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Posts Tagged ‘Light’

To prepare for the Festival of Lights, we watched the new Pinocchio movie by Guillermo del Toro with the Grands. https://www.netflix.com/title/80218455

At the very end of this stop-action masterpiece of a movie, which does not end in the way we all think the fairy tale ends, the Pumpkin said, “Well that’s a cliff hanger!” Spoiler alert, the conclusion keeps us guessing. Del Toro weaves a dark story – Pinocchio’s father drinks too much, there are monsters in the deep sea and poker-playing rabbits keeping watch over the rainbow bridge to eternity. It’s not simply an allegory about lying and noses growing. It’s an homage to love in all its purest forms.

Kate Blanchett, who voiced the endearingly ugly monkey, Spazzatura (a name that means “garbage” in Italian), said this about the film: “Del Toro is “able to somehow Trojan-horse these really big discussions about fascism and humanity into a really entertaining movie that’s going to spark conversation,” Blanchett said, according to Netflix press materials. “I think it’s about curiosity and humility and the death of innocence, the loss of innocence, and about the deep love, the abiding love between people and it’s a real true adventure.” https://www.npr.org/2022/12/13/1142418925/academy-award-winner-alexandre-desplat-scores-del-toros-pinocchio

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice; it will also be the fourth night of Hanukkah. We Jews are in the middle of celebrating a little night magic – the oil in the Temple banishing the dark for eight nights, instead of one. I’ve placed my ‘vintage’ electric menorah in the living room window, while neighbors have felt the need to place signs reading, “We stand with our Jewish neighbors” on their lawns. We talk with our grandchildren about a little wooden puppet who wasn’t afraid to be different.

Starting tomorrow, the days, the light, will be getting longer. The temperatures are due to plummet to single digits. And by the grace of God, Merrick Garland may summon the courage to indict an ex, twice impeached president. As we say in the South, “He might could.” The January 6 Committee has shown us in stark detail what Mr T did for over three hours while a violent insurrection was happening at the Capital. He wanted to overthrow the will of the people, he was hoping for a coup, he did nothing to stop his base of proud boys and feckless women. He watched as one woman was shot in the face, and a police officer was crushed and beaten to near death.

I’m old enough to remember a time when Republicans actually stood up for their country above their party. We cannot compare the Nixon White House to the Trump years, although Intellectuals, Ivy Leaguers, and Jews were all equally despised. But we Americans found it in our hearts to forgive Nixon, or at least accept the Ford pardon for years of deceit. We found out about his shenanigans because he taped everything, probably for his library. Nixon too thought he was above the law.

“The Jews are all over the government,” Nixon complained to his chief of staff, H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, in an Oval Office meeting recorded on one of a set of White House tapes released yesterday at the National Archives. Nixon said the Jews needed to be brought under control by putting someone “in charge who is not Jewish” in key agencies.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/daily/oct99/nixon6.htm

Every single election denier was defeated last month. Truth cannot be subjective, there are no alternate versions of the Holocaust. And I can still believe in miracles.

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The demolition of our kitchen has begun.

We’ve ordered the appliances, and they should be delivered in January sometime. I’ve heard that cabinets are one of those things stuck in a supply chain somewhere, so we have a choice – bespoke (custom build), or DIY in-a-box (Ikea)? Only the nearest Ikea is in Atlanta. And I’ve been playing with Benjamin Moore paint colors on their website, it’s easy and incredibly intuitive! https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/personal-color-viewer/kitchen

My sister Kay told me to try “Kitten Whiskers” on walls because of the way the light reflects back on your room. I may have to paint a sample swath and watch it over time. She said it’s a very pale lavender, yet all I can see is beige. When did cottage kitchen design become my ballyhoo?

Ever since I read that all politics are local, I’ve experienced a sense of dread. GOP legislators have spent the last decade redrawing districts to their advantage, so that they can win more seats. Even if a state is divided equally between the two parties, like say Ohio, out of 99 seats in the House, Republicans hold 64! Ah, the power of gerrymandering.

I first heard about “sunshine laws” when I was elected to a NJ school board.

“Sunshine laws areĀ regulations requiring transparency and disclosure in government or business. Sunshine laws make meetings, records, votes, deliberations, and other official actions available for public observation, participation, and/or inspection.”

There were 48 Million K-12 students in our country and we spent over 752 Billion in 2019. We deserve to know how that money is spent. The journalist in me knew about the Freedom of Information Act passed in the 70s, but I didn’t know how discretely it could shape both small and large institutions.

Unless of course you happen to be the former twice-impeached-president who rarely told the truth and made up his own rules as he went along. Will we ever see his taxes? Sunshine laws are an effort to replace the stereotypical dark-smoky-back room, with a light-infused, open and honest discourse.

We all thought electing Biden would fix everything. I wanted so much to relax, and feel like our government is back on an even keel. We were moving forward with vaccinations and treatments for Covid. The Grands got their second shot. Things were looking up! I am grateful we passed a semi-bi-partisan infrastructure bill, but our democracy could fall apart if we continue to ignore the many voter suppression bills being passed at local levels:

Our democracy works best when all eligible voters can participate and have their voices heard. Suppression efforts range from the seemingly unobstructive, like strict voter ID laws and cuts to early voting, to mass purges of voter rolls and systemic disenfranchisement. These measures disproportionately impact people of color, students, the elderly, and people with disabilities. And long before election cycles even begin, legislators redraw district lines that determine the weight of your vote.

https://www.aclu.org/news/civil-liberties/block-the-vote-voter-suppression-in-2020/

If you do nothing else this week, please call your senators and tell them they must reform the filibuster (which was never in the constitution btw) in order to pass John Lewis’ Voting Rights Advancement Act. The “For the People Act” that passed through the House, must NOW be signed into law.

I know I know. You’re busy planning for Christmas. You’re so over wearing face masks, and want to stop living in fear of a new variant micro organism in the air, something you can’t see. But please, look at the elephant in our collective room. if you are lighting a Hanukkah menorah this week, how hard can it be to make a phone call? If you are buying Christmas presents online today, give our country a gift and write an email to your senators. https://contactsenators.com/senator-phone-numbers

What kind of party wants to make it harder to vote? So much depends on this. We cannot let the minority party pull us back into the dark ages. Shine a light on overt gerrymandering and voter suppression. Start this holiday season off by demanding equal voting rights for all Americans. Choose light, and your children and grandchildren will thank you.

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