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Monday, September 2, 2013

The Heartbreak of Not Caring

I have a problem. A serious problem.

No matter how hard I try to care about people chasing balls around fields, I can't.

I was trying to care at the USD V. UC Davis game on Saturday by educating myself.

"What's a first down?" I asked my husband.

"Are you serious?" he whispered.

I would nudge him, "Okay so now they have to act because it's third down, right? No more chances after this?" He would slap his forehead. Hard.

"Was that a home run?" I would ask.

"What's wrong with you?" his eyes would scream.

(That last one was mainly just to mess with him, but I do honestly feel clueless when I watch football.)

I would clap when all the other fans were clapping and Caleb would ask, "Do you know why you're clapping?" to which I would reply enthusiastically: "I have the Yote spirit!" and then mumble, "and everyone else is clapping ... so I'm clapping." 

I even tried out different whoops. I felt ... odd after each one but I kept doing it ... just desperately shopping for one that fit me. Nothing. 

When the multi-media people flashed the nifty logo that read, "CRANK it UP!" on the screen, I would attempt to "crank it up."

When the screen said, "Get on your feet and get loud!" I was up on my feet getting loud (as loud as I get anyway) with the best of 'em.

When the "Cha Cha Slide" rang out, "EV-REE-BODY-CLAP-YOUR-HANDS" and EVERYONE in the stadium, including newborn babies and elderlies, did what they were told, not unlike Pavlov's dog did at the ringing of the food bell, I clapped along too and watched in awe at how automatic it was for everyone. I'm certain that cues like these cause everyone to salivate in anticipation of some reward.  (In all fairness, the babies were most likely just teething, but everyone else--pure lab-rattery I tell you!)

I attempted a self pep talk: "You do have spirit, Jodie. You do! That last whoop was very close to suiting you. Keep going."

I even bought a USD t-shirt and put it on in the bathroom in favor of my favorite Amy Winehouse t-shirt. The new shirt is white. You can see my bra through it. I didn't realize this until AFTER the game though.

Leaving the stadium on Saturday, I just, once again admitted to myself: I don't give a lab rat's dingle about football ... or golf ... or basketball ... or anything that involves chasing and/or launching inanimate objects around a court or grass--real or synthetic.

I admire those of you who do. I wish I could. But I can't. And I don't.

However, I am not afraid to admit that I teared up when the marching band took the field pre-game, and I single-teared when they left at half-time.

Monday, July 15, 2013

I've Never Walked That Walk

I just read somewhere on Facebook that the Trayvon Martin case is not about race.

Anyone who thinks that this case is NOT about Trayvon Martin's race isn't thinking critically and is making it about something else they deem more important. Self defense, 2nd amendment rights, the justice system are the ones I see popping up most often. I wish I could agree with you, but I can't. FACT: It IS about race. It's not exclusively about race, but to deny that race is a factor is just ludicrous.

If a white kid had been walking Trayvon's path, it most likely would've ended differently. It very well would've been a non-issue. MAAAAAYYYYBE a white kid in a hoodie would've received some attention, but a white kid doesn't carry the same fear that a black kid carries in our society, so likely, the hypothetical white kid in Trayvon's position would most likely have a different response than Trayvon did.

I like this video commentary regarding how race played a role in this situation from Martin Bashir more than any others I've seen--> MSNBC.

This case is also about self-defense and 2nd amendment rights.

When does self defense become murder? What does STAND YOUR GROUND mean? Why did someone who fired a gun into the air resulting in ZERO deaths get a 20-year sentence? (I don't know the answers; I'm just really good at posing questions.)

This case is also about our justice system.

I can't judge that jury for making the decision they made collectively because I don't know what evidence was presented. I trust that they made the decision that aligned with the evidence presented, the law, and their consciences. That's all I can hope for.  Even if it didn't turn out the way I think it should have--the only information I have is what the media has told me on days and in moments when I was listening.

I wasn't there when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. Neither were you.

I wasn't in the courtroom when the prosecution and defense presented their evidence.

The jury was not allowed to try George Zimmerman based on what they read, heard, and saw in the media. They were only allowed to make a decision based on what was presented in court. I wouldn't want to have that grave responsibility, so I admire them for doing something that had to challenge every fiber of their consciences. I can say that I think I would've used the evidence presented in the courtroom and shut out the media buzz and used the justice process as it is intended to be used--but I don't know. I've never walked that walk.

I can't judge Trayvon for what he did either (fight?/get confrontational?/attack?) George Zimmerman because I've never been a young, black man. I can say I think I would probably go into fight response mode if I was in the same situation too--but I don't know. I've never walked that walk.

I can't judge George Zimmerman for what he did because I've don't know what led him to that moment--what led him to go against the advice of the 911 operator who advised him to stay in the car--what led him to target Trayvon for taking a walk. I can say I think I would've stayed in my vehicle and waited for law enforcement to get there, if I was truly concerned about someone's presence--but I don't know. I've never walked that walk.

Unless we have walked in someone's shoes, we cannot judge. We can question other's motives. We can ascertain what we THINK we would do if we were in the same/similar situation, but it's not anyone's right to judge. It's our human tendency to do so, but it's not a right.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hey everybody! Paula Deen is going to be okay.

I'm seeing bunches of posts and tweets and status updates both pro and anti-Paula Deen.

Everyone is fixating on THE WORD (both the lovers AND the haters it seems), but I think it's so much more than THE WORD. THE WORD is AWFUL. I don't use THE WORD because I do not have the cultural authority to do so. If you want to use it, I don't really like that, but I'll defend your right to do so--JUST know there could be consequences for it. You might even lose your job for it. You might even lose million dollar contracts, if you are in a position to have a million dollar contract. You might lose friends. You might lose my admiration for you in all of your buttery goodness. But, it's not just her choice of words that got her into the position she is in.

It is more her action AND inaction that got her there. I've DEFINITELY used words that are ugly and cast names that are unkind and--so has everyone else--in the whole wide world--so I don't know why THAT's the focus of what happened. My husband and I just watched 16 Candles the other day for the first time in probably 20 years, and I was shocked to hear the characters casually calling each other "faggots". UGLY.

When I watched it as a 10-12-14-16-year-old I'm certain that I wasn't shocked by THAT f-word because so many people (adults, teens, children) used it--at school, with friends, against enemies. Now, if someone in my circle of friends used that word, that person would be castigated. SOoOoOoOo, YES, words are just words, but words do have power, and the collective WE decides how much power a word has in society at large, and we, as individuals decide how much power words have in our personal lives, but in Paula's case, it's not just about THE WORD. 

More than Paula's use of THE WORD--regardless of context--I'm more disturbed by her desire to mock up a pre-Civil War plantation-style wedding--complete with "slaves" and that she allowed her brother to flaunt porn in front of HER employees. (Her brother seems like a real treat also, and is getting off the hook wayyyy too easily, IMHO, but he's not the famous partner in the duo, so I guess--right or wrong--that's why.)

These actions (and inactions) do not negate all of the good that Paula has done for ... (insert the multitude of causes that Paula sponsor/contributes to). Conversely, her generosity in those realms do not excuse her horrible ideas and (in)action(s).  You MIGHT be able to get away with behaving a certain way with your friends and family--maybe even employees--if you are not in the public eye, but guess what? SHE'S THERE--BY CHOICE--! 

And for everyone who is worried about poor Paula: I suspect Paula is going to be all right.

That's all I have to say about this topic that I tried really hard to NOT talk about at all.

Now, please enjoy this image of Paula Deen riding butter(flies).