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Passions in Poetry

This really burns my biscuits...

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quietlydying
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25 posted 12-03-2002 08:33 PM       View Profile for quietlydying   Email quietlydying   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for quietlydying



/jen/

i'm freezing, i'm starving, i'm bleeding to death.  everything's fine.  [tracy bonham]

Balladeer
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26 posted 12-03-2002 09:06 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Brad, I agree with you. If you can't think of a good reason to come back, then don't. You have the choice. For all of the faults America has, many of us feel that that there are good points, too...points that make America a good place to live and enjoy the freedoms it offers to respect. If you are of the opinion these points don't exist, then it would be unreasonable for you to willingly subject yourself to such an unhappy existence. I would support your decision not to return to the fullest.
Brad
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27 posted 12-03-2002 09:27 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Thanks, Michael.
Brad
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28 posted 12-03-2002 09:51 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
I'm with you, Denise. Why the minority gets to dictate the rules is beyond me....consider my biscuits burned, too!

...and one doesn't have to wait to be a victim to speak out against stupidity or injustice...we will be soon enough.


It's a wonderful country, ain't it?
Krawdad
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29 posted 12-04-2002 02:45 PM       View Profile for Krawdad   Email Krawdad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Krawdad

Interesting discussion, Denise.
I don't know why we tend to get upset when our particular traditions get stepped on.  Is it lack of confidence, ego, nostalgia or all of the above?
Maybe it's fear.
As I see it, winter celebrations, more properly solstice celebrations, are all about fear, fear of the unknown (or about hope, from another angle).
"What's going to happen when the sun goes out?" (at least in the Northern Hemisphere for now) was the question probably asked in ancient times.
One would think that earlier solstice events were conducted as either payments for or celebrations of the sun's return, which would allay the threat and fear of shortening and cooling days.  Surely folks believed (hoped) that their efforts would make a difference, or at least pay homage to the powers "in charge".
Is it that much different to fear one's personal lights going out?  All religions play on that fear of course.  
The near-solstice christian holiday was deliberately scheduled to supplant those earlier solstice (and horrifically pagan?) celebrations.  The idea of course is "if you can't beat 'em, overwhelm 'em".
In any case, enjoy the Solstice, or Christmas or whatever allays your fears or gives you hope.
hush
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30 posted 12-04-2002 05:51 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Krawdad, I agree with you quite a bit-

Here's how I see it. November is quite possible the bleakest, ugliest month in the calender. But hey, you know what I get after November?  I get Christmas, chock-full of trips to the mall, plans of what I'm going to buy people, putting up trees and lights- now I know a lot of people get really depressed during the holidy season- but I come out of my November foul mood. I thnk that's what winter celebrations are meant to do- alleviate the monotony, cabin fever, and depression of winter.
Phaedrus
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31 posted 12-04-2002 07:15 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


I can see why some non-Christians are anti-Christmas, they want the holiday, the presents, the family gatherings but resent the religious undertones that accompany it. Buying into the Christmas spirit is tantamount to signing up to the whole Christ in a manger, angels and halos trip that they spend 360 days of the year vehemently avoiding. The strange thing is that most Christians I know believe Christmas has gone in exactly the opposite direction, it isn't about Christ anymore, the manger, angels and halos have now become a Christmas Corporate marketing tool not dissimilar to the Golden Arches of burger fame. People, at least the people on this side of the pond, donít associate Christ with Christmas at all anymore, ask them the one person they think about at this time of year and youíre more likely to hear Father Christmas or Santa Claus than JC.

Personally I think everyone should get what they want out of Christmas, and I fervently believe that what that should be for Christians is a reflection and concentration on the object of their faith. In that respect the PC brigade should keep their hands off Christmas but, and this is a big but, the Christians shouldnít try to monopolise the winter break and claim it solely as a Christian holiday, it is not nor has ever been. Celebrate your belief to your hearts content but leave everyone else to celebrate theirs in peace.
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32 posted 12-04-2002 10:08 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Karilea,

You can speak for me anytime. The giving of oneself to those around us is the best gift that we can give.

