Category Archives: Various Musings

Was it Cecil the Lion’s Fault?

Lion-013-2048x2048

photo borrowed from animal crossing wiki

Cecil, Cecil, Cecil.

There is so much outrage over the killing of Cecil the Lion that the hunter is probably on the terrorist watch list at the moment. Everyone is angry at this guy. But while everyone wants everyone to be up in their feelings about this, I really need to research and hear both sides of the story to come to a conclusion about this travesty. For example,

  • It’s possible Cecil wasn’t as harmless as he looked. He might have been carrying a concealed weapon. His wild, unkempt mane made a perfect hiding spot for a pistol or knife. And knowing how animals move from time to time, Cecil might have made a sudden movement that could have been interpreted as him reaching for a weapon. The hunter might have been in fear for his life. In fact, some might even call him a hero. I don’t see anyone else volunteering to keep our community safe from these lions.

I mean, come on. Look at Cecil’s mug shot below, generously provided by the media. He looks dangerous to me and is likely under the influence of marijuana or bath salts. After all, he is a lion. Would you want to see THAT in your neighborhood? I don’t.

AnimalExtremeClose-up - angry lion

Photo borrowed from Animal Facts Encyclopedia

  • Cecil tried to run away from the hunter, who was only exercising his God-given right to express himself by killing something. But why? Why didn’t Cecil stand still to be slaughtered? Instead, he forced them to track him down for hours. Lions don’t run unless they’re guilty of something.
  • And what could he have been guilty of? Well, let’s talk about an uncomfortable topic. Lions kill other animals—and even other lions—all the time. Have you seen the stats of lion-on-lion killings? They’re deplorable. The lion culture propagates this behavior. They’ll even kill another lion’s cubs when they take over a pride, just to ensure that only their progeny will survive.

Now imagine if people did that.

Imagine if your mother remarried and your new stepfather suddenly took out a .40 caliber weapon and tried to plant a bullet in your forehead. That’s cold, isn’t it? Well, I guarantee Cecil did something like that back in the day. But no one wants to talk about how more lions are killed by other lions instead of hunters. So instead of sending this dentist death threats and trying to shut down his practice, we should be more concerned about Cecil’s past criminal record when it comes to cub-killing.

In fact, we should look at it another way. Imagine the dozens of cubs Cecil killed in the past, those poor, innocent kitties that never had a chance to live. If they’re in heaven right now, they’re watching justice being served and a violent killer being made to pay for his past sins. That is the moral of the story that should be shared.

  • And it’s quite possible Cecil’s behavior escalated things. If he had stopped and kept quiet the first time the hunter shot at him, the hunter might have had a change of heart and decided to let the lion—and his $50,000 fee—go. Yet, Cecil had the nerve to run and parade around like he was the king of the jungle or something. If Cecil didn’t display that arrogant attitude and knew his place in the hunter-lion pecking order, things wouldn’t have escalated and he might still be alive today.

So, unlike the rest of the world, I don’t believe Cecil is blameless in this affair. This is just more displaced outrage, channeled at a popular target without the benefit of knowing all the facts. What makes Cecil so important, relative to other pressing problems?

Did you know, that as of this moment, we’re only down to 4 northern white rhinos left on earth? And they’re unable to breed, so they’ll be extinct in about fifteen minutes. But the Cecil-lovers haven’t uttered a word of protest or concern. Instead, they’re spewing outrage about a lion with a past criminal history, a lion that was probably disrupting things by marching and protesting unfair poaching practices with other thug-lion friends. There are hundreds of lions left but only four northern white rhinos. And we’re focused on Cecil? What about dogs? Cats?

We can’t be worried about one single lion, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances that led to his death.

We need to understand that not all hunters are bloodthirsty killers.
And that #AllAnimalLivesMatter.

Idiocracy is Real

Stupidity

 

Idiocracy.

It’s a comedy about a slacker named Joe. He participates in a hibernation experiment with the Army, and due to a mistake, wakes up 500 years later to find a society so dumbed down that he is instantly the smartest person in the world. He struggles to be understood. The people get outraged or excited about trivial things, are easily distracted, and refuse to acknowledge concepts of common sense or social responsibility.

