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VINEGAR VALENTINE CARDS

Do you know what I discovered the other day?  Valentine’s Day is on its way! And depending on whether you have someone special in your life at the present time, V-Day can be a bitch, which is really a shame.  We need as many expressions of love as we can get our hands on in this day and age.

So many people absolutely loathe Valentine’s Day.  Many comedy routines have been written about the single man who breaks up with a woman in January—so as to avoid Valentine’s Day and the expectations of everything from a dozen roses to an engagement ring—and resumes his booty calls in March, if his boo hasn’t murdered him in the interim.

Side Chick Valentine Meme

I’ve been there.  In my youth I had many a “butt-ugly cry” Valentine’s Day moment because some “jabroni” ghosted on me because of that forced romantic day coordinated by the card, chocolate, and flower industry (“But, I thought he loved me, boo-hoo…”).  Or worse, there was no man within a million miles of me that cared if I lived or died.  Consequently, I feel about Valentine’s Day like I feel about Mother’s Day:  love and respect me every single freakin’ day of the year, and we’ll be good for the count on the V-Day and the M-Day.

Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I have been married to one of the most romantic men in the world for the past 39 years, and my Boo tends to knock it out of the park on Valentine’s Day.  I’m not gonna lie:  it does feel good after all those years of living in a loveless desert.  But he also fulfills my primary wish of making my everyday loving worth the journey.  Valentine’s Day is just the cherry on top.  I guess what I’m sayin’ is that this giant manipulative day should not break or make a relationship—it is the daily issues of the heart that count.

Calvin Hobbes V day Waterson

Cartoonist:  Bill Waterson/Universal Uclick

 

As I began to muse over the pros and cons of Valentine’s Day, I decided to check out its history.  Turns out, this whole thing started out as an ancient fertility festival thousands of years ago.  It was called the Festival of Lupercalia.  If one were fortunate or misfortunate enough (especially if you were a woman) to be living during that time, to celebrate this fertility mash-up, men would strip themselves naked, kill a bunch of goats, pull a single woman’s name out of a gourd and commence to whipping the shit out of said woman with the remains of a bloody goat.  No word on how many woman hooked up with these “dreamy” men or how many children were born as a result of the bloody goat S&M chase.  (Personally, I would have become a lesbian on the spot—right there in the middle of the first bloody-goat whip:  “Yo, yo, yo, people, I’m battin’ for the other team!”.) But when the Catholic Church took a gander at this pagan ritual of “love” a century later, Pope Gelasius I decided that this nastiness could use a bit of dry cleaning for the “modern world” of the 15th Century.  The Pope reached back into the Third century and pulled up not one but two martyrs by the name of Valentine who had been beheaded by Claudius II.  Viola!  Bloody goat festival was now out and St. Valentine’s Day (honoring two Christian saints) was now in!  Ain’t life grand?

The info about how a fertility festival got turned into Valentine’s Day was so fascinating, I decided to check out the history of Valentine’s cards since this is an American ritual from kindergarten to the nursing home. (Remember purchasing enough Valentine cards for every child in your kid’s elementary school class?  Or even worse—in the teen years—when every kid in the class received a Valentine card except your kid?  At that point, I usually wanted to kill somebody and bring down a pox on all their houses.) Did you know that 18.2 billion dollars was spent on Valentine accoutrement last year and 1 billion of that total was on V-Day cards?  Holy Moly!  Who’s buying all these cards?  According to the Greeting Card Association, 85% of V-Day cards are purchased by women.

You get a card meme

I must confess that I’ve spent hours over the course of my lifetime looking for the “perfect” Valentine’s Day card—wanting to express that perfect sentimental, gushy statement. But, like most things, V-Day cards weren’t always flowery profusions of love.  Between 1840 and 1930 there was a thing called “Vinegar Cards”—featuring rude, insulting poetry sent by a person’s haters to course-correct some behavior the sender thought was abhorrent in the receiver.  Like the Facebook and Twitter trolls of today, the Vinegar Cards were sent anonymously.  

Some call you, madam, a female dog,

They err, for you certainly are a whole hog;

Of your piggish charms need I say more.

When your temper is up you’re a bit of a bore.

The devil it’s said once went into the swine,

And none but he will e’er be your Valentine.

From: American Antiquarian Society in Worcester

*

OR HOW ABOUT THIS ONE…

“You’ve got a dual personality.  And nobody likes either of them!”

*

Yikes!  Some of these Vinegar Cards could get so brutal that duels between men would break out because of them.

visiting pest vinegar valentine card 1930

Sent to Ward off Uninvited Guests/c. 1930
Courtesy of Lisa Hix, “Happy Valentine’s Day: I Hate You!”

 

bondage 1910 womens suffrage

Sent to Shame Men Who Let Their Wives Join the Suffragette Movement/1910
Courtesy of Lisa Hix, “Happy Valentine’s Day: I Hate You!”

 

Come to think of it, I could use a few of these Vinegar Cards today when expressing my Valentine disgust with the current administration.  What if I sent one to Trump over his latest support of the wife beaters on his staff?

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

The fish rots from the head,

Shame on you.

Signed: #METOO

Trump and Women David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

 

Or how about a Vinegar Card to the Evangelical leaders who came out in support of Trump’s support of the wife beaters in the White House:

Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue,

Are you sayin’ it’s okay to abuse women?

‘Cause that’s what Jesus would do?

Signed: Screw you!

Evangelicals Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

 

On the other hand, spewing hatred against hatred rarely stomps out the fires of war.  So I suppose spreading a little bit of love via flowers, cards, candy, or jewelry is better than nothing.  We all have such hurting hearts, and we all could use a little love these days (actually a lot of love, if the truth be known).  So bring it on!  From my heart to your heart with love:  HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

 

Valentine Gifts Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

***

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

***

Trump Valentine to Putin John Darkow PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, PoliticalCartoons.com

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

REFERENCES

http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day

https://www.independent.ie/style/sex-relationships/theres-a-pretty-dark-history-behind-valentines-day-36578613.html

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1955/2/14/valentines-feature-insults-not-hearts-parsenic/

https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/happy-valentines-day-i-hate-you/

http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/valentines-day-numbers-money-spent-flowers-candy-cards/story?id=45480956

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

DEAR HEATHENS: RUN!

Satire

Do you know what I discovered AGAIN this week?  If I weren’t already a Christian, I wouldn’t become one now. I just finished reading all the Christian apologetics for Trump’s latest escapade:  allegedly paid the porn star, Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) $130,000 to keep quiet about sex that he had with her right after his third wife gave birth to his fifth child. Also, allegedly Trump was really hot to trot, because a woman by the name of Alana Evans claims horny-toad Trump and his porn star tried to coerce her into a threesome with them.  Not to mention that there are at least 30 women who have accused our “Dear Leader” of groping, fondling, and forcibly kissing him (while he was married) on top of his gleeful boasting of having an MO of grabbing women by the “kitty-cat.”  (Can you imagine if Barack Obama had been accused of doing 1/100th of what Trump has done?  He would have been tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail, and we would have never seen him again.)

Porn Star III Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

And what did Tony Perkins, that holier-than-thou Christian leader of the Family Research Council (that standard bearer of “Christian values”) say in response (after years of questioning Obama’s Christianity and his citizenship):

“We kind of gave him [Trump]—‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here.’ … [Evangelicals] were tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists. And I think they are finally glad that there’s somebody on the playground that is willing to punch the bully.”

In the words of the old Negro spiritual, I just found a whole “lot of folks talkin’ ‘bout Heaven, ain’t goin’ there!”

