Archive for the Writing Category

Upholding It!

Posted in Life, Politics, Society, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on March 26, 2014 by rikki5

Wow, it’s been a whole year since my last post! So much has happened in the past year, it’s mind blowing. I am officially the most boring blogger ever for not writing in this for a whole year. Anyways, If anyone has read my history of posts, you will know that I’ve been trying to decide a “theme” for this blog for so long. For awhile I was going with a “dream theme” but ended up not dreaming very much and the dreams I did have were..private. Instead of stressing about my “theme” per se, I am going to commit to having a “no theme” blog. I am going to write about whatever the heck I want..after all, I’m probably the only one reading this anyway. If you happened to come across this blog and you are reading this out there..thanks for stopping by in advance.

Moving along, so what happened today in my world– March 26, 2014
My day started off by going to court to be sworn in as a Notary Public. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of my state. It started me thinking about one of my most favorite American writers, Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau wrote a lot of stuff during his lifetime, I can only aspire to be as eloquent and prolific as he was. However, he also wrote a very poignant piece called “Civil Disobedience” which is quite relevant to the issue of constitutional rights and how they pertain to modern society. Upon first reading, one may think Thoreau is advocating revolution- by force–but in reality he is advocating sort of an intellectual revolution.

This comes about by each individual simply thinking about what sort of government they want to have and then taking the necessary steps to achieve these goals. He talks about the army being a branch of the government and the people ultimately are in control of the army because it’s the people who should have rule over their own government. How does this apply today though? In the US the conservatives say it’s the liberals who want the government to be their “nanny” babying them and giving them things for free. The liberals will say its the right wingers who want no sort of governmental involvement. The liberals will say the conservatives want to go back to the dark ages. They disagree about almost every issue under the sun. We all know that government is a necessary evil. Even Thoreau wrote about the necessity of government in Civil Disobedience. But what does government even mean to people today? Most of society is apathetic towards government and, at best, disillusioned. We watch the elections every four years we become impassioned with resolve to “do better” yet nothing really changes–and if it does we can never agree on ways to get the change to foster unity in our country. If anything, “Obamacare” has divided our country faster than any other policy in recent history. We are divided, yes, but we all are still at heart Americans. We all want our country to prosper, we want to avoid costly wars, and we want peaceful relations with other countries. We all watch the devastation of war in other countries and the unilateral power of governments like Russia to swoop in and simply declare themselves ruler. We then take a deep breath and say “thank God we are in America!” Yet, we still do not know what we actually want from our government. And if we do know, we do not how to achieve it by traditional means. We protest, we practice advocacy, but we do so mostly blinded by our own disillusion.
Thoreau gives us a little direction though in Civil Disobedience:

“I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it.

This American government — what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will. It is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves. But it is not the less necessary for this; for the people must have some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to satisfy that idea of government which they have. Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed on, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage. It is excellent, we must all allow. Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way. For government is an expedient by which men would fain succeed in letting one another alone; and, as has been said, when it is most expedient, the governed are most let alone by it. Trade and commerce, if they were not made of India rubber, would never manage to bounce over the obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way; and, if one were to judge these men wholly by the effects of their actions, and not partly by their intentions, they would deserve to be classed and punished with those mischievous persons who put obstructions on the railroads.

But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.”

So according to Thoreau the first step to creating a better government is to think about what sort of government would command our respect as citizens. Do people think about this anymore? And those that do have beliefs, do they not merely succumb to societal pressure to repress these beliefs based on outdated notions of persecution? I think of the situation in Ukraine right now and how the Ukraine has been robbed of their right to govern themselves. Thoreau’s words not only speak to Americans, they speak to Ukrainians, to any citizen of any country who seeks a just and honorable government. Once we realize what sort of government we could respect then we will have it, because the people are the ones who should rule the government–not the other way around.

Thoreau’s final paragraph in Civil Disobedience is just as commanding as the first part of his speech. If you haven’t read the full work, I suggest you visit the site below and really think about Thoreau’s words.

“The authority of government, even such as I am willing to submit to — for I will cheerfully obey those who know and can do better than I, and in many things even those who neither know nor can do so well — is still an impure one: to be strictly just, it must have the sanction and consent of the governed. It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it. The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual. Even the Chinese philosopher (8) was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of the empire. Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.”

So to have a “better government” we should start by respecting ourselves. And once we know what we want and respect ourselves as individuals the powers that be will have no choice to stand up — pay attention– and give us the liberty we are entitled to as citizens.

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Henry David Thoreau. (1849). Civil Disobedience. (Public Domain). Retrieved March 26, 2014 from: http://thoreau.eserver.org/civil1.html

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Tale of a Modern Woman

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , on May 17, 2010 by rikki5

Cecily looked around the mansion, something was just not right.  The painting of her father was looking at her like she should be doing something productive but the night was young and her guests would be arriving soon.   Arthur was playing piano (what song)?) in the foyer.

“miss, I’ve started the ice, and the champagne is on chill,” said her maidservant.

“Very well, and how are the houer d’overs platters coming along?”  Cecily stepped out onto the balcony over looking the canal.  The moon was setting low in the northwest and the sky was a hot pink hue.  The air was filled with salt and the smell of the sea.  She thought of her dead fathers’s eyes looking at her from the portrait.

He always could see through to the heart of me, she thought.  Cecily laughed to herself.  I cannot see through anything.  She thought of the prohibition and things would turn out.  She had not heard from Roland all day.   All of a sudden she heard a clamor from the kitchen.

She noticed some plates had been dropped.

“Why on earth are you so noisy?”  I cannot be concerning myself with matters the kitchen any further.  She heard the car pull up.

The guests are arriving.  Please clean this up and see what he should have to drink.

Yes miss, sorry miss.

