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Dept. of Friday

Getting a Start

As you can see, I've already fallen down on posting every day. But I can endeavor to endeavor.

I can say something positive today. Last night, BB found my great-great grandmother's tree ornaments, the ones I was a little worried had somehow been thrown out last year. They normally sit high atop our tree each year, because they are extremely fragile. They're made only of wire and a sort of cloth and tinsel covering, plus tiny balls and bits of gold thread. I hope to pass them on to FB so that he can have something from one side of the family that goes back well over a century. When BB discovered the little box we'd stored them in, and somehow failed to open this year, it brightened my entire day.

Another positive; people seem to be liking the 
[community profile] fandom_stocking  stuffers I provided for them, which tickles me.

And finally, people were particularly good to me this year. I got loads of wonderful recipes (including one for barbecued peaches, which means I want to go out and get peaches right this minute to try it out) and a couple of lovely cards, and stories. I'll thank everyone more personally a little later, but to all of you right now - thank you so much!

BB and I have watched the first two episodes of Agent Carter (apparently they were initially shown as a two-hour, two-episode presentation, but we watched the separate hours on two consecutive nights), and we are both very, very impressed with it. I like Peggy, I like the care shown with the period (certainly more than many television shows offer), although, as a consumer of old-time radio drama I have to say they overdid it with the camp. I can tell you that most radio dramas, even during the 1940s, even when they dealt with heroes or superheroes, were usually a lot less awful than that. Still, that's a minute cavil.

In considerably grimmer thoughts, I am still torn up about the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, (I may not be a fan of that kind of journalism, but they were journalists, so it hits even harder than it would otherwise) the horrific and stupid subsequent attacks at mosques or businesses near mosques, and the cornering and hostage-taking at the kosher delicatessen. I understand and support both #iamcharlie and #iamahmed, and I fear for further violence. I'd say that god must be weeping now, god and all their prophets and angels, but I don't think they have stopped crying for a long, long time.

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/337933.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2015 11:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, how wonderful to have the box of your great-great grandmother's ornaments found!

My great-aunts made the angel still perched at the top of my tree and I now have many ornaments dating back 50-65 years, but none older than that as far as I know.

Yes, you have been high among those in my thoughts since the shootings at Charlie Hebdo. You and the many cartoonists I hold dear.

Here's to more love, love expressed as love not as hatred.
Jan. 11th, 2015 01:21 am (UTC)
My great-aunts made the angel still perched at the top of my tree

Are those the great-aunts who are somehow connected to the wonderful toy squeakers? I have one that you gave me a few years ago, and it sits in my bedside table. Every so often, when I need to feel better, I take it out and make it squeak, ever so carefully, because I want to make it last.

Here's to more love, love expressed as love not as hatred.

That's a beautiful way to put an excellent wish. Thank you.
Jan. 10th, 2015 04:13 am (UTC)
Ohhh, that is so lovely!! Finding those ornaments must have been a joy and a relief all at once!! *Happy!Squishes!*

There was so much goodness out of the Christmas/Yuletide ficathons/fandomathons this year! Such joy everywhere!

This sounds sad and terrible...I do not understand the upsurge in horror the last few years! Why do we do these things to each other?!

*hugs you hard*
Jan. 11th, 2015 01:24 am (UTC)
I think I owe you a story, my dear - it's the least I can do. But I warn you; it will be relentlessly fluffy, if I can possibly help it. You need fluffy!!! ♥♥♥

Why do we do these things to each other?!

Because we are frightened. The world is big, and the sky is dark, and we people it with the things we are most frightened of, and then we hate those things. But I refuse to give up.
Jan. 11th, 2015 03:25 am (UTC)
LOL!! Fluffy can be appreciated at times. Especially if it is written by one of the best! *Beams*

I know...gosh, do I know! But we are learning so much more. We have such wonders to share! So it just pains me that as these bounties increase, so do the pain and horror we can inflict in fear of those wonderful gifts.
Jan. 10th, 2015 07:28 am (UTC)
The Charlie Hebdo massacre and subsequent attacks/hostage-takings have just been a terrible shock… and right now I can't tell you how mad I am at French TV for not covering the mosque attacks. o.O I know TV is far from always being the most reliable media, but SERIOUSLY. This is fucking pushing it. They've been talking about the right-hand party leader whining that she wasn't invited to the all-party demonstration that was planned, but this, oh no. Not a word I heard, and believe me, I was following.

Good to hear about your good things though, dear ♥
Jan. 11th, 2015 02:07 am (UTC)
right now I can't tell you how mad I am at French TV for not covering the mosque attacks.

I hope that, in the time between when you commented and now, that that has changed at least a little bit.

I read a very good commentary in The Nation, that pointed out the cold tactical reasons that the extremists undertook this orchestrated murder; despite what seems to be a markedly anti-Islamic ambiance in several French political quarters, and despite the economic marginalization of French citizens who are Muslims, most of them are very apolitical. They get rightly upset when the government bans hijabs, etc., but they're not interested in becoming extremists.

The commentary pointed out that the extremists deliberately did this, not necessarily because they wanted to take out Charlie Hebdo - or at least, not solely because of that - but because they knew that it would provoke hateful anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic acts - which they could use to provoke previous apolitical French Muslims into drifting closer to their orbit.

