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ELECTRICITY IS NOT A HOBBY

28 Nov

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to the urgency of the subject matter, I am rerunning last week’s story to include an update about Eric Garner (Staten Island Man killed by NYC policemen in apparent chokehold for selling loose cigarettes) and Tamir Rice (twelve-year-old murdered by Cleveland police in possession of an airsoft BB-gun). The subject matter of judicial imbalance, racial injustice, and an overall “come to Jesus” meeting needed in America about racism in general is much too important to abandon just yet for the fluff Christmas post that I originally intended for this week. New dialogue and cartoons have been added to the storyline.

Do you know what I discovered this week? While I was away cheating on my vegetarian diet with stuffed turkey and the works, three conspiracy theories from the “man on the street” were texted to me by my roving news hounds who send me blog ideas each week:

#1. Bill Cosby accused of murdering Dr. Cliff Huxtable. A dear, sweet, African-American actor has been set up by “The Man” (a.k.a. white people) who don’t want black folks to be rich and famous.

#2. Ferguson Grand Jury decision purposely delayed from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to give time for media incitement from both the Left and the Right to ignite bad behavior to fire up dull news cycle (puns intended): (“Ferguson is a powder-keg! Will it blow tonight? Will people manage to stay calm in all their pent-up anger, frustration, and disappointment?), proving once again that “The Man” doesn’t want black folks to have nice things.

#3. Eric Garner Grand Jury refused to indict Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo for allegedly using a chokehold on an overweight black man for allegedly selling loose cigarettes because they hate fat people and love cigarette taxation. Also, it is clear that Obama is trying to start a race war.

#4. Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann (white), who shot and killed twelve-year-old Tamir Rice (black), is said to have been a “righteous” policeman who resigned from the Independence, Ohio police department for what CNN cites as a “dangerous loss of composure during live range training.”  The Cleveland Po-Po—always a model of law enforcement across America (I know because I was born and raised there)—hired Officer Loehmann without checking his previous employment records. Why?  The conspiracy theory is that this is Cleveland’s way of endearing itself to its minority population and maintaining its title of “The Mistake On the Lake,” and once again, Obama is trying to start a race war, people!

#5. Husband of author of Monsters’ Throwdown lodges a complaint with the Homeowners’ Association and his wife that his house is trying to assassinate him. He says his house is no longer a home because it has joined in conspiracy with his car, the appliances, the plumbing, the electricity, and the gas to eat up his retirement funds and rob him of all peace and joy.

Hell Greets Cosby Daryl Cagle CagleCartoons com

Used by permission: Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

I’ve got to tell you that the conspiracy theories brought to my attention within the past twenty-four hours have really done me in. I’m horrified on all accounts, and I really don’t know what to think or how to deal with them. One would think that the conspiracy theory that is close to home—my husband WW’s agitation with our home and its inanimate objects—would be manageable. I thought so too until my very intelligent but not-so-handy-handyman decided to take matters into his own hands.

I had just settled down at my desk to put together an outline for my blog, and as I sometimes do, had set up a list of four words that randomly popped into my head (three had come to mind, but I was still searching for the fourth) to focus my mind on the subject matter that I wanted to explore:

Integrity

Justice

Humanity

__________?

At that exact moment, I saw my husband (WW) march past my office door replete with a fully-stocked tool belt, workman’s glasses, a workman’s hard hat, and a pneumatic nail gun. Curious, I stopped typing mid-sentence…

ME:        Babe, where you going looking like one of the Village People?

WW:      Installing a dimming switch for the dining room chandelier for the holidays. I thought we could use more ambience.

ME:        Really? Okay. But it looks as if you’re going to singlehandedly build a three-story house with all those tools while simultaneously dancing to “YMCA.”   I don’t know much about nail guns, but I never heard of one being used to install a light switch. Don’t you use that particular tool to lay down wooden floors? Are you sure we shouldn’t call an electrician?

WW:      Why? Any idiot with half-a-brain can do this simple task. I’m Mensa, I speak four languages, I’m college-educated, and I can read the damn instructions on how to install a dimmer switch. If I call an electrician, he’ll charge me an arm and a leg. I’m tired of being ripped off.

ME:        All right, Honey. I need to get back to my blog. But yell if I can lend a hand.

