Rainbows, Glass Houses and the Elephant in the room Inside

4 07 2015

This has been an epic couple of months in the land of being politically correct, opinionated, educated, historical and frankly hysterical.

The media is feeding me mass quantities of fuel for blogging…as has social media. 

My opinions are all over the place, so I guess I can’t be labeled.  Sorry folks.  I know how important labels are. 

Recently I used the word “bigotry” when referring to those against marriage equality.  I was quickly corrected by someone who provided me the definition of bigot.  I’ll share it here for you; a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.  Basically, this guy was saying I’m as much of a bigot for disliking his anti-marriage equality feelings as he was for disliking my pro-marriage equality feeling.  To that I say, touche‘.  We’re all bigots.  Good times.

The Bible states several times in several ways that sex before marriage is a sin.  I’m not going to waste my time postingimages verses.  You should look them up before you preach at anyone just so you’re clear on wether or not you’re being a hypocrite before you start using the bible as your excuse to defend your opinion against homosexuality.  Sure, there’s some verses against homosexual behavior in the bible as well but please keep in mind the bible also looks at these sins…and all sins…as equal. 

The bible has verses against quite a few things that don’t involve sex also such as tattoos, disrespecting your neighbors, serving two masters, and basically several things that common people do on a daily basis.  Let me break this down for you; even your tattoo of Jesus is a sin in the black and white print, as is that moment you curse out the guy who cut you off in traffic or your addiction to social media and lack of using that time to pray.

What I always look to first and foremost when thinking of marriage equality and those who use the bible to fight it is the fact that divorce is legal and has been for centuries.  I tried to find an exact date.  The first time it’s cited in history is in the mid 1600’s but with lots of rules as to wether or not it would be allowed.  Up until the 1920’s the rules and regulations continued to become less and less on when and how a married couple could divorce.  Many marriage equality opposers are on their second (or more) marriage.  Many churches don’t recognize any marriage after your first…unless you make a large donation to their organization.  Then you get a fresh start.  How pleasant.  Some sinners are offered second chances while others are not.  Oh wait…that’s not how it works at all!

According to the New Testament, Jesus died to wash away your sins.  That means everyone.  That means homosexuals too.  That’s how it works.  If you don’t believe that, you’re not really a Christian and you shouldn’t be using (abusing) the bible as your reasoning. 

From the book of Matthew Chapter 7 Verse 3: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” And for those of you who aren’t into actually reading the bible but just use it as a crutch here’s an old proverb I’m sure you’ve heard before that basically makes the same point; “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

I feel that marriage is a legal contract with both good and bad portions included in the contract.  Contracts do not define feelings, they just define rights (or lack thereof).  All of these years that same sex couples could not legally share in this contract did not prevent them from loving each other or having sex just like average straight couples have done.  This contract now provides two people that love each other rights to each other’s property and  health care they didn’t have before.

Think of a couple that’s been together for decades but not married.  One partner falls ill and can no longer handle his/her personal business.  This person’s partner who knows and loves this person and knows their desires best has previously not had any legal rights to aid in such situations and it has been a painful battle for these people.  Or, a couple like this parts ways and there is no legal assistance for the separation of property like there is for those who actually legally divorce after being legally married for years.  In short, it’s simply not fair.  These people deserve the right to choose to be legally bound or not. 

Preventing the legalities didn’t keep these people from the sin of sex before marriage (regardless of how they go about copulation), it only prevented their legal rights to each other and shared property. 

As a side note, I just don’t think God keeps a score board on 1 point for sex before marriage but if it’s sodomy that’s another point so homosexuals are scoring 2 sins to heterosexuals’ 1.  I’m sorry, I just don’t think that’s how it works.

But, who am I to judge? And…who are you to judge?

From the book of James Chapter 4 verses 11-12: “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”6a00d8341c730253ef0167667335c7970b-800wi

So, to address “the elephant in the room” (that’s an old English idiom for an obvious truth that is being ignored), unless you are completely without sin your argument against marriage equality is invalid. 

You cannot prevent love, and now you can not prevent the legal protection that any (type of) couple has available to them and I think that’s great. 

Let’s face it, marriage is a contract and love is what matters.  Fairy tales aren’t real and neither are unicorns. And, unless you are completely without sin (and you’ve got a lot of reading to do to figure out that you’re highly likely not) you need to get on that elephant we can all see in your living room through your glass house and ride off into the sunset. There’s 783,137 words in the bible…get busy!

As for me, I’ve posted 3 topical posts in a row…and those who know me well know that’s not really my preference but now that I’ve gotten all this off my chest I promise you one of my fun blogs soon. Until then, I’m celebrating love and I wish nothing but love for everyone reading this … even the bigots!

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Flagging you down with Facts, Opinions and Advice

3 07 2015

Social media has taught me that I am surrounded by historians.  I had no idea that some of the “facts” thrown at me lately existed in history.  I’d say it made me question my own knowledge, but then I would be a liar.  So, here’s my top 5 facts about the Civil War for those of you who aren’t history buffs.  Following this brief lesson I’ll get to the heart of this blog.

#1 – Among the 34 states in January 1861, seven Southern states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America spawning the Civil War to determine the survival of the Union or independence for the Confederacy which lasted from 1861 to 1865. During the course of the 4 year war, the number of Confederate states grew to 11.

#2 – The primary cause for the secession was slavery. The Confederate (Southern) states were against the attempts of Northern antislavery political forces to block the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Southern politicians rebelled with the belief that such restrictions on slavery would violate the principle of states’ rights. The subsequent formation of the Confederacy was Southern nationalism. The primary reason the Northern States rejected secession was to preserve the Union’s cause based on American nationalism (unity).

#3 – Confederacy supporters based their secession on honoring The Constitution which protected slavery and states’ rights to own slaves.  The North’s growth in this period was based on industry (in short; a more comparable system to what we see throughout the US today) while the South’s economy thrived on  agriculture which relied heavily on slave labor. For this reason, abolishing slavery would bring severe economic set backs to the growth of the Southern states.

rebel-flag-cloth-bright#4 – To clarify; self proclaimed history buffs say the Civil war was rooted in causes such as preserving The Constitution or saving the economy.  While these history buffs are correct, to say this war was not about slavery at the root is rather inaccurate because the abolishment of slavery would be the cause to change The Constitution and effect the Southern economy when they lose the free labor of slaves. 