Cecily looked around the foyer and imagined someone playing there.  The floors now were run down but she did understand the view .  Often her only solace was coming home to that same view.  Everything somehow was always right and a life without care was more important than some kind of unjustified principle.  She continued sifting through the box and realized how similar her situation to Cecily was.

~~

Cecily walked into the basement speakeasy.  The sound of jazz from inside was pounding in her heart the entire walk towards the door.  Roland opened the door for her.

“My lady”, he said.

The bump bump da bump was coming in louder without the soundproof barrier.

“Wow! It sure is loud”  Cecily exclaimed, ready to get right in on the action.  Roland led her to their table next to the stage but in the corner.  The flapper girls were dancing on the stage

What’ll you have?

Gin and tonic please.

The waiter smiled and walked away.  Cecily and Roland sat in silence watching the girls on stage.

“Do you think I’m prettier than those girls on stage?” Cecily asked.  She was being coy.

“My dear, you are by far the most attractive woman in this place”  He offered her a cigarette.
She accepted and he lit it for her.  The entire time their eyes were interlocked together.

Cecily smiled and enjoyed the release of the smoke.

“I don’t usually smoke” she said.

Roland was silent and turned his gaze towards the girls on stage.  Cecily watched the girls with their gold and silver dresses flapping to the beat of the jazz music.  She still wondered if Roland was true.  But there was no time to waste because the waiter arrived with their drinks.  He was a young boy with brown hair and excited about working in the hottest speakeasy in town.  Cecily felt kind towards him.  Thanks son, she said, as she passed him a five dollar bill.  She wanted to quit thinking about what Roland wanted and tried to relax.

Twittering vs. Blogging

Posted in Life, Society, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on January 29, 2009 by rikki5

Twittering vs. Blogging- or is it Tweeting?  I am going to start writing each day in this if it kills me.  I finally succumbed to the Twitter craze that is sweeping the nation.  It seems a little bit juvenile to me especially after I read this article.  Twitter seems to attract people who are too lazy to write their own blogs.  My blog may be kind of lame but at least I take the time (and I’ve rededicated myself to this task) to actually write about stuff.  I guess on the positive side there are not the annoying applications that caused me to delete my facebook and it seems like an interesting place to network.  I give every social network a try so I will explore and then make my decision I guess.  Before I joined Twitter, I have already deleted my myspace and facebook. I deleted my facebook yesterday and restored my myspace only a couple months ago. Sometimes they just really annoy me. Plus, I’m not a very social person (what writers are?). I’m a loner and have been for the majority of my life. Strangely enough, people are always trying to befriend me in my classes. I’m going to try to work on building real friendships. On facebook, I basically had a bunch of people I barely talk to on there and only 3-5 close friends. I wish I had the cool facebooks where the aunts and cousins are commenting and posting pics of their little girls and boys, where dear friends are commenting and sending me invites to cool parties. Most of my family and friends are not even on facebook or myspace. My boyfriend (at least I think he is my bf – that’s another post) accused me of not being myself on it (because I use a fake name) and limited me so I couldn’t even message him on it. I had the underlying suspicion he didn’t like what I had to say. I wrote on his wall “I think it’s funny how you pretend you don’t talk to me each day”. The next thing I knew I was limited. So I deleted it! It’s his fault! But really, I wasn’t really interested in what 99% of my “friends” on there had to say. Maybe I need cooler friends, which I’m going to work on. Until then, I’m whoring it up on myspace.com/danamoon77. Add me!

Sometimes I feel as if technology is sucking the life out of me.  I yearn for a handshake or being able to have coffee.  Instead, I am left with virtual quotes about what people are doing.  It makes me become very despondent about modern living.  I wish I lived in the days before internet and tv.  The days when things were simpler and when roles were more defined.  Perhaps in the era of radio programs would be suitable.  Yes, I enjoy being a “modern” woman and earning my own way but sometimes I really do wish I could have a couple of little ones and stay home and take care of them and my husband.  In this fantasy, my husband provides for all of my needs and encourages me to buy at least one new pair of shoes each month.  In return I reward him with a sparkling house, beautiful well mannered children, homemade meals, and a scotch and a smoke next to a roaring fire when he comes home each day! Oh, what joy!!

Okay- back to reality.  I’m in my office and it’s raining.  I have to finish these interrogatories and then head to my Brit Lit class after work where we are reading some very intense literature from the middle ages.  After that I drive for an hour an a half to make it back home.

*Update* Several hours later….I reinstated my facebook.  I hope he doesn’t limit me still. 😦

Daily Writing

Posted in Writing with tags , , on May 30, 2008 by rikki5

This blog so far has been good. It’s forcing me to write about all the crazy stuff in my head and pushing me to actually write something everyday even if it’s utter nonsense. I’m not trying to impress anyone or be some kind of entertaining blogger. So, if you are reading this expecting to be informed or entertained then please move on. In fact, why are you reading this? hehe.. I watched Dr. Phil today. He is so right on about so much crazy relationship stuff. Two parents have joint custody of their kids and using them as pawns in their grown up drama against each other. And the new wife is pregnant. Where do they find these people? I also watched Martha Stewart make pickled beets. I miss daytime television. But, I’m getting off topic. I wanted to write about my daily writing habits, or lack thereof..

Well, there isn’t much to say. Maybe I should have written about a different topic. Basically, I’m forcing myself to write something each day but most of the time it’s a bunch of crap, which makes me depressed and apathetic towards the whole process. Then occasionally I will sneak out a couple paragraphs of good work. Not great, just good. The problem is that I’m so distracted by life right now. It is hard to separate the time needed to create and the time needed to live life. I hope that I can work on this in the coming months as I uproot my life and switch it all up- for the better!