RSS

Tag Archives: Gun Control

DEAR WORLD: THIS IS A TEST!

Do you know what I discovered in the past couple weeks?  The Universe just gave several countries and individuals on the Earth a “pop quiz” and they flunked.  They were supposed to be studying all along about what it takes to make a great Earth habitat for all concerned, but it appears they’ve been skipping study hall, partying way too much, and using a truncated version of CliftNotes—what I call “DumpAssNotes”—to get the knowledge they need to pass the final exam of life.  The God of the Universe is on to us, I suspect, and sends us a pop quiz every once and awhile just to reveal to us what we don’t know, and how much we need to learn before the final exam called death.

Brexit was England’s pop quiz and apparently more than half of them failed the pop quiz because they didn’t know what Brexit really meant!  The most searched words on Google after the vote to leave the EU was “what does Brexit and EU mean?”  WTF?!

Brexit Top Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by permission || Cartoonist, Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune/Cagle Cartoons

Now the UK has learned a new test word called “regrexit,” which they should have known the definition of before taking the test on Brexit.  More than 3 million people have signed a petition to have a do-over because many of them say that they had no idea that their vote would tank the global economy, drop the UK’s economic standing from 5th highest to 6th highest in a single day, bring about the plummeting of the British pound, encourage Scotland’s break with England, cause Ireland to follow Scotland’s lead and reestablish borders between Northern and Southern Ireland, necessitate the reissuance of passports, and eradicate much needed EU currency for various towns in England that depend upon that revenue stream for prosperity—and that’s just the beginning of the disasters.  The DumbAssNotes just told them they could get their country back and kick out and keep out all the immigrants (people who weren’t pure-born British) who were forcing them to share their shit. (Much of the anti-immigrant hatred in England is against the Polish.  You know life has turned upside down when White people start hatin’ on other White people.) Yikes!

Brexit I Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Used by permission || Cartoonist Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune/Cagle Cartoons

The TARDIS; Time And Relative Dimension In Space is a fictional time machine and spacecraft in the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who . . .—Wikipedia

 ***

I don’t want to get arrogant about how the Brits failed their pop quiz on whether to stay or leave the EU because we Americans didn’t do well on our recent pop quizzes either.  We had yet another pop quiz on gun control after the Orlando massacre, and we flunked it big time.  I think this is the umpteenth pop quiz we’ve had this year on guns.  Every time there is a shooting God gives us a test.  Our DumbAssNotes said “in case of another mass shooting, you should pause for another moment of silence, do nothing, and then ramp up gun sales” (TRUE OR FALSE).  Our House of Representatives, coached by the NRA, chose “True” as their answer.)  Oy vez mir!!

Climbing Gun Sales Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Used by permission || Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune/Cagle Cartoons

Another question on the American pop quiz from God was “What IS Donald Trump and why should people who call themselves by My Name vote for him to become President of the United States?”  Some weird old fart, Dr. James Dobson (Founder of Focus on the Family), went to the head of the class and wrote in his answer on the blackboard that The Donald was a Born-again Christian (albeit a baby one), and that he knew the person who had “led The Donald to the Lord”therefore, Trump was God’s man for the hour.  This caused most of the 1,000 evangelical pastors in the room, who had chosen to study the DumbAssNotes for the Final instead of the Bible, to swarm around Donald Trump, “lay hands on him in prayer,” and submit their pop quiz answers with the chant:  “Trumpee, Trumpee, he’s our man—if he can’t save us, no one can!” (Soooo, embarrassing!)

conana

***

ELEANOR’S “SELAH” (AHA MOMENT)

Do you know what I’m discovering?   The human race has been getting pop quizzes for as long as we’ve been on the planet, but we keep trying to shortchange our journey by learning from the truncated study books.  When Germany was given a pop quiz in the 1930’s as to how they should handle their lack of prosperity and place on the world stage, their pop quiz answers were to come up with a Final Solution to eliminate 1% of their population and start another World War.  When the United States was given several pop quizzes on how to integrate its once enslaved peoples, many of the test takers decided that the correct answers were to thwart their fellow citizens from voting, receiving a proper education, being able to live in decent housing, and having the ability to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

