Showing posts from March, 2019

It's Self-Respect, Stupid

Someone I know posted a video on Facebook. It's not his; he found it on another page, but seemed to have sympathized with it. It is a man on a beach criticizing the intention to remove Franco from his mausoleum to a more humble cemetery in Madrid where his wife is buried. It was uploaded back in November, but its sentiments still echo now.  In the video, the man asks what it will benefit toward our well-being and our bank accounts moving the bones from their current resting place to anywhere else. He asks if it will allow the thousands of us who struggle financially, to pay our bills on time, or give us more general financial well-being. He goes on to ask if protesting over bulls, or LGBTQ rights will put food on our table. He wonders why we don't protest over the 60 million euro loan the banking community received and that it won't pay back.  He misses the point. The protests over rights, or animal cruelty, or the end of hero worship of a dead dictator aren't desig

Sun - Inspired

The end of March, the weather is still supposed to be rainy and cool. Buds are supposed to be appearing, but the leaves should still be about a week away. Early trees should begin to bloom, and roses should be putting out new leaves. This year, it's been a warmer than usual winter, and spring is appearing earlier than usual, as well.  Of course, it's the type of change winter-weary minds welcome. Early spring, with warmer temperatures, sunny days, and greening trees is always welcome. My favorite time of year is now, from late March to the end of July. The longer days, the warming temperatures, and the restful greenery are like a balm to my soul. After the beginning of August, the sun starts to wane, leaves begin to fall from trees, stripped by winds and the occasional summer storm, and the charm fades. The only thing I don't like about summer is the days when the thermometer rises well above 30ºC (mid-80º'sF). Those days I am become a weather zombie, reacting to outs

Surreal Encounter of the Third Kind

Just when you think most people are okay, and that they will learn to get together in a jiffy to help one another, there comes along an exception that makes you despair of the human race.  The setting. Across the road from our house is a woodland property that belongs to a cousin. He's never paid attention to it except to cut down the trees and sell them a few years back. He has never criticized or complained to us for stacking our firewood there prior to cutting it up and storing it. So, there is a nice pyramid of cut-up logs standing there, visible from the curve to all who approach, with no house next to it nor fencing surrounding it. The strange occurrence. Yesterday afternoon, while a student was in my study, I notice a car pull up in front of our house. Not expecting anyone just yet, I went to look from the kitchen window, to know who was about to knock on my door. A man stepped out of the driver's seat, went around and opened the trunk. A woman came out of the pass

Hear us Roar

Last Friday was International Women's Day, and organizations in Spain called for women to strike all day, in all aspects, work, home, and shopping. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do so this year, except in the shopping aspect. I also couldn't attend the evening protest, but I did attend the midday concentration in Santiago.  There were women of all ages and walks of life, from an elderly lady with a cane, to babies in prams. A few men also attended. There were three columns that converged in the center of town. My daughter and I joined the column that wended its way through the South Campus of the university. Most of the university was marching with us, professors included. A wonderful young professor my daughter had had for a class even volunteered to paint our faces. (I don't do selfies, so there's no record.)  We merged, and we shouted and sang. Most of us were wearing something purple, or carrying purple signs or flags, so the confluence of the streets were

History is Also Ours

Women have always been sidelined in history. History has always been made by men. Theirs are the names in the books to remember. Robespierre, Danton, and Marat are the men associated with the French Revolution, but the beginning of the end was when Louis XVI and his family was brought from Versailles to the Louvre by thousands of Parisian women who wanted them to see for themselves the poverty those in the city suffered. Did these women act under a banner of idealism? No, they acted under the pragmatist banner of the price of bread.  Men have always accused women of acting romantically and unrealistically. We have always been accused of being dreamers. Yet, the dreamers in history have generally been men. Yes, there have been women who have influenced thought through their writings rather than through their actions, such as Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Mary Wollstonecraft, or even the notorious Ayn Rand. But when uprisings begin over the basics of life, they tend to be led, or