by Maurice Denis, 1870-1943
@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker
February 14 ~ Moveable
February 28 ~ Yellow Gold Guayacan
@ Kitti's List
February ~ I Should Have Read the Book First
From the article: "So let’s start talking about the culture of toxic masculinity that makes men believe they should get a gun and shoot people with it.
We live in a culture that worships men with guns. You can probably think of many off the top of your head—John Wayne, Indiana Jones or James Bond come immediately to mind. They’re all men who get what they want. Women are all eager to have sex with them. They have the respect of their peers and their communities."
From the article: "If you didn’t fall over laughing, don’t feel too bad. In an interview, Wiseman says he doesn’t think it’s all that great either. 'It’s terrible. I think we found the world’s cleanest, blandest, most internationally accepted joke. It’s the color beige in joke form.'"
From the article: "NRATV is a new piece of the puzzle, having been launched only in late 2016. But it’s a window into the culture that the NRA has nurtured for decades. Every minute, the network pumps out a message that can be delivered regardless of external events: Liberal elites want to take away your guns and freedom. Terrorists and criminals lurk everywhere and you need to know how to defend yourself. And by the way, look how cool guns are and how powerful they make you feel!"
"Gun control proponents don’t necessarily have to emulate the NRA and, say, launch a TV network. But they might consider marshaling the financial resources of Bloomberg, and other multimillionaires, and emulating one of the most successful public service advertising campaigns in history: the anti-tobacco “truth” campaign.
Hundreds of millions have been spent since 2000 by what is now called the “Truth Initiative” on edgy ads that turned teenage perception of what smoking represents from cool rebellion to corporate dishonesty. The ad campaign is not the sole reason, but it is widely credited for helping drive smoking levels among teens down from from 23 percent to 6 percent.
Like the tobacco industry, the NRA has been cultivating an image of guns as a source of freedom and cool, with the extra value of protection from grievous harm. A large-scale countercampaign could help reverse that image, highlighting the damage guns do every day: the depressed never getting another chance for mental health services, the children dying from home accidents, the domestic abuse victims who never could escape. Other spots could depict life where guns are controlled around the world, to show what is possible. A partnership with Hollywood could bring gun issues into more TV shows and movies, similar to how Hollywood was successfully pressured to stop making cigarettes look cool. [Of course, Hollywood isn't exactly doing a great job when it comes to smoking either; shame on them.]
Such a campaign would have two main objectives: In the short run, keep the gun control majority engaged on a daily basis, and in the long run, reduce the demand for guns in areas where the NRA exerts political influence.
As heartwarming as it is to see high school students organize anti-gun marches, they are no more likely to be successful in busting the NRA narrative, or separating politicians from NRA money, than the parents of Columbine and Sandy Hook. The gun rights community is steeled against succumbing to sympathetic victims, as they have convinced themselves that they are above the politics of knee-jerk emotion.
Social conservatives are fond of the insight, “Politics is downstream from culture.” There is a big gun-rights culture that has a grip on our politics. Until there is a gun-free culture that can rival what the NRA has cultivated over decades, no national trauma, no matter how searing, is going to move the political needle."
Read more -- about this amazing woman after whom the Parkland, Florida, high school is named: American journalist, author, women's suffrage advocate, conservationist and defender of the Everglades
“The Last Jedi . . . also features a significant new character named Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) who . . . doesn’t want her sacrifice to have been in vain. . . .
"Rose is a wonderfully sneaky character, in that she’s set up as a plucky sidekick but almost immediately becomes a crucial teacher, and equal partner, for Finn. Her certitude about the Resistance is not tied up in a noble idea of heroism, but in her understanding of what they’re trying to overthrow. . . .
'That’s how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate, saving what we love,' she tells Finn. It’s a motto that might sound trite, but it’s a beautiful summation of what Johnson is trying to grapple with. The First Order is evil, yes, but the Resistance isn’t just good because they’re against them; the rebels are also trying to create a better world, and to protect a cause the rest of the galaxy can rally to. It’s a message Johnson drives home with the film’s final image—one of the stable boys on Canto Bight, sweeping the steps for his master, and looking up at the stars, dreaming of a more hopeful future."
Read more: "The Last Jedi's Biggest Storytelling Innovation"
By David Sims
Peg: "Bette Miller has always been my idol. I want to be just like her when I grow up."
Peggy Morris: "I remember that interview and was thrilled with her answer. She crushed it!
She was in concert here some years back and complained about ticket prices for her show. Bette told the audience about her fights with promoters. She lost that battle but promised she’d give us every darn dime’s worth of price. She did! 'Darn' was not the word Bette used!"
"This play is when I learned how to 'be in the moment.' In the scene where George goes to the graveyard to visit Emily's (Yvonne Brooks') grave, I actually cried . . . real tears."Shortly after Emily's untimely death (at age 26, during childbirth), she is allowed to revisit Earth for a day, and she wants to choose a "happy day," but the Dead advise her "No! At least, choose an unimportant day. Choose the least important day in your life. It will be important enough."
"Yesterday I was thinking about the movie Groundhog Day, but had forgotten the plot. Living that day over and over again was not a good thing for the character Bill Murray played. He only got out of that vicious cycle by slowly changing, realizing his mistakes, doing things for others and being a nice guy. So my initial thought was that people would share a blissful day that they wouldn't mind re-living.I had to brood about all these options for awhile, but finally I decided to go with the first day of 2nd grade at Eugene Field Elementary School (Neosho, Missouri, Fall 1964). Here's why, not so much because I want to relive it over and over; and not because it requires a do - over, but out of curiosity:
In that vein, I love the touching memories my friends and family have shared. However, equally touching are the do-over stories. I appreciate the bravery of those willing to share about their losses (none shared here related to any personal failings) that evoke regret. Everyone has them. Sharing them seems to me a path to peace with our past. This is a long way to get to your answer, but please feel free to share either a happy day or a do-over day."
In conclusion, here is a contemporary passage -- written in 2016, describing the summer of 1938. It is so in keeping with the tone of Our Town written in 1938, describing the years from 1901 - 1913; and with my own childhood memories of sitting out on the front porch rocking chairs with my grandparents, as the light faded, night after night, summer after summer, 1960 - 1966:
“She watched her nieces commencing their nightly rite of selecting chairs. They were young and they didn’t understand. They believed that one chair was better than another. They believed that it was important to make distinctions, to choose, to discern particulars. Like crows, they picked out bits from each evening and lugged them around, thinking they were hoarding treasure. They remembered the jokes, or the games or the stories, not knowing that it was all one, that each tiny vibration of difference would be sanded, over the course of years, into sameness. It doesn’t matter, Jottie assured herself. They'll get to it. Later, they’ll understand that the sameness is the important part" (47 - 48).
from the novel The Truth According to Us
by American editor and author, Annie Barrows (b 1962)