America has had many pop quizzes during its development.  Sometimes we got the answers correct (entering WWII to save the Jews, passing the Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Act Law, forcing desegregation, and passing the same-sex marriage law).  But more often than not, we’ve not done our homework, and we get the answers all wrong. Case in point:  Donald Trump.  The question is will we be trying to do a “regrexit” petition on November 5th because we were studying the “DumbAssNotes” on Donald Trump instead of drilling down deep into the actual textbook on character, leadership, and integrity?  Will we look up the definition of xenophobia, racism, misogyny, narcissism, and arrogance or just keep getting our answers from the short-cut books of life and keep flunking the pop quizzes until The Donald has run our country off the rails?

Trump Train Detour Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission || Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle/Cagle Cartoons

***

MEDITATIVE QUOTES

“In the course of the event [Evangelical coronation of Trump as the candidate deserving their votes], Trump promised to nominate judges whom evangelicals would favor; to change laws that restrict church involvement in partisan politics; and to foster a cultural ethos that allows the unapologetic usage of ‘Merry Christmas.’ ‘You get racism, misogyny, torture and an authoritarian as commander in chief,’ one evangelical leader wrote me, ‘but you’ll get to hear ‘Merry Christmas’ in stores. Now that’s the art of the deal.’” [1]

For the sake of the church’s future, I hope that evangelicals go all-in for Trump and he loses so decisively that their voting bloc is shattered forever. [2]

 “For those of us who cry out for gun control, our fears cannot be eliminated as long as the country remains an armed camp in which the most troubled among us can find ways to appropriate one of the easily available weapons in all our communities.”—Robert Dallek

REGARDING BREXIT: “Today is a victory for the far right across Europe, for tribalism, divisive politics, irredentism, and an incredible rejection of evidence-based policy. This was not a courageous day. Common sense did not prevail. This will be remembered as a foolish, overzealous, Icarus moment.” [3]

Brexit Voter dailymail co uk

Tweet from UK Voter Regarding Brexit

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

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS?  Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz are both on sale at Amazon (Paperback and Kindle).

2nd Amendment Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Used by permission || Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/evangelical-christians-are-selling-out-faith-for-politics/2016/06/23/f03368de-3964-11e6-8f7c-d4c723a2becb_story.html?tid=a_inl [1]

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mercynotsacrifice/2016/06/25/two-pivots-trump-needs-to-make/ [2]

http://www.salon.com/2016/06/24/as_a_british_citizen_i_am_oscillating_between_sadness_and_rage_brexit_is_the_worst_of_times/ [3]

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frankschaeffer/2016/06/according-to-james-dobson-trump-has-just-come-to-accept-a-relationship-with-christ-and-is-now-a-baby-christian-no-kidding/?ref_widget=trending&ref_blog=mercynotsacrifice&ref_post=two-pivots-trump-needs-to-make

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-new-poll-support-for-trump-plunges-giving-clinton-a-double-digit-lead/2016/06/25/0565bef6-3a31-11e6-a254-2b336e293a3c_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-high_poll-0904am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/globalopinions/stopping-dark-forces-in-our-post-brexit-world/2016/06/24/6d62541e-3a2d-11e6-8f7c-d4c723a2becb_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/25/politics/george-will-donald-trump-leaving-republican-party-election/index.html

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/donald-trump-james-dobson-evangelicals-224799

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-markets-roil-from-brexit-trump-holds-a-ribbon-cutting-at-his-golf-resort/2016/06/24/060a9ad8-3a23-11e6-8f7c-d4c723a2becb_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_trumpscotland-735pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-and-the-cia-christians-in-action/2016/06/24/0a22d440-3989-11e6-9ccd-d6005beac8b3_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-b%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

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 June 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

PRAYING IS NOT ENOUGH

Do you know what I discovered this weekWe Americans are some angry Mofos!  Before the pilot could announce “wheels up” on the plane carrying the Pope back to the Vatican, an enthralled America lost its “thrall” and collapsed back into its proverbial state of rage.   The Holy Father encouraged us to adopt a “spirit of cooperation” and urged “quiet acts of love” to strengthen “the great human family.”  But we are so pissed at each other we barely heard him, and we seemed to forget what he said two seconds after he said it.

