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LIVING IN THE NOW

If I could have a face-to-face, heart-to-heart talk with Jesus, I’d ask him: why oh Lord, how long oh Lord?

God only knows, I am so tired of trauma and drama that I could just scream! I think I’ve prayed 196,000 one-word prayers (HELP!) in the past two months spilling the tea to Jesus about what is happening here in America. I feel compelled to potentially get on his nerves by constantly bombarding the Lord with tales like: “Did you see that Jesus? White evangelicals have gone bat-shit crazy in your name—consequently they are killing us!  A high percentage of White Evangelical preachers are telling their congregations not to get vaccinated because of various conspiracy theories that they are pushing (all attached to you, Lord Jesus) being against the vaccines. The ‘Big Lie’ (Biden didn’t win the presidency) infuses all the other lies: Covid-19 is a hoax, vaccine mandates are a hoax (they aren’t the only ones who believe this but they definitely started the fire), Dr. Fauci is a hoax, climate change is a hoax, science is a hoax, our fair-voting system is a hoax, slavery was a hoax, the mainstream media are a hoax, Black Lives Matter is a hoax, Black people in general are a hoax…. I don’t want to tell you how to run your shop, but in case you haven’t noticed, because of their lies, we’re dying in droves down here!”

Cartoon used by permission: 255677_1290_rgb.jpg Word From on High by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

I read today that the reason so many Evangelicals believe in the Big Lie is because they said Jesus said that Trump was his anointed man and therefore would win the 2020 election by a landslide.  When that didn’t happen (because they made this bullshit up, and slapped a “thus saith, the Lord” on it), rather than stone the prophets who falsely “prophesied” this nonsense (I hear that’s what they used to do back in the day of Old Testament Bible times), Right-wing Evangelicals decided they could never do the humble thing and admit they were wrong, instead they decided the best thing to do was embrace the Big Lie (and all its appendages) that the election was stolen, that God’s will was thwarted, and that they best fight to the death because, after all, “God said.”

Cartoon used by permission: 255437_1290_rgb.jpg January 6th Rally by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Now I know God never declared any such thing, but it is my word (and all other sane people) against theirs.  Unfortunately, there are so many of them, and they don’t want to hear a word from me or others like me.  That’s why I think it would really be so beneficial if God would make a one-time appearance in the sky and simultaneously declare in every language:

“Listen up creation, this is your God. Ignore the Right-wing Evangelicals preachers and idiots in general. STOP THE MADNESS!  Here is my mission for you:  You’ve got approximately 30 years to save the Earth if you start last month, minutes to stop killing off your family, friends, and neighbors by getting vaccinated with the gift of shots that I sent you through science, and seconds to start loving your fellow woman/man as you love yourself which I modeled for you. But I’m not going to do it for you.  That’s why I gave you brains!  Over-and-out, God.”

In the meantime, I am almost undone.  I don’t know how to live in this world today.  A precious new granddaughter was just born into our family, and I can barely enjoy the thought of her without being overwhelmed with sadness about the world I’m leaving her.  Call me naïve, but I expected four things to happen in 2021:

  1. that once we got the vaccines rolled out, most of our citizens would do the right thing and get the shots to protect themselves and each other
  2. that the vaccines would not allow any leapfrog of the virus over the wall of the vaccines
  3. that once we pried Trump’s fat fingers off the Oval Office power, he’d sink into a molehill on one of his golf courses and disappear instead of sitting on the sidelines raising hell and planning his authoritarian takeover of the Presidency in 2024
  4. that I’d get back to some type of normalcy in life because all this shit would be done and gone

Well, crap, those things didn’t happen! 

Cartoon used by permission: 255511_1290_rgb.jpg Milley Moment by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune MN

How am I supposed to function in the midst of an apocalypse because I am truly exhausted?   Trump is causing all sorts of disgusting mayhem.  Rather than go away, he has gotten louder, more demonic, and more dangerous.  Apparently, we’re charting 2,000 deaths per day from the Delta variant (one American dies every 43 seconds since March 1st)—IT IS NOT GOING AWAY, PEOPLE!  I’ve become very aware that we’re going to be dealing with some variant of Covid-19 for a long, long time, and our country could very well sink into an authoritarian regime in the near future led by good ol’ self-righteous, born-again Christians (can we say American Taliban, anyone?) who reinstate Trump as President or someone even worse.  Afghanistan, Haiti, floods, wildfires, hurricanes, lying politicians, and lying preachers!  What shall I do?  Where shall I go?  How shall I live?

The other day my acupuncturist, who sometimes doubles as my psychiatrist, told me that she thinks I have “Pandemic Stress Disorder,” and I needed to snap out of it.  My response was: “No shit, Sherlock—do you live on this planet?”  She said, “you’re not alone—many, many others feel the same way as you do.”   It was after my session with Ms. Acupuncturist that I read an article by Brad Stulberg (Time.com), who said we all are suffering from “collective fatigue.” In Brad’s article—Why You Feel So Tired all the Time—he says we are “replacing excitement with anxiety.”  I think what he means is that we all need regular bouts of good excitement in our lives to give us energy and joy, such as vacations, dinners out, family reunions, concerts, sporting events, keeping up with current events, visiting one’s newborn grandchild (my major priority), but none of these things can happen without a lot of stress attached to engaging in these activities due to the pandemic and all the other depressing mess happening in our world (anti-mask folks beating up flight attendants on planes).

“There are, of course, many reasons for our collective fatigue: a year-and-a-half-long pandemic, social unrest and democratic backslide—to name a few.  But even beyond these obvious drivers, I think there is something else going on: We are replacing excitement with anxiety.” *—Brad Stulberg, Author of The Practice of Groundedness)

Cartoon used by permission: 255461_1290_rgb.jpg Happily Ever After by Christopher Weyant The Boston Globe MA

I told my acupuncturist about Brad Stulberg’s theory, and I said: “If what he says is true, how am I supposed to live?”

“In the now,” said the acupuncturist.

“Right now,” Ms. Acupuncturist said, “you are on my table, receiving treatment that will hopefully help your physical and mental ailments.  There is nothing else happening in this room except that. Trump is not here, and don’t bring him into this room via your thoughts.  Preachers misleading their congregations with false information are not here in this room. When Trump or the nutty preachers pop into your brain, kick them out.  If your images of them don’t go away, pray for them.  You’re a woman of faith, pray that they all will wake up and embrace the truth, and then leave it in God’s hands. Listen to the soothing music, and listen to my voice. We’re both vaccinated and wearing masks, so when thoughts of thousands dying from Covid-19 slip into your brain, let those thoughts go—don’t entertain the fear of ‘what if their selfishness affects my family, and my loved ones die.’  It isn’t happening at this moment, and that is all you can control—now!  Then do this exercise in the next moment after this, and the next moment after that, and the next.  There will be plenty of time to fight the good fight that you have control over, and when you’re in that moment, do so—fight with all your strength! Other than that, dwell on gratitude and love.  It’s not easy, but you’re going to have to do this in order to live because this shit’s not going away anytime soon!”

I took her advice.  That is how I’ve begun to live—moment by moment.  I can’t control people who refuse to do the right thing, but I will choose to do the right thing and protect my sanity and my health.  In fact, I’ve memorized the Serenity Prayer and say it to myself every morning before my feet hit the ground—especially the first six lines:

“God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time…”

(TODAY’S 196,001 PRAYER: Dear God:  Did you read the latest Right-Wing conspiracy theory headline? “Breitbart Writer is begging Trumpers to get vaccinated because he claims ‘Organized Left’ uses ‘reverse psychology’ by mocking the MAGA unvaccinated to ‘trick’ people into purposely refusing ‘Trump Vaccine,’ because it will benefit Joe Biden and the Dems if scores of Trumpers simply drop dead.”  God, please tell these stupid people to just take the damn shot!)

Cartoon used by permission: 255054_1290_rgb.jpg How can they be so dense by John Darkow Columbia Missourian

* https://time.com/6099133/why-you-feel-tired-all-the-time/

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a satirist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

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 September 25, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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DELTA DEATHS: BLAME IT ON THE ANTI-VAXXERS

Cartoon used by permission: 250639_1290_RGB.jpg Four Horsemen by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

NEWS HEADLINES IN AMERICA JULY 30, 2021

The Delta Whiplash is Here—The Atlantic

CDC warns that delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may make people sicker than original Covid—CNBC

Broadway Audiences Will Need Proof of Vaccination and Masks—NYTimes

‘What’s Covid?’ Why People at America’s Hardest-Partying Lake Are Not About to Get Vaccinated—Politico

They Spurned the Vaccine. Now They Want You to Know They Regret It—The NYTimes

How Trump’s ‘World of Bullshit’ Unleashed Today’s Delta Surge—Daily Beast

Cartoon used by permission: 253854 Two Americas by David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star, Tucson, AZ

On July 30, 2021, the above headlines announced to a divided America that we were starting to lose the war AGAIN against death and doom because a tenacious offshoot of Covid-19—the Delta variant—was reeking murderous havoc due to 100 million Americans (many of them motivated by support for Donald Trump) having ignored or thumbed their noses at the vaccines. The conversation below from Hell between Death and Satan can only be imagined.

DEATH:  Hey Dude, how’s it hangin’?

SATAN:  I just got back from roaming the Earth, seeking whom I may devour!

DEATH:  That’s very Shakespearean of you.

SATAN:  That’s very biblical of me: Father of Lies, The Great Destroyer, Beelzebub, Lucifer…

DEATH:  Whatever!  You’re such a drama queen. I got your message that you needed to see me. I sure hope this meeting is productive because I don’t have any time to waste. As the Angel of Death assigned to the Special Death Forces Unit of the USA, I have never been busier.  By the way, I could have used a head’s up before you unleased your nephew, Lieutenant Delta.

