Gray. It’s usually a gray issue. Not one, not the other, but both.

musketThe power of the National Rifle Association exists because of the money they put into politics, into the pockets and campaigns of legislators who vote and create policy in our country. Please recall that the 2nd amendment was crafted in 1789 and was influenced by the 1689 English Bill of Rights. When it was written and the writers were oiling their muskets by candle light, the right to keep and bear arms meant a VERY different thing than it does now. Automatic weapons that fire rounds of bullets in mere seconds were never meant to be in civilian hands. Of course I believe people have the right to defend themselves. If someone wants to safely own a gun that is their prerogative, but why does it have to be a weapon of mass destruction?

I also don’t feel that removing God from schools is the issue. My children still pledge allegiance to our country under God each morning with their hand over their heart. My children know they can pray to themselves whenever they feel compelled to do so. I also think it is okay to learn about different religions, but it is not okay to force one on a group of students who are not all practicing the same religion or praying to the same God. So I understand why practicing religion is not part of a public school curriculum.

Tried to embed my Facebook post the site rebelled, so here it is:

All of you who are friends with me already know how I feel about guns. And I haven’t written anything about the shooting which happened this week, which is unlike me. But it hurts. I cannot imagine being the person to get that call. Being the first responder on the scene, the spouse of a teacher in the school or the parent of a student and getting that phone call.

Let me just say that I know the person pulling the trigger is the killer, not the gun. I believe that anyone who raises a gun to purposefully kill people is mentally unwell and needs to be treated. What I don’t understand is even debatable is why we are allowing individuals to purchase guns that have a standard of nine rounds a second.

Do you know there are MILLIONS of AR-15 guns owned in the US? The shooting in Orlando at the nightclub 24 shots in 9 seconds. The Las Vegas shooting at the concert about 90 shots in 10 seconds. Do you see what I mean here? Why is it necessary for anyone to own a weapon with that kind of firing power? I am not against the right to carry. I am not against someone owning a gun, collecting guns, etc. Personally, I do not want to own one or be near one, but I don’t want to take that right from anyone else. So please do not tell me that it’s the person, not the gun, because it is BOTH.

Yes, I believe mass shooters have a mental illness of some kind, but you can’t make them get help, you can’t, you can however ban guns which would allow them to kill multiple people faster than I typed this post.

https://www.facebook.com/scrink/posts/10155315308466570

Oh and one more thing, if having teachers carry guns is the solution you feel is best, then you sure as heck better start paying them A LOT MORE and finding a way to 100% ensure the guns remain out of reach of any children.

It comes in waves, musical heartache

I think I’ve written about Greg Laswell before… anyway, his song “Comes and Goes (In Waves)” just came up in my playlist while I’m working but not working because it’s almost lunch time and we’re preparing for snow and the kids are being dismissed early so my brain is naturally going a mile-a-minute which means TURN UP THE RADIO!

This is for the ones who stand
For the ones who try again
For the ones who need a hand
For the ones that think they can
It comes in waves
I,
Am only led to wonder why

This isn’t my favorite song, but it’s fitting right now I think. Even though this album came out in 2008, and this particular song did very well, in part, because it ran in a couple popular shows you might know… Grey’s Anatomy and True Blood.

But come on Greg, where are you? I mean in 2013 you released, I was Going to be an Astronaut, but it was an album of remakes, it was your sixth studio album and it was remakes.  And then last year your seventh album released and I hate to admit I didn’t hear much about it… Everyone Thinks I Dodged A Bullet. Sadly, this released a little after your split with Ingrid Michaelson… maybe it’s related, I don’t know, I myself am not one to be able to speak of love and relationships or what constitutes as dodging or not dodging a bullet.

That aside, I looked it up today and so back to the music talk.

Ohhhh Greg,  Everyone Thinks I Dodged A Bullet, is one of the saddest albums I’ve ever listened to, seriously not one anyone feeling emotional should spend time listening to, so I wish I hadn’t. That being said, when music can make you feel something, it’s good.

No more alarms
I’ve got this, I’ve got this I’ve got this
No fire escape
I’ve got this, I’ve got this, I’ve got this
We’ve got this

The lyrics above are from track #6 which is called “I’m Not the Same Man” and it is heartache in music form. I think this album was likely very painful for him to make. Greg Laswell fans, it’s brooding, introspective music, with a raw depth of sadness that those who have felt before will be able to resonate with instantly.

