2021-05-25 What’s In the News… 🗞

Happy mask mandate expiry day! It’s been a while since I’ve walked/written/had time to think about the world at large. Life is that way sometimes I guess. 

The last time I checked in I was pouring over my stabilizing good mood and trying to decide what, exactly, it was that made the tide turn in my favor. I’m happy to report that my happy has continued to be consistent and I’m still waking up most days looking forward to the day. 

I’ve continued to not over-commit myself and have not volunteered to do anymore talks or workshops. I’m minimizing meet-ups and really digging in for quality time with those I have had. 

Last Friday I had a 4 hour happy hour session with my friend M and that was fabulous. This week I have two or three meetups mixed in with my deep dive into reading for the GLR contest (which I’m very behind on for nonfiction). It’s my priority this week and I have a LOT to read! 

I’ve finished a first pass at poetry and also scripts and am ready to discuss with other editors. The only category I’m not reading is fiction. It’s just too much. 

Anyhow, that’s what’s on the agenda today after this much needed walk. I’ve tried to get back into the cardio thing but finding it hard to get motivated. I think part of that is that something in me is still recovering from that stomach virus I had last week. Was that just last week? It’s already blurry (my memory). 

In any case, my stomach is still off and my energy is low. But.. the low energy thing has been chronic so I can hardly blame that virus. It may still be a contributing factor though. 

Good gravy!… I haven’t written for days and THIS is still all I have?!?! I guess that’s a good thing as no news is good news. Right?!!

What about the world at large??

Locally, our mask mandate expired today and I’m very curious how businesses around town will react. Since the mask thing became so political, it will be a statement when the business owners either continue to require masks or not. I think most locally owned places will quickly and happily remove the signs from their doors whereas many major chains such as wal-mart or Costco might continue to expect customers to comply with the company policy. 

Not that it will stop ass-hats from refusing to comply. Those folks will do what they want no matter what someone else says. I saw a lady rudely refuse to put on a mask going into a Walmart grocery last week. I wanted to follow her into the store and give her a piece of my mind. Why is it some people think the rules don’t apply to them?! Cwazy! 

Nationally? I heard a statistic that the last few months has been the worst in history for “personal” shootings and gun violence. Has this become so common place that each incident isn’t even enough to make the daily news? Or am I so desensitized that I don’t hear it? And how much do “we” have to endure before new laws can be passed. Then again, my position in this has not changed. 

No law can undo what’s already been done. And I’m not talking about the past shootings, I’m talking about the sale of semi-automatic weapons or lack of background checks attached to gun sales. No.. if you’re a criminal or have mental health problems, homicidal tendencies, or anger issues, you probably already have the guns you want. 

Rights to bear arms means you can have a gun, it shouldn’t mean you can have one that can kill dozens of people with one pass through a crowded room. That’s my stance and that has not changed. 

Today is the anniversary of George Floyd’s death and while the fire of that still burns in the heart of many Americans, America as a whole is now doing what it does best… sweep history into the archives without doing anything to change things for the better. What will happen to the BLM movement? It will smolder until another event sparks the flame anew. And round and round we go, decade after decade. 

The global news feels very much the same (as in, hot topics coming and going as fast as people change their underwear). Not a squeak about Gaza or the Middle East; not an ounce about the Coronavirus, except that America is urging folks not to travel to Japan for the Olympics as Japan is way behind on vaccinations. The summer olympics? Is that still happening? Who the hell would want to go to that anyway on the heels of a global pandemic?! Good gravy!!

OK folks, that is probably enough for today. I’ve got to get on the productivity train. 

Peace, Love, and BBQ Lays,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-10-18 Book Covers Can Be Challenging

Most people have heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. It’s such a true statement both literally and figuratively. Most of the time it’s easy to pick up a book and dismiss anything that’s off-putting and continue to read the jacket descriptions, praises, and book summary. Even if those are questionable, we might still flip to the first chapter to begin reading and judging the content for ourselves. I would contend, even strongly urge that we, as human beings, try to do the same with people.

When I say “people”, I’m referring to both the individual and any collective group. Let us not judge the Saudi “people” for the actions of their history or society or ruling class. Let us also not hold our ill will against any one person we might cross paths with for the sins of their fathers. That sounds very preachy, but it’s coming from a genuine place that believes that all humans are equal in their right to live with certain rights and to be treated fairly.

It’s obvious that human beings have a long and shameful past of violating each other in quite despicable ways. It’s overwhelming to think about and, while not acceptable, it is a fact we all have to come to terms with in our own way in our daily lives because it’s not going to subside magically one day. There’s no crop dust we can circle the globe with that will make people wake up and just want peace and love for their fellow Earth dwellers. No, the acts of injustice will continue. As we learn how to cope with this personally, we should not just think about it and speak about it, but also act about it.

