Category Archives: Peace, Politics, World

Apparently I’m a Swinger . . .

Apparently, I’m a swinger. I didn’t choose this label. It has more to do with birthright due to a certain, southern geographical location.

There are perks to being a swinger: there is more excitement in my life as I pass by people smiling and waving signs, cars honk not just out of annoyance but because they are supporting the smiling, sign waving people, there are rallies to attend, presidential debates to be had in nearby locales and there is pervasive excitement on a particular Tuesday that arrives every four years.

So here’s to another election and to living in Florida. I’m celebrating my native Floridian status in my state which typically makes headline news—hanging chads, anyone?

If you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time. Get out there, fellow Americans. While you’re at it, have some fun like the guy who cheered today as he headed into the polls. You know I cheered back.

Among all of the divisiveness, bad mouthing and annoying political ads, it really is cool to be an American and have our votes counted. Remember the words of Larry Sabato, “Every election is determined by the people who show up.” Swing state or not, show up.

1984

“We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent there will be no need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

~1984, George Orwell

Mumbo Jumbo

Don’t give me none of your
newfangled crap your
political mumbo jumbo your
new age ideas popping like
bright flashes inside that
liberal black hole you call a
head.

Spare me your good ole boy
blues and armchair politics
sloshed into your Jack Daniels
served up with “America’s
going to hell in a handbasket”
deep fried with a side of
b.s. 

© Pamela Rossow

 

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot!

As children, we discovered a way of resolving everything– which friends we’d sit next to at lunch, who used the 8 ball first, who got the last piece of gum and who had to dial the phone and ask to speak to the cute boy we were obsessed with at the time. It was rock, paper, scissors, shoot!

As a mother, this method is still employed. In fact, it was just used to determine whose turn it was to get in the shower first. It’s incredible. Four hands and a decision. Bam!

I’m convinced therapists everywhere would recommend this for everyone. You and your spouse are arguing about whose turn it is to get up in the middle of the night with the baby–rock, paper, scissors. Kids fighting about whose turn it is to take out the trash? Rock, paper, scissors. Dems and Republicans debating economic solutions? Rock, paper, scissors.

Some people will be sore losers but, hey! Fair is fair, right?  Try it and see if it doesn’t bring a little more calm into your life. Who knows? World peace? Less nukes? More love?

WATER WARS

Water.  Yup, I was thinking about it today.  According to “experts,” I am supposed to consume eight glasses a day to maintain my health.  If this is the case, I probably should double the amount (cough, sniffle, cough). Then my mind wandered (get used to it, it’s how I roll) to Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower.  This sci-fi book (a favorite of mine) was published in 1993.  Yet, Butler anticipated what many of us are not aware of, water as a precious commodity.  Let me qualify that last statement, many people across the globe have known and are rudely reminded of that fact, each day.  We, here in the States, tend to forget or ignore this growing phenomenon.  Butler, through the genre of fiction, predicted what many concerned observers have taken note of; there is a grave likelihood we will experience shortages and possibly even water wars.  Forget about oil occupying our global focus.

Healthy water and access to it is another related issue.  About one billion people now drink contaminated water.  In 2/3rd world countries, ninety percent of waste enters fresh water supplies.  Talk about unsafe and nasty.  Imagine the smell!  India has to deal with this issue on a day-to-day basis.  If you drink Coke, you might want to think twice about it.  Not only is it bad for your health (remember, eight glasses of non-sugary water?), the company in India is hogging local water supplies (therefore depleting citizens of water) and was distributing its solid waste to farmers (waste filled with toxins such as lead and cadmium) to use as fertilizer.  Coca Cola was finally not allowed to do this.  But, they continue to use contaminated water in their Coke plants in India.  This water is used to make the sugary drink.  Nice, huh?

Anyway, next time we are told we can only wash our vehicles during certain times, have to run our sprinklers on specific days, and we are a little irritated when we can’t douse our flowers, we need to pause.  We should be grateful, here in the U.S., for the clean water we do have to drink and bathe in. Every time we put a glass to our lips we should remember the person (we are all part of that global humanity, right?) who is crouching down to slurp sewage.   This awareness can stir up agency and we could donate to an organization such as charity: water, Clean Water for Haiti, or any of the other dozens of NGO’s that help our brothers and sisters world-wide.  We could shut the faucet off when we Crest freshen our breath and clean our teeth.  Small actions of sustainability will help our own country (and our personal budgets through reduced water bills).  Let’s give it a shot.  What do we have to lose?  Or more importantly, what will we gain?  Health?  Improved local economies?  Lives saved?  Corporate, global accountability?

