An Update and a Question …

Good morning afternoon friends!  I have been meaning to give you this update for a week or so now, and I am also seeking your opinions on a question that has arisen this week …

The Update:

Some of you may have wondered just what became of Lisa Jensen and the project we were planning to engage in civil discourse about issues, starting with guns, gun regulation, etc.  Well, the project is temporarily on hold, but I hope to be able to jump start it soon.  Lisa and her husband are in the process of a major lifestyle change, you see.  They bought a sailboat, and are planning to live on the boat!  So, as she tells me, they are busy from sunup to sundown every day trying to divest themselves of a lifetime of detritus, as well as get their house ready to rent.  They will be sailing around in the Chesapeake Bay, and Lisa will be doing her work from ‘home’ (assuming she can get a WiFi signal).

It is quite a change, and she sounds excited and happy.  I am happy for her, though I don’t think it would be a move I would like, for I am a creature of routine, not very adventurous and am always a bit ‘off’ when my schedule or venue changes, even briefly.  Lisa assures me that she does still want to engage in our discussions and we have the beginnings of one started via email, but I don’t know quite when we will be able to proceed.

 The Question:

You may remember the post I did a few days ago about Jeff Amyx, the man who owns a hardware store and has a sign stating “No Gays Allowed” on his front door.  I have been engaged in a discussion with rawgod, who I can always trust to hold my feet to the fire when they need it, about the necessity or appropriateness of posts like this.  I have always thought it was important to bring people like this into the open, to shine a light on them and their bigotry, to show them to the world as they really are.  Rawgod, however, states his case …

“I am certainly all in favour of fighting bigotry, etc. But, IMO, while you are spreading the word of a bigot, you are also helping that bigot have his 15 minutes of fame. It’s just the other side of looking at the coin.”

I acknowledge that there is some truth to what he says … the ‘other side of the coin’, as it were … and yet I have mixed thoughts.  So, he suggested that I put the question to you all, and that is what I am doing.  What are your thoughts on this?  I know that I sometimes chastise the mainstream media for giving too much attention to people who thrive on that attention, and it seems to legitimize those people.  Am I doing the same?  Or do we need to keep these people out front for all to see?

I look forward to your opinions on this!

Now go forth and have a great rest-of-the-day!

50 thoughts on “An Update and a Question …

  1. Being part of the media even in a small way is not easy and there is always a temptation to resort to mockery or even malicious mockery which is often the realm of comedians. Comedians themselves often slip and are hauled over the coals for going too far. We need to always bear in mind the precept to attack the thoughts and ideas of our political opponents and not their persons.
    We live in an age of the image and we see it more and more in the news media ; what will teach us most about Donald Trump a picture or a thousand words ?
    A year ago today , or there abouts , a picture was taken of a poor drowned child washed up on a Turkish beech . The whole thing went viral but now is forgotten. Many in news are actors playing a part , politicians picking up young children and all the tricks of the trade very similar to celebrities, all to create a public image —- note IMAGE words maybe safer . We have a morning TV character here who plays the field all the timely and I see him every day on the news with monotonous regularity. The well known faces are etched on our memories but what do we really know about them ? I always delve into Wiki to see what I can find to attempt a fair assessment .
    ‘The evil that men do lives after them ;
    The Good is oft interred in their bones’

    Liked by 1 person

    • You hit the nail on the head when you say we must remember to attack the ‘thoughts and ideas’ rather than the person. I try, but sometimes find myself wanting badly to attack the person him/herself. I think I mostly succeed at resisting the urge, but not always, I know. It is a sad statement, but you are right … a picture grabs much more attention than even the best-written article. It is why, when I am writing a piece that I consider very serious, that I want people to pay special attention to what I say, I do not typically use any pictures. Yet, admittedly the pictures, especially political cartoons, are fun. And isn’t it sad, but yet true, that ‘The evil that men do lives after them ;
      The Good is oft interred in their bones’?

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      • There are two good old sayings often used to shut us up and stop us commenting and judging others.
        1) If you can’t say something good about someone then say nothing.
        2) Judge not unless you be judged.
        Both of these oft quoted sayings are wrong and the main reason is that those that use them do not obey them.
        Your doing a good job , don’t stop but don’t wear yourself out.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks Kertsen! My mother always said that first one to me, and I find it isn’t always possible, though I try never to be cruel. Y’know … it’s hard these days to find that line before crossing it of not wearing myself out. I know I need to take a break … I am wound so tight that I cried for two days over a dead bumblebee!!! But … I cannot step away. I just can’t. Thanks for your always wise words and kindness. Hugs!

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          • As always in that particular world of words, it all boils down to personal motives. Are you doing it to cause harm, or to elevate yourself at someone else’s expense, or to educate and hopefully cause positive change? That’s all that matters.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Well I hope never to intentionally cause harm nor to attempt to elevate myself at somebody’s expense, so hopefully my motives are good. It never hurts to do a bit of soul-searching, though, to be sure you are doing the right thing for the right reasons.