As for nostalgia, perhaps a touch. I do believe, though, that the world, though never free of pain and trouble has definitely made a nose-dive in recent decades. It is a more mean-spirited place, a more me-centered place, today than when I was younger. By comparison it seems that those days were gentle days indeed.

Midnightsun, Krawdad, and Phaedrus,

Christmas, as everything else, is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone brings to it their own history, worldview, sentimentalities, etc. And then, some celebrate entirely different holidays this time of year. Everyone is entitled to celebrate whatever holiday they want to celebrate, whether it be the Festival of Lights, Christmas, Ramadan, the Winter Solstice, whatever. For those who wish to have their own generic non-religious Winter Festival, go for it. As I said, earlier, what offends me are the people who are so easily offended at anything with a religious significance and try to force their views onto others through political means, lawsuits, threats of lawsuits, etc., demanding that things be their way or no way, in this particular case, the doing away with "Christmas" and the replacing of it with "Winter Festival".  

Does it really matter today, or was it so egregious a happening, that centuries ago the people took their pagan holiday festivals, which was all they knew their entire lives, and reinvented them, filling them with the meaning of their new found faith? I don't think so. I think the important thing was that they had a new reason for their celebrations. And I don't think this should lessen or invalidate the special signigicance that it holds for Christians today.

Brad,

Why such angst against America? I know we aren't the only country in the world that allows and encourages the free debate of ideas and issues, which often lead to dissention and controversy. That would only be inevitable, wouldn't it, wherever the right to free speech (that most of us are only too glad to exercise!), an important and necessary component of liberty, is allowed? Or am I way off base and something else is bothering you?
Brad
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33 posted 12-04-2002 10:30 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

How about this:
http://www2.gol.com/users/coynerhm/background_on_us_tank_accident_i.htm

Now, imagine Korea is Virginia.
Denise
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34 posted 12-04-2002 11:03 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Yes, I remember that tragic accident. Heartwrenching, indeed.

What specifically triggers your anger regarding the article? The accident itself, the presence of US troops in Korea, the indictment of the soldiers, the politics on both sides leading to the indictment, or the acquittals?
Brad
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35 posted 12-04-2002 11:19 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Actually, none of the above.

What bothers me is that many will respond with, "Well, we're there to help them. What are they complaining about?"

Or, "It's all political."

It would still be political in Virginia.

Or maybe they'll try to change the name of a national holiday.

You help me. When my students tell me America is a bad country because . . .

How should I respond?
Denise
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36 posted 12-04-2002 11:48 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Brad, there are many things that we all get peeved about in life, some little, some big, and some enormous. It doesn't do any good to bottle it up inside. That only leads to frustration and bitterness. Sometimes after venting we see things more clearly ourselves and are able to put things in their proper perspective. I guess changing the name of a holiday is, for all practical purposes, no big deal. It still wouldn't change the holiday or what it means to those who celebrate it. That I understand. I guess my gripe was more about the whole PC nonsense,  how rediculous, demanding and self-serving its advocates tend to be, in my view. That doesn't elevate it to a life and death type of problem though. Just something I had to vent about.

Your response would depend on what follows the "because...". What are generally some of those reasons, and how do you currently answer them? I can't think of anyone more qualified to answer them than someone who has lived in both worlds. I'd be interested in hearing some of their statements and your answers, if you'd care to share them.
Ron
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37 posted 12-05-2002 01:51 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Tell your students there's no such thing as a bad country, Brad. There are only bad people.

More correctly, of course, there are only people with their own agenda, some of whom are willing to sacrifice equity and justice to further their goals at the expense of others. Judging by the article and its interpretation of the current political climate in Korea, your students should be able to understand that.
Nan
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38 posted 12-05-2002 08:36 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

I have a wonderful recipe for cranberry butter that I'd be  happy to share with you.  We can put it on our burnt biscuits on Christmas morning.  (I don't know the answer to the sugar substitute thing)...

The majority of this country obviously celebrates Christmas.  We already call our school vacation the "winter break," and I think that's sufficient to include non-Christian believers...

I see no reason to downplay the fact that we have a major festive holiday in December.  I'm happy to learn about others and their reasons for their celebrations.  If they don't make me aware of them, of course... How will I know they exist?  Christmas is a joyous celebration, folks... Enjoy it.

