Archive for the ‘America’ Category

Wearing your heart on your car

A few weeks ago I was stuck behind a large truck on my way to work. I often am stuck behind a large truck or two on my way to work. This particular truck, however, had the normal “offensive” stickers all over it. One of which said, “Welcome to America. Now learn English.” I posted about this topic on my Facebook and got quite a response. Although I do understand the frustration of trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t know much English (and the irritiation that comes with knowing that some families choose not to EVER learn once they arrive here), imagine being in their shoes. And let’s just remember that when we visit outside of our Land of the Free, we should never assume everyone there will or CAN speak English. In this instance I found myself torn on the topic for the reasons I mentioned above and for the fact that I am an American. And I know how many people who come here want that affiliation but don’t have it yet. Bumper stickers as food for thought isn’t really a new thing. But I have found myself noticing them more these days. My friend, who is a farmer for a CSA, gave me a sticker that says, “Who’s Your Farmer?” Well, she is. And I was proud to display it. And it must have been a pretty cool sticker because when I came back to my car after lunch in Deep Ellum yesterday, it was gone. Peeled clean off. I guess they wanted Marie to be THEIR farmer too…

But all of this just makes me wonder, should we wear our thoughts, ideals, emotions and our hearts on our cars? In the journalism biz, we are pretty much forbidden to place political stuff on our cars. It shows bias and is frowned upon. However, I’ve seen plenty of J folks sporting their beliefs loud and clear on their back windows. And in today’s interesting climate in the media industry, does this even matter anymore? The rules have changed. We have changed. So is it wrong to share our thoughts as openly as what we stick on our cars? Even if you aren’t a media type, what about if you are a teacher? A pastor? A therapist? Should your car remain silent and forever hold it’s peace?

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Facebook anyone? Why can’t I stop?

It all started with work. They have us using Twitter and Facebook a lot at my job. I guess it’s newspaper media’s last ditch effort to connect to the world. Anyway it just morphed from there.

Facebook and Twitter have become my coffee and cigarette. Not that I’m a big user of those vices but the comparison is pretty spot on. And ever since I bought this blasted iPhone, I am on the social network high all day, everyday. In fact, I’m typing this from the WordPress ap! What have I become? By the way, if you have a Facebook, add me and find me on Twitter @Jenice78. He he.

The Obama era: Hero-worship has a price

On Jan. 20 I watched history from the cubicles of our news office.

I’m sure many of you as well, with permission from your bosses or not, popped open a few windows on your computer and tuned in as President Barack Obama was sworn in as the first African-American president. This has been something we have heard for a long while — this word “first.” I have to say it was a moment that I will never forget. And from the stories of my parents’ past, it was a very significant day moving toward healing the wounds of a time where I may not have been able to even write these words to you today.

However,  I also know that this huge job of being president works beyond cultural background or the color of one’s skin. And I only hope that President Obama will be able to work to mend America. What his new presidency has surely done so far is bring people together. But what has to be the one thing I can’t stop thinking about among all this “history” is the constant comparisons to Martin Luther King Jr. The constant comparisons to the days of Camelot. And the constant sheer hero-worship of a man not even my father’s age running our country.

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Bad ecomony equals bad drivers…

Is it just me or is it that since we have hit this wonderful recession people are driving even more carelessly and even faster than before? I don’t remember being this scared hitting the highway since I was a teenager with a new license. Is it that people feel they don’t have much to lose? Are they rushing to their third job? I just don’t get it. A few weeks ago I was convinced that someone was looking to kill themselves via head on collision.

“I’m going to vote for a black man…”

My father said casually over a discussion last week about voting.

“This might be the last time I will ever get to do that,” my father continued. He’s 55 and he could possibly be right. After all, it took over half a century for him to see the day. Our fathers and their fathers often see the “black and white” of things. Room for gray is intermittent.

So, as a family, we trotted over to the nearest polling station. Being that this is early voting time, I had to endure the electronic voting process. It was strange. I mean wielding that wheel of power and pushing the red button got to my head a little, even though I was hesitant at first. I’m used to the old black marker and sheets of paper to cast my vote.