The coldness of that is breathtaking.

Still, as I've told a couple of people, I refuse to give up on the human race.
Jan. 12th, 2015 07:18 am (UTC)
A little… the attacks have still not been mentioned that I could hear of, but there have been some good things said, some representation and showing that every community is grieving together, a homage to the Muslim policeman who got killed and the Muslim man who managed to smuggle most hostages into a cold room of the delicatessen where they'd be safe… Hah, it feels wrong to refer to them only as being Muslim, but here the representation is the whole point…

My mother pointed out the media also had to be careful about not creating an atmosphere of terror, just like they didn't mention all the false alerts there had been lately, sounds of gunshots near a synagogue that turned out to be only firecrackers, that madwoman who shouted she was the wanted partner of one of the killers, in the middle of Disneyland… It's no justification, but I guess it's an argument. As I mentioned, TV can be a questionable media for that kind of thing anyway. After a while you get sick of watching them calling around people who live in the neighbourhood of a hostage attack, asking the same questions… Yes, we're shut up tight at home, no, we don't know anything, yes, we're terrified, thank you and goodbye… There was so much sensationalism going on. *sighs* I guess it's just the way things work.

Oh, definitely. They had their designed targets—Charlie Hedbo for freedom of the press and the Mohammed caricatures, the police and the Jewish community—but beyond the killings, there is certainly that strategy… and the general profile of the killers, be it for those attacks or previous ones, always fits the same bill. Lost, rootless young people, some who aren't even Muslims in the first place, but get converted either through the Internet or in prison. You look at those people, you can be nearly certain that prison played a part in their path to terrorism, they generally come in for small acts of delinquency and there they get sucked into something this insane. That's one of the main challenges we'll have to face, I think, the situation with our prisons is just impossible but I have no clue how we can fix it, no money, no sufficient crews or accomodations… *shakes head*

And that is why we really have several challenges on our plates now—not only ensuring security, keeping people from leaving to Jihad training and back, stopping attacks, or fighting organizations like IS directly in the Middle East, but watching our youth at home and how they can come to feel so alienated and abandoned that holy war starts looking like a good idea and somewhere they'll belong more than their own country…

I refuse to give up on the human race.
♥ And we never should. Even when things seem so very difficult…
Jan. 14th, 2015 02:36 am (UTC)
You're right about so much of this. The scary thing, however, is that in many parts of the world, it isn't just the lost and rootless kids with prison records turning to extremism; it's seemingly well-adjusted kids with loving families and comfortable surroundings. That particular group are even harder to figure, and my fear is that they really think of all the extremism, and the "holy war" in the same way that American far-right wing military style zealots do - as if it's a sort of game of war in which they can be heroes. It's a very dysfunctional distortion of relatively normal teenage "dreams of glory," except that they actually take up arms, and really think the revolution is going to come and be a great deal of fun and excitement, if only they spill enough blood.

Augh. But yes, let's keep on believing in humans, and working hard to keep the better angels of our nature, as Lincoln referred to them, alive and kicking.
Jan. 18th, 2015 09:14 pm (UTC)
Quite right—we've heard several examples of this, and it's just frightening and so difficult to figure out. Yesterday I heard the testimony of a journalist who had infiltrated jihad-dedicated websites under an alias and was speaking a bit about what it was like on the inside—the woman is under permanent protection now with the most horrible threats hanging over her head, naturally… It seemed extremely paradoxal, a mix of extreme religiousness and really "shallow" stuff like promising money, women and glory, like Syria was the ultimate holy land where one could be recognized and become someone important and wonderful. Looking for a point to their lives? Like you said, they're playing on natural teenage quests and needs, but twisting them to fit their own needs, and gaining a fearful influence on young minds… And it's also pointed out that the most popular video games these days involve mass killing as both the means and the end, the line between reality and virtual just blurs…

But yes, let's keep on believing in humans, and working hard to keep the better angels of our nature, as Lincoln referred to them, alive and kicking.
Indeed ♥
Jan. 18th, 2015 09:25 pm (UTC)
Bless you - your responses always make my day both brighter and more thoughtful. Thank you! ♥♥♥
Jan. 19th, 2015 06:40 am (UTC)
They do? ^_^ *pink-cheeked* Well, not that the subject was very heart-lifting, but I'm happy you're pleased with the discussion ♥
Jan. 10th, 2015 03:23 pm (UTC)
:D for finding old ornaments. It's nice to have old family ornaments on the tree, even if the less well wearing ones are hidden at the back of the tree.

I don't understand how people can behave so appallingly. Awful:/
Jan. 11th, 2015 02:12 am (UTC)
It's nice to have old family ornaments on the tree,

Oh, definitely! I actually still have packages of real tinsel, metal-foil icicles that will never get used, but they are a link to my family's past and to BB's family's past. They are at least 40 years old and probably much older, and I can't bear to part with them.

(Why not use them? For one thing, they're very possibly lead foil and for another, cats love to eat those icicles and although the stuff mostly passes through them, I remember a childhood (and young adulthood) of ... hmmm, how shall I say this ... of removing dangling icicles whence they dangled after an ... er ... journey through kitties. Hooo boy.)
Jan. 11th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)
Gru, I'm not surprised you don't display them! I suppose if you were really desperate to display them you could place them in a glass cabinet or a fish tank!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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