#5 – The Civil War was about slavery

Once again the Confederate Battle Flag has entered the spotlight.  It make’s it’s rounds every few years.  People fight to have it removed from (Southern) state flags, flying over government buildings, colleges and so fourth.  The top two words that are thrown around when this pot gets stirred are “racism” and “heritage”.  While one team is offended by the sight of this flag, the other is proud.  If you are proud of the flag, you label it pride in your heritage while others label you a racist.

Let’s be clear, the Confederate Flag isn’t exactly racist in it’s origin.  In fact, it is prideful.  However, it’s origin is rootedarticle-2498164-1955120C00000578-797_634x425 in the fight to keep (what I like to call) human beings enslaved.  Human beings of African descent.  In the Lincoln era the flag stood for courage, battle, pride and a people who wanted to hold fast to the honor of The Constitution.  However, because of its pro-slavery roots, over time the flag came to represent racism against African Americans as white supremacy groups embraced it as their own.  This tainted the flag even more than its bloody history of a nation divided.  This tainted flag continues to divide the people of this nation in it’s own way. 

So, in it’s origin, this flag represented a union of states who wanted to keep humans enslaved for free labor (because it was documented as acceptable and therefore it must be) and then blossomed into a symbol of hatred against humans.  (Ok, not all humans, just those darned black ones.)

In its lifetime, this flag has seen a lot of bloodshed both in war and in hate crimes.

Is it any wonder it makes those (black) humans uncomfortable? Is it any wonder that (decent) humans would like to see it in history museums where it belongs?

slavesIn a world where Christian symbols are frowned upon in public places, schools, government buildings and so fourth we let this symbol of what I like to call “historical greed” fly.

Yes, that’s right, the flag symbolizes a history greed in my opinion. A greed so powerful that human lives aren’t valued.  Free labor at the expense of outright abuse to humans is the origin of my term “historical greed”.  Is this the heritage to be proud of?

As a Southerner, I love the endurance and strength of my homeland.  I am proud of the struggles my homeland has faced and overcome just in my short lifetime let alone centuries before.  I love the spirit of the Southern people.  I don’t see that type of drive anywhere else in this country.  I understand Southern pride.  I have Southern pride.  But, I don’t need a flag to define my pride.  I don’t need a symbol of my heritage to show how strong I am.  I believe the history of what we have overcome through the years speaks for itself.

Here’s a fine example; Hurricane Katrina and the improper assistance our Government gave.  Our courage and our recovery is like giving them the finger-which is what the south is known for…giving Uncle Sam the finger.  Trust me, he don’t mind giving it right back.  Fill our waters with oil and toxic chemicals? Screw you, we’ll deal with it.  It’s what we do.  We deal with stuff.

No matter how united the nation may be, the Confederate states are still somewhat severed.  We are the brunt of jokes, the last in line and the least respected.  Southerners pay for the crimes of their ancestors centuries later…and without evolving we always will.

If the South really wants to “rise again”, let it rise in statistics…education, economy, and so fourth.  Let it rise in the ranks of brotherhood and American pride.  Let the South make a real stand that the joke is no longer on us but on anyone living in the past who still looks at the South as a bigoted, ignorant land. 

Nobody is taking your personal symbols away from you, nobody is taking your guns.  Nobody is forcing you to accept or like anything you don’t want to.  Please stop behaving as if this is just another nail in the coffin of your personal freedom.  Its not. 

The bottom line is, symbols of an ancient war that divided the nation and took thousands of lives unnecessarily in the name of greed has no place in government buildings or the like.  The bottom line is what an African American friend told me recently when asked how the flag makes her feel; “dread and sometimes fear depending on the circumstances.” 

Fly it proudly on your pick up truck, as your window shades, tattooed on your back and whatever…but don’t force it upon people who may feel dread when they step into a building to handle official government business. 

Know your history and quit labeling it as pride of heritage.  You’re making us all meet the statistics we hate. 

Divided we fall.  United we stand tall. 

I share with you Cyrus’ famous speech from “The Warriors”.  If you think about it, united we would be a force to be reckoned with.  Currently, I see this nation crumbling from within orchestrated by ridiculous situations like racism and media manipulation.

“I say the future is ours if you can count. Look what we have here before us, rival gangs standing together and nobody’s wasting anybody. That is a miracle. And miracles is the way things ought to be. The problem in the past has been the man turning us against one and other. We’ve been unable to see the truth because we’ve been fighting one and other. That’s crap, brothers. The turf is ours by right. It’s our turn. CAN YOU DIG IT?!?!?!”





Extreme Vocabulary Lesson

5 06 2015

I don’t blog as much as I used to.  I still usually avoid topical subjects when I do.  I wouldn’t be blogging about this Epic topic but #1 it was requested via a Facebook status I posted on the subject & #2 it’s in my face and #3 for the folks that like to correct me on my opinion because apparently in modern politically correct hide behind your keyboard society an opinion can be measured.

Expect this blog to go in multiple directions (or maybe just 2 depending on my mood).

First of all I said EXTREME vocabuFeatured imagelary lesson for a reason.  It’s more my opinion than an actual lesson, but you know opinions are facts as long as you agree with them…otherwise measure it up as wrong.  Extreme measures if you please.

Who here remembers when “extreme” was the big word? Saying something was “extreme” was the epic thing to do.  Yeah, you saw it…I said “epic”.  “Extreme” is so 2011.  It’s been “epic” for a while now.  “Epic” is even more extreme than “extreme”.  “Extreme” wasn’t good enough so society went full on “epic”.

Words.  What do they mean? Do they have value? If they do, I know that “extreme” is so spent it’s probably worth pennies on the the dollar…if that even.  It was a word overused iThe_fonz_thumbs_upn epic proportions back in it’s heyday.

Words have been fun and games for a long time.  I don’t think “sweet” has gone out of style yet, and that’s pretty sweet.  “Cool” will never go out of style and I can dig it because it always makes me think of the Fonz.

