Sunday was another day when I never left the Sands RV Resort. There was absolutely no need to as it was sunny, hot and no wind from 7am when I first opened the door of our rig to when the sun began to sink below the summit of Mt. San Jacinto just after 7pm DST – yahoo! Love that extra sunshine as it makes it so nice for a walk around the park after dinner.
Invariably on days like yesterday I spend a lot of time relaxing either outside in a recliner, riding around on our little bike or just cooling off up at the pool. At times like this my mind begins to wander and I have no real way of knowing exactly where it will go and what I’ll be thinking of. Usually, I’ll forget whatever it was as most times its not important. With no blog material on the horizon though I made an attempt to corral just a few of those wandering thoughts for this blog.
Staring out at the dry, sandy wash behind our site I somehow began to think of the thick, green, lush lawn that would be awaiting our arrival back home. When I last left my little Lawn Boy push gas mower it was continuing its temperamental habit of not wanting to start. I mean it just didn’t want to go no matter how many times I pulled that stupid cord. I’ll give it one more chance to perform when I return and if it’s still being stubborn then I’m going to be shopping for a new one.
An insightful comment left on my Sunday blog by Donna (Travels In Therapy) led me to revisit my statement that I thought the movie 12 Years A Slave deserved the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year. Here’s what Donna wrote:
Haven't seen 12 Years a Slave but it sounds like a good movie. I think it would be hard to watch though. As much as we would like to change the past, there is no way to do so.
I started thinking about that and soon came to the conclusion that 12 Years A Slave was simply the most disturbing picture I watched but not the best. Its saving grace was that it was based on a true story but after that it contained all the usual horrors and clichés we’ve seen in stories about slavery ever since Roots. Donna is right, it’s a good movie but difficult to watch and one I wouldn’t watch again.
12 Years A Slave had the cruel, vicious Overseers, beatings, lots of whips and lashings, too much use of the N-word, slave masters who hated slaves but lusted after young black women, vicious slave owners who hanged slaves on the one hand while preaching the Bible with the other. And lastly, the “good white man”. In this film there were actually two. The first was a Canadian drifter who hated slavery and the other was a Yankee abolitionist from New York. That covers it!
This year I’ve managed to see four of the movies nominated for Best Picture. They were Gravity, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave. I have no idea how the Academy decides what is the Best Picture. For me, I ended up changing my mind and picking Captain Phillips as the best one I’ve seen this year. Why? Because it’s the movie I enjoyed the most. It too was based on a true story and captured all the excitement, danger and suspense.
3. A comment from a reader on ‘Free Speech’ re ‘Support Our Troops’
My last wandering thought of the day is one that I should probably have left wandering off into cyberspace but that’s not my nature I guess. In response to my “Troops” blog Nan Talley (Trippin With the Taileys) left this comment:
Nan Talley As to the free speech, I agree, Rick...... free speech is vital, but I would never go into Canada and complain what Canada's government is doing. It is like my entering your home and criticize how you "govern" your RV. It is not polite.
I really appreciate Nan commenting and leaving her opinion. Most folks won’t do that when they disagree with someone. But, and it’s a huge but, I disagreed with Nan’s comment on so many levels that try as I might I just couldn’t leave it alone. I think, brief as it is, it raises a lot of questions for all of us as bloggers.
Like I said, so many levels:
- Even though I reserve the right to criticise any government including the USA that is not what I did. I criticised the Senate Republicans who killed the bill that would have expanded medical, educational and other benefits for all American veterans. Republicans, thank goodness, are not the current government of the USA. Barack Obama is President of the US and his administration governs day to day business. The Democrats are the Majority Party in the Senate and every single one of them voted for the bill in question – I applaud them for that! Republicans? Booooooo…Hissss!
- I respectfully disagree with Nan’s analogy that my criticism of Senate Republicans is akin to “entering your home and criticize how you "govern" your RV” simply because I happen to be a Canadian snowbirding in the US. First, our homes are private wherever they are and I would never consider criticizing how you or anyone else ‘governs’ their RV as that would be very rude indeed. Governments and politicians, however, are totally public and fair game for comment. If you truly believe in Free Speech then you can’t just turn around and deny the use of it simply because you don’t like what’s being said. Free Speech has to be free for everyone.
- Most importantly, perhaps, is that I published my opinions to my blog on the “World Wide Web” or the Internet. The Internet has no national boundaries and neither the USA, Canada nor any other country owns it. It doesn’t matter whether I’m sitting in my rig in Moose Jaw, on a cruise liner in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 35,000 ft. over the Atlantic in a 747 or here in Palm Springs, The Internet is free speech country. No exceptions!
- Now, about this criticising of some US politicians, political parties and whatever else, yes I do that, but while not wanting to sound defensive at all I have great respect for and love the “good old USA”! Why wouldn’t I as being “a far left liberal wing-nut” I’m thrilled that the majority of American voters have twice elected Barack Obama President. What’s not to like?
- As Canadian, I hear the criticism’s from some Americans about our gun laws, universal health care system, alleged (but not true) high taxes and just shrug them off and wonder where some of the nutty info comes from. Also, Rob Ford is now a staple of American late night comedy shows that according to what Nan wrote might not be “polite”! I think it’s great and laugh as hard as anyone. Go ahead and ridicule the bozo!
- Do I think that Americans who criticize us whether they are in the US or Canada are not polite or even rude? Heck no! As long as their info and arguments are based on fact or on strong personal beliefs I have no problem whatsoever. I welcome it. Believe it when I say that for a country with just 10% of the population of the USA, we Canadians have had to develop a pretty thick skin living on your northern border.
- Finally, whatever Nan thinks about my right to express my opinions, I’m certainly not the issue – just a smokescreen. If you don’t like the message then blame the messenger. The real issue is the 41 Republican Senators who voted to kill a bill that would have offered immeasurable benefits to American veteran’s who have given so much in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world. Nan argued “why not develop an affordable bill”? I have a better idea – tell the GOP Senators to quit developing “unaffordable wars”!.
And now, just one more thing. My friend and fellow blogger Rod (Retired Rod) wrote a blog just two days ago in which he talked about a comparison between Adolf Hitler and Russia (i.e. bad Vlad) concerning the takeover of Crimea from the Ukraine. It was a good blog and I applaud Rod’s right to say what he did even if it was about foreign countries. However, this is precisely what I mean when I say Americans do criticise other nations without any blowback. What’s up, eh??
Have a great Monday and thanks again for visiting!