This started out quite differently – a quite bright blue – but along the way it softened until this final image emerged. I looked at it and felt it represented the grace of kindness among us as I’ve seen a couple of examples of kindness from strangers in the past couple of days. One image was of people hugging someone who was suicidal on a bridge for an hour until help arrived to lift him over and back to safety. Then I saw a video of a cat fight where one cat fell into the water and a complete stranger rushed over, fished the cat out (the ungrateful moggy stalked off!) and then casually walk away. When you open your eyes, kindness is all around us – something to remember and console and hearts and souls given all the negativity which gets so much attention.
I love images of humming birds and I thought that this image with the background reminded me again of staying positive in a challenging world. I make a point of reading good news stories and about the kindness of people around the world as it shows me again and again that the good in this world far outweighs the negative.
I sat and worked on this on my Lenovo tablet this afternoon. I had no idea how much you can create with apps on a tablet, like a whole new creative door has opened for me. My favourite app is Toolwiz, an amazing app with so many functions that I still keep finding new ways to create art with this app.
I’m also rather indebted to President Trump because the awfulness of him and the swamp around him is inspiring me to work on creating images of beauty and colour rather than the turgid grey and black of the billionaire bloodsuckers.
One more post to finalise and then I’m off to sit with my foster dog, Rolo, who – after seven months with us – is off to the UK early Thursday morning to his new family. I shall miss him immensely but I’m so glad we were able to provide him with a holding space until a new family became available to offer him a loving home, complete with garden, cats (he loves our cat) and someone who works from home each day. So he’ll be a complete lap dog with company so he can loll around as he does here – he would have to be the most bone idle dog we’ve ever come across but so affectionate and good-natured.
I created this because I saw yet again a comment about baby boomers being selfish and the root cause of economic problems in Western nations. You know, we baby boomers are told we’re leeches on the economy, we’re blocking beds, we’re a drain on resources because we’ve had the gall not to die early and save the community a whole heap of money. We’re also told that we’re a greedy bunch for saving up, buying a home, and having the nerve to continue to live in said home when we get old instead of sloping off to an old folks’ home and making housing available for those younger than us.
Bollocks. Absolute bollocks. We baby boomers have as much right as younger generations to live well, to live in our own homes or to get good care as we age. Don’t forget – a portion of our taxes is supposed to be set aside for the ageing population and if governments are unable to operate the economy in a responsible way, don’t blame people who’ve paid their tax dues over the years!
Beyond that though – dividing us into Baby Boomers, Generation X and so on and so forth is simply a diversion from those who should take responsibility for economic ills besetting Western nations. It’s a very nifty little divide and rule tactic which needs to be shouted down every time some corporate bullshit artist tries to puff it up to divert blame from deviant governments selling people down the drain.
Why deviant? Because there’s a damned big spotlight shining on governments in the US, Australia, the UK and other European nations which illuminates the fact that governments don’t serve the general population – they’re at the beck and call of corporate monsters whose only allegiance is to overweening greed – the dollar, the almighty dollar. The “trickle down” effect of reducing taxes on the super-rich is one great big con trick, because it’s trickle-up as a small billionaire class gets ever richer at the expense of ordinary folk getting ever poorer while facing cuts to education, housing, social services and cultural life.
If we fight among ourselves about who’s to blame for current economic conditions, we are allowing the corporate elite to divide us from each other and to hide the fact that it is this tiny minority whose greed is the root cause of economic problems around the world. It’s why I, as a baby boomer in North Cyprus, stand with people of all ages in the US, UK and Australia because we need to support each other and stand united against the divide and rule efforts of the billionaire class.
TOGETHER WE RISE reaches across oceans, all strata of populations, across nations, ignoring cultural and religious differences, to stand together in love, compassion, tolerance and an end to the 1% screwing the rest of us.
I’ve been thinking for some time about free speech and political correctness. The latter, it seems to me, is simply a matter of courtesy: you can no longer with impunity make comments that are offensive to women, people with disability, LGBT people, people of colour, people of different religions. You cannot, these days, go around making offensive comments and think it’s okay. It’s not. Hate speech is so often a part of patriarchy and patriarchy is starting to crumble. I won’t say it’s over, because obviously it’s not – witness the last throes and thrashing around in the Trump administration.
Free speech, on the other hand, is a bit tricky. Yes, you have a right to put your views BUT the same applies as it does to political correctness: you do not have the right to be horribly offensive or make comments which incite violence or hatred towards particular groups of people who are not white.
Because when you look at those who are loudest about free speech, all too often they are the ones who say it’s okay to make homophobic comments; to make racist jokes about minority groups; to vilify the religious beliefs of Jewish and Muslim people; to cheer when Donald Trump advocates violence against people who don’t support him; to sneer at people with disabilities; to deny the Holocaust of World War 2 never happened. Why? Because they go beyond the bounds of decency, tolerance and kindness.
And when it comes to the mainstream media, the idea of free speech really is a bit of a joke. You, me and the average person on the street do not have ready access for free speech in the highly influential corporate media (although that hold is abating somewhat with the rise of social media). But magnates like Rupert Murdoch and those in the UK who are super-wealthy and own the like so the Daily Telegraph or Daily Express do have the right to say what they like whether it’s the truth or not. And if they are, on the very rare occasion, found to have overstepped the mark, you’ll find an apology in small print buried towards the back of the publication.
Frankly, I think it’s time to draw a line in the sand when it comes to the so-called free speech of the extreme right, the white nationalists, the self-appointed militia, the KKK, the racists because of the impact it has on sections of society who find themselves faced with discrimination, violence, death threats, arson, bullying, terror and hate. The people who demand free speech for themselves to advocate discrimination are not the ones on the receiving end of the violence their “free speech” invokes. They are not the children who are scared they’ll be pulled out of school and deported. They are not the undocumented migrants who work hard to support themselves and their families with honest toil. They are not Aboriginal, Native American, African-American, Middle Eastern people who face discrimination because they aren’t white. They aren’t non-white people being abused on the streets.
Free speech requires a degree of self-governance – that we are respectful, polite, kind, tolerant and compassionate. And if you can’t abide by those guidelines, then just stay quiet and don’t show yourself up to be a lesser human being.
I created this image to resonate with the beginnings of a new society, the seeds of which we can see in the women’s marches on Saturday 21st January, the fight back of the National Parks Service.
And I’m including a video I made in relation to the millions of women who marched around the world, solidarity between women, the disabled, Mexicans, African-Americans, Muslims, LGBT community – the 98% of us who have interested in common as opposed to the very tiny minority of billionaire rip-off merchants.