Tag Archives: Politics

‘Star Trek’ cast and crew takes a public stand against Donald Trump — Unhinged Group

‘Star Trek’ cast and crew takes a public stand against Donald Trump http://ift.tt/2dHZDJA ‘Star Trek’ cast and crew takes a public stand against Donald Trump Image: Trek Against Trump By Adam Rosenberg2016-09-29 20:43:56 UTC Donald Trump would never make it in the Star Trek universe. The amassed former and current cast and crewmembers of various […]

via ‘Star Trek’ cast and crew takes a public stand against Donald Trump — Unhinged Group

While I understand why some Trek fans would rather those involved in Star Trek would’ve not associated the franchise with their personal political views, I disagree with those that say Star Trek isn’t political.  To those, I’d say, please watch the episodes again.And, while I don’t personally think Hillary Clinton is a great candidate, personally I do think she’s a bit better than Donald Trump.

If you want to know more, you can visit the links above.  If you don’t, I understand.

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

My White Privilege

She’d gotten pregnant at 15, had her child just three weeks after her 16th birthday, dropped out of high school, and got married.  A few years later, she was divorced and on her own with a three year old little girl.  She got her GED and worked jobs as she could find ones that would fit her schedule as a parent.

One day in mid-1980s, this struggling single mother decided to try her hand at creating a house-cleaning business.  Her knowledge of the emerging technologies of the time was limited.  She couldn’t afford printed advertisements.  Instead, she went door to door in some of the wealthier neighborhoods in the metropolitan area, greeting each person that answered the door with a smile, a flyer, and a description of the services she offered.  It was a rough start, but after a couple of years, she found her services in demand.  In 2016, her business had expanded to pet sitting, elder sitting, babysitting, and professional organizing and she can’t keep up with the demand!  While this woman is by no means wealthy or upper-middle class, she was able to buy a home for her and her daughter in 1987 and has since paid it off completely.

My mother’s story sounds like the stereotypical “American Dream”.  Anyone against any odds can make it in the United States of America!  However, that isn’t the whole story.  My mother is Caucasian.  Going door to door in these wealthy neighborhoods in the 1980s would have turned out differently if they’d been met with an African-American single mother in her twenties.  I do not doubt that some of them would have hired her regardless of her skin color; however, I am not quite sure that all of them would have.

My mother didn’t have it easy growing up and as a mother.  I need to give credit where credit is due. She had an emotionally and economically abusive father growing up.  She had an anxious, introverted daughter to raise, mostly on her own.  I’m not denying the sheer strength of my mother.  She is a force to be reckoned with.  She’s ambitious, doesn’t take no for an answer, and will never let a man rule her life.  If she wants something, she gets it!  She has one of the strongest work ethics I’ve come across. If she sees someone being nasty to another, she steps in. She’s also one of the most loving and giving people that I know.  So, Mom, I’m not trying to detract from the awesome things you have accomplished or from how wonderful of a human being you are.   YOU ROCK.

But, let’s return to the point of this blog post.  My mother had not only an incredibly ambitious drive and a very strong work ethic, she also had her white skin and I’m convinced this is part of the reason I had a mother who could support me.  She couldn’t afford to send me on the overseas trips my fellow students took when I was in middle school, but we had a home and when I went to university, she paid for my books and assisted here and there as she could.  So, I am privileged not only by my own skin color and a strong work ethic, but of being the daughter of a woman who was able to make it easier for me to get the education I needed to get a good job.

We need to stop lying to ourselves about the idea that everyone in this country has the same opportunities.  There is no level playing field.  I want to make it clear to my fellow white Americans, I’m not saying that having white skin automatically means you’ve had an easy life.  There are many ways in which we as individuals can be oppressed, mistreated, and hurt.  Admitting white privilege doesn’t deny this basic truth, but it does admit that our skin color gives us a benefit, both historically and currently, that makes a level playing field impossible until we begin to address the systemic racism in this country.

We are products of our past and present.  We can’t divorce ourselves from this truth.  We can, however, challenge ourselves (our misconceptions, our attitudes, our biases), and work towards a better future.

Thank you for taking the time to give consideration to my views on my own white privilege.  Thank you for your patience with my average writing skills. I’ve probably forgotten to say important things or wrote this in a way that shows my own privilege. I’m still working on becoming a better human being.  It’s a lifelong journey.

-The McNabbist

P.S.  I initially began writing this post with much stronger words. However, I decided that I wanted those white Americans who rarely discussed this issue or had never understood how privilege worked to read a less confrontational article.  It is my hope that to those for who this is a new and/or uncomfortable topic will find this a more educational and eye-opening read than if I’d worded it differently.  My feelings are very strong on this topic, but I felt it better to approach it in this way.

Tagged , , , , ,

Grouchy Trekkie

***SPOILER ALERT***

 

Ok, I admit it. I’m a grouchy Trekkie. I didn’t think Star Trek Into Darkness was all that great. What with the plot holes, the lack of originality, the stupid relationship drama, the new cure for any ailment, the ability to skip starships now that we can beam across the universe, and the absolutely gratuitous Carol Marcus almost-nude scene, I just didn’t feel it. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t hate it. I give it a B-/C+. I couldn’t decide which grade to give it. It seems to change by the day.

