Yes, this will no doubt offend. The carnage on the street has got to stop.
I can see the stone wall of the Missouri Botanical Garden from my front porch. It often beckons to me. Though my walks are often brisk, I bring a camera to slow me down to catch a brilliant color, an engaging pattern or a playful reflection. Sometimes, I sit for 5 or 10 minutes and try to meditate.
At the MBG, there’s people watching, of course, and this often causes me to think of the people I care most about–how could this not be the case in such a beautiful place?
But the two things come to my mind almost every time I visit the garden:
1. David Attenborough’s “Private Life of Plants.” (It’s about the only thing I keep my VCR for – it’s not available in Zone 1 on DVD). It’s a beautiful video series that blurs the line between flora and fauna, when plant growth is run in fast-motion.
Voters in America not only aren’t over-empowered, they’ve for decades now been almost totally disenfranchised, subjects of one of the more brilliant change-suppressing systems ever invented.
We have periodic elections, which leave citizens with the feeling of self-rule. But in reality people are only allowed to choose between candidates carefully screened by wealthy donors. Nobody without a billion dollars and the approval of a half-dozen giant media companies has any chance at high office.
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S 2012 platform pledged to “curb the influence of lobbyists and special interests.” But the 2016 convention in Philadelphia will be officially hosted by lobbyists and corporate executives, a number of whom are actively working to undermine progressive policies achieved by President Barack Obama, including health care reform and net neutrality.
Some of the members of the 2016 Democratic National Convention Host Committee, whose job is to organize the logistics and events for the convention, are hardly even Democratic Party stalwarts, given that many have donated and raised thousands of dollars for Republican presidential and congressional candidates this cycle.
The composition of the 15-member Host Committee may appear out of sync with the rhetoric of Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but the reality is that the party, in the form of the Democratic National Committee, has moved decisively to embrace the lobbying industry.
Have you ever wondered how evangelicals can tolerate Donald Trump. It’s got to be more than Hate of Hillary, right? This Salon article by VALERIE TARICO suggests that Trump is a spitting image of a prominent Old Testament character.
From Genesis through Revelation, the Bible lays out precisely how people should grovel and sing God’s praises and otherwise kiss up. God wants his adoring followers to beg for things he already knows they need. … And he doesn’t like it at all if anyone pays attention to competing deities. “Thou shalt worship no other god!” he roars, “For the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God!”
[More . . . ]
Perhaps it is because I’ve been in the throes of romance for the past 10 months, a relationship that keeps getting better and better, but I’ve been struggling to find words to describe or express my feelings to my beloved. That is why I set out to find some well-crafted quotes on romance, quotes new to me. I found some that are most excellent:
“Romance is thinking about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about something else.”
― Nicholas Sparks
“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: First Part
“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays
“When love is not madness it is not love.”
― Pedro Calderón de la Barca
“Every great love starts with a great story…”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
[more . . . ]
The happily ever after trope goes something like this: Love, marriage, children, happiness. However, that is not what the statistics show. “Parents often become more distant and businesslike with each other as they attend to the details of parenting.” The source of this sad passage is “Decades of Studies Show What Happens to Marriages After Having Kids,” in Fortune Magazine. The statistics show that having children drives a married couple apart more than it brings them more closely together:
The irony is that even as the marital satisfaction of new parents declines, the likelihood of them divorcing also declines. So, having children may make you miserable, but you’ll be miserable together.
Worse still, this decrease in marital satisfaction likely leads to a change in general happiness, because the biggest predictor of overall life satisfaction is one’s satisfaction with their spouse.