Friday, September 23, 2011

The Tim Tebow Controversy?

I was watching/listening to Sports Center the other day, (it was on where I happened to be at the time), and they had dedicated a story to the fact that Tim Tebow was the most controversial figure in sports today. Hell, it was their headline story. The first thing that popped in my mind when I heard this was, “Tim Tebow, really?”

It’s laughable, really. Sports today are filled with players that have committed just about every crime on the books, and some have even served prison time and come back to the game, but the evangelical Christian is the most controversial out of all of them. I’m not saying that he is not controversial, because anyone with an extreme point of view on anything will be. I am saying to call him the most is a bit ridiculous.

I will admit, I watch football, but I really don’t pay that close attention to who the players are, unless I am involved in fantasy football. The only reason I know anything about the few players off the field that I do is because it is plastered all over the news, as if the actions of Michael Vick are of equal if not greater importance as world affairs. (Hint to all the sports fans out there, THEY’RE NOT!!! Not even close.)

So, Tim is a Christian who wears his religion on his sleeve for the entire world to see. Big deal. Last time I checked, he was an American citizen, and as such, his right to do so is protected by the First Amendment. So you don’t like what he is saying. Guess what? The First Amendment works in your favor to, by saying that you have every right to express your disagreement with him, or just completely ignore him.

I know one of the big things that people went nuts over was the Focus on the Family commercial he did that aired during Super Bowl XLIV. Yes, the commercial had a “pro-life” stance. But did anyone really WATCH the commercial? His mom told the story of her pregnancy, which was a difficult one. I found it rather touching. Also, the pro-life message was not forceful, and not once was the word abortion said. I am pro-choice, but I did not find the commercial offensive, but more of a story about one mother's love for her unborn child despite the odds.

And let’s address the folks who tried to tell us that Super Bowl commercials are not the place to get political. Really? Did I miss some unwritten rule that states this? I mean, it’s not like there is much that they won’t allow. Why is that? Because if you can come up with the money to pay the EXTREMELY overpriced per second fee to have your commercial shown during the Super Bowl, they will be happy to let you. The truth of the matter is not the content that mattered to the programmers; it was that Focus on the Family could come up with enough money to pay for a 30 second ad of which they were happy to accept.

On the Sports Center piece, they had a Denver Bronco’s fan say that they just didn’t know if they could support the team because Tim Tebow and how he expresses his beliefs. I have a question, how can you call yourself a fan of the Denver Broncos then? If one player's lifestyle/beliefs can throw you like that, were you really that into the team to begin with? Especially one that isn’t even in the starting lineup; he’s the friging backup Quarterback. I know true football fans. For 21 years I lived in a house of dyed in the wool hard core Jets fans. They stuck by them through crappy seasons, terrible players, bad couches & couching. They never stayed, and love them just as much today as they ever have. Hell, they could draft Hitler, Charles Manson, & Satan himself, they would still stand behind their team. They would question the management decision behind it, but they would be there, every game, decked out in their Jets attire cheering them on. So, Mr. Easily Offended, you need to turn in all your Broncos gear at the door, because sir, you are not a true fan.

I may not agree with his approach on expressing himself, and I do find the message to go to extremes. (Dude, telling your fans that they are going to hell if they don’t believe what you do is not good PR.) I will, though, defend his right to believe what he does, and say how he feels. To defend speech and beliefs that you do not agree with as well as that you do agree is to know the true meaning of free speech. Freedom of speech and religion is a two way street.

The Yearning

Slipping away in the back of my mind,
Are the memories of you and the love we once had
Far away have you gone in your secret journeys
And I am left to grieve and wait in the morning sun
Its warmth does nothing for my unrest soul
As I try to recapture some of the happiness of past times

Do nothing to comfort my slow drying heart
Say nothing to take away the bitterness and pain
Try nothing to make me smile in this life
Write nothing of the sentimental moments
Just wander back to my waiting arms

I feel you straying further away from me
Each day passes without signs of gentle compassion
All is lost in the grand old folds of time
To show no more emotion is to bare no more pain
Oh, how I suffer in this hazy twilight
Lonely is the one who’s left with no one to hold

Do nothing to bring a joy into my life
Say nothing to calm the ragging ocean within
Try nothing to chase away my sorrows
Write nothing of a sacred emotion
Just return to kiss my yearning lips

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reasons Sarah Palin Scares Me: Part 3-The Treatment of Her Kids