Cartoon used by permission: 253624 delta-force-go.png Delta Force Go by Pat Byrnes PoliticalCartoons com

SATAN:  Hey, I barely knew about his invasion date myself.  Been too busy trying to make room for all the incoming traffic. Besides, even I’m afraid of Delta—he’s a nasty little punk-ass SOB. I’m the Devil, and I can’t control him. But I must say, Delta’s invasion married well with the reckless, stubborn, arrogant, and stupid refusal of the Trump anti-vaxxers to get vaccinated and to wear masks.  It seems my conspiracy theories that I pushed on Facebook, Fox News and via the Republican Party really did the trick. Those I didn’t capture with self-centeredness, I captured with fear.  I especially liked the conspiracy theory that the vaccines will make you magnetic. So stupid, it’s delicious!  Don’t you just love that Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook?  The dude has no accountability to truth or humanity, which suits me just fine since that is my raison d’etre.  We have a wager down here in Hell to see who will kill the most people from Covid-19 with their wanton pushing of fake news, lies, and misinformation:  Zuckerberg or Trump.  What’s your wager, Death?

Cartoon used by permission: 253636 heard-stupidity.png Heard Stupidity by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoonscom

DEATH:  How the hell should I know?  All I know is that you’re going to get legions more now that Delta has unleashed his troops.  You should hear the anti-vaxxers’ hissy fits and screams over the CDC’s recommendation to return to masks to save them from the Delta variant.  You would think that they were being asked to pour hot boiling oil on their skin and set it afire. I have no pity for them.  More than 40% of Americans are unvaxxed, and they make up 97% of all Covid hospitalizations and 97% of my Covid death haul.  The Americans are running out of room in their hospitals.

SATAN:  Hm, call me an ol’ softie, but every once in a while, I feel a tiny pang of sorrow for those who can’t get the vaccine who get caught up in your death net—especially the children.

DEATH:  Well, I don’t.  I have no dog in this race.  I feel absolutely nothing.  Besides, I have a feeling the innocents by-pass you Pal and take the escalator to the celestial city in the sky.  Anyway, it might not be too late for the innocent and the arrogant.  Their President is stopping short of a Federal mandate that all Americans get vaccinated, and he seems to be encouraging businesses to mandate vaccines if people want to stay employed or attend events in their venues.  The anti-vaxxers are flipping out, of course—their heads are exploding.  Republicans are already lining up the lawsuits against the government and any businesses that try to “tread on their rights.”

Cartoon used by permission: 253910 anti-vax-covid-spreaders.png Anti Vax Covid Spreaders by Peter Kuper PoliticalCartoonscom

SATAN:  Pish-shah! Nobody in America can mandate vaccines.  It’s against their laws.  Americans have rights and their rights outweigh any responsibilities that they have towards anybody but themselves.  They are so goddamn selfish, which is why I adore them so much—favorite group of humans on Earth.  Besides, the demons and I were taking a coffee break yesterday, and we saw a segment on MSNBC that said 1 in 4 hospital staff workers aren’t vaccinated and don’t ever plan to be.  The lunchroom in Hell erupted in cacophonous cheers and chants: “Go Master, go Master; you did it, you did it—more inmates in Hell!” You know that when the people who swore an oath to “abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous” and to “do no harm” as healers refuse to embrace science and the truth, then the rest of the American public is so screeeeewed

Cartoon used by permission: 253687 anti-vaxx-menace.png Anti vaxx menace by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

DEATH:  False!  Vaccine mandates in America are not entirely unprecedented.  I, too, watch MSNBC and just happened to catch the Rachel Maddow show that aired a segment on the 1901 Smallpox epidemic in Cambridge, Massachusetts that was wiping out the city.  According to the Maddow show and the New England Historical Society, by 1905, 400,000 of Cambridge’s citizens had been vaccinated, but that was not enough to get control of the deadly pox.  The Cambridge Board of Health decided they weren’t havin’ that shit, so they mandated that all their citizens be vaccinated or pay a $5 fine ($150 in today’s currency).  Well, wouldn’t you know it, but a minister (Henning Jacobson) who claimed he was hearing God, declared that he had the God-given right to govern his own body as he saw fit despite safety for the common good, and he challenged the mandate in court all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court—Jacobson v. Massachusetts.  He lost and the citizens of Cambridge were saved from my scythe.  If I remember correctly, the law says:

“There is, of course, a sphere within which the individual may assert the supremacy of his own will and rightfully dispute the authority of any human government, especially of any free government existing under a written constitution…But it is equally true that in every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.”

Cartoon used by permission: 253890_1290_RGB.jpg Masks Again by Kevin Siers The Charlotte Observer NC

SATAN:   Well, I’ll be damned!

DEATH:  You already are.

SATAN:  Shut up, you show-off!  In any case, I need you to buy me some time.  So many people are dying so quickly, and while I love new recruits, I need to build on a wing to prepare for them.  I’m not even half-full yet, but I would like to make sure that I don’t lose a soul because I didn’t have enough beds of hot coals ready and prepared. Just a month or so.  Can you swing it?

DEATH:   Fine.  But you owe me one.  I can’t stop the deaths, but I can try and slow them down.  I’ll run a Public Service Announcement and place the ad on Facebook, Fox News, and all the conservative websites on the Internet.  Maybe, it will set a fire under their asses (no pun intended) to hold off their Earthly exit for a while.

SATAN:  Deal!

PSA FROM DEATH

To the American Public:  My name is Death, and I belong to no political party. I neither love nor hate Trump. I have no racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual identity. I don’t care if you’re fat or skinny, short or tall.  I don’t care if you just want to “stick it to the Libs” or you’re African-American and fear the Tuskegee Experiment redux.  It makes me no never mind if you’re one-day-old or ninety-nine-years old.  I never sleep.  If it is your time to have a meet-and-greet with me due to your lack of protection against Covid-19, I’m coming for you.  You mean only one thing to me: a harvest. I have no pity for your excuses, lies, or disillusionments.  This isn’t personal; I’m just doing my job.  So, if you don’t want to see me anytime soon, or even worse, have me introduce myself to your precious children, I have the following suggestions:

GET YOUR SHOTS

WEAR YOUR MASKS

Cartoon used by permission: 253882_1290_RGB.jpg Teeing Up Covid by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a satirist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

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.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 1, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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LOCKDOWNS ARE OVER—HURRAH! (I THINK)

Cartoon used by permission: 251036_RGB_1290.jpg Leaving COVID hibernation by John Darkow Columbia Missourian

On May 16, 2021, the CDC posted the following notice on its website:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
  2. Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
  3. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, (what the fuck is wrong with you?) find a vaccine. (Feisty interpretation, italics and underlining—mine, not the CDC’s—although I’m pretty sure it’s what they were thinking when they wrote this!)
Cartoon used by permission: 251631_RGB_1290.jpg No More Masks by Rick McKee CagleCartoons com

In the middle of May, a slightly chunky African-American grandmother awoke from a Rip Van Winkle state of somnolence feeling lost in time and space. She had existed in a Covid-19 pandemic for what she calculated to be approximately 456 days of semi-isolation (the semi being with her darling husband).  She’d done practically nothing, gone practically nowhere, and seen practically no one without being socially distanced, double masked, and brandishing a Lysol Disinfectant can as if it were a Colt 45 permanently taped to her right hand with mounds of Duct tape.  Now she was being told by her government to get out there, remove her mask, put away her wipes, and welcome the world with open arms—as long as those she hugged were vaccinated and scrubbed down with hand sanitizer (the grandma added this last requirement to be on the safe side) . 

Cartoon used by permission: 251685_RGB_1290.jpg New Public Service by Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

But how was she to know who had been vaccinated?  She didn’t know about anybody else, but after the Trump years, she didn’t trust some of her fellow Americans as far as she could throw them (approximately 74 million of them to be exact).  The fact that so many of them were anti-science, anti-Covid vaccinations, and pro-conspiracy theories was disconcerting to say the least.  Many of them were still lying about the results of the Presidential election so how was she supposed to trust them to follow the rules as she emerged from a year-and-a-half lockdown?  She thought to herself: “The Republicans were crazy as Hell before the lockdown—now they’ve completely lost their minds during the pandemic.  It’s going to be like the wild-wild west out there.”

Cartoon used by permission: 251771_RGB_1290.png Lucy Linus and Masks by Jeff Koterba CagleCartoons com

“On the other hand,” she thought, “do I even want to mingle with the masses again?  They weren’t that great before I went into hiding.”  To be very honest with you—she didn’t really like most people.  I mean she liked her family and friends, but she didn’t suffer fools lightly so why bother kicking it with people she didn’t trust?  (She’d already announced to no one in particular that she wouldn’t be returning to the canasta club because it was full of Trump Republicans, and she had no grace for that crazy shit anymore!) Anyway, unlike some people, she hadn’t minded the lockdown that much.  She missed seeing her children and grandson, but her family had really made that Zoom thing work like a charm with vibrant, transparent conversations, birthday parties, and an all-day Christmas celebration. The 64-million-dollar question for her was how to “re-enter” the world without getting damaged or killed.  Should she?  Could she?

Cartoon used by permission: 251696_RGB_1290.jpg The CDC masking advice by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

Every time our septuagenarian grandma read the news, Americans were hurting and killing each other—acting like fools—as if murdering their fellow human beings was their raison d’etre. Mass shootings every other day, horrific road rage incidents, and countless violent encounters on airplanes spilled forth like raging lava from an erupting volcano.  The world hadn’t gotten any better since she’d been in hiding.  It seemed meaner—hellbent on destroying everything and everyone in its mean-spirited path.  Instead of being grateful that they had survived, many people (especially the MAGA hats) were mad as hell, and they wanted to hurt others just for looking at them crossways or asking them to wear a mask or get a shot.

