Sunday, January 29, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
He had some not very nice things to say about a particular current politician. And he accused Colbert of being “a man of little imagination.”
And I’m not even going to get into what Colbert did to In the Night Kitchen. Except to say that his copy is now filled with conspicuous little holes, and he has a plastic baggy full of tallywackers.
* * Stephen Colbert's Interview with Maurice Sendak * *
* * Pt. 2 of Stephen Colbert's Interiew with Maurice Sendak * *
* * Uncensored - Maurice Sendak Tribute * *
[Image: "Where The Wild Things Are" graffiti, in Kelsey-Woodlawn, Saskatoon, SK, Canada by Scott Woods-Fehr]
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
David M. Schwartz, in his picture book How Much is a Million? says that if a million kids climbed onto each others shoulders, they would reach higher into the sky than airplanes could fly.
One million cheeseheads…stack them up. That’s how many people think Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin neglected to tell them during his campaign that he was going to tromp on collective bargaining, dump on public workers, and slash Badgercare and school spending while promising to give public money to private schools. He did tell us he was going to kill the high speed train project, and the jobs it would have brought to the state. But I guess some people didn’t believe him.
I’ve always had a backseat interest in politics. But a year ago (11 months, to be exact) I took four days off school without pay to exercise my right to speak out against what I believe to be the tyranny of corporate funding of politicians. People will say the “union bosses” made us do it. But I sat in an MTI meeting for over four hours while teachers debated the pros and cons of continuing the protests. It was agonizing. We voted. No one told us what to do.
However, Scott Walker refused to listen to the hundreds of teachers and state workers who showed up at the Capitol Building. By the next week thousands were marching. Still the governor didn’t listen. Some of the Republican legislators described the protestors as “smelly college students” and “out of state union thugs.” I’m here to tell you that there were people older than me marching, people in wheel chairs and with canes, people with babies and young children, public workers and private sectors people with signs supporting public workers. I hate crowds, but I was inside the capitol building (before they found ways to shut people out) when there were 5,000 people or more, singing and shouting. No one smelled. And I never felt unsafe.
What I find most amazing is that each week the crowds grew larger and more vocal, and yet our governor refused to listen. He kept talking about a mythical “silent majority” that he believed supported him. The weekend that the farmers came to the Square with their tractors, over 100,000 people showed up to support the State Senators who’d left the state in order to stop a vote and to give the people of the State time to think about was in the proposed bill the governor was rushing through in his first weeks in office. The governor refused to listen.
We recalled two Republican legislators over the summer. And kept all of the Democratic ones that were up for recall in office. The governor still refused to listen.
So this fall I helped collect signatures to petition for a recall of Gov. Scott Walker. I wrote an op ed for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel detailing my reasons why. In the print version of the newspaper, they paired my piece with an anti-recall op-ed. That’s fair. Discourse and debate is always good. Over 300 people commented on my essay. A lot of them in childish, mean-spirited ways. But, hey, democracy is messy. I knew what I was getting into when I went public with my opinions.
You need to know that the recall effort – the collection of all those signatures – was truly a grassroots effort. I know. I went to the organizing meeting. I stood on a street corner in the cold and snow with others, collecting signatures on a Saturday morning.
And now the results are in. More than one million people have declared that they want a new election. They want a second chance to vote for someone who will respect democracy and listen to them. Is Scott Walker listening now? Nah. He fled the state. On the day the signatures were delivered to the Government Accountability Board, Gov. Walker was in New York arranging to get more campaign money from corporate bigwigs.
One million people.
That is so awesome. We could climb on each other’s shoulders and reach past the place where planes fly. We can reach toward hope. Maybe then the governor will listen.
[Photo Capitol Protest: Nicole O'Connor/www.nicole-oconnor.com]
[Photo Crowd Protest: ra_hurd/Flickr]
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I blog because writing is just something I have to do. And it’s a way to procrastinate from writing my novels and screenplays, while feeling like I’m doing something legitimate.
I certainly don’t believe I am a great writer, or even a particularly good writer. However, expressing my thoughts via a keyboard is as second nature to me as picking up a book to read when I sit down to use the…ahem…you know what I mean. And yes, it has to be a keyboard. While I will take pen or pencil to paper in a crunch, I do my best internal thinking when my fingers hover over the QWERTY pad. I'm a big believer in the power of journaling. It seems to me that blogging is just another form of journaling--a very public one, however.
Why MadCityWriter? I took that name on several years ago because I thought it was kind of clever, and it’s easy to remember. Mad, of course, is for Madison, which is often nicknamed MadCity, and does have its own sort of bizarre culture. The problem with using my own name is that Peggy Williams is probably one of the most common names in the universe. And, there’s another Peggy Williams (from Madison, if you can believe it) who is a clown. I don’t like clowns. I don’t dislike that Peggy Williams. I just don’t like clowns. [Image: africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Monday, January 16, 2012
My goal with this blog is to entertain, inform, and perhaps even engage you, the reader, as I embark on this new segment of my journey as a writer, a reader, a teacher, and an observer of life.
My life as a writer: I have always been a writer. I worked on my class newpaper in fourth grade, engaged in round robin writing with a group of friends during my middle school years (we were working on the next great Beatles movie!), worked on my highschool newspaper for three years, won a state level essay contest sponsored by the Pepsi Co. my senior year of high school, and enjoyed writing provocative essays for assignments in college.
As a freelancer, I have worked writing corporate and educational videos; I’ve written magazine and newspaper articles; I’ve contributed a vast amount of content to online enterprises such as Suite101.com and Examiner.com; I’ve co-written a dozen screenplays and a couple of plays; and most recently I co-wrote and published a mystery novel. I have also written a children’s novel that I hope to publish soon.
My life as a reader: I tend to enjoy non-fiction more than fiction lately, but I try to read widely, if not prolificly. I love discussions about books, and enjoy listening to authors talk about their books on NPR and other forums.
My life as a teacher: my experience for years and years and years was on the kindergarten/first grade level. I have been both a private/Catholic and public school teacher. I have a B.S. in education from Michigan State University (Go Sparty!) and a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Bucky!) in curriculum & instruction. Most recently I moved out of the classroom and into a position where I provide professional development to teachers while still keeping my hand in testing and providing academic intervention to students one on one.
As a life observer, I probably have no more insight or an interesting life than anyone else. But including this gives me the flexibility to expand my “musings” on this blog. Hopefully you will find my musings worth the read and worth checking back in to see what else I may have to offer.
I’m also open to ideas, so feel free to leave comments, especially if there is something specific you would like me to muse upon; or if you would like to muse upon my musings, please do so.
Mark Twain said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." I guess I'm about to remove all doubt. Wish me luck!