Um.. Is Santa a Christian? I always thought he could bring gifts to EVERY child.  He doesn't have to bypass non-Christian children, does he?...
hush
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39 posted 12-05-2002 01:23 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'I do believe, though, that the world, though never free of pain and trouble has definitely made a nose-dive in recent decades. It is a more mean-spirited place, a more me-centered place, today than when I was younger.'

Denise- what do you think caused this, as opposed to when you were younger?
Brad
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40 posted 12-05-2002 04:44 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Ron,

But that also means there's no such thing as a good country. I'm sure you don't have any problems with that, but that's just not how people speak. And still, in so many ways, it's another version of the PC nonsense that bothers Denise and I as well. Is it true? Sure, but it's the wrong language game. For that to a successful counter, a number of assumptions have to be explained, and most of them are peculiarly American assumptions that Americans attempt to universalize.

And then ignore.

1. All men and women are equal in the Creator's eyes.

2. Nations, collectives, and societies don't really exist, only individuals do.(Okay, I'm thinking of Thatcher now, let's call her an honorary American.)

3. Venting is a natural and healthy thing to do.

4. Corollary of one: the Strong can make mistakes just as much as the Weak.

These are just off the top of my head, but one and two are directly countered by the SOFA. Americans do not accept that Koreans have the same right to justice that Americans claim for themselves.  Many arguments have been brought out to secure a kind of 'equal partnership' agreement, but America simply doesn't want that.

Let's put it more clearly, Americans don't want that. Koreans believe that American soldiers, the rank and file, have something like 'diplomatic immunity', the kind that Mel Gibson and Danny Glover fought in Lethal Weapon 2. Americans believe that it is impossible to get a fair trial and this immunity is necessary. Koreans see it as a power play, the strong Americans manhandling the weak Koreans. But, Americans see it as lone Americans (and therefore weak) against a sovereign government (and therefore strong).

Both sides are playing the victim card. Both sides are playing politics.  But Michael's general profundity is valid for Korea just as much as it is America, Korea has its faults but has many good points. I suspect that that can be said about any country that can reproduce itself after one generation.

Can they get a fair trial in Korea? My answer is yes, provisionally, because I'm not sure what people in America mean by fair trial anymore. It would seem that it would mean as long as you agree with it, it's fair. I believe that even if a Korean court had handed down the exact same sentence, Americans would have seen it as unfair, biased, the result of jealousy on the part of the Koreans etc.

But for all the Korean venting you hear, most are pretty good people, trying to get ahead, worried about their families, and, yes, would expect the full support of their 'Big Brother' (I don't know if this pun should be intended or not) in any act of war.  Besides you can make a good case that, politically, it's in Korea's best interest to have a fair trial.

All of this is brushed aside however.

It was not my intention to go into Korean/American relations here, but to show a parallel between the PC nonsense that I think Denise is correct in her description:

quote:
I guess my gripe was more about the whole PC nonsense,  how rediculous, demanding and self-serving its advocates tend to be, in my view.


I think that's exactly how they act. The problem is that the same description can be applied to the venting above: in Korea, in America, in Palestine. But a vent is a sign of powerlessness, it is to take the role of the victim by definition (Sorry, Denise, I know that you dislike this idea, but the rhetorical strategy is there even if you aren't conscious of it. Michael does it too. I've done it as well. I think it's a part of all of us to do this at times.) I just think we need to be aware that that is what we are doing.

Why do we need to be aware of this? There's an old Star Trek episode, The Organian Peace Treaty, where Kirk explodes on the Organians for taking control of the weapons and ships about to go to war with the Klingons, "You have no right . . ."

Organian guy: "Do you really want to see the deaths of countless thousands, of millions of innocent people?" (Or something like that, this is from memory).

Kirk: (In a display of overacting that only Shatner can produce). Well, no one wants war.

Denise, I like that last post a lot. But that venting has a down side to it as well and I guess instead of standing in solidarity with you against the barbarians who would demolish and sterilize and secularize American mainstream culture (I'm all for secular government.), I guess I just wanted to point that out. Playing the game of venting and counter-venting is a dangerous one -- it may be a release of rage but it can also stockpile righteous indignation in others.