Angry Country David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by Permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star/Cagle Cartoons

We’re pissed at Congress (the House of Reps are pissed at the Senate and vice versa), we’re pissed at the President, we’re pissed at our bosses, our spouses, our children, our classmates, our churches, our neighbors, pissed at people who don’t look and talk like us, pissed at people who don’t respond to our overtures or advances, and pissed to the point of murder when we can’t get what we want, when we want it, and how we want it.

I have had my own struggles with being angry in the past (pissed at childhood abusers, duplicitous friends, horrid preachers, racist teachers, and the goddamn Tea Party), but I found a vehicle to channel my anger via my career as a writer.  (Check out my books Monsters’ Throwdown where I kicked the asses of my childhood abusers and Fleeing Oz where I took revenge on the duplicitous clergy who taught me erroneous crap about God, abused my trust, and misappropriated my tithes.)

In fact I’m feeling pretty Zen at this point in my old age, and my anger issues are limited to minor inconveniences.  Right now I am “slightly irritated” and horrified at how the Muppets have reinvented themselves from adorable puppet creatures who used to appeal to kids and adults alike into some horrid adult entertainment on ABC.  Miss Piggy is getting bikini waxes and cracking jokes about her pubic hair, Fozzie Bear is into fetishes and Grindr—I had to look that one up.  Kermit is dating a younger pig, and Zoot is an alcoholic!  Oh for God’s sake!!  Can’t Hollywood leave well enough alone?  Why do they always mess with a good thing?

New Muppets Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by Permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch/Cagle Cartoons

But compared to whence I’ve come, life is pretty good.  It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers.  I’m retired; I’ve moved into my dream house with my dream man, and the kids are on their own and not living in our basement (praise God, and hallelujah!).   But when I think too much about the little things that get on my nerves on a daily basis (if I’m really being honest), I do start to get miffed.  The more I ponder them, the more agitated I become.   For instance, if I owned a gun, my two computers would be blown to bits right now, and I would have assassinated my WiFi router two weeks after I moved into my new house because it keeps knocking me off the Internet every five minutes.  Nothing works as it should with my wireless network, and even though I’ve given various computer geeks hundreds of dollars, it never seems to help—they say it’s not them, and even though they fail to fix my problem time and time again, I still have to pay them.  Why?  Because there are no guarantees in the computer-fixit business.  (Ugh!)

The upstairs air conditioner gave out with a house full of company on the hottest days in my new house recently, and it needed freon, a new coil, and a thingamabob, which was fine at first because I have a home warranty . . . except come to find out it only covers 1/10th of the things that can go wrong with a house that is a money pit:  if your door bell stops functioning (for example), tough titty!  (Then there are the repairmen who say they are going to show up for weeks at a time, but are no-shows, because this is a little town in the South—yep, it is a good thing I don’t own a gun.)

And don’t get me started on the moles and the voles who have invaded my property—last count, 42 moles and 500 voles.  I went to bed one night with green grass and woke up the next morning with a completely dead lawn—as in totally brown with plants that looked as if something had sucked the life out of them and turned them into zombie plants. Over the past two weeks, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars trying to eradicate my arch nemeses without killing my neighbor’s cat, the various cute little bunnies romping across my dead lawn, or the myriad birds eating the earthworms that the moles consider their caviar.  There are raised mounds of turf the size of armadillos all across my lawn, and there are so many mole/vole holes in my yard that it looks like Swiss cheese. My neighbors, who all have the same problem, are laughing at the new kid on the block wasting money on products that they know won’t do a damn thing to fix it.   I wish I had access to a gun.  I would shoot a million more holes into my lawn trying to eliminate these banes of my bucolic existence because, come to think of it, I am just that pissed! And knowing me, I probably would shoot my foot off in the process.

