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It’s a blog I would post my thoughts on, right? A place I’d come to vent, to be silly, to talk about music I was addicted to, to share movies to see or skip…yup, I remember it. I do have a confession to make. Twitter might have come between us. Trust me folks, I NEVER thought that crazy “tweeting” thing would be something I’d do, but alas, my political being has been poked, prodded, enlightened and enraged via Twitter, and I’m afraid a lot of what I’d come over here to post ended up in 140 characters or less on Twitter.
So I’ll close with a “Happy Birthday” video from Concrete Blonde, which I suppose could be me; am still in my pj’s at 9AM…just substitute the cat for my pooch Rudy, and her dark hair for my blond…am sure I can dig up some champagne to toast in the event..but rest assured I would NOT release any balloon into the air since it causes harm to not only our environment, but to wildlife. (Hey, if you didn’t know that last part about me from reading this blog over the past year, you’ve got more reading to do! ;)) I’m sending out a HUGE thank you to all that have popped over to SoCal Muchacha to read a blog entry, agree or disagree with me in the comment section, and who also put out so much interesting reading on their own blogs. Happy blogging everyone!
It is with this intention of doing things better and to completion, that I’ve imposed an online break for myself. I haven’t been blogging on a consistent basis lately anyway, but when I do blog it does take time, and right now, with the current major upheaval in my life, it’s time I know I need to spend prioritizing areas of my life, and living to my full potential. In a way I feel like a parent telling their child that they can’t go out to play until their homework is done. At this particular point in my life “homework” equates with “figuring sh*t out”, and play is spending time online whether it’s blogging or reading many other fine blogs out there (see my blogroll ;)).
So, my friends, I leave for this mini-break (mind you, knowing me it might only be a few days! ;)) hoping you all have not only a happy and safe New Year’s Eve, but a new year filled with happy moments, appreciation for life, special people (and pets!) to share it with, and the fulfillment of dreams you’ve tucked way for too long, which you will NOW (hopefully) pull out for 2008. Take care, and I’ll see you soon!
Abuse refers to the use or treatment of something (a person, item, substance, concept, or vocabulary) that is seen as harmful. The term can be used for anything ranging from the misuse of a piece of equipment to the severe maltreatment of a person.-Wikipedia
Today is BlogCatalog’s latest blogging challenge, “Blogging Against Abuse“, which aims to have thousands of bloggers internet-wide take part in blogging about putting an end to abuse of any sort. I only found out about this event two days ago, and really had no idea exactly what type of abuse I would write about since so many, especially child abuse and animal abuse, are worthy of attention. I had decided that I would allow my readers to peruse Wikipedia’s offering under abuse, and hope that in having just a few of the various forms of abuse staring back at them from their computer monitor, they might realize that we all (more than likely) take part in one form of abuse or another; from the abuse we inflict upon ourselves with drugs or alcohol to abuse inflicted upon others such as physical abuse, elder abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, and animal abuse. Perhaps the one we think of less as an abuse is that of verbal abuse, however the sting and lasting effects of being lashed out at with hurtful, hateful, and harmful words can have as much of an impression as that of a physical blow.
While all of these forms of abuse are worthy of deep thought, discussion, and plans for constructive steps to be taken to end them, the one that is resonating most with me at this particular moment is the abuse of power. Mind you, all of the abuses I have already mentioned are abuses of power of some sort, but the one I am thinking of more specifically is the abuse of power in which government officials (elected or public safety) have been partaking far too long, far too often, and with far too many negative ramifications for innocent bystanders. Any reader of this blog knows my opinions on this horrific, no-end-in-sight war, my frustration with the non-action by our government before/during/after Hurricane Katrina, and my absolute and total disgust with George W. Bush and his cohorts in crime. George and his cronies are the epitome of the abuse of power and their ability to have duped the American public for so long, and to underhandedly mold the laws of our land to fit the shape and the ideal of what THEY think it should be, regardless of the will of the people, simply astounds me.