The Religious Right Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

I’m done trying to figure out why the Religious Right (80% of White Evangelicals voted for Trump, make up the majority of his base, and are sticking by him) can’t see through Trump’s lies, cheating, perversity, racism, and ignorance.  I agree with Michael Steele, the former Chair of the RNC and a devout Catholic (he almost became a priest in his youth):

“I have a very simple admonition at this point [to Evangelical Leaders]: Just shut the hell up and don’t ever preach to me about anything ever again. I don’t want to hear it.  After telling me how to live my life, who to love, what to believe, what not to believe, what to do and what not to do, and now you sit back and the prostitutes don’t matter? The grabbing of the you-know-what doesn’t matter? The outright behavior and lies don’t matter? Just shut up.”

I long ago decided to “get out” of this tribe for the same reason as Steele, but this week I concluded that I needed to warn my Heathen brothers and sisters to steer clear of the Conservative Evangelical zombies before their brains are sucked out, their hearts are compromised, and their Bible becomes Fox News.  Below is the open letter that I plan to send throughout the land to all those who might live by, work with, or be related to Trump Evangelicals.

Religous Right FB Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

***

OPEN LETTER TO MY HEATHEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS

My Dear Precious Heathens:

My name is Eleanor T, and I used to be a unicorn among White Evangelicals:  a Black Evangelical in predominantly White churches (thus instantly assuring their lack of racial bias—not!) who made it my raison d’etre to make sure your “rotten little heathen hearts” were witnessed to, saved, baptized in the name of Jesus, and delivered (“Thank you, Jesus!”) of your sinful ways.  What were those sinful ways, you ask?  The top three Conservative Evangelical biggies:  being supportive of women’s reproductive rights, being gay or lesbian (“Lord, have mercy”), or being politically tied to anything but the Republican agenda.  Did you see the movie, “Get Out” by Jordan Peele?   Well, I had my own “Get Out” moment from the Evangelical movement in 2008 (check out my book, Fleeing Oz if you want to know the harrowing details—I barely made it out with my sanity).   Because I’ve been there and know what goes on in their secret societies (their churches), my precious Heathens, I have one thing to say:  “Get out, cause you in trouble, Babies!”

Let it be known, that this shit that’s going down in the name of Jesus ain’t got nothin’ to do with the love of God.

Conservatives and the Devil Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, http://www.miltpriggee.com

I know that you have been harassed for years, maybe even decades, by self-righteous Evangelicals telling you how to live, who to love, how to dress, and what to do or not do.  They’ve tried to get into your bedrooms and by your deathbeds.  I’m sure you’ve been pummeled in the workplace, attacked in the grocery store parking lot by Born-Again tract-bearing soul winners, and befriended by people who were more interested in chipping off a notch on their “soul saved” stick than they were about truly getting to know you, and loving you for who you are.  I bet many of you have relatives who earnestly tell you every Thanksgiving how much they are praying for your dirty-rotten heathen souls in between the turkey dinner and the Fox News segments.  I used to know an Evangelical in a prominent position in a Fortune 500 company who, every time one of our lesbian executives passed by her desk, would hiss the proclamation:  “You’re going to Hell, Queer!”  This woman announced everyday how much people needed Jesus, how Jesus had sent her to that company to save multiple souls.  She never missed a Sunday church service, or a Wednesday night Bible study, and demanded everyone say Merry Christmas when they came into her presence during the winter holiday season.  When Barack Obama came along, this chick and most of the others that I knew became radicalized.  They were so sure that the Black man in the White house, with the Harvard education, the wife he adored and who adored him (first wife—not a second or third wife), the kids who were pure delights, and the eight-year scandal-free administration, were the workings of the Anti-Christ, that they lost their ever-loving minds.

Christian Radicalization Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

I’m writing you this letter, because someday you may go looking for God (no pressure), and I don’t want you to confuse what you see in Trump Evangelicals as the love of Jesus or the correct path to take.  I promise you, if we could see the face of Jesus right now, he’d be weeping.  Please note that there are many Christians (not as many as there should be, unfortunately) who wouldn’t be caught dead hanging with Trump or giving him a “mulligan” for his nasty-ass ways.  They are just being drowned out by these posers you see on Fox News.

So here’s what I need you to do:  Get as far away from these people and their churches, as possible.  Run! Flee! Hide! If you see one of them coming toward you, form the sign of the cross in front of them and yell, “Get behind me, Satan!”  (It might help to wear garlic around your neck, as well.  As for me, I’m investing in garlic necklaces and crushed garlic perfume—one can never be too careful among deranged fanatics.)

Don’t worry about pissing off these sold-out Evangelicals as it relates to your eternal standing—not to mention your calling on this Earth.  If Jesus loves you as much as he says he does, he’ll be sure to find you, and you’ll recognize him—by his love.

Hugs and Kisses,

Your Sister in the Resistance

Born Again Bill Schorr Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons

***

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS

“Scandal is saying one thing and doing another; it is a double life, a double life. A totally double life: ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money…’ A double life.”Pope Francis

“Donald Trump’s moral behavior is really – is really disgusting. It’s the antithesis of Christian values.  This is the worship of money and sex and power. Everyone struggles with – public figures struggle. They should struggle. There’s not even a struggle with this man. …this man’s destroying truth. This is an administration of perpetual, continual lying. So much is at stake for our faith and the soul of the nation. And how we respond as Christians has got to be more than the ends justify the means.”—Pastor Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners, and a Christian social justice activist

“Never in my lifetime have we had a @POTUS willing to take such a strong out-spoken stand for the Christian faith like @realDonaldTrump. We need to get behind him with our prayers.”—Franklin Graham, Evangelical preacher and son of Billy Graham

               …and one of the few sane-thinking Evangelicals responded:

“Such an uncritical, un-prophetic, and ungodly devotion to such a deeply ethically compromised president does call to mind the complicit church in 1930s Germany.”—Jim Wallis

Thank you Trump Supporters Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons com

***

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

***

REFERENCES

https://www.npr.org/2017/12/03/568206452/evangelical-leaders-say-christians-who-support-trump-face-an-ethical-challenge

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/12/what-about-the-19-women-who-accused-trump/547724/

https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/1/23/16924546/evangelical-tony-perkins-trump-stormy-daniels-affair-mulligan

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-threesome-stormy-daniels-evans-789690

https://www.cnn.com/2017/12/11/politics/donald-trump-women-allegations/index.html

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/23/tony-perkins-evangelicals-donald-trump-stormy-daniels-216498

https://www.thedailybeast.com/seth-meyers-rips-christian-right-for-forgiving-trump-on-stormy-daniels?ref=home

https://www.salon.com/2018/01/24/former-rnc-chairman-michael-steele-just-told-evangelicals-to-shut-up-on-live-tv/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

ONCE UPON A TIME: LOVE TRUMPED A S**THOLE COUNTRY

A MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY MEDITATION

This is the second time I have re-purposed a post I wrote a few years ago for the Anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  The humanity, sacrifice, and love celebrated in this post really stuck with me, and I have rewritten and updated it with new cartoons (yet again) in the hopes that the subject matter will strike a deep chord within all our hearts to give us courage and hope.  Let us remember the 50th anniversary of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the circumstances of his gone-too-soon life, and why the sacrifice of his life was meant for the good of us all—no matter what our race, creed, color, or religion.

***

Do you know what I discovered as I meditated on Dr. King’s contribution to the United States?  Trump and his die-hard minions kept overshadowing Dr. King’s message in my head.  In my meditation time, I tried to conjure up Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but couldn’t stop hearing Donald Trump’s racist fog horn blaring his latest misanthropic screed about not wanting people from “shithole countries” to come to America.

