There's An Elephant In The Garden Party

sheila(WA7)January 20, 2011

I am rarely here anymore and was coming less and less before I was ever on facebook. I've just read most of the long thread about "GP Traffic" and I didn't come up with any new ideas on how to bring people back or interest new posters. Then I began looking scrolling through the threads that have been posted this year and I think there's an Elephant at the Party.

The Elephant at the Party is January 8, 2011. I may have missed it, and if I did I will more than happy to be corrected, but I didn't find mention of the shooting in Tucson. An horrific event that touched the lives, hearts and mind of everyone. I would have expected to find an entire thread. It seems to me that in our attempt not to say anything too controversial or political we have bent over backwards to say nothing. I'm not suggesting we return to the wild times we had back in the day when people (including myself) were banned, when people were reporting each other - but I am suggesting that it's really okay to talk about events that are of such huge proportion and significance to the entire country. Indeed, I think it's healthy.

It's okay to say the name Gabby Giffords! It's okay to say Christina Green and Judge Roll. It's perfectly okay and appropriate to express our sorrow at the mayhem that occurred on January 8 and to grieve the dead and cheer on the living who struggle to regain their hold on life. We can do all of this without calling names or laying blame. We are all connected by our very humanity.

I think that the Party has been sanitized to the point of resembling not a slice of life, but a slice on Wonder Bread. And that might be part of why people are leaving or coming and finding it bland.

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tibs(5/6 OH)

It was talked to death, bad choice of words, Maybe no one at the party felt they had anything to say that hadn't already been said. I know I don't have any keen insight or more than oh how awful.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 8:26PM
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Hi Shela, long time no see. I've missed your posts. I've tried every which way to reply to you post but I've been blocked by GW. I guess I have to many key words or buzz words for the GW. I put my reply on an html page and the link is below.

Here is a link that might be useful: GP Post

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 9:01PM
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Looks like the congress woman is being released to a recovery clinic tomorrow. That is good news. It is so prevalent on the news sources that we tend to think every one knows it all. Tends to take away our opportunity to rejoice in good news that we need more of.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 9:34PM
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I heard on the news tonight, Don. Amazing to think of that. The doctors and nurses and Congresswoman Giffords herself are extraordinary. A long journey ahead but I feel that this woman will meet the challenge.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 10:20PM
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It's hard to believe you can get shot through the head and recover to almost normalcy but that seems to be what's happening. I don't think this killing rampage is any worse than others that are going on all the time. Polls taken years ago which are still the case show that most children in the Phildelphia school system doubt if they will live to make it to Jr. High. Killing is killing and the pattern is always the same. We get outraged, think we have to point a finger at someone,the media has something to write about and then it's all forgotten until the next grotesque thing happens. Who knows if the vitriol between the left and right had anything to do with this? It could be any number of reasons or combinations of reasons and we'll just pick one that goes along best with our view of life.I grieve more for the children who are being mowed down in the inner cities than politicians who at least know that threats on their lives are a possibility. That in itself is a sad statement. The United States is now the most violent country in the industrialized world when it comes to school shootings and mass shootings,so this is just another example and there will be many more.

When it comes to the GP and it's quietness I think more than anything,people's lives change,they are in a different place and their computer habits change. Years ago it was so much fun for me at least because it was different,exciting and just a whole new ballgame,but that was over 15 years ago.Also,when it comes to current events we are clobbered by the idiot talking heads of the conservative bent,and the idiot talking heads of the liberal view point,we are blogged to death by everyone whether what is being said is true or not,the supposedly regular news agencies via tv and papers are full of what's happening on a daily basis and so what I expect is the case here is that a lot of people are sick to death of all the rhetoric and just want a place to come that isn't full of all this daily drama. I really like talking current issues but know that the minute we do it will get heated and eventually sarcastic and become the same ole same ole. Not talking about issues is boring to me and talking about them all time with all that entails would be just as boring to me. A nice mix would be the optimum thing.Several threads on animals, food and the weather,several threads on current issue and several threads on just what's going on with each of us personally.But you know what,I think no matter what is discussed here,it will never be as it used to be. That is another time and it's long gone. Cripes..this is the longest post I've ever made anywhere.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 9:01AM
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I'm so pleased she seems to have had a miraculous life saving event and may even recover fully. I loved it when they reported she was taking her beloved's ring off of his finger and putting playfully on her's just as she'd done many times before. She's in there and even find ways to come through.

