Sunday, June 04, 2017

Rudely Gesturing Squirrels

I had written this post before the latest terror attack in the UK happened, so I wanted to point out that the whimsical tone isn't exactly syncing with my mood at the moment. To be honest, I don't know if I'm angry or sad. I'd hope it is the latter, but it is difficult as a parent to once again watch young people out living their lives being targeted for violence. I don't know why it makes a difference-murder is murder, but it seems so much crueler directed at people just starting out. I want to try and understand how hopelessness turns to murder, but I can't. I do know it isn't something inherent in an ethnicity, religion, or economic status that persuades people  to carry out these acts-and that's terrifying. We want simple explanations of the sort we get from politicians (which have become all that much simpler in both senses of the word thanks to the limitations of Twitter) so we can be reassured these actions are the behaviour of a cultural and ideological Other, when we know damn well it isn't. I don't know how you reach people that feel so ostracised from society that they're willing to go out in a hail of bullets whether in a high school, a nightclub, a church, an airport, or a concert. I certainly don't know, and based on what I'm reading today, no one else does either. I'd be wary of anyone claiming they do. 

So yes I'm sad, and probably angrier than I'd like to be as I'm trying like everyone else to process the world we're living in. I just finished teaching a unit on 20th Century Tyranny, so it isn't as though I'm blind to the horrors human beings are capable of inflicting on others. No, history is choc-full of people behaving horribly, and I've always been struck by how easy it is to persuade people they were in the right. Perhaps that's our greatest flaw as human beings that we are so susceptible to manipulation and so prone to elective, collective amnesia that we're willing to do it over and over again. We're painfully slow learners. The internet was supposed to bring us all together, but I guess that didn't go to plan. 

Anyway, you don't come here looking for profound insights and that's a good thing too as I don't have any. I'm better at listening, and that's what I've been doing and will continue to do because you learn more when you shut up. I'm no diplomat, but I'm pretty sure you don't make peace by name calling and threats of more violence. If you want people to behave humanely, then you'd best lead by example. If our leaders aren't up to the job, we'll have to do it ourselves. You learned it before you could read, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We might as well give it a try since nothing else seems to be working. 

I'll now return you to the original post.
Yeah I know they only have four fingers but that's clearly an, "Up yours."
I know my squirrels wouldn't behave like that as they're trained and hand fed biscuits. The Blondin family now includes three new babies that have been cautiously approaching me for their treats. I'm a godmother! To celebrate, I went ahead and bought the Irregular Choice Nibbles McNutty shoes, but they didn't really match this outfit, so that's another post.
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Mexican top-Etsy
Shorts-K Mart
Mexican cross-body bag-Thrift World
Vintage Laurel Burch earrings-had 'em since the 80's
Fragrance-Bat Sheba by Judith Muller
Cazal frames-Mum's

 I've found some interesting items in the thrifts lately.
 This Coventry brooch is rather beat-up, but at .98 cents I couldn't leave it.
 This bangle and brooch were also .98 cents.
 This is the Carol Dauplaise necklace I mentioned finding last weekend. I still haven't worn it.
The details are really pretty. It looks quasi-Celtic to me.
 These hats were $3.00 each. The white one has a trio of hatpins that would sell for more than the hat (the two lucite ones anyway).
People ask about my specs on the blog, and in life so I thought I'd give a better look at them. They aren't sunnies, just tinted a bright blue. Originally, they were my mum's, purchased in the late 80's. She had them set with a very dark brown tint. These would have been very strange specs for a 50 year old, suburban white lady in the 80's. Cazal as a brand was made famous in the US by Run DMC. My mum was as far from a rap fan as you could get, so we were a little surprised when she came home with these. My dad was a little surprised when he found out she'd spent something like $500.00 on a pair of frames. I think she knew she was dying, and wanted to splash out on something really nice for herself. I kept the frames for close to 25 years before I finally felt enough time had gone by that it wouldn't be weird for me to wear them. I had them set with my prescription, and went for the blue tint. These are big, heavy specs! By the end of the day the bridge of my nose is numb. Considering mum's lenses were much thicker and heavier than mine, I don't know how she managed to wear them day after day. She was tougher than I realised. 
 The sides are open, which created an odd optical illusion until I became accustomed to them.
The plastic strip at the top keeps them rested gently against my forehead. Compared to other frames, these tend to collect less eyemakeup on the lenses. I don't know if that design feature helps with that. I notice they require less cleaning than other pairs. So that's the story. 

