Khaaaan!

I’m waiting for the new Star Trek movie.  It’s apparently being filmed, but the producer and director are keeping everything tightly under wraps — the better to surprise us when the movie is finally released, they say.

So, I’ll have to wait a while to see the new Star Trek 2 — whatever it might be called.  In the meantime, I’ll just have to enjoy the original Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan, with one of the greatest William Shatner as James T. Kirk scenery-chewing scenes of all time, as an agitated Kirk screws up his face before bellowing his anger out to the universe beyond:

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Dissing The Stay-At-Home

The latest campaign snit involves a statement by Hilary Rosen, a Democratic “campaign strategist”  — i.e., one of the endless parade of never-themselves-elected talking heads that appear regularly on TV “news” shows — about Ann Romney, the wife of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate.

In an appearance on CNN on Wednesday, Rosen dismissed Romney’s comments about seeking his wife’s views on issues of interest to women, stating:  “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life.  She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.”  Both Republicans and Democrats, including President Obama, have criticized Rosen’s comments, and Rosen herself has apologized for them.

I think Rosen’s apology should be accepted — but I also think her comment on CNN probably reflects her actual views about stay-at-home parents.  She doesn’t think rearing children is “work” in any meaningful sense, and she doesn’t think that people who are stay-at-home parents could really have much to say about the real world issues that are of concern to the rest of us.  It’s as if Rosen has bought into the most demeaning stereotypes about stay-at-home Moms and Dads sitting on the couch all day, eating chocolates and watching soap operas.

We should pause to consider how bizarre that belief is, and on so many levels.  In our modern society, we are quite properly encouraged to be accepting of all manner of alternative lifestyles — and yet a “strategist” for the Democratic Party cannot even credit a woman who chose what would now be called a “traditional” approach to her family obligations.  Similarly, we are told repeatedly of the importance of children and how “it takes a village” to rear them properly, and yet a woman who has elected to focus her efforts exclusively on her children is depicted as some kind of nincompoop.  Many of us grew up with stay-at-home Moms who arbitrated fights between siblings, took us to doctor appointments, helped us with homework, and saved us from crushing boredom on rainy days; I always thought it was a tough job and appreciated that my mother was there.  (Thanks, Mom!)

I’m sick and tired of people like Hilary Rosen, whoever she is, passing judgment on a woman who, with her husband, made a decision about what they thought was best for their family.  Every family deals with such issues.  Their decisions are their own business and shouldn’t be the subject of sneering condescension by operatives looking to deliver punchy sound bites in a political campaign.  Hilary Rosen may have apologized, but more fundamentally she should be embarrassed for herself, and should do some careful soul-searching about her hubris and her willingness to sacrifice simple decency on the altar of politics.

Trying To Value What You Take For Granted

This morning I cursed inwardly when, for the thousandth time, Kasey and Penny got tangled and we had to stop our walk and sort things out.  A few moments later I grumbled again when an undetected jogger startled me by announcing her presence when she was right behind me and ready to pass by.

Then my thoughts wandered to what’s happening in Syria and other troubled places, and I thought:  I’m lucky to live where I can take my dogs for a quiet walk in the pre-dawn hours without risking life and limb.

The walls in our town aren’t riddled with bullet holes.  I don’t see syringes or broken crack pipes on the doorstep when I walk outside.  I don’t hear gunshots or the sound of fistfights when darkness falls.  My friends and family members haven’t been blown to bits by suicide bombers.  Armed gangs don’t roam my neighborhood.  And I don’t have to worry about jackbooted soldiers kicking in our door or destroying our house with shelling.

When I hurt my back a few weeks ago and every sudden movement was intensely painful, I realized as I had never realized before how wonderful it is to be able to move without pain.  It’s one of those things, perhaps, that you cannot fully appreciate until it’s gone and you understand how awful the alternative can be.

Personal security, I think, falls into the same category.  If you are safe and snug in your tidy neighborhood, it’s hard to fathom what it must be like to have to worry constantly about the smallest things and then try to earn a living or function as a family.  I imagine the people in the war-torn parts of the world would give just about anything for a chance to take a peaceful walk with dogs.