The movie, an obvious indictment of society today, is funny. Well, it’s funny as long as one thinks it’s for entertainment purposes only. But based on the events of the past few weeks (the Charleston church shooting, the Confederate flag, same-sex marriage), I’m convinced Idiocracy is a possible version of our future.

I’m not saying people with dissenting opinions are idiots. Of course not. People are entitled to their beliefs. But I think it’s ridiculous to react so fervently and angrily at things that have little impact on your life. It’s idiotic to refuse acknowledging the truth when it punches you in the face. And it’s foolish to constantly allow yourself to be distracted from more pressing issues.

For example, take a look at:

The Media and Conservative Pundits

  • Technically, they aren’t stupid or idiotic. They’re master manipulators of public perception. First, after terrorist coward Dylan Roof opened fire in a black church and killed nine people, the media followed the usual game plan of humanizing the murderer and claiming possible mental illness. Amazingly, such considerations are never afforded people of color—no, they’re just sane, violent, scumbag thugs. Imagine if it had been a 22-year old named Ahmad who shot up Joel Osteen’s church. The narrative would have been different.
  • Then there were the conservative talking heads refusing to accept it was a racial hate crime. Instead, it was a “crime against religion”. Never mind that Roof probably skipped several white churches on his way to a black one. Never mind that he was an avowed racist and he himself admitted his intention to murder blacks. No, these people would rather search high and low for any excuse other than the fact that racism still exists.

The Confederate Flag

Here’s another trending topic that left me shaking my head.

  • After people saw pictures showing Roof wearing Dixie paraphernalia, politicians and retail executives tripped over themselves, trying to be the fastest to remove the confederate flag from government facilities and retail shelves. Prior to this, the same people were content with the flag where it was. It took the deaths of 9 people to make them act? While the removal of the flag is welcome, the same prevailing attitudes and racial ignorance remains. This gesture presents the flag as the cause of the hate, rather than the symptom. Instead of hard, frank discussions or even an acknowledgement of systemic racism in the first place, the removal of a flag is sold as a solution. Oh, wait…it must be election season. This is distraction politics at its finest.

Gay Marriage

There’s plenty of stupid to go around for this one.

  • Some folks were so outraged by the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage that they threatened to move to Canada. Someone should’ve told them Canada legalized gay marriage a decade ago. They should consider moving to Daesh or Northern Iraq instead, where homosexuality can be punishable by death by ISIS. It’s possible these outraged Americans could end up beheaded on YouTube, but at least they’ll spare themselves the terror of ever seeing a gay married couple.
  • Not to be outdone, others threatened to set themselves on fire if gay marriage was legalized. The hypocrisy is overwhelming. I’m a Christian. Do I think marriage should be between a man and a woman? Yes. But that’s MY opinion. I’m not going to hate and froth at the mouth because of their beliefs, especially if those beliefs don’t lead them to hurt others, such as shooting up churches and killing people. I may not agree with them but I accept them. If there is any divine judgment to be made, it won’t be done by me. Besides, I have my own issues I need to worry about. I need to remove the plank from my eye first.
    • Perhaps overzealous Christians need to stop the selective application of biblical principles to follow only when suitable. If gay marriage is horrible to you, and you throw the bible up as your defense, fine. Be just as vehemently opposed to premarital sex. That’s in the bible, too. And divorce. If you’re sick of your spouse, tough. Force yourself to stick with that nagging, whining wife or that lazy, unambitious husband for the rest of your life. Divorce isn’t an option. God frowns on it. That’s in the bible, too.
  • Last, but not least, a big example of idiocy goes to a group of black pastors who vowed civil disobedience if the  SCOTUS legalized gay marriage. So let me get this straight. Many Black communities deal with high crime, systemic racism, police brutality, poor economic opportunities, limited access to quality housing and medical care, and now, terrorist attacks against churches. And marching and offering immediate forgiveness is the standard operating procedure.
    • But if Linda wants to marry Diane? Oh, no, they can’t have that. Now’s the time to fight the power like Public Enemy. Now is the time to organize and channel that same selfless bravery, courage, and energy used in the Civil Rights movement….to fight gay marriage. I bet many of the same pastors were quick to call for forgiveness for Dylan Roof after his cold-blooded murders, yet they seemingly have less tolerance for a gay couple who want to get married. They can’t use their resources to address more pressing issues? No wonder church membership is declining.