I just finished watching the movie Bobby, by Emilio Estevez, and it was Robert F. Kennedy’s brilliant speech, “On the Mindless Menace of Violence”, played over the last scenes of the movie, which gave me that mental and emotional push to choose abuse of power as my topic to blog about for this “Blogging Against Abuse” event. I am somewhat ashamed to say that I had never heard that particular speech before, but it is truly one of the most touching, insightful, and beautiful stringing together of words and mental imagery that I have ever come across. The connection between abuse of power (be it citizen-to-citizen or government official-to-citizen) and the violence RFK spoke of is obvious, and unfortunately one that continues today, and sadly one that will probably always remain in one form or another unless we all take the time to search inside ourselves to see if we are guilty of planting even the tiniest seed of abuse in any form, which could ultimately lead to the flowering of abuse of other sorts.
Please take a few moments to watch this video I found which contains the audio of Robert Kennedy giving his “On the Mindless Menace of Violence” speech over some gripping and heart wrenching images. They are truly words and images which are bound to give you pause for thought. And that pause for thought, my friends, is where change begins.
Robert F. Kennedy
City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
April 5, 1968
This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.
It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one – no matter where he lives or what he does – can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.
Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by an assassin’s bullet.
No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.
Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily – whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence – whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.
“Among free men,” said Abraham Lincoln, “there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs.”
Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.
Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.
Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.
For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.
This is the breaking of a man’s spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.
I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.
We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.
Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.
We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children’s future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.
Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.
But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.
Two worthwhile events are coming up in a couple of days: BlogCatalog’s “Blogging Against Abuse” on Thursday, September 27th, and PETA2’s “Hug a Vegetarian” Day on Friday, September 28th. Here is more information about each event. Hope you’ll take part. And if you’re not a vegetarian yet, here’s a link to a post I did that just might help you. Btw, this vegetarian will be expecting tons of hugs on Friday! 🙂
On September 27th, join 1,000s of bloggers around the world in BlogCatalog’s Blogging for a Great Cause Challenge.
This Blogging Challenge will be:
Bloggers Against Abuse
September 27th, 2007
The Outcome we are after is to be part of the largest group of bloggers to ever blog about an important cause, all on the same day.
So how do you participate?
On Sept. 27th, blog about putting an end to some sort of Abuse (you decide what kind of abuse to blog about).
In the meantime though,
* Spread the word among all the bloggers you know. Perhaps even give them a link to this Discussion.
* If you are a graphic’s designer, perhaps you can come up with some small badges announcing the event, that we can then place on our blogs. To share the badge, place it on this thread.
* List any organizations, on this thread, who are involved in putting an end to abuse.
What do you get?
You will receive a link to your Blog Post from the Blogcatalog blog when we list everyone who participated.
You get to use your blog for an important cause.
You get to create blogging history.
Last year was the first-ever “Hug a Vegetarian” Day, and it was a smashing success, with tens of thousands of people taking part. Check out some photos here.
This year promises to be even bigger and better, so we have some brand-new Web banners for you to use to spread the word on your MySpace page or wherever else online. Plus, we have these amazing new signs for you to use at school, band practice, home, or pretty much anywhere you go on Hug a Vegetarian Day!
Get out there and hug your vegetarian (and vegan) buddies—and make sure your friends and family hug it up with you! Snap a picture and we’ll post your photo to peta2’s Flickr page for everyone to see. You’ll even get 2,000 Street Team points! Remember to submit your photo here.
…of your hair before you head out the door. You might not have noticed it dropping today when the blog went over 1,000 hits, but tons of confetti and many balloons DID drop on ya. Yup, that was me. Hey, I’m ALL about the party atmosphere, kids, so let’s see what videos I can dig up on YouTube to celebrate. (Read this all as my way of being swamped with life/school right now, BUT wanting to acknowledge this little milestone. 🙂)
Oh come on, you just KNEW I’d have to go old school on ya and put this one up since it IS a “Celebration”! Hey, we ARE talking old school here–they played at my Grad Nite at Disneyland…along with K.C. and the Sunshine Band. Yup, WAY old school, my dears! Now come on, kick those legs as high up as the band members do. Get a little cardio action going on!
