Really? Seriously? You’re kidding, right?

Yep, it’s illegal, but you have to admit they’ve captured the iconic cow and advertising font . . .

Wednesday, August 1 2012 is Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, according to Mike Huckabee.

Let’s see . . . how many things are wrong with this movement, aside from the anti gay rights’ stance?

  • Does corporate America really need any kind of appreciation day?
  • Chick-fil-A, whilc certainly having the tastiest chicken sandwiches around, continues to use Styrofoam to serve its products. Styrofoam is non bio-degradable, which means that it sits in landfills, and sits, and sits, forever and ever, amen.
  • One chicken biscuit, while mighty good, has 440 calories, 180 of those from fat.
  • One order of chick-n-strips (4 piece) has 500 calories, 210 calories from fat.
  • One large order of waffle fries: 430 calories, 210 from fat.

So aside from how obviously anti-gay Dan Cathy may be, eating at his fast-food chain can be bad for your health and bad for the environment. So why do they need to be appreciated?

The answer, my friends, is purely for political reasons, and this is what bothers me. While I support Cathy’s right to say whatever he wants, and I support Huckabee and whoever else’s right to frequent Chick-fil-A, what I do not support is this continual need on both sides to draw lines in the sand and then cast aspersions if those lines are crossed. You’ll note that I said both sides.

Both. Sides.

We have ceased to be a civilized civilization. We argue and protest over everything. We name call, libel, slander, and outright lie over just about anything.

I’m so tired of it.

I stopped eating at Chick-fil-A about a year and a half ago because I do not agree with their openly anti-gay stance. That’s my choice. Respect it just as I respect your decision to support or not support any establishment for whatever reason. I stopped eating there because my son Brett made some vary good arguments as to why they are not the kind of business that I wish to give my measly bit of money to, regardless of how tasty I find their products to be.

But do we need American flags, homophobic protest signs, kiss-ins, whatever else?

You know, maybe we do, and maybe we don’t. All I know is that I have just about reached my saturation level on the hate-mongering, and that’s without all of the saturated fats on the menu.

For a good article that goes into more background information on the whole controversy, see Kim Severson’s New York Times’ article.

I slept the sleep of the tortured: fitful, broken, and too short. And when I awoke, I knew that not enough time had passed, and so I tried to sleep more, but it never came. ~ L. Liwag

Flower Shop in Paris 

  

“The page, the page, that eternal blankness, the blankness of eternity which you cover slowly, affirming time’s scrawl as a right and your daring as necessity; the page, which you cover woodenly, ruining it, but asserting your freedom and power to act, acknowledging that you ruin everything you touch but touching it nevertheless, because acting is better than being here in mere opacity; the page, which you cover slowly with the crabbed thread of your gut; the page in the purity of its possibilities; the page of your death, against which you pit such flawed excellences as you can muster with all your life’s strength: that page will teach you to write.” ~ Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

On Saturday, I finally made it into the pool. The dogs have been swimming for a few days, but I wanted sun. The air was filled with the sweet smell of my gardenia bush in bloom, and there was just enough breeze to fool me into thinking that it wasn’t that hot. I was lulled into a wonderful feeling of comfort, arms flung wide, staring up into the clear blue sky, just a few cumulus puffs dotting the sky here and there. 

Silly me. I didn’t even think about putting on sunscreen except for my face. I really don’t know what I was thinking. I stayed out for hours, just enjoying the water, the breeze, the dogs . . . I got sunburned on my arms and chest. 

Beh. 

I never used to get sunburned. Ever. I would give my friends a hard time whenever they burned, taunting them with my olive skin. I suppose this is payback. The other thing that I got from the sun was a migraine, a killer migraine, one that has only this afternoon subsided into a tightness in my forehead. Poor, poor, pitiful me. 

