Category Archives: Thoughts On….

Thoughts On the Parkland Shooting, Three Years Later

Our high school years are supposed to be our formative years, both inside and outside of the classroom. These are the years we experience many firsts that will impact the rest of our lives.

Three years ago, the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, were robbed of those experiences.

Though we cannot go back, we can move forward. We can and should enact national gun laws to keep firearms out of the hands of potential criminals. Those with mental health issues should be treated as those with physical health issues.

May the memories of those killed that day forever be a blessing. Z”l.

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Thoughts On Joss Whedon and the Toxic Workplace Accusation

I don’t know about anyone else, but one of the things I have learned in my professional life is that one’s relationship with their boss can make or break how you feel about your job.

Last week, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel star Charisma Carpenter accused the show’s creator and showrunner Joss Whedon of creating a toxic workplace.

Since the news broke, her BVTS and Angel costars have banded together, supporting Carpenter and stepping back from the man who helped to build their careers.

Some people think that just because they are an artistic genius or at the top of their professional field, they can treat their staff like shit. But, the reality is that a television show or any product is rarely created by one person. It takes a team, and if there is negative energy coming from the top, it will quickly engulf everyone invovled.

The sad irony is that both BVTS and Angel brought strong female characters to the forefront of pop culture. Instead of elevating the women who worked for him, he treated them like the monsters of the week treated the characters.

I used to respect Joss. His work as a writer and creator is undeniable. But that is never an excuse for thinking that you can treat another person like they are dirt on the bottom of your shoe.

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Thoughts on International Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Democracy, as Americans have recently learned the hard way, is not guaranteed or promised. It must be cherished, protected, and stood up for when necessary. The same could be said for human rights.

Today is International Holocaust Memorial Day. Some may say that we no longer need this day of remembrance, it so far in the past that we can move on. The hard and sad truth is that we cannot move on. Eighty years after the end of World War II, anti-Semitism (and prejudice is general) is as alive and well now as it was then.

Back in the summer of 2019, I went to the Auschwitz museum in New York City. If there is one message that is clear, it is that both the perpetrators and victims were normal people, as normal as you and I.

I recently finished watching the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. It takes place in the fictional Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian patriarchy in which women are second class citizens and non-conformists are enslaved or killed. Though it could be called dystopian science fiction novel, the truth is that this world is closer to our reality than we think it is. The riot in Washington D.C. three weeks ago was a cold slap in the face and a harsh reminder of that truth.

The only way to prevent another Holocaust of any group of people is education, respecting diversity, and remembering the past.

May the memory of those who were murdered because of who they were (my own relatives included) forever be a blessing.

Z”L.

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Thoughts on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2021

Change is never easy. Especially when the change is overcoming and dealing with cultural, racial, and religious stereotypes.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Dr. King was one of many who fought for equality. Though his ultimate goal was equality for African-Americans, it spread to the rest of the country. Women, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and other Americans of color who have been disenfranchised heard his message and understood exactly what he was saying.

Though we can proudly say that we have made progress in the multiple decades since he was taken from us, it is more than clear that true equality is still too far off for many. I remember a cartoon in a book when I was in school. The image was of a tree had been cut at its base, but the roots were untouched. The analogy about racism and prejudice was obvious.

The fact is that we have a long way to do. Between the riot in DC almost two weeks ago and the murders of multiple African Americans last year, the dark side of the United States revealed itself in a way that was opening.

What Dr. King started almost a century ago, we have to finish. It is the only way to make his dream a reality.

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Thoughts On the Bridgerton Trailer

There is nothing like a good BPD (British Period Drama). It has the power to sweep the audience into another world and for a short time, take them away from their everyday life.

The full trailer for the new Shondaland Netflix series, Bridgerton, premiered earlier today. Based on the series of books by Julia Quinn, the audience is introduced to the influential Bridgerton family living in Regency England. As the program progresses, they deal with the ups and downs that are unique to that world and that era.

The characters and the narrative are in the vein of Jane Austen, but the stories are not specifically based on any Austen novel.

I am intrigued by the casting of Julie Andrews as Lady Whistledown, the all knowing gossiping narrator who, according to the trailer is only heard, but not seen.

From a writing perspective, the couple pretending to be in love to get others off their back is one of those storylines that is used semi-regularly. The question is if the writer(s) make it their own or just copy what has been done before.

I am really excited for program. I can only hope that the promises made in the trailer are kept.

Bridgerton premieres on Netflix on December 25.

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Thought On the First Night of Chanukah and the First Anniversary of the Jersey City Shooting

History is not always made by the powerful. It is sometimes made by those who have been pushed to the margins of society. It is easy to remain quiet and just go about your business. It is infinitely harder to stand up for your rights and beliefs.

Today is the first night of Chanukah.

Today is also the first anniversary of the shooting in Jersey City. Motivated by antisemitism, the killers walked into a kosher grocery store and started shooting. They killed four innocent people, two of whom were targeted because they were Jewish.

As I write this post, I write it in honor of the victims who are not here to celebrate the holidays with us this year.

May their memories forever be a blessing.

P.S. I thought I would lighten the mood a little, because after all, Chanukah is a celebration of overcoming adversity and the push to assimilate. Thank you, Daveed Diggs for making us laugh and smile in this time of darkness.

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Thoughts On Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

To serve in the military is to potentially give everything (your life included) for your country.

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. 79 years ago, Americans went to bed, grieving for those who were lost at the attack on Pearl Harbor. Over 2400 servicemembers and noncombatants were killed. Another 1178 were injured.

The soldiers who died that day were part of the greatest generation.

The sacrifice they made that day will live on forever.

May their memories be a blessing.

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Thoughts on Veterans Day 2020

Today is Veterans Day.

Normally, we would use this day to say thank you to the men and women who have fought and died to defend the United States. But this year feels different.

It feels different because of not just Covid-19, but because of political turmoil created by the results of the election.

Sometimes I feel like we take our rights and our freedoms for granted. The last few years have reminded me that democracy does not just appear or remain stable in thin air. A democratic government either fails or succeeds based on the actions (or lack thereof) of the average citizen.

Every year, we talk about thanking our living veterans and honoring the memories of those who are no longer with us. I think the best way we can do both is to do the hard work needed to ensure that the American democracy will exist for generations to come. Included in that hard work is putting aside our differences and trying to find a middle ground.

If we don’t, then what is the point of Veterans Day?

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Thoughts On the Anniversary of Kristallnacht and the Results of the Presidential Election

For generations, Americans have believed that our democracy was set in stone. Our basic rights, the political and cultural cornerstone of our nation was untouchable. Then you know who was elected President four years ago and it looked the American democracy was on shaky ground.

The anniversary of Kristallnacht is tomorrow and Tuesday. It was the unofficial beginning of the Holocaust. It was also a sign that dignity, democracy and humanity no longer existed in Germany.

Thankfully, Americans have shown our democracy and our freedoms are worth fighting for. In electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, we have perhaps avoided the path that led the to Kristallnacht and the Holocaust. But that does not mean that we can rest on our laurels. There is still much more work to be done before we can be the country that lives out the ideals in our founding documents.

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Thoughts on Wear a Mask (Be Our Guest Parody)

For the last 7 months, we have been reminded to wear our masks when we leave our homes.

In case there are fools out there who think that they don’t need to wear a mask, this lovely reminder from Beauty and the Beast could not be clearer.

In other words, shut up and just put on a dam mask.

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