Mole meme

But wait a minute, who am I kidding, I have more anger issues than this.  I’m always pissed at the Tea Party!  God, I can’t stand those people!  They are everything that is wrong with our country, and they make no sense, whatsoever.  I have ex-friends who used to be sane and lovable who have now become insane and unlovable because they became Tea Party crazies.  Their misplaced anger makes me angry, and even though they all have guns (they love their guns), the only reason I haven’t waged more of a war of words with these Neanderthals is because I don’t own a gun, and I don’t want to go to Hell for accidentally losing control of my temper in an argument with them, grabbing one of their guns, and shutting down their stupid arguments by blasting a couple of buck shots into their asses.

Tea Party Sour Grapes Parker Florida Today

Used by Permission: Parker, Florida Today/Cagle Cartoons

See what I mean?  (I just took my blood pressure after writing that paragraph and it is 160 over 110!)  Good googily-moo! Suddenly I realized that I have more anger in me than I’m willing to admit.  If I’m really being honest, if I had had access to a gun in my younger days, there is no telling when I would have used it during my lifetime.  Probably against the man who molested me at six years old, most likely against my uncle who tried to “mess” with me when I was twelve years old, most assuredly against my longtime boyfriend who I accidentally discovered was married, and I definitely would have shot to kill the myriad number of foster parents who worked me like a slave and beat me for sport.  I would not have been mentally ill during any of those murders—I would have been mad as hell and seeking revenge!  And God have mercy on my soul, but if I had had access to a gun when one of my teenagers was acting the fool—sneaking in and out of the house at night—I might have used it out of fear when I heard the bump in the night downstairs from her sneaking back into the house.  Instead of her getting just an ear full from me, I would have been attending her funeral, and then I would have killed myself due to remorse and heartbreak.

IMHO my dear readers, this is the issue at hand in most American lives—the disease of our hearts and minds that having a gun won’t eradicate, it will only exacerbate!  Too many of us feel we can gain respect, right a wrong, avenge a hurt, end our agonizing misery, correct an abuse, steal other people’s shit, protect our own, and establish power and street cred with a gun.  We can work our butts off to change the gun laws in our country and pour money into mental health care (as we should), but until we examine the state of our own hearts and attempt to mitigate those emotions that so readily cause us to “rage against the machine,” we are all just one easy-access-to-a-gun away from committing murder.   If the bad things in life push any one of us long enough and hard enough—if we become fearful and frightened enough, and a gun is easily accessible, there’s no telling what we might do to ourselves or others.  All of us are a little bit mentally ill in that way.

Gun Violence Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon Used by Permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle/Cagle Cartoons

*****

ELEANOR’S “SELAH” ON ANGER (HER “AHA” MOMENT)

I am discovering that there are two types of anger:  righteous and unrighteous.  I am not angry enough about the right things—righteous anger—and neither are the majority of my fellow Americans.  We all need to get angry about the carnage that guns have caused in our communities, but instead of purchasing more guns to try and counterbalance the situation—as the NRA would have us believe we should—we need to come together in such a unified voice that our unified screams will implode the gun lobbies and the NRA.  Nothing is changing because our chicken-shit Congress (as well as Democratic senators from red states) are afraid of the gun lobbyists and the NRA because they fund our lawmakers’ campaigns.  But what if our collective anger (gun owners and non-gun owners alike) pushed Congress to deal with mental health funding, pass common sense gun laws, and modify the Second Amendment to become more relevant to this century all at the same time?  What if the 84 percent of gun owners who say they want commonsense gun laws forced Congress out of their quivering cowardice by refusing to buy another gun and refusing to hunt with a gun (take up the bow and arrow if you want to hunt)?  How about if the gun owners refused to go to gun ranges to practice, refused to vote for anyone who was against changing our gun laws, and refused to buy any more bullets for the guns we own until the laws get changed on those three fronts?  Don’t you think that would get the gun manufacturers’ attention?  If we had the slightest understanding of what Pope Francis charged America with—the “spirit of cooperation” and “quiet acts of love” to strengthen “the great human family”—gun owners would gladly lay down their “rights” in love for our nation so that their fellow Americans would have the right to live their innocent lives uninterrupted by gun violence.  (This may sound simplistic, but at least it is better than doing nothing, and better than offering some anemic prayers after the irreparable damage has been done.)

