Tag Archives: lies

Revolutionary regrets, I’ve had a few…


my-arms-are-tired-protester1Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the oppressed of the world could actually succeed in overthrowing the oppressors? Everywhere there is seething, but the outcomes are minimal, except for those killed, beaten, and imprisoned in the protest. Tyrants become stronger. It breaks my heart.
I remember travelling to Havana last Christmas, eager to see the Revolution’s results, knowing, of course, that it is hard to succeed when your nearest trading partner insists upon standing on your neck – but Cuba broke my heart. Such wonderful people, such beautiful art and music and talent and strengths and yet, so many slowly starving. Even the museum of the revolution was dusty, uncared-for, grim. It made the part of me that longs for some reprieve from the outrageous me-first greed and capitalism sad and sorry.
Are we destined to lose everything we have to the powers of the shareholders? Will we be discount-stored into non-existence? And will our world leaders continue to usurp our freedoms in the Orwellian name of “security”, while we dither about and do nothing?
It horrifies me, more than the destruction of the planet, even, for without power, we as citizens of the earth can do nothing to stop that destruction.
But we’re all too comfy, or too busy, or too hesitant to speak out.vote-the-bumsout
Or we do speak out, risk our lives, and make no progress against the juggernauts who shoot us, gas us, imprison us. And eventually, we have to get back to work. At the jobs they graciously allow us to keep as long as we keep our mouths shut.
My son has been reporting from Istanbul for the past several days, and now, as things quiet down, he wonders if anything was accomplished. Like the Occupy protests – masses of people rise up, make a lot of noise, get coverage for a few minutes of our magpie-news coverage, and then once the real messages come out, the media turns to the next shiny thing and the pressure goes off the leaders.
I used to feel I didn’t believe in armed insurrection, that peaceful protest was the right way, that working within organizations was the best way to change things.
Then I tried to change organizations from within, and every time I was broken against them. I’d get a change to happen, however minuscule, one that benefitted people, but as soon as I left they slipped back into the old ways, ways they didn’t even like but which they were used to.
So how do we change an outrageous paradigm?
Maybe it’s time to link Brazil and Turkey and Occupiers and the French (who are very very good at driving the dialogue) and those rabid footballers in various places, and pull together?
I don’t know.
I’m tired.
And here we have an admitted fraudster telling everyone he will run for office again, and people saying yeah, sure, I’d vote for him.
I give up, disgusted, and pull my covers over my head.
At least, for a moment.
I need to regroup. I’ll be back.Gandhi-368x378

 

Loving and the tummy


Okay. I’m round. I’ve always been round, pretty much. I’ve just varied in terms of degree.

It’s depressing, in one way – people judge me based on my weight and decide I am stupid, or lazy, or desperate for love, or have low self-esteem. None of those is true.

I merely enjoy life, and all the chocolate and wine and tasty things (primarily involving cheese) in it. I’m not greedy – I’ll bet I eat less than 80% of the people in North America. My MS means I can’t always exercise as hard as I’d like to, but I try. I’m fit, have muscles your average weightlifter might desire, and can and do swim many many laps without stopping to catch my breath. Add to that I am smart and confident and perfectly okay with myself, though I long for nicer clothing. But no one looking at me would think that.

ImageFunny thing is that once people actually get to know me, they adjust to all that. They seem to realize that this is just the way I was born and I can exercise and exercise and I’ll always look chunky. (Although presumably less chunky than I do right now, the fault of a medication I was placed on that guaranteed I would gain 25 pounds “on average”.) I have broad shoulders and ribs and my huge first pregnancy destroyed my abdominal muscles, (Children, drat them! And does she call? Does she buy me presents?)

But its funny about the first introduction thing. I met a fellow today and I have to say I worried a bit about whether he would take one look at me and say “too fat” and walk away, like one of my former dates did. That guy explained, helpfully, that he was a “visual person” and he couldn’t handle my appearance. He had crazy grey hair and was wearing Birkenstocks with socks.

It was kindof funny because once we started chatting (I forced him to say hello), he told me about all his weird theories of life and his food “allergies” and his strange background. What the heck made him think I would automatically want HIM? To be fair, I only wanted to meet him because he was an artist and we had a fascinating discussion about degrees of white. I knew it wasn’t going to work out.

Ah, men, men. You’ve got to pity them, sometimes. They believe, so totally, their own personal stories (or as my galpal says, their bulls**^). We women, instead, go about beating ourselves to a pulp and so are trained to feel grateful for any small attention.

Not all men, I hasten to add. Some of them are quite pleasant and wonderful and can understand that they probably have as many faults as we do.

Those ones are pretty darn refreshing. Even if they have a tummy.Image

Oh, Lance, Lance…


Way back when I was still married, my young son spent an entire summer getting up at before dawn hours to drag his comforter into the den and curl up and watch the Tour de France. He watched every stage, knew about all the riders, the speed challenges, the mountain climbing. He was so inspired, whether by the athleticism of the riders or the endless ads for exercise machines on the channel, that he wanted to try bike racing. We looked into bikes, I’m sure he dreamt of biking across very pointy peaks and sloping valleys.

Lance Armstrong seemed untouchable, the all-clean American guy with the lantern jaw and a fierce training regimen that allowed him to win. He even had a Harlequin Romance name, one deserving of heroism. He created the Livestrong movement , putting his name on cancer survivors everywhere, yellow bands that expanded to other colour bands and filled the world with arm decorations that will never biodegrade (I like the 7 Deadly Sins ones, myself).

Well, my son and I both older and more cynical now and I hold Lance partly responsible for that. He was so loud about his claims not to have doped, so out there about how he had triumphed over cancer to win that it makes his fall from grace endlessly painful. Demotivating, depressing, destroying. Have we NO heroes anymore? Can no one be an example to others – do we ALL have to cheat to survive and thrive? Surely not, I wail. Is the foundation even real? Or is it a lie, too?

My son wrote a graphic novel about Lance, way back when he was in grade nine. Even then he suspected something amiss. He invested Lance with a bionic testicle. It’s brilliant, as is his take on David Suzuki, a probably honest to goodness hero, but tainted by the same cynicism that all the world gets, unfortunately.It’s called The Wholesome Adventures of Tall Tall Stuart, and he created it all, with his friends, in Word, a tedious experience that showed me that he could really apply himself, provided it led to a cynical attack on someone he was angry about.

Still, today, as more news about Lance filled the airwaves, I couldn’t help but feel grief. For the guy who thought he had to do this fraud to make himself worthwhile. For all the doping athletes who can’t imagine they could be ever good enough to compete without help. For the coaches and their grasping manipulative ways. For all the cancer patients who looked to Lance as a shining example of succeeding despite adversity. And particularly for the kids, everywhere, who look up to sports heroes only to have their hearts trampled when it turns out they’ve doped or gone on strike for more obscene amounts of money, or been selfish, insufficient, and liars liars liars.

Is it so hard to tell the truth?

Even fiction writers do it.

But maybe, this lie does tell a truth. I just don’t want to hear it. It breaks my heart.