Refugee Types Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission:  Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Every person with half a heart and half a brain is labeling Trump’s latest vocal excrement as that of a hardcore racist.  His supporters are crying foul and declaring that America is post-racial.  After all, didn’t we just have two terms of a Black President, which is why Trump had to become President to “fix” all the mess that Kenyan made?

Let’s see:  Trump doesn’t want people from brown countries to come to America, but would love more people from places like Norway—the whitest country on Earth.  Hum…if Trump talks like a racist, acts like a racist, then he is a racist!  Believe me.

First of all, there is no such thing as a “post-racial America.”  If anything, the racism that had been buried for years erupted to the surface when Barack Obama became our President.  He was the fulfillment of a dream for Martin Luther King but a freakin’ nightmare for those who are horrified over the browning of America.

Unfortunately, a lot of people who claimed to be Christians got caught up in that net under the very thin guise of cultural politics.  I watched White people I once knew and loved from the 70s—who said they loved me—go to bed one night reminiscing about our Hippie commune days where we spouted Evangelical Christian philosophies of love and tolerance, and wake up on the morning of the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2008 spouting racism, fear, and hatred.  (Of course, they denied it:  It wasn’t because he was Black.  It was because Obama was the anti-Christ—didn’t I remember the Bible scriptures that foretold his ascendance?)   It’s as if I never knew these people—never broke bread with them—never shared the vision of seeking the grace of God toward all men and women with them.)  I watched their eye balls rolling, their mouths frothing, and their heads spinning on their necks in anger at the thought of the White House turning Black.   (They would deny this with a vengeance—say that it was about abortion, the war on Christmas and being able to say “Merry Christmas,” but if it talks like a racist, acts like a racist…it will elect a racist when given a chance to do so.)

White Christians Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission:  Pat Bagley, Salt Lake-Tribune

I tried to calmly, but urgently, address the racism, xenophobia, and homophobia snuffing out the love of Jesus from the hearts of my now ex-White Christian friends (influence who you know), but it only made them more fanatical.  It is as if they forgot the history of the Jim Crow era and were doomed to repeat it.  As I watched their President (#HELLTOTHENO—NOTMYPRESIDENT) so capriciously try and rescind the lawful rights of refugee Haitians, Salvadorians, and 800,000 “dreamers,” I was bordering on despair until I meditated one morning on our civil rights history.  I remembered that there have always been angry White people and cruel American legislators, but there were also those righteous White Americans who fought alongside Black Americans to bring about Martin Luther King’s dream.  In most cases, they lost their lives doing so.  I especially remembered James Zwerg who lived to tell his story and should be seventy-seven-years old by now.

James Zwerg

James Zwerg in 1961 after being beaten by a racist mob in Montgomery, Alabama during a Freedom Ride/Courtesy of Wikipedia

James Zwerg was the White college student from Wisconsin who’d been raised in a really tight-knit Christian family, and he eventually became a Freedom Rider (civil rights activists who rode interstate buses to force the South to obey Federal Law banning segregation on public transportation).  He became a Freedom Rider after seeing his black roommate treated with contempt at Beloit College in Wisconsin.  James volunteered to be an exchange student to an all-black college in the South (Fisk University) for a semester so he could get a taste of what it felt like to be a minority.

When James went to Fisk he made a decision to join the Freedom Riders from Nashville to Alabama.   James said the morning they set off, he read Psalm 27 over and over again as he prayed that God would give him courage and forgiveness for his attackers.  He prayed that the Lord would keep him from striking back if and when he got attacked by the white racist mobs, who considered white Freedom Riders as traitors and deserving of death.  The first line of the Psalm he read was, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” and the final line that James read was, “Though my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”

James was severely beaten along with the other freedom riders (including John Lewis who survived to become one of our most venerable congressmen) by the racists who stopped their bus. When the picture of James’ pulverized body appeared in the local newspaper, his parents never forgave him because they felt, as James’ father so articulately stated: “Those damn niggers used you.”

FB Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

Cartoon used by permission:  Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald, NE

I remember reading that the parents’ relationship with James Zwerg was never restored even when he tried to explain that he was simply living Christ’s love as they had taught him to do.  He was beaten so badly that his teeth were shattered, his vertebrae were broken, he suffered from PTSD, he drowned his sorrows in alcohol for a season, he tried to commit suicide at least once, and he ended up in therapy for months.  As I meditated on the sacrifice that Pastor Zwerg made for me and mine, I momentarily forgot the hatefulness of some of the White people I have known in my life as the scripture rang through my head:  “Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his brother!”

Then the roll call of other White Americans who stood brave and tall with all the African-Americans against the racist order of the day came to mind, and I sat for a moment of silence to thank them for laying down their lives so my children and grandchildren might live Dr. King’s dream:

Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo, ethnicity:  white Viola was a mother of three children from Detroit and was murdered by Ku Klux Klan members after the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches in Alabama.  The last words she said to her husband were that the civil rights struggle: “was everybody’s fight.” (Wikipedia)

Michael Henry Schwerner, ethnicity:  Jewish.  Michael was one of three Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) field workers killed in Philadelphia, Mississippi, by the Ku Klux Klan in response to their civil rights work. (Wikipedia)

Andrew Goodman, ethnicity:  Jewish.  Andrew was one of three American civil rights activists murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi, during Freedom Summer in 1964 by members of the Ku Klux Klan. (Wikipedia)

Paul Guihard, ethnicity:  white.  Paul was a reporter for a French news service and was killed by gunfire from a white mob during protests over the admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

William Lewis Moore, ethnicity:  white William was a postman from Baltimore, and he was shot and killed during a one-man march against segregation. Moore had planned to deliver a letter to the governor of Mississippi urging an end to intolerance. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Rev. Bruce Klunder, ethnicity:  white.  Rev. Klunder was among civil rights activists who protested the building of a segregated school in Cleveland, Ohio by placing their bodies in the way of construction equipment. Klunder was crushed to death when a bulldozer backed over him. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Rev. James Reeb, ethnicity:  white.  Rev. Reeb was a Unitarian minister from Boston, and was among many white clergymen who joined the Selma marchers after the attack by state troopers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Reeb was beaten to death by white men while he walked down a Selma street. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Jonathan Myrick Daniels, ethnicity:  white.  Jonathan was an Episcopal Seminary student in Boston, and he had come to Alabama to help with black voter registration in Lowndes County. He was arrested at a demonstration, jailed in Hayneville and then suddenly released. Moments after his release, he was shot to death by a deputy sheriff. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Vernon Ferdinand Dahmer, ethnicity:  white.  Vernon was a wealthy businessman who offered to pay poll taxes for those who couldn’t afford the fee required to vote. The night after a radio station broadcast Dahmer’s offer, his home was firebombed. Dahmer died later from severe burns. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

***

After all was remembered and gratefully acknowledged, I got up off my knees and turned to face the new day with peace in my heart, knowing that the hatred I see in 2018 will not win the day because there will always be people of all ethnicities who have courage enough to fight for the freedom needed so that everyone, of every color, creed, and gender, can live the dream.

Gone too soon Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission:  Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

***

ELEANOR’S “SELAH” (AHA!) MOMENT—

ABOUT BEING FROM A “SHITHOLE” COUNTRY

I am discovering that once upon a time, I lived in a “shithole” country—the United States of America.  It didn’t mean that I didn’t love my country, but it did mean that my “shitty” country didn’t treat my peeps and me very well until Dr. King and so many, many others sacrificed their lives to make our government do the right thing.  If we don’t want the USA to regress into that “shitty” place again—if we want it to continue the journey and complete Dr. King’s vision—“we the people” have an ongoing, ever-vigilant job to embrace Dr. King’s dream afresh.

