Monday, February 14, 2011

Great Speeches, Aaron Barr, Spam, and Sisters

1. Dreamed we were in Australia.   It's not our big anticipated 2012 trip.  It's another one before that...a smaller extra.  We're in Sydney, and have planned to stay in Sydney the whole time.   I start thinking we should take the opportunity to venture out.  We should go somewhere else.  I talk to an Australian we know about this.  I suggest that we drive to Hobart. She gives me a weird look.  I then remember that Tasmania is an island, and you can't drive to it. 

2.  Moved to tears by Kevin Rudd's speech at the Apology Anniversary Breakfast.  To me, the speech was beautiful...brilliant.  It might be as good as the actual sorry speech.

I'm going to cut and paste some of my favorite bits, but hopefully you'll click on the link and read the whole speech for yourself.

First Favorite Part  How could a white-fella begin to plumb the depths of Indigenous suffering over hundreds of years?
And then, with any confidence proclaim any real empathy with the physical, emotional and spiritual experience of degradation and indignity?
Because as the eighth generation descent of Anglo Celtic convicts and settlers, empathy was never the first or best of our human faculties.
Put simply, I experienced the most aggravating case of writer's block. 

Second Favorite Part   That whatever a person's religious views might be, there is something inherently sacred, something inherently spiritual, about human beings truthfully acknowledging that a great wrong had been done.
That if this acknowledgment is received in the same spirit in which it is given, there is in fact a transformative quality to this most raw of human experiences.
We all know from our own lives that it is hard to say that you're sorry.
Just as we know that it can be equally hard to accept such an apology if great wrongs have been committed.
But if two peoples can solemnly share such an experience, then the transformational capacity is great indeed. 

Third Favorite Part  Attitudes which have taken centuries to form, and too often have become frozen in time, can take quite a while to undo.
But I believe the progress has been real in the emancipation of our spirits and the embrace of a new reality.
The psychological and the sociological impact of this sense of liberation has been almost palpable — although not for all.
That is why this spirit of the Apology, this spirit of reconciliation, must be carefully nurtured into the future.

Fourth Favorite Part  It took more than half a century following Dr King's freedom rally address in St Louis for his fellow countrymen to elect their first African-American President.
I hope, I pray and I believe that we will elect our first Indigenous Prime Minister well before that time.

3. Read Andrew's great  Valentine's Day Post.  He goes beyond the fluff and chocolates and gives a realistic view of long-term relationships. BUT he's still very positive about it all.

4. Saw that some people think this blog is written by a guy.  Do I give off a male aura? I kind of think I look like a man.  And, the other day, I was thinking that I'd like to be a man in my next life.

I twice have mistaken females for males on the internet.  My friend said she did the same recently.  It happens sometimes.  

5. Listened to a radio interview about the Adopt a Cyclone Yasi Affected Town Facebook page.  I was tickled that she struggled to pronounce the name of a town. I have so much trouble pronouncing Australian place names.   I thought it was just an American thing.  I shouldn't be so surprised to see an Australian having trouble with Australian names. I'm sure I don't pronounce all American place names correctly.

6. Read a very sweet post from the Adopt a Cyclone Yasi Affected Town Facebook Page.   It says,
Thinking of those today who are not enjoying their Valentine's day due to having to recover from floods, fires and cyclones... I hope something special happens today as a reminder of the love you have in your lives.

7. Watched Helena Bonham Carter's BAFTA acceptance speech for the King's Speech. I think it's one of the best acceptance speeches I've ever seen. I love her sense of humor. And I love that she dresses like Bellatrix. It almost seems to me that she IS Bellatrix but the good version of her.

8. Read article about the low level of trust between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.    Only nine percent think that there's a good level of trust between the two groups. I think that nine percent have their heads in the clouds.   In order to move forward, it's important to have a realistic view of things. 

To me, a more important question is how many Aboriginal Australians trust non-Aboriginal Australians, and vice-versa. Although I have trouble trusting matter what their ethnic origins are. 

And I think the study showed another more important point.  Ninety percent of those surveyed believe that the relationship between the two groups is important.   I think the study shows very positive results.  Australians understand that they have a long way to go on the reconciliation path, but they DO want to go in that direction.  That's much better than people thinking the relationship is unimportant or having the delusional sense that there's already a great relationship between the two groups.  

9. Read article that says The King's Speech's BAFTA wins could be an indication that they're going to have major wins at the Oscars. I hope so!  

10. Read article about Jason Donovan's mom being angry because she feels he sold out his family for money.  It attracted my attention because anyone who writes autobiographical stuff is likely to sometimes write about their family.  I do. Sometimes I'm vague about it, and sometimes I'm more explicit.  For me, it helps to talk about stuff.  In the best of worlds, I could talk directly with the people involved, and we could work it out between ourselves. But when I try this, I'm usually laughed at, brushed aside, teased, told to get over the past, etc.

