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Author: grbankler

Us and Them

Us and Them

I wrote this last week in what seemed like a time I needed to write it for me. However, as time passed, I second guessed whether or not to publish it because I didn’t want to be preachy and wondered if it’s even relevant anymore. This topic has surfaced again on my newsfeed today so I’m sharing now, hardly proofread, but if I don’t do it now, I might not. 

 

I sit here overwhelmed with the constant output of news, specifically what I consider to be bad news. Let’s be honest, if my newsfeed was puppies and rainbows, I wouldn’t be writing this. I’ve read story after story about what new policy has been put in place or an opinion piece about how one side, specifically the other side, has it all wrong. That’s when I hear the voice in my head, and sometimes out loud say, They or We, Them or Us. A metaphorical face palm follows with the understanding that those words are how we got here. We, and I mean Us and Them, are staying on our side and doubling down on why We are right, and They are wrong.

One of the most thought-provoking pieces was a video circulating of a Nazi getting punched. I think it’s safe to say the very human part of me wants every Nazi or hate filled person to get punched, yet I found myself a little sad at the notion of a person getting whacked out of nowhere. There was a unique opportunity for me, in this particular story because I found myself in the middle. Yes, a guy like that is terrible for spreading messages of hate, but getting hit when doing nothing outwardly violent didn’t seem right either. The opportunity I had was to listen to both sides with curiosity, true curiosity, not just asking questions so I can prove I’m right. How many of us are guilty of that last one? Me!

I was speaking to a friend of mine, who by all accounts I would label a pacifist. He is compassionate, loving, and an amazing friend. I’m always willing to hear what he has to say about something like this because our opinions differ such that his sounds just enough like mine that I am willing to listen and share openly. He was firmly in the camp of that guy deserved a punch. I wasn’t completely surprised, yet I was. He said, even if he wasn’t actively violent at that moment, what he was saying incites violence and encourages terrible things to be done in the world. He was talking about the general Nazi message, not just the interview where said punch took place. That made sense to me. I understood what he meant. If we just sit back and let people instigate violence, then we may find ourselves on a subtle, slippery slope that has us off a cliff before we can punch the person pushing us. This is the point in which I set the record straight. My friend has since changed his mind on this topic, not my doing, but by listening openly to another friend. It’s something which he is gifted at doing.

I have OCD, so the obsessive part of my brain got a hold and wouldn’t let go. I saw the video surface a few more times and even saw it set to music. It reminded me of the cheering people did at Trump rallies when someone hit a protester. It’s kind of the same feeling I got when I heard people cheering that Sadam Hussain or Osama Bin Laden got killed. It’s a mixture of “They won’t hurt anyone anymore” and “Somewhere, someone misses them terribly. They had a mother. They had children.” It makes it hard for me to ever rejoice in someone’s death. I’m sure if an act of violence happened directly to my children I would want to cut someone’s neck off, slowly with a butter knife, but I’m fortunate to say that hasn’t happened.

I keep coming back to this; if we say it’s okay to hit a Nazi because he is spreading ideas which we find dangerous to the world, then aren’t we also saying it’s okay for them to do the same. After all, they believe what liberals are saying about all inclusive, equal rights for everyone are dangerous to their way of life. Here’s where I want to be clear. I’m firmly on the side of everyone single person should have equal rights, not just in this country either, but the logic of justification seems flawed. They think We are just as dangerous as We think They are.

I expect many to disagree with me, respectfully, I hope. I don’t have answers, at least not as many as I have questions, but I think now more than ever, we need to ask more questions.

Together

Together

When all is done tomorrow, we will still be a nation founded on freedoms other countries can only dream of having. No matter how this election turns out, remember, good is always stronger than bad. It’s an oversimplification, but one with many examples to prove its truth. We are all scared, some for different reasons than us, but the fear is real. We all want to feel safe and loved. Maybe it’s a good idea help someone else feel safe and loved. It sounds hard, especially if we disagree with them, but maybe that kindness is what will bring us closer to that feeling. Be compassionate today, tomorrow, and long after because we all want the same thing. I know it doesn’t always look like it, but we do. Sometimes it is fueled by fear, and sometimes it’s fueled by love. Let’s be an example and fuel our wants with love.

That is all!

I Can’t Shut Up About This Show!

I Can’t Shut Up About This Show!

 

 

Why is today a notable day? It has nothing to do with the election, at least as far as I know. I’m seriously considering a media blackout until Christmas. Anyway, back to my point, when you log onto your Netflix account, you will find six brand new episodes of Black Mirror. Those of you who already watch this gem of a show don’t need convincing, but if you’re not, get to it. If the trailer is any indicator of the quality of this upcoming season, then we are in for a ride.

