Genuine Courage

Back in April, I posted (here) about the physical transformation former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner was undergoing in order to stake his claim to be a woman. At the time of that post, I intended never again to bring up this subject. However, when I heard the announcement today that ESPN will honor Jenner on July 15 by giving him the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, I found myself unable to hold back.Courage-CS-Lewis

Allow me to cover a few things right from the get-go. Bruce Jenner is not now – nor will he ever be – a woman! He may have had his body surgically mutilated and redesigned in order to have the physical appearance of a woman … but that doesn’t make him a woman. He may take hormones to soften his features and raise his voice … but that doesn’t make him a woman. He may wear feminine garments and own a houseful of girlie-girl items … but that doesn’t make him a woman either! No matter what he chooses to believe, no matter what he tells himself to abet his delusion, he will always … always … ALWAYS be a man. Continue reading “Genuine Courage”

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Life In A Meat-grinder

With ABC’s Dianne Sawyer conducting a two-hour interview scheduled to air tomorrow night, stories and pictures of Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner are everywhere online as well as on the front pages of various tabloids. Jenner reached the pinnacle of success, snagging two Gold Medals in the grueling decathlon. Esquire described him as “the greatest athlete of his time.”bruce-jenner-olympics-590rr020410-e1340118588112The picture above shows the young athlete I remember admiring, proudly holding one of his medals. I can’t deny my amazement that this man – and he is a man, no matter what extent his body is or will be mutilated – could be the same individual the news outlets are now covering.

Forty years separated from his last Gold Medal achievement, the recent picture below makes me think of a tortured and lost child, someone so despondent he’s chosen an extraordinary (some would say irrational) path in hopes it will bring him some measure of peace. I look at this second picture and it breaks my heart. How does an individual arrive at this point of utter desperation?Screenshot 2015-04-23 18.26.14Yes, life can be a meat-grinder … even for someone who is perceived to have success, all the perks of a fine life and seemingly not a care in the world. With three marriages and three divorces, Jenner fathered six children but did not (apparently) find the transformative experiences of family suited his neediness.

Continue reading “Life In A Meat-grinder”

Flying Solo

An item in my email this week caught my attention. With wedding season gearing up, my credit union sent an email hawking what they characterized as “EverydayLife Loans” providing extra cash for the big events of life. Naturally, the promotion drew my attention.Wedding Loan

Yeah, those “big events” tend to be costly nowadays and the credit union is there to help … including “expenses for your wedding, honeymoon and all the little things along the way.” With rates as low as 8.75% APR, the picture (shown below) showed a celebratory bride and groom and the tag line:  “One less thing to worry about.

Continue reading “Flying Solo”

A 21st Century Henny-Penny Tale

Alas and alack! Oh, woe is me! Here in the heart of Chicken-dale, northwest Arkansas, home to millions of white-feathered birds who eventually get delivered in one form or another to the grocery stores … and after that, end up on platters at the center of our dinner tables … there’s a crisis of epic proportions going on!

A Crisis, I tell you! The magnitude of this crisis is stunning and beyond belief. Given the stories coming from the television news, the newspapers and various online hysteria-mongers, nothing so bad as this has happened since … what? Chick-Fil-A Day back in July of 2012?sky-is-falling-2

Please don’t get ahead of me here. To my knowledge this particular crisis has nothing to do with describing the former First Lady of Arkansas (the insincere, er, out of touch, er, polarizing, er, esteemed Hillary Clinton) as ambitious, calculating, disingenuous or any of the notoriously “sexist” words now banned by Clinton supporters who’ve identified the words as “coded sexism.” As serious a misstep as that would be to let slip one of the verboten terms in reference to HRC, this is not the current crisis of which I speak. Continue reading “A 21st Century Henny-Penny Tale”

The Shocking Lure of Celebrity

Usually, I take less than minimal interest in the ways congressmen or women choose to decorate their DC offices. It’s mostly trivial to me. However, when a congressman decides to go with the Downton Abbey motif (at a cost of $40,000), that piques my curiosity (and causes me to question his wisdom). The unfortunate revelations surrounding U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) have gradually surfaced, leading to his resignation announcement today.

