Excuses, Part II

Hey guys,

I have not posted in a while and that’s because I was diagnosed with pneumonia. Yes, pneumonia! How in hell I got the bug I have no clue, but I was on antibiotics which made me sleepy (well, staying up all night coughing helped, too), so I was not able to do much thinking. At any rate, I’m all good now. For the last week, I have been attending training for my summer job, but I’ll take the next week to make up for lost time, so get excited, because more posts are coming!

“We have lost the Ent-wives”

Hey guys, I know I said I would post this a while ago, but I got sick on Friday and I’ve had the fever for the whole weekend. I’m still sick, but at least my brain isn’t frying anymore, so I can actually think now.

I am not quite sure why Tolkien wrote the Ent-wives into the Lord of the Rings, perhaps for nothing more than an epic recounting of the suffering which encompasses all living beings in Middle Earth. However, in writing about the Ent-wives, Tolkien may have included a dire prophesy that he may not even have been aware of. That is, that we, men, have lost our wives. I don’t think I need to explain what I am talking about, except for the fact that 1 in 2 marriages in the US ends in divorce. That means that 50% of couples in the US break the most solemn oath that they take before God (should they go with a religious ceremony) and the State. Of course, this is not women’s fault per se, but the position of the wife seems to be ever shrinking in our current day and age. So what? Well, it all comes back to the family.

See, the family is a very mystifying thing. Whenever a baby is born into a family (let’s assume it’s a good family for a second), it is taken care of and nurtured. As time passes by, it is taught that there is a group of people where those that are part of it sacrifice for each other, so that they can all be the happiest possible under the circumstances. As the baby grows up, its parents start making rules. When the baby becomes a teenage baby (which is even worse than a newborn baby, trust me), it starts to get grounded if it does not heed its parents rules. All these are supposed to be good microcosms for the country. Once the baby grows up a little more and graduates college, at which point it’s a baby with alcoholic tendencies, it is supposed to understand that it must do its part in working towards the common good of everyone in the country. In addition, it must behave itself according to a much longer list of rules than its parents, which, if broken, correspond to special “grounding” facilities.

We need families, you know. It’s a little hard to have a family working in such a way if the parents are divorced and looking for dates. You can ask anyone you know whose parents are divorced about how harmonious their family was during that time (they may have settled now). Good families mean good citizens, good citizens mean business going smooth, business going smooth means everyone is happy. Well, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there is not that many people who are happy with how our country is currently working out. I cannot blame them. However, I don’t think that the answer to all our problems lies with whomever we choose to be our President next (if you listen to me, you should vote for “The Rent is Too Damn High” candidate, but I digress). The only way we can dig ourselves out of this hole that we have dug ourselves into is by fixing our families, by remembering that without strong families, we can never be prosperous.

This leads me to the point about mothers. It seems that it’s nearly a phobia these days to become a mother. Either you’re a sixteen year-old girl and on MTV, or Octomom, or otherwise waiting to enjoy life/further your career before giving birth to a baby. As for the first two cases, I think they’re quite sad, but they are no examples of motherhood. A sixteen year-old can hardly bear her own skin, she is in no way qualified to have a baby. I have two brothers, ten and thirteen years younger than me, respectively and I had to babysit them since they were quite young. Believe me, it ain’t no joke, forget about the whole “eating people’s food while the children are asleep” b. s. that you hear about babysitters, that’s when they’re 5-10, when they’re 0-5 it’s a whole lot of holding them around, feeding them, making sure they burp after every meal and (of course) diapers. Did I manage for the time I had to take care of them? Barely. Could I have done it all on my own? Not if I didn’t drop out of school, but if I did, (provided I would still need to work), what future would I have prepared for those babies? As for Octomom, well…

But women, married women who consciously choose to not have a baby are the problem. This image of the “strong woman” of the modern era has to be changed. Before I continue, I do know that the whole motherhood argument was used against the women suffrage movement, but while I regret that, we have to agree that a good point can be made for bad purposes. I would not deserve to bear the name “Platonist” if I did not believe that men and women should have the same access to education, the same rights, and the same opportunity of employment, if Plato could believe these things in the fourth century BCE, I should be shot if I still can’t come to terms with them. However, though men and women should be treated the same in terms of rights, education, and job opportunities, men and women are not the same.

