Illegal Immigration Across the Canadian Border, #AlternativeFacts, and a Fictional Massacre: A Mamma Hamster’s View of the World

“In other centuries, human beings wanted to be saved, or improved, or freed, or educated. But in our century, they want to be entertained. The great fear is not of disease or death, but of boredom. A sense of time on our hands, a sense of nothing to do. A sense that we are not amused.”
― Michael Crichton, Timeline

I feel like I’m living in an alternate reality or perhaps like I’ve been dropped inside the pages of a badly written dystopian novel.  The last few weeks feel like a montage for news that should never happen.  I turn on NPR, listen to the latest events, and shout, “WHAT?!” then change the station.  I find myself avoiding social media.  It’s too exhausting.  It’s like living with a pony in your living room—a pony you’re in denial about it.  Pony?  What pony?  I don’t see any ponies.  (Steps over steaming pile of road apples.) But ignoring the situation doesn’t change anything.  It doesn’t make things LESS exhausting.

When I started blogging this year, I planned on focusing on me, on my life.  When in doubt, keep your eyes on your own page.  Yes, blogging is social media, but it’s social media I can control.  But, it turns out…that’s exhausting, too.  Because the metaphorical pony is STILL THERE.  Even if I’m yakking on about organizing or whatever, I still feel the enormity of the events that are happening all around me, events that are completely out of my control. I don’t want to offend anyone, but there are things happening right now.  Ignoring these events feels even MORE ridiculous than ignoring an imaginary pony.

I live in a small town in Michigan.  If I left my home right now, I could be in Canada in under an hour.  For those of us living near the eastern border of Michigan, traveling across the border into Canada is NOT a big deal.  People live in Windsor, but work in the Detroit area and vice-versa.  For us, it’s almost like crossing into another state, rather than another country. Our two countries are more alike than different.

Or so I thought.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that asylum seekers are crossing from the US into Canada illegally, that people are willing to risk their lives, to risk losing their fingers and toes in the frigid winter temperatures, rather than stay in the United States.

 

I consider the United States a “safe” country, a beautiful country.  I thought the only people illegally crossing the Canadian border were people running from the law, not folks with children looking for a better life, afraid of being banned for being Muslim.

The United States is a place of freedom—freedom of speech and religion.  The United States is a country that fights for equality.  People seek refuge in our country.  They come from all over the globe to be here, in the United States.  But, then I see Canada’s Prime Minister’s tweet:

I wish my own leaders could learn from his example.  Prime Minister Trudeau behavior is a positive influence in an uncertain world.

 

Meanwhile, back in the United States…we’re experiencing “Alternative Facts,” a fancy word for lies.

 

The media is being criticized for not covering the “Bowling Green Massacre,” an event that NEVER HAPPENED!

 

 

Seriously?

This isn’t a partisan thing: Democrats versus Republicans.  This wasn’t a one interview slip up.  Several interviews were given regarding this non-existent event.  I guess this must be “Alternative Facts” in action, and yet I can’t imagine why anyone would say something like this, why anyone would want to create an imaginary massacre.  Is reality is too boring? Now, we have to worry about nonexistent events, too?

It’s like we, in the United States, are running around, afraid of all the bad things might happen, logic is being thrown out the window.  In my opinion, it seems like the United States is facing the “Mamma Hamster Effect.”  We’re so afraid and stressed, we’re willing to harm the ones we SHOULD be protecting, like a mamma hamster killing her own young because she perceives her sacrifice is for the greater good.  We are a reactive society rather than proactive.  Stuff keeps happening…and we’re shocked.  And entertained.

Alternative facts: We react with Tweets and Facebook posts.

Fake Massacre: An endless discussion ensues.

Are we so bored with our lives that we would rather be controlled by fear?  We’re so afraid of change, we’d rather cling to erroneous beliefs?  The political scene feels like a giant soap opera.  Is it any wonder why many people are feeding on these distractions?  It certainly is easier to be outraged and do nothing, than to be proactive and take charge of one’s life.

 “I have more respect for people who change their views after acquiring new information than for those who cling to views they held thirty years ago. The world changes. Ideologues and zealots don’t.”
― Michael Crichton, State of Fear

Pay attention to what is happening around you.  Don’t ignore the metaphorical pony in the room because it’s inconvenient.  See the sensationalism for what it is.  Be proactive.  Take control.  Stand up for those who are afraid to speak. Be a good neighbor. Be a good citizen.  Do NOT allow yourself to be sucked into the ugliness.  Allow your voice to be heard through your art and your writing.  Do NOT stop living because of fear.  Plan ahead.  Be creative. Try new things. Educate yourself.  Learn about other cultures.  Don’t expect someone else to fix your problems but also, don’t be afraid to ask for help, either. We are together in this world—one people, the human race.

Step Away From The Hamster Wheel!

I’d like to say that hours and hours of thoughtful planning go into my blog posts, but we all know none of it’s true!  I wake up, get the kiddo off to school, watch a few cat videos on Facebook, and dive into my day.  On a good day, I jump off the hamster wheel and take a LONG look around to see where I’m going, or where I’ve been.  But in the end, life’s still a hamster wheel!  Most of the stuff I’ve spent years worrying about amounts to NOTHING in the end.

Seriously!  When I’m on my deathbed, am I really going to be thinking, “Shoot!  I never did get caught up on doing all the laundry,” or “I should have cooked more meals to freeze for later… I’m such a failure.”

?????

When I take the time to THINK about the idiotic things that worry me, it boggles my mind!  When I slow down enough to SEE my reality, I have to yell at myself, “Juli!  You’re too smart to act this dumb!”  But we all do it. We all have long romps on our own hamster wheel, mindlessly wobbling along, with an occasional sprinkling of clarity thrown our way to keep life bearable.