No matter how you slice it, the onus is on gun owners.  Until they have that Eureka moment of the soul, I’m afraid the slaughter will keep on happening.  I’ll keep on praying along with a lot of other good people across the country, but I don’t think our prayers will do much good.  We’ve long passed that action as a viable solution to America’s murderous gun sickness.  I wonder where the next mass shooting will take place or where the next inner-city murder of a child will occur.  I hope it isn’t anywhere near your loved ones or mine.

Terrorizing Ourselves FB John Cole The Scranton Times-Tribune

Cartoon Used by Permission:  John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

***

Gun violence is not a humorous matter, and I meant no disrespect to those who have lost their lives by gun violence.  It’s just that if I don’t find some humor in this madness to point us toward the unmitigated truth in my writing, then I will become mentally ill and shoot somebody.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the survivors and the family and friends of the slaughtered—not only in Roseburg—but across our great nation where:

153,000 people have died from gunshots since 9/11 but Congress refuses to spend money or change laws to thwart this*

Only 3,000 people have died from terrorist attacks, but we spend millions of dollars a year to keep us safe from these*

Did you know that there were approximately 310 million guns owned by Americans in 2009, but the number of people in the United States were only 307 million during the same time period?** Ergo, there are more guns than people in the US.  Sane gun owners (specifically), are you pissed off enough to do something about it besides purchasing more guns?

Gun Control Bob Englehart The Hartford Courant

Cartoon Used by Permission: Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant/Cagle Cartoons

***

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”—Aristotle

“The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough.”—Bede Jarrett

 “The whole gun debate needs to be infused with a discussion about manhood. It’s frustrating to hear debates about gun rights vs. gun control, and yet very few people say what’s hidden in plain sight: It’s really a contest of meanings about manhood.”—Jackson Katz

“If we don’t get gun-control laws in this country, we are full of beans. To have the National Rifle Association rule the United States is pathetic. And I agree with Mayor Michael Bloomberg: It’s time to put up or shut up about gun control for both parties.”—Harvey Weinstein

“For those of us who cry out for gun control, our fears cannot be eliminated as long as the country remains an armed camp in which the most troubled among us can find ways to appropriate one of the easily available weapons in all our communities.”—Robert Dallek

 (All inspirational quotes from www.brainyquotes.com)

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

WANT TO PURCHASE ANY OF THE AUTHOR’S BOOKS (Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz)?  THEY ARE ON SALE NOW AT AMAZON!

REFERENCES

*Meet the Press Statistic

**http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2015/10/2/9439909/the-ridiculous-number-of-guns-owned-by-americans-in-one-chart

http://www.salon.com/2015/10/02/4chan_and_the_oregon_shooter_what_the_suspicious_thread_says_about_a_horrifying_subculture_of_young_male_rage/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithforward/2015/10/after-oregon-prayers-for-________-just-rings-hollow/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pan%20Patheos%20100315%20(1)&utm_content=&spMailingID=49688980&spUserID=MTIzNjQ2MzAzOTI4S0&spJobID=780297722&spReportId=NzgwMjk3NzIyS0

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/06/opinions/zelizer-gun-control/index.html

http://www.salon.com/2015/10/02/an_oregon_teachers_letter_to_lawmakers_we_dont_need_your_prayers_we_need_your_courage/

http://www.salon.com/2015/06/18/its_not_about_mental_illness_the_big_lie_that_always_follows_mass_shootings_by_white_males/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/02/infographic-mass-shootings-are-not-the-problem.html

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

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

LIVING LIKE YOU’RE DYING

Do you know what I discovered about life this week? I don’t want to live past 89. IMHO, just like nothing good happens after midnight—nothing good happens after 89 years old either. The body takes a significant and rapid decline toward the check-out point in your 90s, and basically you’re just biding time on some slow-moving treadmill toward the exit sign. This thought process started when the heroine (my mentor) in my memoir, Monsters’ Throwdown, called me this week and said: “Hello Darling! I hope your book is selling well, because I just discovered I’m going to outlive my money. I never expected to live this long; I sure hope you can help.”   Helping my mentor in the latter stages of her life is not an issue—I owe her my life. But it got me thinking about my own journey. About how much time might be left on the clock, and if given the opportunity would I use the remaining time properly. I’ve got a couple of decades before I reach her perch.

