Our son will be 12 next month and for the most part, except for his premature beginnings, his life has been relatively stress free. As parents, we try to keep it that way, but we also feel it is our job to tell him about the world. We've always shared news at age appropriate levels. He's known about September 11 since very early on, especially since his birthday is close to that date, but in general terms. His school has been great; talking about tragedy with increasing detail as his maturity grew. However, we have been at a loss how to explain the happenings in Ferguson, Missouri, this week. Yes, we told him what happened to Trayvon Martin. Yes, the legal system failed Trayvon as much as the vindictive racism of George Zimmerman. But in Ferguson, there are so many things I can't even believe, how do I explain it to my kid?
I've been pretty open that my childhood wasn't the best. My mom tried her hardest, my dad did not. I was in a lot of crisis until my dad passed away when I was 11. And yet, I lived in suburban Maryland. I had food, water, clothes. While we lived fairly modestly, especially after my father passed, we lived in an area of definite affluence, during the 1980's - that decade of gratuitous greed. I was surrounded by all the things anyone could want, much less need. That was over 30 years ago. Even given all the progress in the world, there are still people everywhere that live in extreme poverty. Ten years ago, musical hero Bono (now aided by Bob Geldolf of, yes, Band Aid) started an organization called ONE to battle this issue. Many people think that ONE raises funds for Africa. And while in some ways - indirectly - that is true, it's primary function is advocacy across political borders to relieve poverty and disease, plus help awareness of a wide variety of critical issues that we all face.
I pretty much hate that word. Bitch. Maybe it's my version of the "bossy" pushback, but in many ways it's just an ugly woman-hating word and while I cringe when friends use that name on each other in banter, I understand it. Take the power back and all that. I don't feel inherently like I'll a bitch; oftentimes people make me act that way. What was that Jessica Rabbit quote?
I tried not to be dramatic about it, but I sort of left Facebook. Problem is you can never really leave Facebook. At least not when you manage over 10 accounts for clients and you have a blog and you go to log-in on random sites and Facebook has its tentacles into everything on the Internet. So I decided to minimize my personal dealings on Facebook and just concentrate on my professional work there. I realize this probably only hurts me and does nothing to Facebook but at least I won't be so angry every day. Gives me the opportunity to still check in on friends and message them and see events, while ignoring many of the things that drive me absolutely bonkers. Why am I so upset? You probably have heard about this, but a study was published this month from a data scientist at Facebook where, in a nutshell, he manipulated the streams of almost 700,000 Facebook users to view either happy or negative updates and see if the emotions in these streams could affect the emotions of users. Yup, they did! And, in of itself, not too surprising and also from a research perspective, actually fairly interesting.
Note: Denver Comic Con has provided my family with passes and Grayson's photo but words are mine.There has been a real shift in our family entertainment this year. It's not just us telling Dex about cool stuff coming to town, he is noticing it happening around him and requesting to go. Case in point is Denver Comic Con, which runs June 13-15 at the Denver Convention Center. Of course I have heard of it before. Let's face it, we're nerds (and proud of it). The timing just never worked out. But when your graphic-novel loving, Dr. Who-vian, Minecraft-obsessed kid asks about Comic Con, you put it on the calendar.
Trigger Warning: This content deals with accounts of sexual assault and physical violence....Is that it pops back up when you least expect it. This weekend, after the horrific shooting in Santa Barbara, a video was released by the murderer where he bemoans his bad luck with women. I watched about 15 seconds of it before I felt the nausea creep up my throat, but what was more surprising than this man's issues was the reaction to it by other men. Posts showed up all over social media pondering why women didn't just give it up for him. "It" presumably being whatever this disturbed young man wanted. I, along with many many many others, started sharing my stories of abuse on the Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen. The tweets were meant to say no, not all men are bad or commit acts of abuse, but yes, ALL women have to deal with it on almost a daily basis. That fear is indoctrinated from the beginning. That women are taught how not to be raped, but rarely do we teach men not to rape.
That's the term Dex uses to refer to cursing. "Colorful language." I am not even sure where he picked it up, but he is not very fond of it. "He is annoying. He uses colorful language all the time." The funny thing is, I have quite the potty mouth myself, although I have tried hard over the years to curb it in front of Dex. And generally, we have not made cursing an issue around the house. We have always talked about it in terms of consequences.