FROM:  http://tiny.cc/6o0nvx
FROM: http://tiny.cc/6o0nvx

Schock made a pretty big impression in the nation’s capital. He recently was described this way by Politico:  The guy might just be America’s most photogenic congressman. The Men’s Health cover (above) dates from June 2011. The congressman rose quickly through the ranks and enjoyed wide margins of victory in his most recent elections. Continue reading “The Shocking Lure of Celebrity”

The Church of Oprah, Bell and Zimzum

The recent conversation between Oprah and Rob Bell, featured in a video entitled Super Soul Sunday, has created lots of buzz over the last couple days. Perhaps the most striking comments emerging from this conversation – and the portion garnering the most attention – is Bell’s assertion that the church (one would presume in context Bell is referring to evangelicals) is “moments away” from acknowledging and accepting gay marriage.psychobabble (1)Bell explains, “… culture is already there” but then he adds:  “… the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense.” Because LOVE. Continue reading “The Church of Oprah, Bell and Zimzum”

Deconstructing Fifty Shades of de Sade

Here we are … celebrating Valentine’s Day 2015. It’s a long weekend due to the so-called Presidents’ Day holiday … which was initially a celebration for George Washington’s birthday (the 22nd) … but then was expanded to include Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (the 12th) as well … and when Congress suggested honoring all US presidents with a single holiday to be known as Presidents’ Day, they never actually approved the bill! Still, Presidents’ Day became the default – though unofficial – name anyway! So, Happy Presidents’ Day / Valentine’s Day or Happy Valentine’s Day / Presidents’ Day or if you prefer … Saturday!ValPresDayThis is also a highly-anticipated (by some) blockbuster movie weekend. According to BoxOfficeMojo’s forecast headline, “‘Fifty Shades” To Dominate Valentine’s Day Box Office, the film will “set a handful of box office records” this weekend. The same website’s Friday Report employs an apt headline:  “Moviegoers Submit to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.Continue reading “Deconstructing Fifty Shades of de Sade”

Self-Indulgence and the Selfie

Yesterday’s Washington Post article, Which image of Obama mugging for BuzzFeed’s cameras diminishes the presidency the most, ranked, offers an amusing and curious glimpse at our culture with its present fascination for the “selfie.”

http://tiny.cc/sav0tx
FROM:  http://tiny.cc/sav0tx

I use the word amusing because the Buzz-Feed videos reflect a laid-back view of the President who, in an effort to convince people to sign up for healthcare, mugs for the camera. He seems quite at ease in the shots.

I use the word puzzling because even as the Post article acknowledges the President will be roundly criticized by certain groups for “diminishing the presidency,” they concede “… it’s just Obama being a weirdo.” Further, the headline seems to admit a certain diminishment and solicits opinions about which one is worst of all! Haters will hate, as we’re told. Continue reading “Self-Indulgence and the Selfie”

Race To The Top Shelf

When Barack Obama was elected to the presidency in 2008, the words post-racial America became a common utterance. Numerous broadcasts and print pieces expressed their optimism that the country – finally! – would move beyond the racist and racial attitudes that have long plagued our public (as well as private) discourse.

obamas1An August 17th Washington Post piece titled, Obama’s Vision of a Post-Racial America Looks Even More Distant Than Before, written by political reporter Chris Cillizza makes the point (following the events in Ferguson MO) that the President’s “… words have done little to heal the racial wounds in the country.” I suppose that point can be vigorously debated. Continue reading “Race To The Top Shelf”

Rebranding Despicable

Lately, I’ve been wondering, when did it become okay to kill children? Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, I know at least 50 million legal abortions have been performed in the United States. Yes, they were “legal” based on the standard instituted through the Supreme Court’s Roe decision. Nevertheless, women who sought abortions used to drive to neighboring towns to obtain abortions; they didn’t stand on Main Street with signs and brag about having killed their unborn children.

4D Sonogram, from http://pregnancy.healthguru.com/video/advantages-of-the-4d-sonogram
4D Sonogram, from http://pregnancy.healthguru.com/video/advantages-of-the-4d-sonogram

A woman who had an abortion acknowledged there was a natural stigma about it, supposedly an admission that the procedure was the “only” choice rather than the “preferred” choice. Even politicians adopted the “safe, legal and rare” mantra. Why rare? Because of its moral component! Because having an abortion was thought to be a BAD choice (albeit in their minds a necessary choice, nonetheless)!

I haven’t heard the “safe, legal and rare” (SL&R) mantra in a long time. I think, in part, the phrase fell out of favor because there were those who recognized this specific phraseology carried a negative inference (specifically, the moral component) … and God forbid, any woman who has an abortion should feel shame (or moral condemnation) for taking the life of her unborn babe! Continue reading “Rebranding Despicable”