I think the basic problem with our understanding of feminism today stems from the 40’s and 50’s clash. During the 40’s, since a huge number of men had left for WWII, women were recruited to work in factories (“We can do it” and all that). However, the propaganda of the period shows how the female image was changed into the male. The famous “We can do it!” poster has a very clear male undertone and guess what, it was made by J. Howard Miller, who is not, as you might have guessed, a woman. Rosie the Riveter and all the other silly rhymes were all made by men encouraging women to leave their womanhood behind and behave as men. In the 50’s, when soldiers were shipped back into the States after the end of the War, it was these same men who reminded women across America that they were not in fact, men, that they would never be as strong as men. That’s where we get shows like Father Knows Best and phrases like “Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.” The whole backlash against women in the 50’s was a natural result of the 40’s, because all the poor women who were inspired by “We Can Do It!” thought they needed to become men to be someone in this world, that the answer to all their problems lay in them being covered in elbow grease.

Do not get me wrong, I do not think that hiring women to work in factories was in any way, shape, or form a bad idea, but rather that before women were hired, it was the general consensus that they should have more “male-like” role-models and heroes. Whether male or female, however, we forget that the most important person in our lives is (or was for some of us) female, however. Yes, I am talking about our mothers. I remember watching an episode of Alaska’s Prisons on TV a few years ago, where a life in prison convict was sent to solitary confinement  after beating his cellmate to a pulp for badmouthing his (the cellmate’s own) mother. Sadly, it seems that in some things deranged criminals have more sense than most our sane masses. For that matter, for more than 1 billion Catholics and all Eastern Orthodox people, the second greatest person ever to exist was a mother. For 2.2 billion Muslim, this same mother is considered among the most important people in creation (Muslims boast of the fact that, unlike the Bible, there is a whole chapter dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the Quran). Somewhere down the line, however, we stopped trying to be more like the Madonna and started becoming more like Rosie the Riveter.

Quite surprisingly, Rosa Parks, one of the most hailed figures of American History of the past century, was less like Rosie the Riveter and more like the Madonna. She was a dedicated wife. Granted, she had no children, but I do not think that was a choice made between her and her husband. Though she did not bear children, however, she is not for naught called “the mother of the civil rights movement.” The word mother pops up again. Huh.

I began to think of this issue because I came across some of Mary Daly’s works while reading up no Nietzsche. I’m no expert on Nietzsche, but I do know that he says, “Are you going to meet a woman? Bring a whip.” To make a very long story short, no one ever accused Nietzsche of being a feminist. So, when I see an ultra-feminist writer call herself a disciple of Nietzsche, I thought it to be a little weird.  I figured I would solve this mystery by asking one of the more radical feminists at my job. Her explanation was rather shocking. She said that the reason why Daly could reconcile Nietzsche with feminism is because she rejects the idea of femininity. The first time you think about it, it makes sense, kind of. The second time you think about it, red flags go up all over the place. What of Queen Teuta (Illyria), Lucretia (Rome), Gorgo (Sparta), Boudica (Britania), who were strong women as well as paragons of motherhood and womanhood? Are we to call these women silly deluded idiots? Why, because they’re dead? Otherwise, I wager all I own that one would not come back alive from saying such a thing to these women to their face. See, it does not have to be a choice between being a mother and having a career.

