2018

Celine Dion Fashions

Celine Dion is a terrific woman by any standard. Her life story is interesting, her successes are incredible, having performed with so many fantastic vocalists and having sold numerous smash hits and albums. After losing her husband, manager and life-long partner whom she first met and fell in love with when she was twelve years old, she is nowadays a rich and famous woman who is enjoying life with her three sons. Recently she has launched a “gender-neutral,” or, unisex clothing line for children: CELINUNUNU. The birth to fourteen fashions have no Blue (for boys) or Pink (for girls), but come in Black and White with all the design variations in mixing these two colors. Dion says that she is not telling parents how to rear their children, but wants to open people’s minds and avoid enforcing gender stereotypes on youngsters who, she believes, have to “find themselves.” What, I thought to myself, has gotten into her, and into people like her who are now advocating for this “gender-neutral” premise for Children? And why are we messing up those children all the more with these non-proven, non-scientific, experimental approaches? Don’t they have enough to deal with already?

Babies are born with a Biological body: a penis for boys, and a vagina for girls. This is a Fact that no new experimental fad can alter. And, from birth until their brains mature enough (generally in their early to mid twenties) it makes sense to have them be what they are Biologically born as. Having said that, it is okay for boys to play with dolls, for instance, and for girls to play with trucks. Much to the horror of my traditional in-laws back then in the early Sixties and Seventies, I bought dolls for my boys, and trucks for my daughters. I also know so many young girls who tried urinating while standing up like boys, and realizing that they made a mess, did not try it any more. I also know young boys who enjoyed dressing up as girls, and having tried it and had their giggles rarely tried it again. Moreover, so many girls throughout the ages have said: I want to be a boy, and so many boys have said: I wish I was a girl. All of this and more, is absolutely alright and very normal. We are also becoming more aware of not telling little boys, for instance: Don’t cry, be a man! Or, telling little girls: Climb down from that tree, you’re not a boy! However, indicating to immature children with our words, behavior and expectations that they have “the option” of choosing who they want to be during their early and formative years is truly going way overboard with our modern theories.

Many of us are at a time in our development as civilized people when we are in a position to be accepting, tolerant and respecting of people’s choices: get married, or not; have a family, or not; become a doctor, or an astronaut etc. etc. These choices are no more being dictated by parents, traditions, cultures or beliefs. Thank Heavens for that! We are also becoming (not all of humanity is there, and many have far to go yet) more aware of genetic inclinations, as well as personal preferences and, therefore, accepting, tolerant and respectful of people’s sexual orientations. We should be. This does not mean that we mess up a Little Child by insinuating that they have sexuality choices and options. They do not! Just as they have no choices or options for smoking, drinking alcohol, going to school, lying, bullying etc. etc., sexual orientation is definitely one of those no choice options. There are simply some things that we do not and cannot allow our children to choose from during their very early, impressionable and vulnerable years, especially, when a few of them might be questioning their sexual identity, as well as questioning their own feelings regarding these matters. Meanwhile, and until their brains have developed sufficiently, they should realize that whatever they feel, or think is fine, but that they cannot act upon their wishes, or desires. It’s as simple as that!

So, yes, in order to move forward we must always think out of the proverbial “box.” It is a good thing for us to do so, otherwise, humanity will not go forward, advance or become more civilized. We cannot, and should not, categorize and box ourselves into any mindset or any tradition and limit our progress towards achieving a more optimal way of existing. The Suffragette Movement, The Women’s Liberation Movement, MeToo, Black Lives Matter and other such organizations wouldn’t have happened had we still been thinking inside the box and accepting of the status quo. And, yes, there are a few – very few! – kids who might not belong to their given biological body. However, do we negate the entire reality of Boys and Girls in order to bring on awareness about a rare situation? Perhaps, rather than teaching Children that they can be whom they want to be sexually and leaving it up to Finding Themselves, we would do much better by stressing how they should respect, accept and love themselves and others no matter what their ethnicity, religion, or gender is. However, in our efforts to be understanding, let’s not go radical, as we do on so many issues, and end up experimenting with a whole generation based on an untested idea that goes against Nature and Biology and, more importantly, against Reason and Common Sense. So while life is always presenting us with problems, for which we often find solutions, and, occasionally, the solution itself might present a new set of problems, I sincerely hope that a sweeping change would not be on the subject of gender-neutrality For Children!! Children!

