Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who can talk?

"Animals: they don't talk. Bugs: they don't talk. Insects: they don't talk," Ulysses pronounced between spoonfuls of blueberry yogurt.

"What about fish?" I asked.

"Oh," he answered sternly. "Fish are animals. So I didn't have to say that."

"What about birds? They're animals, I guess," I said, thinking I'd be chastised again for even mentioning them.

"Birds? They can still sing. And whales sing low."

"Yes, that's true."

"Killer whales are evil whales," he added.

A few moments later: "Sometimes aliens come to earth. And dinosaurs" -- he raised his arms above his head -- "They're these gigankik animals."

"Do they talk?"

"Mm-mm,"he responded in the negative.

"What about aliens?"

"Yes. They're animals from out of space. But they can talk. They talk like they're broken. They talk like breakdancers. There are lots of different aliens. Aliens can be good or evil. Aliens can have a plasma gun, only. An alien's favorite rocket ship is a flying saucer. Aliens can be brave."

"When they talk, what do they say?"

"I don't know. Aliens are only in out of space."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

War on Wisconsin

When I brought Ulysses home from the bus stop after school today, Donald was watching the Ed Show. The topic was the Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill: how it would devastates not just Wisconsin workers, but many Wisconsin institutions as well -- the University, the primary schools and more.

The caption along the bottom of the screen read "War on Wisconsin," with an outline of the map of the state.

"War on Wisconsin," Ulysses read. "War on Wisconsin! Hey! That says 'War on Wisconsin!'"

We haven't been talking to him about what's going on with the protests, the attack on teachers' jobs, the attack on unions, the protests at the Capitol and throughout the state. When school was out for a week due to the teach-outs, he decided it was another "Winter break."

Now he looked at the screen, concerned.

"War on Wisconsin," he repeated. "The good guys gotta save Wisconsin."

"That's right," we said.

"They've gotta fight to save the Capitol!"

Maybe I should take him down to the demonstrations after all. I think he would understand better than I thought.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wisconsin demonstration to protect workers' rights

I marched with the James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation and other UUs in this part of Wisconsin as part of what might be the largest demonstration in Wisconsin history.

Please click on the picture above for a better view of the photos and videos in this slideshow, and to read the full captions.

Estimates are 100,000 outdoors and another 4000 inside the Capitol building.

It was a strange combination: such a peaceful environment, yet so much anger being expressed. Good feelings, yet with an intensely somber, sober purpose.

The newly elected governor of the state has set to the task of dismantling the middle class in Wisconsin. The tactic is to pit people against one another. Divide and conquer. Yet a broad range of people come together in this common purpose.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Short Story

Ulysses, at bedtime, offered this bedtime story:

"Once upon a time, the kid was already asleep in the mom's arms. The end."

He paused.

"That's a short story."