But what are our role-models now? Who does the current generation look up to? This is much more important than most people think, because, as Diogenes said, “Let me write a nation’s songs and I don’t care who writes its laws.” Sadly, the Madonna’s spot in our society was taken over by Madonna in days gone by. Today, our teens are teary eyed over Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, etc. The list could go on for hours. However, not a single example of traditional womanhood or motherhood. I think all of the current generation of parents would be frightened  to death of having a daughter like any of those people (Ke$ha is the most bearable out of the group in my opinion, but that’s not saying much). Yet, the teens of the current generation can recite Ke$ha’s “Blow” backwards in their sleep, but think the Second Amendment should be revoked because it encourages cruelty against bears.

However, even more disturbing is what I found online at some point.

The Pill-Woman’s source of Strength

Well, let me start by saying that I hate Republican and Democrat dogmatics with the same burning passion, but the reason why I downloaded this picture was because I could not possibly believe that people who call themselves feminists would post suck a thing. So it is an extra shot of estrogen that gives women strength and resilience? I wonder how those true women who gained equal voting writes for their peers did it then, because they did not have the pill back then. Also, if women’s strength is to be ingested from the outside, can we agree that a person trying to manipulate women would seek to control the supply rather than eradicate it (think of a drug dealer)? I seriously do not get how people can post such things in the Internet, among people who call themselves feminists, and not get trampled to death.

Also, same site:

A trivial matter

I really do not want to write about abortion, this post would get way too long, but in the meantime, I will let you ponder, whether you are for or against abortions, whether this image is appropriate in any way, shape, or form.

 

All this being said, there’s at least as much to say on males in our society. Hopefully I am not going to die again and will be able to post that by Thursday (tomorrow is my one of my relatives’ birthday).

And Now for Something Completely Different

Hey guys, I think we can all agree I’ve been doing a lot of philosophy lately, so I thought I’d change it up with this post. Well, a lot of you don’t know this, but a long time ago I won a State Championship in Classical Jewelry for High School, with a box weave/Byzantine weave hybrid chain-mail and black Swarovski pendant necklace and bracelet  set. Since then, I have never touched another jump ring in my life (I remember why now, after this last work, I have blisters in all of my fingers).

I decided this summer to get back into the fray, not for profit, but I would have to lose the skill set. This is what came out:

The bracelet itself, modeled on me own hand

It’s a full on Byzantine weave with bronze and anodized aluminum (the red links). I just wanted something plain, simple, but with a slight bit of flair, which is why I stuck those red links in there. The process is not hard, but it’s tremendously repetitive. In that sense, it’s great because it teaches you extreme passion, or, in the very likely case that you make a mistake, the fact that anger does not solve anything. As I said, though, it does make your fingers blister. Working with goldfill back in the day was a little easier, but the 16 ga bronze kicked my butt to be sure. On top of it, I lost one of my pliers (my parents decided to help themselves to it, I’m sure), so I had to use this old non-jewelers pliers, so I had to be extra-careful about not scratching the links, especially the aluminum, because that takes the coloring right off.

As you’ll notice in this next picture, I had to pull a fast one when I finished the whole thing, because the clasp I bought for it was too small for the rings (if you know how the toggle clasp works, you the ring of the clasp to be larger than the rings you’re weaving, well, I didn’t do the math right…), so I had to warp one of the end rings. I might warp the one at the other and too, for the sake of symmetry.

The whole nine yards (not literally)

So, Socrates wrote poetry before his death, I made a bracelet. Hopefully this does not mean I will die soon, but my father does have plans to redecorate some of the house today, which might be the death of me. Hopefully not. In any case, I thought I’d drop this post before I die.

I will bring this blog into its purpose tomorrow with any luck, I have a half-finished post that I’m trying to finish up, titled “We’ve Lost the Ent-wives” or something like that, but I’m not telling what it’s about. Other than that, Happy Weekend people. Blisters in hands suck, but all you weight-lifters out there already know that (if you’re surprised that weight-lifters read my blog, I’ll have you know that the World Weight-Lifting Federation is my official sponsor and that the vast majority of my daily views come from weight-lifters, true story). I should have probably slept a lot more last night. Oh well. Alright, bye now.