No inflamatory, defaming remarks allowed here.


it's okay to be angryA few days ago WordPress notified me that I had a comment from a new commenter that needed to be approved. I have my settings like this so I can make sure the person is real, and I can see what sort of website/blog, etc. they have to know if I can trust them to comment on my blog. While WordPress does a good job catching a lot of spam, sometimes they do get through.

In this particular case, this commenter wrote her comments about a book I reviewed. No biggie, right? Except it was. The few short sentences she wrote were rude, defaming, and inflammatory, and I’m glad I have the power to ‘not approve’ the comment.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with allowing comments on my blog that don’t agree with mine. It certainly allows for conversation and debate, which is always good. But when the comments are nasty, are not focused on particulars of a topic, but more of an attack on someone, that’s where I draw the line. I simply will not allow such hurtful comments on my blog.

I’m wondering who else out there feels the same way I do. I mean, I’m the first to stand up for free speech and allowing people to speak their minds and express themselves and their opinions, but I have a problem with direct insults, bullying, and rudeness, especially on a public forum.

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I wish I understood why there is so much bullying and hateful words floating around out there. What and whom does it serve? I was a ‘victim’ of bullying when I was young, the receiver of hurtful words. Even my own family members have said terribly hurtful things about my weight or my looks in general.  Folks, these words cut, and let me tell you, the verbal wounds last much longer than any physical wound, especially when they are repeated over and over again. I simple can’t and won’t allow my blog to be a vehicle for those with hurtful comments.

I beg everyone to please think before you speak or write, otherwise Karma has a way to come back around a bite you in the butt. No one deserves this sort of stress in their lives. We already have enough to deal with that life dishes out. If you must disagree, please be respectful. Treat others the way you want to be treated.  You’ll go a lot further in life with love and sincerity than anger and hate.

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Bullying Under Attack


How many of us have been bullied during our lifetime?  I know I was to a certain extent.  Always slightly overweight with glasses, I was called many, many  names because of my ‘appearance’.  Even my own brother made horrible, disparaging comments about me to his friends, his schoolmates…even to me.  These words are not easy to cast off.  In fact, I think they have contributed to a lot of my self-esteem issues over the years.  I can’t tell you how many times I was told I was ugly, would never amount to anything, that I was so fat I could tilt a plane on its side if I sat on its wing, and these were the “gentle” comments.  My mom would always repeat the old phrase, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’, but no matter how many times I repeated the mantra, the words did hurt…and they stuck like glue to the very fabric of my soul.

That’s why my heart breaks for our young people now.  The bullying is so much worse than anything I ever had to deal with. The nastiness, the brutality, the fights are publicized on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  There is no place sacred and safe.  And so many of our young people are committing suicide at an alarming rate because of it.

Not too long ago I stumbled upon a book that recently came out called, “Bullying” “Under Attack”, and I think it is a must read for all young people and their parents.  Read it alone.  Read it separately, it doesn’t matter to me, but when done, talk about it with each other.  The horrible, bitter words have to end, and our young people and teens need to know that we as parents are not only aware of the problem, but we are willing to do whatever it takes to stop it.  There is no reason why any more of our youth should be hurt or die from bullying.  It’s time to take a stand, and to do so, we must educate ourselves.  “Bullying” “Under Attack” is a great place to start.   If you’re a teacher, parent, or anyone under the age of 18, please, I beg you, read this book.  Librarians, doctors, pastors – please keep several copies on hand.  Together, we can stop this epidemic.

And if you’re a young person/teen who is being bullied, find someone you can confide in and get the help you need.   Words may hurt, but they don’t have to break your bones or worse still…kill you.  Always remember how beautiful and unique you are.  You are special.  People do love you.

 From the back cover:  WORDS ARE POWERFUL- they can inflict damage and they can heal. In this anthology of first-person accounts written by teenagers for both their peers and adults, words transform pain into hope and the possibility for change.

“Bullying” “Under Attack “is an eye-opening anthology of all three players in the bullying cycle. These conversational essays on life as the bullied, the bully, and the bystander provide insight and inspiration for change. Rather than offer a cumbersome psychological breakdown, this graceful and hard-hitting book places the reader firmly in the shoes of all involved.