Cartoon used by permission: 252208_RGB_1290.jpg Pandemic of shootings by John Darkow Columbia Missourian

“Maybe I should just stay in my house where all is peaceful and serene,” our Grandmother thought.  “After all, I’m old and I don’t need much.  I’ve got my man, a wine cabinet, Netflix, a century’s worth of books, and our groceries can be delivered.  I’ve given Amazon so much money during the pandemic, I’m on a first name basis with Jeff Bezos. If Amazon doesn’t have what I want, I’m sure Jeff will reward my loyalty and go to the moon to get it for me.”  The compromise made her happy for a nano second, but then she remembered her children who lived on both coasts, and it made her sad.  She desperately wanted to see her children, her grandson, and granddaughter to come (she had to be there for that birth!), but the thought of getting back out there to mix it up with crazy-ass strangers was exhausting.  Getting on a plane to go anywhere would force her to engage with any type of person at any moment who might erupt in mean-spiritedness and craziness. No, it would be better to have the kids come to her—best to stay put and stay safe.  The pandemic seemed to have messed with people’s hearts and minds, so if our grandmother stayed sequestered, she reasoned, then she wouldn’t encounter any of this mayhem. Stay home, avoid people, and consequently avoid the mess.

Then one day, an unhinged White house painter arrived at the sequestered grandmother’s house.

Cartoon used by permission: 252604_RGB_1290.jpg COVID hibernation by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

Mema had previously reasoned that if she was going to stay put and have her family and friends come to her, then she might as well get the house spruced up for their homecoming.  So, she called an affable and efficient painter she’d used for a few years, ascertained that he had been vaccinated, and made known her wishes. 

At first, things went along as usual.  A few pleasantries were exchanged (“How’s your wife and kid?” “How’s your husband?) which were normal. However, the painter did make an inappropriate comment about how the grandmother (old enough to be his mother) didn’t look her age and he knew why. “That’s because Black don’t crack!” said the White man with glee as if they’d been lifelong drinking buddies!   Mema wanted to tell him that he didn’t know her that well to make such an inappropriate crack, but she decided to cut him some slack because she figured the pandemic had zapped a portion of his brain and his manners.  The contract was agreed upon: deposit paid upfront and rest of total paid upon completion of job—as always. The grandmother paid the deposit and went on about her business.

Soon it became clear that the pandemic had zapped not only the painter’s manners but also his business credibility and his civility.  The White painter went from an inappropriate racial stereotype, to falling behind on the job, to demanding more money before the delayed job was finished (the grandmother said, “no Dude, I’m no fool—read your contract”), to the pièce de résistance. When the grandmother kindly asked when the delayed job would be finished, the White painter (young enough to be her son) turned on the Black grandmother with raged-filled eyes and angrily barked, “What business is it of yours when we finish, ______” (the word “Bitch” was not audible, but the grandmother heard it loud and clear as if it were a cacophonous thunderclap, sucker punched into her heart by Zeus).

Cartoon used by permission: 249634_RGB_1290.png Post Pandemic Stress by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

“Post-pandemic anxiety in the flesh,” Mema thought.  “Road rage on my own property—is anyplace really safe?” she asked herself as she swallowed her anger, quietly defused the situation, and slowly backed away into the house to call her husband.  Needless to say, the painter lost a major job we had planned with him for the future as my husband went into his own post pandemic-rage and declared: “That man is not allowed to step foot on our property ever again!”

Mema could tell that once the words came out of the painter’s mouth, he knew that he had blown it—overstepped his boundaries.  The grandmother truly wished the painter had apologized.  If he had, she would have forgiven him (but by the grace of God go us all, right?).  But she watched as his pride hardened his heart, and he sullenly slumped off toward his truck.  Why did the painter say what he said to our sweet, chubby little grandmother?  Was it because she was a woman? An old woman? A Black woman?  Would the painter have spoken to a man like that?  Spoken to a White man like that?  Mema couldn’t answer any of those questions, but it showed her something very significant about her own life:  Nowhere and no one was totally safe against the post-pandemic anxiety of their fellow man.  She determined that she was anxious too, but hiding out in her home was no panacea. “Hell no! I won’t stay at home and miss out on what little life I have left” the grandmother said. On that note, she decided to summon her courage, leave her house, and visit her children, grandchildren, and friends as much and as often as possible because the old woman realized that she couldn’t control the attitudes and reactions of others—she could only control her reaction to them. And so, armed with an extra layer of grace and brotherly love, Mema booked her plane tickets and set off for New York City and Seattle to hug and kiss her babies… and their babies.

Cartoon used by permission: 251477_RGB_1290.jpg Out of the Covid cocoon by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES FOR STAYING SANE IN A POST-PANDEMIC ANXIOUS WORLD

“Now that the world is reopened, we may see less patience, more irritability, less stress tolerance because people have been trying to hold it together for so long. Even though they are finally able to ‘relax,’ they remain on edge because the effects of the mental stress over the past year do not go away overnight.”Dr. Crystal Clark of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“The differences we have on this planet are real. They’re profound. And they cause enormous tragedy as well as joy. But we’re just a bunch of humans with doubts and confusion. We do the best we can. And the best thing we can do is treat each other better, because we’re all we got.”—President Barack Obama

Cartoon used by permission: 252159_RGB_1290.jpg Virus Doesn’t Take a Holiday by John Darkow Columbia Missourian

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a satirist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

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 June 23, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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WHITE EVANGELICALS: THE SINS OF YOUR FATHERS ARE VISITED UPON YOU

In keeping with the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, I’ve repurposed a post (previously titled: “I’m Black and I Don’t Like Black History Month”). I have excerpted the Tulsa portion and updated the cartoons to underscore the spiritual connection I’ve found between the White Evangelical churches and the rise of the KKK who were deeply entrenched in their churches as preachers, deacons, choir members, Sunday school teachers, and racial haters. After much research—as a Black Born-Again believer in Jesus—I hold the White Evangelical churches, especially in the South, solely responsible for the Tulsa Massacre.

Cartoon used by permission: 252058_RGB_1290.png Tulsa Race Massacre 1921 by Dave Granlund PoliticalCartoons com

I wish Black history would simply be American History–told with searing honesty in our schools and religious houses so that profound conversations could ensue and an even deeper understanding could emerge to confront what is needed to really see how much damage the stain of slavery and the subsequent Jim Crow Laws did to our collective American souls, and how that stain still runs painfully deep. White people need to be healed from the damage of all that immoral racial DNA as much as Black folks do who were the victims of it.  Instead, many White people hope and declare that racism is over (“After all, I voted for Obama—twice!” or they declare, “Obama is the spawn of Satan”), and most Black people limp along—permanently scarred—robbed of generational wealth and talent. 

I attended mostly White churches for most of my “born again” years and I never, ever, ever heard the leaders speak of the responsibility their churches had in purging the sin of racism of their fathers in order to bring about racial healing. (It was the covert racism against President Obama masked in politics that caused me to flee the movement all together.) Just recently I saw a picture which broke my heart and caused me to research the White Evangelicals’ complicity with racism in America.

KKK thought to be in Portland, OR 1920/Photographer unknown/Public Domain

Do you know what I discovered? This evil shit is in White Evangelicals spiritual DNA!  Jesus plus the Ku Klux Klan?!  Hello?!  The deep discussions we need to have about race can’t be had until we recognize how much systemic racism is ingrained in and through White Christianity and how that coupling has made so much of the hateful antics against African-Americans “okay” in such a way that its tentacles are intertwined with the Gospel of Christ. 

The picture above was taken in 1920.  It is thought to be in a church in Portland, Oregon.  Six years before this picture was taken a White Methodist minister (William Joseph Simmons), resurrected the Ku Klux Klan that Ulysses S. Grant had earlier disbanded.  On the top of Stone Mountain in Georgia, Minister Simmons declared himself the Imperial Wizard and proclaimed:  “The angels that have anxiously watched the reformation from its beginnings must have hovered about Stone Mountain and shouted hosannas to the highest heavens.”  Rev. Simmons selected white robes to signify the “purity of Christ,” used the burning of the cross to denote the “light of Christ,” and used selective Bible verses to underscore the White man’s superiority.

Cartoon used by permission: 250851_RGB_1290.jpg The Longest War by Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

By the time the photo was taken of the local Klan in a church in Oregon, 5 million White men belonged to the KKK and had infiltrated churches all across America—some being so bold as to wear their “uniforms of terror” while they sang in church choirs or sat in church pews.  Many Protestant ministers (strictly Protestant because the KKK hated Catholics and Jews as much as Black people) were either sympathetic toward the KKK or were members.  If men running around in hooded sheets and burning crosses had been the extent of the Klan’s evil, we could have chalked it up to insanity and might have been able to racially heal in America.  But their deeds, which were sanctioned and led by many White Christian church members, were demonic and murderous across the nation (there are two dozen recorded massacres of thousands of Black Americans since that “Jesus Saves” photo was taken)—the most notable one which happened in Tusla, Oklahoma.

In 1921 approximately 3,200 Klansmen lived in Oklahoma (2,000 of them in Tulsa) which became the backdrop of the worst massacre of African-Americans in our history.  This brutal terrorist act happened in a city that boasted of copious White Christian churches as part of its reputation and stability.