There will always be those who will try to turn our great country into a cesspool of hate and divisiveness—including our current President.  But for those of us who are “woke,” all we need to do is lock arms with the other “woke” folks and fight the good fight for the rights of our fellow man until the new dawn is upon us.

Let’s make 2018 the year that Dr. King’s dream produces more heroes like James Zwerg, Congressman John Lewis, the nine men and women cited above, and countless others to further fulfill our destiny as a country—maybe it will be you.

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

What are you doing for others

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

“James Zwerg remains a devoted loving Christian to this day and what is most important to him is love. ‘I think the thing I would add is love is still the most powerful force in the universe. Hatred will never beat it. Violence will never beat it.’“—Wikipedia

“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.”Helen Keller

“The function of freedom is to free someone else.”Toni Morrison

“And yet words on a parchment [the Constitution—parenthesis mine] would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part — through protests and struggles, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience, and always at great risk — to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.”President Barack Obama

EXCEPT WHERE NOTED, ALL INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ARE FROM http://www.brainyquotes.com

MLK III

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com 

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

 REFERENCES

https://blogs.lawrence.edu/news/2015/06/lawrence-awarding-honorary-degree-to-civil-rights-freedom-rider-james-zwerg.html

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/05/16/Zwerg.freedom.rides/index.html

https://www.beloit.edu/archives/documents/archival_documents/james_zwerg_freedom_ride/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Stay CALM and LOVE on

Do you know what I discovered while I was on holiday with my family and friends?  I didn’t follow the news for eighteen days, and the world didn’t end—at least, I don’t think it did.  (One never knows:  If a certain contingency of the Evangelical movement who blindly support Trump is correct, maybe they got raptured, and I got left behind “due to my sins” to deal with their presidential messiah.)  I entered the holidays riddled with fear and bordering on a state of extreme exhaustion because I was so worried about the damage being done by the Cretin in the White House.  Afraid that we’d never recover as a country.  Fearing that all hope was waning and that my children and grandchildren would inherit a real-life version of the The Handmaid’s Tale.

If 2017 was truly the year from Hell, then what on Earth could 2018 bring?

More Trumpism Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, http://www.miltpriggee.com

So I threw myself into my family and the joy of who they are.   I stopped watching the news on TV and ignored all online news outlets.  I spent my days and nights eating, drinking, and laughing with my family until my stomach hurt.  NPR was eradicated from Alexa and only Christmas carols and Smooth Jazz were permitted to be played—much to my nine-year-old grandson’s consternation: “Oh, Mema, if I hear one more Christmas carol or one more old people song, I think I’ll go banana cuckoos!”

Like most families, we’ve had our highs and lows, ups and downs, and we have all proven to be a slight bit crazy at one time or another, causing the other family members to band together and pull us back on course.  We are an overly opinionated, strong-willed, and tenacious group of people and none of us suffers fools lightly.  Those are some of the reasons I like hanging with them.  Many people love their families, but not all that many people like their families.  As I reengaged with the Tomczyk clan over the holidays, the fear and exhaustion perpetrated by the Maniac-in-Chief melted away, and I completely forgot he had turned the world upside down.

B G IIFB

Photo credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

I didn’t just hang with my family to get my mental health back—I partied like it was 1999 with my friends.  During one of my copious holiday parties, all of my Baby Boomer friends declared how much the news about Trump (and his die-hard Christian supporters) had wrecked their peace of mind.  Many had stopped watching the news as I had during the holiday season to focus on what was pure and lovely.  One of my friends made a comment that 2017 would go down as the worst year in modern American history since WWII.  As Christians, none of us could fathom the stupidity of the ardent Trump supporters who refused to accept the unassailable truth about the Liar-in-Chief.

Now that precious friend is very smart, but she is also very White.  I gently, but quickly, reminded her that depending on one’s ethnicity, the American problems were far more disturbing in 1968 and one could argue that it was one of the worst year’s in our country’s modern history.  I know, because my heart still aches from that infamous year and I almost didn’t survive it.  As I luxuriated in the bounty of all that I’ve acquired and the love of my very interracial family and diverse group of friends this Christmas, I was reminded that if God could save us from the evil of 1968, surely our good God would deliver us from the likes of Donald Trump and his minions.

TV News Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

1968 AS SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF A BLACK BABY BOOMER

If you could see 1968 through my eyes, 2017 wouldn’t look so bad at all.  It was the year my world almost imploded. Which is saying a lot since I was born a poor Black child in the heart of the Cleveland ghetto and lived in more foster homes than I could shake a stick at. This was the year that was five years after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and three years before the Supreme Court passed a ruling that interracial couples could marry without fear of breaking the law and being thrown in jail just because they loved a person of another race.  But 1968 seemed to be the year that God turned his back on America.   The Vietnam War sent home thousands of our sons in body bags and scores of them came back addicted to drugs to mask the horrors they had witnessed.  Captain James Kirk and Lt. Nyota Uhura of Star Trek engaged in the first interracial kiss on TV.  Apollo Eight was the first manned space ship to orbit the moon, and Boeing introduced the first 747 jumbo jet.  But none of those wartime losses and monumental historical gains would ever erase the pain caused by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King on April 4th and the subsequent assassination of Bobby Kennedy two months later.

I still remember where I was when I heard Martin was murdered.  I was a sophomore in an all-White college, and the news of his death was inconsequential to the general population around me.  Dr. King was shot at 6 p.m. on April 4th, but I didn’t hear of his death until the next morning while I was on my way to a choir rehearsal.  One of the other four Black students told me as she passed me in the hallway, and I burst into tears and collapsed on the floor as if my heart had been ripped from my chest.  An ear-splitting wail escaped from my inner core which sounded like the banshee scream of a mother mourning the murder of her first born child by a serial killer.  In the same moment, two White classmates passed by me without breaking their stride.  One said to the other, “What’s wrong with her?”  The other answered, “Who knows.  I think one of their people died.”

Dr king and President Obama John Darkow PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, PoliticalCartoons.com

I had barely escaped illiteracy and poverty along with so many others because of Dr. King.  I had managed to get a scholarship to college because of Dr. King’s vision and sacrifice.  I had almost completed my second year—a grueling academic year to boot—partially due to the hope and courage that Dr. King had given me, and now he had been murdered, and from my vantage point, White people didn’t care and barely noticed.  If this academic experiment didn’t work out, as a Ward of the Cleveland Court system, I had nowhere to go—no home to return to—no future to look forward to.  A dark cloud of hurt and anger settled over my heart like the cataracts on the eyes of an octogenarian with one foot in the grave.  By the time Bobby was killed—our White champion of civil rights and equality—I felt nothing.  Not because I didn’t care, but because I assumed God didn’t care, and my life would end as it had begun—in poverty, ignorance, and despair—a dream assassinated by powers beyond my control.

But it is 2018, and we elected our first Black President in 2008 for two terms who at least 70 percent of the population would like to see return if the Constitution allowed.  (Whoever thought in 1968 that a country would literally be in mourning for a Black ex-President’s leadership style and grace—“Come Back, Barack!”) I am well-educated, married to the love of my life who just happens to be White, blessed with beautiful children and a grandson, living in abundance and grateful to God for every single day of my glorious existence.  Which tells me that God was there in 1968, and just because I couldn’t detect his presence in the horrors of the assassinations of King and Kennedy, doesn’t mean he wasn’t working on our behalf as a country and on my behalf as an individual who barely believed in his existence.