With a great deal of trepidation, I returned to the outline of my blog. As I researched the stories of Bill Cosby and the alleged rape allegations (cried a bit at the betrayal of my trust by an idol) and Ferguson’s Grand Jury decision and subsequent riots (screamed and yelled a great deal on both accounts), I suddenly heard a piercing scream (“AAUUGH”) from my husband followed by a string of swear words in four different languages:  “Khayim ba-zevel [Hebrew], yup tvayoo materi [Russian], merde [French], skurwysyn [Polish], goddamnit!” When I ran to see if WW was okay, I could smell the fried hair and see the smoke emanating from his head. He had gotten an electric shock and actually lived to tell about it.

Electric Shock Cartoon Stock

Google Image: Respect Electricity Cartoon Stock

Any wife that has been married as long as I have, knows that watching her husband’s head smolder from his electrical misstep is not the time to say “I told you so.” But as I returned to writing my blog, I suddenly realized I had a fourth word to form the arc of my story: electricity. Integrity, Justice, Humanity, and Electricity. There was a story revolving around those four words with Bill Cosby and Ferguson, but I just couldn’t see it yet. Just as a light bulb flashed within my head with an idea, an actual light bulb in the ceiling fan exploded above my head. This time I was the one who did the screaming!

My resident handyman with blond electrical-spiked hair came running, took out a pair of tweezers-plyers from his tool belt, and began to advance toward the offending light socket with bold determination.

“NOOOOOOOO,” I screamed. “Call an electrician!” (It turned out that the entire fan needed overhauling—not just a socket change—and if I hadn’t spoken up when I did, WW would have destroyed the entire computer board in the fan and the remote with his limited knowledge of electricity and his do-it-yourself plan.)

When my husband came back from scheduling the electrician, I asked him if he’d told on himself about his electrical mishap and what the electrician had said. WW said that he had—with chagrin—told on himself, and all the electrician could say was: “Electricity is not a hobby, Mr. Tomczyk.”

*

EUREKA! That was the storyline for my blog: Integrity, and justice, are like electricity which equals humanity. These character qualities are not to be engaged in casually—they are not a hobby! It was with that clarity of purpose and mind that I set out to unravel the things that bothered me about two of our most recent American tragedies.

Truth Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

THE ELECTRICITY HEARING OF THE FERGUSON DEBACLE

INTEGRITY: To the members of the Grand Jury, my fellow prosecutors and I are here to bring clarity to the actions of the players in the recent Ferguson insanity. Why are very few of our blogger’s peeps (African-American and liberal commentators) talking about the thuggish actions of Michael Brown (captured on a security camera) robbing a convenience store in his community of cigars and shoving the store owner who tried to stop Mr. Brown before his encounter with Officer Wilson? The eighteen-year-old was someone’s son, but he was not Trayvon Martin, innocently walking back home after purchasing Skittles and iced tea and gunned down by an overzealous, wannabe cop with a racist mindset. Treating Michael Brown like a hero is a mischaracterization of the truth.

HUMANITY: Hold on Integrity. Brown’s misbehavior didn’t justify him being gunned down in the street and left there for four and a half hours while residents of the community walked by in horror and children burst into tears at the sight of a man lying in a pool of his own blood and policemen sauntered back and forth contaminating the crime scene. Why didn’t Officer Wilson aim for the knees if he felt threatened—why the “kill shot”? Why didn’t other officers get an ambulance to the scene ASAP?

INTEGRITY: True, true. But Humanity, why didn’t the prosecutor recuse himself from this case coming from a home whose father-cop had been murdered by a black man when the prosecutor was twelve years old? That would have been the righteous thing to do because no one could be impartial given those very personal circumstances—no one. Why did it appear that the prosecutor shredded his integrity by acting as Officer Wilson’s defense lawyer rather than a prosecutor guiding the grand jury to take the case to trial? Maybe the outcome would have been the same, but at least it would have appeared to be unbiased.

JUSTICE: Why were protestors burning, looting, and destroying their own community? What does a 70-inch looted TV, a trashed bakery shop, and a torched beauty supply establishment in a place where you live have to do with justice not served? The President called for calm. The grieving parents of Michael Brown called for calm. That was all that needed to be said or done that night. There is a battle of integrity ahead against the realities of a middle-class area that has slipped into poverty and an out-of-control police force (replicated across America), but the integrity of the rule of law must be obeyed or we’re all screwed at some point.