Monday is here again, so we all have an opportunity to start the week afresh. I hope yours goes well. Peace.


Sue said...

Yeah the stuff going on around the world just makes you shake your head, there are no words or anyway to comprehend such behavior. I am thankful to live way down at the bottom of the world and so far so good nothing bad has touched down on our shores. I guess tho it is only a matter of time. On a lighter note, Blondin family has BABIES?? OMG you must take photos. I am very proud of your jewellery haul too!! Take care dear Jennifer and remember not all in the world are bad.

Radostin said...

Thank you for your thoughtful words. Lucky those rude squirrels followed immediately to make me smile. I love that you have a matching bag to go with the blouse. Your entire outfit is so glamorous yet casual looking, just perfect. I am impressed by the glasses, even slightly heavy ones give me headaches (and my prescription is high enough that I put them on before I get out of bed, and only take them off to wash my face). Peace and love to all.

Bibi Maizoon said...

Well, I've listened to about all I can stand from the nitwits in charge on TV. I can't believe the stupid tripe about "THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM IN WESTERN COUNTRIES" I keep hearing. Seriously? NO Western world, Islamic countries would love to have gov'ts that reflect the will of their peoples rather than the puppet gov'ts you install for your benefit. That's what freedom & democracy is, right? That being said, from this side of the world I can say that Islam is going through reforms right now. Whether the Muslim world will choose wahhabism or a more moderate form of Islam remains to be seen. Hard to say since the West keeps covertly supporting wahhabism. At any rate I'd add to Goody's time honored advice of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you- you reap what you sow, western world. You drop the MOAB (in addition to the atrocities in Syria & Yemen) and expect no repercussions? "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye." Matthew 7:5 When I see prayers & moments of silence for moderate Muslims killed by extremists in Kabul, Kashmir, or Pakistan I'll believe the West finally understands the problem. I don't know if it's collective amnesia or intractable stupidity but we can't keep killing our way out of this.
Off of my soapbox now.

Aren't you a summery & bohemian chic?
That Dauplaise necklace looks almost Byzantine in design until you see the Celtic whorls up close.
Those are definitely statement specs, the only kind worth wearing IMHO.
Wishing you all the blessings of the holy month

Melanie Folly Bird said...

We were up early on Sunday, so saw the news reports about the London attacks early on, and I won't lie, I was a little spooked going off to an organised event where there were going to be many, many people gathered. When a van approached us, I did eye it warily. It's such a shame that we have come to think this way.

Congratulations on being a godmother! Andy saw a very young squirrel the other day, hopping through a chain link fence!

That brooch is so pretty and your squirrel top is fantastic!

ThriftyParka said...

Thank you for your post. These are challenging times indeed. On another topic, what a cute squirrel blouse!! I had always assumed squirrels were a uniquely North American animal.

Oh gosh! Love that Carol D. necklace!!!!

Thanks for the close-up of the glasses. Hah! Your mum had great taste...and again, who knew? It's always surprising when we learn these tidbits about our parents.

Thanks again Goody, I truly enjoy reading your blog.

happy thrifting ;)

Vix said...

I saw your top and bag and immediately thought they were Greek as I've had things identical to them. How strange both countries have the same styles.
Anyway, you look ace and your mum's hip hop specs are incredible. I loved that she splashed out on something so insanely glamorous and that you're enjoying them, too.
Yes, it's all crap. People keep saying that festivals are a soft target, thousands of people gathered together, off their guard. Not that it'll stop us, the UK lost far more people to terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s and sadly that was home grown. xxx

Polyester Princess said...

