Meeting the Universe Half Way

Many years ago, I heard a blonde joke.  It was about a blonde who wanted to win the lottery.  She asked god to help her.  She would do anything – anything! – if only god let her win the lottery.  And yet week after week, she didn’t win.  The blonde was, understandably for a blonde, upset.  Here she was, asking god for her, and getting nothing!   After yet another loss, she asked god why.  And god said:

“Meet me half-way!  Buy a ticket!”

Well, I have discovered what the blonde found out is true.  After spending quite some time not sending out my work (fiction, poetry, etc), I began sending it out again last month.  And so far, I’ve sold two fiction pieces.  Apparently it is very hard for someone to buy your work if you don’t let them read it.

So I am taking the lesson of the blonde to heart, and I’m going to keep on trying to meet the universe half-way by sending out my work.

Oh, and if anyone wants to send me some winning lotto tickets, I’m good with that, too.



Women as Victims: Rihanna’s ‘Man Down’ Fiasco

Okay, maybe I’m checking in a bit late on this one, but I have two great excuses:

  1. I’ve never heard of Rhianna, other than the whole domestic abuse incident that made the news.
  2. I’m working on my PhD for crissakes!  Cut me some slack! Do I really need to have two excuses?

That said, I find a few things very interesting here.

People are up in arms because she shoots and kills someone in cold blood.

She’s not the first.  Johnny Cash shot a man just to watch him die in Folsom Prison Blues, and he got high and killed his woman in Cocaine Blues.  He probably wasn’t the first either, but I think those are some pretty good examples of mainstream acceptability of violence being encouraged in music.  Especially when you consider the fact that he performed these songs in prisons, in front of inmates who were potentially convicted of real murders who cheered during the songs!

And that brings us to another thing we need to remember: it’s not real.  You know, you’ve probably heard of it before, this thing called “fiction.”  Or, for those who need it broken down a bit more: “make believe.”  She didn’t really kill a man.

Of course, these points are meaningless unless we get down to the root of the problem.

She’s a woman.

There, I’ve said it.

She’s a woman who told a story about a woman who took care of an attacker when the justice system didn’t.

Cash, on the other hand, killed a woman because he was high and she was cheating on him.  He killed a man just for fun.  So why was that okay?

Because – and here I go again, saying things – because

He’s a man.

One argument someone who shall remain nameless made to me was that when Rhianna was a victim, we could feel bad for her.  But when she talked about doing something about being a victim, suddenly she was in the wrong.  Why?  Because women only belong in victim roles?

Before we start talking about how unacceptable it is for a woman to kill a man in fiction, let’s start talking about how anyone killing anyone is wrong in real life.


Innovate This!

I love when the news gets it wrong.  Like today on the CNN website.  They have an article in which Fareed Zakaria explores how Americans can get their “edge” back for innovation.  Here’s the thing – their tag line, meant to draw us all in, says: “Innovation is as American as apple pie.”

Now, I’m sure that I don’t have to be the one to point out that apple pie has actually shown up in one form or another since the Middle Ages in numerous European countries, including England, France, Italy, and Germany.  Apple tarts and pies are nothing new, and they are nothing American.

But they are, however, something that we have taken in and claim as our own.  So is that also how our innovation has occurred?  How many “Americans” are truly innovators?

I think it would depend on your definition of the word “American.”  I don’t want to get into a big immigration fight here, and I could feel one starting, but I do just want to point out that maybe we need to watch out for what we say and what we mean.  And maybe we want to check out our history books, too…