Tulsa Race Massacre 1921 Wikipedia/Public Domain

On May 31, 1921, 35 blocks of an all-Black residential and business area, known as “the Negro Wall Street” because it was so prosperous, was burned to the ground by the jealous White citizens of Tulsa.  Approximately 10,000 Blacks had settled in the area due to the land rush at the time and established very vibrant and strong middle and upper class existences on valuable oil-rich land.  It was a model community.  They had doctors, lawyers, teachers, and bankers. They owned fine jewels and fur coats, pianos, beautiful houses, and delicately carved furniture. Greenwood, as it was called, had everything a thriving town would want, including Dr. A.C. Jackson, “the most able Negro surgeon in America” as cited by the Mayo brothers. 

In 1921, private planes bombed Greenwood from the air with turpentine balls while hundreds of White men gunned down anyone who tried to escape their homes and businesses, including Dr. A.C. Jackson as he ascended his office steps with his hands up in surrender. Although the exact number of deaths is not known, at least 300 people died, 1,200 homes were looted and subsequently burned to the ground while thousands of Greenwood’s citizens were imprisoned without recourse—while a number of the WWI vets were lynched.  It was reported (although never proven) that witnesses saw hundreds of bodies thrown into the river and mass graves. For years afterwards, Black Greenwood citizens would see their jewelry around the necks of White residents in and about town (I wonder if any of that stolen jewelry was worn to church with their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes when they “worshipped Jesus”?) while the Klan distributed postcards across the country with pictures of the destruction as proof of their ability to maintain White rule and dominance.  The loss was the equivalent of $30 million in damage in today’s currency according to Brandon Weber of The Progressive.

Greenwood Residents picking through burned homes/Photo: Public Domain

No White person was ever charged or held responsible for the Tulsa massacre. Many of the bodies were never found.  Until recently, Oklahoma buried the story and refused to acknowledge it.

The excuse for the terrorist attack: A shoe shine boy (Dick Rowland) who was stationed outside a Tulsa department store on the White side of town—well-known and liked by the White residents—needed to use the only restroom available for Blacks which was on the top floor of the store.  He ran into the elevator which was operated by a White woman (Sara Page).  For some reason Ms. Page screamed (Rowland stepped on her toe or he stumbled and grabbed her arm—some even say they might have been lovers, but no one ever knew the reason for the scream except that it wasn’t rape as was later accused).  Page’s scream frightened Rowland and he fled.  A White person heard the scream, saw Rowland running away, and assumed the worst.  The shoeshine boy was later exonerated and Ms. Page maintained from the beginning that nothing untoward had happened, but the destruction and massacre perpetrated by the White citizens were blamed on the Black citizens of Greenwood and they were never compensated.

Of all my research of this horrific moment in Black history, which as I said is still considered the worst massacre of African-Americans, I have never, ever read that the White Evangelical churches in Oklahoma took responsibility for the bedfellows they made with the Ku Klux Klan which undergirded their participation in Greenwood’s demise. I have found no record of any White Tulsa citizens coming to the aid of their African-American neighbors when they and their livelihood were being destroyed. I would like to think that at least one White “Christian” citizen did what Jesus would have done.

Courtesy of HBCU.org

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ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT) ON WHITE EVANGELICALISM AND RACISM

I am discovering of late that until we comprehend how much of America’s racism has been fostered and cloaked in the Gospel of Christ, it will be impossible to get to the root of our national sin and systemically kill this tree, because it is in the bloodstream of White Christian America.  Racism is a spiritual entity in our midst which permeates everything in our country from the church pew to the college campus to Wall Street to Congress, and it was born out of the sin of slavery.  Let’s not stop at patting ourselves on the back because we elected a Black president (twice)—let’s move on down the road and deeper into the forests of our Evangelical churches’ histories, and really rid ourselves of our national sin of racism.

On that note, we are not totally without hope. In April 2018, Pastor Jim Wallis (President of Sojourners) and the National Council of Churches led a rally marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Its major focus was to “Confess to Confront Racism: Confessing the Church’s Complicity in Practicing, Promoting, and Profiting from White Privilege and Racial Division.”  As Pastor Wallis said in Sojourners blog commentary:

“Let me say this as clearly as I can: Our original sin of white racism and the way it not just lingers but continues to evolve is literally throwing away imago dei — the image of God — and it happens over and over again each and every day. Let me quote a colleague, Professor Fr. Bryan Massingale from Fordham University, who says, ‘When I ask my white students if they have ever heard racism named or preached as a sin from their pulpits growing up in their churches — their answer is almost always NO.’ That says it all and that’s what we have to change. If we do, the changes could be enormous, with the fruits of repentance literally undergirding the substance of social change.”

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE

“Without confession to the sin of white racism, white supremacy, white privilege, people who call themselves white Christians will never be free.”@jimwallis

Cartoon used by permission: 252082_RGB_1290 (1).jpg 2nd Tulsa Race Massacre 1921 by Bruce Plante PoliticalCartoons com

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

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

***

REFERENCES

https://sojo.net/articles/50th-anniversary-dr-kings-assassination-confessing-churchs-complicity-racial-division

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/04/08/the-preacher-who-used-christianity-to-revive-the-ku-klux-klan/?utm_term=.288cd6c159d2

https://www.splcenter.org/20170925/hate-god%E2%80%99s-name

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2018/09/28/feature/they-was-killing-black-people/?utm_term=.aa2289ca731e

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 June 1, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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MY CRAZY-ASS MOTHER

(RETOOLED FROM A MOTHER’S DAY POST ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR IN 2013)

Cartoon used by permission: 251277_RGB_1290.png Mother’s Day with shots by Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons com

Do you know what I’ve discovered since getting vaccinated and watching our country begin to open up for travel?  We did it just in time for Mother’s Day!  As a mother, I now have the opportunity to see my precious children and 1 ½ grandchildren (one here and one on the way—hallelujah!). What could be sweeter than that?  TO MY 12-YEAR-OLD GRANDSON: These Mema lips and hugs are coming for you. I know that there is nothing worse for a pre-teen boy than to be smothered in kisses and have your cheeks pinched by your grandmother (except for maybe accidentally letting loose a fart in front of a person you have a crush on).  Well, you better run for cover Little Dude because I plan to cover your little mocha-chocolate face with indelible ruby red lipstick kisses that I haven’t been able to terrorize you with for more than a year and a half.  Fair warning, Sweet Boy! Ha!

Cartoon used by permission: 249452_RGB_1290.png Relaxed Covid Restrictions by Randall Enos Easton CT

To be honest, I haven’t always appreciated the concept of celebrating Mother’s Day, because I never had a mother who loved me.  My mother has been dead for over forty years, and I honestly can’t say if she were alive today that I’d run right out of the pandemic to go and see her.  Let’s be honest here: Mother’s Day celebrations are extremely problematic for children whose mothers caused them physical harm or mental torment.

My mother was probably a paranoid-schizophrenic long before I was born, but she kept it well hidden from her friends and relatives until the chaotic hormones of menopause and two out-of-wedlock pregnancies produced offspring who demanded to have a mother, and it drove her psychosis into the light of day.  Can I clue you in on a given? Children are very self-centered—if you bring them to this Earth, then you better take the time to properly parent them. They don’t give a shit what is going on in your life.  If you’re their mother, then you better damn well show up and do your job and being crazy is no excuse to those little barbarians: “Feed me, change me, hold me, love me, discipline me—goddamnit—or I’m going down to the nearest children’s ne’er-do-well office and fill out an application to become the worst thief, drug-addict, pole-dancing ho, gangsta, terrorist, self-centered brat that ever lived.  Forewarned is forearmed, Mommy Dearest.”—Signed: Your Kid

Cartoon used by permission: 92848_RGB_1290 (1).jpg Mothers Day by Peter Broelman Australia

There is an old adage that women end up emulating their mothers which scared the bejesus out of my sister Pee-wee and me.   We were always looking over our shoulders to see if the crazies were going to catch up with us from our mother.  We’re both in our seventies now and we’ve managed not to go insane yet (knock on wood), but we did so by tip-toeing gingerly past the graveyard of Mother’s Days lost and putting each other through a sanity check once or twice a year.

Cartoon used by permission: Turning into my mother, Cartoonist Dan Piraro www bizzaro com

My sister and I would take each other’s mental temperature with questions about scenarios that once plagued our mother’s daily existence:

“Are you talking to the wall, yet?”  (No, only to myself, but I try not to answer me or to talk back to myself more than once a day!)

“Are you sewing extraneous pockets inside your sweaters and coats and stuffing them with stolen Saltine crackers, sugar packets, salt and pepper shakers, and anything not nailed down at the lunch counter of the Woolworths Five and Dime to prepare for Armageddon?” (No, but I must confess that I take home the little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion from fancy hotels.  Does that count?)

“Do you make up conspiracy theories about the Russians trying to take control of your mind through radio waves?”  (No, although I must admit that I am starting to consider adopting a Russian conspiracy regarding the Republican party having their brains sucked out by Putin given the events of the past four years.)

“Do you fantasize about killing your children in order to protect them from the ‘Russians’ and white people in general”?  (No, but I might consider setting up a GoFundMe page to raise $55M per grandchild to hitch a ride on the first spaceship to colonize the moon if it means they get to escape systemic racism and police brutality on Earth.  Does that mean I’m crazy?)

Google meme: Unknown contributor

Yep, my mother was nuttier than a fruit cake. But you know what?  I’ve recently had a grownup revelation about my mama as I’ve blossomed into old age and my children have chartered their own paths in life.  I am cautiously making peace with the memory of my batshit-crazy mother and coming to the adult realization that she did the best she could—given her circumstances.  

