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INSIDE: The Most Effective And The Most Humane “Weapon” In Our Arsenal; Easter, Earth Day And Our Prayers For Fukushima; Good News; Not So Good News; Today’s News From Our Sources; Rusty’s Infamous Uncle Seamus; For Your Consideration; Our World, Unabridged: Earth/Climate Change, Space, Technology; The Green Beat; Health; Community, Home & Lifestyle; Funzone: Best of the Net; Travel; Masha & the Bear, Sissel, Wrath of the Testament; Rocky the Rocket, All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us
THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND THE MOST HUMANE “WEAPON” IN OUR ARSENAL
By Olya Bereza: Associate Editor
Quite interesting times in Ukraine as on last Friday an epic Presidential debate took place. For the first time in our history at Olympic Stadium Comedian faces president in Ukrainian pre-election stadium debate
Already on Sunday the final round of elections will take place and as in a democratic country citizens are free to choose the candidate with whom they empathize most.
Still, for some people, words like “comedian” and “clown” carry a negative connotation. However, the Athenian democracy of ancient Greece was influenced by political satire. It would seem then, that even as a young democracy, we here in Ukraine naturally and unintentionally followed the original template.
A subgenre of comedy, satire has a long history. A great example of its importance was described by Matthew Hodgart in his work “Satire“. He noted that when going to war, the ancient Arabs would send a satirist from both sides into battle to see which satirist could be the cleverer. The morale of two armies would be determined by the skill of their satirists, and occasionally a humiliated army would simply give up and retreat. Not a bad solution for a conflict, indeed.
Its power to serve as a medium of social influence should never be underestimated. More importantly, it should never be abused. Edgar Johnson in his “The Anatomy of Satire” writes, “If we ever become civilized, it will probably be satire almost as much as poetry that will have accomplished it”.
The elections in Ukraine unexpectedly have shown how powerful satire still is in inspiring reform and positive change. This genre is uniquely human among all creatures great and small. IT simply does not exist out of human society and is the result of human activity.
Despite satire being a double-edged literary sword, it is also a gift to humankind. It allows us to see ourselves not in a mirror which knows better than to always be honest, but instead as a fellow adventurers visiting a strange civilization along with, say, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver.
Laughter is good when it comes from seeing something that reminds us of us. In the long crusade against corruption, hypocrisy and inhumanity in general, that double-edged sword of satire is the most effective and the most humane “weapon” in our arsenal.
This time I have chosen the picture for the column from old times when I joined an amateur theater. From my own experience, it an indescribable feeling of freedom one gets while putting on some clowns make-up.
Northstar columnist and associate editor Olya Bereza was born in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ukraine. Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, she is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management. For comments, please go here.
EASTER, EARTH DAY AND OUR PRAYERS FOR FUKUSHIMA
By Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller: Editor
Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea. We received an update on a local disabled man who was mugged outside a popular supermarket here. He’s doing much better now and thanks all for the prayers and best wishes which have made his recovery possible. I know that some of you were among them so “finest kind,” guys and our personal gratitude. We may not have the biggest circulation on the Net but we’ve got one of the classiest.
We would also like to wish our Christian readers a Happy Easter and to remind all of you that Monday, April 21st is Earth Day, The former celebrates both the life, death and resurrection of one of the most extraordinary human beings ever born. The latter is a global celebration of all life, including us, on the planet. Both, in my mind, are worth observing.
Our prayers go out to our brothers and sisters across the Pacific Ocean as those of them in Fukushima, Japan Begin Removal Of Nuclear Fuel From Damaged Reactor We must, of personal necessity, hope that this venerable islands nation will continue to devote its efforts to finding alternative energy sources which will not only preclude another Fukushima, but will not evoke memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the latter of whose Ground Zero I have visited.
There is also a statue and simple shrine to Sadako Sasaki that I visit occasionally. She was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. She developed leukemia and at the age of 12, began creating origami cranes. According to an ancient Japanese legend, a thousand origami cranes strung together will grant the creator of those birds one wish.
Unfortunately, and with all due respect, they didn’t work for her. But they inspired the birth of an anti-nuclear ethic which has precluded the use of atomic and/or hydrogen bombs in the 74 years since. In short, only two were ever used and America used both of them.
Those thousand cranes may not have saved Sadako’s life but they have saved the lives of millions of others. If her sacrifice and the sacrifices of those like her are to mean anything at all, please, Almighty God, let this remain so.
NOT SO GOOD NEWS
TODAY’S NEWS FROM OUR SOURCES
Australian Broadcasting Corporation; British Broadcasting Corporation; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Moscow Times; Reuters; Sightline Daily; The Smithsonian Magazine; TIME magazine; US News & World Report
According to Rusty’s infamous Uncle Seamus, when you do someone a favor without asking them first, you’re doing it for yourself, not for them.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
OUR WORLD, UNABRIDGED
This is incredible. Stonehenge: DNA Reveals Origin Of Builders
This week’s “That’s Reassuring Award” goes to Another Asteroid Disintegrates Over Russia
I’d be willing to give this a shot. This Sci-Fi Plan To Beat Rising Seas Could Change The Way We Live – If It Works
EARTH & CLIMATE CHANGE
THE GREEN BEAT
COMMUNITY, FAMILY, GARDEN, HOME AND LIFESTYLE
BEST OF THE NET
Smithsonian Magazine Online. This is one of the most engagingly informative sites I’ve ever visited and it certainly reflects the quality of the brick and mortar museum in Washington, DC. Here’s a sample: What Was The World’s First Currency And More Questions From Our Readers
DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ: This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine. There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.
Meet the global singing sensation Sissel (Cecelia) from Kyrkjebo, a small town in Norway. A clear voiced soprano with a classical background, she has crossed over into gospel and popular with stunning effect. She is also multi-lingual and has recorded in over a dozen languages and dialects. Her looks are as international as her music and when this statuesque Scandinavian takes the stage, she does so modestly, sincerely but with quiet command that comes from the support of every member of the production. She has also collaborated with a number of the finest performers in music today. Hers was, as vell, the voice in the theme of the most recent version of the epic film, Titanic.
For a truly unforgettable experience, we give you, then, Sissel.
A superpower no longer, a resource hungry and repressive America faces a Latin American armada rampaging its west coast and a strong, silent and powerful Canada manning the North Wall. The fires of rebellion burn in the Pacific Northwest and it is into this crucible and forge that the cybernetic patrol boat Testament and her crew of three men and three women are thrust. Individuals of duty and conscience both, when they join the other side, all Hell breaks loose. A rollicking adventure for anyone who loves the sea, a good yarn and characters who spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves. For a $4.00 Kindle Book adventure you will remember for a lifetime, please go here.
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
This needs to happen more often. It’s part of an approach with which I totally agree. Researchers Protect One Of The Grizzly Bear’s Favorite Snacks, The Huckleberry
Here’s a Kodak Moment. Panda Doesn’t Realise She’s Had Twins! | BBC Earth
YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP
ABOUT US: The Northstar Journal reaches an international readership of strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate people like you, who are out there helping make this a better world. We are proud to serve them as an idea, information, and resource platform in that regard. If you would like to help us help them, please go here. No contribution too large or too small. If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you and see you next week. RM/OB