My main problem is I am at a loss with how to navigate that Zen-like state needed to traverse the next twenty years or so. My mentor has always been able to do so with much grace (think of her as a cross between Maya Angelou and Eleanor Roosevelt). She is the definition of inner peace. But I am not there yet. From time to time, I can be like a tilt-a-whirl ride that has broken off its bearings in mid-tilt and spun off into outer space.

Inner peace

Animal Memes—quickmeme.com

It was with these thoughts rolling around in my heart and mind (mixed with a glass of mulled wine to ward off this freakin’ cold) that I went to bed last night thinking about living a wiser life—perhaps to dream. In my dream I entered a castle in the sky with a sign over the entrance that said: “Enter here, all ye who seek inner peace.” When I came across a large reception area, I went in, sat down, and picked up a booklet entitled, “7 Highly Effective Steps to Inner Peace.” When I opened the pamphlet, there was the definition of inner peace on the left and seven steps to achieve it on the right.

“Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being ‘at peace’ is considered by many to be healthy (homeostasis) and the opposite of being stressed or anxious.”Wikipedia—the Free Encyclopedia

*

SEVEN STEPS TO INNER PEACE

Release anger

Face your fears/Trust God

Choose wise companions/kick to the curb those that piss you off

Forgive

Let go of worry and things you can’t control/Live in the now

Cherish love

Embrace gratitude on daily basis

As I sat there trying to fully digest this information, a stunningly beautiful brown-skinned woman engulfed in a luminescent aura glided into the room and stood in front of me. Her age was nonspecific, but she looked a great deal like Lena Horne when she played Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz.

Lena as Glinda the Good Witch The Wiz

Lena Horne as Glinda the Good Witch (The Wiz) Universal Pictures

ME:        Oh, my God, has anyone ever told you that you are a perfect doppelgänger for Glinda the Good Witch?

REST:     Yeah, I get that a lot. My name is Rest, and I’m really just your garden variety guardian angel. Why are you here? Is it to complain about the historic freeze that has engulfed your country? Because if you are, I don’t want to hear it. I am not responsible, and I’m tired of hearing you humans whine about something neither you nor I can control. My powers exist only in a limited capacity.

Praying for Snow

ME:        No, but now that you mention it—I HATE THIS WEATHER! Talk about taking away any inner peace a body could muster. I’m fucking freezing to death.

REST:     Well, look at the bright side—at least you don’t live in Boston, so let it go my friend and purchase an electric blanket! If I’ve learned anything about things you can’t control, you just have to shake ‘em off.

ME:        That’s fine for you to say. You live in Heaven—in Perfectionville. Try living on Earth sometime and see how taxing it is. We bitches be crazy, and because of that craziness, I have real issues that block my ability to garner inner peace. I want my next couple of decades to be stellar. I don’t want anything to knock me for a loop.

REST:     Okay, I’ll play along for a while. What else robs your inner peace?

ME:        Fear of the unpredictable—the unknown. Haven’t you noticed how at any moment, at any time, you can be attacked by unseen forces (viruses, bacterial infections, ISIS, Ebola, home invaders, muggers, nasty-ass ex-friends on Facebook, getting killed for walking while Black, or much, much worse)? A couple of years ago, I got parasites from eating sushi, and I had them forever before I even knew they had moved in and set up shop in my gut. It was so disgusting. By the time I realized what was going on, three generations of them had been born and established colonies. If I can get parasites without knowing it, what else can get me?

REST:     Hmm, fear of the unknown? I say shake it off! Deal with it if it comes upon you, but otherwise just ignore it. Why worry about something that you can’t see and can’t control. Poo-poo occurs baby. That’s life, and worrying about it will not keep the worms at bay. Now, you could stop eating sushi. Personally, I don’t touch the stuff because what self-respecting Black person eats raw fish?

Peace of Mind memeinternet dot com

ME:        You really aren’t helping. Are you making fun of me?