We worry about stupid stuff and set impossible standards, like having a house soooo clean, you could eat off the floor.

?????

Ummm…I have plates.  I don’t need to use my kitchen floor as a serving platter.  Plus, I don’t know about you, but using the floor as a plate seems like it would be hard on your lower back.  And knees.  And sticky later on, depending on what you’re serving.  And what about the dog?  Or the cats? They already know they have dibs on any food that falls to the floor.  The fur-babies look forward to our gravitational mishaps, but I’m not prepared to share an entire meal with them!

I’d like to think the hamster wheel phenomenon is an adult thing, but its roots run deep, all the way to my childhood.  Back when I was in elementary school, I remember worrying about my grades or conduct going on my permanent record.  Yeah, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had any employer ask me lately about a certain 3rd-grade assignment that’s still missing in action.  Woops!

I’m not saying that good grades aren’t important.  I’m not saying you should give up cleaning your home.  There will always be bills that need to be paid and daily chores that must be done.  That’s life.  But there has to be some balance to it all.  If you don’t make time for fun, and family, and creativity…what’s the point?  You’re just running in circles.

*A special thanks to Haddon Musings and her Senior Salon #3.  *Waving hi!*  Thank you so much for the invite!!!  I’m not quite ready to ask for my senior discount at Denny’s, but I’ve enjoyed reading all the linky posts!

cropped-senior-salon

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Sunday Gratitude or Tag! You’re It!!!!

I have been fortunate enough to have been nominated for THREE blog awards.  But, because I’m such a deadbeat blogger, I’m hopelessly behind on my thank yous.  I’m like that friend you invite over for dinner who never brings a hostess gift.  Only, if you did invite me over…I probably would bring something like wine, or flowers, or at least a bag of salad.  Who doesn’t appreciate salad.  In a bag!  Oh!  Or one of those bracelets you can buy at the gas station, the ones that look like they’re either supposed to be an air freshener or a lazy attempt at voodoo.  You know, something “fashionable.”  (I have two of these bracelets so I should know!)

So far, I only have the monkey and owl bracelets, but I've had my eye on the elephants. There's always next fill up! And yes, my kiddo has reminded me repeatedly that grown women probably shouldn't wear jewelry purchased at the gas station. *SIGH!*

So far, I only have the monkey and owl bracelets, but I’ve had my eye on the elephants. There’s always next fill up! And yes, my kiddo has reminded me repeatedly that grown women probably shouldn’t wear jewelry purchased at the gas station. *SIGH!*

So the first award was nominated by the talented author/artist Joleene Naylor.  *Waving Hi!*

sisterhoodoftheworld_zps04ae03d0

She’s the author of the Amaranthine Series.  If you like gritty vampire stories where the vamps DON’T sparkle, this is a great series of books to read. There are seven of them out there, another coming out in October, plus a bunch of short stories.

*Right now, the first book, Shades of Grey, is free on Amazon.

*Right now, the first book, “Shades of Grey,” is free on Amazon.

Warning: Lots of violence, colorful language, bones crunching, and hearts squishing.  In other words, these books are NOT written for children.

If you’re NOT into vampires, *gasp* she’s also the author of a great reference book, “How to Get a Cheap Book Cover,” and she has a paper doll blog that’s REALLY cool.

a paper doll dress a day *Click the pics for lots of linky fun!!!

The next award is from Diane at Ladies Who Lunch Book Reviews.  *Waving Hi!*

The Versatile Blogger Award

Her blog’s only been out since August, but she’s already got LOTS of fun posts and book reviews.  Grab a tasty beverage and check out her site!

And the latest award is from Fun Simplicity over at I Care, U Care.  *Waving Hi!*

The Creative Blogger AwardIf you’re looking for an uplifting blog to read, you should linky on over.  Fun Simplicity shares a variety of positive posts.

Now, this is the part where I’m supposed to share something special or ask my fellow bloggers a bunch of random questions, but I’m not very good at following blog award rules.  I know, I know…the Ghost of Blogger’s Past will probably haunt me because I didn’t share my favorite color of toothpaste.  LOL  I suppose you’ll just have to use your imagination!  

Instead, I’m going to ask you to go to your blog, and give a linky shout out to your 3 favorite bloggers, then link yourself back to this post.

That’s it.

Look at it this way, if you’re reading their blog, maybe we’d enjoy reading it too!  Share the love!  Blah, blah, blah…and all that jazz.  Make the post as elaborate or as simple as you want.  Oh!  And grab a badge/award on your way out.  Or not.  That’s up to you.  I’ve got three to choose from just on this post alone.  😉  Or look to the other awards on the right if these awards don’t match your cat or something.  Or make up your own.  In fact, you could have the “I’ve Got The Best Flavored Toothpaste Award,” but you’re going to have to Photoshop it yourself because I’m too lazy to make it for you, just saying.     

Awards!  Awards!  It’s like Halloween at Yonder Hoffman Haus and I’m the gal with the bowl of “Take One” candy on the front porch.  😉

If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged!

That means you:

Whitney Parchman of OPRF Life

Ana Spoke of AnaSpoke.com  (Ana Spoke just had a book release for her novel, Shizzle, Inc.  I’m half-way through reading it.  HILARIOUS!!!  Definitely worth the download. Congrats!)

Haddon Musings  

Sarah Johansson at Problems With Infinity

Ditrie Marie Bowie of The Totally Serious, Absolutely Professional Blog

If you’re not into blog awards, I’m not judging.  Remember, deadbeat blogger…right here.  Yup!  You could always go to the gas station and buy yourself something nice instead.  You deserve it!  😉