Marda, why don't we talk and worry about the heat later on. A little heat might not be a bad thing. Maybe the composition of the party has changed or some have mellowed? We can but try.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 10:35AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Yes, we were talked/TV'd to boredom about the shooting... but how many of us can name any/all of the other victims?

Isn't medical science a wonder now? I find it equally if not more wonderful when information/details about the methods of rescue/recovery are supplied that could be or are in use locally. Brain damage caused by a sniper's bullet is shocking, but so is brain damage caused by being hit by a driver who thought talking on his/her cell phone was more important than actually paying attention to traffic. My perspective is probably skewed... I'm far more concerned about the effort and expense and suffering of the vehicular victim than I am about the Politcal Personage.

Rob ~ I don't think we've mellowed, but the GP attendees may be a bit quieter and less controversial than at the beginning of this forum. o\Or maybe it's just that we try a bit harder not to step on anyone's toes, which is not mellowing so much as a more often applied courtesy.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 11:38AM
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Marda, we can always count on you to make sense of things. I do think this place has become bland and I also think that as soon as we touch on something of substance there's a strong possibility that it will become contentious. I wish there could be a middle place but you know that it only takes one voice to roil someone up and there we are, having at it. We don't want to go back to that and we don't what else to do.

I loved this place when I found it in 1996. I'd never joined an online forum before--they were pretty new and "social networking" wasn't even a glimmer in Mark Zuckergerg's eye--and the folks here were so welcoming and having such a good time. I have made friends through this forum that I never would even have met without it. But as Marda says, that was then and that time can't be recaptured no matter how much we would like to try.

At the same time, I can never really abandon the GP altogether because it was so important at one time. It's like not wanting to move back to your old home but feeling the need to check it out once in a while.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:48PM
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Too bad the hall monitors ran John off and got Michael banned. We did have some lively conservations. Get rid of the charismatics and conversation goes to pot. Yes, they may have pushed the envelope, but it is/was the synergy provided by just such individuals that make for an interesting place. Even though I may on occasion communicate with them through other ways, it not the same as when we three were together right here.

Miss KathyD's input, too.

More light banter would be nice.

Just stirring said pot.....

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:58PM
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I think you have it right, Marda.

I'm an original member here and I have loved the GP and made friends...some of whom I've met and with others formed bond of real friendship through the internet and online. I have laughed hard at some of things that have gone on in here. And I have been deeply saddened too. And I have witnessed an enormous compassion in here. But is is a different time, a different mix. As Pidge, I can never really abandon the GP altogether.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 2:51PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

I have been here for eons and eons (and more eons), although most of you don't know me. I lurk more than I stick my head out. I am an avid FB fan, but I always check in with the Garden Party just to see how ya'll are doing.

I still think of Janis and her ringing-phone-in-the-bra story whenever I stick my phone in the aforementioned place while I am gardening :) It's safer there than in my pockets!


    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 5:03PM
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For myself, I'm a little sick of all the news, it is certainly a wonder that she lived but she does have a long recovery ahead of her. They say she needs to learn to talk, walk, etc. and that will take time. What I am disgusted with is all the attention given to her! Transfering her today, why all the squads, escorts, etc.? Who is paying for that? And why was it necessary? Is she really that important? Wasn't one ambulance enough? We have heard nothing of the other persons who were shot and I think that is appalling. Isn't one person just as important as another? We have heard nothing about them.I imagine their families are wondering the same. In the President's speech, he named all those who died but not any mention of the other wounded. Shame on the media! Even as a Senator, I don't think her life is any more important than the other victims! There, I said it!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 5:39PM
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posieh, I think the news following her was crucially important and absolutely necessary to allow us all to begin to deal with the reality of an attempted assassination of a member of the United States Congress. I don't care who paid for it--it had to be done.

And there has been mention of the folks who died and actually the president mentioned this issue. Giiffords' life may not be more important than mine in general terms, but what she represents as a public servant does. Attempting to kill a person who represents us as public servants is much more important than who pays for an ambulance.

We must think bigger than we are as individual persons. Yes, I said that, too.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 7:26PM
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Of course Gabby Gifford's life is not more important that the life of anyone else, and I don't suspect anyone thinks that. But she's a member of Congress so she's news. Being shot in the brain and making such progress to recovery instills an unspoken feeling of hope into people too, and not necessarily for her but in an abstract sense - hope is powerful.

