BULLY

Bully reviewI had been putting this movie off for weeks. Yesterday it seemed to be screaming at me so I finally decided to watch it. My resistance was coming from an all too familiar place that I knew this movie was going to take me back to. I pushed play, and after an initial scene where the filmmakers show us the most horrible place where bullying can lead to, the movie continued (or rather began) with a camera inside a school bus while we listened to an incredible school choir version of Wheatus’s song ¨Teenage Dirtbag¨. Powerful stuff from the beginning, especially if you have ever witnessed the horrible difficulties some kids face during that ride to and from school. I always knew that bullying was a very big problem in the United States, and it certainly seems to have gotten out of hand there, but trust me when I tell you this is a global problem. Kids in every school, in almost every country in the world have witnessed the actions and effects of bullying at one time or another. Even here in Spain where for some reason I assumed this matter was under control I’ve heard my share of heart wrenching stories.

Things are probably a lot worse now than when I was a kid. There’s certainly a lot more diversity when it comes to families, traditions, religions, and there’s nothing a bully loves more than a glimpse of something different. If kids are teased simply because of having curly hair, run of the mill clothes or a funny accent, imagine what it’s like for children that are gay, have a physical or mental disability, a different religion, a different skin color. What has always shocked me the most regarding bullying is that the schools, where all of these acts of serious violence are taking place, do little to nothing about it. It took the parents of children lost many years too young due to bullying, to come together with these filmmakers to try to make a difference in their communities. It’s an absolute must see if you’re an educator, a parent or have any kind of position in a school or educational environment.

Bully took me on a very sad bus ride with a few kids, down very sad hallways with others, down a psychiatric prison ward and even inside their safe bedrooms at home. Now, thanks to the internet and texting, there’s simply no safe haven for kids that are being harassed.  Bullying is a serious issue and little has been done about it because school authorities continue to label it as usual ‘boys will be boys’ behavior. Even though girls are no exception, I’m not talking about sex here, this is a violence issue, it is serious and it should be taken as seriously as any other issue involving education. Many parents and teachers who see their kids day in and day out don’t even know that they’re bullying other children the minute they step outside their home or classroom. Many kids who are suffering from bullying say nothing at all.

This was the strongest part of the movie for me. A young boy, who had been severely bullied for years realized that becoming a bully himself was the only solution to his awful situation. If this isn’t an example of the now proven fact that many of the victims of today become the perpetrators of tomorrow, I don’t know what is. Here’s one of the hopeful things that I got from this film, a lot can be done not only by telling someone what is going on, but by standing next to those kids who are quiet, lonely and suffering severe aggravation from others. Many of the parents and classmates of children who committed suicide over bullying have said, that if aside from the bullies, their child had had just one friend or better yet a group of friends, a sense of community, their horrible tragedy could have been avoided. I urge you to watch this film and to not only leave it at that, share it with fellow parents and teachers, sit down with your children and talk to them about these issues. Abuse can come in many shapes and forms and can be where you least expect it. Open the floor for discussion. A school bus, a schoolyard or a classroom should never be a place of fear or pain. It breaks my heart when I see a child suffer and it’s often so hard to end suffering when it’s caused by an adult or parent, but to end it when it’s caused by another child? Shouldn’t that be easy? They are all learning and growing and becoming who they are, that’s why we’re there for right? To explain the difference between what is right and what is wrong? To show by example that differences are a part of life and give the world its color? Why is this issue such a huge and violent problem and why has nothing been done about it?

With a heavy heart I urge you to watch this film. I’d love to know your thoughts on this in the comments below! This is Bully. 

