Do you know what I’ve discovered this week about blogging? There is no Hell like the one I enter when I walk through the portal that puts me at a loss for words. I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, I don’t bathe, and my poor husband gets no hot meals or happy endings.
After my July 4th post my brain went into hiatus. (I’m not sure, but I think it is vacationing somewhere in Bora Bora.) All this is keeping me from proceeding with my second book. My first book, Monsters’ Throwdown, was published six months ago, and I need to follow up with book two by the end of the year.
Calvin and Hobbs||Cartoonist Bill Watterson
As I fell in full face plant upon my laptop, my husband (WW) came home to no dinner and me still in sweat pants, looking as if “sexy” was a word that had never entered my vocabulary (Hey, never-you-mind: at age 66 I can still work it, baby!). I kept murmuring: “so many words, so many headlines, so little time!” As my editor, WW’s been through this drill before and instantly sprang into action to try and untangle my brain.
WW: Okay, don’t panic. It’s only words that have gotten themselves all scrambled in your head. Let’s freestyle and bring everything down to basics and do a simple word play to unscramble them. One word only: spill out the first adjectives and nouns that come to mind as fast as you can.
ME: “Ignorant, frustrated, surprised, frightened, mortifying, disgusted, humanitarian, embarrassing, violent, stupid, ship, border, help, wrinkly, Paula, “eeuuw,” ignorant, corpse, football, van, Cuba, zombie, St. Louis, Florida, Robin, elephant, crisis, déjà vu, blurred lines.”
WW: All right, all right, all right—that’s a start. How many news articles have you read? Never mind, don’t answer that. I can tell by your glazed-over eyes that you’ve read hundreds of online news and research articles. What if I help you eliminate words and headlines that can’t produce an interesting post? Would that clear your mind?
ME: No. [Said petulantly while scratching my head like a monkey—convinced by my hypochondriac mind that I probably have head lice from not washing my hair for days.]
WW: Humor your husband—after 35 years, you owe me this. I’ll randomly choose which words can be eliminated in the first round: “Ignorant, frustrated, surprised, frightened, mortifying, disgusting, humanitarian, embarrassing, violent, stupid, ship, border, help, wrinkly, Paula, ‘eeuuw,’ corpse, football, van, Cuba, zombie, St. Louis, Florida, Robin, elephant, crisis, déjà vu, blurred lines.” You’ve read scores of headlines since July 4th. Which ones come to mind that would fit the description of the eliminated words: ignorant, frustrated, disgusted, and stupid?
MM: Easy! Idiot Sarah Palin Demanding President’s Impeachment—WTF! (Eliminate the words ignorant and stupid) 2/3rds of Lincoln’s Party Agree with Palin and Think Obama Should Be Impeached Causing Lincoln Statue to Burst into Tears—the Lincoln Statue Is Inconsolable (disgusting, frustrated).
Used by Permission: Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch
WW: Yep, toss the Sarah Palin headline. Enough of that Christian poser. She’s just an attention ho. Ignore her.
Let’s get rid of some more words and headlines to help clear your head. Here we go—let’s eliminate: “surprised, frightened, mortifying, humanitarian, embarrassing, violent, ship, border, help, wrinkly, Paula, “eeuuw,” corpse, football, van, Cuba, zombie, St. Louis, Florida, Robin, elephant, crisis, déjà vu, blurred lines.” What headlines get flushed from your muddled brain with those words? Go!
ME: Okay: Online Dating A-hole Rejects Beautiful Woman in Her 50’s Because He Says She has “Wrinkly Skin,” Even Though He is of Similar Age and is Nothing to Write Home About—Dave, The Neanderthal is Upset When Lovely Lady Dumps His Ass and is Now On the Run from Millions of Angry Women in America (wrinkly, violent); Robin Thicke’s New Album, “Paula,” is Attempt to Win Back ex-Wife, But All Agree is TMI Cringe-Worthy (Paula, “eeuuw,” embarrassing, Robin, mortifying, blurred lines); Corpse Slips Out of Funeral Van Onto Street and Freaks Out Passer-byers (surprised, corpse, zombie, van, frightened); Elephant Sobs After Being Rescued from Five Decades in Chains—Promises Never to Forget His Torturers’ Sorry-Asses Whom He Plans to Trample Underfoot in Hell as He Makes His Way to Pachyderm Heaven (elephant).
