Monday, May 29, 2006

Mel Gibson vs. Dan Brown

Now Mel Gibson, the foremost authority on matters of Christian belief (yeah right,) has criticized Da Vinci Code for disparaging his beliefs. He has a lot of room to talk. What did his movie, The Passion of Christ, do if not tell a version of Christianity that is different from the beliefs of other Christian denominations, let alone all the Non-Christian religions.
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Something else is going on here. This big debate about Da Vinci Code is a smoke screen.
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First of all, lets get clear on the basics of this issue. It's RIDICULOUS to criticize fiction stories for not being true to a religious belief system. There are billions of books and stories that make-up all sorts of unreal, imaginary "facts," not only creating imaginary worlds and imaginary people, but imaginary belief systems, governments, and all the details thereof. Just because they LEAVE OUT or DO NOT INCLUDE a particular church and its beliefs, does not mean they are ANTI- or PRO-anything in the "real" world. That's like comparing lemons and plums.
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The something else that is going on here, is the disintegration of basic rights that the American Constitution declared to be the basis of our form of government--democracy--and the freedoms that the developers of the constitution wanted to preserve for a nation of individual people. Even if they meant only free, rich, white men--we have these rights and freedoms written down and can and shold apply them to every citizen in the country and extend these rights to other citizens of other countries as a vaule and ideal we believe in.
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I won"t even dip into the trashing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights by the current administration. That's way off the fear-factor and rage-inducing chart as a topic for me right now.
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The 1st Amendment of the Constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
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Oh, my mistake. I see that it does not insist individual citizens and other groups beside the government are prevented from prohibiting freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and establishment of religion.

The government can't make any laws like that, but every person with a voice can speak up. And after they do, it's okay to prevent everyone one else from doing the same. Oh, of course. Freedom for YOU but not for ME.
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Mel Gibson can make a movie about a controversial belief and sell it to the world, but no one else can make a movie about religion. Obviously, they have to check with Mel first to see if it fits in with his ideas. (I'll have to email him when I write my next hot romance story and see Mel thinks my characters are religious enough, and if he approves. HA, that'll be the day.)

Anyway, keeping this argument going--comparing apples to oranges--i.e., "Is Da Vinci Code blasphemous?" just keeps the citizens distracted while the real battle is overlooked.
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The real battle is, do people still have the right to WRITE what they want? Newspapers and books, including FICTION without fear of reprisals?
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Do people have the right to BELIEVE what they want about God and religion??? Or DISBELIEVE what they want about God and religion???!??!! Or are we on the verge, here, of having only ONE version of an idea stuffed down our throats and every OTHER IDEA prohibited? It doesn't matter what that one idea is, if NO ONE is allowed to think for themselves.
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Do people have the freedom to read, watch, and/or write without fear of reprisals and recrimination? (I am not advocating breaking real laws here, okay?)
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And what about fear? Do we have to be subjected to stronger and stronger propaganda and manipulated into feeling fear from everything under the sun, that is, until we turn to the government to save us from terror--a terror they created in our minds and hearts for just such a purpose?
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Eroding our freedoms starts little --bit by bit-- so watch out for those agreeable, patriotic Americans that are willing to be strip-searched and forbidden prevented from carrying fingernail clippers and cigarette lighters when they fly on planes, just so they can be "secure" from terrorists. And God-fobid another set of terroritsts try to hijack a plane? What will the honest citizens use to stop them forcefully? Plastic cups and spoons?)
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Do they not see that the people requiring these types of searches are implying that YOU yourself are a suspect? Assume that you are willing to give up a little freedom (and then a little more, and a little more) until the "saviors" like the government are not only in charge of your feelings, thoughts, shoes, and luggage but every little thing that everyone does or tries to do in this country? (Read the last part of the 1st amendment--freedom to redress the government for grievances. So we'd better speak up now, before that goes away.)
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Are we going to continue to allow the chipping away at the freedoms that our founding statesmen wrote into our form of government? Are we gonna keep putting up and shutting up?
Are we going to keep looking the other way while this continues to happen? Are we going to get lost in the smoke screens and not even notice this is happening?
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Why?
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Of course, we're now going to get into the debilitating debate over the fact that this is really happening or not. But by the time we know it IS, it'll be too late. And it won't be any fun saying "I told you so" mainly because the freedom of speech and press to say such things will be GONE as well as our rights to protest unjust practices.
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Let's be clear here. I do not mean forcefully, I do not mean illegally. I mean resistance using every legal and constitutional means available to us.
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Are we going to wake up someday and see that the only book and movie available to buy, read, watch and/or write is how great the current family-in-power is and how wonderful the big oil, big medical, big pharmaceutical corporations, big-whatevers are in the way they are "helping" the common man? (For an enormous profit, of couse.)
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I liked that bumper sticker I saw one time:
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If you aren't mad as hell, you aren't paying attention.
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I am not going to criticize writers and film makers for producing controversial, off-beat, strange, and bad art. They have the right to do that. Sometimes bad art is good.
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Personally, I am going to go out and buy another copy of Da Vinci Code and go to see the movie again, and buy the video when it comes out because I want to vote with my spending dollar for freedom of expression and freedom of entertainment.
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And hell will be frozen solid before I ever watch a Mel Gibson movie again, even if it has Tom Hanks in it, and even if it's the only thing on the television on every channel. He can make as many movies he wants on any subject, but I exercise my freedom to not have to watch them if I don't want to.
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In fact, I defend his right to make whatever stories he wants into movies.
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But I will NOT defend his right to take that right away from everyone other writer/director/producer/person.
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In writing this, I feel I'm exercising my constitutional freedom as guaranteed by the constitution. You don't have to agree with me to give me that right. You have all these rights, too.
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Use 'em or lose 'em.
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Monday, May 22, 2006

