09 October 2011

The Apple Of Our Eyes

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
~Steve Jobs, Co-founder and CEO, Apple, Inc.

Prior to last Wednesday, I thought it was Eve who invented the apple. Of course I'm joking; I hardly believe that an apple, one of my most favorite fruits (Fuji in particular) is at the "core" of woman being "established as subordinate to man, ending Utopian unity between the sexes."

At least Steve Jobs didn't allow one bad apple to destroy a whole bunch of great ideas, which all began in his parents garage at 20 years old. I've researched so much about this man in the last few days all because after returning from taking the apple of my eye to school, I heard the news of the Apple Founders death on the radio just as I was about to turn my car off. My curiosity was piqued so I stayed to listen. If nothing else, I thought I'd be able to impress my extremely technophile son with my knowledge since he can't stand that I won't "get with it," never mind that it costs a lot of money to "get with it." I still refuse to pay the extra $30.00 for the texting "privileges," if that gives you an idea of where I stand in the world of technology. (Whatever happened to Morse code, by the way?)

What captures my attention is good old fashioned wisdom; un"Tweeted," un"Texted," and un"Status Updated." By the end of the 3-5 minute news announcement of Job's death, I was bewitched by the infinite wisdom of this technological genius and bewildered that the two should go hand in hand. (e.g. I can't picture the Dalai Lama hanging out in the Silicon Valley). Okay, so I've been enlightened...again. As the radio played an excerpt from Steve Job's Commencement address delivered to the students at Stanford University, I was blown away and couldn't wait to find out more about this man who was clearly taken from us too soon...as usual with the "good ones."

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." (Steve Job, June 12, 2005. To read the entire speech and/or watch the video, click here http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html )

Being the Apple fanatic that he is, I pulled up the Stanford speech and told my son I wanted to share a little of the man behind his beloved Apple products; as usual, he was anxious to oblige. He, too, was enamored by the humanness behind the gadgets. Then we watched the video of the actual speech together and I watched as my little techno monkey hung onto every single word. It always makes my heart smile when I witness him being influenced by positive and influential role models.

He has been saving his allowance and dog walking money diligently with the hopes of owning an iPad before they become extinct. It's comforting to know that when he does (and he will) acquire his "latest and greatest," that the gadget will have a heartbeat and a constant reminder that anything in life is attainable if you follow your heart.

Steve Jobs
2/24/1955 - 10/5/2011

Stay hungry, stay foolish....indeed!
The Paper Whisperer


18 September 2011

Save Your Drama, Mama(s)

"Hatred is a learned behavior. It worked. I hate "them" for attempting to instill it in me."
~Robin Garrett-Welsh~

What's scarier than ONE mother with a heart full of hate? ONE MILLION mothers with hearts full of hate!

JUST in case you haven't heard, Dancing With The Stars has announced their fall lineup and stirring up quite the controversy is Cher's transgender child, Chaz Bono. Since I'm not a huge fan of the show, or television in general, I didn't tune in the night of the big reveal. It wasn't until the following morning when I logged onto my computer and saw a headline reading, "New Dancing Cast Announced: One Very Controversial Figure." Okay, of course I'll bite.

I clicked on the lineup and perused the list once, twice, three times..."who the hell is the controversial figure?!" I thought to myself. The suspense was killing me. "It just has to be Nancy Grace," I concluded. Or maybe, just maybe, David Arquette in light of his recent separation from Courtney Cox and subsequent rehab stay, perhaps?  Then I watched a news clip stating that an organization called, One Million Moms was calling for the boycott of Dancing With The Stars because Chaz Bono would be dancing this year. WHAT?! Seriously?!

I googled the "Mommies Dearest," found their website and the title of the "hate du jour" read, "Dancing with the Stars has Spun Out of Control!" "Now they have gone too far! Not only are they casting Carson Kressley (gasp, a gay man!), but also transgender Chaz Bono. Both are LGBT rights advocates and promote this destructive lifestyle," states the website. Destructive lifestyle? Really? As opposed to your hate spewing "nondestructive" lifestyle? Then they blame DWTS for "helping them create visibility for the LGBT community." OMG! OMG! OMG!

