Merry Christmas from the Western Gate to the Sunshine State, where thousands live the way Millions wish they could!
Thou art thy mother’s looking-glass, and she in thee recalls the lovely April of her prime.
– William Shakespeare
To quote Will Rogers, all I know is what I read in the papers. To be more accurate, I don’t know anything about the investigation into allegations that FSU quarterback Jameis Winston committed rape except what ESPN and social media tell me – and neither are particularly reliable sources.
But a lack of knowledge, as y’all know, has never kept me quiet. And here, I do feel that I have some comments to make from several perspectives.
I’m a woman, who had a minor sexual offense (not rape, thank God!) committed upon me back in college, and I cried with a sorority sister the morning after she was raped by the boy she was dating and a few of his frat brothers. We didn’t report it – back then, if you agreed to stay late at a guy’s house, well, heck, you must have wanted to have sex with every guy in the place. The 70s were an strange time.
I am also a lawyer, who has defended and prosecuted those charged with sexual offenses. I’ve seen photos of injuries so bad that the memory brings tears to my eyes these many years later.
But I’m a Seminole, too. Rabidly committed to all things Garnet and Gold ever since I joined the Jr. Seminole Boosters at the ripe old age of 7. I still have a photo of Lane Fenner’s catch – google that if you want to know how long I will hold a grudge when my team is involved.
So, given all that, here’s what I want to say about Jameis and his accuser:
I was offended by the media frenzy surrounding the Jameis Winston investigation, with people who really had no knowledge loudly proclaiming his guilt. But I am even more offended by the comments about the young lady now that State Attorney Willie Meggs (a very distant relative of mine, btw) announced there won’t be charges.
But remember, “unproven” is a result that only works in the Alice-through-the-looking-glass world of the law. In reality, the facts are the facts, whether provable or not.
Look – either A: she was raped, and there wasn’t enough evidence to bring her rapist to justice. That’s bad. Or B: she wasn’t raped, and someone – an attorney with her own agenda, perhaps – used her to make a false claim. That’s bad, too.
As for Winston, either A: he did it, and he is a troubled young man who will not be court- ordered to receive help he desperately needs. That’s bad. Or B: he didn’t do it and he has been drug through the mud and there will be an undeserved cloud on his reputation. That’s bad, too.
So, My Seminole brethren and sistern, let ‘s not gloat or rejoice. This is a sad, sad situation either way. Having been a 19 or 20 year old kid who made bad choices myself a long time ago, I can’t imagine the awfulness of living through what the media and the public have done with this.
And to those of you who still want to joke about the “Criminoles” from “Forced Sex University,” (I’m looking at you, Swamp Things), stop it. Because it’s either A: an unprovable yet horrible crime against a young lady, or B: an intolerable smear on a talented young man. And neither of those is funny.
Good Morning, my lovelies. I’m typing away at my WIP during breaks at a conference for the day job, and realized that it has been simply ages since I’ve posted anything. My bad — I can write the stories or keep up with my social media, but not both. So I’ve concentrated on the WIP for a few weeks. Sue me if its a problem.
But in keeping with my practice of bringing you thoughts on a Tune for Tuesday (see how clever I am with alliteration?), I wanted to share an odd yet appealing set of songs with you today.
One thing I love is mashing up two completely contradictory concepts into a unique, creative whole. Pride, Prejudice and Zombies? Loved it. (Of course, once it’s been done, it’s no longer creative and unique, so Sense, Sensibility and Seamonsters, not so much.)
If you like those kind of weird combinations where good ol’ “A” plus predictable “B” give us an amazing X, Y, or Z, you need to meet the good folks of Post-modern Jukebox. One Scott Bradlee, a music and history buff, got the brilliant idea to reinterpret the ubiquitous pop songs we all love to hate in unpredictable ways. Ke$ha goes country, Lourde becomes a male Pierrot clown, and Bieber swings it ’40’s style.