Da Vinci Code

Thanks to all my friends who praised me for this post.
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There is another point too that people are overlooking. The Da Vinci painting of the Last Supper was not a snapshot. Da Vinic wasn't really there. His rendition of the last supper was his own imaginary painting in his free expression of his art.
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_______________________.

My original post below. See my most recent one for further updates. Thanks.
_____________________________________________________
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My friend Cheri took a poetry class and told me about a poem sequence called a Fibonacci...it's called "A fib" and based on the Fibonacci number sequence seen in nature and miminicked in art and architecture, music, etc.

It is done in the sequence of 0-1-1-2-3-5-8-13, etc. (Supposed to be syllables per line not words, which is more difficult. See PS below.)

So here is my Fibonacci for today


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I
went
to see
Da Vinci Code
So now I'm a heretic
And I guess Christianity is in big trouble.
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I don't get the uproar over a movie/book/story that's supposed to be fiction!!!!
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(It's not like they are jumping on people and sucking the blood out of their necks...oops, Wes Craven did that. His Dracula 2000 (Yay, Gerry Butler) was supposed to be (warning -- spoiler) Judas Iscariot who couldn't die because of his sin of betraying Christ a few millennia ago. He appeared in America in 2000 and thought sex, drugs and Rock & Roll were "Brilliant." Did the churches boycott that movie? Heck no. And by the way, Jeri Ryan makes a hot vampire!)
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There have been a lot of movies and books that make churches, police, FBI, medical institutions, schools, fraternities, the government, motherhood, you-name-it look bad. So, if it not based on anything real, what is the BIG DEAL???!?!?!?!?
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Since when does a "lie" threaten anything of real worth? (That is, if you label creative fiction as lying--duh, I'm a writer, does that make me a liar when I write?)
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And if by some remote chance a fictitious story were actually found to be true, are you telling me that the truth can hurt your belief system!!???!?!? Yeah, right. "The truth hurts." Why would Christians think the truth could hurt Christianity? And why do they care if people believe lies or anything else different than they preach, for that matter? Do we all have to believe exactly the same thing? (If you say "yes" then explain to me the thousands of Christian sects in the world that don't even agree with each other.)
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Can anybody see the illogic in this Da Vinci Code protest, besides me?
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People and groups of people and institutions like churches can believe what they want...and everyone else can believe what they want, too, AND they can go to any form of entertainment they want--regardless if it is "true" or "false" (is miniature golf a lie if we use smaller clubs and shorter putting greens?)
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People are just looking for things to feel threatened about.
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I think it is high time that churches and governments and other loud-mouthed people stop telling everyone one else what to think, believe, and write about.
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This is still America, right?
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Freedom of speech ring a bell with anyone?
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And don't get me started on Harry Potter. If he is a magician and that makes him evil, what the heck are Siegfried and Roy? Aren't they magicians?
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Good night for now. Love and Smirks, Sandy

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Writing

Hi!!! I've had some new friends and acquaintances interested in my writing, so I thought I would make it easier to find. You can now run ME on the internet and find me!! WhooHoo!! Me, Sandy S--chair--er.
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Anyway, in addition to my anthology of flash fiction ABC 123 which is still available for $10 plus $2 for mailing, see the cover and ordering info in a previous blog.

I still have an anthology still on Fear of Writing e-book site...link to Fear of Writing is on the side bar under my profile and picture.
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My e-book is called Once Upon a Blue Moon, click here ---->
http://www.fearofwriting.com/bookstore.htm#BlueMoon
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Also on www.fearofwriting.com I have a story in the free anthology of the Santa Fe Fear of writing group called The Devil's Darning Needle (an old name for a dragonfly.)

