Monday, September 11, 2017

Choose Love

It's that anniversary again. 

The one upon which every person who would like to identify as a "good" American posts images of flags, or smoking towers, or firemen, or two bright lights piercing the night sky where two brick-and-mortar towers used to stand...

...emblazoned with the words, "Never forget."

I've made no secret of my opinion of that sentiment, especially in regard to this event  in particular, this event that everyone rabidly wants to never forget.  I was prepared to go into great detail about WHY I loathe the very words, and certainly the fear, hatred and ultra-nationalism that inspires them. 

But I realized I have already written that essay.  Four years ago.

You can find it here:

Never Forget? 

I will add this to my list of things we should never forget:

Take one look at the state of our national government, at who sits behind the desk in the Oval Office, at who controls the do-nothing Congress, at the deep and deepening divide between political ideologies in America...and never forget that THIS is the result of the actions of morally bankrupt leaders exploiting a national tragedy to accomplish their own corrupt agenda. 

The politics of fear.

The politics of hate.

The politics of  "I got mine."

The politics of division.

Bin Laden, damn his soul to perdition, did indeed all but destroy this country on that day 16 years ago.

So I'll not be admonishing anyone to "never forget" in the conventionally accepted sense of those words.

But I will share this sentiment that a friend shared on Facebook, which I find represents exactly how this anniversary should be treated:





 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Still Denying It?


The Northwest is on fire...



...and the Southeast is under water.


Welcome to climate change...

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Politics of Won't





As you ponder the daily outrageous antics of our juvenile idiot-in-chief, and you bang your head on your desk in frustration that, no matter what he does, he seems utterly untouchable, and inexplicably in it for the duration…. consider this:

There has been a Congress in Washington DC led by a fractured, ineffective Grand Old Party since 2010.   A group of men (and a few hapless women) whose only objective for seven long years has been to acquire and rabidly defend POWER.

Power used exclusively to enhance their own fortunes, through enhancing the fortunes of those who already have more money than they will ever need, and will use that excess to buy a government that will slavishly do their bidding.   

Power that they either can not or will not use to enrich the lives of the common American people…the people who might still naively  believe that the Congress is beholden to them.  

Power that, because of the deep fractures within the party, cannot be harnessed for action, but can only be laid, bulky and paralyzed, as an enormous blockade in front of the wheels of progress. 

For seven years.

Don’t forget that the only thing, the ONLY thing, this Congress has accomplished in seven years is to impede, to every extent possible, the ability of a duly elected president from the opposing party to serve the people of the United States of America.  This Congress’ greatest accomplishment, in 7 years, was to deny that president his Constitutionally granted right to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court.

This is the Congress of “Can’t.”

This is the Congress of “Won’t.”

Think of that the next time our hideous caricature of a Chief Executive does something outrageous, preposterous, or downright dangerous, and then just skates on to his next escapade, untouched and unimpeded by…anything.

Realize that it is in the hands of the Congress of Won’t to keep this moron in check before he destroys the country.

Realize that the Congress of Won’t began destroying America seven years ago. 

And they aren’t inclined to stop now.      


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Seasons



And August like...a minute and a half?

But, that's okay...  Because

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

White-splaining

A friend posted this video on Facebook.  It was just after the Charlotte debacle, when every white person in America was either lining up behind the racists or hurriedly "white-splaining" why he/she was NOT racist.

Much as I believe the guy in the video is a total ASS, it can be said that his "non-racist racist" message is the one that resonates more clearly with the sub-set of Trump supporters who would be perceived as NOT raving lunatic alt-right.  Maybe the folks next door with whom you've always had a right neighborly relationship, or the co-worker at the next desk  who is politically conservative, but you've always gotten along well enough to play together on the company bowling league.

This guy's monologue can sound pretty reasonable to a lot of frustrated, disgruntled, threatened white Americans who have watched the middle class disappear before their eyes, and can't seem to understand that it is NOT the guy on food stamps who has been chipping away at their status; rather, it's the guy on "Celebrity Apprentice" whose over-the-top lifestyle they not-so-secretly covet.

Here is the video.  Afterward, the comment I posted on the page.  To which I have received no response of which I am aware.









