Tag Archives: politics

Assignment [flash 235]

Shadow of a man standing

I have not been told why the subject is under surveillance. It was not necessary for this assignment to inform me of details other than a description of the subject and the fact that he appears here at the bridge every afternoon precisely at 3:00. I have my suspicions, of course. I believe he is calculating something, perhaps a sniper shot. The route the officials will travel next month is classified, but someone knows it. When the time comes, if they tell me to kill the subject, I will do it without question or proof. That is how things are now.

The subject appears at 3:00 exactly, as he has done every day for seven days. He is dressed in his usual nondescript dark pants and windbreaker. He walks to the center of the bridge, places his hands lightly on the railing, and looks out. He makes no notes and does not appear to be communicating with anyone.

Today he leaves six minutes earlier than usual, striding away in the direction he appeared, opposite to me. As I turn around, I spot someone watching me. My observer quickly blends into the shadows of a door. It may be a test. This entire assignment could be a ruse. They do that to keep us in the dark. I may never know. Or I may be cut down as I walk past.

End encrypted transmission.

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction 37

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

Song Lyric Sunday ~ Drifter

Song Lyric Sunday

Thanks again to our marvelous SLS host Jim Adams for coming up with today’s array of prompts. I chose drifter, which is exemplified in “The Wanderer.” Bono of U2 wrote this song and Johnny Cash sang lead vocals; it was released on U2’s 1993 album Zooropa.

I went out walking through the streets paved with gold
Lifted some stones, saw the skin and bones
Of a city without a soul
I went out walking under an atomic sky
Where the ground won’t turn and the rain it burns
Like the tears when I said goodbye
Yeah, I went with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering
I went drifting through the capitals of tin
Where men can’t walk or freely talk
And sons turn their fathers in
I stopped outside a church house where the citizens like to sit
They say they want the kingdom
But they don’t want God in it
I went out riding, down that ol’ eight lane
I passed by a thousand signs
Looking for my own name
I went with nothing
But the thought you’d be there too
Looking for you
I went out there in search of experience
To taste and to touch and to feel’s as much
As a man can before he repents
I went out searching, looking for one good man
A spirit who would not bend or break
Who could sit at his father’s right hand
I went out walking with a bible and a gun
The word of God lay heavy on my heart
I was sure, I was the one
Now Jesus, don’t you wait up, Jesus, I’ll be home soon
Yeah, I went out for the papers
Told her I’d be back by noon
Yeah, I left with nothing
But the thought you’d be there too
Looking for you
Yeah, I left with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Scary Sharing [ranty]

Scream

Questions from Sparks

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) a good thing, a bad thing or a mixture of both?

Bad. Right now, I have a Twitter account, which I mainly use for poetry prompts and news, but the way others use it to argue and snark 24/7? Bad. It contributes to our nasty, bullying culture. Of course nastiness and bullying existed before the internet, but we weren’t hooked into it every minute of the day. You could take an actual break from school and not look at what people were saying. But now? Well, naturally you “need to know.” Same goes for the garbage on FB and Insta… you can’t be out of the loop! 😱

Before people fly into a tizzy, I’m not saying anything should be banned. I voluntarily left Facebook and Instagram. I suggest you do the same. Unfortunately I still have an account I made just to use Messenger for the convenience of friend chats, but I hope that’s temporary. It irritates me that some friends are opposed to normal texting.

I am absolutely opposed to the constant political screamfest on every corner of the internet that has accomplished absolutely nothing. Everyone is now able to screech about how much they hate X and get a pile of X-haters to agree, and another pile of Y-haters to engage in an endless namecalling jamboree, yippee doodle. What a great way to spend our free time. 🙄

Besides that, social media has destroyed privacy. Many of us overshare in so many ways; it’s the new normal to blurt out our feelings all the time to the whole world or to our 500 “friends.” Not only that, but in order to have “free” access to the things, we give giant corporations all our info, and shrug off periodic hacking and ID theft as a cost of doing business because we simply must stay connected 24/7 to these people who actually don’t even notice when we disappear. They really don’t.