Ooh la la by The Well Pennies

Put the world away / Fight a little longer / Until you feel okay

The Well Pennies are a folk pop duo consisting of husband and wife team Bryan & Sarah Vanderpool.

And I very much enjoy the above song entitled, “Ooh la la.”

Right now there’s all types of chaos and sadness happening in the world and in my personal life. This song inspires hope and I appreciate that, which is why I’m playing it on repeat AND sharing it on the blog. Enjoy!

She Lit A Fire

No, it’s not a new song, but it IS new to my current playlist on repeat in the office.

And I would like to thank Google for their “Pumpkin State of Mind” playlist. It is A-MAZ-ING! And many thanks to indie folk-rock band Lord Huron and past band member Brett Farkas and current band member Ben Schneider for writing the song you can listen to below. It’s so good.

Where, could that girl have gone
Where, I’ve wandered far
Where, could that girl have gone
She left no trail but I cannot fail
I will find her
She lit a fire, but now she’s in my every thought

..

So now that you’ve listened, you might be wondering why it sounds familiar. Well, it’s similar in sound to their song “The Night We Met” which had air time in an episode of 13 Reasons Why during a dance scene with Clay and Hannah. Which is so sad :(

A go-to feel-good show coming to an end that looks into the future

You know those shows you immediately think of when you need to just feel better?

Mine used to be Psych, but that is not available on Netflix anymore (BOO!) and the series ended on USA so it’s just not as accessible as I would like it to be. My kids and I love to watch Friends, but now that we’ve seen the entire series three times from start to finish I really need something else.

So, I started watching New Girl. Now granted I have seen it before, but not religiously. One drawback is that I can’t really watch it with the kids. The contest is typically far too suggestive for their ears. BUT when I do get a chance to tune in, usually on Netflix, I am guaranteed to laugh.

All that being said, I just saw that this will be their final season! The seventh and final season of New Girl will begin airing sometime in 2018. (That’s another thing I don’t get about series these days, they have such wonky air dates.) Anyway, the upcoming season just might have a twist! This final season will only have eight episodes and it sounds like they’re planning for something a little different.

According to People’s Choice, the seventh season of New Girl will be picking up three years after the season 6 finale! WHAT!?

That would mean fans would see Schmidt and Cece with a child (since they were expecting in season 6), we’d find out what happened after Winston called his dad, and the fate of Jess and Nick’s romance.

Curious!? I am!

One of these things is not like the other

Okay, fine, I understand the danger in lumping people into categories. Like All Republicans or All Liberals or All Muslims or All Hispanics. Using the word ALL is a dangerous thing. However, everyone, ALL of us, absolutely need to acknowledge what is happening in our country and choose whether or not they condone it. There is no gray line here, there is no middle of the road. You’re either with the oppressed and you desire to help fix the situation or you are as bad as the oppressor for tolerating the evil and the hate. There is no excuse, there are no reasons, this is completely unjustifiable.

And do NOT try to tell me that there are two sides. No. I don’t want to have to give you that face I make when my eyes get all wide and my jaw juts out in disdain.

Let’s be clear.

One of these things is not like the other.

White Supremacy is not, in any way, the same as the Black Lives Matter movement.

Don’t say it. Don’t even think it.

Don’t try to convince me, don’t make an argument.

You’re wrong.

Listen to me. Black Live Do Matter. And when I say that I am not also saying that other lives matter less or more. I’m not.

Black lives matter is a statement, it means exactly what it says it means.

It DOES NOT MEAN that black people think their lives are more important than anyone else.

White Supremacy is the belief that white people are superior to those of all other races. That is also a plain and simple statement.
I’m not inferring thing here, it is a FACT.

If you’re hurt by this there is nothing I can do to change your hurt, but please know that there is no such thing as reverse racism.

You see, the people who are the most privileged seem to be the same people who talk about reverse racism and who have a problem with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Do you know why?

Because they are privileged and it doesn’t concern them, they haven’t experienced the problem and so it isn’t real.

whatdoyouthinkWhite privilege exists my friends. And if you think I’m wrong than I’m pretty confident you are benefiting from said privileges. An example, I know my boys can wear whatever they want without instantly being labeled a thug, low life etc. I’ve said this before, I have no worries about sending my boys down to get the mail from the mailbox wearing a hoodie. It wouldn’t cross my mind to tell them to consider changing before they left the house that way. Just typing that seems ludicrous, right? It sounds ridiculous and yet it is true. Especially when hate filled people can put a white hood on their head with only eye holes, light a torch and walk down the street screaming about Jews, and somehow that is okay…

Furthermore, I’ve been in a classroom where I was the minority only once while in college. But I’ve been in a classroom dozens of times where I was in the majority and I have seen, dozens of times, professors specifically call on a black student for their opinion because they are black. I can’t even imagine how it must feel to be questioned as if I were the sole representative for my entire race. And don’t even get me started on the people who are mad about affirmative action with employers! No one questions why a white person gets a really great job, it’s assumed that they were the best qualified candidate. #Whiteprivilege

So in writing this and re-writing and erasing and deleting and drafting and starting over… I am asking myself why it is so difficult to write this post.

