Friday, July 25, 2014

Something Goofy to End the Week With

This one is from someone I was related to through my marriage but no longer although I do love all these kids like they were my own family. This is one of my ex-hub's cousins who has been working on films for a bit and has made a few short and very funny videos. It is a youtube video called Camping. Hope it gives you a nice long laugh.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - My New Favorite

When I went to Barcelona it was the end of June. Since I have been going through the divorce process this trip came at a point when I was already set to move into my new place. As is typical during these long flights there are plenty of movies to watch on board the plane and this time I lucked out finding The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

What I love about this movie is that, one I felt like it was a story about my life, at least because of the day dream part because I tend to do that a lot. I found it endearing that someone thinks about us dreamers. The other great part about it is how he is thrown into a situation and instead of cowering away in his day dreams he starts getting over his fears and finally starts really living. I fell in love with the character and with the beautiful photography of this movie. The landscapes are just breathtaking. It makes me want to go all over the world and see everything I have been dreaming of. If you have not seen it yet and are a romantic at heart, I definitely recommend you see it.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

On Gaza - Just My Humble Opinion

I am about to go on one of my rants, so if you are not in the mood for one of these you can carry on with your day and ignore this post. This rant will most likely be the one by which I lose some of you but I feel the need to say something about this particular topic because as you know I feel that silence in the face of injustice is just a sanction on said injustice.

I have been witness to the conflict in Gaza from very early on in my life. Having lived in Colombia I got my news unfiltered in full color gore. My first memory of the conflict was from a news report from the area, the television screen filled with a chaotic scene showing bloodied corpses being dragged away from a bombing site. I was 6 at the time. Which side was it from? I do not recall but I do recall many years of news in similar depiction on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

When I came to live in the US one of the first things I remembered that impacted me was on how pristine the news shows on TV were. There were never any images of bloodied anything on them even when they were about war or terrorist attacks. I remember very distinctly noticing this and thinking to myself how anyone could believe that any of what the news reporters were saying was true when there was no proof of the violence screaming at you in blood. I became accustomed to this antiseptic form of news but never really felt comfortable with it. It felt like a lie in that it was not being completely truthful to the people and in my view felt like it desensitized people even more than showing the bloodied corpses could. In regard to Gaza the news here in the US was vastly one sided in comparison to what I had seen in Colombia. In Colombia the atrocities perpetuated by both sides were clearly shown without offering an opinion but rather presenting the gory facts. In the antiseptic US news shows the Israeli side was almost always depicted as the victimized side. Palestinian tragedies were only brought to light if the devastation was absolutely undeniable. I became distrustful of the news shows and of the lack of integrity of the so called journalists in this country because of this and because of how they depicted any other country that was not the US.

During the time that I lived in the middle east I remember being encountered by the style of news that I had seen in Colombia. The news shows and newspapers here were not afraid of putting gory pictures on the front covers or on screen. They did not shy away from the violence and try to cover it up. They presented it to you in full gory detail. However here there was a slant as well and of course the favored side was the Palestinian. Despite this slant though, a lot of truth of what the Palestinians have been going through was presented more clearly. This in turn gave me a more balanced view of the conflict since I had been hearing so much of the Israeli side already. The depiction of Palestinians who attacked Israeli civilians in suicide bombings on buses came just as clearly as Israeli bombings of elementary schools with children's bodies strewn all over.

I feel badly for the people from both sides of this conflict and angry at the governments and radicals who perpetuate this conflict by misinforming and brain washing their citizens and country men. To me both the governments and radicals are just a bunch of assholes manipulating the situation to their own ends while putting their people in the middle of it, letting them massacre each other like so many sacrificial lambs. To what end? To fight for land? Is that worth the price they are paying? I hate to have to also offer this view but I think the conflict would long have been over if the US did not feel the need to support Israel at every turn. Backing them has only served for the Israeli government to feel like they have the ability to carry on being assholes without having to actually talk with the Palestinians and come to an agreement. Do not misinterpret this statement as meaning that I support violence from the Palestinians. I do not, but I can't help feeling that they would get a fairer chance of getting their share if the US were not involved. Both sides need to stop this tit for tat mentality of perpetuating violence on one another. It is childish and insane. I am also not absolving the people on both sides completely because it falls on you the people to change this. It is time to act responsibly and sensibly. Stop reacting to one another and think for one minute of what you want your life and the lives of your families and friends to be like. You do not have to continue to believe what your leaders are telling you about one another. Step outside of their influence once and for all and become the thinking, sentient beings you were created to be.

Rant over.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Music - Updated Playlist

Hi there. Been a while hasn't it. Well I promise to make it up to you as today I am bringing you an update to my playlist Good Music for Crappy Days. It is just a compilation of music that makes me want to sing out loud. I have had the good fortune of finding a pretty decent radio station here in the New York Metro Area. WFUV out of Fordham University, which has helped me greatly in finding some new music that I really like. This station is just as eclectic as BBC6  but since it is local I can get it in my car which I cannot do with BBC6 because unfortunately it just doesn't stream to smartphones outside the UK. New additions to the list are LP, NoNoNo, Modern Moderne, Justin Timberlake and also a few oldies by goodies like Cake, New Order, etc. Anywhoo, I hope you enjoy the music.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

On Nigeria and Human Rights

I am traveling on a train from North Carolina to New York feeling utterly frustrated and heart broken. I hope my crappy internet connection allows me to post this. The news that the powers that be in Nigeria have decided to close the book on the case of the 200 plus girls that have been kidnapped by militants from Chibok village, without any resolution has left me with a boiling anger. This week I passed some posters that reminded me of the crisis, but this is an issue about more than just these girls' lives. It is an issue about what our lack of action speaks of and what it is allowing this world to become. When we keep silent about acts such as this it is a silent sanction to those who are committing them. It is a sign that people can commit any atrocious act and getaway with it because we are either too afraid or too obtuse to want to take action. Whatever the reason the result is the decline of the standard of living an quality of life of every human being in this world.

I would like to think that we can live in a better world than the one we currently live in. That we as a race can rise above the banal and become better every day. This starts with how we treat ourselves and stems onward in how we treat others or allow others to be treated. Silence in the face of abominable behavior is the worst kind of thing we can do. This is my plea to anyone reading this post, It does not matter where you are, what age you are, what religious belief you hold, what gender you are, etcetera. You must use your voice to silence violence and hatred in this world. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into an abyss of immorality and violence. Contact your president, congress person, local politician, local human rights group and call them to action and put yourself in action against anything that sets humanity backwards. We must not allow this type of attitude and treatment of other human beings to persevere. We are better than this. My only hope is that I can make a difference so that my daughter grows up in a world where she does not have to grow up afraid of being a girl, where her rights are respected and where she will not fall victim to acts like these.

I think that the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign has been the most effective to date in bringing attention to the kidnappings. If you would like to take action follow this link for their US website.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Music - Future Islands

It has been a long time since my last music post. If you have read any of those posts you know that I do not adhere to any particular genre or artist. I am open to everything and anything out there. Of late I have been listening to a radio station from Fordham, a local university. The station is WFUV and they play pretty much everything under the sun but they are great about introducing new music. Recently they played this beautiful song and thanks to Shazam I was able to find out that it was called Seasons and that it was by a band called Future Islands. I really do not know a hell of a lot about the band except that they have been around for over a decade and that they are considered Synthpop. Call it whatever you want but I love this song. It is nostalgic, romantic and hopeful, all simultaneously. I am definitely giving the rest of their discography a run and see if I find any other gems.

*image from Future Islands website - Cover art for Seasons (Waiting On You) 7" single (4AD - February 3, 2014)