-----------------

What is my response to my students? Well, to be honest, when I hear some criticize America or when someone brings such criticism to my attention (and strangely enough they also bring criticism of Japan to my attention), I usually respond with, "Yeah, you're right. I hate them. The Japanese are silly. Americans are stupid. And Koreans are childish." And smile.

Misanthrophy has its rhetorical advantages just as much as universal love.

And it's just as meaningless.  



Mysteria
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41 posted 12-05-2002 05:14 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

You can consider me in the "biscuit burning section" too.  I just returned from my first of many Christmas concerts having heard the words to age old Christmas carols changed.  I was horrified! and a parent told me that even the television commercials are calling it "The Twelve Days of Giving" and not Christmas. (Radio Shack was one she mentioned). I had to speak to one of the music teachers after.  She informed me that because of the large Iranian, and ESL student population of this school they had to make "minor" changes to accommodate all of the children and their parents. Well, I am waiting to see what they do at St. Thomas Aquinas on Saturday, this ought to be good!  This is a private Catholic School where all races attend, and if I don't hear Christmas in those carols, I am going to start booing!  Denise, I join you.  I may not be the most religious person in the world, but I sure respect those that are, and that means all people.  The very one thing that could pull this world together always seems to separate us and always has.

By the way, Winterfest in Vancouver is wonderful and anyone can attend - and thousands do.  That still doesn't mean taking away an age old tradition.  And Brian, what is wrong with associating Christmas with loads of presents, I have been really good all year and can't wait  

I realize this discussion will head in a political direction so I had to tell you I am very sad I didn't get to hear, the "Twelve Days of Christmas".  I bet all those children of every color who sang that gets a present from Santa anyway, and says, "Merry Christmas" that morning.  

[This message has been edited by Mysteria (12-05-2002 05:22 PM).]

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42 posted 12-05-2002 09:43 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Hush,

I would attribute it to the gradual decrease over time of moral absolutes in society in general, leading to, I believe, an increase in self-absorption/gratification, naturally resulting in a me-first attitude, often/even at the expense of others. 'Others' no longer hold equal footing with 'self', let alone, heaven forbid, given precedent over 'self'.

Looking back, I guess I can see the beginnings of this in the late '60's, early 70's. Not saying it didn't exist prior to that, but I think this is when it came into its own as an accepted, wide-spread philosophy. Long held values were questioned, and in some cases, discarded as archaic, unnecessary and inhibiting to the 'realization' of the individual.

Even simple things like 'manners' became devalued to a large extent. We wouldn't want to teach our children to be mannerly and respect their elders, for instance, why that might crush their little self-expressive spirits! (Was this the beginnings of the PC movement?)

And so now, today, we have many young children walking down the street using language that would embarrass a drunken sailor, practically knocking you over to get past you, as the thought of 'sharing' the sidewalk would never enter their minds because of the, "hey, nobody else matters, only I and what I want matter" upbringing that they received.

We have young people riding around in their cars with their 'base systems' blaring and shaking the windows of houses at 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning, booming out the endearing lyrics of "yo momma's a whore, yo sister's a slut, get out my face, mf'er, kill the man, kill the man". Charming, eh? (and I can't afford to move because the house I purchased 11 years ago has accrued a 50% negative equity due to the Section 8 housing program that has taken over my once working class neighborhood over the past 6 years...but that's another rant for another time.)

We have spawned a generation, to a large extent, that has no concept of common courtesy and manners, let alone self-sacrifice. This is not all-inclusive, of course. As in everything there are the exceptions. When I was growing up the balance was tipped in the other direction.

Nan, I'd love that recipe! Sounds absolutely yummy! Mysteria gave me her recipe for artifically sweetened cranberry sauce, (thanks again, Sharon!) and I improvised and tried using Splenda during the cooking process since it doesn't lose its sweetness when heated and it turned out great!

Yep, Santa is for all the children! Absolutely! (ya might want to check with the PC group though, they may not like him either!)

Sharon, my point exactly. We don't have to do away with the traditions of Christmas in an attempt to be inoffensive. Whoever wants to join in can join in. The more the merrier!