Ferguson Grand Jury Mike Keefe Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission: Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons

JUSTICE: Most policemen are good peeps, but we have a problem with too many of them who act as judge, juror, and executioner—especially against minorities. Our blogger is a chubby-ass, upper-middle-class, educated, sophisticated black woman married to a white man. But she never leaves home without identification and looking like a million bucks—even to take out the garbage. Why? Because she has been questioned by white policemen more times than she can count for being in the “wrong area” at the “wrong time” in multiple states. During each encounter with a white policeman, she was where she was supposed to be—either checking into a five-star bed and breakfast, or she just lived a few houses away and had gone out to smell the roses. And yet, not one of her white friends or acquaintances (including her husband) has ever, ever suffered these types of indignities—not even once. And yet it is commonplace for her as a black woman. The pain of this degradation runs deep amongst African-Americans, and it is not something that should be ignored or trivialized by their white brothers and sisters. Work still needs to be done for all races in America to feel as if they are treated equally.

HUMANITY: I want to know why did the policeman, Darren Wilson, not show one shred of humanity toward the Brown family for the loss of their child when he was being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos for ABC? I think it would have gone a long way to ease a tiny bit of pain in Ferguson, if when asked by the interviewer if he had any regrets, the officer had conveyed remorse at having killed a child of grieving and devastated parents. Instead, Officer Wilson said matter-of-factly (as if he had simply squished a bug), “no—I did what I was trained to do.” He said his conscience was clear and he would do it again. Really? I speak as the world’s humanity, and I state that the taking of a life should always give humans pause—even if it’s within their purview as a soldier or a policeman. If humans are graced with even a shred of humanity, killing another human should never be matter-of-fact and comfortable.

INTEGRITY: I tell you one thing: This is anything but Martin Luther King’s dream.

Cosby Allegations John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Used by permission: John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

THE ELECTRICITY HEARING OF BILL COSBY’S MURDER OF DR. CLIFF HUXTABLE

INTEGRITY: To the members of the Grand Jury, my fellow prosecutors and I are here to establish clarity surrounding the recent allegations of Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable’s assassination by Mr. Bill Cosby. There must have been agents, managers, producers, other comics, actors, directors, and even Cosby’s wife who knew or suspected Bill Cosby’s Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde split personality and turned a blind eye. (I know the comedian is innocent until proven guilty, but there is much too much smoke for there not to be a fire here—a reported 19 and counting 21 and counting rape accusations.) Where was the integrity of “good people” who kept this sordid tale so well hidden for so long—somebody besides the victims knew something? Cosby’s integrity seemed to be shoved up in a place where the sun don’t shine when he self-righteously preached to young black males to “pull up your pants,” “read a book,” “fix your grammar,” and “stop having babies out of wedlock” on his big papa lecture tour after writing his infamous book Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors? (As if droopy pants are the equivalent of drugging and raping women.) The Associated Press once credited Cosby with a great line about integrity:

“For me there is a time … when we have to turn the mirror around,” he said. “Because for me it is almost analgesic to talk about what the white man is doing against us. And it keeps a person frozen in their seat, it keeps you frozen in your hole you’re sitting in.”

I say, Mr. Cosby, I think it is time to turn your own goddamn mirror around!

JUSTICE: Integrity—that was a bit much. Cool it, Sista! Remember, the demise of the beloved Dr. Huxtable by the hands of his creator is simply hearsay until proven otherwise. I will say though that justice deferred is definitely justice denied, but in the scope of eternal justice, be sure human sins will find them out. The rape allegations against Bill Cosby may have skirted the Statute of Limitations, but they are not beyond that of public opinion—thus the recent cutting of ties between Cosby and his alma mater (University of Massachusetts Amherst), the halting of lucrative projects with NBC and Netflix, his forced resignation from Temple University’s Board of Trustees, and the Navy’s stripping of Cosby’s honorary title as chief petty officer. I suspect there will be more.

HUMANITY: You think!? (That’s sarcasm in case you didn’t notice!) We all should be furious. Even if those women were misguided or naïve, the at least 19 and counting 21 and counting rape allegations were someone’s daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, or niece. In another place, in another time, these could have been any of Cosby’s four daughters and the alleged rapist some other man who had turned his back on basic humanity.

INTEGRITY: Well, I have to admit that I am pissed and hurt, and it will take a long time for me to get over it. Another one of my torch bearers bites the dust!