Sometimes I think about how I'd feel if one of my sister's started a blog and talked about me in it.   I think sometimes it would be upsetting.  It would make me nervous. But I think I'd be accepting of their right to do this as long as they a) were honest.  I'm sure I have enough annoying and disturbing no need to invent anything new.  b) tried to give a balanced view of things.  Of course, I'd expect things to be slanted in their favor, but I'd appreciate some attempt at balance. c) didn't talk about things that had nothing to do with them.  I wouldn't appreciate them spreading gossip about me (true or otherwise) just for entertainment value.  

11. Decided that my new enemy is Aaron Barr, the CEO of HBGARY Federal.   He not only wants to villainize Julian Assange.  He wants to villainize anyone who has donated to the organization.   Why do we know this?  Because Wikileaks hacked into their emails.  In one of those emails, Aaron Barr said that they need to get people to understand that if they support the organization, we will come after them.  Transaction records are easily identifiable.    

And what does he plan to do to those people?  Aaron Barr reminds me of the bad things I've heard about Scientology.  It's that use of scare tactics to shut people up.  I guess it was him that pressured Bank of America, Mastercard, and Paypal into cutting ties with Wikileaks. SHAME on them for giving into the pressure.

I actually had NOT donated to Wikileaks. I wanted to but was too lazy to go through the trouble of doing a damn bank transfer or using international snail mail.   But Aaron Barr's crap has just inspired me to donate.  I didn't donate to Wikileaks. Instead I donated to Assange's legal defense. Paypal is supporting that, at least. I would have preferred to give to Wikileaks, but I guess defending Assange is like giving to Wikileaks. Sort of.  

12. Read parts of a very frightening editorial about Aaron Barr.  It reminds me SO much of the Ministry of Magic, and what they did to Harry Potter.    

Here's an excerpt from the editorial.    The leaked report suggested numerous ways to destroy WikiLeaks, some of them likely illegal -- including planting fake documents with the group and then attacking them when published; "creat[ing] concern over the security" of the site; "cyber attacks against the infrastructure to get data on document submitters"; and a "media campaign to push the radical and reckless nature of wikileaks activities.

Holy shit!!!!!!   With this type of stuff going on in the world....we really NEED Wikileaks. Shame on anyone who tries to shut them down. 

The editorial also talks about how journalists and activists were threatened for supporting Wikileaks.

You know, hearing all makes me feel guilty for speaking up in support of Scientology.  At one time, I was very much against Scientology because of those reasons.  I had heard about the bullying and scare tactics. It's just that the enemies of Scientology started to annoy me as much as the Scientologists themselves. They don't always fight fairly either, and I think they often concentrate on arguments that are hypocritical and meaningless.  I have no problems with Scientology's beliefs, and I love their views on psychiatry.  I just wished they'd stop acting like Aaron Barr. Maybe someone can start a new Scientology that's honest, isn't secretive, and doesn't use scare tactics against people. 

Lord Wiki says that Aaron Barr was paid by United States Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Bank of America.  If that's true....I'm living in a country run by people who are no better than the thugs of Scientology. And NO that does not give people a righteous excuse to talk about how horrible and dumb Americans are.  That's like saying all wizards are scum because the Ministry of Magic was corrupt and evil.  So if anyone is reading this and thinking Americans are shitheads.  I hate them.  Guess what I say back to you.  YOU are like Vernon Dursely.   So....THERE.   

13. Thought about how Helena Bonham Carter is now not only my girl-crush but officially my favorite actress.  I rarely have favorite actresses and actors. Anyway, it's highly ironic because of who her husband is. Just as Julian McMahon as unknowingly (at no fault of his own) brought wonderful things to my life,  Tim Burton has unknowingly (at no fault of his own) brought great stress and drama to my family's life.  It's not something I can talk about much, so I'll just leave it at that. 

Sadly, my mind went blank when trying to remember Julian McMahon's last name.   It shows how bad my memory is.  How could I forget his name?  Then again, people sometimes forget the names of their own children.  None of it is probably worrisome unless you can't dig up the memory within a few moments.  

14. Want to say that I'm so damn sick of getting spam about my blog. What is the deal?  My blog has nothing to do with gardening furniture.  So no.  I'm not going to do a link exchange with a garden furniture company!  And no I'm not going to let anyone pay me to put THEIR content on my blog.  Heck, I shouldn't say that. One day I might be poor and desperate. Then my blog will be made up of 95% paid advertisements.   

 In the meantime, I will link to stuff when I WANT to link to stuff.  If you want to link to me, that's fine. Awesome.  Thank you.  It does not necessarily mean I will want to link to you.  If I do link to to you, I hope it brings you visitors. If you like my blog, that would be great if you want to link to me as well.  If you don't want to link to me, no worries.   

