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Monday, August 11, 2008

Lighten's just a movie...

The latest news about the new Ben Stiller movie, Tropic Thunder, is that groups of advocates for the disabled are planning to boycott the film stating that it shows a "negative portrayal of people with intellectual disabilities." Have these people not noticed the overwhelming number of people out there with "intellectual disabilities?" Obviously, not.

Though I think it's really stupid to boycott a film for this reason, I don't begrudge the groups for attempting to do so. It's their form of expression. But there will always be something offensive to someone in any movie, song or book. That's just the nature of human beings. No two people will take the same message away from someone else's form of personal expression. That's just the way things are and we need to ask ourselves if this is really worth the effort of a boycott.

I always wonder, however, if the people who are boycotting something have looked at why they are really against the boycotted item. Will it change anything significant to simply not go see this film? Is the problem not that a movie depicts people in this light, but that there is no funding to address the problems faced by people with disabilities? How does a boycott resolve issues that have absolutely nothing to do with the root issue? They may say that films that show challenged people in such a negative light perpetuate the type of thinking that keeps their support organizations from getting funded. I say, bullshit. What keeps these places from getting funded is a much bigger problem than the perception of the population. I think we all know that, but no one wants to admit it.

My background is in working for non-profit organizations that helped the homeless, substance abusers and even those who were victims of disasters. From my own experience, I know that funding issues seem to be less about how a group is perceived than about who is giving out the money and what their "pet" programs happen to be. Just my opinion, but I believe this to be very true. We still have issues with the stigma related to the various groups of "challenged" individuals, but those can be easily overcome with effective communication. Not just jargon thrown out there to pull at the public's heartstrings, but true communication about where the problems come from, how they impact the rest of society and how we can help to resolve them.

You see, I'm all for advocacy, but when taken to extremes it pretty much damages the cause more than anything. If the people who are advocating for something can't separate things out and wisely choose their battles, then how can they be trusted to work on effectively fixing the problems they are out there fighting for?

Ok, I'm done. I'll put my soapbox back in the closet now. I just wanted to say that I will not be boycotting this film. In fact, I'll probably laugh my ass off while I'm watching it. And it won't mean that I don't care about the problems of the intellectually challenged. It means that I have a sense of humor and am not afraid to see the funny side of even the worst that happens to us.

Until next time...

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It's one of those things that I've never quite been able to overcome. My tendency to put things off until the very last minute is in direct conflict with my sheer disgust in being late or being unprepared. Why then, do I always seem to be putting off doing what I know needs to be done until it becomes a stress building monster that will not let me out of it's grasp?

That's a little dramatic for this early in the morning, isn't it? It really must be the coffee. Friggin' morning blend always does that to me. But seriously, I have noticed this tendency to create within my world a more stressful situation than there really needs to be. I could easily get these things done in plenty of time since I am always...and I do mean always sitting at the computer. There is no excuse for my not getting work done. Other than I find time-suckers to keep myself occupied because for some reason, I don't want to let myself focus on the important stuff.

Even writing this blog today is part of the problem. I'm not scheduled to do a post, however, sometimes, I just need to vent. What I should be doing is working on my program outlines, press releases and other materials for my upcoming discussion events. What I find myself doing is wondering what else I can do to keep from working on those things. Sometimes, I feel that someone should just slap me. I was the same way throughout high school and college. I always waited until the night before a big paper or presentation was due to write the entire thing. I always hated trying to plan out presentations because I never, ever stick to my agenda. I'm always improvising because I just can't do "canned" speeches. Even if I write them. I have to feel somewhat connected to what I am saying or I can't seem to say it. Once I have written it down, only a few hours can pass before the feelings associated with the writing are permanently archived. The mood has passed.

In spite of an overwhelming need to be punctual and to appear as though I have it all together, I am really a very spontaneous person. This is something I didn't realize until lately. I like spur-of-the-moment excursions and unplanned road trips. I want to be able to just get up and go without having a plan. I've lived my whole life the other way, though, and what has it gotten me: acid reflux and a body full of knotted muscles. It makes it really hard to be the fun person I know I can be.

So, what I've been trying to say here, and I'm putting it off until the very last line, of course, is that I really should be working on something else right now.

Until next time...

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm Not Following You... is a networking site that makes little or no sense. I recently logged into my account there after months of inactivity and found that all of a sudden, I was following a bunch of people. I found this odd because I didn't recognize 75% of them. Now, I'm big on social networking, but really, I don't want people thinking that I'm stalking them if I'm really not. I only wish to take credit for those persons whom I stalk intentionally. What fun is stalking someone if you don't really care what they are doing?

In any case, it made me wonder if the people following me are in the same perdicament. Do they mean to follow me? Or are they just stuck doing so because some unknown force has put me on their list? Who knows? Either way, I can't allow myself to be too impressed.

The site seems like a good idea, but it is rather anti-climactic for those of us who like to put a little more into our interactions than using simple one-liners to capture the mood of our day. I think. Sometimes, I do enjoy the simplicity of making one statement and leaving it at that, but usually, I have much more to say. I guess that's why I'm here. I'm supplementing my Twitter use with meaningless blogs and the occasional Facebook post.

Until next time...Status: I'm posting this blog for you to read...right now....really...

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A Little Bit of Mystery: Short Mysteries to Confuse and Amuse

Where I've Been...

Listen to my interview on the Jeffery S. Miller show.

Listen to my interview on Calling All Authors.

Listen to my interview on the Let's Just Talk w/Kathryn Raaker.

Listen to my interview on Radio Free Baxter.

Where I'll Be...

After a short break in the summer, I'll be at the following locations:

8/11/09 Allen Park Public Library, Allen Park, MI 6:30 p.m.

Looking for something entertaining for your library or bookstore patrons? Looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours? Do you love mysteries? Then you need to schedule a Tea & Mystery event for your library or bookstore! The fee is minimal and the presentation is fun and informative! Attendees will be given the chance to win great prizes and share their thoughts about the mystery genre and their favorite mystery writers!

E-mail me today at for details on how to set up your Tea & Mystery event!

Books by Rebecca Benston

Reviews for Rebecca Benston

“You'll find yourself looking forward to more stories from the files of Rona Shively.”

Michelle Shealy, Reviewer for


“Rebecca Benston has written a detective with plenty of suspense…I hope there will be a sequel…”

Annick, Reviewer for Euro-Reviews


“The story is good, the plotting great. Rebecca Benston draws you into the story from the first page. Read the book.”

Lucille P. Robinson, An Alternative Read


“Rebecca Benston’s twists, turns, and descriptions are utterly engaging.”

Tracy, Fallen Angel Reviews


“In The Wash is like a 1930’s film noir detective story that had a modern, edgy twist and a female lead.”

Janet Davies, Once Upon a Romance Reviews


“Under Lock and Key is an enjoyable, fun book! Rona Shively is a delightful character. I loved her off-beat, quirky personality and her outstanding sense of humor.”

Connie Harris,


“Talented author Rebecca Benston shows the reader just how complicated life can get suddenly and how people you thought you knew, aren't who you thought they were.”

Anne K. Edwards,