Which is why I came away from my vacation full of optimism and hope for our future.  I’m almost glad that Trumpee is in the White House because think about the consciousness that has happened in our country in 2017 after 100,000 people didn’t vote, racism spewed out of the sewers, and White Christians sold their souls to the Devil-in-Chief.  WE GOT WOKE: #ANGRYWOMAN #BLACKLIVESMATTER #WOKE #VOTE #RESIST #18BY18 #NOTMYPRESIDENT #MUSLIMLIVESMATTER #METOO #LGBTQ+LIVESMATTER #LATINOLIVESMATTER #ALABAMAWOMENVOTERS.  Most of us are definitely “woke” and we are not going to let the Orangutan-in-Chief take us back to the stone ages.

2018 1 David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

Practically every week, God shows up and exposes some darkness to the light—some lie or abuse that was shoved down our throats by the Trump campaign and the GOP.  (If only 20% of the new book Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff is true, the things it exposes about the Toddler-in-Chief will be so horrifying that he will never be able to overcome the ridicule and the shame.)  Ignore all the scare tactics and the hyperbole by Trump that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and no one would care.  God cares. The end of Trump is near, folks, and it doesn’t matter who supports him, this dude is going down!  In the meantime, stay calm and LOVE on!  I’m gonna keep prayin’, keep trustin’, and keep on resistin’ until God shows up and the American landscape is replete with humans leading our most abundant lives.

HAPPY 2018!  THE YEAR OF HOPE!

Fire and Fury Cartoon Tom Janssen The Netherlands

Cartoon used by permission: Tom Janssen The Netherlands

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com 

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

2017 Begone Aislin The Montreal Gazette

Cartoon Used by Permission: Aislin, The Montreal Gazette

REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/01/04/my-therapy-clients-cant-tear-themselves-away-from-the-news-and-its-messing-with-their-lives/?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-posteverything%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.be85675974e4

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/01/05/a-heap-of-legal-trouble-for-trump-and-sessions/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-e%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.bd8d397f2911

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1968.html

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/31/us/1968-important-events/index.html

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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COSMIC HOPE

The Christmas Story

Do you know what I discovered last week?  Black women saved Alabama’s soul and, ultimately, America’s with the trouncing of Roy Moore—that racist, pervert, accused pedophile, and abomination to the name of Christianity who tried to railroad his way into the U.S. Senate.  You’re welcome, America!  Even though I don’t live in Alabama, I am a Black woman, an Evangelical (until they do something that makes me throw up in my mouth), and a person who is used to seeing miracles.   I know it seems hard to believe, but not every Christian in America has sold his or her soul to the Devil Trump and his minions—just enough of them have done so to make the rest of us occasionally wonder if there really is a God.  So there you have it:  God showed up in Alabama through Black women, therefore, thus did hope re-surge in me for the times ahead.  All is not lost, my Peeps.

Evangelicals an Moore in Hell Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

As I meditated on that unexpected burst of hope that came out of the Doug Jones win in Alabama, I felt this explosion of happiness and joy in my soul which got me to thinking about Christmas.  (Of course, I was decorating the Christmas tree at the time, sipping champagne, and singing “Jingle Bells” at the top of my lungs, so thinking about Christmas might not have been a huge stretch of the imagination.)  Contrary to what Fox News, paranoid White Evangelicals, and Trump would have you believe, there is no war on Christmas (trust me).  Nobody cares if you say Merry Christmas or Happy Everything, just so long as you say it with love and good intentions.  We’ve been bombarded with Christmas this and that here, there, and everywhere since the day before Halloween.  Nobody in America has a problem saying “Merry Christmas”—just a problem living it.  Christmas has been “lost in translation” and left on the cutting room floor in our country for a very long time.

Star Wars FB Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

This week I started asking any and everybody what Christmas meant to them.  Some said “family,” too many said “expensive,” others said “stress,” many said “fun,” a half dozen said “I’m Jewish, or Muslim, or atheist,”  others said, “abandoned,” a few said “Santa with lots of toys on his sleigh” (granted, they were under ten years old), and several said a “colossal pain in the ass—I’ll be glad when it is over!” I could have sworn that at least one person said “bah, humbug,” but I’m not sure. My grandson said Christmas meant “going to see Star Wars” when he comes to visit in a few days and “finding the new Xbox One LEGO Marvel Super Heroes under the tree on Christmas morning—please Mema, pleeaaaaassse!”  No one who I asked about the meaning of Christmas said what Christmas truly is: freedom from oppression, hope, joy, peace, love, comfort for the marginalized, and healing for the abused.

Xmas attitude Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

I was slightly mortified by all the responses (including my grandson’s), if the truth be known.  I wondered: “How did Christmas get hi-jacked from the broken-hearted and the oppressed by the paranoid religious White people, inadequate Bible translations, and Wall Street.  Every year I try to figure out a way to translate the goodness of God into our holiday celebrations so my grandson can understand the true meaning of Christmas.  But every year something gets lost in translation in his young mind:  “So what’s a virgin? Are you trying to tell me, Jesus had two daddies AND a mommy?  What’s a frankincense and myrrh—is that like bubble bath and Chuck’s flea soap?”

In a world where nine-year-olds are committing suicide because of bullying, a child dies of hunger every seven seconds, and refugees and asylum-seekers have topped 65 million according to the UN, my grandson is going to need more from the Christmas story then gazing at a White baby Jesus in a manger once a year (Jesus was a Jew, so what’s up with the blond, blue-eyed savior?) and militantly saying “Merry Christmas” simply to prove a point. As a young Black man, he’s going to need lots of hope and courage to get through this life!  So I decided to rewrite the Christmas story in a way he would understand and leave the frankincense and myrrh to the Bible literalists.

Frankenstein

Courtesy of Christian Funny Pictures

 

THE CHRISTMAS STORY AS TOLD BY MEMA TO BABY BOY

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a very mean king by the name of Caesar Augustus ruled over all the world—or as much as he could capture under Roman rule.  Caesar Augustus thought that he was all that and a bag of chips—kind of like Donald Trump.  In fact, CA thought he was God—much like Donald Trump. Actually, he was awful and very cruel. I’m told that he once said:  “I could run over a bunch of Jews with my chariot in the middle of Jerusalem and my Roman supporters would not care.  I truly am king of the world.”  If you were a Roman citizen and rich, life was pretty awesome, but if you were a Jew, a non-Roman, or poor, life was the pits.  People cried all of the time because they were not free to live their lives as they wished and they didn’t have enough money and food to take care of their families. Many people were slaves to the Romans. It had been this way for a very, very long time.  So much so that it caught God’s attention.

GOD:  Gabriel, my angel, what is going on in the Earth I’ve created?  In all the years since I first breathed life into humans, I’ve never heard such a hue and cry. 

GABE:  Pardon me, my Lord, but I beg to differ.  We had an issue with that bad Pharaoh a while back, remember?  Had to raise up an outstanding guy named Moses, part the Red Sea, and escape with hundreds of people into the desert for about forty years.  It seems as if this time, it’s a Roman, not an Egyptian causing all the mayhem.

GOD:  Oh, yes!  I remember.  What is it with these humans?  There is always some nutty leader trying to impersonate me but with the character of the Devil.  You give them a little bit of talent, a few smarts, and it all goes to their heads.  They start lording it over each other, abusing people, treating each other like pond scum.  Oy vez mir!  I’m telling you Gabe, humans are getting on my every last nerve.  They better not make me come down there, or they will have Hell to pay.

