The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Saturday, June 22, 2013

MY FRIEND PAULA DEEN Including a guest blog by G. Rogers

Now I don’t know Paula Deen personally.  But I like her and I love her humanity, and I accept her humanity as I do my own.  The following is presented from a guest blog as referenced above.  It pretty well sums it up for me.

“Okay, let's get it out in the open.
Paula Deen said something derogatory twenty years ago.  Then she admitted that she did.  Then she apologized.
Then she got fired.
So okay.  For those of you who have never called anyone something derogatory and/or used racial stereotypes, read no further.
Gee, looks like everyone's still here!  See my point?
Many people were brought up in families that were bigoted because that was the way it was back then.  They probably didn't understand it, or even like it, but that's how they were raised.  But some chose not to learn from their prejudices, and instead wished and caused harm on minorities, exacting cruelty because their minds weren't open to acceptance.
Paula Deen has never been involved in any anti-racial activities, nor blatantly and frequently referred to someone in a derogatory manner - her only "crime" was that she once called someone a horrible word because they held her at gunpoint.
Trust me, if you are ever held at gunpoint, you are bound to utter many words you don't utter normally afterward.
So it's a terrible word, and should never be used ever.  Except as it has been frequently, sometimes as a show of friendship.  And no one has ever used it.  Never wanted to.  Except for the multitude of people who post it on the internet and use it in memes.
And they never apologized.  And they still have their jobs.
Paula Deen's condemning is not about bigotry - it's about refusal.  Refusal to let something go.
Why don't we all?”

Sunday, June 9, 2013


In ordinary lives, at intervals we all attend certain ceremonial events.  In our life we have just witnessed the high school graduation of a beloved granddaughter, our youngest grandchild.  Usually I am determined not to weep, and usually I do anyway, usually when they start to play the processional.  I hear ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ and I weep.  Well, not this time, I told myself, and I didn’t.  At first we were awed by the beginning of the ceremony, when the principal explained that this high school, a relatively ordinary school in a relatively ordinary area, had a very diverse population and students began marching in with flags representing the countries they have heritage from.  There were twenty-two flags; this was wonderful to us, just what we would have wished for.  What better way to emphasize to young people that there is a world out there than to experience this diversity in their own school? 

I didn’t weep at all until I watched our beautiful granddaughter sitting among her classmates, and I looked at that beloved profile and memories came flooding back of all the times from when she was an infant that we have seen her looking intently around herself, thinking her thoughts.  Just the curve of that face and all the love we feel for her washed over us.  I thought of childhood illnesses and the determination of our daughter to be there for her children no matter what.  I thought of a single mother who has worked two jobs to make sure this child was able to pursue the music studies she loves, and to provide everything she needs, if not everything she wants.  And I thought of all the work and sacrifices of the families around us there to support their children.  And I wept for the joy of it all.

They call these ceremonies a ‘commencement’, because it represents, really, not an ending but a beginning, the beginning of places in the adult world for these young people.  They are no longer children, they are young adults.  They are not just their own futures, they are ours. 

Friday, June 7, 2013


We have to be the most naïve society that ever had access to electronic devices.  Some of us walk around the streets and shops and sit in restaurants and coffee bars and talk and talk and talk on cell phones.  Or we use pads or phones or whatever we have to do whatever we do.  And then there are the computers and all the sites that are explored.  And then all the other linked-up devices such as DVRs and cordless phones and Wi-Fi.   And we put documents out there on the ‘Cloud’.  

So where on earth do we think that stuff goes?  And do we really, really, really think there are little walls of silence around every electronic device and every entry on our Facebook pages and their ilk?  Are we really, really, really that naïve?

And finally, do we really want our government to tune us all out and fail to prevent terrorism, foreign or domestic?  Because terrorism of some sort has always been around, but now it has access to the same electronics and communications systems that we nice folks do, and if it means that the folks who are trying to keep us safe need to check out the data, well, we say, “Let them.” 

Because we figure that when Alexander Graham Bell uttered those first few words on the first telephone and some of those words were recorded, things changed.

Monday, June 3, 2013


It occurred to me, in the process of a conversation, that the current ‘madness’ for Downton Abbey, in which I am a joyful and willing participant, has as much to do with our modern society as it does our taste for history and the perception of glamour and family stories.

Why would I say such a thing?  What possible connection could the series of Downton Abbey have to do with our twenty-first century?  Well, the fact is that there have long been, at least in the so-called Western civilization, the layers of society having to do with wealth and privilege as well as the ‘under-levels’ that support those ‘upper levels’.  In the time of Downton Abbey, there is a great sense in many members of the family that there is duty as well as privilege, that many people, both in the household staff and in the property’s farms and in the village, depend on the well-being of the big house’s economy for their own livelihoods. In our modern time, extraordinarily successful people such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet, and Oprah Winfrey, among others, extend their care and interest to the world stage, and there are, of course, many, many more who are less well-known but no less important and effective.  These folks all embrace the Biblical injunction that “to whom much is given, much is required.”

There have always been those who see no sense of responsibility further than what their greedy hands can reach.   All those scions of wealthy families who drank and gambled their fortunes away and many times their lives, also, and there are twenty-first century versions of those.  Or those who insist on owning many houses or incredibly large houses and furnishing those houses with the most expensive art and décor that can be found. 

But all of these elements perhaps explain the international fascination and appreciation with the clan of Downton Abbey, with their romances and losses and constant struggles to understand the world they are moving into, as are we all.


It is a scientific fact that upon occasion, the sun produces flares.  These flares project for thousands of miles into space, affecting space currents and ultimately, among other things, radio transmissions and other electronic fields on Earth.

 Among the electronic particles in Earth’s atmosphere are positive and negative ions.  It is a scientific theory that positive ions have a negative effect on human emotions, and that negative ions have a positive effect.

The (un)scientific philosophy is that solar flares, when affecting Earth’s atmosphere, produce too many positive ions and too many negative feelings, leading to those types of days that we all have, when everyone is hostile on the freeway, when we lose things right in front of us, when everything is snarled and when nothing goes right, including our hair, our wardrobes, our finances, and all other aspects of human endeavor.  On certain days, such as today, one can encounter situation after situation where people are rude or careless or oblivious.  On such days, my mate and I nod to each other knowingly and whisper, “Solar flares.”

There is an unofficial Society for the Study of Solar Flares (SSSF) which I unofficially founded many years ago. If you agree with the theory, you are automatically a member.  Its mission is to explain this information to beleaguered individuals, and give them to understand that there is something to blame (besides ourselves) when all goes wrong and everything or everyone seems crazy!

Shakespeare could have been wrong when he said, “... the fault ...lies not in our stars but in ourselves.”

One more important point:  the effects of solar flares can be experienced even when it is raining!