WW: Drumroll please. That leaves you with the words “humanitarian, ship, border, help, football, Cuba, St. Louis, Florida, crisis, and déjà vu.” Can you see a blog story on the horizon?
Used by permission: Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
ME: Oh my God, the word pipes are unclogged! Hey Babe, you’re like Drano to the brain. I should bottle you and sell you to other writers.
Anyway, I think the post will be about the children crossing the border from Central America and how the politicians are using them as political footballs. And although the Dems and the Repubs need to get off their asses and help pass comprehensive immigration reform, this is not an immigration problem as much as it is a humanitarian crisis. The Party that stands for “Pro-life” needs to step up to the plate and help bring God’s grace and mercy to the situation instead of praying that these children will vanish back over the border to the Hell they came from.
And although I’m a true fan of the President, I’m not pleased with his decision to send these children back to their countries, nor the request for border funds to speed up their deportation—in fact, if you’re listening Mr. President, I am really saddened! Members of the GOP are already trying to sue you and calling for your impeachment, what do you have to lose by doing the right thing by these refugees? As far as I’m concerned, these babies have already come with signs on their backs that they are in danger from the enemies they left behind. Just to get to America, some of the children have been reportedly raped and abused, terrified and traumatized. I think I’ll write about how America has never really lived up to our refugee mission statement. I’ll introduce my readers to the déjà vu story of the Voyage of the Damned—the ship (SS St. Louis) that carried almost 1,000 Jews from Germany to America in 1939 after Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”) and the beginning of Hitler’s open annihilation of the Jews. Cuba refused the refugees and as the good German captain hung off Florida’s shores hoping and praying that the United States would allow the refugees to disembark, he was forced to return to Germany with most of his passengers while their relatives shouted encouragement to them from scores of small boats feverishly trailing the massive ship of the damned. Except for those who managed to make it to European countries beyond the reach of the Nazi extermination machine when they returned to Germany, many of them were eventually rounded up and sent to concentration camps where they died horrible deaths.
Used by Permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
ME: Knowing what we know now, we would have and should have taken in all the passengers of the SS St. Louis. Yeah, that’s the post I’ll write for my blog. Thanks, Babe.
WW: Happy to be of service, Cutie. In the meantime, why don’t I order in Chinese? And how about I run you a bath? You’re smelling a bit “ripe”—like Pepé Le Pew—almost as if you accompanied the children from Central America across the border.
ME: Oh, that’s really cold, husband of mine!
I am discovering that our country’s mission statement about immigration is full of high-tone rhetoric, but it is only words if the moral component of the Statue of Liberty’s invitation is not embraced and adhered to when the humanitarian situation calls us to do so:
“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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
It is easy to boast of our immigration policies and our Christian morals as a country when they don’t cost us anything or come in the correct color, with the desired skillset, and the proper entry point. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, our country has come to this crossroad many times and we have failed to treat the “alien” amongst us as seeing Jesus in the “least of them.” And don’t even get me started about how my ancestral peeps (dragged here against our wills) would have had a much better transition out of slavery to emancipation had the refugee situation been handled with grace and charity instead of 100 years of Jim Crow brutality (one million ex-slaves became sick and died after the Emancipation).
Courtesy of Ampersand by B. Deutsch || www.amptoons.com
“No country, including the United States, did as much as it might have or should have done to save innocent victims of Nazi persecution – Jews, Gypsies, political opponents and others. Restrictive US immigration policies kept hundreds of thousands of refugees from finding safety in the United States, most tragically exemplified by our refusal to allow the St. Louis to dock with its cargo of refugees – many of whom perished when the ship was forced to return to Europe.”—Eizenstat, May 1997 from “Voyage of the Damned” by Marilyn Henry/Jerusalem Post July 1998.
“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”—Eleanor Roosevelt
“The U.S. immigration laws are bad – really, really bad. I’d say treatment of immigrants is one of the greatest injustices done in our government’s name.”—Bill Gates
“Most Christian ‘believers’ tend to echo the cultural prejudices and worldviews of the dominant group in their country, with only a minority revealing any real transformation of attitudes or consciousness. It has been true of slavery and racism, classism and consumerism and issues of immigration and health care for the poor.”—Richard Rohr
. . . so that is what it was!
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