“Watching the news in the evening is a bit like being on an emotional Tilt-aWhirl. “Isis now sets people on fire.” “Harper Lee has a new book out!” “Some oddballs are bringing measles back because they’re scared of autism, which is a bit like saying I’m worried about birthday candles, so let’s start a forest fire.” “It’s going to be gorgeous this weekend!” “Look, a politician being deliberately rude.” “And also, look at these adorable puppies!” My limbic system does not work that fast!”
I would like to expand on the list of seemingly random news topics my FB friend started above, in my sporadic mid-week Wednesday post: IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND.
I thought about what’s been front and centre, in the news lately, and here I go:
**the recent hacks into the adult dating website Ashley Madison.
I don’t care what a couple consenting adults (and I use that term loosely) do, as long as it’s consensual. My problem is when there are lies and deceit involved.
The site’s tag line, “Life is short. Have an affair,” is the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard and I hate that it’s a Canadian company. My problem with it, even though it’s people I have no business with, is that it reflects badly on society at large. All I can add would be, I don’t feel badly in this instance, and karma’s a bitch.
However, this Vice article has an interesting take on the situation,
**Then the long suffering story of Deflate-gate.
The final decision on the ruling and appeal is that Tom Brady is solely responsible. The coach and all others involved are off the hook, but of course Tom wasn’t the only one with knowledge, having done something shady here.
Tom Brady: Why I had deflate gate mobile phone destroyed
He destroyed his cell phone, for unrelated issues he claims, and now he is stuck with his mansion and his gorgeous super model wife. Poor guy.
I suppose all this affects other people, those who may not be involved. I can say it’s only a game, just a silly football player, but then I remember people and the pure joy I’ve seen in them when it comes to football, this team in particular. Although it may seem insignificant to me, I want to keep an open mind because sports can be a positive thing, something to make people happy.
On the other hand, cheating isn’t a lesson I want today’s youth to pick up from their favourite athletes.
**The Netflix Newborn Policy.
Netflix Now Giving Employees ‘Unlimited’ Maternity, Paternity Leave – HuffPost
“Looks like NetFlix is onto something,” the American reporter said, to end his news story.
They do realize how much of the rest of the world has been “onto something”, this something specifically, for quite a while now, don’t they?
First it was IT and tech companies who were in the news for offering egg freezing for their female employees.
Apple and Facebook Offer To Freeze Eggs For Female Employees – The Guardian
Do they offer on-site day care facilities?
The work force and these companies, society as a whole, has this whole thing all wrong. Don’t offer incentives for women to hold off on having children because they won’t have to worry, can focus on career, and just worry about starting families later. Offer time off for parent-child bonding from the beginning, without the pressures to get right back to work. Depending on frozen embryos isn’t the answer.
Why does America only seem to care for themselves? I am sure that isn’t everyone, but it’s still an “every man for himself…or woman, as it so happens” situation and this is so very backwards.
We are giving birth and raising the next generation. They matter. Invest in them. Don’t focus on money alone and what it will take away from everyone else.
No. Women are not going to milk it, having children just so they can get time off work. That is a silly excuse and a lame go-to rebuff to what most of the rest of the world has already figured out.
The other argument is, oh what about other women and men who have decided, for whatever reason, not to have children. It’s not fair and even for them. So life isn’t always fair.
I’m blind. What’s fair about that? I’ve learned to deal and they can too.
Even if this does start a trend, there will always be those who judge women on this, their loyalty or their work ethic, but now that fathers are included in this, I hope for more gender equality all around. This is including adopted parents too.
**Immigrants and migrants.
I heard it’s something like 2,000 so far this year. That’s the number of African and other migrants to have come, trying to sneak into Europe, being stuffed into boats by greedy smugglers, sinking and drowning by the boatload.
It’s so sad, the things, the types of persecution these poor people are fleeing from, hoping for a safe crossing to a better life. They may realize how unsafe their journey seems, but are desperate and willing to risk whatever they must. Those who capitalize on this vulnerability are the scum, but with all these stories I’ve tried to keep an open mind, even if it might not appear to be so.
And last but certainly not least:
With the story of Cecil the Lion being talked about everywhere lately, with airlines banning transport of hunting trophies and 90s favourite Beanie Babies soon to release one of the lion and with sales going to wildlife causes, I thought of a movie my brother and I watched several years ago.
This was still when we lived at home with our parents and when VHS was how we watched our movies, the pre-DVD era in our household.