GABE:  Eureka, my Lord!  Maybe that’s exactly what you should do.  You made the blueprint of why humans were created, and not one group of them has ever done the right thing by each other since their inception.  They think they know you, but they don’t have a clue as to your character.  What if you went down to Earth and hung out with them for a few years—showed them how to treat each other and the Earth you gave them?

Save us from ourselves Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

GOD:  Hum… that’s not a bad idea. Except, I’m made up of all sorts of energy and matter.  If I interact with them face-to-face, they’ll implode.  It will be as if they flew to close to the sun.  That would defeat my purpose.

GABE:  Not if you cloaked a portion of yourself (your son) in the costume of a human.  Since there are three parts of you (Father, Son, and the feminine Holy Spirit), surely you could spare one part of you for a while.  I propose that you do a real sci-fi thing: slip into the Earth’s atmosphere as a fetus, get yourself born, hang out for as long as you can take it (maybe 33 years or so), show them how to live, and find some way to get ejected off the Earth and back into the heavens.   In fact, I’m thinking of a pretty powerful way you can exit stage left that would really complete the circle of sacrificial love that you have for them.  It would involve some nails and wood, and be rather painful in your human form.  But you could handle it. 

GOD:  I do love them so.  Can’t help myself.  When they’re good, they’re very good, but when they are bad… eiy, yi, yi!  Okay, find me a vessel through which to make my entrance.

GABE:  Already on it.  Her name’s Mary.  Just got engaged to a real stand up dude by the name of Joseph.  He’s mature enough to be your earthly father once he gets over the shock that his future wife is the temporary shuttle for the son of God.

GOD:  Cool.  We’ll need to alert a few of my peeps to let them know I’m in their midst since I’ll be a baby with no language skills.  Get the ad department to draft an announcement.  Send it out to the shepherds since they are usually the only ones hanging out at night under the stars.  They’ll spread the word. 

GABE:  Got it.  I think I’ll lead the angels in the proclamation myself, Sir.  How’s this:

 “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord…  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth, peace…” 

GOD:  Awesome!  Excellent Gabriel.  The hope just radiates from that proclamation makes me tingle all over.  Do you think the shepherds will believe it?

News of Jesus Birth Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

GABE:  It’s worth a try.  If you don’t go down soon they will devour each other and there will be no humans left in a millennium or two.  They are not getting better—they’re getting worse.

GOD:  This is so exciting!  I have so much to show them about what it really means to be human.  Do they even realize that I created them in my likeness?  Do they understand that that likeness is the personification of love and joy?  I want to tell them that murder, hatred, theft, and cruelty are not why they were created.  They need to know that every soul has great worth—no matter who they are or where they were born.  I’ve got to teach them how to love one other, because my law is love, and my gospel is peace.  Come on Gabe, let’s pull together some genes, some DNA, and some chromosomes and get this baby entry pod cookin’!  People of Earth, hope is on its way!  From this day forward, all oppression shall cease!

Light of Christ Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

 

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT) ON THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

I am discovering that humans have always been in peril from other humans since the beginning of man. I am also discovering that my hope is not in man, in political parties, or even in myself.  My hope is that the true character of God will triumph in the Earth as well as in my own heart.  No evil lasts forever and no true love will ever die, and that is why Jesus came to Earth.  God’s love and hope is what Christmas means to me.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKKAH, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, AND PEACE AND GOODWILL TO ALL!

Love, Eleanor

 

 

Hope Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

 

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT HOPE

 “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”—Desmond Tutu

 “The message of Jesus is summed up partly in the Sermon on the Mount, and partly when he begins his ministry and quotes the passage from Isaiah: ‘I have come to set free the prisoners and restore sight to the blind.’ And certainly, his mission is also to bring hope. It was to heal people, to befriend the outcast.”—Dan Wakefield

“For Jesus, there are no countries to be conquered, no ideologies to be imposed, no people to be dominated. There are only children, women and men to be loved.”—Henri Nouwen

***

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Christ is born Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

IT’S RAINING PERVS, IDIOTS, AND LIARS!

Do you know what I discovered after returning from my Thanksgiving-enforced news hiatus?  Time away wasn’t long enough.  It appears that things have gotten much, much worse in these United States of America.  How is that even possible?  Within a span of seven days, it looks as if someone flushed a giant toilet in the sky and closeted perverts masquerading as upstanding human beings are circling the drain at a dizzying speed. 

Sexual Assault Graveyard Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

We appear to be on the verge of a nuclear war with North Korea (God, have mercy!), the trenches are crowded with die-hard Trumpeters refusing to see the light that their “savior” is destroying the presidency, our country, and our world standing, and if those aren’t enough metaphors for you, so-called born-again Christians are selling their souls to the devil in a fire sale to support an accused pedophile for the Senate and an admitted p**sy grabber and liar-in-chief in the White House.

November 30, 2017

Cartoon used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News

By the time I finished catching up with the news, I was exhausted and ready to take another vacation. But I momentarily thought to myself, this may be good.  These sexual assault revelations, at least, are a sea change in our culture.  Eureka! Maybe now, those who call themselves die-hard Christian supporters of Trump will come forward and demand a fundamental biblical action—confession/repentance—from our P**sy-Grabber-in Chief due to the 13 or so sexual assault allegations against him.   Maybe those who say that it is God’s will Trump is President and swear to his born-again status will help him see the error of his ways by speaking truth to power:  “Trump, you are a pervert. In fact, a news report was released today from two people who once heard you brag while gawking at a woman that was not your wife: ‘There is nothing in the world like first rate p**sy.’  Stand up and be counted, Dude.  Repent—go, and sin no more!”

Morning Tums Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

Cartoon used by permission: Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald NE

I heard plenty of outrage from Republican Christians against the “liberal” media and celebrity bad boys that got exposed (no pun intended), but only the sound of crickets when it came to holding Trump’s feet to the fire of sexual assault accountability.

Partician Outrage Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

I was so dismayed that those who claimed to be the champions of moral authority were backing the wrong horse (again), much like they did historically as Lutherans for Hitler, Dutch Reformed Christians for Apartheid, and Southern Baptists for segregation that I got mad as Hell—at God.

But here’s the problem with the version of Christianity I believe in:  I can’t actually see God—or audibly hear Him/Her.  I mean, I know He’s there and loves us pathetic humans—all of us.  It’s just that I used to believe God spoke to me as an individual, as many of the Christians who support Trump and will never leave his side do (God “told” them to stick with Trump, no matter what).  But I was brain washed and all of the things I said God had said to me (except one—check out Monsters’ Throwdown to see which one that was) was all shit I made up so that other Kool-Aid drinkers would think I was all that and a bag of chips.

Right now, I am really angry.  Angry that the will and love of God is being misinterpreted, and I’m angry that God doesn’t rescue our country from the mentally ill despot in the White House. I’m so angry that I am wallowing in sin like a pig in a mud hole.

This morning I woke up thinking how much I envy my Catholic friends.  I would love to go to confession and bare my soul because I’ve got some questions that need answers and God’s got some ‘splainin’ to do about why so many of his peeps are so delusional.  As I often do when my head and heart are in a fog, I made myself a cup of tea, turned on the fireplace, and fantasized about the conversation I would have if a priest came wandering by my window.

Memes About Confession me me

ME:  Bless me father for I have sinned.  It has been “never” since my last confession because I’m a Protestant.  I mean for years, I was so arrogant I thought Catholics weren’t true Christians.  So, I guess, technically, this is my first confession.  I mean, I pray all the time and ask God to forgive me for my multitudinous sins, but I’ve never used a conduit.  Please forgive me if I make a mess of this and above all, please don’t take offense.  Some of my best friends are Catholic.

