Monday, January 11, 2016

An Observation, a Rant, and a Review

Until today, I have maintained media silence concerning the Netflix docu-drama blatantly asserting wrongdoing on the part of several local law enforcements agencies and our judicial system.  While I will not pill more atop what has already been said by many and read by more, I need to say something about the sad and frightening disrespect show in numerous posts.  Hard to believe, but there are those who have taken a "Blame the victim" stance, a stance which is beyond reprehensible.  Others has taken bold and threatening shots at anyone and everyone involved.  Although these comments may be aimed at a single individual or organization, their impact reaches far beyond.  There are children, grandchildren, friends, co-workers who  will read and be affected by these illogical assumptions.  Believe what you want about what happened, but common sense, compassion and consideration of the far reaching consequences should always be considered before releasing inflammatory words into the permanent world of cyberspace.

Mini rant - After work on Saturday, I ran around with a friend collecting props and costume items for a children's play at UW-Manitowoc.  I was deposited at Goodwill while Chris went to Menard's to spend quality time on a heavy gauge wire hunt.  He apparently got sidetracked by other scintillating hardware items, and so I waited in the outer lobby of GW for him to return.  That store sure is busy.  But, here comes the rant - in the span of 20 minutes, I watched eight people push their carts through the checkout lane, load their items onto the counter, push their carts beyond the end of the counter and walk out.  Fifteen more steps to the left and they could have put the carts back where they got them.   Instead, the always cheerful, young wheelchair-bound cashier spun himself out, maneuvered into a position where he could comfortably reach the cart handle and, little by little, steered it into place.  After the first two, I took over for him until my ride arrived.  I thought about saying "Did you forget to put your cart back?" as each of these able-bodied ninnies left, but then I remembered that we now have concealed carry in Wisconsin.

You know what?  All eight of those inconsiderate shoppers were women.  Five had mullets!  I guess I shouldn't be too judgemental.  I ran around all day with one of my socks inside out.

I'm on the fence about our book discussion selection for Friday night- The Art of Hearing Heartbeats.  The Kirkis Review warned that readers who like Nicholas Sparks and Elizabeth Gilbert will like this book.  Those sweet words dripped like honeycomb, and indeed, this sappy story has all the right ingredients.  There's a bitter wife, a long-suffering (albeit brilliant and successful) husband, the chip off one of the other old block daughter, misfits in love, and plenty of philosophical questions.  The trouble is that, embedded in  rambling monologues, the author tells us what questions we are to ask ourselves as we travel through our days.

The flip side?  It's a parable and as such, it has other-worldly, and  at times, fairy-tale nuances.  I don't know how else to describe it other than to say this is a story told in whispers - gentle little moments in the lives of two unlikely protagonists.  Overtones of Herman Hesse's Siddhartha crept in, taking me back to my college days where, for a short period of three of so years, the school offered a Philosophy minor.  Those were the days when everyone discovered Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Hope for the Flowers and had an occasional brush with The Velveteen Rabbit.  Everyone was introspective. Questions were more important than answers.  But, we PH minors, all seven of us, were hard core.  We were studying Marx and Lenin, reading Plato, and measuring our goodness against standards set by Kohlberg in his Moral Reasoning thesis.  We were all dressed up in our togas and  thinking about stuff! Although I don't miss college, I miss those classes and that, I suppose, is the reason this book will land in the LIKE column of my 2016 reading list.

For those who may doubt my mission to make 2016 the "Year of the Mystery" I can assure you, there is mystery here.  We need to know why the unsettled father travels to Burma without a word of good-by to his family. Why has he been silent about the first twenty years of his life?  Why did he marry such a b%$#&?Yup, there's lots to be resolved - and I plan to finish the last frothy forty today - giving me sufficient time to ponder universal questions before going to rehearsal tonight.

Thanks for stopping by
LaDeDa Bev

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