It’s for this reason that words can’t always be taken literally.  For instance, I just said “I can dig it”.  Literally, I would need a shovel and dirt to make that happen.

And that brings me to the beginning of why I’m actually here today…
to get topical and be lured into the the extreme trending topic that’s totes everywhere in my newsfeed as of late.

The hero…I mean heroine that is Caitlyn Jenner.

Though I have no need whatsoever to post a disclaimer here, I’m going to. I openly support the LGBT Community.  I’ve known one transgender person on a personal level and I adored her.  It was quite a few meetings before I even knew she was a transgender person.  It, like homosexuality or whatever sexuality, doesn’t phase me.  Other people’s sexual lives do not affect me…or you…think about it. You live your life, I’ll live mine. YOLO. (2012 really made me hate that acronym.) Anyway, I don’t care what people are into as long as whatever it is is consensual and nobody is getting hurt.

Moving on to Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner the guy who set the Olympic World Record in 1976 and was a gleaming athlete on Wheaties boxes who later married Kris Kardashian and was on a reality show I’ve never seen (For those of you who live under a rock and don’t know what I’m talking about).

Wikipedia has already updated their page to Caitlyn Jenner with mention of her birth name/sex.  That’s cool.  The fact is, there really is no more Bruce Jenner.  And I’m totally okay with that.  In fact, I applaud her.  Yes, you read that right, I applaud her.  Why continue to live a lie at age 65? Over a span of 40 years the artist formerly known as Bruce Jenner was married to three women and fathered 6 children.  All the while a woman trapped inside the body of a man who had been a famous athlete in the spotlight and later returned to the spotlight with a reality TV show empire (built around his step daughter who became famous originally because she had famous connections and a leaked video of her having sex with a semi-famous person. “Leaked”…there’s another word that is cheapened just by the internet alone). Anyway, the point is Caitlyn was in the public eye with a dark, uncomfortable secret, for decades. She’s finally free.  I think that’s great.  It certainly beats the alternative of never having the opportunity to be true to yourself.  In other words, better late than never.

2015 is a lot different than 1976.  In 1976 it would have been a career killer for Bruce Jenner to explain the painful secrets of what was going on inside back then.  In 1986 alternate lifestyles were being frowned upon and labeled due to the AIDS epidemic and the backlash was horrible for anyone who wasn’t straight and monogamous.  Those decades would’ve been very hard on people coming out about homosexuality let alone being transgender.

Things have improved dramatically in the last 20 years or so.  Sure, we still have a long road but people are so much more open minded today.  Not only that but being politically correct today is as important as it was in the 70s.  Probably closer in importance than it has been in decades.  The only thing is, the definition of politically correct is far from what it was back then.  Well, not the literal definition. The literal definition is basically the same; agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.  Saying it’s far from what it was isn’t a bad thing.  In many ways it’s good.  Back in the day, for example, schools had prayer and it was basically enforced.  Today, because it was enforced and some are not Christian, forcing everyone to pray is no longer allowed.  However, in the extreme, if you are a Christian in many cases today you’re not allowed to pray in public. (See how that worked? I used extreme there, but it actually belonged for once.)

Today feelings are celebrated whereas in the past they were regulated…both in support of a greater good.  Think about that for a minute.

Words.

Anyway, this brings me to my actual point.

The hero Caitlyn Jenner.  (There, I said it.  Hero.  All you political correctors, haven’t said anything about the media not using the term “Heroine”) But anyway, that’s not even my problem with the word “hero” being used in this context.

My problem is; being able to afford amazing plastic surgery and hormones and such to transform from a decent looking man into an incredibly beautiful woman does not make one a hero…or heroine.  She is not the voice of transgender people.  She’s an obviously wealthy celebrity who could afford to do this when the time was right.  That’s not so heroic.

Doing it in 1976 would’ve been epic heroism.  Doing it in 1986 would’ve been extreme.  Doing it today is…well…not really that shocking.  Today it is more frowned upon to not be team Caitlyn than to actually be Caitlyn.

I understand Caitlyn earned an epic $500 million for her upcoming reality show.

What door is this opening for transgender people exactly? Did I miss something? Are all transgender people millionaires who can afford to do this and free themselves the way Caitlyn did? I mean, I might be feeling the word “hero” used here better if Caitlyn was starting some sort of charity organization to do this miraculous surgery for all transgender people.

Her situation has been protected since her career caught second wind with the Kardashian clan.  A reality spotlight celebrity in a politically correct media frenzied society, she chose the easiest time in her life to make this choice (not to mention the financial benefit that existed for her).  I might have felt the word “hero” better suited had this happened 40 years ago…even 30…maybe even at 20, but today? Meh.  It’s just another extreme story in my newsfeed for everyone to support and tweet about that will be yesterday’s news when the next epic thing happens.

Rosa_Parks_BookingI don’t think a hero is limited to just a soldier or a fire fighter.  I can find a better comparison here.  Rosa Parks. I hope you know who Rosa Parks is, but if not please look her up.  Rosa Parks was a heroine.  Her actions were courageous, dangerous, and she did to help her people not herself.  This is my opinion of a hero.

I’m not belittling the courage it had to take for Caitlyn to do this for herself.  Courage doesn’t make a hero though.  It’s more than that.  If I’m the last person on earth and I fight to stay alive, does that make me a hero? Not in my mind.  Not in my opinion.  Now, if there was myself and another person and I did whatever ever I could to keep us both alive then I I would be a hero.

I’m quite sure it takes courage to be Caitlyn Jenner because, even in these politically correct times, there will still be many antagonists to face.  Heck, antagonists are hiding in every nook and cranny of the internet to even bully plain old folks like me who write blogs and stuff.  Keyboards are ablaze across the planet right this moment antagonizing Caitlyn Jenner and antagonizing people for antagonizing Caitlyn Jenner.

It’s just another day.

It’s another epic day of extreme levels for a hero of the internet.

It’s just words.





