Kingly News

News and views from a strange, continuing journey

Archive for February, 2010

Three-year-old upset over pop star

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I know a lot of people look at this as funny, and I even respect that point of view. As I watched this video, though, I became more and more disturbed. It is disturbing on one level that the family recorded it and put in on YouTube–and, of course, I’m contributing to that in a way by posting a link to it, so I have mixed feelings as well. Are you disturbed by it? Or just tickled?

Here’s what I really want to say, though: I also think there must be hundreds, thousands of young children who happened not to be recorded, but who are equally affected by the strong impact of the powerful images to which they are exposed via television, radio, the Internet, etc. Throughout most of human society, you could only be so close to a person in your immediate vicinity. We know, intellectually, that this person is really a stranger, a projection, but gut level the experience now available via mediated communication is almost indistinguishable from face-to-face interaction.

I realize that a three-year-old doesn’t have much by way of filters, and furthermore that she was already tired and cranky at this point, as the text that accompanies the video makes clear. Still: just because us older folks do a better job of covering how deeply media affect us, does that mean we are any less affected? How much of the stress that seems so pervasive in modern society comes from this simple effect? I read somewhere that, as a typical modern American, I meet more strangers in a week than my grandfather did in a lifetime. Add to that the fact that “meeting” someone via high-definition television can feel just as real as meeting all those strangers, and you get an equation for overload.

Written by Donnell

February 28th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Posted in General

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Newspaper article remains visible

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I started to post this when the article came out, and found myself unable to stop sputtering long enough to do so, still angry over the fact that some waste-of-protein had stolen my daughter’s wheelchair. Today I noticed the article is still available on The Daily Times Web site, so I wanted to link to it again (after having already done so on Facebook once).

Written by Donnell

February 26th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Posted in Hannah

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Cold technology, warm tears

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We are connected to a virtual community of families graced with children with disabilities. Janet stays in touch more than I do with these folks scattered across the globe, most of whom we have never met and yet to whom we feel so connected. She has been telling me for a few weeks now about a family with a disabled boy in the very clear process of dying. They knew it was coming, and yet held out hope, as I guess we all must. The boy died a week or so back.

I’m not revealing names because I don’t want to intrude on their grief. But they were kind enough to add me as a friend on Facebook, and I can’t tell you how wrenching it is to read the timeline of posts, knowing how it turned out and yet finding a part of me hoping that it will somehow turn out differently than it did. People ask what the prognosis is for Hannah, and the reality is that her condition is so rare, no medical database exists to give any realistic idea. It is truly one day at a time.

I cannot read this material without crying, and yet I cannot not read it.

At the risk of invading their privacy, I share with you one post from his mother I keep returning to.

I think I would give every dime I have to just have one more day–not 10, just one is all I would ask for. I would spend it giving him a bath, rubbing warm lotion all over his body, he loved that. Then we would just hang out and listen to music.

Today, she posted this (note: it is not a photo of her son, but a piece that she herself “borrowed” from somewhere else):

If you can’t read it, the text says:

Your little boy cries too much.
My little boy makes no sound.
Your little boy sleeps warm in his crib.
Mine lies cold in the ground.
Your little boy woke up today.
My little boy never will.
Your little boy laughs and plays.
My little boy lays still.
Your little boy makes you proud,
But just as proud am I,
For your little boy will learn to walk;
My little boy can FLY.

May each of us love and treasure each moment that we have with those we love.

Written by Donnell

February 26th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Very, very grateful

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I have three things to share with those interested.

  1. We have heard from health insurance that they will pay for a new wheelchair for Hannah. This will replace the one that was stolen. We think it likely it has something to do with how close she was to needing a new one anyway because of her growth–her new one will actually be adult sized, so it should serve her for a long time (normally, insurance will replace a wheelchair once every five years for an adult). Once again, there are hoops to jump through, but the folks we deal with there seem to genuinely look for ways to help within the scope of the insurance contract rather than seek excuses not to.
  2. A colleague, who shall remain nameless, handed me an envelope last week addressed to Hannah. When I opened it, I found a personal check for a very large amount of money. We are stunned by her generosity, and very grateful on Hannah’s behalf. We made sure she knew about the above news, and she said, “You have another fund for her (her room fund), so use it for that.” All I can say is: Wow. Thank you so much.
  3. Along those same lines, several individuals have made contributions to Hannah’s fund through a link on her own blog page. We’ve written privately to these folks to thank them, as well as to those who offered the use of their wheelchairs and strollers until we could get Hannah’s own wheelchair replaced. We’re very grateful for all of this.

That someone was scummy enough to steal a child’s wheelchair stunned me. That so many people (most of whom do not know us) responded so generously stuns me equally on the other end of whatever spectrum that is. I’m spending a lot of time stunned these days, in fact, which may explain why I walk around looking that way.

Written by Donnell

February 24th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

On the other foot

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I asked my colleague John Sterling for permission to post this information that he sent me in email. He graciously agreed. The following are his words:

Biden: “I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.”  2005
http://www.breitbart.tv/obama-dems-in-2005-51-vote-nuclear-option-is-arrogant-power-grab-against-the-founders-intent/

This video clip is a montage of the most powerful Leaders in Washington today, on record as decrying the  so-called “Nuclear Option”.  I absolutely AGREE with them, as I did when they made these statements in 2005, when Republicans controlled the Senate.  These leaders spoke the truth, and the truth has not changed.  HOWEVER, what HAS changed, is their position of power. NOW (2010) that THEY control both House and Senate (although just barely), they have completely gone 180 degrees, advocating the very thing they so eloquently and passionately resisted just five years ago.

I DON’T CARE WHICH PARTY is in power, as long they are TRUE to the OATH of OFFICE that declares their absolute loyalty to the CONSTITUTION of the United States.  When ANY politician is in breach of that oath, they should be impeached, and then criminally prosecuted, and then denied EVER serving in a public capacity again, EVER!

John Sterling

Written by Donnell

February 24th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Posted in Politics

My downfall

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries: the reason I cannot manage to be a vegetarian. Do you realize these folks initially wanted to just sell really good fries?

Written by Donnell

February 23rd, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Posted in General

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At least I’m high on the poll

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My wife informs me that she heard a poll reported on the radio which indicates most women prefer a man who is hairy, a bit of a geek, and a little overweight, so she is glad to know she is doing OK. I have mixed feelings about this.

Written by Donnell

February 23rd, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Posted in General

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That explains it

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“I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me..” — Dave Barry

Written by Donnell

February 22nd, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Posted in Communication

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