First and foremost, I don't know a whole lot of children who are even remotely interested in watching Dancing With The Stars. Secondly, it's called DANCING WITH THE STARS, not, Delving Into The Personal Lives of Stars! And thirdly, children wouldn't even know that Chaz OR Carson are any different than you or me if you didn't make such a BIG DEAL OUT OF IT!! But that's what you "haters" love to do; pass YOUR ignorance down from generation to generation.

If you are truly intent on boycotting something, why don't you boycott the AT&T commercial where the husband comes home and tells the wife that he purchased a phone plan for the entire family. She immediately begins berating him and mumbling that her "mother was right, she should have married John Clark." It makes my heart hurt every single time I see it come on. Or how about the Jerry Springer show that comes on right when children are coming home from school? Or just about any other ridiculous reality show that is on the television? The "Real" Housewives of ANYWHERE? You've got to be kidding me!! Better yet, why don't you turn the stupid television off and play a board game with your child, read with your child or bake brownies to take to school and share some kindness. By the time DWTS comes on, your child should be getting ready for bed with a good book anyway.

Another idea would be to focus your "Christian" attention (and pent up animosity) on the growing number of teen suicides or the epidemic levels in which bullying has reached. Wouldn't that make your heart feel better and all those hate lines disappear from your face? The poor children that are killing themselves because they are "different," are mostly YOUR children and they are afraid of you and the type of bully offspring that you are producing.

Now, I'd like to tell you how it all went down in my home; my peace loving home. Chaz was scheduled to appear on Oprah to talk about his "new life," and I was anxious to watch as I grew up with Sonny and Cher and their precious little girl, Chastity. My son asked me what Oprah was about and I began telling him about the person that Chaz used to be and about her famous parents. I pulled up pictures on the computer of a young Chastity and told him how I used to think she was the cutest little girl I'd ever seen. He agreed, but we both noticed how sad she looked in most all of the pictures as opposed to how happy she seemed telling her story of becoming the person she should have been.

And since wishing for a couple of penises to fall off in my lifetime does not make me an expert in transgenderism, I simply imparted the basics, in an age appropriate and gentle manner. And instead of focusing on whether Chaz wanted to stand up or sit down to use the bathroom, I elected to focus on the core matter, and that is the end result; the smiles, the laughter and the happily ever afters. My child listened intently with the utmost empathy as I explained  how Chaz will still not be free as the hate mongers will always be there to judge him, ridicule him and as it turns out, even boycott him. I saw the sadness in my child's face at the mere thought that there are actually people who feed on this type of ignorance. I should also point out that my child is a Christian who reads the bible and believes that all people are good....because that is how he has been raised.

So, fast way forward to the Dancing debacle and the "controversy" over Chaz Bono....as my son and I are at dinner I said, "Guess what? Remember Chaz Bono, he is going to be on Dancing With The Stars." "Cool, dancing or as a judge?" "Dancing, however, there is a bit of a problem. There is a group that is threatening to boycott the show because he will be on." "WHAT?! WHY?!" "Because he used to be a she, and even though he doesn't pay these peoples bills, sit down to dinner with any of them or have any impact on these people whatsoever, they still believe that it is their right to tell him who or what he can do with HIS LIFE," I explained. "That seems like a ridiculous waste of energy, doesn't it Mom?" he asked. "Yes, Baby, it does and it breaks my heart that ANYONE has to be subjected to this type of nonsensical brutality," I said.  Then he added that he didn't even know any kids that watched Dancing With The Stars.

This type of prejudice is so foreign to me and something I suppose I will never be able to understand. There are REAL problems out there, like the number of children that are on facebook, being exposed to, often times, raunchy adult conversations, lewd photographs, and drunken banter. Facebook rules state that you must be at least 13 years old to even sign up, however, I see children who are much younger with accounts, indicating that they are falsifying their birth dates in order to get an account.  That means parents are teaching their children that it is okay to lie in order to partake in a "grown-up" environment, despite all the warnings surrounding the stresses and bullying that comes along with the "membership." Now THERE'S a cause for you!

Anyway, I hadn't planned on turning the television back on until the new season of American Idol started, but I think, just for kicks, grins and major well wishes, I'll tune in to DWTS to see Chaz dance tomorrow evening. I hope he receives a standing ovation for being bold enough to persevere and not let the haters get the best of him. BONUS if Momma Bear Cher is there!

