Monday, January 23, 2012


To the caregivers of this newest generation, to people who nurse the planet with more ideas than deeds, here is just a little encouragement which appeared on the Green Mom's Carnival, too long ago for me to track..It's slightly altered for the continuing crisis which may become force of habit. And for the climate which is sure to continue changing along with the hapless inhabitants gravitating upon the surface.

Yes, yes, i know that this is the beginning of the next season! I know that many will struggle to catch up with bills, these little pieces of paper, printed on the backs of trees and the rear section of your brain. No, i refuse to feel sorry, the season will come, the season will pass, and all will resume at the best possible pace. So let's make it an ecological feast to begin the new era.

To be a mother in times of financial uncertainty is a challenge to be met with joy. Oh yes, pleasure comes in small packages. Now is the door to a whole new behavior for many, what an opportunity to sneak in the change that so many have wanted to implement. First you must arm yourself with facts.

Headline news foretelling or demonstrating the economic downturn must be saved as wrapping paper for the smaller gifts. Sunday cartoons can put some cheer in the mix. Free advertisement media make excellent rolled up logs for the fireplace, (caveat) don't light them if yours is one of those fake ones. Clippings of ecological disasters make an easy diary of my planet for school projects, engage, engage.

The larger photos of starving children can be left upon the coffee table for open discussion -- “Mom, who's that on the table? -- No one we know, just another life in another place -- Why don't they have enough food for them? -- because it costs too much to transport the grain to their country-- so why don't they grow it there? -- climate change has created havoc everywhere -- so what are we supposed to do about it? -- well, drive less, eat more foods from local sources and save on utilities? -- oh, Mom!”

When all the depressing news have reached their intended audience, quickly introduce the good news, and there are many in magazines like Ode, Yes or Mother Earth, as well as ENN and green sites online. Softly steer the subject of conversation to renewables, “hey look at that sun! it shines everyday -- exactly, so would it be smart to save for solar panels for our house? “save? -- yes altogether, we can contribute.” “does that mean i don't get my game set?...

I have witnessed parents agonizing over the effects of advanced advertising on their children. My only advice is to turn the television off, or select documentary and nature shows, current events may add to the reasoning skills if watched along with ( reasonable) adults. Each one of us can help in our own way -- but what can we do? I hear the stress hormone levels rise like a disturbing tide-- Buy less -- walk wherever we can -- take lunch in a bag -- clean up the riversides. “But Mom, the other kids are gonna get things and play -- so are you, really healthy lunch and a beautiful healthy river to swim in without fear of 'floating foreign matter'...

So, you're not convinced yet? The work is too intense, the argument too intimate, it challenges your values, your habits, your spending traditions? Worry not, Mothers are well placed in the care system, they are idea changers, cooks and engineers, they can do wonders from the ground to the sky. Watch the effect of each action for one single week, preferably wordlessly. Then quietly introduce simpler foods along with the usual fare, like greens on the pizza, broccoli in the pasta, onions everywhere. Simpler cleaning methods are an easy area to implement on, replace toxic cleaners with green products, and next go hard core with vinegar and baking soda to shine everything from windows to baths. As the doors close against the cold in your hemisphere, warn the family against indoor pollution, add a sweater and lower the thermostat by 2 degrees as a game plan to save for that renewable energy of the future.

Let no one deter you from having a successful season, make it known that no matter the dire economy, you are going to put forth the best dinners and parties possible. Squirrel away some nuts and goodies to cheer the hungry hordes. Save all the shiny paper you can to impress the natives with impromptu decor--and use all that spare imagination to make a personalized fest of your very own. Emphasis on personalized this year. What a great opportunity to come home to values which have been buried under escalating commercialism.

Happy selves to you, empowered with the comfort and intimacy of simpler days. Yes, yes, i know, it's the beginning of that year, wrap it up in elegant resolve to make it with -- just love and lots of it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review of a play by Rob Plath: We' re No Butchers.


If a review is a dissective process of a literary work, the play “We' re No Butchers” by Rob Plath needs a radical vivisection. The critical eye can peer straight into the guts of the antagonist and into the mind of the hapless protagonist as they struggle through typical family dilemma. The use of plain language pulls the blinds of social intimacy. Plath becomes master of chaos.

Though the cover of the book spells dark and foreboding scenes, it is not the connotation of the skull artworks on smooth black background which influences the reader's perception. Neither does the sketch of a human skull atop of a canine one on the back page essential to the plot. But; the underdog does come out from the couch cushions to point at the ills of interactions.. Is it the title which draws the reader to the desperate context of this piece? No, it is the poignancy of the dialogue throughout the ten scenes.

While the subjects move from movies to Papal death, the temperature of conversation only cools down between bites of ribs and wings. The palpable details of table hierarchy demonstrate placement within family ethics... “let him grate his own cheese—he may be a faggot but he's not a boy” . No phrase stands out above the din of discord. No thread unravels the strangling fabric of family life in this tightly written text.

The play begins on a Sunday morning; older man smokes, younger one engages in argumentative insults which set the scene for an accurate portraiture of a stratum of America many are aware of but may not wish to visit live...This could be Poland or Greenland, human relations vary little across the socio-economic spectrum. The cultural specifics act as a mat of understated sarcasm under the feet of the players.

Few who have lived through the constrictions of crowded life can honestly describe the active participation of all individuals involved. Narrow walls bounce emotions and reverberate inadequacies in painful distortion; the psychology of idleness exacerbates perceived gender ranking. Enter Butch who becomes irate the instant he believes anything challenges his intellectual standing and privilege table to cable.

Then Dante must adjust his honesty to adapt to new surroundings, he dances around inane issues without losing balance, unless chemistry plays a trick on truth; best not to drink and talk, not healthy!Ah but Mia: dutiful Mama plays her role to perfection. She could explain the rise of obesity to any cardiologist, and pull rank on a social case-worker if need be. She knows her place and maintains it. Mia hangs dearly onto small romantic icons and larger religious ideals as she brews the daily stew..

It is easy to picture Otto in a white T-shirt stretched over excess. His skewed paranoia mimics concern over health and wealth in disproportionate examples. Salt and butter logic overcome rigid conservatism. He and the rest of the world may never budge from the sixties plateau..a veritable sitcom tableau in a single act. Most disconcerting is the collusion to block off care for the living, in word and deed.

These four characters smell ordinary yet breathe universal..Blame makes the rounds to land upon the designated scapegoat. Values arrange themselves about a broken Norman Rockwell knick-knack or the evening news. Moods swing unpredictably predictable in a bar scene. Good times dilute effect long enough to drive the play into its downward spiral. And the last act is achieved at a cost to re-establish status Quo. Welding joints to cement their common strength, feeding each other' s myths and hang ups as relief.

Pack mentality revealed, the kennel behavior of the Alpha group shows the dominant male and the intricacies of the balancing act of the coddling female determined to nurse their illusions to the inevitable conclusion. The caring party once more a renegade always outside the tribe, outnumbered.

Man, the animal will often forgo liberty to protect gain. Solidly entrenched in static holdings, the inflexible party will create chaos rather than lose whatever he identifies it a ceramic angel or a certain song. Vying for position in the family nucleus is a dangerous sport with frigid rules. No matter the face or name on the T-shirt, the strength of the unit is what matters the most afterall, OR is it?.

Rob Plath has been widely published , he now lives in New York..with a cat named Daisy.