Tradition, Superstition & Fascination

31 10 2011

Halloween is an annual celebration, but just what is it actually a celebration of? And how did this peculiar custom originate? The origin of Halloween possibly lies in the traditions of the Celtic people.  In celebration of the recently completed harvest, Celts would give offerings of food to the Gods. They often went from door to door to collect food to donate to their deities. Also, young Celts would ask the townspeople for kindling and wood, and take it to top of the hill for the Samhain bonfire. These are two of the possible origins of present day “trick or treating.” The Celts believed that the veil between this world and the next was thinnest at this time of year. Friends and relatives who had died would often return, with their souls inhabiting an animal – often a black cat. Black cats have remained a symbol of Halloween down to the present time. Samhain was a fire festival. Sacred bonfires were lit on the tops of hills in honor of the Gods. The townspeople would take an ember from the bonfire to their home and re-light the fire in their family hearth. The ember would usually be carried in a holder – often a turnip or gourd. They felt nervous about walking home in the dark; they were afraid of evil spirits. So they dressed up in costumes and carved scary faces in their ember holders. They hoped that the spirits would be frightened and not bother them. Today we see people dress in costume for celebration, and we see faces carved in pumpkins for festive decoration.

Halloween was originally called All Hallows’ Eve which means the evening before All Saints’ Day. “Hallow” is an Old English word for “saint”. This was shortened toHallowe’en and finally to Halloween.  All Saints’ Day was created by Pope Boniface IV in the 7th century CE. There were so many saints by this time that there were not enough days in the year to accommodate them. So, All Saints’ Day was to recognize the saints who were without their own day, and to celebrate saints that the Church had failed to recognize.  All Souls’ Day was created for NOV-2 to honor faithful Christians who had died but were not saints. The three days from OCT-31 to NOV-2 was given the name Hallow Tide. This may have been done in order to distract Christians from celebrating Samhain. ( For full definition of Samhain:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain . )

The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840’s by Irish immigrants fleeing their country’s potato famine. Halloween has since become a major folk holiday in the US and Canada. “Trick or Treaters” go from door to door and collect candies, apples and other goodies. Hallmark Cards reports that 65% of Americans will decorate their homes and offices for Halloween. This percentage is exceeded only by Christmas. Halloween is the holiday when the most candy is sold; it is second only to Christmas in total sales. North Americans spend over $20 million on Halloween candies yearly. Halloween also is the third-largest party occasion next to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. So, although some cults may have adopted Halloween as their favorite “holiday,” the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celtic celebrations, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. After all, the day itself is only as evil as one cares to make it.

Most of us are familiar with common Halloween traditions like trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, and dressing in costume but there are some ancient traditions I thought might be fun to explore that you may not be familiar with from around the world.

The first one I’d like to mention is one I remember reading about as a child and always wanting to attempt, but being too much of a skeptic or pessimist I’ve yet to try it.  This is the less famous “trick” where a woman is supposed to stand before a mirror at the stroke of midnight and bite into an apple.  The reflection of her future husband was supposed to appear in the mirror or the reflection of a skull, which would signify that she would die an old maid.  In writing this, I saw several versions of this “tradition” but this is the one I remember best from my mother’s tales as a child. Unfortunately, I was unable to find it’s orgin.

Barmback is a custom with Irish roots as well.  Barmback is a type of raisin bread that can be served year round, but on Halloween certain objects are traditionally baked into the bread: a pea, a stick, a coin, some cloth and a ring.  Each object carries significance so if you got a piece of break holding one of these objects, you would know your fortune.  The pea means you will not be getting married in the next year while the ring, of course, means that you would.  The stick signifies an unhappy marriage, the cloth signifies bad finances and the coin signifies wealth is headed your way.

In Whales, families would practice the tradition of Coelcerth. For Coelcerth, a family would build a fire and write their names on stones surrounding the fire.  If they woke in the morning to find that a person’s stone was missing, this meant the person would die in the next year!

Bonfires are very common on Halloween and derived from several traditions worldwide.  One tradition (with European roots) incorporated into the bonfire celebrations that I found interesting is once again used for the ladies to learn who their future husband would be.  The tradition has the ladies cut a lock of their hair and toss it into the fire, and that evening as they slept and their hair burned their future husband was to be revealed to them in their dreams.

Latin Americans commemorate the holiday with a 3-day celebration that begins on October 31.  The celebration is designed to honor the dead whom, they believe, return to their Earthly homes during this period.  Many families construct altars to the dead in their homes to honor deceased relatives and decorate it with candy, flowers, photos and samples of the deceased favorite foods, drinks and water.  Often a wash basin and towel are also left at the altar so the spirit can wash up before indulging in the feast.

Spell to attract a particular lover

You will need:

a lock of his/her hair, a personal belonging of his/hers or a clear photo of their face (though hair works best)

One pink rose,

Ground Vanilla pods

Dried Avocado

Ginger

Jasmine oil

One red or violet candle inscribed with the love Rune 3X’s

A few drops of (your) blood

Red cloth

Red paper

By the light of the candle, grind up the Avocado with the Vanilla pods and the Ginger… when it is a fine powder, add 5 drops of blood, and as you drop each drop say these words: *Note: face the appropriate direction.* ‘Spirit of the South, ancient one of fire and passion, with this drop of blood I call you to bring my lover to me.’ ‘Spirit of the West, ancient one of water and peace ,with this drop of blood I call you to bring my lover to me.’ ‘Spirit of the North, ancient one of earth and fertility, with this drop of blood I call you to bring my lover to me.’ ‘Spirit of the east, ancient one of air and strength, with this drop of blood I call you to bring my lover to me.’ ‘Akasha, the spirit element of all, with this drop of blood I call you to combine the powers called forth, and bind my lover’s spirit to mine.’ ‘So mote it be!’ Using the new paste, draw the love Rune 3X’s (3 times) on the piece of red paper and empower it, wait for it to dry, and then fold the paper in half. Take the rose and smear on any remaining paste. Place the rose in the red cloth and annoint with Jasmine oil. Now, using the red candle set fire to it, and put it in a bowl until it has gone out. Grind up any lumps left in the ash or remove any stubborn bits, then put the ash into the folded paper and put it in an envelope, seal the envelope with a blob of wax from the candle, and get it to the object of your affections however you can.