Cha, Cha, Cha, Chaz!!
The Paper Whisperer

23 July 2011

Near to Norway

"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go."
~Author Unknown~

Dear Norway,

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you on this very sad day. There are no words to describe the logic in the mind of hate mongers, extremists, and evil beings who think they are above the law and who, forever, alter our lives. My heart is so heavy as I carry a part of your pain. Peace be with you during your extremely arduous journey through the process of loss, healing and attempted understanding.

A beacon of light from the United States

Kære Norge,

Vores tanker og bønner gå til du på denne meget trist dag. Der findes ingen ord til at beskrive logikken i sindet af had mongers, ekstremister og onde mennesker, der mener, de er hævet over loven og for evigt ændrer vores liv. Mit hjerte er så tunge som jeg bære en del af din smerte. Fred være med dig under dine yderst vanskelig rejse gennem processen med tab, helbredelse og forståelse.

Et fyrtårn af lys fra USA


16 July 2011

To Catch A Cheater

"I’m too shy to express my sexual needs except over the phone to people I don’t know."
~Gary Shandling
Trust me, you are not the only one that finds it a wee bit strange that I am neglectful when it comes to updating my blog, and when I finally do, I'm *forcing* you to read, yet another, "wee willy winky" story. I "swear" I'm not perverted, but rather appalled at the outpouring of seemingly intelligent people sending pictures of their anatomies across the wires of late.

Sadly, the latest "Weiner Du Jour" is one of my (former) heroes, Chris Hansen, whom I fell in love with while watching him nab sexual predators on Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" series. Ironic, isn't it? For those of you unfamiliar with the show, To Catch a Predator was a series committed to taking down would-be predators through an undercover sting operation. Chris Hansen was the omnipotently cool host who appeared from behind the scenes to inform the alleged pedophiles just how unlucky their "lucky day" was going to turn out. *SMILE* you're on "Candy" camera!  Ugh!

While still reeling from the Anthony Weiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger news (not really), I log into the WWW and see Chris Hansen in the headlines. I swear I would have refrained from writing about it had all the headlines not been so damn funny, beginning with the one I woke up to from the Huffington Post: "This week in famous people sending dirty pictures to women who aren't their wives, Chris Hansen reportedly texted and emailed explicit photos to his alleged mistress."  That headline had me rolling as this new "fad" did seem to have reached epidemic proportions. It's no longer "only" the country that has fallen on hard times. (That was bad, I know)

The world continued to take jabs at Mr. Hansen and they all made me laugh. The funniest aspect of the story was the "who" that was behind the undercover sting operation that left the bad taste of his own medicine in Chris' mouth. The National Enquirer, that's "WHO!" That's just gotta hurt! I guess it could have been worse.

A Miami New Times blogger wrote, "Yes, yes--we're supposed to be really mean to pedophiles, but that's the job of the courts and big prisoners named Tree Stump, not a guy who's supposed to be an investigative reporter. The man does not have an ethical bone in his body and now even his wife and kids know it."

Zap2it Blogger wrote, "Hey pedophiles who are rejoicing about Hansen getting a taste of his own medicine: sit down, you're still pedophiles. He wins." The visual on that made me laugh out loud. (Exuberant pedophiles, joined hands, laughing and dancing in a circle in the common room as the 5:00 news reports the "Breaking News" regarding Chris Hansen).

Perhaps the greatest consequence of Mr. Hansen's untimely behavior was his lost promotion with Dateline. According to the New York Post, NBC was set to name Hansen as the new Dateline anchor next month filling Ann Curry's spot after she landed the top job on The Today Show. "The plan has been scrapped by NBC brass who believe the scandal has damaged Hansen." That's kinda huge, isn't it? ! I certainly hope it was worth it.

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my brain around the concept of forwarding these illicit images. IF you've seen one......well, I'm just sayin'. Do the senders get pixel envy? What are they all thinking? Am I soooo "old school" because my phone is devoid of any text-ticles? "I" equate it to shopping for eggs. Sure, the carton reads small, medium or large, but then again, they can write anything they want to, can't they? One thing's for certain, always has been, always will be, you boys are certainly proud of your packaging and more often than not, are hard pressed to put all your "eggs" in one basket. But that's okay, those of us who are older and wiser ALWAYS check for cracks!

Forever Sunny Side Up,
The Paper Whisperer