Here we are with a whole new timeline. They could take it in ANY direction. Khan, really? Also, many people have interpreted the message the same way Wil Wheaton has (see below), but when Kirk is giving his speech at the end of the movie, it almost seems like he’s parroting our American Presidents hopeful speeches about peace and the future (while they rarely mean it). Maybe we’re supposed to think that Kirk is better or that Kirk will keep his word. However, for me, his words were too eerily similar to those of our warmongering politicians. I was also really bent out of shape by a J. J. Abrams interview I read right before the movie came out. Abrams admits that he was never a Star Trek fan because it was too philosophical for him (This isn’t the link, but he still admits it here too: http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/j-j-abrams-star-trek-too-philosophical-192548775.html. If I come across the other interview, I’ll update this blog post). Why was this guy hired again? That is WHAT Star Trek is!

Having said all of this, most people that I know that have seen it liked the movie. Then again, most of those most aren’t Trekkies. I’ve only met two Trekkies that really liked it. TWO.  Though not perfect and wrought with its own issues, I still think the first reboot movie was better than this one.

So, if you’re wondering what am I on about, here are a few great links that will make you laugh and provide insight about some of the issues I had with this film. The bonus for you is that they are written by people who are better writers than I am. Enjoy!

http://io9.com/star-trek-into-darkness-the-spoiler-faq-508927844

http://www.themarysue.com/star-trek-into-darkness-review/

Wil Wheaton brings up some good points in defense of Star Trek Into Darkness, but so do some of the people who left him comments. Check it out: http://wilwheaton.net/2013/06/my-review-of-star-trek-into-darkness/

Of course, we all know that I’ll buy it on Blu-ray because I’m a Trekkie.

If you saw the film, whether a Trekkie or not, I would love to hear your feedback! 1, 2, 3, go!

Tagged , , , ,

Languages & Hard Decisions

I speak a little bit of four different languages, to varying degrees. When I was a child I was a part of a special program that no longer exists in the local public schools. I took French from 1st grade to 10th grade. I could have tested out of my foreign language requirement in undergrad, but decided instead to take German. I took German for two years because I am German-American and still have second cousins in Germany. I remember visiting my German relatives at age 10. It was an amazing trip. One that I would later (much later – 2010) take again.

It has hard to keep up with two languages. In fact, I found that by my second year of German I was losing some of my French skills. So, I should stop there, right? I should focus and practice. But, did I stop there? No. Instead of focusing on either French or German so that I could become proficient in one or both, I decided it was important to learn Spanish. After all, there are many Spanish speakers in the United States, I support the rights of immigrants, and want to work in the public service sector. So, off I went to do a semester in Spain. But, wait, did I stop there? No, no I did not. You see, I also have first cousins who are half-Saudi. So, of course I took one quarter of Arabic just to learn the basics.

So, here I sit, in my thirties, not proficient at a single foreign language, but knowing how to communicate basic ideas in Spanish, and intermediate-level ideas in German and French. I must say that all I remember of Arabic are the basic greetings and how to yell at misbehaving children. I have decided it is time. Time for what? Time to finally focus and perfect my skills at one language so that I can be a better translator, conversationalist, and resource for my employer. That’s where the hard decision comes in. It wasn’t hard to decide not to pursue Arabic. It is the language I know the least of and, if absolutely necessary, I can always call on my cousins to help me out with translating written materials. While painful, I decided to remove Spanish from the contest. Though I maintain that it is an important language to know in the United States, I know it less than either French of German. Also, where I work, we get as many French-speaking immigrants as we do Spanish-speaking.

So, the answer should be French, right? I mean, I took it for ten years and have already assisted numerous French-speaking customers at my job. But, hold the presses, because it hasn’t been that easy for me to decide. You see, I’ve had this dilemma for two years now. Choosing between French and German is difficult. In fact, it paralyzes me from taking action towards my goal. Why? How? Simply, I am German-American and a family historian. I am so German-American that I have a certificate in German-American Studies from a local university. While my base knowledge of French is greater, my personal need for German is greater. I travel the US and Germany doing research and understanding the records that I am looking at is of prime importance. Yet, every German-speaking person that has entered my place of employment has spoken almost perfect English. The only use my German skills have to my employer is in the realm of genealogy. That isn’t exactly useless, since where I work is regionally known as a great source of genealogical data. However, it is less helpful than French.

So, which do I decide? Do I perfect my German in honor of my heritage and my cousins in Germany as well as to aid my research? Or, do I perfect my French so that I can be of greater assistance to the French-speaking African immigrants that I interact with on a somewhat regular basis. I know, I know. You are going to comment and tell me to do both. Well, I simply haven’t the time for that.

I must make a decision by March. March is when German lessons begin. So, which shall it be? Which do you think it should be? I will post once I’ve made my decision.

The McNabbist

Tagged , , , , , , ,
Advertisements