I remember endless summer days spent in the sun, lying on the beach with my friends, or on the catamaran with my friend John, or water skiing with the guys. Good times. Never burned, just browned. When I worked at the newspaper, I finished at 3:30, still early enough to catch some afternoon rays. The summer before I got married to my ex, I worked and sunned. Last summer of my life in which I was able to be carefree and careless with time and money.

an orchid’s scent
its incense perfuming
a butterfly’s wings ~ Basho
Flower Shop in Kuala Lumpur

So today, it’s 75 degrees, almost 20 degrees cooler than this weekend. There were a few thunder boomers last night, but nothing major. 

Last night I watched the movie Memento, with Guy Pearce, Joe Pantoliano, and Carrie-Ann Moss. Wow. What a puzzle, but very deftly done. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the movie combined two different timelines, one ongoing and one flashback. Lots of visual clues, riddles, a few red herrings. The plot revolved around memory, what is real, what is thought to be real, what is imagined. The main character, Leonard (Pearce), suffers from anterograde amnesia: he cannot make new memories. 

I would highly recommend this movie if you liked The Usual Suspects or The Sixth Sense. That being said, Memento is not as easy to discern as either of those two, not that either of those films were straightforward in any way. Nolan directed the movie in 2000, followed by a few movies with which you may be familiar: the two new Batman movies, The Prestige. If you are interested in an analysis of the movie, Andy Klein wrote a thorough deconstruction for Salon.com. 

Memento had been on my list of movies to see, and I find it very rewarding when I finally see something I’ve had on that list and it turns out to be worthwhile. The other movie that I watched was Valkyrie, with Tom Cruise. This was another one that has been on my list, and unlike many people, I liked it. No, Cruise does not attempt a German accent, but that didn’t bother me, better no accent than a poorly executed accent. 

The plot, in case you don’t know, is based on the July 20 plot to kill Adolf Hitler and real-life Operation Valkryie, which was a plan to call up the German reserve army to maintain order in the case of an emergency. The historical drama depicts the plot, led by Claus von Stauffenberg, the last of 15 failed plots to assassinate Hitler.   

The 2008 movie had quite a cast; aside from Cruise as von Stauffenberg, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp, and Tom Wilkinson all had roles in the Bryan Singer (X-Men) film. I remember that there was a big controversy in casting Cruise because of his scientology beliefs. 

“Life is like Sanskrit read to a pony.” ~ Lou Reed

 


Flower Shop in Bath, England 

 

Alexis came by on her way home from work today. I helped her to find some information on patient assistance with some of the medications that she takes. Having filled out numerous forms for myself, I am fairly familiar with the process. She will not be able to get health insurance at the thrift store as they do not offer it to their employees, even the full-time people. Yet another reason to hope for some kind of healthcare reform. 

I know that I’ve been featuring more political posts than usual, but it seems that every time I sit down to read the daily news, I come across yet more inanity, something that I find very hard to ignore. Ignorance, racism, sexism, hate-mongering—it’s all so disconcerting. 

What is happening to us, to American society? Has the election of a man of color caused so much unrest among those who oppose him—or liberals, or Democrats, or blacks, or whatever it is—that seeing conspiracies and promoting fear have become the societal norm? Has the so-called American way-0f-life been imperiled by putting a black man in the Oval Office, in the same way that electing a Catholic in the 1960s threatened the very fiber of our being? 

I see a lot of similarities to the 1960s, and that’s not a good thing. Yes, the unrest of the 1960s caused major social changes, changes that were desperately needed. But the 60’s also saw discord elevated to levels unparalleled, discord that morphed into senseless violence (race riots, Ohio State), attempts at oppression (Hoover’s FBI). Chillingly, the war in Iraq has now surpassed the Viet Nam War as the longest American war (eight years, eight months, and counting). And the country had a young, idealistic president who many feared just because of who and what he was. 

Remember, the 60’s led to the election of Richard Nixon, gave power to men of questionable scruples, such as Henry Kissinger, and led to a political climate that fostered the events of Watergate. Remember?

“Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash, your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them.” ~ William Faulkner
Flower Shop in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

I know. I am still a starry-eyed idealist in many ways, but that is balanced by my stark realist side. I believe in equality for all peoples, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, or creed. I don’t understand why that is such a hard concept. I also believe that children should not die of hunger or dysentery, that there is no difference in the capabilities of the sexes, and that there is no such thing as a good war. At the same time, I know that people like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Steve Blair—who thrive on discontent, who cultivate a fear of otherness, who opine loudly as if the tone and timber of a voice is all that is needed to make it right—people such as these have millions of followers. 

And quite frankly, that scares the hell out of me. It also frightens me that I sometimes self-censor on this blog because I do not want the crazies to find me. In essence, I am allowing myself to be repressed out of my own unwillingness to cater to confrontation. Bearing that in mind, I do not apologize for my political posts, even though this is not a political blog. I do not apologize for who I am, for what I believe, or for where I stand on the issues that are important to me. 

I’m certain that I will continue to have political posts because people will continue to amaze me with their brazen bigotry. People will continue to astound me with their asinine declarations. As long as events continue to occur that make me stop and say WTF, I will continue to opine, and if you find my posts offensive, then exercise your Constitutional freedom not to read me. 

I won’t hold it against you. 

More later. Peace. 

Music by Mazzy Star, “Take Everything” 

“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity” ~ Andre Gide

Glen Beck: “Blah, blah, blah, dorkfish . . .”

 

“Hypocrisy, the lie, is the true sister of evil, intolerance, and cruelty.” ~ Raisa Gorbachev

I have made no bones about my disdain for Glenn Beck and his hate-mongering. That people continue to listen to his pseudo-patriotic vitriol is a sad statement in itself, but recently, Beck laid bare his hypocrisy so patently that no one with any ability to think critically could possibly deny it.

In Beck’s most recent interview with omnipresent Sarah Palin, Beck took the firm stance that family and children are off-limits:  “Leave my family, leave people’s families alone . . . When it was Bill Clinton, you don’t go after Chelsea Clinton. You don’t talk about the Bush kids. Now, the minute they get into politics, that’s a different story. You leave the families alone.”

Fine. Great. Good stance. Oh? Beck only meant some of the time? That must be why only a few hours later on his morning radio show, Beck had a pretend dialogue in which  Malia Obama talks to her father about the oil spill:

BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy? Daddy? Daddy, did you plug the hole yet? Daddy?

PAT GRAY (co-host): (imitating Obama) No I didn’t, honey.

BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy, I know you’re better than [unintelligible]

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Mm-hmm, big country.

BECK: (imitating Malia) And I was wondering if you’ve plugged that hole yet.

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Honey, not yet.

BECK: (imitating Malia) Why not, daddy? But daddy–

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Not time yet, honey. Hasn’t done enough damage.

BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Not enough damage yet, honey.

BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yeah?

BECK: (imitating Malia) Why do you hate black people so much?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) I’m part white, honey.

BECK: (imitating Malia) What?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) What?

BECK: (imitating Malia) What’d you say?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Excuse me?

BECK: (laughing) This is such a ridiculous — this is such a ridiculous thing that his daughter– (imitating Malia) Daddy?

GRAY: It’s so stupid.

BECK: How old is his daughter? Like, thirteen?

GRAY: Well, one of them’s, I think, thirteen, one’s eleven, or something.

BECK: “Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?” Is that’s their — that’s the level of their education, that they’re coming to — they’re coming to daddy and saying ‘Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?’ ” Plug the hole!

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yes, I was doing some deep-sea diving yesterday, and–

BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yeah, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, I was doing–

BECK: (imitating Malia) Why–

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yeah, honey, I’m–

BECK (imitating Malia) Why, why, why, why, do you still let the polar bears die? Daddy, why do you still let Sarah Palin destroy the environment? Why are — Daddy, why don’t you just put her in some sort of a camp?

What a berk. Once again Beck speaks out of both sides of his mouth: Leave the families alone . . . unless it’s someone I don’t like or someone I don’t agree with or someone who is wearing a red tie or . . .

Bah.