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  2. Thanks for sharing… I don’t believe there is a timetable on that sort of ting… perhaps “the punishment to fit the crime” sort of thing… in either case, YOU follow YOUR heart and instinct and do what needs to be done, not what someone else believes… 🙂

    “I do not do or say something to be proud of myself, I just do or say something because it needed to be done or said…” Larry Woller 5-6-2018

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  3. Dear Jill,

    President Trump needs the spotlight on his actions. He may revel in it until the tide of public opinion turns against him. He demonstrates a level of evil where we cannot afford not to shine the spotlight on everything he does. Otherwise his evil will know no bounds. Why does he hate the “so-called fake news.” It is because as a restraint/ check on what he can get away with as he tries to do harm on this country.

    Hugs, Gronda

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  4. Here in Australia, the media are asked not to go into much detail about deaths by suicide because such stories might trigger yet more suicides. That is legitimate. Not naming and shaming those who prey on the most vulnerable people in society does not starve them of oxygen. Clearly their behaviour has already been publicised somehow, otherwise we would not know about it. If said publicity were merely repeated, then yes, it would be a form of amplification. A kind of agreement and validation by default.
    But Jill is not doing that. And the people who hold this man up to society’s scorn and condemnation are not spreading his bigotry. They are not validating his hate. They are doing what society is supposed to do. They are drawing a line in the sand and saying ‘not acceptable’.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Considering the readership, I don’t think Mr. Amyx is going to get much of a platform here! In person, as a transgender, I would choose to walk past that place and refuse the bait to go in and challenge the owner. I would not want to give him the satisfaction of spouting out of context a favourite verse of scripture to prove his point. Sometimes ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ is the best policy… and sometimes if you happen to have something that can make the dogs like you and become your friends well, it may be a good idea to wake them up. If Mr. Amyx could be shown that it’s his own inner insecurity; his hate and fear (and perhaps he’s a self-hating closet homosexual) that he’s contending with, he might see some light at the end of his long, dark tunnel and it might not be an on-coming train as he fears.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In theory, I agree with what you say. But it seems that the reality is the attitude of hate and bigotry are so deeply ingrained that they are rarely open to the thoughts of new ideas. There are, of course, exceptions.

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      • There are exceptions, and I’ve made friends that way over the years, while engaging in religious and political polarity debates. If we don’t work at finding the “switch” that makes a person re-evaluate their beliefs then I don’t think there is any “hope” for civilization. Of course, we assume we are right (whatever the discussion) and we can use any number of talking points to prove our case but I learned over the years that the other person is equally convinced s/he is right and has the talking points to prove her/his case. So we attempt dialogue and if that fails then we do what we must do, i.e., we carry on with our convictions if the other hasn’t shown us in a logical and compassionate way, that we are in error. If I am a truly compassionate being then the man, were he to know me and hate me, isn’t my enemy because compassion doesn’t recognize enmity: it absorbs it.
        Point? Mr. Amix is wrong, but so is an entire country that accepts the fact that the lion’s share of its wealth is being used to oppress strangers world wide through its military – close to a 1000 military bases circle the globe and hundreds of people are its victims daily – who will address that very real horror show? No one, as long as there are plenty of scapegoats around we can point the finger at and use them to highlight our virtuousness. Why not tackle the really big picture instead? Because that would not be popular.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have friends that I can ‘meet in the middle’ with, but it seems none I have ever swayed or who have ever swayed me from deep-seated beliefs or ideas. I am stubborn, but try to listen, try to understand the “other” side, yet their ultimate goals always seem to differ from mine, thus the paths must also differ. I get that and it wouldn’t bother me if it were not that the hate, the vitriol have led to such divisiveness that we can barely speak civilly to one another any more.

          I agree with you that the country is wrong to put money, capitalism before human life. Tackling the big picture might not be popular, but it might well be more meaningful than back-biting and bitching over the minutiae. Sigh.

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    • Thanks John … I agree, and I will continue to do as I have always done. Still, it was a good discussion to have, and I appreciated getting everyone’s views. Sometimes we need to question ourselves and what direction we are taking, just to make sure we stay on track.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I will agree that there is some merit in Rawgod’s thinking. However, ignoring something does not make it stop or disappear. Silence simply implies agreement and that is not what Jeff Amyx or the many other vile versions of him should receive, loud scorn seems more appropriate. I know that I repeat this quote often, but it says it best. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Never, ever silence your voice… I am listening! Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hmmm, i certainly have served up a tempest in a Trump-Dump, but that’s okay. I certainly was not trying to cover anything up. But, so far at least, your wanting-heads are outscoring my save-your-energy-tales. And in a lot of ways i agree with them, though i thought some of them went to a much deeper level than i was thinking about. But that is life, and i believe in life. I just wish evetyone would stop putting capital “R”s in front of my name, there isn’t one there. rawgod, plain and simple, lol. If their spellcheck insists a capital has to start a sentence, no problem, but as i just wrote it, it does not have to be there.
    That said, i do want you to go with your flow, but thank you for listening to me. I don’t really think there is a right or wrong answer here, and this is your blog.
    (Though, Jill, you forgot to mention i was trying to free up some valuable time to write about the other things you are passionate about, as well as aleviate your stress levels writing about these next-to-useless excuses for human beings.) That might have inspired a different type of comment. But it was fun, i thought. 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was definitely fun, and I genuinely did want the feedback, for as I thought about it, I wondered if I was actually doing a service or a disservice. I always listen to you … I don’t always agree with you, but I always listen. As to your name, if it begins the sentence, then it has to have a capital R. For some of us, it is just a habit to start a name, even a screen name, with a cap. And as for freeing up time … I do appreciate your thoughts, but see, when I see these things, they keep tapping away at my mind until I get it out of my head by writing about it, so … I suppose I will keep on doing what I do. Perhaps I could find ways to become more efficient! I’m not sure how just yet, but … I shall ponder. 😉 Thanks for starting this discussion, though, for I really enjoyed it and got some good perspective.