People begged me not to leave Facebook. Then they laughed and said I’d be back in a month. Now, they’ve forgotten me. There are bloggers who have left. Some used to post and comment all the time. Who even ever thinks about them?

Are you camera shy or do you pose for the camera with confidence?

I’m not a fan of people taking my pic when I’m talking or have a mouthful of food. I always let people know when I’m taking their photo, and if they don’t want me to, I don’t. That said, if someone asks, I’ll always smile and agree. Why not ask? It’s just good manners.

Is there anything you’ve kept from younger years for sentimental reasons alone?

I have a folder full of school stuff to remind me of how much potential I once had and that I let it fade away to nothing.

Do you like to decorate for different holidays?

When I had a house I did. I especially went all out for Halloween because that’s such a fun holiday to me, with no pressure for family dinners or gifts. It’s just pure silly enjoyment. For the kids I mean! 🤣🎃👻

Halloween pumpkin head

~*~

Laura’s October Challenge (Day 7)

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©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ42: Censorship

FPQ

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you feel that in today’s world — and perhaps in the part of the world in which you live — the freedom to articulate and express opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction is being threatened?”

Speaking to the legal aspect, not at all. I am referencing only my personal, direct experience here, not stuff blogged about hysterically without proof. What do I mean by that? I mean… when people start shrieking about someone’s rights being violated before they know the whole story. And then when the rest of the story comes out, it’s generally ignored. As far as me, I am somewhat protected by my “white privilege” and also by the fact that I am a very small fish and generally don’t write stupid things.

That isn’t to say I haven’t caused myself some needless personal consequences over written material ~ I certainly have. But the part of the question I’m addressing now is about freedom to write without fear of legal consequences, and I feel I have that.

What about besides legal consequences? Well, I don’t know. It’s hard to compare anything to the vast reach of the internet. There was a time, I guess, you could pen an edgy opinion letter to your local gazette and incur the wrath of a little town, but now send off an unfortunate tweet and the next day wake up to a million folks around the world calling you a c*nt. That shouldn’t happen though. See the next paragraph…

I think there should be more “censorship,” not less. But not by the government (which is why I put it in quotes). I think internet service providers and websites should be upholding their TOS and enforcing their own standards we’ve all agreed to against impersonation, hate speech, racism, etc.

It’s not impossible. It just seems that way because we’ve elevated the idea of “anonymity” to the highest value. If we disallowed anonymity, much of the hate would vanish overnight.

Not all of it, of course. The POTUS isn’t anonymous, I realize. 🤣

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

All Apologies

There are many forms of apologies, most of them insincere. We’ve all seen the political apology (not limited to politicians, of course), where the person is simply sad they got caught doing the thing and hopes to continue doing the thing, but differently. The people who support the politician will forgive him, and the ones who don’t won’t, whatever the thing may be.

Then there’s the the celebrity apology. This occurs when a celeb says something stupid, which happens on the daily, and they come trotting out in front of the cameras, all abashed looking, saying how deeply sorry they are if they’ve caused offense to anyone and they certainly didn’t mean to. Usually they’re forgiven because they’re pretty.

The cheater’s apology is a combo of the above. Mostly, the cheater is deeply sorry he got caught. He has suddenly realized his behavior is wrong ~ or hers, in the case of those college scam moms. S/he promises to make amends to those s/he has wronged.

Blah blah blah.

I say sorry a lot. Usually it’s because I’m clumsy and bump into people or drop stuff. Or I’m not paying attention and don’t hear something or have forgotten it two seconds later. I’ll say sorry when I hear someone else’s sad news even though it’s not my fault because I feel sympathy for them. Saying “my sympathies” sounds too formal for me.

Generally, if I feel badly about something I’ve done to someone, I’ll change my behavior rather than issue a meaningless apology, but this is rare. Why? Well, I don’t interact with many people, and I’m also careful. In my opinion, there are plenty of folks who should apologize to me! Do I expect them to? Of course not. They’re jerks.

