Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's funny how things work sometimes...

I received an email in my inbox today when I signed on. The subject line read: FWD: Christmas Virus (verified by snopes). Hmm, I said to myself, being the suspicious sort, that's just what I'd put into the subject line if I wanted to lull unsuspecting people into a false sense of safety so they'd open my little time bomb...were I one of those hacker types that think making little email bombs is amusing or fun or whatever (still don't understand the reasoning behind that, but that's another post).

So, being suspicious as I said and also in self defense of the few buddies that still think I actually know something about the net who are likely to get tagged by this very virus (should it actually exist) off I went to Snopes aka Urban Legends to find out if there was a Christmas virus that was indeed verified by Snopes.

The page isn't terribly userfriendly in my humble opinion, but hey they've been around for a very long time so who am I to judge. Regardless, in I went, thinking that the "what's new" link was a likely place to start. Scrolling down I found this.

Way back in the 'olden days' when I watched music videos for other than country music I recall seeing the video for Pipes of Peace. (Yay! for Wikipedia)

I'm not much of a PAUL fan. Ringo is and always has been my favourite Beatle. Paul's stuff has always been a bit too preachy for me :) and this video is a case in point really, :) but it still struck a chord deep within me somewhere.

Even back then, I believed that some wars are necessary. So while it's a lovely thing to know that there was a time in the history of war where men put aside their differences of right and wrong and simply met each other across a field of battle to see the similarities; I still believe that wars need to be fought, for any number of reasons, too many to enumerate here.

I have every respect for the soldiers who fight my battles for me and mine and all I can offer to their families who miss them at times like this is Thank You for giving me the gift of freedom and family on this day and every other day of the year.

Oh, and the 'Christmas Virus' thing? Go here, to see for yourself.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'll trade ya?

Along about this time of year, I start to become aware of the whole 'Happy Holidays' vs 'Merry Christmas' vs 'I don't celebrate this time of year and can't you RESPECT that? Have you no compassion? Do you not care that you are being POLITICALLY INCORRECT? How dare you make me, this child or that man uncomfortable by pushing your CHRISTIANITY DOWN MY THROAT?'

I am not politically correct, suck it up and get over it already. IF I INTEND to offend you it won't be in some innocuous way like oh... you know, celebrating my favorite time of year and my own religious beliefs. If for some reason that frankly is bad enough behaviour that I feel compelled to give you my opinion of you in public I'm going to tell you exactly what I think of you and none of it will be about the colour of your skin, your religious practices, how your culture treats women or where you were originally born. I might, however, ask you why you came here in the first place if where you're from, or what you believe and live there is so much better than how I live here, where I was born and enjoy my right to celebrate and live my religion and lifestyle.

Years ago, I used to be a door to door salesman (yes, salesman, that's what it's called, I wasn't a salesperson, saleswoman or representative). One of my customers had traveled to Europe to trace the trail of her great grandparents who fled Germany in the face of WW2 and all the atrocities that accompanied that time. She shared some of the story with me, and it came to light that our ancestors were from the same region. We never found out if they knew each other but in the kinship of the situation she presented me with a gift. A Star of David. A symbol of the Jewish religion. I am Greek Orthodox by baptism. I didn't care. That she would share that with me honored me. I wore the necklace. I treasured what it represented, not the divisiveness of the item, you see. Not the 'I am a Jew and you are a Christian and we must hate each other', not 'don't force me to look at your symbols'. I treasured that it meant that a world away two men may have passed each other in the street and lifted their hand in greeting to one another and that here, 50 years later, she and I could care about that fact.

So, to all those folks who insist on their way? I'll trade ya. I'll leave it be when you insist on changing the uniform of my national police force to suit your religious beliefs or ethnic customs. I'll turn away and shrug when you refuse to learn the languages (or at least like most of us born here, one of our languages) and make it difficult to not appear condescending as I try to make myself understood when I have to deal with you across a counter of some sort. I'll smile and encourage it when my children study your ways in school, because when it's all said and done, we're all in this together, even if your child can carry what no matter how you slice it (pun intended) is a concealed weapon and mine can't have a $2 pocket knife their grandfather gave them.

And you? All you have to do is one of the following. When I pay my bill, or talk to you on the phone or pass you in the street, and in the course of it, wish you Merry Christmas. Wish it back to me. And if you really, truly, no matter how you slice it, can not; just say nothing at all.

That'll be a fair trade to me.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Warning! Grumpy times ahead

Superficial people piss me off.

Check that, superficial people don't even sketch on my radar. Oh so cool people, particularly those with the proven ability of not being superficial; who strike a pose of superficiality to appear cool, in or cool by reason of a holier than thou I'm smarter than you are or better than you are because attitude PISS ME OFF.

I wish that tv shows that show these guys as the 'cool kids' would get the fuck over it already. Because I'm tired of telling my kids that they aren't really cool for being snotty to others. Because I'm sick of people who *get the fashionistas* ...frankly, how dumb are you all that because some pink haired androgynous type tells you that you aren't in anymore you run off and buy what they say is?

So for all you "challenged" types out there, here's a quick check list.

It's COOL to be compassionate.

It's IN to be helpful, courteous and pleasant.

It is COOL to understand that others have fears to face, insecurities to overcome, and little moments of triumph pertinent only to themselves. They don't need you to come round and tell them how lame they are. Frankly, the lame person in that situation is you.

It might not be cool but it certainly shows character to get a little teary eyed (or some semblance there of) when faced with an 'awwww' moment involving human spirit and said compassion.

It is NOT COOL to look down your nose at others for not being exactly like you. (note: don't you all want to be unique instead of ubiquitous?)

It is NOT COOL to be rude, pushy, snotty or impatient.

And it is particularly NOT COOL to hold others up for ridicule to make yourself look all that more cool.

It sums up into an old gem with a few added facets.

IF you do not want it said to, done to or felt by you, don't say it, do it or make anyone else feel it.

GROW UP already.