ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã…”You begin saving the world by saving one person at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã‚Â ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Charles Bukowski
It may be my upbringing as an Air Force brat that I have to think of the patriotism I feel for the USA. Now that I cohabitate with a Canadian, I've become more aware of this aspect of my character. My heart swells when hearing the “Star-Spangled Banner” and if it's accompanied by jets flying overhead you're likely to see tears in my eyes. I tend to get goosebumps when I hear a group of people reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, though I've long disagreed with the re-wording that's been done to Francis Bellamy's original.
My patriotism can be summed up best in an image created by Robert Mapplethrope showing a tattered flag flying on a flagpole with the sun shining brightly behind it, making the flag transparent. Our country is flawed (represented by the tattered), but it has an undying sense of hope (represented by the bright light). Like most good art, it's hard to separate the artist from that image's story: Mapplethorpe's work has often been the object of debate and even ridicule in this country, though there is pride emanating from that photograph.
Today is Memorial Day, so I hope you'll take the time to thank our veterans and military personnel. I long for the day when there are no more wars, but I subscribe to the truth in the now clichÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©d slogan ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã…”Support Our Troops.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã‚Â We should be thankful to them for protecting the freedoms we now enjoy and the freedoms we will soon achieve.
In the (Old) Navy
Old Navy Debuts Gay Pride T-Shirts For It Gets Better
Just in time for Pride Month, Old Navy has created rainbow-themed shirts to honor the GLBT community. When you first hear that, you may think of subtle retailing like Disney selling a Mickey Mouse head pin that just happens to have the colors from the Pride flag, but this is blatant support made all the more clear by Old Navy's donation of 10% from every shirt sold to the It Gets Better campaign. Interesting to note the time of the shirts hitting stores today, our first Memorial Day since nixing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Telling Japan's Story
Surviving Japan — The fight for aid and Renewable Energy
I've been reading Chris Noland's blog posts with interest. He is a young American living in Japan volunteering with the country's ongoing clean-up efforts. I feel like the media has turned its cameras away from Japan for the most part, thus diverting the attention of most people (not to mention disasters in our own country needing out attention), so I admire Chris' efforts to keep our minds on Japan's needs and I'm envious of his hands on experience there. Now Chris is putting together a documentary and you can help make it a reality by donating to his Kickstarter fundraiser. Take a look at the clip, I think you'll be surprised by the sampling of candid interviews he has collected.
Don’t Allow This to Be Another Silent Spring: Tell Lawmakers to Take Climate Action
How many times does Sigourney Weaver have to save our planet? Here her weapon is the pen, though the differences between the slobbering, multi-teethed, self-preservationist creatures she normally fights and the politicians she goes up against in this essay are negligible. Living under the environmentally backward reign of Rick Scott, I'm pessimistic about climate change, so I really needed to hear Sigourney's battle cry.
The Hope of Tiger Bay
Villages for the Homeless
Speaking of governors, you may recall seeing the name Michael E. Arth on the ballot during the fateful election that put Scott in office. I ticked the box next to Arth's name during that election because after arriving in my 40s I decided it was more important to me to vote for the person I believed should win instead of the person mostly likely to win who approximated my values. Take a look at this proposal to help eradicate state's homeless conundrum and I think you'll get some idea of why I thought he would be the person for the job. Arth recently put the finishing touches on his plans, now if he can just get people to listen.