A journalist went missing. There’s foul play involved which was possibly perpetrated on orders from people at a very high level. Yesterday, the final words from that journalist were published, unedited as it is being accepted that this person is dead. Probably murdered. Investigations are ongoing. That’s all I know from looking at this situation very peripherally. My distaste and mistrust of the media in general keeps me from digging too deep. I’m trying to employ my own ideals about how we should not judge a group (in my case the media) by the actions of a few people. It’s certainly challenging but my mind remains open and accepting and I want to learn more of this story.

The message of this journalist is a powerful one and he’s calling for change. He’s suggesting allowing a freedom of speech among people who historically have not had that. In doing so he’s making a statement about that history and about the injustice of it and also how that continues in the present tense. That’s quite a brave position to take and he might have paid the ultimate price for his words.

Thinking about how this person may have been murdered for actively participating in, and advocating the very thing that he was trying to change is quite a loaded gun. I could lament more about how this makes me feel, but that is not the point. My point is that this is just the cover of the book and judging the Saudi people by what is happening right now, or by the actions of a few people, or what the history of their people is, is not the right thing to do. Instead, we should have an open mind and be driven by logic and reason and not by emotional reactions.

I have a friend who is from Saudi Arabia and he is one of the kindest, most gentle souls I have ever met. I would never in a million years judge him or think any less of him because of things that transpire continents away. I knew him before 911, he was a student here in the US and close friends with friends of mine. For me, he was just another person we would hang out with from time to time. He welcomed me into his home, cooked for me, and treated me as an equal. There was a time after 911 that he could not get a visa to visit the United States and we had very little contact. He is now able to visit again and though I do not see him very often, I still call him friend and he is the same as ever – thoughtful, positive, and welcoming. It’s easy to NOT judge a person who you have known for so many years. It is not as easy with strangers or people whom you are meeting for the first time or people who are on the other side of the globe.

When I am in public places and passing by people with different backgrounds and cultural origins, I think of my friend, and try to give everyone the same courtesy. Many of us don’t know what it must be like to be a foreigner in another country where the people judge you and dismiss you as if they know what is in your heart. Most Americans are actually pretty ignorant about what it is like being raised in a society which has a culture and history that is so different than our own. Applying logic and reason, we should not look negatively at or act upon any one person from Saudi Arabia or anywhere else, frankly, based on the book cover of their life. We should also not be so assuming about the group of people you would call the Saudi people. Making a leap of faith, this thought process and approach can be translated to any group – people categorized or collectively identifying as a certain race, religion, culture, gender, age, or sexual orientation.

Today it would be easy for individuals/Americans to use this latest tragedy to fuel fires of anger and hatred against another group of people. It would be shameful if the death of this journalist was reduced into a reason for putting up more walls and closing off doors or harboring ill feelings. It would not be productive if there was “group” reaction or retaliation. I’m not advocating that we sweep this under a rug and forget about it, as what he lived for and what he died for is near and dear to my heart. I am emotionally moved by his message and believe in his words, that people (even if it is the media) should have the right to free speech. I’m not suggesting that we turn a blind eye to that, I’m simply making a point that we should not pull our fire sticks and pitchforks out and declare it a witch-hunt. I’m proposing that we not judge “people” by the circumstances they were born into.

I do hope that the truth about what has happened to this man can be uncovered. If it can be, then the individual persons responsible should be judged and treated appropriately. The full truth, however, may be elusive, as it often is, and we can’t simply jump to conclusions based on the picture on the front of the book. Instead, let us open it and take in a chapter or two. Let us continue to read and be open to positive change and inch toward being a more compassionate and empathetic people. After all, we are collectively all belonging to the biggest group of people on Earth, and that is the human race, attempting to co-exist for a very short period of time together in this life.

For Peace,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-01-21 THAT Happened

I’m notorious for being ignorant of news events happening locally, nationally, and globally. For many years I tried to pay attention, but two factors have led me to the conclusion that living under a rock is WAAAAY better.

The first thing is that it’s mostly just really awful stuff you hear about. It seems like every news story is trying to Trump the one from before (pun intended). We have public shootings where the body count get’s higher, the crowd gets younger, the details get just a little more terrifying. We have wars both between different countries and civil wars ongoing for years. We have natural disasters and poverty and corporate scandal and, oh yeah, little things like some clown actually becoming the president of the United States. All of this just does not give me a warm fuzzy about the world or life, and part of me feels like it’s better to try and see all the positive things and block out the negatives. The media just does not make that easy.

The second thing is that I do have a lot of empathy within me and I am powerless to help or fix any of the things that are broken. I could dedicate my entire life to a cause and never make a dent in it. That also leaves me feeling pretty rotten about life. I certainly have no say-so in who the president of the United States is. Sure, I voted for Hillary but I live in a conservative state and it’s as good as saying, my vote really doesn’t count. So what if I think the whole electoral college thing is kind of messed up.. I’m not going to be able to change that either. Why even spend energy thinking about it.

That being said, I know what happened yesterday and though I may sometimes choose to live under a rock, I feel it’s important to acknowledge the change. We did get a new president. It is a terrifying situation. I’m unsure how things will unfold or how it will affect my life or my kids’ lives but life goes on none the less.

The Beat Goes On,
~Miss SugarCookie