do as i say…not as i do

The news is rife with grownups who, when their backs are up against the wall, lie without batting an eyelash to save their sad behinds. Of course they’re all innocent until proven guilty by the slower-than-molasses justice system. But in the court of public opinion? Their guilt is a no-brainer.

Monica Lewinsky, from her government ID photo ...

Image via Wikipedia

Herman Cain looks to be pulling a trick Bill Clinton introduced us to when he claimed not to be having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. The trick? Semantics! It’s all in the words, you see.

According to both men, sex, when under fire and free-falling into the black hole of public denigration and irreversible damage to their reputations, is narrowly defined as intercourse. Oral sex for Clinton, and fondling a woman’s genitals by Cain are just foreplay, I guess…but definitely not sex. So while they settled upon Webster’s definition “4. SEXUAL INTERCOURSE,” they chose to ignore the previous definition which states “3. the instinct or attraction drawing one individual sexually toward another, or the activities that it motivates.” Clinton recouped his standing on the world stage by finally fessing up. Doesn’t look like Mr. Cain is humble enough to “eat crow.”

Where to begin with the massive web of deceit within which Penn State now finds itself embroiled? At the time current wide-receivers coach Mike McQueary witnessed former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the locker room shower. McQueary didn’t intervene, but instead conferred with his father who advised that coach Joe Paterno be told. In turn, Paterno reported it to Athletic Director Tim Curley. Into the mix of accomplices who withheld knowledge of the criminal act of pedophilia and sexual assault of a minor are Gary Schultz, V.P. of Finance at Penn State, as well as its president, Graham Spanier. These adults did not report what McQueary had seen to the police.

Jerry Sandusky, right, the former Penn State d...Then and now, Penn State worried about its reputation and its football program. The sodomized youngster and those who followed in his wake as victims of Sandusky’s sexual appetite, were simply relegated to society’s land-fill of abused children. The message relayed to the youngsters entrusted to their care by Penn State staff? Adult sexual predators and those who turn a blind eye to their activities can escape punishment…in the interests of the university’s greater good.

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Image via Wikipedia

Dr. Conrad Murray, a good man caught up in the make-believe world of iconic Michael Jackson, made the ultimate misstep. Administering the strong anesthetic Propophol outside the safe environ of a hospital, AND leaving his only client unattended while the drug was being dispensed caused the circumstances leading to Jackson’s death. Murray’s explanation for the demise? A yarn spun like that of a novice spider whose web is full of holes.

Wonderful Smile - Michael Jackson

Image by Raquel Cristina (busy because of beginning of clas via Flickr

According to Murray, Jackson awoke while the doctor had stepped away for 2 minutes to use the bathroom. Somehow in his drugged state, the patient was able to give himself the lethal dose of Propophol. One of Murray’s girlfriends testified to being with him on a cell phone call when he discovered Jackson in distress. And instead of calling 911 immediately which might have saved the singer’s life, Murray called for house security and Prince, MJ’s son. A tragedy made even more tragic when Murray took to covering his missteps, instead of reviving his patient.

Just as the “fight or flight” mechanism is triggered when we are confronted by danger, so too it seems is our immediate attempt to lie our way out of sticky situations. One of the first Golden Rules we teach our children is that they should always tell the truth. Remember the story about George Washington cutting down his father’s cherry tree?

George Washington“George,” said his father, “do you know who has killed my beautiful little cherry tree yonder in the garden? I would not have taken five guineas for it!”

This was a hard question to answer, and for a moment George was staggered by it, but quickly recovering himself he cried:

“I cannot tell a lie, father, you know I cannot tell a lie! I did cut it with my little hatchet.”

The anger died out of his father’s face, and taking the boy tenderly in his arms, he said:

“My son, that you should not be afraid to tell the truth is more to me than a thousand trees! Yes – though they were blossomed with silver and had leaves of the purest gold!”

So when is it acceptable to withhold the truth? Let me answer with my own personal experience.

I was sexually solicited by relatives on 3 separate occasions. They ranged from mildly funny, to downright scary, to pitifully sad and upsetting. I never spoke of these incidents to family members. As the youngest, who would have believed me? Those to whom I might’ve divulged my tales would’ve been angrier than heck, and of course, those who victimized me would’ve denied my accusations as wild imaginings. So what would the truth have gained me? More grief on top of what I was already experiencing. No thanks!

Unfortunately, lies have a way of derailing one’s happiness. Living with the weight of others inflictions upon one’s person, physically and spiritually, can altogether undermine one’s self-esteem. What is one worth if others can exert their will without repercussions. No wonder so many suffer depression, some even resorting to suicide. The rest struggle within themselves, and continue to put up a good fight…like me.

