockingbird. Faulkner is upstairs beside his bed. “The Pearl” is in the van. A stack of Marvel comics is in his closet. Is normal kid, rly! Writing is becoming a pleasure, not a chore. Today he was blogging about the current conflict about taxes/war/social services.  Something about being a BBC & NPR addict…. Even though I told him to write 5 reasons to go to The Rally to Restore Sanity & 5 reasons to go to the March to Keep Fear Alive. Well, I guess that will have to be tomorrow. He needs to know why we’re going. (I think he does…)

*Science? Besides knowing practically everything about living creatures & plants, he’s gotten very enthusiastic about medical subjects. Loves anecdotes. Yesterday, I got him a book with anecdotes about famous & difficult patients. He read the one about Hitler to me with glee. “Blood & Guts: the history of surgery” is in the van & the pictorial “history of surgery” is on a cabinet in the living room. At least it’s not on the mantel…. We’ve also been working on electricity & history of inventions. This started because he wanted to know about microchips – figured he needed background before we got to semi-conductors & micro-micro chips.

*Yesterday, he spent time explaining to his father how a barometer worked. Was a good exercise in putting technical terms into language a layman understands (his dad had no idea how the thing worked – he can’t even figure out an ipod).  Out in the common area, he’s been figuring out that this area has geology different from most of the state – and finding various forms of hematite & other iron-containing rocks. (hint: what makes red clay red?) He’s had a couple of meetings with copperheads (nice photos) and met a nice black racer who came right up & licked his camera lens!!  (even nicer photos) Recently, he’s been experimenting with light effects on plants, trees & leaves. Salamanders & frogs should fear him, but they don’t seem to have problems letting him pick them up & photograph them. Same with butterflies & various other bugs.

*

Art? He wanted to draw people & start with faces. “Oh, great”, I said, “You want to start with the second hardest part to draw.” Not one to be second-best, he wanted to know what first hardest was. “Hands”, I told him. Good thing I’m an artist, among a zillion other things – and I’m good  & have education in this one! We started with the basics – how to see the shapes & then put them together. Darn if he didn’t get it almost right away. Except for a thumb placement problem, he drew a hand! A GOOD hand!  We’re going to get together with another “gifted” home-schooled teenager, who’s also interested in art. Should be fun!

*There are many more things we’re going to explore, especially now we don’t have to worry about Mom’s care. One of the first is going to DC the end of October. Hey, isn’t that when those rallies are? Sure is a coincidence, huh?

Here are some of Nik’s Pics, as promised…

See, I told you he licked the camera!!

 

Update: Nik won 2nd place in NC Wildlife Photo Competition Invertibrate category with the Ant!!!

Stewart & Colbert – The Most Insightful Men in the Country ???

Standard

Due to continuing family stress, I haven’t written any posts for almost a year. It’s time for the Dragonmum to get back up on her soap box & get some of her opinions out there. Someone might even read them…

I think it’s SOO sad that two of the most insightful, intelligent people in the USA today are comedians!!! They probably understand the futility of attempting to influence the public via politics & the stupidity/naivete required for any sane person to even contemplate the ordeal of running for office.

*

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and

Stephen Cobert  of The Colbert Report

shine their viciously satirical spotlights on the nonsense perpetrated on the American people by the media, the government, random scary politicians, crazed corporations, Sarah Palin, FOX News & other assorted nut jobs from both sides of the fence.

*

They’ve become influential enough to provoke responses from bimbo-laden Fox News and personal insults from the slimy likes of Glenn “twisted bizarre” Beck  (GB) & Rush “diarrhea mouth” L. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Plenty of us sit around in our comfy living rooms whining about the ineffectiveness of the current political process & cringing in disbelief of the popularity of the likes of Sarah “I say what I’m told” Palin & the Tea Party extremists. The “just say no” Republicans block any positive moves Obama & the Democrats try to make. Unfortunately, at times, the Democrats are their own worst enemies. What do these rock-stupid gits care about? Obviously not the American people!!

When I see photos of children starving in the countries where we are fighting wars, I think of the children struggling here because we’re sending an unbelievable ridiculously immense amount of  money & resources overseas with our military. What do we hear from Congress & the right-wing “smaller government” gonzos?  Cut social programs, cut medical spending… blah blah blah. Do they have ANY idea of the proportion of our national budget going to help people versus the amount handed to the military/industrial complex on a platinum dish???? NO!!!

*

Ignorance is excusable in the absence of information or access to information. WILLFUL ignorance is UNEXCUSABLE!!!

