Tag Archives: Bullies

4 Things I’ve Learned from My Media Fast

I wouldn't get too wrapped up in that, kid...

I wouldn’t get too wrapped up in that, kid…

I needed a media fast. I posted it on my Facebook page:

Hey folks, for anyone who might happen to care, I’ve decided to go on a FULL media fast for about a month. As an author in the digital age, I’ve been told I must be “connected.” I’ve created a blog and this FB page, I even go on Twitter and Instagram every so often. Being so connected may be good for me as an author, but with all this exposure to media comes things that are not good for me…as a person.

Because I’m not a faceless name on the internet. After what happened to¬†those nine innocent people in Charleston, I’m exhausted. It was different because of how people reacted to our own history. No other event seems to have brought out so many unsympathetic people. The Chattanooga massacre, the Boston Marathon bombing, Sandy Hook, the Aurora theater shooting, etc…we all seem to grieve collectively for those. But somehow it was different for the AME Nine. And while the hype has died down, articles still crop up and I just flat out need a break.

I need a break from cynicism. I need a break from bullies. I need a break from people who don’t think words matter. I need a break from people who passively censor the ugly parts of southern history, because they don’t want to FEEL. I need a break from selfishness.

Go ahead and respond to my post if you want. Whatever it is you want to say, whether for or against, I won’t respond till I’m ready. God bless.

So now it’s been a month. While I didn’t engage in media viewing or reading, it’s still difficult to wholly avoid. But some positives came from the experience. Sometimes you have have to step out of the forest so you can stop focusing on the trees. ūüôā

1. The Confederate Battle Flag still looks like a symbol of bigotry and oppression.

Especially when it’s a HUGE one flying down the road on the back of an over-sized pick-up. Preoccupied with size much? At least I got a month break from the people who shout “heritage, not hate” or “the Civil War was not about slavery.” They are the mindless drones who have never bothered to read Mississippi’s Declaration of Causes of Secession, among the other Southern States declarations of the time. Apparently, they prefer the fairy-tale version of history which omits¬†lynchings, beatings, and ripping people from families.

*Shakes head sadly*

2. Donald Trump still looks likes a narcissistic bully.

Seriously? Where does this guy stand on actual issues? As of this published post, the only position he talks about on his political website is immigration. So if he becomes president, then American government can completely decay, education can continue to plummet, and our budget can do whatever it wants. But that’s okay, because we’ve eliminated all the illegal immigrants…one way or another.

I know the election is over a year away, but it disturbs me to see how he still has such a strong following. I haven’t yet figured out why people can’t see through him. But I’ve never been able to quite see how the German people couldn’t see through Hitler either.

I wish more people would go on a media fast. Trump’s pot of water is slowly heating up and the frogs are oblivious to their predicament.

3. Hillary Clinton’s comment about how religion needs to change is still foreboding.

Why in the world would she say that? What happened to freedom of religion? Should I prepare to channel my ancestral heritage and plan a pilgrimage to a land where I won’t be told how I should believe in my God? She’s as bad as the news outlets who tell me what I need to think.

Which leads me to my last point…

4. It finally clicked in my head that PBS is likely where I should get my news.

Part of my struggle to see the forest for the trees was caused by the frustration of being told what to think. I hate that. I’m not stupid. I don’t like feeling like a drone. I can draw my own conclusions, thank you very much.

PBS is not glamorous or sensational, so I’m sorry to say I overlooked it in my struggle to draw my own conclusions from biased media. On a smaller scale, I think PBS will help me continue my media fast. No more CNN-or FOX-like hypnotism.


Okay, so the only positive is the thing with PBS. But to me, that’s a big positive. I liked my month of not being fed opinions. A big part of me really doesn’t want to even get back to Facebook, but now that I’ve had a break, I should be able to just skip the things I don’t want to see. That’s an even bigger positive. ūüėÄ

Have you ever had to go on a media fast? Does the tabloid-like setting of our society exhaust you? How do you deal with it? Are you a media drone? How do you deal with being a drone?
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

Meet the Characters of The Stone of Kings – The Reppenhaggans/Christian & Ana

Better shade of greyIn light of¬†the 50 Shades of Grey¬†movie coming out this Saturday, which in my opinion would be better suited for Halloween than Valentine’s (if they had to make it at all), I thought it would be fitting to introduce two of the minor characters from The Stone of Kings. Minor though they are, the Reppenhaggans reflect a major theme of anti-bullying which flows through the book.