PRIEST:  Hello, Eleanor.  Good to see you, my child. No offense taken. May God the Father of all mercies help you make a good Confession, and I will do my best to help guide you through the process as a non-Catholic.

ME:  Well, that’s good, Father, because I need to confess right off the bat that my heart is consumed with hatred.  It’s a good thing I don’t own a gun because I could seriously hurt somebody right now.  Recently, I received a copy of a Facebook screed pontificating on the “anointed” reign of Trump and how much he had accomplished in God’s name as God’s man in power.  This was written by a person who used to be my friend until her constant Facebook attacks on President Obama were so clearly racist that I realized she couldn’t possibly love me, as a Black woman, and believe the things she posted.  In my ex-friend’s dissertation about Trump, she ignored his blatant lies (he’s re-upped the birther lie about President Obama, in case you haven’t heard), she ignored his racism (have you seen the latest anti-Muslim retweet that were doctored videos by a neo-fascist hate group aimed at demonizing Muslims?), and she ignored his alignment with Roy Moore (the accused child molester running for the Senate in Alabama).  All backed up by Scripture, of course. I can’t believe that she is such an idiot.  I hate her with a passion!

Trump Supports Roy Moore Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

PRIEST:  Well … that’s probably not a good idea.  In your Protestant journey did you ever read the scripture from Proverbs 10:12: “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses?”

ME:  Yes, but SHE’S the one stirring up the strife.  The bitch knows better (sorry about the “B” word, Father), but she drank some right-wing Christian Kool-Aid.  Besides why should she be able to get away with being an idiot, and I have to obsequiously do the “love” thing?  You expect me to be nicer than Jesus?

PRIEST:  It’s not what I expect, it is what the God of Love commands.

ME:  Speaking of the God of Love, wait until you hear how mad I am at Him. I’ll probably get sent straight to Hell for those thoughts.  God’s got all the power, why doesn’t He DO something?  Why is He letting Trump flush our country down the toilet and bring us to the brink of WW III?  God knows that Trump is mentally ill.

PRIEST:  God’s ways are not our ways, my Child.

ME:  No disrespect, Father, but if I were a god and people were taking my name and my character in vain the way Trump and his Christian supporters are doing, I’d zap Trump with an aneurysm, strike Roy Moore with a heart attack, and cause the gun manufacturers and the NRA to get palsy every time they even thought about a gun.  And don’t get me started on Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders—the supposed daughter of a preacher man and a “God-fearing Christian” who justifies every lie Trump utters without blinking an eye.  Do you know that according to The Washington Post, Trump has made 1,628 false or misleading claims in less than 300 days?  I’d glue Sanders’ mouth shut and take away her ability to speak until she died if I were her god.  She’s heartless.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Meme: Covering for Trump Lies/imgflip.com

PRIEST:  Well, we should all be glad you’re not God, and that none of us get caught in your crossfire. It doesn’t seem to have one shred of mercy. Let me ask you something. Have you ever been wrong about what you considered truth?  I mean something that you believed for years—maybe even believed it because you thought that is what God wanted you to believe?  And then one day, or over a series of days or years, the metaphorical scabs were removed from your eyes, and you saw “the light”—so to speak?

ME:  Oh Yeah. It’s happened more than once about quite a few things.  I wrote three books about changing:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, and The Fetus Chronicles.  You should read them sometime.  I think you’d enjoy them—even as a priest. Although the language might be a bit rough for you.

PRIEST:  Oh, you’d be surprised at what I can tolerate being a Father Confessor.  Why do you think you changed?  Was it through people hating and disdaining you, or was it through people praying for your awakening out of delusional thinking into something concrete and truly holy and love-inspiring?

ME:  Huh, maybe…

PRIEST:  When’s the last time you’ve read Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

ME:  Okay, I get it.  I’ve forgotten who I am, and who God is.  I need to learn how to fight the good fight for the common good without resorting to using the same base weapons as my enemies, and let God do what only he can do to bring about the change he controls.  In the meantime, Father, now that I’ve seen the light—what is my penance?

PRIEST:  Not quite sure because you’re not Catholic.  Hum … How about, cut your news consumption by 90%? Most of it you can’t control, anyway.  Daily pray for strength to love those who wrong you.  Drink lots more chamomile tea and read a good book.  May I suggest the Holy Bible, Def Jam poetry, or listen to some Jill Scott tunes—preferably, “Living My Life Like it’s Golden”?

Confession Goes to You

Courtesy of Catholic Memes

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT) ABOUT LOVE CONQUERING HATE

I am discovering that as much as I’d like to hate those who hate me or hate what I hold dear, I simply can’t get away with it if I say I love God.  It seems I must force myself to constantly press through those ugly thoughts into a place of grace and love.  I must pray for those I believe to be delusional to see the light—the truth.  It is hard and almost damned near impossible, but I must reach high when they stoop low.  As to my God, if He is to be truly an all-powerful God to me, then I must trust in Him (not lean on my own understanding of the moment in time) that all things will work together for good in the end.  Unfortunately, the God of the Universewho is timelessseems to have a different concept of time which definitely affects when there is an end to evil at any given moment.

Alabamas Black Response David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

               INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

“This is not complicated. Conyers should resign. Franken should resign. Moore should drop out or be defeated. Hypocrisy on the other side doesn’t justify hypocrisy on our side. Period.”Tweet by Guy Cecil, Principal Player in Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee who helped Franken win reelection three years ago.

This is equally not complicated.  Trump should resign—immediately—before he fucks up our country to the point of no return.”—Eleanor Tomczyk, American citizen and decent human being

******

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

****** 

REFERENCES

https://www.salon.com/2017/11/29/sarah-sanders-just-defended-donald-trumps-retweets-showing-facts-dont-matter/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/our-political-foundation-is-rotting-away/2017/11/29/173a497c-d54d-11e7-b62d-d9345ced896d_story.html?tid=hybrid_experimentrandom_with_top_mostshared_2_na&utm_term=.8349aa67825b

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-bragged-nothing-in-the-world-like-first-rate-psy

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/29/opinions/donald-trump-has-gone-too-far-again-brian-klaas-opinion/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/11/14/president-trump-has-made-1628-false-or-misleading-claims-over-298-days/?utm_term=.8c3fbe8865b5

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/11/29/two-new-reports-suggest-trump-has-come-unhinged-the-truth-is-worse/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-b%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.24422f838962

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on November 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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CRUCIFYING OUR IDOLS

Do you know what I discovered this week?  We are a nation of idol worshipers, and the worship of one of those idols by one of the home owners in my gated community broke my heart last week.

I’ve made no bones about the fact that I live in an idyllic community—some would call it paradise—where the people have retired from all over the country.  They’ve come from all walks of life, from all sorts of struggles, and they’ve worked really hard to afford the retirement they now enjoy with such abundance.  I don’t know the exact breakdown, but I would take a wild guess that the racial make-up is 80% White, 20% African-American, Asian, Indian (as in East Asian), Hispanic, and other. For the most part, my co-paradisians are overly friendly when we pass each other on our daily walks or see each other at social events (“Good Morning, How you doin’? Haven’t seen you in a while, How’s your husband since the operation? Get rid of those moles in your yard, yet? Nice dog, Great weather we’re having, How about those Houston Astros?”).  My co-retirees are extremely inclusive, intelligent, creative, and fun to chat with on any given day.  Until one of them hoisted a Confederate flag.  He claimed he didn’t do it to offend anyone; he did it in support of his heritage.

As a descendant of slaves, I replied:  “Bullshit!  Your heritage was my family’s bondage.  Furthermore, your flag is a symbol of treason and an idolized piece of cloth that wrapped itself around slavery, rape, violence, and genocide with impunity.”