It is difficult because I am angry. And when I am angry I have a hard time forming words that will then make sense.

f_la_kkk_rally_170708.nbcnews-ux-1080-600
A KKK rally in Charlottesville in July 2017

Charlottesville is a city in Virginia. Virginia is a state in the United States. It is the year 2017. Why in the name of God and all that is good in this universe did a group of mostly white males think it would be okay to light torches and walk through the night proclaiming that they are a superior race? And this isn’t the first time, the photo here is from another rally last month!

What kind of backwards, cluster of a racist mess must exist in their brains and in their hearts, for them to feel it was in any way okay to do what they did?
And they say it is because of a statue!?

You know the confederates were committing treason against the United States when they tried to separate from the North because they were defending slavery. Historic monument or not why would you want to maintain a legacy of inequality? Doesn’t seem very patriotic to me. These statues memorialize a time when our courts held that black people were only three-fifths human. And there is still so much inequality in our country, so the removal of monuments that represent the ideology of white supremacy is a step in the right direction.

And due to the evilness in Virginia, due to their pure hatred, three people died this past weekend.

Heather Heyer, a Charlottesville resident was 32 years old, she was peacefully protesting against the neo-nazis, she is dead now because one of the men who was part of the neo-nazi group decided to plow his car into the people protesting his evil.

Two state troopers, Pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, also died Saturday, when their helicopter crashed as they were heading towards the scene.

In total, at least 34 people were wounded and Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia declared a state of emergency.

It is something I cannot begin to understand, nor do I want to understand it. How can hating people and believing you are better than someone else ever be the answer?

So why, in this lovely year of 2017, are there hundreds of organized, official, documented HATE GROUPS in this country that I was one proud to call my home?

While there are so many suffering, struggling, treated unfairly and unjustly, while there is such evil, discrimination, hatred and racism in the United States, I cannot say that I am proud. And honestly, in many ways, I never should have been proud. While the United States has made great strides in improving equality there is still very far to go.

The fact that I had to write something similar to this not long ago is also very distressing to me.

Our President and his administration are part of the problem. They care only about money, power and status. They do not care about people, or the environment. To the current administration the only thing that seems to matter is how much money is lining their pockets. The fact that hate crimes are through the roof and that many of the perpetrators are thanking Trump, just sickens me.

His idiotic, uneducated, whining tweets sicken me.

“Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the #Fake News Media will never be satisfied…truly bad people!”

“Truly bad people!” The press, not the Nazis. I just can’t even.

All of this being said. As a human race, we’re not perfect. None of us, and we all should always be working on being better people. We should have open minds and open hearts. We should strive not to tolerate each other, but to respect and accept each other.

Our differences and the worlds injustices go beyond color. We are divided by race, by gender, by sexual identity, we are divided by religion, by politics and by class. We are a united nation that is so utterly divided it is heart breaking. And the worst part about it is all the millions of people who think I’m wrong.

scrink.comDon’t let racism and hate and evilness happen around you. Don’t stand there in silence and say that you are not those things. When you see people being oppressed and you choose not to do something then you are, too, their oppressor.

WAKE UP!

Wake up and stand up and speak out!

And then keep doing it. Admitting you see the problem does not fix the problem. There is much to be done.

One day I hope we can all celebrate our differences, and on that day, truly stand united.

Now, there is a positive note in all of this, and that is the thousands of people who put together peaceful rallies to show solidarity.

solidarity

You can’t give up the things you love to make it better

Cut Copy is at it again with a new track called “Standing in the Middle of the Field.”

What started out as a group of people recording music in their bedroom is now a band that promises to out do themselves with each new album.

As we all know, I’m a lyrics person, Cut Copy has progressively gotten better on the lyric front, but their music is something that moves me musically rather than lyrically.

Without further adieu, taken from their forthcoming album “Haiku From Zero” set to release on September 22, they oh so super catchy “Standing in the Middle of the Field.”

Bring Me Up | by Christy Mannering