Eric Garner Mike Keefe Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission: Mike Keefe Cagle Cartoons

THE ELECTRICITY HEARING OF A LOOSIE CHOKEHOLD AND A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD TAKE DOWN

JUSTICE: To the members of the Grand Jury in NYC, my fellow prosecutors and I have come before you with broken hearts. You had a tape, you saw and heard an innocent man without a weapon say “I can’t breathe!” eleven times. Yet you failed to indict the police. I ask you Grand Jury of NYC, how much is a man’s life worth in loose cigarettes? I, justice, have come undone.

INTEGRITY: You’re undone? I can’t stop crying over the death of a twelve-year-old who goes outside to play with a toy gun (maybe not the smartest move on the part of his parents to allow him to do this—still, did he deserve to die over a slip in judgment?), and he is shot within minutes of police arriving on the scene after they were warned that the gun might be a toy by the 911 caller. And get this: Twelve-year-old Tamir was shot by Police Officer Timothy Loehmann who had resigned from another force for what CNN cites as a “dangerous loss of composure during live range training” and an “inability to manage personal stress.” Deputy Chief Jim Polak’s review gave this final assessment: “I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies.” But, hello! Cleveland hired Officer Loehmann anyway without a thorough background check. WTF?!

HUMANITY: Yikes! Looks like America the beautiful has a problem! It is time for all good people in the land to come together and admit there are racial inequities that must be addressed instead of turning a blind eye and allowing the miscarriage of justice to sweep them under the proverbial carpet. The question that must be asked is “if that had been a twelve-year-old white boy with a toy gun, would he still be alive today? If the answer is yes, then America, you do indeed have a major humanity problem!

Eric Garner II Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

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

***

I am discovering that integrity and justice are like electricity, and electricity equals our humanity. Without the illumination of a clear sense of humanity coursing through our society, there can be no cohesive and compassionate community, and there will never be a post-racial environment in America. Ignoring these righteous qualities will cause us to constantly be at each other’s throats because of inhumane miscarriages of justice and threatening to burn the motherfucker down at every turn.

If we continue to undervalue individual integrity married to humanity, men will continue to rape women with impunity while society and the law turns a blind eye, and justice will be something that we only read about in fairy tales.

I am also discovering that integrity, justice, and humanity are not hobbies—they are the electricity of life.

***

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”Dennis Prager

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”Frederick Douglass

“For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?”—bell hooks

“We forget just how painfully dim the world was before electricity. A candle, a good candle, provides barely a hundredth of the illumination of a single 100 watt light bulb.”—Bill Bryson

*

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK (Monsters’ Throwdown)? BUY NOW AT AMAZON!

LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT www.eleanortomczyk.com

*

REFERENCES

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/bill-cosbys-legacy-recast-accusers-speak-in-detail-about-sexual-assault-allegations/2014/11/22/d7074938-718e-11e4-8808-afaa1e3a33ef_story.html?hpid=z1

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/28/prosecutor-used-grand-jury-to-let-darren-wilson-walk.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/bill-cosby-and-my-dad-a-bond-now-broken/2014/11/21/120c024c-71af-11e4-ad12-3734c461eab6_story.html?hpid=z6

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/27/showbiz/bill-cosby-umass-amherst/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-wallis/a-sad-night-for-america_b_6219540.html

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/26/a_hallucination_of_your_worst_fears_legal_scholar_patricia_williams_on_what_darren_wilsons_testimony_reveals_about_racism_in_america/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/06/nationwide-protests-eric-garner_n_6280366.html

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/24/boy-fatal-shooting-cleveland-police-replica-guns-marked

http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/04/justice/cleveland-police-officer-timothy-loehmann/

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.

 

 
31 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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31 responses to “ELECTRICITY IS NOT A HOBBY

  1. imagesbytdashfield

    November 28, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I have problems with the whole Cosby thing in that why wait so freaking long to come forth? Yes! I know that is a giant can of worms but I’m just saying. I am hoping that it’s all a major set up because if it is true then I will feel like nothing can be believed anymore. As for Ferguson…I was just there last week and I invite you to read my post about it. It has and does upset me on a very personal level.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Hi TD. Actually I have read your post on Ferguson as soon as you released it. I meditated on it for quite a bit before even writing my piece. It gave me the humanity I needed to even attempt to write this piece. I then read the story about the bakery (is it Natalie’s?) that was looted, and the customers and neighbors who tried to help out. From what I can ascertain, it seems that the real crazies burning, looting, and destroying don’t even live in Ferguson which is a shame. I also think the parents–even in their grief–should take responsibility for their son’s actions. If that had been my kid, I would have raised him from the dead and beat his behind for robbing the cigar store, and then I would have gone into mourning. But that’s just me (my kids know I’m crazy like that).