Brad, I can see your point about the victim thing, as you have explained it above. My perception of the word had a bit more negative connotation (i.e., whiney, cry-baby, boo-hoo, woe is me). In the sense that you are using it, it seems to mean anyone who believes they are agrieved in some way? And you're right, I wasn't conciously using it as a rhetorical strategy. (I don't think or plan that deeply! I just speak my mind.) And I can also see your point about venting having its downside. But since it is part of communication, it is necessary, isn't it? We just have to make sure that we aren't throwing barbs for the sake of throwing barbs, that we actually listen to the other side and try to reach some understanding or compromise, if at all possible. We don't just suck up all our grievances, do we, and try to act like nothing is bothering us? That's definitely not healthy either. What to do, what to do?

As you can see from my rant about my neighborhood, I definitely feel like a victim of the Federal and local government regarding their Section 8 housing program. I wonder if the people who create these programs, perhaps with the best of intentions for helping the less fortunate, realize how many other folks that they are economically destroying in the process?
  

[This message has been edited by Denise (12-05-2002 09:45 PM).]

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43 posted 12-06-2002 08:45 AM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

you know what burns my biscuits???? Huh??? YOu  wan to know???

( leaving them and or any idea in the oven to cook to long)

There.... now you know...
hush
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44 posted 12-06-2002 02:32 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Denise, I agree and disagree with you.

This, of course, is based on my secondary education about the 60's-70's timeframe. (my mom was a little too young to be thinking about me way back then. )

I have to stop and wonder is 'the gradual decrease over time of moral absolutes in society in general' is (at least in theory) such a bad thing.

For example, my mom is a single mom, and I lived with her as a child, visiting my father on weekends. Had I been born maybe twenty years before I was, this would have been much less acceptable. Social pressure might have pushed my mom into marrying my father (and that would have been a recipe for disaster, believe me), or, considering that my father wasn't interested in getting married, she might have felt compelled to have an abortion, so that she wouldn't be socially outcast, or even fired from he job.

The 'the gradual decrease over time of moral absolutes in society in general' allowed room for my mother to raise me on her own as she saw fit, which in many cases deviated from the standards her parents set (marriage, Catholic upbringing, more of a 'tough love' stance...)

I consider this a decidedly positive thing.

Now, of course, you have people like that Yates woman who drowned her five children and blamed it on post-partum depression. Anyway you cut it, whether or not she was really suffering that severely from the depression, it deviates from the norm of a criminal did-you-or-didn't-you trial.

I, personally, think the PC movement has a lot to do with the broadening of definitions for 'insanity' pleas. I have a problem with this, because I think it encompasses normal human behaviors that humans don't want to take responsibility for... but the point isn't whether I agree, it's that a marginalized group has a say in something that's going to happen to them.

On the whole, I think this is a good thing.

While I agree that things like simple manners and courtesy have become afterthoughts to the wanton credit-card consumption we Americans engage in, I have to comment on:

'We wouldn't want to teach our children to be mannerly and respect their elders,'

I have a problem with giving a certain group preferential treatment for a reason like that. When I listen to my father go on a rant against arabic peoples/Muslims because he thinks they're all terrorists and we shouldn't let any in this country, I find it hard to respect him for his age when he holds a comparably less mature worldview than I do. (Based on my perceptions, I know...)

It's like me, as a white person, being nice to a black person simply because back in the day, my European ancestors exploited their African ancestors. Now, I'll be nice to black people, and old people, and whoever else, based simply on the fact that they are people- but any respect beyond the basic human respect that everyone deserves is gained or lost based on how somebody acts, not on how I perceive them socially. That, in my opinion, is the morally fair option.

'because of the, "hey, nobody else matters, only I and what I want matter" upbringing that they received.'

I thnk this often has more to do with commercialism ("Have you had your break today?") and culture than family upbringing. We are constantly plied with credit card junk mail, everyone has a cell phone, marketing is everywhere- now I'm all for capitalism, but America takes it to a terribly self-indulgent extreme based far more on image and profit than actual product quality. You can't avoid it, the best you can do is to remove yourself from it as much as possible.