I used to be quick to accept apologies ~ too quick. It feels good to forgive. Don’t want to be a dour, unforgiving grump. But this hurt me because I didn’t analyze why a person was apologizing and often it turned out they simply wanted back into my life in order to do the same thing (or worse) yet again. I learned. Took a long time though.

Recently however, I did receive a very nice apology with an offer to be taken out to lunch. I declined the lunch, but the warmth of the apology was appreciated. Now, I do get that it was partly motivated by other concerns, which is fine. It was still gracious. It’s rare to be the recipient of graciousness in this world lately.

Enjoy it when you can.

~*~

Written for Mindlovemisery

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Little Blue Bear [socs]

Beanie Baby America

I have a little blue bear on my desk at work. He’s a Ty beanie baby named America and I bought him when he came out after 9/11, which was shortly after I began working here (I’m writing this Friday lunchtime and will schedule it to post Saturday morning). On the left side of his tag it says that 100% of the profits from the purchase of the bear will go to Red Cross Disaster Relief. On the right side it says: “In memory of those who lost their lives in the national catastrophe that took place on September 11, 2001. We mourn for them and express our deepest sympathy to their families. God Bless America.”

A lot has changed in 18 years. My parents have both passed on. I’m divorced. My two daughters both graduated college and have gotten married. One of them has a baby, which magically makes me a grandma. I’ve moved five times. I had a relationship with a married man for two and a half years. If you believe in “bad karma,” then this gave me mine and I’ve been unable to have a happy/successful romance since. I also had a couple minor car accidents, which were horribly upsetting at the time, but in the grand scheme of things, not so bad really.

In these 18 years, I’ve been a flame warrior on Usenet, made enemies and turned them into Facebook “friends,” and since I quit FB most of them have forgotten my existence again. Perhaps that’s a good thing. I’ve been on Friendster and Twitter and Snapchat and G+ and other “social sites” too dark and dirty to mention here. I’ve experimented with different lifestyles to see if they were for me (no), and they’ve greatly enriched my fiction and poetry writing.

I’ve written a lot during these years. So so much. Poetry, novels, short stories. Zillions of blog posts and tweets. Loads of emails and texts. Have had interesting text chats with many men that I thought might “go somewhere,” but they didn’t and here I am alone, which isn’t a bad thing after all. I’m not sure anyone could really put up with me now… and vice versa.

I find that as I trudge toward my seventh decade I’m more or less the same person I was at age 14. I like to read romance novels and write poetry. I love games and puzzles, kittens and puppies, cookies and pizza. I’m not a sophisticated adult type person with advanced tastes in wine and music. Give me rock & roll and mac & cheese, woo! I’m a homebody and enjoy simple comforts. A hot shower is bliss. As I age, I’ve learned that I get more easily stressed out by other people, so I have to limit my interactions with them.

But through all this, I’ve had a good job, where I’ve been treated well. And every work day, little blue bear has been there to greet me, no matter what else is going on. I am grateful/thankful for my job and for my side work too… and for my book sales even though I wish there were more. (I’ll keep writing regardless.) When I began this post, I assumed at some point I’d say something political, but really there’s no need.❤️🧁💙

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

My MBA from Blogger U

Mystery Blogger Award

Big thanks goes out to Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke for gifting me the MBA. Very much appreciated! Rory has a fantastic blog, and he’s made a lot of cool changes to its look and navigation recently, so it’s much easier to find all his neato stuffs. Personally, I’m partial to his 4-Question Challenges and 321 Quote Me’s. This year’s Valentine’s Challenge inspired me to write some fun series stories, which people seemed to enjoy. I also look forward to reading Rory’s clever poetry and his adventures with Suze and Scrappy.

So, if you haven’t visited Rory in a while, I suggest you run, hop, roll, fly, scooter, or use whatever means available to you in order to have a look around the place. Except please do avoid crossing rivers on the backs of crocodiles ~ I hear that’s not a great idea.

Crocodile with butterfly

Now, onto the T’s & C’s. You know what a stickler I am for da rules. 😂

After thanking my giftee giver (done) and linking back (ditto), I’m supposed to now mention this dude what began the whole mystery jamboree: Okoto Enigma.