Continent of Kisses

A kiss can be a comma, a question mark or an exclamation point.  That’s basic spelling that every woman ought to know.

~ Mistinguett (Jeanne Bourgeois)

Go ahead, slap some more pejorative labels on my culture. We, North Americans, have been known to promote obesity, drugs, alcohol, violence, imperialism, slavery, colonialism, war, and–kissing. You heard me, kissing! How fantastic is it that, despite all of our numerous transgressions, we are recognized as the culture that developed kissing? That we have been a fertile continent of Eskimo kisses, air kisses, butterfly kisses, kisses of peace, friendly kisses, cultural kisses, parental kisses and the all familiar romantic kiss!

There’s just something about the term itself that makes me smile. No, I was not thinking about Gene Simmons (sorry Gene). Being half Italian, kissing is in my genes. But I’ve found that I’ve had to restrain myself, on more than one occasion, so as not to make non-kissers uncomfortable. If you’re reading this and I intimidated you by a PDA, I apologize. I’m working on it. But what if what the world needs now is love and–a kiss?

For you skeptics, try it and let me know how it goes. You don’t have to begin like the French do with a left cheek kiss, right cheek kiss and then another left cheek kiss. Start small. Kiss your wife’s hand. Give your baby an Eskimo kiss. You might feel awkward at first but press on. You can do it. Let’s start a kissing revolution. One that involves thirty-four facial muscles and one hundred and twelve postural muscles. If we kiss more, who knows what could happen? World peace? Global empathy? Less violence? More love? I’m in, are you?

Dear Karl,

 

 

 

Dear Karl,

I must admit, to the dismay of some of my friends, that I like some of your ideas. I’m not pleased about one aspect of your personal life involving rumors of your relationship with Helene and fathering a child with her (when you already have a wife and seven kids).  Should the allegations be true, you are thoughtless and vulgar. But, I digress . . . .

Your fetishism of commodities is brilliant. Love it. Human labor as objectified–amazing.  I also admire your concern for the rights of the oppressed and downtrodden during the time you spent in London. Children should not be chimney sweeps shoved headfirst to clean out the soot and muck. They should not work in pottery mills breathing hazardous dust that kills them at young ages. Thanks to you, Engels, and your contributions to the dialogue concerning child labor abuses, child labor laws were finally enacted. While enforcement wasn’t carried out well or much, it was a step in the right direction.

Your theories regarding dialetical materialism, a whole other matter, Karl. Your belief that “the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought” (Marx, Das Kapital, Vol. 1.) is nutty and I must disagree. I’m leaning towards Hegel on this one.

I can agree with you that the bourgeoisie, a more elite population with power, privilege, and prestige, controls the means of production. I also concur that within capitalism, a certain level of greed propels the system and can spiral out of control. However, this is where I leave your Communist Manifesto on the shelf.

Capitalism is dialectic to a degree. It is filled with contradictions–I will give you that. But your belief that capitalism in an economic downturn means that an end is near, seems to have been proven false (at least with the U.S.). The system bounces back. If it does not, we will speak more about this matter.

Furthermore, you say that a revolt against capitalism is needed because it is most likely the only way a society will move away from it. You’re probably correct about this, too.  Many of us, who are capitalists, will not wave white flags and lay down.

Your hope that socialism will ultimately result in communism is interesting to mull over but your concept of communism, as a stateless, classless, societal system is bizarre. I must inquire, really, Karl? Even you must admit you have no idea how this system will make it off your paper and be implemented. That’s why so many of your followers cannot agree on this matter and bicker about it to this day.

Karl, you also seem to neglect the reality that many countries who have tried to adopt your model have failed, repeatedly. Not only have they failed, they have flopped. In the flopping, what was supposed to be a stateless society, ended up being overridden by the government and a chosen few. Economies tanked and stagnated. Human rights were violated.

Sorry, Marx. It was a darn good try. I admire your zeal and prolific writings on these matters but, in the end, many of your texts are just interesting reads.

It’s true capitalism has its flaws–every system does. Changes could be made for the better. We have to deal with monopolies, outsourcing, modern-day slavery, imperialistic snobbery, and much more. But I’m sticking with it and will try to be a positive agent for social reform. So here’s to change, maybe a direct democracy? There are many other types of democracy to try. Why not? In the meantime, Karl, get some rest.

Regards,

Pamela