Category Archives: Viva!

The Cycle of Motherhood | Dorinda Duclos – Night Owl Poetry

A baby cries in the night

A hand gently touches her

A mother’s soothing voice

Comforting, wiping away the tears

A child cries in the night

A mother’s soothing voice

Quieting the nightmare

Comforting, chasing away the fears

A woman cries in the night

Her mother’s soothing voice

Calming and reassuring

Comforting, holding her near

A baby cries in the night

A mother’s soothing voice

A grandmother’s loving touch

As the cycle begins again

via The Cycle of Motherhood | Dorinda Duclos – Night Owl Poetry.

Reaching the Most Vulnerable Survivors of Afghanistan’s Deadly Landslide

Zulfia leads one of those families. She is living now with her five children under a tent distributed by Concern, all of them dressed in the same clothes they were wearing on the day she lost her husband in the landslides. She also lost all her household items and animals.

Jamila, 13, is another. She lost her father a few years ago, and her mother in the landslides. She managed to rescue her four sisters and two brothers. “I am the eldest one in my family now,” she says. “What should I do with my brothers and sisters? How should I look after them?”

via Reaching the Most Vulnerable Survivors of Afghanistan’s Deadly Landslide.

Jeremy Clarkson and Ukip are not mavericks, but the bullying face of the establishment | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | The Guardian

What is asked of Clarkson and his posse is no more than we ask of primary-school pupils. Don’t name-call. Respect difference. I don’t pretend all sorts of stuff doesn’t happen outside the classroom, but it is not a bad ideal. Even small children know which discourses are legitimised by the grownups.

Clarkson and the grownup schoolboys know also that every shocking remark is shrapnel. It scatters and wounds multiple targets. If you can say nasty stuff about gay people, then why not about black people? Once you voice the idea that women ask for rape and can’t have careers, the next stage is to get rid of naggy old human rights because women don’t count as human anyway.

We have not been conned by Europe, feminism, political correctness or even bloody wind farms. The biggest con of all is that this coalition of “mavericks” is not seen for what it is. The establishment: in bullying, red-faced self-pitying mode. This is the rich and powerful deriding the powerless while pretending to be heroic victims. It is a revolting, sweaty lie. Let them slap each other’s back into oblivion. Decent blokes do not monetise their ability to pick on those weaker than them, never mind make entire careers out if it.

via Jeremy Clarkson and Ukip are not mavericks, but the bullying face of the establishment | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Lebanese women ‘run forward’ for their rights in Beirut marathon | WNN – Women News Network

This is the second year the women’s marathon has taken place in Beirut. Image: Al Arabiya

Crowds lined the streets of Beirut as a women’s marathon snaked its way through the city this week.

Women from all walks of life – the handicapped, the young and the elderly – participated in the event aimed at empowering women through sports and geared towards reminding women that health is vital.

A number of men also joined in the campaign which ran under the slogan “Run forward, there is no going back” . . .

via Lebanese women ‘run forward’ for their rights in Beirut marathon | WNN – Women News Network.

Moroccan desert spider flees predators in 6.6 ft back flips | Green Prophet

Ever seen a spider do back flips? If you have arachnophobia, you might not want to, but for everyone else, the spinning Cebrennus rechenbergi desert spider in Morocco is quite a sight.

When it feels especially threatened and unable to resolve that threat by any other means, the recently discovered spider from Morocco’s Erg Chebbi desert will flee from its predator in soaring flipping motions.

via Moroccan desert spider flees predators in 6.6 ft back flips | Green Prophet.

Watch a video of a woman getting an abortion

These days, when you can find YouTube videos of someone doing just about everything you can imagine (and some things that you’d rather not), it’s a testament to the deep stigma that remains around abortion that Letts’ video is such an anomaly. Many thanks to her for putting her story out there and helping to fight it.

via Watch a video of a woman getting an abortion.

U.S. Religious Progressivism “Way of the Future” – Inter Press Service

“Nuns on the Bus” take their campaign around the country in 2012 lobbying for social justice reforms. Credit: Tvnewsbadge/cc by 2.0

WASHINGTON, May 2 2014 (IPS) – The future of religion in U.S. politics lies not with conservatives but rather with religious progressives, social scientists here are suggesting, with a faith-based movement potentially able to provide momentum to a new movement for social justice.

According to a new report from the Brookings Institute, a think tank here, the current religious social justice movement can be compared to the period of civil rights activism in the mid-20th century.

via U.S. Religious Progressivism “Way of the Future” – Inter Press Service.

How Al Feldstein’s Mad Magazine Helped Shape Modern Comedy – The Wire

What? Me Worry?

(RIP – totally shaped my worldview for irony and spin from those in “power.”)

Al Feldstein, the leader and brains behind Mad magazine during its pop culture heyday, died on Tuesday at the age of 88. Though Mad peaked long ago, its impact on the comedians of the Boomer generation and beyond remains powerful.

AP Photo/Jerry Mosey

Feldstein was editor from 1956-85, during which time he moved Mad from an obscure comic book into a sarcastic, irreverent satire machine. Under Feldstein, the “usual gang of idiots” brought into the fold Mad staples like Alfred E. Neuman’s gap-toothed grin, Spy v. Spy, Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions, and … actual folds.

via How Al Feldstein’s Mad Magazine Helped Shape Modern Comedy – The Wire.

First Nations Film & Video Festival Returns for Spring in Chicago

Ma

y 2, 2014 – The first day of the festival will be a daylong event at two sites, the downtown “Loop” and the historic Uptown neighborhood, and two feature length films. Beginning the day at the Illinois State Museum, there will be an afternoon series of short films and a screening of “The Cherokee Word for Water” in the Chicago Gallery.  ”The Cherokee Word for Water” chronicles the journey of Wilma Mankiller to become Chief of the Cherokee Nation and how the Cherokee people used traditional Native values to work together to solve a problem, the Bell Waterline Project.

via First Nations Film & Video Festival Returns for Spring in Chicago.