15. Read on this website that Tim Tams do not contain eggs.  They may have traces, but I'm not going to mind about that.  I'm nervous about today, because my friend is coming over, and she baked cookies for Valentine's Day.   I'm planning on not eating them.  I'm worried about offending her.   I think she'll be understanding, though.  She's always been very nice about me being vegetarian. AND we've actually talked together about the egg issue.  It's different from the lasagna, because the cookies are more for the children.  I felt the lasagna was made mostly for my benefit.  I'd feel bad if she was bringing cookies for my birthday or something. Then I'd probably eat it.

Hey though.   I MIGHT be able to eat the cookies. She said the dough was made from cream cheese.  I just looked at a cream cheese dough recipe, and it had no eggs!   This one does have eggs though.    This is what I'll do.  I won't take a cookie.  If she notices (she might not), I'll say Sorry, I'm going egg-free If she says, Oh, these have no eggs, I'll eat a cookie, or two. Or three. Or maybe four.

The funny thing is, I rarely refuse dessert.   The exception is when something has cream cheese frosting.  I don't like it for some reason.  But I think I'd be okay with it in the dough.

16. Read that the guy who introduced me to The King's Speech (via his Facebook update) has burned himself making popcorn.  I hope he'll be okay. I'm pretty sure it's a minor injury....fortunately.

17.  Read VERY important message from the Adopt a Cyclone Yasi Affected Town Facebook Page.   That title is a mouthful, by the way.  Justine Christerson says,

 Donated items can be a nightmare and also a blessing. The manpower that goes into receiving, sorting, storing, transporting and distributing is huge. Imagine all the people that could be helping clean up if they did not have to assist with donations. (the downside sometimes people think that cos people lost everything they will take anything including stained mattresses and clothes).

 I think she actually names a LOT of downsides there.  I don't think there are many benefits outside the fact that people are TRYING to be helpful.  I suppose sometimes old stuff can be put to good use.  I agree with Christerson, though.  I think it's mostly a pain.

For those of you who've had a wedding. Remember the hassle of going through all the wedding gifts.  You're grateful, but it's such a pain.  Now imagine if you had to go through all that WHILE dealing with a town ravaged by major weather issues. And instead of getting shiny new stuff, you were getting a lot of stuff that was stained rejects. Actually, though....there's not much difference between shiny and new and stained if you're getting stuff that's not needed or wanted. It's tiresome and time consuming to find places for all of it.

18. Listened to Feel Like Going Back Home from Bran Nue Dae.  I love Missy Higgin's solo.  

19. Listened to The Seeds You Might Sow from Bran Nue Dae.  I love this song too.  

20. Listened to Light a Light from Bran Nue Dae.  It's a beautiful song....romantic, so very appropriate for Valentine's Day.

21. Watched the video for Listen to the News from Bran Nue Dae.  

22. Read article about Father Bob Maguire.  He's come forward to say he's willing to perform civil union ceremonies for gay couples.  BUT he can't do it in a church.  That would probably be asking too much at this point.  And I'm not sure how much the Catholic church would support him doing the ceremonies at all.   I can imagine it's hard for some priests.  There's probably a part of them who want to stick to tradition which would probably equal taking the opinions of the Pope as gospel, and then there's the other ones who want to move forward and be more inclusive.  How do you balance that?

I don't think the Catholic Church needs to go so far as to officiate gay weddings/unions. I'd be satisfied enough if they just refrained from working against those outside the church trying to get married.  I mean it's one thing to say our religion doesn't accept gay relationships.  It's another thing to try to influence law regarding gay marriage/unions.

I guess I'll come up with an analogy.  I think it's okay for a synagogue to say we don't allow the use of electricity at the synagogue from sunset Friday to Sunset Saturday.   It's against our religionIf you want to use electricity, go find another type of Judaism.  But I'd be APPALLED if Jewish leaders tried to force these rules on everyone....including people who weren't even Jewish.  

23. Watched one of my most favorite Australian videos.  It's the Get Up Mob's sorry day song.  

24. Listened to Paul Kelly sing To Her Door.  I haven't heard that song in a LONG time. 

25. Listened to Never Enough from McLeod's Daughters.   This song reminds me SO much of my summer 2008.   I think one of the best feelings is looking back at a difficult time in your life and thinking....I got past that.   It wasn't all bad, though.  For example, we had McLeod's Daughters.    That was fun.  And I think it was the summer we played a lot of Super Smash Brothers.  That was fun too.  Although I don't like that game too much anymore.  Now I prefer Mario Kart Wii.

26. Tried to pretend I didn't see news of a cyclone developing   PLEASE let it be nothing.

27.  Thought of a scene from my favorite episode of Charmed.  It starts at around 7:45.  But my FAVORITE scenes from this episode is in this video.  They start at 4:56.   I think it was my big TV cry scene before the Lost one came along,   I love the line Maybe you don't start with love.  Maybe you start with thanks.  

28. Watched scene from The King's Speech.  I love this part.