Suggestion to Celine Dion and others who advocate this gender-neutral approach: We have enough problems to deal with as humanity without adding another unnecessary dimension. Meanwhile, let the Children Be Children who will, in due time, Find Themselves when sometime during their twenties their brains would have developed enough for them to do so. At that point, they can decide what their sexual identity is, and, if different from their biological and physical body, take the necessary steps towards achieving that fulfillment. Until then, influencing them, no matter how subtly, with the idea that they have the option of choice, and leaving them to wonder: am I really a girl, or, maybe, I am a boy – during their early and formative years is simply ludicrously wrong.

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2018

Change Happens?

My daughter, unable to write while healing from a minor shoulder surgery, has been sending me voice messages. This morning I needed to listen to one of her messages another time only to find out that it had vanished! Was I hallucinating? I asked her to resend and read the sentence underneath it: “Raise to Talk. Expires in 2m.” What the hell was that all about? She explained that it was something to do with my settings, blah! blah! blah! What’s next, I asked her, that I’ll get a message with a Mission Impossible sentence underneath it saying: This device will self-destruct in 5 minutes if you don’t use it? I really don’t need much from our modern devices to become even more paranoid than I already am!

And, since Monday, November 5, specifically, our United States, let alone our world at large, has been giving me enough reason to become more paranoid, as well as to experience so many other draining emotions!

That Monday we were having torrential rains, and I was thinking of all those people, their children and their belongings being swept away within seconds by torrents and floods all the way from the Philippines, to Italy, to Jordan, to India, and elsewhere. It is so devastating! How is our planet and its political leadership going to deal with the human floods who will be fleeing the effects of climate change that will be ravishing so many places on earth in the coming few years? Aren’t the massive fires in California and elsewhere enough proof that our Planet is stressed to the hilt? One climate disaster after the other in this nation and in the world creating homelessness and internal refugees who will be traumatized for years to come! Shouldn’t the denials and arguments end and drawing the plans on how to cope and mitigate this looming disaster begin? Maybe Yesterday?

These thoughts brought to mind the Pre-Planned and Deliberately Organized (unless you are naïve) wave of migrants flowing towards our border. Whether one calls them a Caravan, or an Invasion, or Whatever is such a distracting argument amid all else that is banal! What do the bleeding hearts want for these people? Do they not realize that as soon as we take in the first thousand there will be thousands upon thousands more clamoring for amnesty at our borders? Yes, it is heartbreaking that people are suffering. And, yes, I am well aware that colonialism, followed by our twentieth century criminal wars, interventions, sanctions and devastating meddling in the affairs of Latin America and the Middle East have caused so many people to be fleeing. Moreover, I also know that it would cost us much less than all our senseless wars to initiate a plan to help them stay in their own countries rather than to flee and head for Europe and the US. However, shouldn’t we resolve our shambles of Immigration and Foreign Policies as soon as possible if we are to stem the catastrophes that we have already caused, and the ones that are yet to come? Shame on both the Republicans and the Democrats for not resolving this issue! Shame on both of them!