Mama died in her sleep on an Easter morning in 1980, and I’m just beginning to see her through the prism of a life destroyed by systemic racism, constant sexual abuse by her preacher father, divorce and poverty.  As I interviewed people from her past to chronicle my mother’s all-consuming insanity for my memoirs, I learned of a woman who was not too different from me in her aspirations, dreams, and talents.  The difference between my mother’s insanity and my sanity—in her lack of mothering and my success in mothering—is that I had all the breaks she could never catch.

I found the true love of a very good man (Mama was summarily abandoned by my father and left to perish in poverty with two babies).  I got a great college education (Mama was never allowed to go past high school and spent much of her life as a maid or a minimum-wage cook rather than an opera singer which was her dream.)  I have traveled the world, lived abroad, and financially prospered (Mama never escaped the inner city of Cleveland nor did she ever leave the United States—dying in a rickety, roach and rat infested one-bedroom apartment).

Am I sane today in spite of my mother because I escaped ignorance and want?   Did I “get over” in life because I didn’t have to succumb to an American apartheid system as my mother did in her youth?  Were my babies safe from my potential descent into madness because I had hope for tomorrow and didn’t have to worry about my children’s next meal?  Only God knows.  But one thing is for sure:  I no longer judge my mother for the pain I endured as a child.  Besides, it has made me who I am and given me a riotous sense of humor.  In spite of everything my mother did or did not do, I have come to understand and forgive the woman who gave me life.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MAMA!

Cartoon used by permission: 163714_RGB_1290.png Mothers Day COLOR by Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch OH

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT MOTHERHOOD

“Our mothers always remain the strangest, craziest people we’ve ever met.” ― Marguerite Duras

“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did—that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that—a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” ― Debra Ginsberg

Cartoon used by permission: 210424_RGB_1290.png Mothers Day by Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle GA

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a satirist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

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 May 5, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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LOVE GETS THE SH*T KICKED OUT OF IT

Cartoon used by permission: 250398_RGB_1290.jpg America is back by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Where is the love?  That’s what I keep singing to myself as I read the news every day.  And I’m not wasting my breath on the soft R&B Donny Hathaway/Roberta Flack version—my voice is stripping the paint off the walls with the Black Eyed Peas version: 

What’s wrong with the world, mama

People livin’ like they ain’t got no mamas

I think the whole world’s addicted to the drama

Only attracted to things that’ll bring you trauma…

Where is the love?

As a Christian, I am particularly horrified by the lack of love demonstrated by the MAGA “so-called” Christians.  To me Jesus is love.  Period.  To me treating others as I wish to be treated is the answer. Period. To me love wins. Period.  But as I was musing over the loveless actions by so many people who should know better, I wondered if there was more behind their failure to love as Jesus commanded—maybe a hidden conspiracy to eradicate love altogether from the American soil.  Maybe the MAGA Christians are being trolled by a Wormwood demon like the one in C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.  As I meditated on the greatest definition of love between humans in the Bible (I Corinthians 13), I imagined correspondence between two demon-like women (Maggot Girl and her aunt, Scorched Earth)* who have been assigned by the Father of Lies (Devil, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Satan, Sneaky Snake…whatever you call evil) to turn the MAGA Christians into instruments of lying, deceiving, manipulating, self-centered godless creatures bent on erasing love and truth from the country that Ronald Reagan once claimed was the “shining city on a hill” to the rest of the world.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (I Corinthians 13:1)

Dear Maggot Girl: It was such a delight to receive your correspondence regarding the inroads you’ve made with the MAGA crowd in having them turn our enemy’s name and purpose into a used diaper.  I tell you, that was a stroke of genius encouraging them to carry “Jesus Saves” signs and crosses when they stormed the Capitol on January 6th.  Was that your idea to have a couple of them pray and ask him to bless their insurrection in support of a huge lie? Brilliant!  I bet “you know who” wept when he saw that.  Also, I must say that I admire the loveless touch of the MAGA peeps refusing to take the Covid vaccine even though their Orange Idol facilitated the rapid making of it.  Continue to blind them to the fact that the vaccine is not for them—it’s an act of love so that the people they come in contact with (their families, neighbors, and countrymen) don’t get Covid-19. Keep up the good work, dear niece. You are a chip off the old block, and I couldn’t be prouder of you.

Most Affectionately,

Aunt Scorched Earth

Cartoon used by permission: 249377_RGB_1290.jpg Fox News and Dr Seuss by John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune PA

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (I Corinthians 13:6)

Dear Maggot Girl:  I got your update on the continued indoctrination from Hell’s news channel—Fox News.  Their continued obfuscation of the “truth” by refusing to report it, and their ginning up of faux outrage over silliness instead is just fabulous!  Don’t you just love their new slogan: “Most Watched, Most Trusted”?  Even the most ardent Fox fan had to know that their old slogan—“Fair and Balanced”—was a farce.  But it served our master’s purpose because it got the MAGA crowd to swallow the lies from Hell hook, line, and sinker.  Did I tell you that I had lunch with Roger Ailes the other day?  He has one of the primo suites in Hell with a view overlooking the fiery lake. It was such an honor.  I don’t know if it was the 20th or the 23rd sexual harassment assault that earned him such a nice location down here, but I am telling you, I was positively jealous.  Of course, I kept my distance from him.  I’m no fool, no siree!  He’s a little too gross, even for me.  Stay focused, my Munchkin.  Looking forward to your next report.

Most Affectionately,

Aunt Scorched Earth

Cartoon used by permission: 250445_RGB_1290.jpg The Sleezeball by Bruce Plante PoliticalCartoons com

“Love always protects…” (I Corinthians 13:7)

Dear Maggot Girl:  I was so relieved to learn from your latest report that you were able to escape any entanglement with Rep. Matt Gaetz.  Given your tender age, I must say I was very concerned for your safety, but your assignment to pervert the meaning of love through a “Christian” vessel was too delicious to pass up.  Did I read in one of your previous reports that Gaetz once boasted (and I quote), “I was saved in a Baptist Church during my teenage years. I am a member of First Baptist Church in Fort Walton Beach. The Bible, the Gospel—these are our instructions from God. We are to follow faithfully”?  Woe, baby!  That hypocrisy is damn good—highest level stuff.  Keep up the good work, my Liebchen!

Most Affectionately,

Aunt Scorched Earth

Cartoon used by permission: 249819_RGB_1290.png Atlanta Killings by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:2)

Dear Maggot Girl:   Your reports of your influence on the shootings of eight people (six of them Asian) in Atlanta by that kid from an uber-strict Christian family were breathtaking.  Am I to understand that the young assassin’s Instagram bio once boasted the following tagline about himself: “Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God.  It’s a pretty good life”?  Our Father of Lies has been masterful in perverting normal sexual urges in Christian kids during their teen years into shame through their parents and holier than thou churches’ misinterpretation of the Bible regarding sexuality. Consequently, they either become sexually repressed or sexually obsessed to the point of being sexually possessed—overwhelming their abilities to have normal sex lives in their adult years.  A couple of quotes were very insightful in your report from The Washington Post: “A Neighbor said, ‘the family came across as a good Christian family,’” and “the assassin’s roommate said: ‘He was militant about it (suppressing his sexual urges) …this was the kind of guy who would hate himself for masturbating, would consider that a relapse.’”  He, he, he!  Heaven must be in mourning over this.  The people who should have been vessels of love bombed on three levels.  The Christian young man racially blamed Asian massage parlors for his “spiritual” failures and slaughtered them, his mother and father blamed the son for their lack of teaching healthy sexuality to him as a child and rejected him, and then his church summarily abandoned him—in the name of the God of love—in his hour of dire need. (If one can’t have the love of one’s church family when one has committed the most heinous of crimes, when in the hell does one ever need a God of redemption?)   I almost feel sorry for our enemy, the God of love.  His “love wins” campaign on the Earth is in shambles.  Eye-opening stuff, my favorite demon recruit.

Most Affectionately,

Aunt Scorched Earth

Cartoon used by permission: 249253_RGB_1290.jpg The spreading plague by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (I Corinthians 13:4)

“Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (I Corinthians 13:5)

“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:3)

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” (I Corinthians 13:8)

Dear Maggot Girl:  I just love your generation’s use of technology.  Your reports on the influence you’ve had in fomenting lies into MAGA Evangelical minds are phenomenal.  The Big Lie that the election was stolen is a classic and will go down in devil history as a guide to “how to hijack love through the use of subterfuge”.  But the Great Lie that Trump is Jesus’ main squeeze sent to Earth to do his bidding is priceless! In my day, all we had to booster the Emperor of Hell’s lies was Fox News and a couple back-alley internet trolls, like Alex Jones. However, your ability to recruit Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (oh, my devil, has that been a goldmine!) to foster Satan’s lies against love has been incredible.  Bravo!  Bravo!  Bravo!  Until we see each other again, I remain…

Most Affectionately,

Your Aunt Scorched Earth

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13)

My Dearest Maggot Girl:  As soon as you can, come on down home for a well-deserved vacation and for a special ceremony in your honor.  I’m supposed to keep it a surprise, but you are being given a special commendation for your work in thwarting love on Earth in the great territory of America.  The Emperor of Evil told me himself how proud he is of you. Due to your influence in turning love to hate in the hearts of so many Christians, racism is in full bloom in America.  His Majesty the Devil has always known there was one tool in his enemy’s tool chest that he, the Dark Lord, couldn’t beat in capturing the souls of men, and that was love.  But now that the MAGA Evangelicals have chosen to betray their master in heaven, forsaking love for power, and embracing lies and conspiracy theories for truth, we are definitely on a roll my Wart Pimple.  See you soon.  I can hardly wait to celebrate your triumph with a cup of witches’ brew.  Do you still remember the 23 ingredients of that delicious expensive potion: “a toad, a slice of swamp snake, a newt’s eye, a frog’s tongue, a bat’s fur, a dog’s tongue, a black snake’s forked tongue, a burrowing worm’s stinger, a lizard’s leg, an owl’s wing, a scale of dragon, a wolf’s tooth, a witch’s mummified flesh, the gullet and stomach of a ravenous shark, a root of hemlock (a very poisonous plant) that was dug up in the dark, a liver of a Christian who is not baptized, a goat’s bile, slips of pine trees, a Turk’s nose, a Tartar’s lips, finger of a baby that was born dead by a prostitute, a tiger’s gut and a baboon’s blood.” Hum…yum!  (At least that is what “Aslan” from Facebook claims who stole it from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.  Consider the source. Given that I found it on FB, it could all be a lie.)  In any case, we’ll have some sort of celebratory brew to toast your triumphs against love. I’ve been saving a bottle of champagne from the 1600s invented by that nasty monk, Dom Perignon for just such an occasion. Safe travels, Baby Soul Eater.

Most Affectionately,

Your Aunt Scorched Earth

*With apologies to the great C.S. Lewis and his brilliant satirical work, The Screwtape Letters.

Cartoon used by permission: 224200_RGB_1290.png  Cross Purposes by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a satirist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

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 April 11, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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BREAKING NEWS: I’M SUFFERING FROM PTSE—’Pandemic Trauma and Stress Experience!’

Cartoon used by permission: 249454_RGB_1290.jpg Breaking News by Rick McKee CagleCartoons com

The other day I posted on my Facebook page that I thought I had PTSD from living under the reign of Trump and Covid-19. But that is not accurate. Come to find out, I may have something called “pandemic trauma and stress experience (PTSE),” according to Dr. Gail Saltz, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine, as was reported to Nicole Karlis of Salon.com in the article: It’s not just you: Why everyone is super exhausted right now.”

For me the exhaustion started with the hope of getting the vaccine as a high-risk human. Stress, thy name is trying to hunt down a Covid-19 vaccine, especially as a senior citizen. I don’t know about your area, but my vaccine hunt was a “Where’s Waldo-like,” frustrating trip through pharmacy/hospital hell.  When the vaccine first came out, I was told by our local press (and my doctor) that I’d qualify for the top second group to be given the shot (1B) because I have several comorbidities—one of them being old age, another being gloriously chunky, and the rest of them being none of your business.

Cartoon used by permission: 249263_RGB_1290.jpg Light at the end of the tunnel by John Darkow, Columbia Missourian

When the time came for my group, I signed up everywhere there was a whisper of getting a vaccine appointment. Rumor had it that my doctor’s office might have 300 slots if I got there fast enough and kept calling and nagging them. (“Nope. Nada. No can do,” they said.) Two hospitals were rumored to have the shots but none that were affiliated with my doctors. (I was beginning to think this was a race thing because no Black person I knew had been able to procure a shot in my area.) I signed up on my county health website. (Eleanor, who?—don’t call us, ‘cause we ain’t gonna call you!) I heard about an obscure pharmacy in my town that uses the cutesy old English spelling of double p’s to describe its establishment—all I had to do was send a text to get on their list for a vaccine appointment, but apparently, they ran out of shots the day before I signed up. (They ghosted me like a Dickens specter, but never bothered to tell me that I didn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting vaccinated).  National news said one of the largest pharmacies in the land would offer millions of shots, and all I had to do was go online and sign up, but every time I logged on (day after day after day after day) every single appointment was booked.  (“W of the T of the F,” I thought, “I escaped the ghetto, certainly I can outsmart a stupid pharmacy website!”)

Cartoon used by permission: 249092_RGB_1290.png Losing It by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune MN

With my laptop in hand and my phone by my side, I stayed up through the night one evening mainlining caffeine, pinching myself to stay awake, and watching the sequel to the Gilmore Girls. (The revisit with the girls left something to be desired, BTW.)  At exactly two minutes after midnight, I logged onto the big pharmacy website, and Eureka! There were open appointments…although it took me a lifetime jumping through all the pages of questions they demanded like, “of these gazillion addresses listed, which one do you remember as a place you might have lived thirty years ago?” (Are you shittin’ me, giant pharmacy store? I can’t even remember what I had for dinner last week!)  By the time I finally escaped their Indiana Jones death traps and clicked on “submit,” and received two dates (one for each 2-shot vaccine), I thought I had won the lottery.  (Hallelujah, praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus!)

I bragged to everyone I knew that I had done the impossible and had gotten an appointment on the giant pharmacy website. I had done what other mere mortals could not do. My friends were so jealous.  I gave tutorials on how to go fishing for a vaccine appointment at two minutes after midnight when the pharmacy uploaded the new slots.  I was flying high!  (Note to self: pride goeth before the fall.)  Until…until the nation-wide pharmacy sent me an email three weeks later that my first appointment had been rescheduled.  (Same time—different date.)  Okay, okay…just keep breathing, I told myself—stay calm.  You’ve got your foot in the door.  They can’t abandon you now.  (Oy, I am so naive!)  Two days before my first shot, I got an email which announced that my rescheduled appointment had been cancelled and they had no idea when it would be rescheduled.  (“We’ll call you and reschedule promise.” Liars! They never did.) 

I finally did get my first vaccine (still waiting on the booster), but not through any of the multitudinous sites where I’m waitlisted.  I had to go through a backdoor channel because the sites that were supposed to do their job never got their shit together in my town.  (What a fuster cluck!)  I’m absolutely exhausted over this hunt to keep me alive.  I felt as if I were an addict trying to get a hookup.  I don’t want to hear any more news reports about Black people being reluctant to get the vaccine, because this is one Black person who had to move Heaven and Earth to get a needle shoved into my arm, and I’m still waiting for the repeat.

Covid-19 Vaccine ET: Photo Credit E. Tomczyk

Now I’m contemplating a world where I have more freedom.  I’m trying to wrap my head around reentering that world.  Apparently, that concept causes extreme anxiety too when a pandemic is winding down, if Dr. Gail Saltz is to be believed.  Where do I go first?  How far afield should I go?  Should I trust airplanes?  Should I go by car? How do I proceed?  Where will I be safe?  What should I wear?  Will any of my dress-up clothes still fit?  Should I wear one mask or two?  Will I be safe around the unvaccinated? Apparently, 50% of Trump supporters are anti-vaxxers and won’t wear masks—what do I do if I run into these Neanderthals other than beat the crap out of them for being so selfish?  What if I get sick from the booster shot?  What if…? It hurts my head.

I think I’m going to pull a Scarlett O’Hara and deal with it tomorrow—maybe sleep for a few more months.  Maybe catch up on the old Gossip Girl series while munching on a box of chocolates and Chinese take-out. YA literature pablum at 72 years old, wrapped in chocolate, accompanied by baby steps to reenter the world is all I can handle right now.  Just trying to get vaccinated wore me out for at least another year.

Cartoon used by permission: 249634_RGB_1290.jpg Post Pandemic Stress by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

Cartoon used by permission: 248908_RGB_1290.jpg Tomb of the Unknown by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

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 March 19, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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“Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing, Baby… ”

VALENTINE’S DAY STORY REMIX: I pulled this post from a few years ago and decided to update the pictures and cartoons and rerun it because I still feel the same way about my man after all these years.  Enjoy!

Author and Husband celebrating 40th Anniversary Kiss/Photo Credit: M. Mason

Do you know what I’ve discovered about this Valentine’s Day?  I got struck by Cupid’s arrow some 48 years ago and it was true love—go figure!   I am Black, and he is White.  We met 7 years after the Supreme Court struck down the miscegenation laws across America via Loving vs Virginia.  We married 12 years after interracial marriage became legal in the United States.  But even though the anti-miscegenation laws took effect in 1967, it took South Carolina until 1998 and Alabama until 2000 to get their acts together—and they did it by a mere 62% (SC) and 59% (AL) of the voters.  Oh well, good thing WW (“White and Wonderful”) and I went on about the business of building our lives and being outrageously happy without waiting for the naysayers and the racists to give us permission to love.

Author and Husband 14th Anniversary/Photo Credit: J. Tomczyk
Anniversary Celebration of Author and Husband: Photo Credit/J. Tomczyk
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
…and then there were four! Author’s Husband and Children/Photo credit: E. Tomczyk

My husband and I owe a great deal of gratitude to Mildred and Richard Loving.  God knew what he was doing when he allowed the burden of overturning the miscegenation laws in America to be placed upon their backs.  They were simple country people who had grown up together and fallen in love.  They weren’t interested in brandishing a cause—they just loved each other.   When they married in DC where interracial unions were legal, they came back to their home in Virginia to start their lives together.  I have often tried to imagine what it was like when the white sheriff and his two deputies broke into the Loving’s home in the middle of the night while they were sleeping and dragged them out of their bed and put them in separate jail cells—tormenting Mrs. Loving with the threat of rape from other prisoners.  They pled guilty to “breaking the law” and were sentenced to one year in jail, but it was suspended for 25 years if they agreed to leave Virginia and never return together— leaving behind their home, their land, their parents, their friends, and their relatives.

The trial judge of Virginia (Judge Leon Bazile) who leveled the inhumane judgment against the Lovings issued this statement in defense of his ruling:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

When I read Judge Bazile’s draconian statement, I wondered what type of marriage he had.  Was he happy?  Did he touch the soul of his wife like a deer panting after running rivers when it is exhausted from thirst (I suppose I’d have to ask her)?  Did the two of them share uproarious laughter over something innocuous that only resonates with two hearts connected in seeing life through the same kaleidoscope? Was she the first well-spring of joy on Judge Bazile’s mind when he awoke most mornings and the last one he longingly kissed goodnight? Had they traveled to Hell and back having been beaten, tossed, and battered by this world and still come out loving each other—loving deeper than when they first began? Because, you see, my husband and I have experienced that type of deep, deep love for forty-two years.

