Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

what we know and what we don't know and what we think we know but don't know

My summer was mostly involved with the farm here and my editing. I'd say it was writing but editing is anal, word by word analysis of writing. It's not the fun stuff but it's necessary-- unfortunately repeatedly. 

Summer held some wonderful times with grandchildren here at the farm-- always a big deal for us.  The garden went gangbusters, best, most productive garden we have yet to have. We had a very warm summer with less rain than many years and a lot of blue sky 80º+ days. Where that might not seem unusual in some regions, for us, it made for a very summer-like summer with far less rain than usual. Which does leave us with concern for fire danger but alas that's how it goes-- for every up there is a down ;).

Does it seem my writing in this blog mostly involves weather reports? I feel that way about conversations with friends sometimes too. What else is safe to talk about? And even that can be dodgy if someone starts wondering if warmer leads to talk of global climate change. It seems simpler to not talk about much that matters-- partly, of course, because who agrees what does matter.

Beyond my personal life and my community (lost several elders out here this year), my country has had many turbulent events to calculate what they mean. The situations range from shockingly unexpected local violence (some involving the police)-- to immigration concerns (handwringing on both sides) to a plague that could take out millions in Africa or is it going to come here also-- to a radical sect, which thinks it is the second coming of a religious event and hence entitled to behead and rape whoever they wish in the name of that religion-- corrupted of it though their use of it may be.

On the immigration with thousands of Central American children and teen-agers coming to the United States without their parents and most of the time without a plan, that leaves local municipalities and schools scrambling for how to deal with this-- especially in a time where finances are already challenged. It leaves the police trying to figure out how to protect these kids from the exploiters, and separate out which ones were gang members coming up here for new ground to take over. And yes, some of it is that exactly. Just because a kid is seventeen does not make him incapable of committing adult scale crimes. 

I read an interview with a Massachusetts police chief as he discussed the problems that had come just to his district. For all those who say we should take all who want to come here, I want to hear also how to pay for it? That's what this policeman was trying to figure out-- and likewise the schools where the kids will be going-- often speaking no or little English. The police officer by the way believes it all goes back to 2012 and the law that enabled those, under the age of 18, to come here from Central America with no immediate deportation. He said all the crime down there, which some say led to this influx, was going on before 2012. What changed was a belief if they got here, they could stay. The question has to be-- stay and do what? 

ISIS or ISIL is a potentially deadly problem as this involves the kind of thing that has come like a zeitgeist through mankind time and again (as has pretty much everything I am mentioning here). The group, who believe they should rule the world, believe this is so based on their religious belief-- or the exploitation of their religious belief. I've read some experts saying they cannot attack the United States hence are no danger to us. I keep wondering where were they on 9/11. They seem to think 9/11 was a sophisticated operation because it succeeded so well. Actually not all that sophisticated but just those determined to destroy and not minding giving up their own lives in the doing of it.

Stepping back from the global issues, of which there are many, suicide has been discussed because of the suicide of comedian and actor, Robin Williams. For a week maybe less, suicide and depression became a subject of interest. In our country, a week is a long time for any issue and this one seems to have slid off the page because a new subject thrust its way onto it (probably ISIS or ISIL).

Joan Rivers recent death brought forth another big story and for now it's mostly about who she really was-- and most of us didn't know. That's the irony that we get all the bad news about anybody but all the sweet and kind things this woman did for others, not a word went out to the public. 

Yes, her wit was acerbic, but as I've read recently a lot of what she said was funny but taken out of a broader context where it was also insightful. She liked to ridicule life and the ridiculous aspects of it. She called things out as she saw them. And personally, it appears, that she was a very warm, loving Jewish mama to a lot of friends and of course to her daughter. The kind things she did now are being told but why not when she was alive? 

Personally I don't care much for humor that ridicules others, but I have to say after reading stories about her by those who knew her on many levels, I literally had no idea of how she had to struggle to get where she was nor what a good woman she was on a personal level. Did she get held to a higher standard because she was a woman?

I wish her good deeds had been told when she was alive because I read one place she didn't want to be loved. She wanted to make people laugh. I don't buy it. I think everyone wants to be loved. We just want to be loved for who we fully are-- warts and all.

So read this link if you haven't already as it says a lot about life, our culture and Joan Rivers.



Tabor said...

You have said it all, but the real tragedy is the sinking boat we seem to be on. To send children back to certain rape and death because we cannot protect and take care of them leaves me in an ugly world. What is even more dangerous is that this is the first small wave of a huge wave of crime and poverty across the globe.

Rain Trueax said...

If that's what they are being sent back to. And remember when they began this law it was supposed to be protecting them from predators there but what do we have in place to protect them from predators here? If they come up here hoping they will have a good life, that requires education and basically some support. The other thing is separating out the ones who were part of youth gangs down there as they are likely here to do the same. It is complicated. And the police chief in Massachusetts said it well in the interview. We have to come up with money for this and as it stands, he said the kids already here are the ones suffering for doing it. So once again no willingness to raise taxes and make the weak suffer for what is being done-- or not done.

It's not like I have an answer to any of this, of course. Just a lot of concern. I am one who is not against raising taxes to cover what we do... In this current zeitgeist, that's not happening at least not on a US level. Some states might.

Linda Kay said...

I'm still waiting for someone in our leadership in this country to come up with a viable idea that does not involve politics. It seems that every decision, every plan, is relevant to how it will effect the next election. But on the brighter side, the back story of a crazy lady is good to read. I'm sure her good qualities were not as "newsworthy" to the media. That's the nature of the beast.

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

On the topic of relevant conversation, in our zeitgist:
Interest gravitates to the specatcular. Skype, facebook,and e-mail tone down and disguise our feelings as compared to expressing ourselves in real space. To make up for this loss of physical human contact, we are fed short spectacular bites. Short attention is becoming the norm at a great loss to helping us understand one another. For example, there is the Connection Academy as a branch of public schools in Oregon. Oregon high school students can graduate from a state school studying while longing in their bedroom. How will their program deal with the dumbing down aspect of feeding the short attention spans of students?
Bedroom education, on the bright side, would be cheaper than maintaining and protecting a campus enabling a larger population of immigrant children? Would computerized education hasten the development of polarized groups unable to get along? Or can computer tools be used to restablish body language and nuances of actual live conversation?

Ingineer66 said...

Much of Joan Rivers humor was self deprecating jokes about her own short comings. Yes she could cut down others, but mostly people that could use a shot of humility.