Have you ever seen the film starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas?
Ghost and the Darkness
He was famous Doors front man Jim Morrison, Batman, and a blind massage therapist. It was his highly convincing role as John Henry Patterson, real life engineer and author of the nonfiction book “The Man-eaters of Tsavo” that is as far from The Lion King as you’re going to get.
“Even now, if you dare lock eyes with them – YOU WILL BE AFRAID.”
A blogger I follow said it better than I thought I could:
However, with all the animal stories in the media and in the headlines I try to keep an open mind.
In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry For Lions – The New York Times
Do we here in North America truly know what it must be like ore in places like Africa and Asia, where some of the most dangerous animals live alongside humans? We shout our disapproval when a story of mistreatment happens to get picked up, but what do we really know of it?
In the time of “Ghost and the Darkness”, we had no social media to spread a story far and wide in a matter of minutes or even seconds.
I do know that we are all sharing this planet and deserve to share its resources, but our shared use of all this gives those determined to destroy for their own aims the chance to mess it up for us all.
Oil here in Canada.
The clear causes of global warming and the power of nature, with the extreme weather and lack of water in not just far away deserts, but drouth in California, which is so often in the news.
Is it such a surprise that wildlife is being poached illegally?
I disagree with how we treat animals, The Calgary Stampede or the Running of the Bulls for example.
I have had and do have hunters in my family. I grew up with it around me at times. Sure, it was never my thing, but I went on eating meat. I still do. I am not a vegetarian, but I have vegetarians in my family as well.
I love my family and respect their wishes. It’s a little harder to judge those you care about and know personally.
I don’t see why anyone would want to hunt a lion for sport. I don’t get the point of mounting an animal’s head on the wall. What satisfaction does that possibly provide?
Someone needing to feel superior to an animal. Yes, we humans have advanced weapons and we can come out on top. Doesn’t mean we should.
Defenseless, like so many are afraid to be without their guns, we would be at the mercy of a wild animal or an intruder, both of which may very well intend to cause harm.
I want to understand those living in Zimbabwe, just like I want to understand why the people living in the remote Faroe Islands have an annual pilot whale hunt as a part of their culture.
I want to understand different cultures, not to simply sit in judgment from over here, without the foggiest clue.
I am definitely no radical activist. I respect the passion they have, if all they want is to save a species from being hunted to the edge or off the edge of extinction. I often wish I had it in me to go out and make a difference, but for now I remain here, writing to hopefully make my voice heard amongst the roar and the uproar.
Ghost and the Darkness seemed a wild, historical, adventure film. I was hooked by it from that first time I watched with my brother. He described the scenes where Douglas and Kilmer hunt the bloodthirsty lions. Truthfully, although characters like the doctor (played by Bernard Hill) meet their end at the jaws of the killers, it was more the cow that was sacrificed by the people and the baboon used as bait to catch the lions that bothered me most.
This true story made an excellent film, showcasing what it was like then and now. Why humans hunt. It’s an important part of many cultures, since the beginning of humanity, and our modern times now seems to have made it a trophy sport, for pleasure and for fun.
So many traditions should come to an end, in my opinion. We must learn to let go of certain practices, to make way for the advances we have made and the knowledge we now possess. There’s just no need for some things, unnecessarily curl things.
I commented on the above blog on Cecil and the wider problems, and it wasn’t a very optimistic comment. The blogger tried to reply in a more positive light, but I don’t know how to look at our world in just such a light most of the time, if I am being honest. It is apparent that many people care, as the response to Cecil shows, but at the same time we are battling a large segment of our world that just does not care, is only out for itself, as I have pointed to several times in this week’s “In The News and On My Mind” post.
Then there has been the demand for blood, directed toward the dentist who killed Cecil. I don’t know the man and his motives, nor what’s in his heart. I don’t condone his actions, but he is a human being, therefore I believe there can’t be mob ruled justice, as outraged as so many are.
Why should be be honest in our relationships or in athletics?
Why should we care about those being persecuted in their own countries or those who want to spend time with their newborns?
Why does it matter to think about how we use the world’s resources or why animals are important to our planet and to its future?
I hope I don’t have to even answer that, but some people just don’t get it, nor do they care, and I’m not sure that can be fixed with rational convictions or logical bullet points. I don’t know why “every man for himself” seems to be how humans think and act.
What are your thoughts on any of these topics I’ve mentioned here today? The discussion needs to continue. for all our sakes.