Alrighty then. What next?

Oh, I’m supposed to mention three things about myself. One, I’m wearing blue nail polish. Two, I exercised before work today, go me! Three, I love pluots (plum/apricot hybrids).

Next, I’m to answer the five questions Rory posed for his giftees.

1. Are we losing the art of listening in comparison to simply hearing?

People have always tuned others out, whether by hiding behind a newspaper or turning up the TV or whatever. What’s new is that it’s now become socially acceptable to be rude in one specific way: by sticking our faces in our phones.

Forex, I go to social gatherings pretty often, sometimes at restaurants and sometimes at people’s homes. Generally, we eat and then play board games. While it would be weird and obnoxious for someone to bring a book and start reading at dinner or in the middle of a game, it’s perfectly fine for people to constantly check their phones and even to engage in lengthy texting while with the group. I’ve been guilty of this behavior myself on occasion, but I try to avoid it because I notice how annoying it is when others do it. I’ll have a quick text exchange with a daughter and that’s it. In fact, one of my girls commented late last Saturday night how strange it was I hadn’t replied to them within my usual 5-second timeframe.

Of course, you can’t pay proper attention to the people around you and listen to what they’re saying when you’re buried in a text chat or game on your phone. It’s obviously obvious and I’m working on it myself. I’ve been trying to be more present for people. It takes an effort, like anything else.

2. How often do you openly discuss with friends or here in WP with your readership topics that make you feel uncomfortable or may be taboo or stigma laden?

There are topics I avoid, such as politics, because I find the inevitable conflicts unnecessary. Sometimes I’ll comment on other people’s blogs about an issue, but even then I’m careful. I used to discuss politics on Facebook and it got so hostile and boring. Same arguments over and over. What’s the point?

Shrug

3. Do you think that these discussions should be freely discussed and written about more?

I think we are inundated with politics and most of it is utter trash. We would all be better off with much less of it occupying our attention. Take the Alabama Sharpie ridiculousness ~ it should never have been newsworthy, and it’s everyone’s fault. No one can let something go. Every minute scrap of idiocy must be banged on about to the fucking death for the clicks and lulz. Nastiest comment wins!

4. Did you have a nickname as a child and if so, what was [or what is it now]?

No. People mostly ignored me, same as now. Occasionally, they were mean, such as when a boy in 4th Grade told me my glasses made me look like Ben Franklin. But no one began calling me Ben; they just resumed ignoring me.

Ben Franklin


5. Why is there still ‘stuff’ we simply just don’t understand despite our progressive world?

Why is there stuff? Welp, it’s only recently in the grand scheme of things that we’ve begun to understand anything really. Sure, maybe the ancients had some clues about this or that, but the masses of folks…

Oh, what am I saying? The masses of folks are still hopelessly anti-science and would let the entire planet choke and die for some woozy goozy gibberish about a sky fairy swooping down to save a few and whisking them off to some candy cloud castle or whatever.

Progressive? Bah.

Crabby

For the grand finale, I’m supposed to give the award to 3 more bloggers and create 5 more questions yada… however! This blog is an Answer-Only blog. Yep. I have the official certificate here somewhere… hang on please…

Gold star to answer questions only

That’s the Mystery Award done and dusted!

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ37: Agree to Disagree?

Fandango provocatively asks…

Is it possible anymore to disagree without being disagreeable?

He is mainly referring to the topics of politics and religion. I’m going to answer from my own personal experience, not what I perceive to be “out there,” which sometimes is fake fighting, designed to generate flames for views/clicks.

I used to be a more intolerant atheist and have mellowed as I’ve aged. I see the value in many Jewish customs ~ my family is Jewish. When I do have an issue with a particular practice (such as turning off the phone on Saturday), I find it much easier to agree to disagree than I did years ago. I find that life’s experiences have made me more open-minded to different ways of doing things.

As far as friends/bloggers, I’m not seeing any big arguments over religion. Maybe I’m not looking for them, in which case… great! I realize that people are still murdering each other over religion, or allowing the powerful to manipulate them into it, but that’s nothing new.

