Friday, August 28, 2015

Polka Dot Gallows! Japan Empowers Women!

I haven't been doing Polka Dot Gallows posts for a good while- it's been too easy; and too depressing-

But today; amid all the global catastrophes in progress that don't bear examination; I did find one that is pretty much pure theater, entertainment.

And depressing; but worthy of a good big belly laugh, also.

Japan is currently being run by a government entirely owned by the Owners; big business, elites, and all that.  All their decisions and changes are designed to repeal all safety and health measures, and increase corporate profits.  Seriously; look into it if you want.

A big part of the reason the Abe Dynasty was elected is, they are experts at media propaganda; really, really good at it.  The melted reactors at Fukushima are a terrific example - most of the world thinks that Japan has of course responded to the leaking radiation in a fast, efficient, and effective way.  So the media reports.  The reality is - nothing effective whatsoever has been done.  Nothing.  Tons of money spent on things that don't work; but - the reactor cores are still leaking radiation directly into ground water, which is moving directly into the ocean.  Incidentally, your local physics professor knows this- and is silent about it.  (How do we know?  Fish keep showing up with very short-lived radioisotopes - that have to have been just leaked.)

So - since women in Japan do have the vote, and they are pretty universally unhappy about how women are still excluded from advancement in business and government - the Abe machine has now very effectively passed legislation to Empower Women!  Huzzah!

Here's the press release:

Female empowerment bill approved

Japan's Diet has passed a law aimed at enhancing the role of women in the workplace.

A majority of Upper House lawmakers voted for the legislation at a plenary session on Friday.

The law obliges the government to come up with a policy for offering women more opportunities in recruitment and promotion. It also calls for creating an environment where women can balance work and family.

The law requires the central and local governments and large companies to set numerical targets for female recruits and managers. Employers are required to make the figures public. The law also calls on smaller firms to draw up similar plans.
In case you are not used to translating press releases: "The Abe regime announced today that they are forming a committee to study how to empower women; and have directed that everybody else form committees too."
Total effect for women of course: Zero.
Actually, I'm having a hard time getting the belly laugh.  I hope you have better luck. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

A bit of GOOD news today.

Generally, it's a lousy news day - world stocks crashing, huge chunks of ice breaking off Greenland, whales dying in Alaska - not a lot of fun.

Imagine my surprise, when I ran into this article on neighborhood networking in Italy.  Read it, it's delightful!

And, a terrific model.  If I lived in a city, I'd for sure try to launch one of these in my neighborhood; or join one if someone has already launched.

It's simple- a couple of people launched an invitation to a closed group on Facebook; just for people in the neighborhood.  Both on Facebook; and with plain paper fliers.  Now- instead of a crowd of strangers; many know each other, say hello on the street- and help each other constantly; for free.

Of course this is how neighbors should act - but we rarely do these days.

I love it!  You should do it!  :-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Role Models And Fate


Several times a week, I think "I really should make a post on the Little House blog- the folks there are so crazy loyal; and worth talking with..."

And then, searching my brain for something worthwhile to talk about; I come up pretty empty, except for all the horror stories rapidly escalating around the entire world... and who needs that?

You all know the world is a horror, and the trends are worse.  What we need of course is to find some way to come through it.

Without attempting to summarize the tome it would take to document why "popular culture" is a complete waste of energy and dead end for our species - I'll just note that probably many of you are in a fight, as I am, to get our children to see "the real world" - without it being filtered through their smart phone, iPad, video games, or latest dystopian megablockbuster movie series.

"Hey- kid - look at the dragonflies; they're catching ants with wings right over our heads!"
"What?  Oh.  Yeah, very cool, daaad.  Can we watch a movie tonight?"

This is horrifying.  Intractable.  Universal.  And I believe deadly dangerous for the world.


I'm re-reading "Anne Of Green Gables" at the moment- by myself, not with Smidgen.  Nothing bad about that, I still read stuff out loud with her; but this is just my current research.

Then today I found this announcement that a wonderful Japanese TV serial is being dubbed in Tagalog, for the Philippines.  Very successful entrepreneurship...

Anne, and Laura of the Little House series, and this Japanese girl Amachan, - and back about as far as you can go in popular literature - all start out impoverished, desperate, and struggling.  Our hearts go out to them.  And by the end of the book?

Anne winds up the top scholar for an entire province, Amachan winds up an actual rock star, after picking seaweed, Laura winds up happily married, well off, and a newspaper columnist...  Even Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm winds up well-to-do.

And these are the stories we give our children, to build their dreams on.  More current stories are the same; think them through. How many of the children reading these stories have any hope of matching these outcomes?

Very, very - very few, is the answer, and the vast majority know it by the time they are 12 years old.  Their future does not include becoming a rock star, or getting a full scholarship to Harvard - or anything, in fact, that the world will see as "remarkable".  They are just plain kids; with just plain lives to live.

Where are the role models in literature for just plain people - who live just plain lives - happily, and contentedly, without constant envy of those "better off", and endless dissatisfaction with their world?

I'm not even sure how I would go about writing such a short story, let alone novel; models to build on are - nonexistent, as far as I can remember this morning.

The knowledge that their future is without fame or a moment on stage with crowds cheering wildly - leaves the great majority of kids feeling hopeless, forgotten, and worst of all, useless.  Bleak.  So?  What the hell; drugs, party, indiscriminate sex, tribal hatred - why not?  No point to any of it, anyway.

How would you build a Japanese TV serial that told the wonderful story of - a common, satisfied life?  Or say, a hugely successful American TV reality show about - real, common folks; happy with their fate and place; every day?

Those are the models we desperately need.  The concept is so different- you might even be able to sell it, commercially.  Life is worth living; common lives very much included.  I believe.

Some of you are writers!  Please - see what you can do.  And pass this on to your writer friends.

Yes, the fate of the world may depend on it.