My story is entitled A Thousand Years Ago, the last story in the e-book. Get a free download and see how great e-books are!!! Click here-----> http://www.fearofwriting.com/bookstore.htm#DevilsDarningNeedle
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And, I am breaking into the romance field and have an e-book coming out in Aug. on Silk's Vault under my pen name. It's a spicy romance which isn't everyone's cup of tea, in fact, you have to be over 18 to access the site. But it's entitled Forever Marian.
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For your reading pleasure, I thought I would add one of my flash fiction stories here for you to read. Enjoy!!!!
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Read an Excerpt from ABC 123: Five Rainy Weeks by Sandy Schairer

“My lord,” I muttered. I’d never seen Reverend Kirby cry before. Except at a funeral. And that was his own mother’s funeral. “Reverend, are you okay?”
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Rev. Kirby, the new minister in Webster, Iowa, swing around, swiping his eyes with a Kleenex. “Oh, Miriam,” he groaned.
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I’m church secretary. Been here longer than Rev. Kirby’d been alive. I raised my brows in a "Yes?” gesture.
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“I feel so terrible. It’s this rain. It just goes on. And on. And on. It’s my fault. I feel so guilty for praying for rain last Spring.” His voice cracked with a suppressed sob. “What’s it been? A month. Two months!? If I were Noah, I would have been instructed to build an ark by now.”
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It’d been raining day after dreary day for weeks. People all over town’d been falling victim to SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder--the depression caused by clouds and wet and dark. I could barely stave it off myself.
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The Reverend was barely keeping up with the prayer list and visiting the sick and crazy, until today, when he cracked.
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I put his rain hat on his head, his raincoat around his shoulders. It was still wet from when he’d come to the office this dark, dank Wednesday morning. I lead him to my car under my umbrella and drove him home.
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I knocked on the door out of deference to his wife, Mrs. Reverend Kirby, Reba. Rebecca really. She answered the bell with what I can’t help but describe as a delighted yelp.
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“Hi! Walter! And Mrs. Bellamy! Come in, come in. What are you doing here?” she demanded with relish.
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“I live here, Reba,” Rev. Kirby said flatly as if it were a stupid question. He sounded on the verge of tears again.
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“Oh, what’s the matter?” Mrs. Kirby fairly sang. She was grinning, laughing, dancing around (or was it staggering?) Trying not to spill the martini she held in her right hand or drop the cigarette in her left.
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I blinked, kept silent, and backed out the door. I’d let the Kirby’s handle this. I went back to my car in the rain, drove back to the church on deserted streets. Nary a car on the streets but mine. Roads were flooded, nearly impassable. So were yards and fields. Soggy cattle watched me drive-by as if it were all my fault.
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Once in the church office I turned on every light, lamp, and overhead florescent I could find. Even the broken lamps that were stuck in the closet without shades, the ones that still had bulbs.
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The phone rang again and again. I made a list of prayer requests for the Reverend. During a short lull in the calls, I placed a call to my psychic advisor. As I suspected, she predicted more rain in the near future. I thanked her (though God knows why) and hung up.
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I then placed a call to the weatherman at Channel 13. I begged him to report a clearing in the next few days or at least a let-up. He reminded me he didn’t make the weather, he merely reported it. With a long sigh, he hung up before I could explain how even an incorrect weather report would cheer people if only for a few days. Heck.
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I saw then I had no choice, I had to call Beulah my psychic advisor again. I promised her the moon if she’d only cast a spell to stop this damnable rain. The town was out of control. Schools were closed. Sheep were up to their necks in water. For all I knew their wool was shrunken beyond hope. The cows were more than knee deep in water. Even Rev. Kirby was crying. Please could she do something? Please? Change the clouds into spun sugar, or the rain drops to frogs, for gosh sakes? I’d take out a bank loan to pay her, just name her price. I’d even rob the bank to pay her, I’d be that grateful.
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She said, “Forget it,” and promised to do something. I could hear a strange grin in her voice. That night there was a thunderstorm complete with lightening. And three tornados. The next day the governor called for complete evacuation.
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Oh well, mysterious ways and all.
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Meet the Author: Sandy Schairer started writing at age five when she had to ask her Grandma how to spell all the words. She’s a member of SouthWest Writers, The Land of Enchantment Romance Authors, and the Association for Research and Enlightenment. Sandy won the SWW Parris Award in 2004. She received her Ph.D. in Metaphysics in April of 2005 from American Institute of Holistic Theology. She lives in the east mountains near Albuquerque with her husband of 17-years, Ed-the-Woodworker—Custom Cabinets and Fine Furnishings.
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Love and Hugs, Sandy : )







Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fine Furnishings by Ed Schairer

Fine Furnishings and Custom Cabinets, Tijeras, NM
About Ed Schairer
Ed Schairer started in the woodworking business 35 years ago doing craft shows around the southwest offering smaller items such as handheld and wall mirrors. His woodworking talents developed gradually as he began to move into custom designed fine furniture and cabinets. His company, Fine Furnishings and Custom Cabinets, is known all over the state of New Mexico as well as major commercial clients in NM and other states. He works out of a shop in the mountains east of Albuquerque.
Ed is skilled in every phase of furniture manufacture from designing, handcrafting, and machine building-everything from complete home interiors to commercial display fixtures and lighted cases. He uses a variety of woods, veneers, finishes, and hardware for a one-of-a-kind professional look. Ed consults with potential clients in person and guarantees satisfaction of the finished product. His specialty is built-ins that blend with your d├ęcor and lifestyle at affordable prices.
Picture is of Ed at the recent Albuquerque the Magazine openhouse with the conference table he designed and built for the magazine.
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He is my honey for over 18-years of happy married life!!!
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Love and Hugs, Sandy
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Ed's son works with him in the woodworking business.
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See www.schairercustomwood.com for more information and pictures