I was sure I was going to goof up. On the way there, my father said that my mom has been early voting for years and still can’t figure that machine out. And he made sure to say, “If someone hands you anything, put it in your pocket. You don’t want to go in showing it off…” Luckily no one was at the polling station selling their agendas because that kind of made me nervous. Man, voting sure got complicated…


Anyway, all was well and we left chatting about all the proposals on the ballot. We didn’t all vote the same way on anything. But isn’t that the point?

Countdown to stupidity…

You republicans must have sweaty hands and clammy skin right now awaiting Sarah Palin’s debate against Joe Biden tonight. I, for one, or for more than probably half of the population, can’t wait. I’m not a democrat. I’m not a republican. But I am someone who depends on a candidate to know the basic logistics of things. Although I know that Palin is the perfect chum to the media sea of sharks (not to mention comedians), she isn’t making things easier on herself by having constant interviews displaying her Miss Carolina-esque knowledge of the world. The Iraq and everything such as…

Is anyone else more than bothered, bewildered and just plain scared of the possibility of someone an aneurysm away from being president who can’t see past her shotgun pointed moose? And who needs a tanning bed in the governor’s mansion? Yea, yea…they don’t get much sun there. But a tanning bed? There may not be offical “dirt” on Palin, however I’m still feeling uneasy. And the same can be said about Biden.

I predict Biden will come out like a crazed attack dog. A good friend of mine expects to hear a few censorship blips when Biden speaks and I she finds his candor hilarious.  I told her that I’m not a fan. I don’t see how a guy who, before the presidential election was in full swing, wasn’t Obama’s biggest fan but is now his running mate.

My prediction, and forgive me if this may sound a little violent and quite possibly the most awful thing I have ever typed:

Obama gets in the White House by dirty voting joined with legitimate votes from the millions who want “change,” just so Biden gets in the vice president seat.

Biden has Obama taken out.

Please rise for Joe Biden, the President of the United States.

“Hey, John! Now we can be friends again…”

Lessons to be learned from The Jazz Singer

When I was a very small child, any time I saw Neil Diamond on television or heard him on the radio, I would say, “Daddy! The Jazz Singer!” I think for the longest time I thought Neil Diamond’s name was Jazz Singer. I don’t really remember watching the movie. I mean, it came out in 1980. I’m 30 years old. But I remember that glittery blue shirt and scarf he wore at the end of the movie when he sang, “America.”  And he seemed to mean every word. In my book it’s America’s song. Or should be. I know this movie is a remake, but who knows much about the 1927 version? OK. That’s a lie. Al Jolson in black face…

But if you don’t know the 1980 movie, here is the long and the short of it: Jewish cantor living in New York sets out, against his traditional father’s wishes, to achieve his dream of being a singer. It’s such a basic plot, but something about it rings so true of lessons we should learn of tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness and being true to yourself. Maybe it’s female hormones, but I’ve just finished watching it on this lovely Sunday evening and balled my eyes out. Oh my goodness, when Neil’s character tries to set things right with his father by singing on  Yom Kippur (the day atonement) and hearing the power of those words I don’t even understand and his father’s expression along with his — oye, I’m getting vaclemped. Talk amongst yourselves while I collect myself. Topic: 2008’s choices of vice-president candidates and potential reality shows about them…

OK…I’m alright. If you haven’t seen it, all of this may seem silly. Actually if you have, I may still seem a little odd and blogging about it probably is odd. It’s just that it brought me back to being that silly little kid who ran after her father and spent Saturdays digging in the backyard for “fossils.” Things were not always simple back then, but the complexity of my life in those impressionable years was minimal. And looking at today’s world, the 80s had more than their share of, should I say, hiccups? But the place we are now scares the crap out of me. Maybe at the brink of when The Jazz Singer came out in theaters, words like tolerance and acceptance were still new and truly mattered. But today they can be, at times, stifled. Sure. We are in a new world where a black man or a woman can be president, but I find the fact that these two things are so landmark has exposed to the world how much we are still so behind in our thinking.

If we were ahead, these things maybe wouldn’t matter so much or be so landmark. Ok. Thinking about that after crying over The Jazz Singer might very well be very, very odd. Now all I need is ice-cream, a DVD of the last season of Sex and the City and a fuzzy white robe and I’m all set for estrogen-land.