When I see the signs of the racists back in the day who equated the mixing of the races to communism, or heralding the Antichrist’s reign of terror down on our country, it causes me to ponder how many of these men beat their wives, or how many of these people divorced each other, or how many of them sat at dinner tables and never uttered one word of conversation to each other beyond an occasional grunt or two because they had nothing in common?  Because you see, WW and I can’t shut up from sharing what we’ve experienced while we’ve been apart because we’re each other’s best friend and best listener.  We love many of the same things, and what we don’t love, we pretend that we do.  I wonder if the people in the archival picture from the 60s who were against interracial love got marriage so perfectly that they can now sit at the right hand of God and judge all others outside of their spectrum.

Race Mixing
Civil Rights Image Archives

It took the Lovings nine years to win their case to stay a married couple in Virginia.  In 1967 they prevailed and Chief Justice Warren issued this statement:

“’Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.’

The Supreme Court condemned Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law as ‘designed to maintain White supremacy.’”—Wikipedia

Interracial Marriage cartoon Kevin Sters
Sacred Institution of Marriage, Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer, NC/Cagle Cartoons

The most romantic words I’ve ever heard were from the lips of Richard Loving just before the Supreme Court ruling when his lawyer asked if he had any message for the judges:

“Mr. Cohen, tell the court I love my wife!”

I am discovering what I’ve always known:  I love my husband, and I can’t imagine having lived life without him.  I would be half the person I am today.  Marvin Gaye was right when he sang:  “Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby…” In the beginning of our marriage, people used to stare at us all the time and occasionally make cracks about our interracial status (“Hey, Zebras”).  But now most times when people of any race stare at this old couple deeply loving one another in our 70’s, they often ask how long we’ve been married, gasp at the answer, and then ask us our secret.  We used to throw two-word one-liners at them:  “it’s communication, it’s respect, it’s laughter, it’s prayer…”  But now we just say “it is love,” and the definition is I Corinthians 13:4-8.

LOVE

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything (well… most things–annotation, mine),

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies.

TODAY: Let us grow old together because loving well AND living well is the best revenge!/Photo: J. Tomczyk

QUOTES FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

“Love is no game! It is no flowery softness! It is hard work―a quest that never ends. It demands everything from you―especially the truth. Only then does it yield rewards.―Cupid”Rick Riordan, The House of Hades

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”—Charles M. Schulz

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone―we find it with another.”—Thomas Merton

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

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 February 13, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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OPENING OUR SOULS INSTEAD OF HARDENING OUR HEARTS

Cartoon used by permission: 247756_RGB_1290.png Page Turner by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune MN

January 20, 2021—Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ Inauguration day that almost wasn’t.  I’ve got to tell you that I was so nervous about the fulfillment of the promise of that day that I could barely breathe. (It didn’t disappoint.)  I plopped my chubby ass down on the couch in front of my TV at 11:00 a.m. (along with a husband, a bottle of champagne, caviar, cheese and crackers) and didn’t move (except for a few quick bathroom breaks—after all, I am 72, and my bladder is the size of an apricot) until the last bombastic explosion during the climax of Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” song at 11:00 p.m.

Somewhere around the middle of President Biden’s inaugural speech I started to bawl like an abandoned baby just wanting to be held, and when the President got to this passage in his speech, I heard what he was requiring of me as a good citizen—a good Christian, and it resonated loud and clear:

“But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like you do, or worship the way you do, or don’t get their news from the same sources you do.

“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility.

“As my mom would say— just for a moment, stand in their shoes. Because here’s the thing about life. There’s no accounting for what fate will deal you. There are some days when we need a hand.  There are other days when we’re called on to lend one.  That is how we must be with one another.”

Cartoon used by permission: 247799_RGB_1290 (1).jpg History is watching by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

At the end of the inauguration, I raised a glass in tribute to hope, healing, and unity in America, and posted my congrats on my Facebook page:

“CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT BIDEN AND VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS!  For the first time in four years, I am able to exhale.  You both are truly an answer to a culmination of prayers for restoration of sanity, truth, and righteousness.  God bless you both, and God bless the United States of America as you lead us in healing, unity, and restoration of integrity to the Presidency and our nation.

P.S.  I wore my pearls today in honor of you, Madam Vice President. I am so very, very proud of you!”

Author’s Toast to Biden/Harris: Photo credit: J. Tomczyk

It didn’t even take 24 hours before my first hater struck.  He was MAGA, he was White, he was male, he was self-righteous, he was angry, and he was entitled.  He felt he had every right to attack my faith and my intelligence as an educated, accomplished 72-year-old Black woman, and every fiber in my being wanted to “clap back” on Facebook and rip his face off while simultaneously puncturing his butt with a new a-hole. And then I remembered something significant about my attacker: But for the grace of God, go I.  Instead of attacking back, I blocked that White man’s assault (sent him into Cyber Hell). Rather than let him draw me into an argument on Facebook (each hidden behind the manipulative algorithm skirts of Mark Zuckerberg), I have chosen to answer my hater in a more controlled space.

Cartoon used by permission: 247696_RGB_1290.jpg Franklin Graham and the One Commandment by John Cole ncpolicywatch com

Dear MAGA White Man (a.k.a, “Hater just be hatin’ cause he thinks he can”):

I know you! I haven’t seen you or talked to you in over thirty years, but I do remember you. In fact, we used to belong to the same cult, back in the day—some fifty years ago. We weren’t close or anything, but we did enjoy each other’s company when our paths crossed.

You were different then—full of hope and promise that we were going to save the world in Jesus’s name.  You were shy and unassuming, but your eyes always twinkled with joy.  I remember, unlike most people I meet, I was always glad to encounter you. 

About ten years after our initial church affiliation together, I ran into you in another town while visiting a mutual friend.  You and your lovely wife invited my husband and me to your home for an evening of great food and wine.  It was a lovely dinner, full of laughter and sharing of artistic endeavors. As we ate dinner on your deck under a perfect starlit night, I remember being in awe of your talent as you proudly displayed your most recent artwork. At one point, late in the evening after much wine, you confessed that since our youthful adventure in a church we attended some ten years before, you had suffered much pain and sorrow.  You spoke of how you had struggled financially for years just trying to make ends meet, and it had been a great strain on your wife and children.  But a miracle had happened!  You had come into a windfall of a large sum of money a year before, and thought you and your family were finally going to be able to participate in the American dream.

Cartoon used by permission: 224270_RGB_1290.png Easter by Milt Priggee Oak Harbor WA

But life has a way of fucking with us—as I know all too well.  At this point in the story, you began to cry and your wife took up the telling of your Odysseus journey.  She couldn’t explain the “why” of your choices, and no one who had not walked a mile in your shoes could ever possibly apprehend your decisions over that previous year.  Your mother had died unexpectantly, and your wife’s body was diagnosed to be riddled with cancer.  You did as we were taught to do:  pray for another miracle.  After all, bad things didn’t happen to good people—or so we thought.  Somewhere in your fog of grief, your wife said you started assuaging your pain and lack of control over the vagaries of life by carousing the dark dens of crack and heroin in a neighboring city, and in less than a year, your newfound wealth—your children’s education and your wife’s medical treatments—was snorted up your nose and shot into your emaciated arms.

Then your wife said something to me I will never forget: “We had suffered the death of his precious mom, the threat of cancer plagued us, and we had lost all our money—we were at rock bottom.  But I decided that I was not going to lose my man like this. There was no future without him. And so, I—a White woman from a small town, scared of my own shadow and shaking like a leaf in the middle of a gale storm—combed every crack house in the city looking for him—frantically searching for him—until I found my wasted husband and dragged him home to heal.”

I remember saying something stupid like, “I grew up in the heart of the ghetto, and I wouldn’t have had the courage to do what you did.”  Your wife said something I will never forget: “Oh yes, you would have found the courage because ‘perfect love casts out all fear.’” At the end of the evening, we prayed together. Prayed for your continued recovery and for the healing of your wife.  Prayed that what the “canker worm had eaten would be restored.”  Prayed that all our lives would be blessed in the future.

Cartoon used by permission: 191272_RGB_1290.png Valentines Lasting Love COLOR by Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

That was thirty years ago.  We lost touch after that.  I’d seen your profile on Facebook once, but I didn’t follow your posts.  Saw just enough to notice that you were still clinging to the false doctrines of our cult days, which I had summarily rejected*. I also noticed you were a real MAGA Head and Trump worshipper. I gave you grace by not attacking you (never commenting—not even a horrified emoji face) for your beliefs on your FB page.  Imagine my surprise when you attacked my faith on my FB page—accused me of not believing in Jesus—simply because I congratulated President Biden and Vice President Harris on their election win.  You did so not knowing what I’ve been though in life and not having spoken to me in several decades.  At first, in my anger (I ain’t gonna lie—I really wanted to smack you upside your head and rip off your testicles), I didn’t remember our dinner of years ago.  All I could think about was coming after you with both guns verbally loaded.  But before waging my attack, I contacted a few old mutual friends to “kvetch.”  They told me that they had lost touch with you now that you’d become such an anti-truth, Trump idolizer.  However, they did mention that they heard you had fallen back into drugs for a while, lost everything again, and the cruelest cut of all was that your lovely wife had died.  They said that you’d gone nuts (their words, not mine).