 

Spell for Luck

You will need:

Ground/fresh cinnamon

Green candle

Pennies (number in the amount of your birthdate, for instance if your birthday is October 31st you will need 31 pennies)

Burn the green candle surrounded by the pennies.  Chant as the candle burns “Let fortuned winds blow my way.  All that’s evil please allay.  All that’s good and all that’s bane give in turn but for my gain.”  Meditate, focusing on the pennies and repeating this chant until you feel the pennies are charged with positive energy.  On the first following Thursday, dispose of the pennies.  If you keep them, the spell will work opposite.  It is best to give the pennies away as a gift, but dispose of them however you can.

 

Well, I was also going to post a spell about revenge but after reading them they were all pretty scary and I started feeling guilty so I decided I’d leave you with just these two and one last one that I made up for you, but I’m pretty sure it will work.

 

Spell for fun on Halloween

You will need:

Your favorite adult beverages

Your favorite things to eat

Your favorite friends

Your favorite Horror movies

Your favorite music

Your house

Mix above ingredients beginning at dusk on Halloween.  Chant throughout the night “Let’s Party”.  Continue process until you run out of supplies.  Have fun & be safe!

 

 

 

 





Are your isms in check?

30 10 2011

Are your isms in check?

Communism is a socioeconomic  structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless, society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general.  Karl Marx posited that communism would be the final stage in human society, which would be achieved through a proletarian revolution and only becoming possible after a socialist stage develops the productive forces, leading to a superabundance of goods and services.  “Pure communism” in the Marxian sense refers to a classless, stateless and oppression-free society where decisions on what to produce and what policies to pursue are made democratically, allowing every member of society to participate in the decision making process in both the political and the economic spheres of life.  In modern usage, communism is often used to refer to Bolshevism or Marxism-Leninism and the policies of various communist states which had government ownership of all the means of production and centrally planned economies.

Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal access to resources  for all individuals with a method of compensation based on the amount of labor expended. Most socialists share the view that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital  and derives its wealth through exploration, creates an unequalsociety, does not provide equal opportunities for everyone to maximise their potentialities and does not utilize technology and resources to their maximum potential nor in the interests of the public. Socialism is not a concrete philosophy of fixed doctrine and programme; its branches advocate a degree of social interventionsimand economic rationalization (usually in the form of economic planning), but sometimes oppose each other. A dividing feature of the socialist movement is the split between reformists and revolutionaries  on how a socialist economy should be established. Some socialists advocate complete nationalizationof the means of production, distribution, and exchange; others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market economy. The first socialists predicted a world improved by harnessing technology and combining it with better social organization, and many contemporary socialists share this belief. Early socialist thinkers tended to favor an authentic meritocracy combined with rational social planning, while many modern socialists have a more egalitarian approach. Valdimir  Lenin, drawing on Karl Marx’s  ideas of “lower” and “upper” stages of socialism, defined “socialism” as a transitional stage between capitalism and communism.

Capitalism is an economic and social system in which capital, the non-labor factors of production, is privately controlled; labor,   goods and capital are traded in markets; and profits  distributed to owners or invested in technologies and industries. There is no consensus on capitalism nor how it should be used as an analytical category. There are a variety of historical cases over which it is applied, varying in time, geography, politics and culture. Economists and historians have taken different perspectives on the analysis of capitalism. Scholars in the social sciences, including historians, economic sociologists, economists, anthropologists and philosophers have debated over how to define capitalism, however there is little controversy that private ownership of the means of production, creation of goods or services for profit in a market, and prices and wages are elements of capitalism. Economists usually put emphasis on the marketmechanism, degree of government control over markets, and property rights, while most political economists emphasize private property, power, relations, wage labor, and class.  The extent to which different markets are “free”, as well as the rules determining what may and may not be private property, is a matter of politics and policy and many states have what are termed “mixed economies”.

Corporatism is related to the sociological concept of structural functionalism. Corporate social interaction is common within related groups.  Corporatism, also known as corporativism, is a system of economic, political, or social organization that views a community as a body.  Formal corporatist models are based upon the contract of corporate groups such as agricultural, business, ethnic, military, scientific, or religious affiliations, into a collective body. One of the most prominent forms of corporatism is economic triparism involving negotiations between business, labour, and state interest groups to set economic policy. In contemporary usage, “corporatism” is often incorrectly used as a pejorative term against the domination of politics by the interests of private business corporations; however, such a system would be more accurately described as a form of corporatocracy. Corporatocracy (or corpocracy) is a form of government where corporations/conglomerates and/or government entities with private components, control the direction and governance of a country. Corporatist views of community and social interaction are common in many major world religions and Corporatism has been utilized by many ideologies across the political spectrum including; absolutism, capitalism, socialism, fascism, social democracy, conservatism and liberalism.  Meanwhile, the concept of corpocracy allows corporations to provide financial support to competing political parties and major political party candidates.  This allows the corporations to hedge their bets on the outcome of an election so that they are assured to have a winner who is indebted to them. As politicians are increasingly dependent on campaign contributions to become elected, their objectiveness on issues which concern corporate interests is compromised.

Realism is based on thoughts/deductions from the exercise of using common logic when studying real situations.  Direct realists might claim that indirect realists are confused about conventional idioms such as indirect perception.  An example of indirect perception is the media.   Optimism is defined as ” having hopefulness and confidence about the future or successful outcome of something; a tendency to take a favorable or hopeful view.” Pessimism is the opposite of optimism and is a state of mind that sees everything in a negative light.  The most common known example of optimism v/s pessimism is the age old question “Is the glass half full or half empty?”  Depending on one’s answer, it was decided if one was pessimistic or optimistic.  Obviously, the one who sees the glass as half full is optimistic while the one who sees it as half empty is pessimistic.  But, what about the one who simply sees 4 oz of liquid in a 8 oz glass? That is a realist! While optomists see things in an positive light and pessimists see things in negative light, the mildly discontented grey area in between in fact reflects the most accurate perception of reality.