Now, let’s move onto politics. It appears that everything is horrible everywhere. But I don’t think this is something new. It seems more intense and in our faces all the time because of the internet and because the news channels have to produce content 24/7, but we could shut it off. I know. But we could. Pretend you’re Jewish and every day is Saturday.

People (was gonna say men, but Prof L may be reading) have been screaming about politics for centuries. They’ve been dueling over politics. Slandering and libeling each other. When were people civil? We had a scorched earth war in the US because we couldn’t work out our differences. Maybe we’ll end up in another one.

Can I personally disagree about politics without being disagreeable the way I can about religion? It’s much more difficult. I don’t really care if someone believes in an afterlife ~ this doesn’t impact me. I don’t believe it, and this doesn’t affect them. We can still be friends. It’s harder to be friends with someone who believes that the US is only for white people. In fact, I’d rather not be around someone like that at all, and vice versa, I’m sure.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Laura’s Music Challenge 27

Piano music notes

Yay, it’s time to have some fun with another one of Laura’s song challenges! Join in and have a musical Monday. 😀🎶🎉

1. Post a video of a song that’s perfect when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

2. Post a video of a song you’d find humorous if it came on while making whoopie.

3. Post a video of a protest song.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

Mental Health ~ Social Media

Thinking

Beckie has been providing a great series of prompts about various topics related to mental health. I haven’t been chiming in, but I made some time for this one. [My bad, I originally credited it to Ashley, and I’ll leave her link below, since it’s where I found the post to use.]

This week’s topic is social media.

Prompt #1 Questions: 

1. Does social media affect your overall mental health?  If so, please describe how it does affect you? 

– Yes, blogging affects my mental health in a positive way because I have control over my blog and can vet the comments (when necessary). Twitter can go both ways. I read good poetry there, which is inspiring; but sometimes I end up reading too much of the political garbage, which is a downer.

2. How does it make you feel when you see family/friends posting pictures of them living their life happily?  

– This is mostly irrelevant to me because I am not on Facebook or Instagram. When I see bloggers posting happy photos, I smile with them.

3. Do the following people make you feel inadequate in any way due to your mental health?    

– Is the question about envy? Am I sad when I see people in couples? No. I know what it would take for me to be in a relationship and am not willing to make those sacrifices (again). As far as family photos, I have lots of those myself, but I don’t post many out of respect for their privacy.

4. What has been your overall experience with social media?  And, what sites do you follow?  

– As I said, blogging has been a wonderful and positive experience. The writing community here on WP is full of kind and supportive people. Twitter is somewhat positive. Facebook was a net negative and I let it go. Instagram too.

5. Have you considered not being on social media?  

– Sometimes, when I feel time-pressured and discouraged by zero book sales. Like, why am I bothering? I could just read and watch TV. But it’s fun regardless.

6. If you have quit social media sites, has it improved your mental health and stability?  

– Quitting Facebook was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Not only did it suck me into the most pointless arguments about the SOS, but it gave me the false impression I had all these “friends,” which of course was bullshit. Most of them couldn’t even be bothered to visit me here after there was no link in their facefeed. Bookmark? Huh?

7. Has social media ever triggered you in a negative way?  Explain how?  

– Yes. There is a problem with some of the sites in that they are relentless in showing you people (“suggestions”) you would rather never see again. Forex, I can’t log on to LinkedIn without them suggesting I connect with the man who broke my heart. There’s no way to block him or whatever. It’s been long enough now, and my heart has been smashed up worse, for his face not to matter to me any longer. But there were a few years I could not touch the site.

*

Prompt #2  We are all familiar with “Selfies”  Describe for us, what is the first thing you think of when you see your family/friends keep sending and/or posting selfies?

– This is no longer an issue for me, since I’m off FB. I love seeing any/all pics of my family, and my friends aren’t into selfies. I’ve never perfected the art of the selfie. Back on FB, there were some women who took a lot of selfies and it always appeared like a desperate attention-seeking ploy.

Then again, aren’t we all on social media to get attention of one kind or another?

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.