For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Things that happen while we're away... (trying again)

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians.  We were able to spend our Thanksgiving back in Manitoba, with a double family reunion. We did a lot of driving - including some rather dangerous driving in near whiteout conditions at night - and a lot of bouncing back and forth between Dh's parents' place and my family farm.  We got to see almost all our family.  One of my SILs and her daughter made a weekend trip to the US rather than join the rest of us for our family reunion.  Nice to know how high we rate on their priority list.  After all, it's only been four years since we've seen them. ;-)  No, it doesn't really bother me.  I'm more amused than anything else.

*sigh*  I was going to write a longer post, but Dh keeps MSN'ing me and sending me off to look at things. I'll have to try this again later on...

Second attempt: Oct. 16

Wow.  It took a while to get back to this. :-P

Our Thanksgiving was a full and hectic time of bouncing between my family farm and the in-laws in a neighbouring town, as well as a couple of visits with old friends squeezed in.  My husband brought his laptop along, expecting to be able to do a bit of work.  That didn't quite happen, we he found the hotel's internet connection was insecure wireless.  Not something he can make use of. So while I wasn't able to get my daily news browsing in, I did at least catch a few headlines.

When I first heard the Pres. Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize, it was little more than a rumour.  It wasn't until we got home that I had a chance to catch up on it.  Having already been awarded to the likes of Yassar Arafat and Al Gore, it's already become pretty meaningless, but this really takes the cake.  Especially when you stop and realize that, in order to win the prize, someone had to have nominated Obama after he'd been president for only 2 weeks.  Nominating is one thing, but for the Nobel committee to actually award it to him is pretty ludicrous.  Sure, Obama might someday do something to warrent such an award, but he hasn't done anything yet.  To be fair, Obama publicly stated that he didn't think he deserved it, either.  That didn't stop him from accepting it, though.  The appropriate thing to do would have been to turn it down with thanks and respect.

(H/T to Dr. Roy for the video)

It seems to me that Pres. Obama won the Peace Prize the same way he got elected - not for the things he is, but for the things he's not.  He's not GW Bush.  He's not white.  He's not old.  He's not Republican.  He's not female. 

This whole fiasco has managed to make an already worthless prize even more meaningless.

Closer to home, a tragedy unfolded over the time we were gone.  Just before we'd left, I caught stories about a bath house fire in Winnipeg, killing two.  It wasn't until we came back that I discovered one of the young men killed, someone I didn't know personally at all, is the son of a couple I've known most of my life.  Learning more about it, I wish I had known him.  He sounds like someone I would have really liked.  A facebook group in his memory already has over a thousand members.  At the same time, I can't help but cringing, and feel the need to somehow contact his parents and apologize ahead of time for anything my mother might say to them.  This young man was openly gay and performed in drag (some fabulous photos of him on the facebook group).  Entertaining was his life, and I'd love to have seen him perform.  My mother, however, is a homophobic religous fanatic, and I know she'd say something horrible to his parents.  It's bad enough that freaked out group of gay haters in the US have said they plan to attend and disrupt his funeral.  While hurtful, they're still strangers and easily dismissed.  It's not quite the same hearing their sort of poison from someone you've known all  your life, and my mother has known both his parents since they were born.

In somewhat more cheerful news, Cirque du Soleil founder and space tourist, Guy Laliberte, is back on earth.  He actually performed in space!  Now there's a challange.  Laliberte is the founder of the One Drop Foundation, who's goal is combating poverty through clean water.  A laudible goal, though with associations with Gore and Suzuki, I doubt it'll accomplish much.  Laliberte paid $35 million to go into space.  While I certainly wouldn't presume to tell anyone how they should spend their own money, it seems obvious to me that that money could have gone a long way towards providing safe water to people without. If someone has the money to pay for a trip into space, more power to them, but to do so while promoting a cause that could really use those millions seems rather hypocritical to me.

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