Why blog?

Every day a new outrage.  So, why blog?  I began in 2014.   Two events: one personal, one political.  A need to, at the very least, shout into the wind.  But with the internet, a new wind tunnel opens up.

I hoped revealing my struggles might touch someone else who is struggling.  There is a whole supportive community now, so we don’t have to be alone.  And comments and conversations tell me it is a good path.

The bigger questions remain.  Inequality, racism, alternative facts, bizarre interpretations of religious texts.  Trump looming over all that is good like a schoolyard bully looking to dominate weakness and to exploit divisions for his own gain.  I thought perhaps I had some good arguments people could use against the bullies in power or to convince those who are uninformed to join the good fight.

But right now everybody and their brother is putting forth those same arguments, and the result is a digging in and doubling down of the ignorant and the privileged.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Live

This morning I found out a dear friend lost her young niece by suicide: the permanent solution to a temporary problem.

If you are at all sensitive, perceptive, or empathetic, this world seems very cruel because you are keenly aware of suffering and inequality.  Most of us do not have the power to easily alleviate suffering or correct inequality.  It leads to a state of impotent frustration.

Continue reading

Here are some questions and answers for those pesky white supremacists

Their mantra is Asia for Asians, Africa for Africans, and Europe for Europeans. When someone says that to you, the obvious retort is:  Then you must believe that the Americas and Australia are for Aboriginals!  Then you must believe that European Colonialism was very wrong, and upset the “balance” of the continents!  (Perhaps the Europeans venturing into the other continents set up the history and politics that result in the current immigration from those countries back into Europe.)

Continue reading

Hate, hate, hate

All around the world, people are loaded with hatred.  Young men in particular are taking their hatred and finding something to align it with (and there are plenty of “causes”) in order to feel justified in expelling their rage.  When recent events have targeted any community you can think of, there is no common target.  The only commonality is hate and rage. Continue reading

Those kids today! (aka I’m old)

There have been several millennials making impressions upon me lately, and not good impressions.  I wonder what kind of parenting my generation chose in order to produce such dependent unquestioning progeny.

The young people in question have no problem describing their fears of daily events.  Not a fear of rape – but a fear of being catcalled.  Fears of independence, fears of public transit, fears of lone travel… My generation was looking forward to these marks of adulthood, and longed to conquer fear (and were embarassed by small fears).  Yet somehow, they have discouraged their own children from embracing these same milestones. Continue reading

Truth and Reconciliation – what we didn’t learn in school

©2001 Marion Pennell

©2001 Marion Pennell

Here are excerpts from the introduction of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final document (http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Findings/Exec_Summary_2015_05_31_web_o.pdf)

For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.”
 
Physical genocide is the mass killing of the members of a targeted group, and biological genocide is the destruction of the group’s reproductive capacity. Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.
 
In its dealing with Aboriginal people, Canada did all these things.

Continue reading

The best year of my life

June 7th is my Liberation Day.  One year ago I shed the burden of anxiety, depression, and PTSD – when I learned my abuser – my teenage boyfriend – was not only merely dead, he was really most sincerely dead.

©2006 Marion Pennell

©2006 Marion Pennell

Music abounded: Let It Go, Brave, Everything is Beautiful, I am Woman, I’m Free… The soundtrack in my head flipped to joyous. Continue reading