And, if you’ll indulge me, they represent a more realistic view of Christian and Ana. And I would sincerely hope that Ana would eventually find courage as Mrs. Reppenhaggan does. As a disclaimer, I’ve never read FSOG and have no desire to. I’ve read enough summaries and excerpts to know that this is too much like some of the abusive relationships I’ve seen within even my own family. I really don’t find it at all sexy or remotely appealing.

What They Look Like

Mr. Reppenhaggan is a strong, burly man who usually leers or sneers. His beautiful wife usually stares at her hands and makes sure that her shirt-sleeves are pulled to her wrists.

Their Part to Play

They make Ardan and Thomas realize how much Hannah means to them. Her beauty has drawn Mr. Reppenhaggan’s interest and he couldn’t care less about the beautiful wife he already has.

Thomas and Ardan are compelled to protect Hannah from Mr. Reppenhaggan. THAT is love and romance.

I’ll say it again: protecting someone from a threat IS true love and romance.

What They Mean to the Story

Whether it’s the people of a country who must stand against tyranny and oppression, or a solitary abused wife who must find the courage to change her situation, victims must find a way an intelligent way¬†to become empowered. Thomas and Ardan help Mrs. Reppenhaggan to realize that her husband’s behavior is unacceptable. She sees that he can be defeated and she is ready to make her own stand.

Their Failings

Mr. Reppenhaggan/Christian is a bully. That’s his failing. Period.

Until she meets Thomas and Ardan, Mrs. Reppenhaggan doesn’t feel as if she can get out of her situation.

Their Strengths

For all his muscle (FSOG: wealth) and attitude (FSOG: hot looks), Mr. Reppenhaggan (Christian) doesn’t have any strength. Unless you count being an example of how NOT to behave to be a strength, then…well, there’s that.

Mrs. Reppenhaggan has the strength to finally see a situation for what it really is. She uses the knowledge to dig deep and stand up for herself. EMPOWERED!

I’d love to hear from you!

Have you been involved in an abusive relationship? If you got out, how did you become empowered? Did you need help? Have you read FSOG and been involved in an abusive relationship? Do you see the book for what it really is? Do you help victims get out of abusive situations? Please share success stories! 

This week’s Wednesday Welcomes dovetails with today’s post. This is totally cool, because I didn’t even plan it! ūüėČ You’ll get a peek at J.J. Nite’s YA Romance, Bruises of the Heart!

Leave a comment

Filed under The Stone of Kings, Writing

How to Deal with a Bully – A Lesson From Uncle Henry

All bullies truly have green skin. But it only shows when they’re in Oz. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Charlie has recently become enamored with The Wizard of Oz. It had been a while since I’d sat down and actually watched it, but I still¬†felt familiar with it mostly because of all the different comparisons people draw from it. The one I usually read about, being a writer, is why a reader doesn’t always need to see the man behind the curtain. In other words, don’t explain everything in your story.¬†Keep the magic.

But then¬†I saw again¬†this funny little scene (I couldn’t find the scene I wanted by itself, so you get the “twista” one too):

In spite of the fact that none of this happened in the book, I just love it! I love the fact that Uncle Henry is face to face with this horrible woman and finds a way to make her look completely silly without even directly insulting her. Letting the gate smack her on the rear just puts the period on the whole thing.

Maybe this scene is not so much about writing, but it ties in with my personal theme as a writer; less irrational hatred and more acceptance.

In a world where people are more likely to shoot you because you were texting during movie previews, I think it would be nice for us all to be reminded to chill out and find a less aggressive way of addressing our beef with others.

Although, I seriously wouldn’t recommend making fun of your bully out-loud. ūüėČ But thinking of the way that they make themselves ridiculous (because most bullies are in some way), can help to keep you from lashing back until the situation can be diffused properly.

Uncle Henry heard his niece’s earlier¬†complaints even though he was busy counting chicks. He knew exactly why¬†Miss Gulch was there. I’m inclined to think that most people today would start yelling and even pull out a gun to chase her off their property. Even Dorothy tells Miss Gulch to go away or she would bite her herself.

I get it. We all get mad at people for one thing or another. But rather go on a tirade,¬†we (emphasis on we here ūüėČ )¬†should try¬†to find some other way to deal with the problem. Some things you just aren’t going to solve no matter how angry you get. Miss Gulch got Toto anyway despite Dorothy’s threat because she had “the law” on her side. But Uncle Henry had the benefit of displaying Miss Gulch’s ridiculous¬†bulling by making her look like the fool she truly was.

I liked Uncle Henry’s style better than Dorothy’s and I hope I can find a way to be more like him. ūüėÄ

Would you respond to Miss Gulch the way Uncle Henry did? Or would you be more like Dorothy? Which one do you prefer?

2 Comments

Filed under Writing