      Some of the accusations against Cosby are probably not true, but the reason I think there is fire there is because I’ve been hearing rumors like this for years. Also, when you research his Hugh Hefner friendship and the Playboy Mansion sleepovers, one gets the sense that there was an accepted randiness for male behavior that was part of the whole 60s and 70s. If JFK and Robert Kennedy were still alive, they wouldn’t be able to survive the scandal of the women who would come out (now that speaking the truth about these things won’t ruin a woman for life) to label them with accusations of the way they abused women. Now that men are beginning to speak up about what they saw or heard (did you see the Robert Downey, Sr. clip who was a partying buddy of Cosby’s), it will only be a matter of time before Cosby will have to fess up, and like so many, I will be devastated.

       
      • imagesbytdashfield

        November 28, 2014 at 6:10 pm

        Yep! Most of the instigators are from either surrounding towns or darn right out of town. Opportunistic thugs. Yes, it’s Natalie’s cakes that has been helped so greatly. A lot of other stores could probably use the same generosity. We left Ferguson/St.Louis/St. Charles the night before the verdict came out.

        The entire time I was praying things wouldn’t blow up while we were there because I knew regardless of how the verdict went there would be an explosion literally and figuratively. There is just so much wrong on every side of the fence it makes ones head spin.

        But in the end it all went and has gone terribly wrong. Now as for Cosby? My sister told me she had heard of his randiness back in the day. Eventually the other shoe will drop and I hope that when it does my Fat Albert/Dr. Huxtable loving heart won’t be too broken.

         
      • etomczyk

        November 28, 2014 at 6:13 pm

        TD: Well said, my friend. Well said! All of it just wants to make you stand up and holler! I will drop by and leave my thoughts on your post on Ferguson because it did touch me so deeply and influenced how I wrote my own post. Thanks so much.

         
  2. Elyse

    November 28, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Eleanor, this was one of your best posts ever. Your thoughts echo mine about both Ferguson and Cosby — only I haven’t even tried to write about either. So thank you for this.

    BTW, I loved the bit about WW, too. It seems we may be secretly married to the same man — at least as far as handyman duties are concerned. I get very nervous when I see my Harvard man with a tool of any sort in his hand!

    Lastly, I learned the hard way that electricity is not a hobby — I was wallpapering a room and trimming around an electric socket when I suddenly found myself on the other side of the room. I have been mighty cautious ever since.

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

     
    • etomczyk

      November 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Elyse. Yes, we seem to be married to similar people and they both have the same first name–go figure! Too funny (and scary) about you and electricity. Yikes!

      I’ve been sitting on my thoughts about Ferguson for a while and ruminating on the Cosby story since the beginning. It was hard to write because all of it has generated such fear (Ferguson) and loathing (Cosby) in me.

      Our Thanksgiving was fabulous–hope yours was as well.

       
      • Elyse

        November 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm

        It was, thanks. I always manage to not kill anyone; this year it was easirr to hold back than usual!

         
  3. Valentine Logar

    November 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Well yes. Just yes. But compassion, empathy; these go along with integrity, justice and humanity. In fact I am convinced without compassion and empathy the others are not achievable. We are at a tipping point, as a people, as a nation we are at a tipping point. I weep for all of us.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 28, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      Val: You are so right. Our hearts are hardening toward each other minute by minute. And the people who should know better, do better–the Christ followers among us–are some of the worst offenders. I am frequently saddened over it all.

       
  4. 509majesty

    November 28, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    There’s plenty in this to just yell “Yes, this is completely correct! How many people should I forward this to?” [I didn’t] But the story about your hubby interlaced just made me smile. My grandfather tried to teach me a lesson, told me the power was off at the breaker, next thing I know I’m on the kitchen floor trying to remember what my tongue felt like!
    I do’t know about the Cosby thing, childhood just out the door if true. And I’m definitely not qualified to comment on Ferguson beyond things just weren’t handled properly, by everyone. Shame me might never know the complete truth.