I also think it;s a maturity thing- as kids get older, they realize that mom and dad can't buy them 80$ jeans at the mall every 2 months- so they get their own job. And they spend all their money. But eventually, as college or adulthood come nearer, I think we tend to learn more about the value of a dollar, about what's important- there comes a maturity in investments. Unfortunately, some people never reach this.

Now here's where things get interesting in your post:

'and I can't afford to move because the house I purchased 11 years ago has accrued a 50% negative equity due to the Section 8 housing program that has taken over my once working class neighborhood over the past 6 years...but that's another rant for another time.)

We have spawned a generation, to a large extent, that has no concept of common courtesy and manners, let alone self-sacrifice.'

Where is your sense of self-sacrifice in the Section 8 housing development case? I'm not saying that to be mean, but rather to point out that self-interest is crucial to our nature. Of course you're pissed that your house has gone down in value- I would be too! But the spirit of self-sacrifice is to give up comfort for yourself to give it to others.

We all strive to meet standards we set for ourselves, and this, in itself, is self-interest, whether it be economic, moral, or otherwise. It's useless to criticize a culture for its selfishness, because that's an inherent part of the human makeup- rather, we should criticize whether the selfish activities really contribute to one's self-interest, and how people can serve themselves while serving others, instead of the constant implication that it has to be just one or the other.
Denise
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45 posted 12-06-2002 09:14 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ron,

Now aren't you glad you got that off your chest?!


Hush,

There are many positive changes that have taken place in society. Feeling free to keep a child that is born out of wedlock is one of those positive societal changes. It is unfortunate that society felt compelled to shame those, or were ashamed of, those who had made mistakes (as we all do). That speaks more to peopleís reactions to a violation of a value held by society more than it does to the validity of the value itself. I see those undesirable reactions as a moral failing as well. It is possible to embrace a set of values, while at the same time not ostracizing and shaming individuals who have fallen short of the mark.

Iím sure commercialism does play a role in current behavior. That doesnít negate the upbringing aspect. It is still the parentsí responsibility to insure that their children are given every opportunity to develop into responsible adults. If that means eliminating as much of the corrupting influences of commercialism as possible from their daily lives, then that is what should be done. No parent gets to scapegoat a childís behavior on commercialism, in my opinion. Maturity isnít something that just happens.  The groundwork that allows for maturity has to be laid by the parents.

Showing respect to others does not mean that we necessarily have to like them or agree with them. Yes, we should show respect to all people, regardless of age, not because of age. I was just giving an example, referring to children, as one aspect of changes that I have seen over the years. I also see it in adults on a daily basis too.

I think that respect is something that should be given regardless of whether a person is perceived to be deserving. This idea of 'qualified' respect, "I'll respect you, if you are worthy of it", is precisely one of those changes in attitude that I am referring to that is a by-product of a relativistic societal standard.  

I don't see self-interest and selfishness as synonymous. As you've stated, we all possess an inherent self-interest. It is natural and it is necessary for our survival in this world. I believe that one can possess a healthy self-interest, while maintaining a concern for others, whereas I see selfishness as a perversion of self-interest, lacking completely, or for the most part, in concern for others.

As for my problem with the Section 8 program...I don't think that the government should arbitrarily decide for me (I never had a say in the matter) that I should sacrifice my desire to live in a safe and desirable neighborhood (self-interest) that doesn't infringe on my concept of a decent quality of life. This doesn't even come close to being a sacrificing of "comfort" issue. I'd like not to hear gunshots from down the street. Do you know, or can you imagine what it must be like to suddenly pull a three year old child to the floor, fearing that a bullet may come through the window? I'd like not to see roving gangs of delinquents disrespecting othersí property. I'd like not to see adult men standing on the corner drinking 'Forty's' and smoking pot. I'd like not finding empty drug bags and condoms lying in the street. Until recently there was a drug house 4 houses down (very close when you live in a row house...about 50 feet) where folks lined up at one of the front windowsÖmoney went in and drugs came out.

The house that I bought in a working class neighborhood, that I mortgaged for 30 years, is now located in a ghetto due to the governmentís mishandling of one of its programs. And guess what? I still have to pay the mortgage. They havenít offered to compensate me for my losses (hey, Iíd settle for a 40% recovery of my losses based on fair market value prior to the decline of the area due to their program, since thatís the average here that the federal and local governments pay on a monthly basis to house people who qualify for their program). That wonít happen. When there are no political connections, when there is no political clout, nothing in it beneficial to the politicians, chances are nothing will be done to change things. The losses incurred are all mine, to have and to hold.

