Category Archives: Review

No Country of Cowards

Imagine, if you will, a malaise our forefathers believed would never exist within our nation’s borders. May I welcome you to the Twilight of America and its freedoms should we, the people, not enact and undertake far-reaching changes.

Rather than caring for and supporting our military veterans, we may stand mutely by while 22 of them die by suicide each day. Where essential services for those vets with needs may take months, sometimes years, and more often than our government wishes to admit, are never given at all.

Young men may face danger when stopped for minor traffic violations, or simply because they were in an unexpected place.

A badly beaten person may not be afforded justice because of their appearance, orientation, affiliation, sex, or because their attacker is of a sort more highly esteemed.

A pregnant woman and her children may come under threat of bodily harm at gunpoint when they have committed no crime.

A senior couple may be forced to adopt a grandchild, because both her parents are mentally ill and cannot obtain treatment or medication because they are indigent.

A mother with two degrees who works excessive exhaustive hours in healthcare may only make $10 an hour while her disabled son makes $13 an hour at a home improvement warehouse.

Children may die at school when some unauthorized shooter invades the campus — a shooter who may be an untreated mentally ill person.

Many buildings sit vacant for numerous years when they may be better used to provide shelter to the homeless.

Prescriptions may be so expensive; they deplete a family’s resources to such a degree they cannot afford other necessities.

Desperately needed medical procedures that sustain life may bankrupt those who believed their insurance and their savings would carry them through any crisis.

Many may deal with gnawing grumbling bellies because there is no sustenance to be procured. Some of these are children, starving children.

Politicians may not care about the people they are meant to serve but only focus on sowing divisive seeds that will cause unrest and destroy compassion.

Teachers may be poorly paid, overburdened in crowded classrooms, lack needed materials and supplies, and be continually expected to produce students who excel.

 

These are only a few examples: injustice and inequality are widespread. The corporations and governments over us have become callous, disregarding the rights and needs of citizens.

If we do not put aside our differences and join forces to bring change in our society, the demise of much of what we hold dear about America may occur sooner than we imagine. We have come to the edge of a precipice where our choices and actions may save us or send our beautiful 243-year experiment into the obscurity of those dreams which die.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Sunday, June 16, 2019

This is a bit dark, but if we do not speak, we cannot improve. Some of these examples are from people who opened up to me without any request, people talk to me.

Meaningful Investment

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I am disheartened by the continuing destruction of media in America. My primary interest is print, and the related consigns, but much is the same across all disciplines. Publishing, books, poetry, magazines, newspapers, photography, art, have been my loves almost from the time I left the cradle.

I remember the few books I had during childhood as treasures. The photographs came back after weeks, and were a surprise, did I get the shot or something other? Humpty Dumpty magazine was read repeatedly and the puzzles all done. School newspapers on pink paper smelling of mimeograph ink with a poem or two of my own were the height of achievement. Reading about the health hazards of smoking, in Reader’s Digest, and other concerns kept me somewhat abreast of the world. Having to get the AJC because we did current events once a week, was a pleasure, otherwise, I would never have seen a newspaper.

There is a great deal of media on offer these days for no cost if one knows how to circumnavigate the paywalls. I understand the desire to save money, I acknowledge spending on media may seem unwarranted, unnecessary, and even a luxury. There is an unfortunate lack of vision in that attitude.

For writers, artists, photographers, editors, any creatives to continue in their respective fields they must be paid. Living costs money for them just as for executives, health-care professionals, teachers, legal representatives, politicians, engineers, and any other profession we might name.

If media outlets are not receiving money through advertising, subscriptions, or sale of publications, the compensation paid to creatives continues to shrink. The more talented creatives seek other avenues to make revenue and the overall quality of media available degrades until there is little veracity in what is produced.

Generally, if a creative produces intellectual property, there is an expectation of payment. If as creatives, we are not investing in the properties of others, how are we to expect others to finance us?

Invest in media for the future of media, the fewer funds go into media, the more significant the lack of truth presented will become. The people, particularly creatives, need to save the press through an infusion of time, talent, and money. If we don’t, who will? If not now, when? There is a tipping point where a downward spiral cannot be stopped. Let us never reach that point.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

I am grateful:

  1. I have recently realized that one of the groups I listened to when younger have a more extensive repertoire than I was aware.
  2. Reading continues to carry me places I never would go, introduces me to characters I would never know, teaches me things I would otherwise fail to learn.
  3. Writing continues to be a pleasure in my life, though I have doubts about the worth of my expressions.
  4. There is currently food in the house.
  5. The dogs are doing tolerably well.

Blessings…

Computers connect worlds of people who never knew they needed one another but give each other hope.

Books can transport us from the mundane to the fantastic, or teach us how to love one another.

Phones can bring the voice of a loved one from far off, up close and personal.

Music can lift the spirit when everything seems to have fallen apart.

Video can show us things we might not discern without its illumination.

Art can bring us joy and teach us strength.

People, God places in our lives to teach us to love, give, believe, grow, hope, become who we are.

 

The Cuckoo Clock

It was a gift
From my son
When he was
A Marine,
Brought authentic
From Germany
Early in his enlistment.

It stayed in its box,
A fateful bird caged,
Because mother
Would not deign
To have it on a wall
In our common areas;
My encroachment.

Freed, I brought
It to a wall, hung
It where it might
Arbitrate day and night,
The hours which
Pass with sylphlike
Swiftness away.

Now, it seems
I am ill-equipped
To keep it enlivened
Because the chains,
I often fail to pull,
And it stops
A jarring silence.

Still, as often as
I may, I set it
In motion, loving
Its ticking,
Its cuckooing,
The comfort of
Its company.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Sunday, March 3, 2019

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As a prompt: Explore your relationship with media and evaluate whether you should make changes in your expenditures on consumption to bring you goals for creative compensation in line with your desires for quality. Perhaps, a written Pro vs. Con evaluation would help you come to a valid conclusion.

But my smile still stays on… – Freddie Mercury of Queen  The Show Must Go On

Excellent Example For Our Times

I just finished The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King. I want to encourage you to read it.

There is a message Mr. Fred Rogers spoke in the event of a tragedy that I think in tumultuous times like the current ones could well be remembered by all of us.

“Look for the helpers.”

If we put our focus on those who are making a difference and exhibiting love, kindness, generosity, care, giving, maybe we can better cope. Perhaps we can follow their example and be instruments of constructive change amidst destabilizing conditions.

I was not one of the kids who watched Mr. Rogers a lot; I liked Captain Kangaroo. Television has never had a significant draw on me. The times I did see Fred in his neighborhood, I always came away feeling special.

After reading about his life and how he became who he was, I am in awe.DSC02293