Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Rant! Venice Beach gentrification hypocritical BS

I began this post the day the news was fresh, but I just have this to say…

It upsets me that the liberal voices who are celebrating Venice Beach for its oddball and awkward appeal, and condemning the city and Google for changing the neighborhood at all, have almost no regard for those who really live there.

I listen to NPR often. Larry Mantle was obviously giving his opinion in all of his interviews that day, and was desperately looking for a resident to back him up.

This is worse than the Occupy movement. So it’s ok for them to cheer and gawk at the crazies down there, and want to protect the freakshow tourist attraction, but don’t they care about those who actually live there when the tourists go away? I think protecting the freedom to be eccentric and odd is great, but VB residents I’m sure would rather have that without the crime and poverty.

If the city, Google, and the other interest groups want to move in and help improve the community while keeping the core spirit an character alive, give them a chance! There are better ways of saving that than liberalist double-standards.

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Inspired to step up, be a Dad!

I just watched Courageous. Very inspirational. Makes me want to be a better man.

I will! I will be the father to my children and the husband to my wife. I will remember that whatever I am suffering or agonizing or getting tired of at the moment is only in this moment, and I cannot tell the future or how it will all fit together in the end. I will strive for excellence and hope, without fear of embarrassment or having to apologize. I will fight for what is right because it is right and because God loves what is right; I want my children to love the same.

 

Watching my son take in everything new is amazing. Everything is original and authentic to him. What attitudes and feelings am I exposing him to? What about the things that I don’t realize I’m teaching him? Things I probably don’t want him to learn.

My thinking needs to shift from “be careful—don’t screw up” to “teach something right—love as much as I can.” If I focus on what I do wrong, I’m lost. I need to teach him the things now that will make him a good man, an observant learner, and a wise human being.

Corporate Capitalism to the Rescue!….wait, really?

Starbucks–that monolithic coffee house and sugar shack, seemingly omnipresent, a heavyweight champion in the upper echelons of corporate America–has claimed to have been working for the little guy for a long time. Can it be true? Can this big publicly traded company really be enriching the lives of common people in America and abroad, or is that a PR ploy to garner more market share?

I for one believe it is true. Not only that, but I believe these big corporations are often times doing a whole lot of good and helping people for the sake of helping people. They just know how to turn opportunities into some kind of growth, and they can even do it without crushing the small business owner underfoot.

The reason I pick out Starbucks? I have a special relationship with them, you might say. Also I have been casually following their Indivisible campaign. Their partnership with Opportunity Finance Network and the Create Jobs for America Fund is really cool and growing fast. I just learned today of their decision to give a lot of business to a pottery factory in Ohio, and they ordered so many mugs from them they nearly doubled their staff practically overnight.

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Handsome and Patriotic Mugs

What makes me pause is the assumptions and implications within the way people talk about this project and about this company. Teamster Nation begins their blog post with this:

In an era of disappearing manufacturing jobs and struggling small towns, a giant corporation has become an unlikely hero in Ohio.

Why is it so hard to believe a giant corporation could be a hero? Why is it so unlikely? I totally understand that big businesses change the game and buy out or shut down small ones. I’ve been a good “boo on capitalist and corporate greed!!!” bandwagoner. There’s a lot of truth to that. But these companies are heroes to all the people they benefit. Even the baristas that work in the trenches for them will curse them for not paying them more, but praise them when they have to call on insurance. It’s just a different type of heroism.

I think Starbucks (and other companies like it) are microcosms of America. In the end, it is just a company made of people, who want to grow and prosper, but really do want their lives to count for something more than what they grossed at the end of the day. America has lots of corporate greed and power-hungry companies fueling it…the runoff and effects of these companies make even the poor in this country lightyears ahead of poverty in the rest of the world. Wait a minute…

Before I get painfully wordy, my point can be summarized thusly: the more a company, an individual, or a nation can create wealth, the more potential and incentive they have to bless and benefit others.

Similarly, the allowance of capitalism and the protection of market freedom tends to make people and companies more charitable. Greed may increase but giving and benevolence does too. Humans don’t need help to be greedy–it’s in our nature. But this should be saved for another post. 😉

Funny word of the day: iceberg

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I love to play with language and turn a mirror on my speech sometimes. I think it’s funny most of the time, but I wonder if it really annoys others. Oh well.

Usually these just pop into my head incidentally.

For example, “iceberg”…is there any other kind of “berg?” Any which contain other natural substances? I’ve never heard of:

-mudbergs
-airbergs (clouds, maybe?)
-stonebergs

How did this compound noun become so special? A large mass that one usually can only see the tip of, though the rest of it is very consequential or significant. I think that some abstract concepts could be very clearly communicated with the berg thing. For example:

-memoryberg (something you can’t get out of your memory; significant past event)
-exberg (a person you used to be with that still just maintains too big a presence in your life)
-peaceberg (something giving you peace)
-shameberg (I don’t think I have to define this. We all know we have some.)

What do you think? Leave a comment!

Feliz Dia de Los Padres!

There are two parts to my post about this Fathers’ Day. They are hardly related by anything other than fatherhood, but they are both catalytic for positive change.

Part 1

Although I do wish every dad a happy Padres’ Day today, in lieu of gifts I genuinely want to receive (and give) prayers for dads. I think most of us are aware of the consequences of fatherless households, and the burdens that too many mothers bear alone, but we don’t grasp the magnitude.

Fathers: please step up and claim the love we have for you. Like building a wall in a strange and dangerous land, keep building with one hand and holding a weapon in the other to protect your families. I’m not talking about physical weapons (per se, of course), but mental and emotional ones. Love your wife and kids with reckless abandon, and defend your hope for them and in them until the end.

Part 2

If you haven’t seen the movie Smoke Signals, I highly recommend it. This poem comes from that film. It is dour but purposely driven towards healing.

How Do We Forgive Our Fathers?
by Dick Lourie

How do we forgive our Fathers?
Maybe in a dream
Do we forgive our Fathers for leaving us too often or forever
when we were little?

Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage
or making us nervous
because there never seemed to be any rage there at all.

Do we forgive our Fathers for marrying or not marrying our Mothers?
For Divorcing or not divorcing our Mothers?

And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness?
Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning
for shutting doors
for speaking through walls
or never speaking
or never being silent?

Do we forgive our Fathers in our age or in theirs
or their deaths
saying it to them or not saying it?

If we forgive our Fathers what is left?

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