I donít begrudge anyone a decent place to live and if it means being subsidized by the government, thatís fine. The program has just been severely mismanaged, inequitably distributed (some neighborhoods have no subsidized units, some blocks like mine are now 90% subsidized units), and completely lacking in any type of community follow-up programs.

I donít think my consternation speaks to a lack of a self-sacrificial spirit, as much as it speaks to a healthy self-interest.  And true self-sacrifice has to be an individual choice, it isnít something that can be foisted upon people by political action groups or by the government. Thatís just coercion, in my view.


[This message has been edited by Denise (12-06-2002 09:45 PM).]

Magicmystery
Senior Member
since 02-13-2002
Posts 935
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


46 posted 12-07-2002 12:15 AM       View Profile for Magicmystery   Email Magicmystery   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Magicmystery's Home Page   View IP for Magicmystery

In Toronto the "politically Correct" (now that I know what PC stands for ...not progressive Conservative, the oxymoron that I have come to recognize that abreviation to mean with being Canadian and all.) THEY have decided to "not offend anyone" and rename the Christmas tree that stands in the middle of Nathan Phillips Square (city hall) the "Holiday Tree"  EEEEESSSSHHHHH!!!!! For Five cents!!!! it's not like it's actually a nativity scene (not that I haven't seen my share of minorahs on display... Gee I wonder what they could be for... H H H a Lidays??? I have no objections to any religion celebrating its most holy days... I am amazed and inspired by the diversity.  I am not offended by any of their displays.
There was once a time that if you objected to the Prayers or the National anthem, you could opt out by removing yourself to the hall for that brief portion of openning exercises.  no one looked down on you if you did.... and now.... in an effort to not offend, we have caved in to all the various groups that have decided that this country and its principles were worth making their own.  HUH??? We, and our Neighbours to the south founded our countries on certain principles.  We shouldn't be pushed into ammending our comprimising them by every whim and whiner who ...I couldn't envision being raised here.... not in my generation anyway.... I celebrate Christmas... I know the reason for the season.  I don't demand that anyone who doesn't share my beliefs join me.... anymore than I think those of other beliefs and backgrounds would expect me to join them.  I just think that every other religious group out there is making an attempt to legislate Christians into keeping their religious beliefs to themselves... after all.... we were instructed to go out and bring the "Gospel" to the four corners of the world.  Is everyone so afraid that they might just hear something worth believing in?  I do believe it would be so much easier for everyone if we (Christians) would all just crawl passively under a rock and let them all tug and pick apart the holidays that were originally set aside to celebrate Christian events(don't anyone start whining now)  What DO you think "holiday" means..... Holy Day... Day separated.... set aside ... something special.... I couldn't give a rats ___(aheM) if my celebration offends some....it shouldn't... I am not sacrificing live animals... etc... or breaking any laws... yet... (only maybe those imposed by such pc paranoia)...  and I think for the most part those who are offended, for one reason or another, have went out of their way to be offended. I think they should find better ways to waste their time than sucking the joy out of what should be such an incredibly special and magical time of year... no matter what the religion or lack of it may be.

I pray that the Season finds you joyful, reflective and at peace with your neighbours
All of them.



Sherry

Cherish the good memories of the past and look forward to the adventure called Tomorrow. But above all... be kind to yourself today.

Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


47 posted 12-07-2002 11:30 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

My favorite version of The Christmas Carol is the musical version of Scrooge with Albert Finney playing Ol' Ebeneezer himself.

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


48 posted 12-07-2002 11:50 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Yeah my biscuits are burnt too.... as a proud Roman Pagan I'm really peeved about how that darn Constantine took our revered holiday of Saturnalia and co-opted it into the Christian religion and called it Christmas... what's the world coming to?

Just Kidding...

Happy Holidays all... and Merry Christmas too...
Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


49 posted 12-07-2002 12:04 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

You might be kidding, but you are correct.
 
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