January 17, 2011 archive

Beyond the Dr. King Tape Loop

On this holiday devoted to Martin Luther King, Jr., I hope that we do not forget his full legacy in the proper context.  In Meeting yesterday, a Friend’s message rather bluntly noted that she is growing tired of the way that King’s life has been increasingly presented.  Starry-eyed optimists have reduced the man to some sort of inoffensive Santa Claus figure.  Gone is the edginess, the reformer threatening the status quo, and the leader who spoke out not just for Civil Rights, but also against the Vietnam War.  And, like the Friend, for these reasons, I am beginning to dislike certain aspects of this day.  King would want us to continue to press forward, not pass out rose colored glasses while we romanticize past struggles.  It is true that winners write history, but be it known that I disagree strongly with the translation.          

Broken Mirrors & Souvenirs

Cross posted from The Wild Wild Left

He won’t look in a mirror now. Its not just the hair loss, either. It is the way his skin sags from the weight loss, and the aging stress and pain puts in one’s eyes. I think it was always a kick for him when people never guessed he was 15 years older than I am, that his lifelong peers always ribbed him about how they were aging, and he was not. He says there is a stranger in the mirror now, some old man that doesn’t compute for him, with who he is and has always been inside. At 62, he fears that the damage will not reverse if he regains his health.

Then there is the coughing. It hasn’t been this bad since we started this journey and it was the pneumonia that made them find the cancer. Its scaring the shit out of him. He doesn’t want anyone to see him, hides under blankets and hats if anyone stops by.

The thing is? He is still beautiful to me. Beauty emanates from more than just hair, or seasonal weight gain or loss. Short, tall, weathered, youthful, black, white, skinny, heavy, or any combination thereof still all looks beautiful to me. It all emanates from within.

I have my weaknesses though. One or two, anyway.

Six In The Morning

It’s OK You Can Tell I’m Hu Jintao! Really      

China Leader’s Limits Come Into Focus as U.S. Visit Nears

With President Hu Jintao at the helm, China has become a $5 trillion industrial colossus, a growing military force, and, it sometimes appears, a model of authoritarian decisiveness, navigating out of the global financial crisis and sealing its position as the world’s fastest rising power.

But as Mr. Hu prepares to visit Washington this week in an attempt to defuse tensions with the United States, Obama administration officials are grappling with what they describe as a more complex reality.

Late Night Karaoke

MLK: Be True to What You Said on Paper

“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered this speech in support of the striking sanitation workers at Mason Temple in Memphis, TN on April 3, 1968 – the day before he was assassinated

Pique the Geek 20110116: Gold

This is the companion piece to the one about gold from Friday night in Popular Culture.  Obviously, we intend to get geekier tonight than we did Friday.  Then we talked about gold being used primarily as money or other symbols of wealth.

Tonight we will discuss how gold is mined and purified, and the actual industrial uses for it as opposed to jewelry and investment purposes.  The old picture that most folks have about the forty-niner with his gold pan is far from how gold is mined, and was not really very accurate even then, being mostly a product of Hollywood.

Grampy Did

Two days now.  Attach four plastic sleds to the back of an ATV.  I am fifty five but I am also five years old.  A good time was had by all and nobody, well, nobody went to the hospital.  They were outside.  Not in front of a video game, the TV or involved in an organized event.  This was a spontaneous event of the Apocalypse Ranch.

We had a race track in the field to pull the kids around on sleds.  There is a fire pit to get warm by and roast hot dogs on.  A container of hot chocolate.

The speedometer tells me we are doing 11 miles per hour yet to the four year olds Grampy is taking them for a snowbound ride in a supersonic plastic jet.

The older kids get brave.  They want me to whip them around so that they tip over by hitting the snowbank on the far edge of the field.  It is a precision driving exercise.  Not too fast but fast enough so that they run into it and tip the sled over, squealing with delight and picking their lost mittens out of the snow.

Awesome they say, do it again.  Oh, damn it, the older kids are getting braver.   Like I said top speed was 11 miles per hour and nobody went to the hospital.  We spend the afternoon alternating between big kid rides and little kid rides.  A fifty five/five year old made joy in the hearts of a new generation.  Well, OK the big kids got the whole 13 mile per hour ride.

Might be the last chance I have so I do what I can.

Docudharma 2.0: Who We Are

It’s has been two weeks and we are moving along. I want to thank everyone for all your essays and comments. There is a lot of discussion behind the “curtain” about how we are going to move Docudharma into the future and I’ll tell you about those plans and ideas as they become more solid. Right now, I want to introduce your admins.

I hold the “keys”, that is, the domain and the Soapblox account but that just means I keep the place running and make sure the bills are paid. You’ll notice the donations pot is still there. 😉

I’m a busy lady. Beside DD and The Stars Hollow Gazette, I am actively involved with an international NGO, Emergency Medicine and a family which consumes a great deal of my time. That means I need a “staff”.

ek hornbeck is “managing editor”. It is his responsibility to do promotions to the Front Page. That is a lot more work than you would think and ek has been the “glue” that held this place together since its inception. He is also my partner at Stars Hollow. He and I consult with each other closely about this and the other admins also have input and suggestions. There is no set policy on which essays get promoted but we look for quality and content.  

My other partner is Edger. He’s the tech guy who answers my dumb questions and keeps the “engine running” plus if it weren’t for his support DD might not be here. We discuss a lot about how the site looks and functions, as well as how we can improve on it. He is also closely involved in our future plans. His blog, Antemedius, is one of the best collaborative sites I have encountered in my years of blogging.

Robyn and mishima are integral to this site for their devoted contributions and dedication. They have been here forever and have my deepest thanks for the art, insight, and information. The “Muse in the Morning” and “Six in the Morning” are among my “must reads” in the AM. Mishima‘s weekly “Random Japan” with the news about Japanese life and culture and the daily “Late Night Karaoke” are mainstays, as are Robyn’s Friday evening essays on GLBT issues. They are representative of the diversity and openness of this community.

Every contributor, commenter and “lurker” are part of my “staff”, too. This site would be nothing without all of you. You are the “flesh and bones”, the “heart and soul” of Docudharma as it moves into the future.