Apparently the video has been deleted.  I don't know if I can describe it accurately enough to make this post make sense, but  I'll give it a shot.  Basically it was a forty-ish good ole boy standing out in his yard, pontificating about how he's not racist...  I DO remember that his speech began with, "To all you black men and black women out there..."  Then he went on to say how much he dislikes being called a "white boy" and people had better not label him that way.  He ranted for awhile about how he doesn't enjoy any white privilege...he has WORKED for everything he has (a deliberate misunderstanding of the term "white privilege," I'm thinking...:)  And that black people just need to get over living in the past and thinking they are still being oppressed by white people.  And then he goes on to declare that HE is not responsible for past transgressions against black people...he was not even born yet!  He was not there making those decisions to lynch or burn or beat or "jim crow," so get out of HIS face about it.  Thus, my evaluation of him as a total ass...
 
No...but being white DOES mean enjoying a heaping helping of "white privilege" which most of us white people-- having never been a minority and not having had our ancestors dragged to these shores in chains-- do not even think about. White privilege does NOT mean being given things for free rather than working for them, as this guy in the video wants to believe. White privilege means NOT being detained/arrested/shot at for being caught in the "wrong" neighborhood. White privilege means that a white man may walk down the street carrying an AR15 on his back without being molested by police, because he's simply "exercising his 2nd amendment rights" but a black boy brandishing a pellet gun in a public park is shot dead by police immediately, no questions asked. White privilege is the President saying "All sides are responsible" when a white terrorist plows into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators and kills someone.

The guy in this video has NO IDEA what he's talking about, and will have no idea until he experiences what black people and other minorities experience at the hands of SOME of the white majority every day, right here in 2017. Black people and other minorities live in the "past" this guy is spouting off about because it ISN'T the past for them. The Japanese aren't attacking Pearl Harbor TODAY. Hitler is not killing Jews TODAY. But black people and other minorities are being shot, bullied, discriminated against and openly hated TODAY all over the country. Blacks are not living in the past. They are dealing with ill treatment TODAY. It's obvious that we are NOT a "post-racial" society. Anything but.

I'm white, and I was born in this country, too. But that doesn't mean I have a right to be purposely and aggressively blind to the history of race relations in this country...to blow the whole issue off with a declaration that "I wasn't there" and "It wasn't MY fault." Those that don't understand history are destined to repeat it. Just look around. It's happening as we speak.
 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

Can't


Back in high school (a loooong time ago...I'm surprised I can remember that far back), I submitted an essay in a writing class;  it was about depression.  I was listing the sad ills of my depressed state, one of which was:  "I can't write..."  My writing teacher scribbled in the margin--  "But you're writing here, aren't you?"  Touche. 

Then again, there's writing, and there's Writing.  When I scribble pages upon pages of my personal angst, that's writing.  What I want to create is "Writing:"  Polished essays about things that matter.  I don't do that too much anymore.  Partly because I seem to have lost the muse...and partly because the things that matter are so fucked up that I can't even go there.

The world is insane, and screwed up, and unbelievably damaged.  The USA has led it into a place of unfathomable decline; a place where bullying, crassness, chest-beating and ignorance rule.  Where education is disrespected (yet, we are all told we need a college degree get a job that earns better than slave wages;) where the desire for peace is labeled  weakness; where "leaders" guide legions of sheep-like followers wherever the politics of fear,  aggression and contempt for  "otherness" can take them. 

Our country is a mess; and it's been a mess so long that we are beginning to accept this hideous tangle of dishonesty, cyber-bullying, blowhard policy and collusion with unfriendly foreign powers as "normal."  We understand that our nation has become a tragi-comedy on the world stage; but we can't do anything about it, so we just retire studiously into our own little lives and do our best to ignore the insanity.  We are not Don Quixote.  We're too smart (too exhausted?  too disheartened?) to tilt at windmills.  So we just...don't. 

I don't find anything motivating about this state of affairs.  All it inspires is disbelief, then anger, then hopelessness.  That kind of muse makes for bitter, cynical writing.  Not only am I tired of dwelling in that place, but I firmly believe that it's the last thing anyone needs to read right now.  It only adds fuel to the fire that is consuming everything good, positive and hopeful about our society and our world.

So when I say "I can't write" these days, my reasons are sound.  And sad.