“Pigs (3 different ones)” is track 3 on the Animals album, a concept album by Pink Floyd based on the fiction novel Animal Farm by George Orwell which tells the tale of farm animals rebelling against humans to form a social system called “animalism”.  In the preface of a 1947  edition of Animal Farm Orwell explained how escaping the communist purges in Spain taught him “how easily totalitarian propaganda can control the opinion of enlightened people in democratic countries.” In that preface Orwell also described what gave him the idea of setting the book on a farm by stating; “I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.”

lyrics to “Pigs (3 different ones)”
Big man, pig man
Ha, ha, charade you are
You well heeled big wheel
Ha, ha, charade you are
And when your hand is on your heart
You’re nearly a good laugh
Almost a joker
With your head down in the pig bin
Saying ‘Keep on digging’
Pig stain on your fat chin
What do you hope to find
Down in the pig mine?
You’re nearly a laugh
You’re nearly a laugh
But you’re really a cry

Bus stop rat bag
Ha, ha, charade you are
You fucked up old hag
Ha, ha, charade you are
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass
You’re nearly a good laugh
Almost worth a quick grin
You like the feel of steel
You’re hot stuff with a hatpin
And good fun with a hand gun
You’re nearly a laugh
You’re nearly a laugh
But you’re really a cry

Hey you, Whitehouse
Ha, ha, charade you are
You house proud town mouse
Ha, ha, charade you are
You’re trying to keep our feelings off the street
You’re nearly a real treat
All tight lips and cold feet
And do you feel abused?
You got to stem the evil tide
And keep it all on the inside
Mary you’re nearly a treat
Mary you’re nearly a treat
But you’re really a cry





Keep it real

6 09 2011

A relationship is rather mysterious and amazing entity in itself, and perhaps a deeper paradox than understanding an individual.  A person is real and can be affirmed at any moment, but a relationship is more difficult to apprehend or define.  In some cases, a relationship can prove far stronger than either individual involved.  Formed by the co-mingling of it’s partners energies (weaknesses, strengths, ideals…etc…) the relationship has it’s own personality.  Therefore, is it possible that what attracts us to someone is less who the other is and more what the relationship is? What we may be able to create together? Personally, as I grow … wiser … I feel that I have learned to focus more on this aspect.  Outside of the here and now, what can we become? I feel it is important to have a solid answer to this question or you could be doomed from the start.  Of course, no one can deny the sometimes dangerous chemistry we encounter when you ask yourself such questions that deserve solid answers, yet you can not justify your actions.

As everyone knows, not all relationships are easy.  There are many types of relationships you have throughout your life with people if only known briefly.  Your co-workers, fellow students, your boss, your clients, your hair dresser, and of course the people you love.  Relationships of any form are work.  Your relationship with your best friend is work, even if he/she is your best friend.  Maybe they make bad decisions you don’t agree with and it’s work sometimes to remain their friend when they make such decisions … but “keep it real”.  Tell them! “I don’t like your decision to sleep with your boss, but I still like you.  I’m not going to bombard you with advice because I know the real you so I will leave you to decide what is best.”  This is just one example and I made it up … so don’t go thinking I have a friend who’s doing their boss, okay!?!? Your relationship with your mother is work … well at least mine is.  It’s exhausting.  The most exhausting part of mine is “Keeping it real” because sometimes she doesn’t like the truth. But, I have learned not to lie to her because then I only get caught up in a web of lies and can’t keep up … and, well frankly she always knows the truth anyway and then I end up looking like a fool for not keeping it real.  But in romance, ahhh sweet romance, perhaps that is the hardest time to keep it real when it should be the easiest.

Naturally, the relationship that engages most interest is the much sought after romantic relationship.  Unfortunately, not all couples are suited to be in romantic relationships together.  Common love is based on illusion which is initially pleasurable but can ultimately end destructively.

I believe that love means different things to different people.  Just as different people have different tastes, styles, beliefs …etc…  Just as the way two different people may view a piece of art … seeing two different things perhaps even still different from what the artist intended.  Regardless of how one interperts love, all people are driven by the promise of love.

Most relationships are due to chance.  Whether you are related or working together or lovers, it was a twist of fate somewhere along the way that created your relationship.  To build a good relationship I believe you have to view it as if you are building and not working.  What you have to work with is what already exists, but building is a higher level of understanding.  What can we become? Can we build anything together? What is the value of what we can build? What steps will it take to build it? Ultimately, we all want to know if it will be worth the effort in the first place, but alas there are no guarantees.

Some things I have learned that are important blocks in the building process are: trust, respect, sharing, listening, understanding, and communication.  It is important to recognize when your partner is not helping you build, or when your partner is damaging what you have built.  Be aware of possessive behavior because it can be a negative foreshadowing or a disguise for guilt.  Not only do you want to give respect, but you should demand it for yourself as well … and know to act immediately when you are not receiving it.  Much can be learned from self observation.  If you find yourself in an argument, try to back down and observe your behavior.  Also, choose your fights carefully … Is this really necessary? What will we gain from this argument? Is this the right moment to argue this topic? Will we both feel differently tomorrow? And the ever important and often ignored need for space. People need space no matter how in love they are.  People need the freedom to do their own thing without being questioned.  Without this freedom, your construction will never be complete.

The truth will set you free even when you don’t like the truth.  I’m a firm advocate of “keeping it real” and I mean that in the best possible and most logical way.  I realize the term is slang, but the meaning behind it is still pure.  As a goodbye to a friend, “Keep it real”… it means don’t change.  Seriously, don’t change … don’t become someone you’re not.

More often than not, the precursor to a romantic relationship is based on a few falsities.  First of all, regardless of what you try to tell yourself (unless you are blind), you take interest in someone because of their appearance.  That is not a solid foundation, but it definitely is a necessity because if you are not attracted to someone than there is no long term hope.  Don’t get me wrong, though, there are those special few that attract you because of who they are in other ways and, while that is a better foundation, if you don’t eventually grow a physical attraction the relationship will be doomed in the long run.  However, there is always hope that you can grow a physical attraction to someone because of who they are rather than their looks.  I’ve been there, done that and it does work IF you are keeping it real!!! In fact, I have learned this type of physical attraction is far better than the norm.  You’ve heard that old joke where you look at someone hot and say “Somebody, somewhere is tired of putting up with his/her shit.”  Trust me, it’s true.  For the most part, the hotter they are – the more shit you have to put up with because, well … let’s face it … Hotties are high maintenance because they know someone else is just around the corner waiting to take your place in line for their attention.  Don’t blame me, I’m just keeping it real.