Confederate flag heritage excuse John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

That was the bad news.  The really, really good news is that our home owners association swiftly did the right thing—the righteous thing—and smacked down this “White Supremacy Idol” before it became a cancer and spread like wild fire decimating the common good in the community:

“The ___Home Owners Association is committed to an inclusive and diverse neighborhood, and to compliance with Fair Housing laws. 

“The _______ Handbook prohibits ‘offensive and inflammatory’ flags….  The Confederate flag falls under both of these sections as it has been and is currently used by groups and people to intimidate, demean, harass and cause fear.

“Further, pursuant to the terms of the Fair Housing Act and under our duty as the _______Board of Directors, we cannot permit hostile environments to exist in our neighborhood, particularly when we have the authority to regulate the activity causing the hostility.

“… in furtherance of the common interests of our residents and the inclusivity and diversity of our community and to comply with our Governing Documents and Fair Housing laws… the Association will now formally prohibit the display of any Confederate flag within ________ which is visible from the exterior of any lot.”

Confederate flag and heritage Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

…which was a good thing, because, for a fleeting moment, I thought I was gonna have to move, and ain’t nobody got time for that!

The neighborhood Confederate flag was appropriately and swiftly handled by my HOA and got me to thinking about what an incredible revolution we could have in America if everyone who believed in the universal creed, “Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you,” turned in their idols that were destructive to that Christ-like motto for the common good.

As I was meditating about it all, I fell asleep and dreamt that I was put in charge of a “Buy Back” program for the resistance for the Center for Idol Destruction.  My job was to purchase any and all idols that were destroying the true spirit of the American ideals.  I dreamt that the NRA leaders, along with gun manufacturers, turned in their Idol of the 2nd Amendment in exchange for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all American citizens.  It wasn’t easy, but they did it for the children.

Gun Rights Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

It was an emotional moment, and as we all hugged the bright-eyed kiddies gathered around us, the gun-rights people took up hammers and smashed the sacred cow that had become so idolatrous to them and so murderous to the rest of us.

While the champagne flowed, a group of men who looked like a sphinx on crack of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Kevin Spacey, Mark Halperin, and President Trump lugged in their Sexual Assault Power Idol.  They had worshiped it for years.  It was almost too grotesque to behold, and the harassment sphinx looked as if it was changing its mind, until I approached it in my pink #METOO t-shirt with a legion of women behind me.   The sexual assault sphinx smashed its idol for the sake of their mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, brothers, sons, and friends.

November 3, 2017

Cartoon used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News

As I sent the sexual assault sphinx to confession and a month-long lice and flea bath, a large contingency from the Evangelical and Catholic Conservative Christian world begrudgingly brought in their Idol of Political Power.  This idol was not an easy one to wrestle out of the hands of its owners.  It wasn’t until I showed them a mock-up of their carcasses in the afterlife on a fiery dung heap made out of their Christian values that they let go of their idol in the name of Jesus and smashed it into a million pieces.  There was a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth.   I made a note to keep an eye on this group because they seemed to be easily seduced, and I caught several of them trying to paste back the idol of political power with super glue when they thought I wasn’t looking.

Selling Soul Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

While I was looking for the Idols of Lust of Money and Greed, a group dropped by the Center who represented the 30-something percenters (a.k.a. the die-hard Trump supporters).  Most of them were from places like Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  They never expected Trump to keep his promises, but they love him anyway because he is the spitting image of their fear and ignorance.  They confessed that sometimes they wanted to destroy their Idols of Fear and Ignorance because they had become too burdensome to carry around, but letting go of their idols would mean they were wrong about so many things, and their pride just couldn’t admit to that—not after all they had lost.  Their fear and ignorance—cloaked in their prejudices—were all they had left.

The idolaters liked that Trump was bashing the NFL players who were “taking the knee in protest,” and a couple residents of Johnstown admitted to the reporter Michael Kruse from Politico* that they’d changed the football acronym to: “Niggers for Life” just for spite. They were mad as hell that those NFLers had so much, and they had so little left as true, blue, White Americans—real Americans.  Plus, no one could convince them that Obama was not the anti-Christ, because they had heard it in church after all, and no one could make them believe anything bad about Trump (no Russian collusion to see here, folks!) because it was all fake news anyway.  They loved Trump for tweeting and saying all the hateful, divisive things they felt that had mushroomed in their hearts from watching Fox News 24/7 and living in a closed and dying community.  Whether Trump ever kept a promise to them didn’t matter anymore; they would never abandon him.  At least Trump was tormenting the people that they wished they could beat the shit out of, given half the chance.

Sad, to say, those idol worshipers couldn’t let go of their sacred cows, and they walked out of my dream.  But I have hope that if they can’t let go of their idols today, maybe they’ll be able to do so tomorrow.  Hope always springs eternal in my dreams.

trump supporters John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT) ABOUT IDOLS

I am discovering that the Commonwealth of Virginia tore down some idols on Election night, too, and sent Donald Trump a very strong resistance message by defeating his confederate-statue-hugging-candidate of hate, anti-gun control, anti-immigration, and anti-healthcare choice for governor by declaring:  “NOT IN MY STATE!”  The voting results were what the Washington Post called “…nothing less than a stinging repudiation of Trump on the first anniversary of his election.”  In fact, that rallying cry was heard across the land in NYC, in New Jersey, in Maine, in Georgia, in North Carolina, in New Hampshire, in Pennsylvania, in Washington State, just to name a few.  Charlotte Alter, a national correspondent for Time had the perfect tweet:

“A trans woman beat the guy who introduced the bathroom bill. A gun victim’s boyfriend beat a delegate with an “A” grade from the NRA. A civil rights lawyer who sued the police department just became the top prosecutor in Philadelphia.  Something’s happening here, folks.”

You bet your sweet ass something is happening:  good folks of all religious creeds, ethnicities, races, economic backgrounds, and gender affiliations are taking back their country from the idol worshipers of bigotry, hatred, abuse, and assault—community by community, city by city, state by state, and smashing the idols to smithereens until we take back the White House for the common good of the people.  All the people.

Trump Impeached Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, http://www.miltpriggee.com

 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT IDOLATRY

 “I’m not a Universalist, and the way I talk about final loss is this: People worship idols – money, whatever. Their humanness gets reshaped around the idol – you become like what you worship. That’s one of the basic spiritual laws.”N. T. Wright

“Revenge, lust, ambition, pride, and self-will are too often exalted as the gods of man’s idolatry; while holiness, peace, contentment, and humility are viewed as unworthy of a serious thought.”Charles Spurgeon

What we need to affirm is that Jesus is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Whenever we marry Jesus to a political party, we are committing the sin of idolatry. We are making Jesus into the image of our political party.”Tony Campolo

All quotes courtesy of www.brainyquotes.com

******

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/11/06/the-indefensible-republican-response-to-the-texas-mass-shooting/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-b%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.f21af5fa70ea

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/11/06/theres-only-one-surefire-answer-to-the-problem-of-mass-shootings/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_analysis-the-answer-545pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.690eb57a461a

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/polls-close-anticipation-builds-as-virginia-governors-race-results-trickle-in/2017/11/07/68d6941e-c3d4-11e7-84bc-5e285c7f4512_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-high_vagovernor-8pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.e146154f9c62

https://www.salon.com/2017/11/08/yes-it-was-a-referendum-on-trump-reason-for-hope-a-year-after-the-catastrophe/

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/08/virginia-exit-polls-trump-northam-gillespie-244677

*https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/08/donald-trump-johnstown-pennsylvania-supporters-215800

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on November 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,