     
  5. Dotte

    November 28, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Eleanor, I really admire you for tackling these loaded and complex situations head on. And I’m grateful for a place where diverse thoughts and opinions can be shared and respected as we all search for some truth and frankly, for some comfort. It’s hard to write about the tragedy in Ferguson and the Cosby scandal. I feel they are both symptoms of an increasingly Godless society, and by that I mean human beings who are morally lost and adrift. In my mind the killing of Michael Brown is a manifestation of racism, pure and simple. I can’t believe a white man would have been shot and killed in the same situation. I also believe that the officer who shot him is not in touch with his own internalized racist thoughts and behavior – a typical phenomenon among many white people. (I think it’s called denial.) This makes it all the more difficult to address, let alone change. As for the Cosby mess, Kristoff in the NY Times sums it up well: ” . . . it’s too easy for us to see this narrowly as a Cosby scandal of celebrity, power and sex. The larger problem is a culture that enables rape. The larger problem is us.”

     
    • etomczyk

      November 29, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Dottie: Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. You are so right: The larger problem IS US in both the Ferguson meltdown and the culture of rape that enabled the “alleged” Cosby rapes. And don’t get me started on the debacle at UVa. God help us.

       
  6. Let's CUT the Crap!

    November 29, 2014 at 10:30 am

    You have outdone yourself. Both ugly subjects have been stared down with your usual precise writing and clarity. I don’t know what to believe anymore. What is happening to our humanity. We are living in the 21st century, yet it seems we’ve not made progress in the past 100 years. Why are we becoming more blind instead of clear-eyed, honest and humane towards each other?

     
    • etomczyk

      November 29, 2014 at 11:17 pm

      Tess, thanks so much. It does seem that we should be more spiritual, more reasonable, more intelligent, and more advanced given that it is the 21st century, and yet I remember with horror that it was not that many years ago that intelligent cultures and governments birthed the Holocaust, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Apartheid. People can be downright scary.

       
      • Let's CUT the Crap!

        November 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm

        True, war is war, but here we are supposed to be intelligent human beings where we come to your posts two subjects We’ve made no progress in those areas.

        Your posts are always great reads. 🙂

         
  7. talesfromthemotherland

    November 29, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    I’m glad you’re out there, saying much of what I think– I couldn’t say it as well. 😉 The Ferguson story and situation is ugly and egregious all around. There is no doubt in my mind that a young white man would not have been treated the same way, no matter how large he was, or whether he hit the officer first. However, it is equally bitter to me that so many people are calling Michael Brown an innocent “boy.” I tell him (my son) all the time that the stakes are higher now… he is a young MAN. He may be skinny, scrawny and clean as a whistle, but his attitude is judged much harsher by me these days. Last night we got in an argument and he got very mouthy with me… it was different when he was a boy (though unacceptable then as well). I will not have a man speak to me like that in my home. Period. Michael Brown did not stop and heed the requests of the officer. It is widely accepted that there was some kind of altercation with the officer– you just don’t have altercations with armed police officers! It hurts me on deep levels that he died because he is black– and I do believe that– but, he was not an innocent boy. You nailed that one: Trayvon Martin: innocent boy.

    As for Bill Cosby… so very sad. I certainly don’t think of rape as “randiness,” and there’s an awful lot of smoke here… as there has been for years. It’s sad, because we all loved him so much. That, if you ask me, is why it took so long to say anything. Hard to stand up to a beloved figure, when you are a women. It’s hard enough when your body is bruised and battered and everyone can see you were raped. It’s hard enough when you were gang raped, it was videotaped and witnessed– that is why so many young teen have committed suicide (after being silenced and bullied post-rape) or kept quiet… is it really any wonder that these women were scared to come forth??

    Hmmm, now I’m really riled up!

     
    • etomczyk

      November 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      Hi Dawn. I really did get you riled up! 🙂 No, I don’t think of rape as randiness, either. I was just saying that “boys will be boys” attitude fosters an atmosphere of rape (thus the latest UVa rape allegations at the fraternity). Woman are objectified and basically playthings which Hugh Hefner has grown rich on (I despise that man).

      No, one shouldn’t have altercations with policemen. I understand that logically, but I have mouthed off to white policemen in my day, and I remember it was because they had treated me like scum and I refused to take it. I was either being stopped for “walking while black” or “driving while black” in a white neighborhood. Most of the time I took it, but a couple of times I did not. Don’t know why it didn’t turn ugly. But it could have. Sometimes you get tired of people treating you like a dog.