 

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A FARMERS MARKET, MOCHI AND SOUND CITY FILLED SATURDAY

veggie shoppingThat was a mouthful! That’s only because this morning has been FULL of delicious, fun and musical treats. I started the day off by my usual trip to the farmers market and then to our organic health food store where they gave me that cute box with all my goodies. I got so many great things today it was hard to choose which to photograph for you. Aren’t these beauties lovely?veggies

Then I stopped at a new bakery in town which sells the most amazing whole grain croissants and took everything home to make breakfast. They only had two croissants left so I made my favorite mochi recipe and served it with the strawberries I had just bought and a delicious coffee with rice and vanilla milk. Can you say Saturday morning YUM?!

vgetarian

After I painfully tried to make all those veggies fit in the refrigerator, my hubby, our doggie and I cuddled up in the couch to watch a documentary we had been waiting to see for months. I’m talking about Dave Grohl’s documentary “Sound City”. My oh my!

sound city movie

What can I tell you about this documentary other than please go see it! You know I talk about Dave a lot and about how I think he’s our modern day-number 1 storyteller bar none, and this movie is simply another example of this. It’s an iconic piece of history. I’m not talking musical history here, I mean history, period! So much of this movie took me to what the 70s, 80s and 90s where about, what life in rock and roll California was like, and mainly, how roads seem to unravel when you are deep into your creative process. The movie tells the story of one of L.A.’s most iconic recording studios, where Fleetwood Mac, Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana, and countless other legends recorded some of their greatest albums. The part about Nirvana’s recording of their album Nevermind hit me hard and right through the heart. This was my first true rock and roll love affair with a record after my uncle left it at my house one day. It wasn’t my first record (this was probably a Jackson 5 album or Michael Jackson album for sure!), but it was one of those times I remember from my childhood where I got to know the eerie character,magic and pain behind the lyrics and music of a band. Listening to, and watching all about this album turned my heart upside down and I was suddenly transported to this incredible place where it all happened. It took Dave Grohl (of course!) to tell its wonderful story and to bring this place back to life after it sadly and unfortunately closed down.

I had to start thinking about my young students when I saw Trent Reznor talking about how someone in his family made him play the piano really early on, and how that made him fall in love with music. I have never taught a student who has been encouraged to study music or play an instrument as an extracurricular activity. It’s all about the sports nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, sports rule, but telling kids that music and the arts are there for them seems to always fall through the cracks. Of course this is fortunately not the case for every child, but how I wish it would be more encouraged!

I loved how this documentary showed what I’ve seen happen time and time again. Magical moments and brief encounters when you’re deep into creative process that end up changing the course of history. There’s nothing more I can say other than please join Dave, “the Neve”, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Pat Smear, Krist Novoselic, and countless others on this amazing ride. Thanks once again Dave!

That’s it for my Saturday so far, I leave you with the trailer for Sound City, I hope you enjoy it and that you get to see this little gem!

TO THE MOVIES!

Fresh movie review

It’s been a while since we went to the movies together. This means I have a big bag full of movie recommendations for you and we’ll get to them in the following weeks. Today however I would like to share a very special documentary with you. I’m talking about the 2009 documentary Fresh. Although I’m always on top of any movies that come out that discuss sustainable eating, farming and the food industry, somehow I had missed this little gem. I encourage all of you to watch this film, it’s as worrying as it is heartwarming. In spite of the strong images and information they gather up in this film, watching the superb efforts of farmers like Will Allen and Joel Salatin is such a heartwarming pleasure! I love to see how kindness still shows up in rare human beings like these two rockin’ farmers.

FreshDVD-FThere are so many other films that I would like you to see. Even some not so pleasant ones that have actually changed the way I eat, buy and live, but if you’re not ready to go there yet, this is a great eye opener that instead of leaving you feeling like there’s absolutely no hope for humanity, fills you up with giddy feelings and the urge to travel and meet the wonderful characters that are making such a huge change in the food industry. If you’re feeling daring, I would then move on to others (which I will also talk about soon) like Food Inc., Forks over Knives, Food Fight and Vegucated.

I’m leaving you the trailer for this wonderful and hopeful film here, please watch it and share! You can find the movie on iTunes and Netflix as well as your local DVD store! Host a screening and help spread the word about sustainable living and eating. Now I need to start saving my pennies to travel to Will’s and Joel’s farms! Meeting them would be a dream! I can’t wait for the day I have a bit more time on my hands to create another little blog I’ve been dreaming of writing, all about food, cooking, kindness to our planet and to ourselves. Maybe some day soon! In the meantime, enjoy this post and the movie! Let me know what you think in the comments below!