After this past week, I realize we must be in the year 2515 already.

Idiocracy is here.

Too Many Unqualified Judges

broken gavel (borrowed from Chicago Tribune)

Unless you’ve been in self-imposed exile, or don’t have access to a phone, television, or computer, you’ve probably heard about or seen the Ray Rice videotape of him punching his now-wife Janay, knocking her unconscious, and dragging her out of the elevator.

While that was deplorable in and of itself, it seems this entire case involves too many people displaying poor judgment. Obviously, one need look no further than Ray Rice, whose lack of judgment in hitting his then-fiance started this whole mess. But plenty of examples of bad judgment remain. We have the NFL and my favorite football team, the Ravens, making fools of themselves while they engage in a poor display in ass-covering. Saying they never saw the second video and treating it as a “new” development that made them rethink Ray’s two-game suspension is an insult to the average person’s intelligence. They knew a knockout had occurred when they saw the first video that showed him dragging his wife from the elevator. A video of the actual punch wasn’t needed. The team even admitted that Ray was truthful about what happened in the elevator and his version aligned with the second video. So why fire him? If they felt that inadequate two-game suspension was fine, why backtrack? Just call it what it is. An exercise in rushed damage control.

If that wasn’t bad enough judgment on the NFL’s part, law enforcement authorities are saying that the NFL had prior knowledge of this damning video, despite their denials. So someone is either lying or is very incompetent. It probably would’ve been better for the NFL to just own up to making a bad decision with the two-game suspension and moving on, despite the fresh outrage from the video. Now they have more problems on their hands.

But the harshest display of judgment I see is that of Janay Rice herself. My social media feeds are showing many of my female friends and acquaintances ripping Janay for marrying Ray in the first place. At first glance, it’s understandable. Why would she marry a man who knocked her unconscious and dragged her body across the floor like she was a sack of garbage? Admittedly, I thought she stayed because of the money.

I had to step back and realize I’m not qualified to judge her. I’m not in her situation. I don’t know what’s behind the scenes. While we all can say what we won’t do, and what we won’t put up with, people react differently when critical situations actually happen. It’s easy to criticize Janay from the outside. She may very well be a battered woman. She may very well be with him for the money. Or she may simply love him as she says. I can’t rip her for her decision, despite what I see standing on the outside. She has her reasons. Sometimes, we do a lot of victim-blaming, especially when it comes to domestic abuse. Maybe we should stop sitting on our benches, judging others for things they do that we don’t like or agree with–especially when we don’t have all the details.

I just hope that she and Ray get help. After all, if it were that simple and easy to leave an abuser, do you think domestic abuse would be as prevalent as it is?

When Busyness Consumes You

This is a great blog post that sums up why I haven’t blogged for a few weeks now—a perpetual state of busy-ness that I find myself sucked into. Granted, I have been outlining my second novel during this time, but I knew I haven’t been as effective with my time management as I could have been. This is a great reminder to remain vigilant in removing obstacles and time wasters (Facebook, perhaps) that delay our progress toward our passions and goals.

The Gem in You®

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Why? It’s really quite simple. Busyness has consumed me. I was involved in several professional organizations. I volunteered for several non-profit assemblies. I started working for a new company that required much more time, effort, diligence and travel availability. However, this company provided limited opportunity to vacation and de-stress. Before I realized it, I was burnt out and totally unmotivated to focus on the things I was called to do.

Busyness is a detrimental distracter that enters our lives through acceptance of tasks, roles, and responsibilities. Initially, we don’t even realize the magnitude of the responsibilities we have embraced. What starts off as a leadership or volunteer role in one organization quickly expands to additional roles and responsibilities. Somewhere deep inside, we know that we should say “no” to the request to lead or serve in various capacities. However, feelings of obligation and…

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