       
      • talesfromthemotherland

        November 30, 2014 at 2:24 am

        Eleanor… SO sorry. I was not thinking that you were suggesting that being randy was connected to rape. I was responding to comments in general, lately, that suggest that because BC was so beloved, the accusations of rape must be wrong… that he was somehow being randy, or flirtatious, and it got blow up…

        Also, it should be ok to talk back to police and stand up for yourself. NO ONE should be treated like scum… but as I said, I believe that a white youth would not have been shot like that…. however, to put your head inside a police car and get in an altercation (accounts differ as to whether Michael Brown hit the officer) is just crazy– white or black. We had yet another heated discussion in our house today, about this case, and I said what you said in your piece: Trayvon Martin was indeed an entirely innocent boy, walking home. It is a bit more complicated with Michael Brown. He was certainly not avoiding trouble. That said, the police used such excessive force that it is truly unacceptable. Sorry if my riled up words didn’t come out clearly. :-/

         
      • etomczyk

        November 30, 2014 at 4:25 pm

        Dawn: No problem! I understand. Both these situations are a mess. I watched the documentary on Lance Armstrong today and I couldn’t believe what a psychotic liar he turned out to be. He had everybody fooled. He was one of my heroes, also. Here’s hoping that both these situations cause some much needed soul searching and that major changes are made in the arena of the protection of women and how our police engage with minority communities.

        By the way, congrats on being Freshly Pressed and the Huff Post gig.

         
      • talesfromthemotherland

        November 30, 2014 at 7:02 pm

        Thanks Eleanor! It’s been crazy ass mad in my email inbox! For all the great comments on Word Press, I’m getting slammed on HuffPost!! Any kind words would be great appreciated… if you have time to stop over and leave a comment. Crazy!

        I wrote a post about Lance, way back (It Is About the Bike) and agree with you– such a huge disappointment. Of course, that’s the problem with heroes, right? When they fall, it’s so painful!

         
  8. calvin

    November 30, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Integrity

    Justice

    Humanity……..the hallmarks of ‘rights and freedom’, tinker with it and it will bite you, as it should. Electric, Eleanor.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 30, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Calvin. So glad you stopped by. Aren’t we living in a world of hurt? Sure hope we wake up and fly right real soon cause I don’t think my heart’s going to be able to take much more.

       
      • calvin

        November 30, 2014 at 9:36 pm

        As much as we want or at least have an expectation of civilness, there is no question ‘hurt’ can be expected for sometime to come. It seems ‘we’, mankind, has to be pained into change.

         
  9. aFrankAngle

    December 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Regarding Ferguson, I see many wrongs in the whole series of events, so at least you mentioned them. Nonetheless, i imagine WW is a good electrician, thus was a good sport in this story. 😉

     
    • etomczyk

      December 2, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Frank. Yes, there are so many wrongs here, but maybe a national dialogue and a greater good will come of it all.

      No, WW is not a good electrician (he’s a great scholar, leader, husband, father, friend, actor, teacher–but electricity is not his forte). But he is a good sport, indeed!

       
      • aFrankAngle

        December 2, 2014 at 9:32 pm

        OK … at least I tried to give WW credit. 😉

         
  10. davidjhovsepian

    December 10, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I love how you tied in your blog with a story of WRITING your blog. lol. Your husband is smart but he’s like every other guy (won’t take directions). You make him a funny character lol.

     
    • etomczyk

      December 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      Hi David. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      My husband is a riot! He’s very, very smart in all sorts of ways, and he’s a great sport to let me use him as blog fodder. Someday I’ll write a story about the time he passed me with a chain saw, protective eyewear, and timberland boots to cut down a dying tree in the backyard with the resolute phrase: “I’m going to chop down a tree; I’ve never done it before, but how hard can it be?” Let’s just say, chopping down trees are forever off limits. 🙂

       
      • davidjhovsepian

        December 10, 2014 at 9:58 pm

        I cant wait for that story!

         
  11. milesmelissa9

    December 11, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    This is the best piece I have read on all of the tragic news we have been dealing with lately. Thank you!

     
    • etomczyk

      December 11, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Melissa. Thanks so much for stopping by. I really appreciate your thoughtful comment. All the best.

       

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