I'm with you on the parade to the airport. Way over the top.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 7:27PM
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A couple of my own thoughts to add to the conversation.

1) God bless Daniel Hernandez, the 20-yr-old intern who held the Congresswoman in his lap, stopping what he could of the blood loss, and most likely saving her life in the process. Every once in a while there are people in this world who seem destined to be a turning point, a history-maker, for lack of a better way to describe this young man. A contribution so profound that it almost seems to come from a greater place than this earth. I believe Daniel Hernandez is one of those people. And I believe we have not experienced the last of the great contributions he will make to this world.
2) My friend Hallie lives in Tucson. She and her friend Jim were on their way to the Congress on Your Corner event when they heard about the shootings on the radio. I believe Hallie went home. But Jim continued to the scene. You see, Jim is a professional photographer. He thought his presence might be useful. It turns out that Jim is the one who took that famous photograph of Daniel Hernandez holding Gabby's hand as they head toward the ambulance.

My point? I guess that it really is a small world, sometimes perhaps too small. I can't imagine what it's like to be that close to such horror. I can't imagine what it's like to feel compelled to record it because by a twist of fate, you're the only photographer on the scene. I wonder what the personal aftermath will be for these amazing people, and for the other innocent bystanders?


    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 8:40PM
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From Babylon 5

Sebastian: "How do you know the Chosen Ones? "No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his brother." Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame. For one person, in the dark, where no one will ever know or see. I have been in the service of the Vorlons for centuries, looking for you. Diogenes with his lamp, looking for an honest man willing to die for all the wrong reasons. At last, my job is finished. Yours is just beginning. When the darkness comes, know this: You are the right people, in the right place, at the right time."

Any that choose to serve the public are putting themselves in harms way and deserve the support of us all even though we may not agree with them. We should work toward being a country that can discuss and work for the greater good. That is not the case with our government today. There are too many outside influences with different motives. The victims should all be acknowledged including the victim that is the humanity of our country and government.

Here is a link that might be useful: Babylon 5 Comes the Inquisitor

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 10:57PM
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Gifford's tragic happening represents what could happen to any of us, should we be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think that is one reason that the media gives it soooo much importance. It gives us a focus that we wouldn't have had, if it happened to a Mary Smith in Podunk, ND. She had a NAME and POSITION that meant something.

Now, I do want to gripe about one thing regarding the media coverage. It's the blah-blah-blah about her expected TOTAL recovery. Her COMPLETE healing. Her return to NORMAL functioning. "They" speak of her condition as if this is expected. Don't they understand that she lost part of her brain? It's doubtful that it was all an non-important part. Something will be missing. It may not be something very noticeable, but it will be gone.

Let's hope that she will do the absolute best that she can. It certainly will give us hope that something similar could happened if we were in the same condition.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 1:18PM
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I agree, the media talks too much, but they always do if there is a well known name attached to any news. As far as overdone escort, yes, the police could have stayed away and the city of Tucson would have saved the gas expenses from the hospital to the airport and back. The Veterans Escort did cost the taxpayer zilch, they do it hundreds of times a year for military funerals and often for veteran's funerals too. As far a people lining the streets, I don't think that anybody was ordered to do that and if the people of Tucson decided to honor congresswoman Giffords it was their own choice and non of our business.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 6:17PM
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I guess I'm in the minority in thinking that the police escort to the airport was entirely appropriate. I live in a big city where ambulances are sometimes escorted by police as a safety measure for the person being transported. Giffords deserves all the care we can afford her, so I don't begrudge a few gallons of gas.

As for the people lining the streets and cheering her on, I say go for it. Everybody hopes for at least a partial recovery (you're right on that one, agnespuffin), and what's wrong with cheering her on her way? There is little enough good feeling in this world. If I had lived along the route, I'd probably have given the ambulance a wave myself. There is little enough good will in American culture, and this nice little send-off is hardly worthy of the criticism being leveled at it.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 10:21AM
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Oh Don, I think we two are of the few who really GOT what that show was about. So many perfect moments that for me, at least, said what I feel. Here in the Middle East , we get ridiculous government actions all the time, right now for instance. But last week we (at least 20,000 of us) took to the streets. Assassinations, "targeted killings", all sorts of foolishness. But I keep up with American news -mostly by hanging our here!- and my heart is as always, squarely in the Midwest.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 4:47AM
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