After you read this ridiculously short blog post, check this show out. That is if you aren’t scared by near future humans making terrible choices while you squirm in your chair, a lot. I enjoy that sort of thing. It’s brilliant storytelling; production quality is great (not really surprising), and the acting is not noticeable. Trust me that is a good thing.

Notable episodes, in this girl’s opinion:

Season 1:

Episode 1- “The National Anthem” because what the fuck? Seriously intense. Also, divisive so don’t judge the whole season by this one episode, especially if you keep Kosher.

Episode 3 – “The Entire History of You” because it’s thought provoking storytelling about technology that doesn’t seem so far off. I’ve had several people tell me they had to take breaks during this one. I powered through because while it was uncomfortable, it was too good to put down.

Season 2:

Episode 1- “Be Right Back” because it walks that wonderful line of showing a character make decisions you know might not be the best choice, but you’re still rooting for them.

Episode 2- “White Bear” because, like the very first episode, I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen. It’s fast paced and wonderful at revealing just enough nice and slow. Yeah, I said fast paced and slow reveals. Brilliant!

Black Mirror reminds me of The Twilight Zone, mostly due to its cautionary tale feel. It focuses on the relationships and the characters that drive the story so forcefully. That doesn’t always happen in this genre, or I guess any for that matter. If you decide to watch this show I hope it provides as much entertainment for you as it did me.

Enjoy!

 

 

Enough about me

Enough about me

Here you will find my thoughts and musings about all things I think and muse over. Maybe not all, because I have two kids that don’t raise themselves, even though they would probably be better at that than I am.

I think a lot. I think about doing a lot. I’ve thought a lot about writing a blog, but alas, fear is a nasty wall that’s pretty high sometimes.  The constant barrage of comments from the asshole in my head is discouraging, exhausting and constant. Did I say constant? I share this for one reason; I hope to inspire. If I can do this badly to mediocre you can, too.

Let’s get right to it. Here is what’s playing in my head at any given moment:

  • You’re going to use the wrong your/you’re and you’ll look like an idiot (yes, I checked whether I used the correct one several times before posting.) All grammatically related nay-saying thoughts can be represented by this one. The gist is, I don’t want to look like an idiot, but you know, sometimes I am. I have no clue how to use a comma, okay maybe a small clue, but generally no idea. I am a former offender of using loose instead of lose, allot or alot instead of a lot; I mean, I have done all the worst things you can do grammatically. I don’t even know what I’m still doing that makes me look like an idiot.
  • Of course, this leads to other words of wisdom from the asshole in my head. “You’ll look ridiculous, stupid, or unworthy of internet space.” (Surely one day we will run out of internet space. That has to be a thing.) I could share an opinion that some may see as not just useless, but downright idiotic. That is sure to happen, I promise, however, that part doesn’t bother me as much as hearing people tell me all about it. Forever!
  • What are YOU going to write about? I mean, who the fuck wants to listen to me blabber on about anything? I have no counter argument for this one.
  • What if I could get more followers if I emptied my bladder while eating a ham sandwich on video? Okay, that is gross and sick and may be true – but eewww! Just eewww! (My friend Paul Normandin wrote this line for me. I put it in because he’s funny, and it sounds just like something I would have said if I’d thought of it.)
  • Last, but certainly top of the list is, you’re a poser, Gloria. A writer you are not. Well, asshole, my brain says otherwise.

Why do I endure this cycle of “Gloria you’re crap” self-talk, only to try to get to the other side? (There is another side, right?) I’m doing it because I can’t help myself. It’s crucial to my mental health to write. It also seems important that I tell people what I think about some things, okay, everything. So instead of making everyone I meet (and my husband) listen to me tell them that they have to watch Black Mirror or that they just must read Red Rising, by Pierce Brown I am going to write a blog about this stuff. Also, I promise you this is not the last you will hear about the above-mentioned items.

I enjoy watching shows, movies, and reading because afterward, I get to talk a lot about all that is great about them. I also enjoy talking about where it could be better. I will not do that on this blog; at least that’s my intention. I don’t need to be a critic of anyone else’s art; there are plenty of those out there. There are so many shows, books, and movies that are worthy of praise, let’s get to praising. You can still find me gesticulating wildly in a coffee shop or as the passenger in a car telling a friend what needs to be better. However, here I will attempt to remain positive. It’s tough making art, and it’s exponentially harder to put it out there, so let’s be kind.

I will also express my opinions about other things. I cannot promise the same goal of being positive at all times. What I will do is be as honest and productive as I can. Now, if you’re still with me, I want to thank you for reading. There are a ton of blogs out there, and if you’re reading mine, I am honored and grateful. I will try to keep things short and sweet. Enough about me.

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