*

Of course, none of these people think they are ignorant, stupid or incompetent or hateful. That’s pretty much the definition of all of those things. If you’ve ever wondered if you’re competent or have enough information, you aren’t any of those. I imagine these zombies sitting home in front of a wide-screen HD holy giver of knowledge absorbing propaganda, fear, & hate from sources such as GB & the Fox empty heads straight into the otherwise unfilled black holes masquerading as their brains. As if that weren’t enough, they are warned of the evil to be found on other sources, such as CNN, MSNBC &, of course, The Daily Show.

*

Many of these poor, mentally handicapped brain-washed victims never had a chance. They were brought up in homes where reasonableness and dialogue were discouraged.  “Shut up and listen to me!” was probably a refrain heard over & over during their formative years, as well as suspicion of anything foreign or different, including “intellectuals”  & anyone who could speak words containing more than 3 syllables. Fear of the unknown & hate of what they are told to or have learned to are common characteristics. Not that there haven’t been a lucky few who have escaped this dismal fate, but they may find themselves estranged by their families, who often think they’re gay.

These vulnerable souls will always exist. They breed, often more than more intelligent, reasonable  folk. They are the other half of the bell curve, sheep easily led by robots who think they run the world. Robots who are manipulated by wolves – who are brilliant but only out for power & riches – the planet & human beings (except as existing to do the bidding of the wolf) be damned. Kind of like the evil super-villans versus the good superheros – only real. Our problem is, brilliant kind-hearted, reasonable people don’t have the same power & tools to make them an even match. We must out-think them & appeal to the compassion & goodness lurking inside most people. Also, if seeing the consequences of staying this current course frightens them, it may move them toward positive change. I don’t know. Denial is a strong force, but it isn’t evil. Evil exists, but total evil is rare. Hey, even Darth Vader turned back in the end!!

The purpose of Greek tragedies, fables, fairy tales & traditional stories of good versus evil has long been to caution people to think about their actions & anticipate the consequences. This is necessary because most people don’t think about the long-term effects of their behavior.  Television & video games have subsumed time for reading & telling tales of foolish choices with tragic consequences, removing an important context in which people in the past have made decisions. So, now we are left with reporting of consequences, often without tracing back the string of poor choices leading to such & such disaster. If it bleeds or explodes or burns, it leads.

*

The brilliance of Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert is their ability, with humor, to point to current sorry-assed decisions being made & often, make clear the potential for something really awful to happen as a result. They are also able both to highlight bizarre & disproportionate  responses to tragedies & to discern the root causes of often preventable events. Many of the books they thoughtfully promote concern these issues, too.

*

Too bad they’re usually “preaching to the choir”. However, as Fox news, along with  hate/fear-mongering “pundits”,  give more credence to Stewart & Colbert’s satirical barbs and thinly disguised criticism,  they also give them power.   HA! It’s irony of the highest extent:  Fighting corporate hate & fear-inflaming media with Silly String & dancing hotdogs.

**

I don’t think they alone will change the world or bring enlightenment to the masses. I do believe they have, & are continuing to, sow seeds of doubt about “the party lines” in some less single-minded adherents, as well as encouraging their fans to spread reason (Jon), generosity & truthiness (just kidding) (Stephen ) &  informed discourse.

*

Thank you, Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert & your wonderful writers & correspondents. The world is a better place for your brilliant comedy. Why do you think you keep raking in all those Emmys???

Addendum: Here is the text of a blog comment I posted on the NPR website in response to the issue of reasonableness:

A problem: Only 25-30% of people* abstract so they completely follow through logical arguments such as:
if A is true and if A is true then C is true &
A is true and B is true therefore C is true.

Usually the public fails to get to C, understanding current behaviors have future effects, which may reasonably be predicted through experience, examination of human behavior or underlying scientific principles.

In the past, societies had ways to help ordinary people understand effects of their choices. Greek tragedies, fables, fairy tales & traditional stories of good vs evil cautioned people to watch their actions & anticipate consequences. Today, television & electronic media have replaced most reading & telling tales of foolish choices with tragic endings, removing an important context in which people made decisions. We are left with media that reports consequences in a vacuum.

With humor, Stewart & Colbert’s function is trying to fill that space, pointing out dangerous right & left-wing decisions & root causes of preventable events & tragedies. They promote thoughtful books on these topics.

By wishing for reasonable consideration of issues, are they asking too much? Maybe. I’ll be at the rally to see!

*true, am psychiatrist

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 4:47:19 PM

What I didn’t say in that post – I wonder if the percentage of State & Federal representatives able to anticipate the consequences of their actions is as high as 25%?  I know Obama can, but he can’t make things happen without the cooperation of the idiots he has to convince. Idiots. There. I said it. I wonder what is their collective IQ?  How dumb do you have to be to run for Senate or Congress? (or Greedy??) Just sayin’.