I love everything I’ve heard by PMJ, but my favorite has to be their doo-wop cover of Miley Cyrus’s We Can’t Stop. It’s tuneful, soulful, and waaaay better than the original. Check it out here:
…it’s not the large things that send a man to the madhouse. death he’s ready for, or murder, incest, robbery, fire, flood… no, it’s the continuing series of small tragedies that send a man to the madhouse… not the death of his love but a shoelace that snaps with no time left …
From the Shoelace
by Charles Bukowski
There’s been a lot of stuff happening in the world, and I’ve really wanted to post my comments about most of it. To sum up:
1. Miley and Robin at the VMA’s — seriously, any concept that includes a Beetlejuice suit and lascivious teddy bears should have been rejected out of hand. Aside from the ickiness of the whole twerking mess, it was just bad artistically. I can forgive a lot if the art is good, but this was just in-your-face offensiveness without any artistic vision. (Check Madonna’s early stuff if you want to see offensiveness done for the artistic value. Still offensive, but not gratuitously so.)
And I blame the fully-dressed grown man more than the stupid twenty-one year old. I was a stupid twenty-one year old myself, back in the Jurassic era, and I am now very, very grateful that cell phone cameras had not been invented in my Alpha Xi Delta days.
2. The Anniversary of Dr. King’s Speech — I realize that, being a white Southerner of a certain age, anything I have to say about race relations is suspect. But (and like my own, it is a big but) I do remember the sixties and seventies. I remember separate water fountains. I remember not understanding why my brother wouldn’t let me sit in the balcony at a Disney movie. I remember “Greg” a very good student, who was active in school activities and well-mannered — all the things a parent would like — and me being unable to go public with the fact that we had a bit of a crush on each other because he was the “wrong” race.
This weekend, when Princess #2 invited two guys to join her and her friend at the beach, none of the teenagers even thought about the various shades of epidermis that were represented. I hate that I am still enough a child of the South in the sixties that I did notice, but I am pleased that none of the grownups made the noticing noticeable.
When people say nothing has changed, it makes me angry — and sad. Maybe there hasn’t been enough change, maybe there never will be. But my child will never let a silly thing like melanin determine who she loves.
3. The mess in the Middle East — just one generation ago, my father and uncles were fighting the Axis Powers. We lost family members to the War to Save Democracy. But this weekend, Princess 2 joined several friends for a trip to the water park and an ice cream afterwards.
There they were — two Italian and one German exchange students, a first-generation Peruvian-American, and my little American mixed breed, sitting at Baskin Robbins and having fun. There are few cultural differences that cannot be bridged by ice cream.
Maybe, just maybe, if the world leaders could go down the Rocketing Raft Fun Slide and then share a hot-fudge sundae, they could stop being so angry all the time. Just a suggestion.
I had a rough day yesterday – I got exactly what I asked for, and I whined like a two-year-old when I actually got it.
I’ve finished a book. Well, finished in the sense that I made it all the way from “Chapter One” to “The End”. The writers amongst you will understand that now the real work begins.
I sent my little ms out to my crit partner, aka The Book Midwife. She is one of the most insightful readers I have ever met, and she pointed out exactly what was wrong with my story. Indeed, a lot of her comments were things I knew, but was refusing to acknowledge, hoping that readers wouldn’t notice. (Yeah, right.)
So when my darling DeAnn gave me her thoughts, I thanked her and buckled right down to work, right? Oh, kids, y’all know me better than that!
I pouted. I cried. I stomped around the house swearing that I was done writing. (As if the people in my head would allow that.). I misbehaved badly.
And then a friend – one who knew nothing of my tantrum – posted the quote below. I think it was a sign from God, the universe, the Force, or whatever you conceive the higher power to be.
I’ve apologized to DeAnn, and I’m doing so again now. I’m sorry that you gave me exactly what I asked for and needed and I was too childish and self absorbed to take it graciously. I wish I could promise it will never happen again, but my capacity for childish behavior exceeds all bounds. I can say that I deeply appreciate all the work she did, I value and agree with her comments, and I will TRY to be better in the future.
And as far as my writing, as Dory told Nemo: just keep swimming!
You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing.