neversremedy8: (Solidarity)
Today, after months of waiting for the DVD to be purchased by our library, we watched For the Next 7 Generations: 13 Indigenous Grandmothers Weaving a World that Works. Ana dreaded it at first, because, after many documentaries discussing making change in the world, she expected to have to sit through an hour or more of horrific, shocking, or enraging material before getting to the uplifting part. Except, as we discovered in its slow, steady demonstration, there was no shock and awe. There was only awe. Thirteen indigenous grandmothers from the four corners of the world, many of whom had had visions of this event happening decades beforehand, gathered to create a council of elders to discuss what was most needed for the world, from them. This was unlike most documentaries. Instead of having a narrator direct the course and flow the film would take, presenting an agenda or an overarching theme, the narrator gave her introduction, then sat back and let the camera follow these women on their journey.

Every six months, they agreed to meet in a different location--the home of one of the other grandmothers. They traveled to New Mexico, the Amazon, Mexico, Dharamsala to visit with the Dalai Lama, Vatican City, and beyond. They shared their traditions with the other women, even practicing different forms of medicine when needed, giving prayers to the earth, the water, the herbs, and food. Their children and grandchildren welcomed their guests with song and dance, with sacred rituals. Their discussions at each location involved a host of interpreters whispering away in the background, but each speaker spoke slowly, to allow everyone a chance to hear and understand (and for the interpreters to translate), they gave consideration to each speaker, laughed at one another's jokes, and were patient with those who needed to gather their thoughts.

Their shared experiences of prophetic visions--either their own, or those of their teachers--left Ana and I in awe and wonder. Some of what was said about water captured my heart and set my tears flowing. Ana held my hand at that moment.

The only ugly point in the documentary originated from the Vatican police who came to aggressively end the prayer circle the grandmothers had set up in the courtyard. They had permits, but they were being harassed by armed young men shouting, "What you're doing is anti-Catholic, and it needs to cease immediately!" The cameras were shut off and the prayers were silenced until a representative from the permit board came to prove the women had the right to do what they did. What threat did they pose by sending up prayers for peace and an end to greed? Apparently, the men felt threatened.

While this doesn't have an overt agenda, and it doesn't follow the smooth, crisp beginning-middle-end pattern of modern documentaries, what is shown is something so beautiful, simple, and extraordinary all at once to make this worth the wait. Though there was no "end" and no follow-up from the narrator, it made it seem all the more hopeful that their work continues on. We only need reach out and ask to learn from them.
neversremedy8: (Soap Box)
A misguided attempt at "standing up for her principles" leads this young woman to boycott the Girl Scouts and their on-going "bake sale" (i.e. Girl Scout cookie sales) because the Girl Scouts have allowed in transgendered members.

Her video can be seen here, talking about Girl Scouts values she's embodied over the years, but apparently she forgot to be caring, compassionate and inclusive.

This is my letter to her:

Greetings,

I'm not sure if you're aware of the meaning of being transgendered. These are not boys being allowed into the Girl Scouts, but girls who happen to have male genitalia. As the mother of a child whose father is a male-to-female transgendered individual, I can only think how lucky those girls are to not only have parents who support their identities, but a community in which they can access their feminine selves without persecution.

Or at least, they're almost lucky, because they're still living in a world where being born into one body, but knowing they're someone else, means they will be ridiculed at every turn, find difficulty in finding jobs as adults, and even in the Girl Scouts, as you've proven by your actions, be made to feel out of place and unworthy of the rites of young womanhood.

While transgendered women will never menstruate or be able to give birth, there are many women born with female bodies who can say the same. Are they any less women? No.

I'm happy to see the Girl Scouts, as an organization, embrace diversity in all its forms, and be inclusive of all young women, whether they were born with vulvas or not. I have, for years, boycotted the Boy Scouts of America for their bigotry against homosexuals (a separate, but no less atrocious form of persecution), and considering the messages I heard as a Girl Scout, to be caring, kind, compassionate, and giving, as well as strong and innovative, I have a hard time understanding how you, who clearly embody at least some of their principles, would be so willing to ignore others.

You are being presented a learning opportunity, to shed the narrow view of gender, and embrace the chance to understand people who, until now, you might have found threatening or uncomfortable. Gender isn't fixed in one's genitals, it is a fluid spectrum of behaviors, and just because the American culture has yet to fully embrace transgendered citizens, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them or that they should be denied the right to explore a community with strong roots as the Scouts have.

Good luck in your endeavors. I hope you find acceptance in your heart for the many people out there who, by birth or accident, simply don't fit into a standard.

Be well,
Fanny

P.S.
Even though I'm allergic to wheat, I think I'll be purchasing several boxes of Girl Scouts cookies whenever I have the opportunity. Troops still ship them to American soldiers, correct?
neversremedy8: (Soap Box)


They're calling this "the People's Mic", a low-tech work around to combat the unconstitutional laws put in place that prevent people exercising their right to peaceful assembly by denying them permits to use sound amplifiers. These laws go hand-in-hand with all of the permits now required of any protesting group that limit where in a public space people can assemble and how, often derailing a protest before it can launch.

This is bloody brilliant in my book, and Michael Moore's awe of their cleverness is touching considering how long he's been fighting various injustices for almost two decades. If you've seen the end of "Capitalist: A Love Story," then you can only imagine how good it must feel to be him finally watching people take a stand in this country; it sure feels damned good to me.

May the gods love and protect those of you in NY who stopped talking and finally took action. If I had the money, I'd be there with you.
neversremedy8: (Freedom Dancer)
I kept trying to find this on YouTube, but this video wasn't labeled with the song, only where and when of the performance. This is even better when Vixy joins in to sing, so Sooj and Alex can do a round. It's spring, are they coming back to Soulfood soon?

For those not in the PNW, you don't know what you're missing. ^_^



[Consider this your Monday Zen after weeks without.]

Lyrics:
(sung in the round)
lyrics
Sleep of the Earth of the land of Faerie
Deep is the lore of Cnuic na Sidhe
Hail be to they of the Forest Gentry
Pale, dark spirits, help us free
White is the dust of the state of dreaming
Light is the mixture to make one still
Dark is the powder of Death's redeeming
Mark but that one pinch can kill

Sleep
Poison in your dreams
Some will not awake
Nothing's as it seems
Iron bonds will break
Hearts will be set free
Wrongs will be made right
Sleep and death will be
Justice in the night
Sleep will be
Justice in the night
Death will be
Justice in the night
neversremedy8: (Panic at the Disco Masqued)
First, let me say Blessed Samhain or Dia de los Muertos to those who celebrate.

Should I be on my way to the UW right now dressed in a naughty sweater and draped in my burgundy cloak? Yes. I'm not though. Oh no. I didn't fall asleep until almost 4am, and when I don't get enough sleep for a couple of days in a row, I end up with cold-like symptoms. It doesn't help that there's a cold-infused boy upstairs sleeping right now. I figure I can get more done AND get the rest I need before the party tonight and maybe avoid actually getting sick. At the moment it's just some ear congestion/draining, and I think some tea and warmer clothes will do me in good stead. So will a nap later today. And curry, so I'm going to suggest India for lunch. I don't think I have a virus, but I know my body, and when I don't sleep well enough in a week, I tend to feel like crap by the end of it.

I have a Niko with her face buried into the crook of my arm as I type this. She purrs loudly and sends waves of heat from her body to mine.

There are more emails from the UW staff about the burning yesterday. In some ways, his death feels like a ritual sacrifice, and I feel that though it was a great tragedy and traumtic for those who witnessed it, we should not let such an offering go without honor and respect. No one will know why he did it, and I think it will bother some, but there is energy in there, and I intend to see it to some better, cleansing, healing purpose.

Yesterday as I drove to pick up Ana, the song that made me cry after ... well, everything, turned out to be so poignant in the lyrics, I could imagine this faceless, unknown man singing it in his heart when he decided to bring the gas can with him to the campus that day. Full lyrics are behind the cut, but even the chorus is enough:
And its days like this that burn me
Turn me inside out and learn me

Not to tell you anything I think I know
Well I think I'll tell you all that I know

I don't want to be alone I want to be a stone
I wanna sink to the bottom of the ocean
And lie there with you til I'm gone

Bob Schneider's Big Blue Sea )

And for less intense subjects I present Zombies singing in "Re: Your Brains":



"I Had a Shoggoth" complete with ASL signs for creatures like daleks, cylons, and Cththulu:




And for next week, "Don't Speak for Me, Sarah Palin" to the tune of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina":



EDIT: Last night I finished my second scarf. It's truly fuckable. Today I have an Artemis costume to make Ana and a Sarah Palin costume to improvise for Craig. I have no idea how I'm going to put all of his hair in a beehive. Or even half of it. Pray my throat feels better by the afternoon.
neversremedy8: (Cleverly Disguised)
Your assignment for today is to do something you loved to do as a child. To get you in the mood, watch these:

Feist & Count to Four



REM & Furry Happy Monsters

neversremedy8: (Pervert)
I'm at [livejournal.com profile] damashita's house. I took a nap in the guest room this morning and awoke to hear one of the birds say something quite wrong. I heard, "here kitty, kitty, kitty ..." and then a maniacal cackle. A sadistic Quaker parrot.

And I shouldn't like this as much as I do. I think this should be reserved for a girls' night out:





Anthony Stewart Head in leather and Sarah Brightman singing, Terrance looks tasty, and oh yes, scalpels. Yum.

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