But the reason I’m writing this is to maybe help someone who is having a hard time in their relationship.  Bottom line is: you or your partner or both of you aren’t keeping it real.  As you grow older,  you will learn that is the main key.  But it’s not as easy as it sounds.  There’s a lot to keeping it real.

Say you’ve been together for 3 years or so, you know each other … you know the smell of his farts know each other … So when he takes a double glance at some young hottie in a tight dress across the room, you’re offended.  Don’t be! It’s human nature!!!! It’s that spark inside of him that keeps the fires burning and if you try to smother it you’re sure to lose him.  Let him look, and have a look yourself.  This WILL keep the passion burning in your personal relationship with him.  When I’m in this situation, I don’t get my feathers ruffled.  I watch him take his glance, then when he turns back to me I giggle about it.  This lets him know that I’m well aware of his wandering eye and I’m amused by it, not threatened.  Seriously, she may not want to get to know the smell of his farts the way that I have and if he’s willing to take that chance, well then we were not meant to be anyway … and probably he will end up smelling his farts alone.  Jealousy is deadly.  Don’t let it consume you.   If your partner is jealous, you should just get out now.  Why? Two reasons: First and foremost, it has been my experience that when someone is overly jealous it is usually spawned by the fact that they are actually doing something wrong and are paranoid and projecting their crime on you.  Oh how many times have I been accused of cheating by a cheater? I can’t even count.  But, after several accusations, I usually start studying harder to learn that Mr. Paranoid himself is cheating! Secondly, if your paranoid partner is not cheating then you’re just dealing with someone who is overly insecure which can lead to a whole bunch of baggage that you’ll be carrying around … for what? For nothing! Either way, get out of that shit because jealousy and paranoia lead to much bigger issues and I’m hoping you would rather just keep it real, right??

Now, let’s say your partner wants to know how many people you’ve slept with? Ouch! Don’t you hate that? But it always seems to pop up eventually and without any good reason.  Listen, I’m not telling you this … I’m not going to give you a false number or a real one because if we’re keeping it real, it really doesn’t matter.  The last thing I want to know about is my partner’s past.  It just opens up the door to too many insecurities that I don’t want to deal with.  He could very well be the one, but if I know too much about his past relationships I will always measure myself against them and never feel adequate and eventually I will personally destroy what could’ve been a good thing, so why bother?  Don’t ask questions that you wouldn’t want to answer honestly or that you wouldn’t want the honest answer to.  Seriously,  NO ONE answers this question honestly anyway … and NO ONE is ever happy with the answer anyway.  In this day and age most people start having sex in their teens, do you really want to know the truth? If you’re worried about disease, use protection instead of seeking out lies to make you feel safe.  If you’re worried about your worth, your question should be “How many times have you been in love?” Not all sex is love.  If it’s getting serious and you want to stop using protection, get tests instead of asking stupid questions and looking for your security in false answers.  KEEP IT REAL!!!

Don’t try to control everything.  If you’re in a relationship with a guy who loves sports and you hate it, don’t go with him to the sports bar to watch the big game only to find yourself miserable the whole time.  Let him go with his buddies while you do something you enjoy.  If you don’t trust him enough to go out without you, he’s not the one!!! If he’s trustworthy, he’s just watching the game, drinking some brew and will be eager to slip between the sheets with you after the party is over.  He’ll be even more eager than usual because you gave him space and trust.  Now, it IS a chance you have to take because there is always the possibility of cheating but if he does, then he wasn’t the one anyway and it’s best that you invested so little time rather than continued to invest time to learn this later.  By keeping it real, you find out the truth much earlier.  And, remember, the truth WILL set you free.  Chances are, f you are both mature adults, he will appreciate and desire you more if you give him the freedom to make his own decisions.  Now, if he starts deciding to be out more without you than with you  face it he’s just not that into you and you need to move on.  I’m using “him” as an example, but the same goes for the ladies.  A girl’s night out is just as important.  No one likes to have a ball and chain.  Most people who have a ball and chain are more apt to cheat because they just feel that urge to revolt even if they do love you.  Just like rebelling against controlling parents, something about the rebellion makes it all worthwhile even if it cost you something more valuable, like a relationship.  Being overbearing forces the rebellion, trust me!

And please, for the love of keeping it real, don’t talk in circles! You want something? Come out & say it! Don’t beat around the bush, candy coat it, hint around it or just assume your partner SHOULD know it and if he/she doesn’t than he/she doesn’t really love you.  Bullshit! If you want something, need something, have a problem with something, whatever the case may be … COME OUT AND SAY IT POINT BLANK.  Don’t give too much credit to the human race, we are not as smart as you’d like to think.  We need the full facts to handle the situation properly.  If you’re not getting what you want out of your relationship, you have no one to blame but yourself. Be straightforward and discuss openly what is on your mind.  You know what they say “Assume is spelled ASS U ME.  Assuming makes and ass out of you and me”.  So very true.  Keep it real.  Don’t assume.  If your partner doesn’t like what you have said, hear him/her out.  He/she may have a good reason, and you might just learn something.  If you don’t agree, like it or not, this relationship may not be the one for you.

Life is short, don’t waste time on being co-dependent or living a lie. The right person is out there for you as long as you keep it real!





When good times go bad

3 08 2011

It was a special event.  The kind you dress up for.  The kind, when you’re an adult, is less frequent because you don’t have proms, dances or any of this anymore.  So, when you do get to wear a little black dress, strappy black stilettos, and pearls … when you do get to carry a little black sequined purse … well, it’s something to get excited about.  It was this kind of event.  Fine dining and champagne followed by 3rd row seats (right beside the orchestra pit) for the Moody Blues at the Sanger in New Orleans.  The concert itself was not a dress event, mind you, but boasted the class of people who would dress for such an occasion and frankly if there’s even a hint at the opportunity to dress up, I’m all over it.  But, dressing up wasn’t the biggest issue.  Fine dining wasn’t the big issue (though one of the fastest ways to my heart). Wanting the night to be special wasn’t the biggest issue.  It was all about seeing a brilliant band playing with an orchestra in a beautiful, classic and personal setting that made it worth the anticipation.