Cartoon used by permission: 247327_RGB_1290 (1).png MAGA Hatters by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

That is when my reactive anger against you dissipated, and I felt great sorrow for you.  All I could think about was: “But for the grace of God, go I.” We both entered that church 50 years ago needing a place to belong in the calamitous, cacophonous, driftless years of the 70s, but never realized that it would turn into a cult and that that cult would make your mind a fertile ground for the MAGA doctrine. We were full of so much hope and expectations. Both of us had and have suffered great losses and disappointments since then. I fled the religion of our youth* losing my best friend and church home, but I feel it has made all the difference in the grace with which I see the people of the world who don’t look like me, don’t worship the same god, and who don’t belong to the same political party.

I’m sure you think I’m as blind as a bat at noontime, given your political and religious bent. I only ask that you remember our shared humanity before you write me off—when we cried together, prayed together, and hoped for the best in each other’s lives all those years ago.  There was no disdain for my “liberal” beliefs on your part, nor was there any knee-jerk reaction of horror for red ball caps at the mere sight of their appearance on my part.  We were just humans trying to find our way back home.

Cartoon used by permission: 247872_RGB_1290.jpg New Reality For Republicans by Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to sit back and bask in the hope I see for us all (you and me) as Americans in this new administration—not to mention the possibilities from Kamala Harris’ win for my future granddaughters.  I know you’re pissed, old acquaintance, because you think the election was stolen from you.  And I think if your group had managed to overturn a free and fair election, my vote would have been stolen from me.  You think your man was chosen by God, and I think he’s on a mission from Hell.  There you have it! We’re at a stalemate here—never to agree, I suspect. But we are in the middle of a war against an unseen enemy that is ravaging our nation and could kill us all if we don’t drop our ideological weapons and band together.  Our only chance of survival is to unite on the fertile grounds of our shared humanity and give this new administration a chance to lead us to higher terrain and healing. Anytime you’re available, I’m ready to call a truce and to speak of love found, love lost, and hope that springs eternal. Maybe, just maybe, we might find common purpose and incentive to coexist.

God bless—From: Someone you once broke bread with.

Cartoon used by permission: 247921_RGB_1290.jpg Be like Kamala by John Darkow Columbia Missourian


*If you are a victim of a church or a religious experience gone nuts, I have walked a mile in your shoes.  Check out my second memoir, Fleeing Oz.  It might be of help, and if it is, please drop me a note and let me know.

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

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 31, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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2021, YOU GOT SOME ‘SPLAININ’ TO DO…

Cartoon used by permission: 247093_RGB_1290.png 2020 Won’t change by John Darkow Columbia Missourian

Did anybody else lapse on their “dry-wine January resolution” already?  Everybody?  I thought so!  It isn’t even Inauguration Day yet, and I am wishing I had planted a cannabis field in the swamp behind my house when I had the chance.

2021—what a shitshow!  If I had known this year was going to set the stage for the breaking of America, I would have never started a new diet, never started a weight-training program, and never started on my fourth book.  Instead, I would have jumped headlong into hedonism and let the chips fall where they may.  As the Peggy Lee song says, “…if that’s all there is, my friends, then let’s keep dancing. Let’s break out the booze and have a ball, if that’s all there is.”

Cartoon used by permission:  247475_RGB_1290.png Breaking News by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

It almost seems as if we hired the wrong year. 

Does anyone know if 2021 came with references?  I would love to interview Baby 2021, and make sure it is prepared for what is up ahead.  I thought on New Year’s Eve that 2,600 American deaths a day from COVID-19 might be a gargantuan task for the little tyke to overcome, but I figured once we got our new President installed, we’d be able to make 2021 a year of recovery and healing.  And then came the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the unbearable…

Cartoon used by permission: 247294_RGB_1290.png The Patriotic Terrorist by Christopher Weyant The Boston Globe MA

As I watched the insurrection unfold, I started crying.  I don’t know what horrified me more: the brazen murderous hordes trying to overturn a free and fair election or that the mob was being led by White Supremacists masquerading as Evangelical Christians praying for God to bless their invasion to capture, judge, and execute the Vice President, Nancy Pelosi, and other legislators they hated while waving signs that said: “Jesus is my savior. Trump is my president,” “Jesus saves,” and “God’s Word Calls Them Out.”

These haters of liberty—these Christian Dominionists (ideology that America belongs to the Christian god, and only his approved followers are allowed to rule for now until Jesus returns)—were so rabid that one would be forgiven for thinking that the invaders might have been escapees from a mental institution.  Instead, they were pastors, realtors, a Texas florist, the son of a Brooklyn judge, police officers, a professor, a firefighter, a newly elected West Virginia lawmaker, teachers, a couple of misguided Black people, and even kids.

Cartoon used by permission: 247354_RGB_1290.jpg Refile Nuremberg Cartoon Correct Spelling by Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

How could the year 2021 have missed the signs from Donald Trump that he had no plans to ever concede or acknowledge the truth that he had lost? Instead, Trump sent out signals for weeks for the deplorables to come to DC and “stop the steal.”  Trump’s Big Lie that the election had been stolen from him almost upended our democracy and blew up what little bit of our nerves we had left from being tormented by COVID-19.  I reasoned that if this is the way 2021 started, I probably won’t survive until 2022, so I wrote 2021 a letter with a few tips on what is most important to help America triumph in this new year.

Cartoon used by permission: 247639_RGB_1290.png Feeding the fringe by Adam Zyglis The Buffalo News NY

DEAR BABY 2021:

Welcome to the new year!  Everybody is so glad that you’ve arrived.  We could hardly wait to get rid of your predecessor.  Your big brother, 2020, left us with 4 million COVID-19 deaths worldwide—400,000 of them Americans. The sane part of our country was pleased that 2020 helped us elect a new American President to lead us out of the mayhem and madness that Trump world had wrought.  For that reality, most of us will be forever grateful.  However, my expectation was that you, 2021, would help us ascend from the manure pile of the last four years. No offense, but you haven’t gotten off to a very good start.  I realize you are young, but you need to be a multi-tasker, Little Dude, because there are dragons in the land.

Cartoon used by permission: 247115_RGB_1290.png Pressure on Baby New Year 2021 by Jeff Koterba CagleCartoons com

Also, you appear to be soooo naïve Baby 2021.  I think you thought that just by electing a good and just man who was qualified to be President of the United States (Joe Biden), all would be well. And then came January 6th when a bunch of crazy people decided they weren’t going to allow Biden to become President—even if it meant killing their fellow citizens.  Long after Trump is gone, the spirit of the murderous mob will still be going strong and trying to permanently change the patina of our nation.  They are Hell bent on it.

Should you choose to accept being our current year Baby 2021, here is your first agenda item:  You must slaughter the lead dragon.  His name is Deception, and he masquerades as Truth mainly within White Evangelical churches, which acts as a cover for White Supremacy theories, Q-Anon conspiracy theories, and Christian Nationalism. The violent insurrection that happened on January 6th was led by the dragon Deception in the guise of Christianity and patriotism (Nationalism).  On January 6th, Americans lost their innocence as to who we are as a democracy and who our greatest enemies are.  Before Trump, many of us thought we were a multicultural nation where equality and voting were every citizen’s right, and our greatest enemies were international terrorists.  Well, surprise, surprise, surprise!  It looks as if the terrorists are domestic (extremely White), and they blew a shofar (Jewish religious ceremonial horn of a ram appropriated by Christians) as some White “Christian” woman sang “Peace in the name of Jesus…the blood of Jesus covering this place” before storming the Capitol

Cartoon used by permission: 247642_RGB_1290.jpg We have met the enemy by John Darkow Columbia Missourian

Baby 2021, not all the insurrectionists were Christians, but too many of them were, which meant that they had compromised the true meaning of Jesus and Christianity and were being emboldened by the Dragon of Lies.  They were the super glue of Trump’s presidency and stopped hearing anyone else’s voice but Trump’s.  When he said “storm the Capitol,” they replied: “Heil Trump!”  It didn’t matter that they were responding to a lie. It only mattered that they were following their Dominionistic leader’s instructions to keep him in power.

Your assignment is to wake up so-called “Christian” Trumpers to the truth. Their hearts, minds, and actions should belong to Jesus who is the epitome of Truth. The truth is: Trump didn’t win the 2020 election, Trump is not God’s chosen one, Trump is a very, very bad man, Trump is a murderer (over half the COVID-19 deaths are due to his negligence), Trump has lied over 40k times, and in God’s good time, Trump’s “ass is gonna be grass” (don’t know what that means? Ask any Black person over 40).  Baby 2021, do whatever is necessary to open the Christian Trump followers’ eyes. They were so tenacious at the riot because they thought they were doing God’s will, and they had no idea that they were being played by the demon Donald Trump.  I have a theory that if you can open the eyes of this group to the actual truth about the Giant Orange Lie they have been following, you might have a chance in repairing our democracy this year.

Cartoon used by permission: 247438_RGB_1290.jpg Foundations of Democracy by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

In the meantime, there is hope.  There are better angels among us—a majority of Americans who have not swallowed the lie and won’t let the insurrectionists get away with their crimes.  Yesterday those courageous better angels impeached Donald Trump for the second time.  Tomorrow we remember and celebrate one of our most precious better angels who has passed on before us, but who left a legacy of truth, hope, and love:  Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.   That legacy will continue to be fulfilled by the election of our first Black, Indian-American, woman as Vice President, and the election (against all odds) of an extremely qualified, humble man as President who knows what truth looks like.

Cartoon used by permission: 205175_RGB_1290.png Keep Looking Up by Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

Cartoon used by permission: 247613_RGB_1290.jpg Wisdom for the Right by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

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Posted by on January 17, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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