And to get in a tummy work-out from laughing, here’s a little Craig Ferguson for you from the night we were in the audience back in October. Can you tell which laugh is mine? No, it’s not THAT one. 😉
So it’s been one month of blogging and I have to say it’s been quite the experience. Still haven’t become accustomed to the fact that people I don’t know are reading what I feel like blabbing about. But based on the blog hits (and the fact that my own visits to the blog aren’t counted ;)) you ARE reading. Okay, truth be told, you may not be reading but you ARE at least showing up over here. Hey, it’s a start, right? I’ll save any Sally Fields “You like me. You really, really like me.” speeches until more time has passed and more proof has been shown. (But I hope you do like me…you really, really do like me! ;))
It’s amazing how much can happen in one month of your life, or in the lives of your friends. Near misses with cars which make you realize who/what is important in life, love being wrenched from your heart and soul then amazingly and surprisingly presenting itself in a much better and more committed form, babies entering this world and family members leaving it, good test results and sad health news, the ebb and flow of life. I wonder what life will bring all of us in this coming month. Guess we’ll see.
Yup, that’s what all the thoughts I’m having regarding what to blog about are doing in my head: just bouncing about in the empty space. Occasionally they bounce against other thoughts, but not too many, nor too often. Okay, that’s a big lie. I’ve been having TONS of ideas on what to blog about, will just have to summon some courage to do a few of them. (Ooh, did I capture your curiousity with that?)
It’s funny that when you start one of these blogs (or do anything in cyberland) you feel like it’s just you, your keyboard, and the monitor. Safe enough, right? I mean you know that it’s bound to be seen by someone (especially if you tell them about it! ;)), but you wonder who? Why will they read it? Will they come back? What are they thinking when they read it? What do they think when they’re done reading it? And most of all, do you REALLY want the answers to those questions? 😉 It’s really been interesting to check out the blog statistics option with WordPress and see that folks ARE reading this. I know the buds I’ve told about it have popped on over, a couple even leaving comments (thanks :)), but I wondered where on earth all those other readers were coming from?
Suddenly in that vast expanse between my ears it hit me! Duh (or doh! if you’re into the Simpsons)! It’s probably the ‘random blog’ feature in the upper right-hand corner of any WordPress blog. (Welcome to those of you who found me that way! I’d love to know where you’re from. :)) You know what I’m talking about, right? That wonderful option which allows you to fulfill the voyeuristic urge I think we all have. In case you didn’t know, there’s an arrow up there which you can click and suddenly be transported–ANYWHERE! It’s really fun and something you should try if you haven’t. Earlier I was in the UK looking at some really cool graffitti pictures which were the header for a gal who was blogging about her break-up. Then a couple of religion-themed blogs popped up. After that I was in India checking out a picture of a group of guys looking like they were having a good time, arms around the shoulders of each other, smiling brightly for the camera. Hit a blog which I saved as a favorite since it had some good computer information. Then I ran across a couple blogs in languages I couldn’t figure out. On yet another blog I felt like I had shared their Thanksgiving with them, due to the details and the photos. Yup, a nice little adventure around the globe with no passport needed and more importantly, no money needed! Definitely some fun time spent bouncing about in cyberland.
Before closing I just have to give a shout-out to the support folks here at WordPress. I emailed them with a problem I’m having (all my comments are being tagged by Akismet as spam, thereby bouncing them into the spam section and not in the areas I post them). Well darn if I didn’t get a response from someone named Mark within a few hours! Woo-hoo! Apparently others are having the same dilemma, and since misery loves company I’m feeling better knowing it’s not just me, but sure hope WordPress will be able to solve it soon. Mark said they’re working on it, which is MUCH more than I can say for the VERY slow support (if any support at all!) I received over at Blogger. So kudos to you, WordPress. Thanks for showing me that bouncing on over to WordPress was a smart move. (Feel free to insert a visual of me bouncing on over here on a Hippity-Hop! Aw heck, let me go find an image to fill the visual for you.)
A handful of my very good buds have humored me and joined me in creating a private blog where we can keep up with each other’s lives. Nothing like friends who humor you, eh? I’ve enjoyed the individual blogs they’ve begun so figured I’d do the same myself. Really have no clue where I’ll go with this blog, but being the Pisces gal that I am one thing is for sure–it will be ALL OVER THE PLACE!
I tend to write the way I speak, so don’t expect Little Miss Grammar, okay? I’m definitely Read the rest of this entry »