I grew up in a haunted house. It's true, and those who hung out with me know what I'm talking about. Let me tell you about Agnes, the ghost in the guest room. I really don't know why she haunted our house or if she was indeed a little girl. Perhaps, this was just the form the entity manifested as in order to gain my trust. Agnes whispered and moved things, she liked to play tricks when I had friends over. She also communicated with us through our store bought Ouija board. I sometimes think she globbed onto our home because she was attached or rather, attracted by the negative energy: the abuse, depression and illness that hung for years. From the outside our home looked like all the others on the suburban block, but inside it was a lonely place. We were the perfect victims for an evil entity to feed upon. Some might say it was a series of unfortunate circumstances that lead to the events that occurred on Courtland, but what if Agnes was to blame? What if she had a hand in causing sickness, encouraging depression and putting thoughts of suicide in our heads? I shutter to think what if those attempts had been successful? Would we all still be trapped in the house on Courtland? Maybe not all of us, but I know, or rather I felt Agnes wanted me. I'll be forever drawn to that house on Courtland Drive. I'm not certain if it is because of the memories that remain between those walls, or if it is Agnes calling to me to return home. I recently visited the town and drove by the old house. As I slowed the car my eyes immediately shot to the spare room window. The curtains were drawn and I wondered if she was watching, was Agnes still there or had she vanished when we moved on?
Happy Hallows Eve!
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The Yale University fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon new pledge induction chant:
"No means yes!"
"Yes means anal!"
Just good old college fun? Some might argue that silly chants shouldn't be taken seriously and that they really do no harm. So, what's the big deal? Right? Will Carver's response sums up what I'm thinking perfectly.
"The problem isn't that a group of young men yelled something stupid, over and over agian. The problem is that I'm no longer sure we're shocked by people who turn rape and sexual assault into some kind of a joke. It's embarassing for those involved, sure. But the sentiment they expressed is shockingly — and terrifyingly — mainstream"(rhrealitycheck).
If polled, I'm sure most would agree with the statement that no one deserves to be raped. But, do we practice what we preach? After all, it's 2010 and we remain obsessed with the preservation of female virginity - especially among young women. America's abstinence-only-until-marriage is still viewed as the best and superior life choice.
Carver states, "I worry, though, that we've taken the Virgin/Whore dichotomy a step too far... Have we hit a place where any sexually active woman - or any woman who has somehow failed to live up to our bizarre (and bizarrely sexualized) standards of sexual "purity" - is simply a lost cause? She loses her agency. She forfeits her ability to say no — ever again."
Cultural attitudes are a main reason many sexual assaults go unreported. Yeah, but educated people don't think like this, right? They're more evolved. I'm afraid the answer is evident in the above video. In addition, I think Jodi Jacobson's response to the incident supports my concerns with this specific event:
"Rape culture is deeply embedded in U.S. society and has found sympathizers as high up in the political food chain as Senators, Congressmen, and Presidential candidates. It is often tolerated in business. And many of those illustrious leaders of politics and industry come from Ivy League schools like Yale."
So, if we agree that most leaders come from higher learning institutions like (but not limited to) Yale, and in 2010 these same men are marching around campus chanting "no means yes, yes means anal...fucking sluts," outside freshman women's dorms, what should I think? Is this all fun and games? A silly pledge task not to be taken seriously? Surely, these men will change their opinions and sympathies when it comes to rape and sexual assault when they take office, run a business, ect. because their actions as young men shouldn't indicate future character, right?
Please remember 1 in 3 women will be raped. Take a look around at your sister, mother, daughter and wife. Which one will it be? Then, think about that funny chant and silly pledge that means nothing and hurts no one.
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Sometimes great ideas drop from the heavens into my lap. Okay, maybe not 'great' ideas, but nevertheless irresistible and in this case, fell out of my mailbox. Ironically, I just finished reading 'Purple Jesus,' by Ron Cooper when I found this little gem mixed in with my bills and books.
Where is the last place you'd expect to find God?
Apparently, the town I live in has provided the answer to this deeply philosophical question. Yep, this is no joke: Church in a Bar. Here's the pitch: Hold on to your crosses and OMG's, this is a good one.
The Church in a Bar is a safe place to kick the tires of the Christian faith, and be exposed to the message of God's love for you in a unique and comfortable setting for you and your family.
Where: Twin Dragon Sports Bar - downtown Duvall on Hwy 203
When: Kicks off Sunday, Oct. 24th 9:30-10:30 am
Donuts and free Starbucks coffee served. No cover charge!
If you're not rolling on the floor by now I have to wonder what the hell is wrong with you? A bar is a unique setting, although I imagine many a persons have prayed to God over a beer or two, but seriously, I have to question the comfort fit for a family part? The words of Reese Witherspoon from the movie Sweet Home Alabama immediately come to mind, 'You have a baby...in a bar?'
I suppose it's a win-win for some. Where else can you say a God Bless and an Amen! while munching on Chinese food, sipping a beer and cheering on your favorite professional sports team? Praying while watching just might help them win, right? PLUS, no cover charge! What a deal. And, who doesn't love free donuts and coffee? No church basement stuffiness here. Nope, you get a swivel stool, a big screen and a porcelain confessional in the rear next to the storage room.
The crazy thing is most people in my town won't see the hilarity in this or enjoy my poking fun. I imagine the Church in a Bar will be packed with righteous sinners eager to donate to the Christian fund. Heck, next they'll probably hold a kegger and a car wash for Jesus. The drink of choice at this down by the river shin-dig? What else, 'Purple Jesus!' If you're not familiar with this beverage, you need to read the book by Ron Cooper. Guaranteed to bring belly laughs and hometown fun fit for the 'tire family (okay, not the whole family), but if you're the kind who doesn't mind bringing a baby to a bar, then you're probably not too concern with the parental rating system.
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