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  8. Jill, while I understand Rawgod’s point, I am of the mindset behind the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” investigative group. We must put a spotlight on people doing bad things, so that people will know.

    When a white supremacist runs for office, we need to shine a spotlight on that candidate. We did not do enough of that when Trump ran, as he is acting exactly like he always did in business.

    As for the gay basher, I would like to introduce him to Alan Turing, a gay man in England who had to hide that fact, so he could serve his country. According to General Dwight Eisenhower, Turing led a team that saved over 750,000 lives and shortened WWII by two years. He was later jailed when caught in a sexual act. What if he had been arrested before he broke the Nazi Enigma code?

    This is what we need to say to bigots like this. If God hates gays, why did he make one who saved our ass in WWII? Keith

    Liked by 3 people

      • In collaboration with my friend the poet, we wrote a poem once titled, “God, the Author of Sin” After all, being omniscient, nothing that happens in the future could ever be a surprise to God, so the advent of “sin” had to come from him. Had he not wanted it, it could never have happened. I’m not saying that being “Gay” is sinful, being a TG myself, but the concept that God could hate something he deliberately set in motion, or caused to happen, is ludicrous… as is all organized religion.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Keith. While I do see rawgod’s point, and it reminds me to question my motive when I start shining that light into the dark corners, I think that to quit doing so would be the wrong thing. People need to know, to see, to understand. I am blessed with a small audience and a limited ability to express myself, and I think I must use those to bring people who would hide in the dark corners out into the open. I love Turing’s story and have recently loaded the book about him onto my Kindle. You make a good point!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There will come a day (soon) when Trump will not be in charge. Laws will be enforced-again- that you cannot place notices like that in your shop window. It’s important to know when that time comes just who did break the existing law and displayed all his homophobia or racism. How nice it will be to get normal people to avoid shops like this till they go out of business.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

  10. There are arguments for and against this topic.
    There is the ‘Oxygen of Publicity’ argument against highlighting these disturbing items. It can be argued these folk are itching to get notoriety, hoping to get criticism so they can rally their own kind to their perverted cause and get out the sympathy vote.
    There is the hard-nosed mirror image response which goes along the lines of . ‘Well if that’s what they want. They deserve what’s coming to them. Thanks for the info.’ (with an underlying hint that some physical retribution will take place). This leads to escalation.
    The problem with not bringing these particular acts to public attention is that a sort of self-censorship sets in, and in turn the wider world is not aware of the unpleasant and downright vile acts taking place, this can end up with a kind of compliancy along the lines of ‘Well it can’t be so bad out there’ and thus self-denial. Its extreme form happened in the UK in the years prior to WWII, when very few folk new how vile Hitler’s gang were, and I daresay there were many Northerners on the 1850s who thought slaves were well treated and lived happily under a kindly paternalistic style of governance.
    Sure, if it happens to be a bunch of frat idiots having an all-nude supermarket trolley dash or some such tomfoolery then by all means do not bother because these jerks just want to be seen and that is all, so nothing would annoy them more than no one taking notice.
    As with so many issues, the old phrase ‘horses for courses’ springs to mind.
    Anyway, how the frib’ does he know if someone is gay? Does he expect a steady stream of sit-com stereo-types to attempt to assail his establishment?
    I wonder how he’d feel if he came to the UK and upon walking up to a bar door saw the sign ‘No Yanks- until you get rid of Trump’…..Mmmm?

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Imagine if caring citizens, journalists, and politicians had ignored the plight of slaves in antebellum America. Imagine if they had ignored the atrocities of the Jim Crow era. Imagine if they had ignored the blatant terrorism committed against civil rights activists across the South. Now, imagine the state of race relations in the nation today had not such exposure been given.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant. I question the wisdom and motivation of anyone who advocates for sweeping our societal dirt under the proverbial carpet.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sadly, unless someone stops him, I suppose he is allowed. Is it right? No, of course it isn’t. But with the latest Supreme Court ruling, it may not be against the law, either. Sigh.

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  12. I do think there is a danger in repeating/linking stories like this. I’ve haven’t read a lot of George Lakoff’s work about how to reframe a topic, but recommend it. Instead of repeating lies/bigotry/etc., just tell people what you want them to know. Instead of reacting to a story, counteract it by telling just the story you want people to hear.

    Liked by 2 people

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