I’m a huge concert goer, as you can plainly see from the likes of my page.  More commonly I attend such shows as Aerosmith, AC/DC, Ratt, Motley Crue, ZZ Top, and the like.  These types of shows are more frequent for one, and my taste is mostly based in that of rock and roll.  Though I do like a very wide variety of music, but most bands that I like do not tour.  Now, when I go to a good old fashioned rock show I expect good old fashioned rockers.  We’re all geared up in our best concert shirts, holey jeans and biker boots.  We’re ready for action.  We may get caught up in a brawl or have a draft beer spilled on us … and if we’re lucky that will be the worst of what lands on us.  But the Moody Blues is a very different scene.  You don’t expect Lynard Skynard fans at a Moody Blues show, but if they are there … those with diverse taste like myself … you expect them to act like me, or at least I do.  I expect that if someone has enough taste and intelligence to appreciate anything from Skynard to the Moody Blues then they know the very clear differences between songs like “Gimmie Three Steps” v/s “Tuesday Afternoon”.  Right?!? This would mean one would behave differently at a show boasting an orchestra in a beautiful theater v/s the behavior at a stadium filled with pot smoke and stacks of speakers.  But anyway…

Our group excitedly took our seats early enough to watch the orchestra practice.  We could actually read the sheet music from our seats.  It was so exciting.  This was our usual outing.  A group of 6 of us who are huge Moody Blues fans who get together and make a big night out of it each time they come.  This would be our third time to see them together over a 10 year span.  They don’t come often.  In fact this was about 12 years ago and I think they have only come to this area again once since then.  Anyway, we were all looking fancy and enjoying ourselves … anticipating the concert.  Now, please don’t think I’m judgmental or a snob … but I couldn’t help but be taken aback when the couple seated behind us arrived to take their seats.  They were both overweight and dressed in their best red neck rocker gear.  She was wearing a lovely Lynard Skynard T-shirt with the sides cut out so that is would hang slightly loose over her barreling bounds of pale white fat rolls, and clearly revealing her black lace bra from either side of the shirt.  She also boasted a tight, leather, mini-skirt with leather biker boots.  Her belly peered out from under her designer t-shirt, laying gently atop the waist of her skirt.  She struggled to squeeze into the theater seat probably as hard as she struggled to squeeze into that skirt.  Her date was a complementary match to her as he was also rather large, wearing a matching Skynard T, jeans and a blue jean vest with the sleeves cut off leaving frayed edges and a trucker hat (before that was the in thing to wear, mind you) that boasted a rebel flag.  Don’t get me wrong, their attire did not bother me nor did the fact that they were overweight.  Sure, they stuck out like sore thumbs, but appearance really means nothing to me.  It’s something I can look away from and not think twice about … which is exactly what I did.  I looked away and went back to anticipating a great show as our group discussed previous shows and took note of the playlist that we could clearly see.  As time passed, I couldn’t help but to overhear the couple behind us in their own chat about anticipation.  I’m not one to eavesdrop, well … not one to eavesdrop conversations that have nothing to do with me anyway (tee hee) but I couldn’t help but hear them as they excitedly discussed their most repulsive plan.  “No!” I cried in my mind “God help me, please let their plan fail miserably!” Now I know some of you crazy overly open minded people will say that I was being selfish or snobby for not wanting them to succeed … you may think I’m a prude, but seriously … I think there is a time and place for certain activities and sitting behind me at a Moody Blues concert is not the time or the place to have sex, which is exxxxxxxxxxactly what they were planning.  Oh how my stomach churned at the very thought of this unfolding.  You see, apparently, “Knight’s in White Satin” was a meaningful song to this couple and the whole purpose of them attending this concert was not to enjoy a beautiful musical event, but to make sweet love when the band preformed “Knights in White Satin.” They were not Moody Blues fans, they were just a couple with a plan to do something outrageous because it had a certain value to them and that was it! Period! Our group began to cringe as we all couldn’t help but hear their plan unfold in dirty, disgusting detail.  We all grumbled softly to each other, hoping they would change their minds about their public display of love during such a respectable event.

Of course, the show began without a hitch.  Fantastic as always, with the crowd in awe.  Our group was enthusiastically enjoying themselves, and whispering only a few comments here and there about how great the performance was.  Then, it happened … a song I once loved began to play.  I heard the couple shuffling into action behind us and cut my eyes to my buddy, Walt, seated beside me.  He shook his head and glanced at the floor.  As much as I struggled to continue to enjoy the performance, the sound of blubbering, sweaty fat smacking together with God awful moaning and groaning bellowed from behind … and an occasional thrust against the back of my seat throwing me forward.  It was unbearable.  Seriously unbearable! I don’t like the sound of anyone having sex …. Except, of course, myself! I don’t like it even more when I am at an event that I’ve paid quite a bit of money to enjoy … an event that I paid to listen to and enjoy … an event that I want to remember for being beautiful, not awful.   But it happened, none the less, and scarred me for life.  To this day, unfortunately, I can not hear “Knights in White Satin” without envisioning this hideous duo getting it on.  So, as a Moody Blues fan, people are often surprised when I say I don’t like “Knights in White Satin”.  “What?!?! How could you not like their biggest hit?!?!?!” They ask in shock.  Then I have to explain the painful story of when good times, like this, go bad … many laugh at my torrid tale, but if it were you who had to hear, smell and be consistently thrust forward in your seat by this revolting sexual act during such a beautiful song you too would no longer like the song.  (Trust me, the only thing worse than the sound of others having sex is the smell of others having sex!!)

Now I thought I would give you all a chuckle, and I know I’ve needed one because the news has been rather tragic lately where I live.  A topic I have chosen to avoid at this time here; the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  If you have interest in this topic, you can read what I have written here: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=48953274&blogId=533668062

But, in the meantime, I thought we’d have a little fun … so, Have you ever had a bad concert experience like this? I’ve been stepped on, puked on and such, but none of that really scared me quite like this.  Have you ever done anything like this? I’ve never had sex at a concert, maybe because I’m too consumed with the concert to be distracted by something as silly as sex.  Lol.  Have you ever been trapped in a situation where someone funky was having funky sex near you? Thank God this is the only time I’ve been in such a situation.  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my painful recollection of this life changing experience … LOL

And for those who don’t know the song, here you go…