In the spirit of disclosure, I am the mother of two intelligent, talented and beautiful daughters. I am extremely proud of the young women they have become. So, I will be putting on my mother hat for what follows.
Every time I hear someone say, “Sarah Palin is a great mother,” I want to ask them on what do they base this statement on. I do not see it. What I see is a woman who’s only interest in her kids is in the role of political props.
I remember the first time I ever doubted that Sarah was not the great mother she claimed to be. It was during the Presidential campaign. It was the day she announced to the world that her teen daughter Bristol was pregnant. And it wasn’t because of anything that would warrant that announcement, like people suspecting it so you get ahead of the story. (And honestly, did anyone REALLY suspect anything before that?) It was for the sole purpose of SAVING HER OWN ASS!!!
I cannot even imagine doing anything REMOTELY selfish, much less to my own child. As a mother, I want to do everything in my power to protect my children. They are my first priority, and everything else in my life takes a backseat to them. I cannot describe the anger I felt as I watched her throw her daughter under the bus of her national political ambitions.
Over the years, we’ve watched this family paraded all over the media. We were all introduced to Track the Patriot, Bristol the Brave, Willow the Wise, Piper the Adorable & Trig the Miracle. They have been sold to us by the media, the Republican Party, the evangelicals and Sarah herself as the perfect family. I have one question for them. Have you been watching the actual footage of this family?
On the train wreak that was “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”, (or as we call it at our house, “Sarah Palin Actually Sees Alaska for the First Time”), Willow the Wise was shown to be disobedient, disrespectful, apathetic and mean-spirited. First, after she is told that boys are not allowed upstairs, she has one snuck up anyway. The episode where she wanted to teach Willow the value of hard work was an utter disaster. She ignored her mother, talked back to her and gave her looks that were a cross between shock that her mom was actually trying to discipline her and a knowing that any threats of punishment would not be carried out (which they weren’t, for the record).
Piper is on the road so much with her mother, anyone with half a brain has to wonder, “How is she keeping up in school?” She even admitted after the campaign that she was having a hard time making up all the work she’d missed. Then there was the bus tour/family without the family vacation/SarahPAC promo footage fiasco. Besides being the only child to be with her the whole, abbreviated time, she was shown to have to fight for her mother’s attention to the point of manhandling journalist. I never saw that she was happy in any of the footage that was shown. Especially when she is referred to as Piper the Diaper. You cannot tell me any kid would be thrilled with that nickname. And please tell me when it was ever appropriate to let a 10 year old wear high heels, makeup, tight fitting shirts with suggestive phases and short shorts.
Then there is Trig. I cannot accurately put into words how absolutely pissed off I get then I see how that poor child is treated. Let’s cover some of the highlights; he is constantly passed from one person to the next, carried around like a sack of potatoes rather than a child, displayed constantly like Simba from the Lion King, brought out into public at all hours of the night so his mom can show him off briefly to all her adoring fans, never has his glasses or hearing aids on even though we have been told by Sarah herself that he has them and is to constantly be using them, taken out in below zero temperatures wearing only a shirt and a diaper. But the most infuriating moment is during a book tour stop in Florida, where Trig, when everybody got tired of “dealing” with him, put him on the ground in a parking lot amongst the gravel, cigarette butts and broken glass to just crawl around completely unsupervised. This is just so wrong on so many levels. Who in their right mind does this with a toddler? We have not seen Trig in the public eye as of late, and I feel that is a good thing for him. I hope he is having all his needs met in his time out of the spotlight.
Track is the only one we do not see constantly and have shoved down our throats. And I say good for him. You’re life must be so peaceful. I hope one day all your siblings can have the same thing.
Sarah complains constantly that the media will not leave her children alone. Yet she is the one that put them out in the spotlight to begin with, and hasn’t stopped since. If you asked me how many other politicians’ children’s names I know, I could name almost none of them. If she wants to blame the overexposure of her kids on anyone, all she has to do is look in the mirror.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Danielle-The Short Story

This is something that I wrote back in 1988. I was inspired by irony of literature such as "A Modest Proposal" in taking on a serious subject. I also loved the symbolism of works like "Animal Farm".

My aim was to present a cautionary tale in a child-like way. You could say it is my twisted fairy tale of sorts.

I hope you enjoy!

Danielle. Poor little Danielle.

Danielle lived in a world of fantasy. She viewed the world through a pair of rose-colored glasses. The world was beautiful. The world was wonderful. There was always love in the world. The world was perfect, according to Danielle that is.

Danielle lived out her life behind a wall of lies and half-truths. Danielle knew no better. They all looked real and honest to her, practically invincible. She never thought its base could be a weak one.

Poor, little, innocent Danielle.

One day, Danielle heard something at her wall. She was frightened. She backed away. Then she saw that the wall’s foundation was indeed weak. She knew it would fall.

Suddenly, what was on the outside of her wall had broken through and was now with her. It was a horrible monster. With its claws, it ripped off her rose-colored glasses and threw them to the ground. They were smashed. Now that she looked at the monster with naked eyes, it looked more appalling then before.

Danielle didn’t want this monster in her world. She thought because its looks were hideous that it was hideous. She never tried to find out that the monster was bearable. She didn’t try to find out that it wasn’t as dreadful as it looked. She never tried to discover that even when the monster got bad, it come be overcome. All she went on was the assumption that if it was a monster, it was horrible.

Poor, little, innocent, naïve Danielle.

She reached down and picked up a piece of rose-colored glass. She didn’t know how to live in a world without her glasses to look through. She’d always lived with her glasses; now they would help her one more time. They would get her away from this monster here the only way possible. She slid the glass across her wrist. The glass fell to the ground, bloodstained.

Danielle lay lifeless at the feet of the monster. A great sense of loss was felt in its heart. Inside, the monster was crying because Danielle was gone. Then, the monster began to sing.

Danielle is gone
Good-bye, so long
Wish you could be
Back here with me
But that’s not so
Because you had to go
Danielle is gone
Goodnight, so long.

Poor Danielle. Poor, little, innocent, naive Danielle.