Every day, I encounter a new challenge to the idea that things can and should be open and real.

Be it social, political, or personal, serious or trivial -- every time, I ponder the implications.

I hope you'll join me in the conversation!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Scarletts and Melanies

A friend of mine recently mused, "In this life there are Scarletts, and there are Melanies." What followed was the predictable rush of women to assert that they were Scarletts, they had gumption, they were independent, and one may fairly assume that they were captivatingly gorgeous as well........

But my friend and I got into a side conversation about Miss Melly, a character who as I grow older I find all the more incredible and in fact the true bad ass of Gone with the Wind. (I noticed right away that my friend never judged one or the other, but it was immediately assumed she was lifting up Scarlett as cooler and more preferable.)

If you recall, Melanie's portrayal as "mealy mouthed" and basically a big loser comes only from Scarlett, her chief rival for Ashley Wilkes' love. If you discount Scarlett's obvious bias against her and just judge her on the merits of her actions and her approach to life, she is a complete rock star.

She is incredibly kind. She never has a bad word to say about anyone, and in fact rushes to Scarlett's public defense, calling her "sister," when anyone else would have let her crumble under the much-deserved public scorn she heaps upon herself. She knocks out a Civil War childbirth with no medical help. She is able to talk Rhett, rendered incoherent and insane with grief, off the proverbial ledge when his child dies. I have some vague recollection of her dragging a sword to Scarlett's rescue when she can barely walk herself. There is more, but these are my favorite memories of Miss Melly in Gone With the Wind.......

I don't need to tell you what a repulsive person Scarlett O'Hara is. Yes, she is stubborn. She is a fighter and a survivor. But she wouldn't know love or friendship if they slapped her in the face, and unless someone is serving her in the manner she wants to be served and worshipped, she has no use for them.

So yes, I think I might want a Scarlett if I need someone to do absolutely anything necessary to never be hungry again. But I want a Melanie beside me in life for the long haul.

Thankfully, I have many.

No photo credit, I probably don't have permission to use this, but I thought it a lovely photo of Olivia de Havilland.

Friday, October 23, 2009

That's right, she said Tooth Fairy.

Well, actually it's not "right." But it is what she said.

This morning a friend of a friend compared climate change due to pollution as the same thing as believing in the Tooth Fairy.

Apparently as Americans we are continuing to exert our God-given right to believe whatever we want to believe, regardless of what research and science demonstrates. The person commenting was implying that "believing" in climate change was the same thing as believing in the Tooth Fairy, and that sooner or later everyone needed to grow up and stop making things up.

There are so many levels of frustration I have with this there is no room or time to go into it all, but here are some questions I have:

1) Why would anyone want to "believe" in climate change? What possible advantage does this provide to anyone in any way? It's making my life pretty damn inconvenient. Oh, wait......

2) Why are we still using words like "believe" when discussing science?

3) How can a person seriously argue that people are not having a negative impact on planet Earth through our rampant consumption and disposal?

4) I don't care who you are, if you're not a scientist do you seriously think your opinion overrides the peer-reviewed research of some of the best-trained minds in the field of biology and other related sciences? When did we decide the mood ring should drive public policy?

Another person commented on how the "enviro-tards" have the audacity to think that humankind can defeat nature, but I think that's missing the point. Yes, the Earth will go on. Nature will absolutely win......but here's the kicker: If we don't literally clean up our act, people and everything we currently know and love about life will be gone. Not in the lifetime of anyone reading this, but eventually.

If you're down with that, carry on. I'll leave a quarter under your pillow for you in the morning.

Photo credit: westerndave http://www.flickr.com/photos/westerndave/101849734/

Thursday, October 8, 2009


West Virginia, I WILL CREATE……the next generation of West Virginians who think, who do, and who love our state. I think so often about the opportunities we have every day with young people in our lives to teach by example. About everything. Do we show them how much we love West Virginia? Do we show them that love for WV, like love for anyone or anything, is not about selfishness, or jealousies, or holding so close there is no growth? I need to not just say, but do.

My child holds me accountable every day for 1,000 things. I see her study my reactions, my tone of voice, my interaction with others, my comfort level in every situation. We all have so much opportunity to create the future through our purposeful interactions with children, both our own and all of those around us.

I WILL CREATE…..a new future by showing these children that seeing the world is not betraying anyone or anything, that getting more education than the generation before you is not being unfaithful to family, that being willing to lead sometimes mean being willing to be marginalized, and that the good fight is always, always worth it.

Posted originally for A Better West Virginia