Children are clean slates…upon which adults write the first words. So should we write “Do as I say…not as I do?” Or should we write “Do as I say…and as I do…for I will always try to speak…and live…the truth.”

…no-brainer…right?…right………hugmamma.  

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“just go with it,” and we did

My daughter convinced me, at the last minute, not to see “Black Swan.” I knew it was “dark,” and so was prepared for a Stephen King style thriller. But I wasn’t aware there was raw sex thrown into the mix. My daughter’s words were “raunchy,” “out there,” and more to the point, “sex between the 2 main actresses.” I might have stomached such scenes in my early 20s, when hormones were raging. But not so much into my “golden years,” and definitely not in a packed theatre. Yikes! I definitely didn’t want to hear the heavy breathing of strangers seated nearby. Double yikes!!

More disturbing to me, however, was the need to depict Lesbianism in its most damning, stereotypical imagery. Just when strides are being made among that community to show themselves to be upstanding citizens like their heterosexual counterparts, a much-hyped film with an Oscar for Best Actress, regurgitates the bad press that should remain ancient history. Been there. Done that. Don’t need to go there anymore. Was there a real need for explicit sex scenes between the 2 women? Did we need to remind people about their homophobia? Might the gay community have been spared the potential for a public relations setback? You who have seen the film will have to answer that one. I’m speaking “blind,” and it’s only my opinion.

Cover of

Cover of Cactus Flower

Opting to seeJust Go With It instead, turned out to be a happy surprise. Adam Sandler is not a favorite of mine, but after seeing him in “50 First Dates” with a definite favorite,  Drew Barrymore, Sandler is “growing” on me. Not until the credits were displayed did I know that the show was a remake of an oldie, but goodie,Cactus Flower.” Filmed in the 70s, I think it was a career booster for Goldie Hawn, but I only had eyes for the great Ingrid Bergman, and ears for the dead-pan humor of Walter Matthau. It’s good I didn’t know earlier that this later film was a remake. I might’ve spent the evening making comparisons. Instead I thoroughly enjoyed “Just Go With It” on its own merits.

Nicole Kidman at Cannes Film Festival 2001

Image via Wikipedia

I’d forgotten that I’d read in a review that 8 weeks of the film were spent on the island of Kauai. Seeing the green, lush beauty of a Hawaiian island brought huge smiles to our faces. Since it was the backdrop for most of the film, my husband and I obviously never stopped grinning, except when we were laughing. And seeing both Nicole Kidman, in a supporting role, and Jennifer Aniston do a pretty mean hula was an added bonus.

But the scene that brought tears to my eyes, and a lump to my throat, was a closeup between Anniston and Sandler. Watching her face as she listed things which she loved about him, I felt as though I were looking into the eyes of a good person, not just an actress. Never far from my mind, whenever I hear her name or those of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, is the pain Anniston must have endured throughout her marital breakup, and even years after the dissolution. The media scrutinized her every look, her every move, her  relationships, her breakups. While the hurt may have shown in the probing paparazzi photos, Anniston said very little. And she was probably entitled to say a lot.

Having seen Jennifer Anniston only a handful of times in films, and maybe a few dozen times on television, I was noncommittal one way or the other. But tonight I came away feeling like she’d be a good BFF, not for me obviously, but for someone who travels in her celebrity circle.

a full thumb’s up for Jennifer…and half-a-thumb for Adam…hugmamma.

“well done!” comcast

Communication between my friend Sylvia and Mark Casem of Comcast Corp, should be a model for dealings between customers and service providers. In addition to the adage I mentioned in earlier postings of my own Comcast dilemma, “You can get more with honey, than you can with vinegar,” I think it’s safe to say “You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours” is also fitting.

Dear Mr Casem,

I wanted to tell your putting me in touch with Ms Williamson, resulted in today’s visit from a Comcast technician. He was at our house for about an hour and found several problems, which caused the problems with telephone and Internet. He also found we had a very weak signal with the TV

 I have to commend Mr Craig Ralston, for not only his work but his rapport with his customers. He explained all he did and even gave us some education on our systems. He left us with his own business card to call him with any problem in the future. Hopefully that wont be the case.

 I thought you would like to know you have made another Comcast customer happy!

                Yours Truly,…Sylvia

To which Casem replied…

Thanks for the note! I will make sure Mr. Ralston and Ms. Williamson are commended for the job well done.

 

Best regards,

Mark Casem
Comcast Customer Connect

National Customer Operations

that’s it in a nutshell…and i love nuts…hugmamma.  😉