The stories written by The Bullied explain the subtleties and agony of harassment, helping readers understand that there is more to unkind words and behavior than “just joking around.” Although many of these teens have suffered through harassment by their peers, their essays are both empowering and inspiring. By exploring the essays by The Bullies, readers will discover that the bullies are often times incorrectly labeled as bad kids, but many are simply trying to fit in, despite their own insecurities and fears. While these bullies may still have their own seemingly insurmountable obstacles at home, they share their experiences and insights hoping to manage and reforming other bullies. The section voiced by The Bystander shares tales of those who have regrettably watched and those who have stepped up to help others. Here, readers will find the inspiration to speak out rather than just standing by while others are emotionally harmed.

Whether due to race, weight, or jealousy, there are a myriad of reasons “WHY.” Included in this startling compendium of personal stories that convey the complexity and nuances of what it means to be bullied, are stories of regret, promises, and encouragement that will help readers find solace during their teen years and show them how as adults their words and actions can provide strength and reassurance to others experiencing all aspects of bullying. Ultimately, they will learn to find their voices in order to break the cycle for good.

ParaNorman – is it really for the 7 – 12 group?


I watched ParaNorman last night.  I’d heard it was a funny movie so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

For those of you who don’t know, the animated movie follows the story of Norman Babcock, a misunderstood boy who is able to speak with the dead.  Because of this strange gift, he is treated like a freak by his family and peers.  One day, he meets a boy at school, Neil, who is also bullied due to his weight. One day in a bathroom stall at school, Norman gets a message from a ghost that he must use his gift and read from a book in order to save the town from the ghost of a powerful witch.  The movie takes him on the journey of finding his true purpose, acceptance of others and forgiveness and learning his own self-worth. So why do I have reservations about younger kids seeing the film?

To start with, there is a lot of bullying.  I understand it is prevalent in our society today and it gives kids something to relate to, but I think it was overdone.

The next thing that bothered me was Norman’s dad.  His reaction to Norman’s abilities was very insensitive, and several of his words were sharp and cut deep.  I understand what the writers were going for, but for a movie aimed at the 7 – 12 year old crowd, I think the writers could have come up with another way to portray Dad’s fears without losing the integrity of the story.  The explanation Norman’s mom gives Norman is simply not enough.  On top of that, I didn’t feel Norman’s dad sufficiently apologized for being a jerk to his son.  I think it’s important to show 7 – 12 year olds that parents aren’t perfect, but they recognize their mistakes and apologize accordingly.  At least they should in the movies.

The last thing that really bothered me was Neil’s older brother.  When we are introduced to the character we see he’s a big dude, lots of muscles.  He’s also about as sharp as a bowling ball.  Of course, Norman’s teen sister gets all googley eyed over him and her antics have some laughable moments.  My problem came at the end of the film when Neil’s brother pretty much announced he was gay.  Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against gay people. I have gay friends.  I do have an issue with this topic being thrown into a  children’s movie.  I felt it was completely inappropriate and tasteless.  Aside from the fact that I have an issue with media outlets exposing young people to alternative lifestyles instead of the kids learning about them from their parents and immediate surroundings, the writers made this gay kid muscle-bound and dumb as an ox.  I have problems with that.

Was I offended by the film?  No.  Would I say don’t let your kids watch the film?  No.  I’m not into telling parents what to do or not to do with their kids.  I do feel parents should be armed when they sit down with their children to watch a film.  Had I had a child 7, 8 or 9 years old and I knew the film had a lot of bullying, angry mobs shooting zombies and a big, dumb lug professing that his boyfriend likes chick flicks, I don’t think I would have let my kids watch the film.   It’s not because I have a phobia.  It’s because I don’t think it’s right for media to promote hidden agendas to unsuspecting parents disguised as animated films for young people.

There are lots of good films for kids and young adults.  Be informed.  Know what your kids are watching.  And don’t be afraid to be a parent and say “No.”  They’ll thank you someday for watching out for them.