We were all set to go to a flea market on Sunday morning and I was feeling quite happy, when we heard the news about the London attack. Let me tell you that tampered my enthusiasm quite a bit, to put in mildly. In the end, we went ahead (one can one do really?) but my heart wasn't really in it all day. That said, I am a big fan of your squirrel top. I love squirrels, even if they can be cheeky monkeys, and the Blondin babies must be really cute. Great finds: I especially love the Coventry brooch, and the one pictured with the bangle. Your Mum's specs are really special, I love them. I have some of my Mum's specs, but I'm not sure they are "me". xxx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Goody, you are looking so cool! I love the top with the lovely green trim and how beautifully it goes with the Mexican bag. The brooch is magnificent - it looks a heron to me which is a bit of a coincidence as herons have been on both your and Polyester Princess' blogs recently.

The finds are terrific; I loved the little brooch - are the flowers in it made of ribbon? The Dauplaise necklace is a thing of beauty indeed. What a brilliant find! The specs are amazing and I bet your mum would have been tickled pink to know rappers wore them!

As for recent events here it is truly horrible. I think I do understand how people feel they have to act like this, but it does nothing for the perceptions of Muslims here. They have become a new persecuted minority (by some) and I feel it especially as I have a Muslim family member.

It all reminds me of how it felt to be Irish in 1970s during the IRA bombing campaign...

Mim said...

The UK will be fine. We're tough cookies. It's desperately sad that so many people have lost their lives, but most people I know are even more determined to carry on. To carry on going to the places they like, and to carry on being kind and tolerant to all people within their communities. And we like a bit of humour at times of stress :-) Rude gestures seem appropriate. I'm still going to London next month.

Most people are good and kind and decent; it's the ones who aren't who get the attention, but they're a tiny, tiny minority.

Beth Waltz said...

The Dauplaise necklace is a prize; however, I'd snatch up those birdy earrings, given a moment you were busy counting squirrels.

The heirloom glasses story touched a nerve. Many years passed before I reached for the blue pottery bowl used in my clan to make mac-and-cheese (it's ribbed, and ingredients are added counting ribs), and said, "We'll use MY blue bowl."

Once upon a time it was assassins, then Bolshies, then (insert religion) fanatics...fie on them all! May they meet in the hell of their denomination!

Goody said...

When NZ went no nukes, it sent a message to the rest of the world that you aren't out to kill anyone. That does tend to shape a more favourable view of a place.

Thank you.
I knew I'd use that bag eventually.

Saw a tee shirt yesterday for the 4th that read:
"They hate us because they can't be U.S."

Well, no-I really don't think so, but catchy slogans are easier than engaging your brain.

Yep, I'm having a bit of the same wariness about walking too close to the road, but still doing it anyway. I think in Omaha there's a greater risk of gun violence than terrorism, but we still have to get up and go out each day. Car jackings and robberies happen every day but somehow we go about our lives not thinking too much about it. Strange, isn't it?

@Thrifty Parka
Thank you.
Squirrels are surprisingly well traveled-our grey squirrels have now become a menace to the red squirrels native to the UK. They're rodents, and very adaptable ones at that.

In the 70's the similar designs would be taken as evidence that "Spacemen" were responsible for both ancient civilisations! Those books were still floating around when I was doing my anthro degree in the 80's.

There's something very challenging about wearing a relatives specs-as they're such a defining part of someone's look. I can understand your feeling that the frames aren't you.

I've never understood the rush to label all members of a nationality or religion as being ideologically the same after an incident. Lazy reasoning, I suppose.

The flowers are indeed made of ribbon-and it appears to be a handmade project.

That photograph of the man running from the attack, pint in hand really sums it up nicely, doesn't it?

Oh, I LOVE the idea of a mac-and-cheese bowl, and that you finally feel proper ownership of it.