Then, on Tuesday, November 6 and after the morning deluge passed away, we went to vote in our mid-term elections. I felt proud and happy to be participating in this process, flawed as it is with all the crazy gerrymandering, voter suppression and other political shenanigans! Change does not happen in a vacuum. It is the result of more than one force, event or person. And what is happening to our country (and to the world) is an outcome that has been years and decades in the making. It did not happen simply because we elected Donald Trump, despite what the incorrigible media and the Democrats tell you, and It will entail more than one election to change it, and more involvement by every one of us. Nevertheless, the election results of two Muslim women: Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American and Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American, as well as many other minority women, proved to be an affirmation that the people’s vote counted, and that their gut instincts for what is just and unbiased won the day despite a whole lot of election adversity, manipulation and media hype. Perhaps specifically because of that I refuse to go along with the spoon-fed hype that some in this nation swallow hook, line and sinker, or with the mob thinking on either side of our political spectrum that the irresponsible rapscallions of the MSM foment, not out of principle, but simply due to their inflated egos, ratings and financial returns. And I truly believe that most of the American people think as I do. After all, these are the same people who elected Bill Clinton a second time despite a salacious scandal, the same ones who elected Obama twice and the same ones who elected Trump! I am also proud of the Millennials who came out in droves for this election. On their young shoulders falls the burden of cleaning up our Planet from corrupt politicians, and the despoiling of our environment. In this, there is hope that Change Happens!

On Wednesday, President Trump held a Press Conference during which he had a confrontation with CNN’s Jim Acosta, who, my gut and his previous behavior indicate, has been salivating for this moment and his five minutes of fame for a long time. He was rude and hostile, and his petty drama earned him a suspension from the White House Newsroom. Bravo! As a result, the so-called journalists of the MSM feigned their usual anti-Trump acrimony with cries of: Free Press is essential! Yes, Free Press, not their version of it! In any case, Trump was his usual self: bragging about his Party’s wins; painting a rosy picture against a national backdrop in which many people are angry, frustrated and more extreme than they have ever been, mainly about healthcare, as this election proved. This is why the temperature in these United States goes up a few scary degrees every day. The irresponsible media, corrupt politicians and a controversial and untactful President who can’t seem to put a lid on it, have hijacked legitimate issues and belittled them while focusing on trivia and melodrama at the expense of the country and its people. And how long will citizens continue to accept their bullshitting and their deliberate sensationalist hyping of everything negative?

The tragic drama that came on Thursday night in Thousand Oaks, California when 13 people – including the 28-year-old combat ex-Marine gunman – were caught in yet another mass shooting is further proof that our endless wars are coming home to haunt us. How long are we going to be in these wars of ours that are creating more mental health issues, suicides, inequalities and immeasurable hatred? It seems that nowhere is safe anymore as innocent people are being gunned down in their places of worship, schools, malls and wherever. Tragic!

And, how many of those children whose parents and kin we have killed, maimed, orphaned, uprooted and left desolate all over the world will strike back at us one day, as some of them surely will? When, and how, will it all end? Lately, I have not even been commenting much on the Facebook posts regarding the crimes of the Israeli Government. How long can one continue to say that they are villains, assassins and racists ordering their military to fire on protesters? Continuing to incarcerate, abuse, expropriate, dehumanize and disregard human lives in this atrocious way? How long? Isn’t seventy years enough already?

The world also marked Armistice Day and the end of WWI, one hundred years ago. France hosted the event and pulled off an elegant and world-class commemoration. It was Germany, Russia and France, after all, who sustained the most casualties of those years. Horrific numbers of dead and wounded! Just horrible! And we are still at war and threatening to go to more war? And more war yet? What for then the reminders and remembrances of how gruesome these events are? In any case, for us Middle Easterners, those post-Armistice days were the beginning of the West’s divvying up of our lands as if they were a piece of cake, and the onset of the Palestinian Catastrophe scenario from which we are still suffering!

Our world is heading towards a precipitous cliff and there seems to be no one around to pull it back from that brink. I wish that I could say that I feel hopeful, despite some of the rays of hope here and there. It is a very dire and awfully sad situation that we find ourselves helplessly enduring! I don’t need a Mission Impossible text telling me that my device will soon self-destruct. After all, if we continue on the same path that we’re on, this Planet is going to self-destruct pretty soon, and the paranoia from my iPhone will be nothing to compare! Meanwhile, some will go on believing the delusion that “we are a nice normal family!” Really?

Change Happens? Not soon enough!