Monday, February 2, 2009

Laying the groundwork with Dante...

All during Dante's visit with me during which he kept his video games going, I insisted on talking to him about a lot of subjects, telling him he needed to think about these issues in order to become a good video partner.
Actually I was very surprised that his mind was quite open and he expressed some emotions as we went along, as this was the first time I have actually discussed my issues with him, especially to do with legalized abortion and politics and such, but I think he is realizing that with his teen years he is old enough to get involved, so he is listening. His first video has already garnered 44 hits on my video blog. See my channel on the bloglist on Youtube. It is gerryking40. So I decided to upload one more that we did. I could not fully get his attention on a longer one, so I told him the next time he came we had to do some videos first with no distractions, before he could even go to the computer. He always acts as though he just does not get enough computer time, so he comes to my house to do some catching up, knowing if that is what he really wants to do, I won't curb him. As I tell him on the second video dealing with his obssession with video games I have my way of limiting the frequency of his visits. He never noticed as he expects to spend most of his time with his dad doing stuff with him. He takes him to do fun things like play paintball and to the movies and so on. His dad is always buying books for him as Dante has developed his taste for books his dad likes, science fiction and such. Before Dan started writing movie scripts he was always writing science and fanstasy fiction.
When I went down to Doc's this morning he had denigrating things to say about the two Dante videos as well as some shorter ones Dante filmed of himself playing his video game. Dante told me a kid he knows did this and got a bunch of hits on Youtube. But after I saw it, I told him I did not think it was a good enough video to put on Youtube. But I think Doc was stricken with feelings of jealousy, so could not bite a nasty tongue. I got very mad at him as I said that he, Doc, refused to take the first step in being able to interact with my family, which is stop being a drunk. So he subsided. I must say Dante was more alert than he is when it comes to issues and was doing more and better thinking than Doc does who cannot be convinced how much his constant boozing hurts his problem solving. He usually just settles for being the court jester. Doc knew very well I was right, but he raises doubts in my mind about his attitudes when he talks like that. He is probably too judgmental when he is sober, too, especially when it comes to young minds.
You can't be too critical of the young as it hurts their just emerging confidence in themselves, which is one reason I put the kabosh to Doc interacting with my family. I think Doc gets very bored with his isolation, but that is his choice. I also went home not long after we started watching the football game together, as he always has to make sure I know that sports events are not his thing. He has more intellectual pursuits. While I have always thought that going out for sports was just a healthy thing to do and can only give a thinker more stamina and vigor.
I even discussed the lost boys of Sudan with Dante as I had just read a novel called What is the What by Dave Eggers about the horrible treatment in southern Sudan of these boys who started walking in the thousands first to Ethiopa and then finally to a UN refuge camp in Kenya. The United States finally agreed to take some of these boys here, some of whom came to Phoenix. And guess what the Circle K in downtown Phoenix where Dante and I go all the time has employed several of these 'lost' boys of Sudan from time to time. There is one working there now. I have got so I can recognize them since I also have a grandson whose father was from Sudan, but he comes from the northern big city of Khartoum, and the Khartoum Sudanese with their Arabic blood looked down on the southern Sudanese who lived mostly in small villages and without the Arabic blood were darker. It was the same old thing even there of lighter being better than darker. So after the British left without separating the two areas into different countries because the northern faction promised peace, a bad ruler broke that promise and was encouraged his soldiers to go into southern Sudan to loot and steal and even to enslave some of the people. They burned villages and many of the walking lost boys died of starvation, exhaustion, wild animals, drowning, etc. Many countries protested. The boy in the novel finds out later that his mother and dad and some of his family survived the slaughter, but it had been so many years since he was seperated he did not go back. Besides he did not have the money, as people soon forgot them in the US where he came as they might a new toy and they began to think that no one really cared about the lost boys of Sudan. The life of a refugee is never easy.
So when Dante comes again in a month or so, we will be making more videos. And we will cover such subjects. Doc is talking about rehab again but I will believe that when I see it. I also asked Dante if he wanted to go to Los Angeles with his dad and me to see his Uncle Raymond's new play, Bohemian Cowboy. He was enthusiastic, so I will buy the tickets for the three of us. I think it will be March before Dan can find a date for us to go. Dante can see the play and visit an aunt Stephanie he has over there. He has stayed with her in the summers many times. She is a saint. She is his grandfather's sister who was murdered when his mother was 6 years old, so Stephanie has always tried to make up for his absence from the world.


Nelishia said...

He's going to be so well rounded with your influence. I always felt that if an adult had taken the time to spend talking with me on an adult level and asking me questions, informing me of things in this world, I'd have jumped IQ points so fast. My life choices would have been so much better in the long run.
Your instincts to protect Dante from a critical bitter old alcoholic who cannot control his tongue is accurate and I am so grateful that you are using your experience for his benefit. I am one of your YouTube subscribers. I love anything from you all and am amazed. Most people in their 70's do not simply pick up the computer, furthermore they do not learn computer, video making and uploading to an international media format. This work is impressive on that note alone but the content has great merit that I would be remiss in not recognizing.

Corie328 said...

Join the Outreach Africa: Lost Boys and Girls Foundation Cause on Facebook and give children in Sudan the gift of food, clothing, education, safety, and a future. The Outreach Africa: Lost Boys and Girls Foundation sponsors young Sudanese refugees in Africa, allowing them to attend boarding school where they receive one meal per day, a uniform, an education, and safety. Some of the relatives of these children are themselves refugees, but are living in America. This program benefits them as well, by lifting some of the financial burden that comes with going to school, having two or more jobs, supporting themselves in a foreign land and supporting their relatives in Africa. Join the Cause now!


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