Friday, December 19, 2014

SONY Hacked Over “The Interview”

but all joking aside...

We’ve been hearing about the SONY emails that were hacked and the threats by North Korea over the movie, The Interview.” Everyone has an opinion. We shouldn’t show it, it’s too dangerous. We should show it and not cave in to terrorism. We shouldn’t allow our freedom of speech to be violated. And on and on it goes.

I am just a simple person. I have no sake in this issue either way. I rarely go to a movie anymore. I probably wouldn’t go to this one. But, every time I hear a news story about this situation I want to cringe. We do have more important things to focus on in the US and globally. This ridiculous movie it taking time and attention away from far more serious issues.

Here are my thoughts. I think just because we have freedom of speech, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use it responsibly. There has to be some degree of common sense applied when you are planning to open a can of worms. There will be consequences to free speech. Those consequences should have been considered prior to making a moving provoking and antagonizing a man, a tyrant of a communist country, who doesn’t have any love for our country. A man who watches his own people starve while he expects to be treated as a God. A man who has access to nuclear weapons and has alliances with China. A man who would not take kindly to being made a laughing stock in front of the world. Did SONY really believe that a man like this would just do nothing while their movie ridiculed him on an international level? Or didn’t SONY care, thinking what can he possibly do about it? Well, now we are finding out what he an do about it. Their precious, scandalous company emails are being exposed for all the world to see. Who is laughing now? This is just the tip of the iceberg too. I will be willing to bet they have far more damaging emails to release when they feel the time is right. SONY is now so concerned, they are willing to pull a $200 million dollar movie to prevent more embarrassing exposure of their executives. But is this the end of it? Will things get worse? They have set something in motion and don’t have the means to stop it.

Every idea someone in Hollywood has isn’t necessarily a great idea. This is one of them. Those who feel the movie should be shown, despite the threats, really have no idea what the consequences will be. Movie theaters won’t show it because they are now on notice that they may be putting people’s lives at risk. Did we need to be put in this position? Did we need another international problem to deal with right now?  Thanks to SONY we have one.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Counting Christmases . . .


I have always loved Christmas. The other day it occurred to me how few Christmases we have to enjoy in a lifetime. I lump Thanksgiving in too, because both holidays are for celebrating time with loved ones, great food, laughs and memories. And that’s special and important, right? But do we really appreciate Christmas as much as we should?

Let’s say we live to be 100, just to make things simpler. That would mean that out of the 36,500 days we walk the earth, there are only 100 Christmases (and most of us are going to have a lot less). Just 100 days or however many our lifetime allows. That doesn’t seem like enough to me and it’s kind of sad.

We can’t spend those 100 Christmases with all our loved ones. First, our parents and grandparents already used up a lot of their Christmases before we were even born. That means we might be lucky enough to share about 50 or 60 Christmases with them. By the time our children are born, we have already used up a chunk of our Christmases, so we may have 50 or 60 left to spend with them. There is going to be some overlap when we can have both our parents and our children with us for Christmas, those will be fewer yet.

All this calculating made me realize how much more precious these holidays are to me. My parents are long gone. I can't share any more Christmases with them. I can’t bring them their favorite jumbo shrimp or pignole cookies that they were too frugal to buy for themselves. I can’t hear my mom telling everyone how her cooking is better than mine or how beautiful my girls are. I can’t hear my father’s laughter as he hugs and kisses his only grandchildren on the cheek. Those Christmases are gone.

My girls are still living at home. They aren’t babies any more, those Christmases are gone. I try to pretend they are as excited about Christmas as they were when they were young children and still believed in Santa. I try to buy gifts that will surprise them, which gets more difficult every year. They don’t get us up at the crack of dawn any more. Now my husband and I are up early and the girls sleep in. There is none of the anticipation about what is in the colorfully wrapped packages. They know they will find items they put on their “list.” No real surprises. Now, we even wait for my brother to arrive and we all open our gifts together, not first thing in the morning. We make the most of the day, while our parents are noticeably missing from the conversation. We reminisce about Christmases past. That’s all we can do.

Better cherish each Christmas we are given. Time with our loved ones is the real gift of Christmas. There is never enough time to spend with those you love, and there are never going to be enough Christmases for me.