REST:     No, dear. But if you want to live the next couple of decades in inner peace with your surroundings, you must have a sense of humor. There is still so much you don’t know as a human that could kill you. Why worry about it? What else robs you of a quiet spirit?

ME:        Anxiety over the resurgence of racism in the world to such a degree that we have another Holocaust or we roll back into another Jim Crow-type era and my kids are robbed of their liberty. Anxiety over terrorism washing up on our shores again. (Did you hear about the threats against the Mall of America? That’s where one of my kid’s lives.)  And, oh, my God, our inability to let go of the worship of guns. That keeps me awake every other night. Recently, three beautiful Muslim students got assassinated in their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina by their neighbor, and we’re calling it everything except what the problem truly is: our obsession with guns!

Guns Chapel Hill John Cole ncpolicywatch com

Used by permission: John Cole ncpolicywatch.com, Cagle Cartoons

REST:     Yeah, I hear you. You people really are nuts about the gun thing, aren’t you? Personally, I don’t see the fascination. And it doesn’t look like it is going to get solved anytime soon—possibly not even in your lifetime given the American proclivities.

ME:        But if it doesn’t get solved in my lifetime, then when?

REST:     Your children will have to solve it, I guess. I don’t mean yours alone, but the baby-boomers’ children in general.

ME:        That, my dear Angel of Rest is unacceptable. And don’t you dare tell me to “shake it off or let it go,” or I’ll pummel your ass. I can’t let this go. I worry about my grandson growing up in a land where guns are so prevalent. I worry about my grandson, period! I’m frightened for his future as a young Black man in a land that has incarcerated more black youths than were enslaved on Southern plantations at the beginning of the Civil War. Did you know the modern American “for profit” prison system is being called the “New Slavery?”

While I’m on the subject, I am also dealing with anger issues. I’m angry that I spent 40 plus years in a conservative wing of Christianity that has become the back-bone of the Tea Party and is the force of racism coursing through the Republican Party. I’m angry that when people make racist attacks against our President, question his faith, and question his love for our country, that so few of the politicians and ministers who claim to be “Christians” stand up against the defamation of a good man. They don’t have to agree with his policies, but that doesn’t have to underscore their racist beliefs that our President—our first Black President—is the Anti-Christ and is leading us toward Armageddon. According to them, everything—from this nationwide freeze to the Seattle Seahawks losing the Super Bowl—is Barack Obama’s fault. Sometimes I am so ashamed to be a Christian, I could just scream. In fact, I’m seriously thinking of becoming a Buddhist who loves Jesus.

Giuliani start John Cole The Scranton Times-Tribune

Used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton-Times Tribune, Cagle Cartoons

REST:     Babe, I hope this doesn’t sound racist, but I think a Black Republican is an oxymoron. In any case, you’ve really got to tear up what that jerk Giuliani said—flush it down the toilet, and truly shake it off. Even in the angelic world we know that ol’ Rudy is just jealous (it’s eating him into oblivion) that he lost to the Black man in 2008. Rudy thought he deserved the presidency—after all, he was the only one so profoundly affected by 9-11—the rest of you were merely onlookers. The Angelic Corps often shake our heads at his irrelevance and stupidity.

Anyway, my child, I have an exercise that may help you find inner peace over the next two decades. (As to when you will actually check out for your own “Homecoming,” that is between you and God.)

Imagine that you are dying tomorrow. Of all the fears, anxieties, and worries you’ve told me about, which of them is out of your control, which of them is not a possibility of happening within the next 24 hours, which of them is something that is out of your sphere of influence and must be left to the next generation to handle, and which of them should you join with others to fight the good fight today. In all of it, embrace a spirit of gratitude, and thank the good Lord for all that you have in spite of all the Rudy Giuliani Neanderthals and ugliness in the world. May I suggest a book that might help? It is called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I haven’t read it myself, but I was watching Oprah the other day, and she highly recommended it for Nervous Nellies like you.

ME:        I suppose I should thank you, my Glinda the Good Witch doppelgänger. That’s good advice. Speaking of books, I’m almost finished with my second book that deals with escaping Right-wing Christianity and becoming a born-again liberal. It’s called Fleeing Oz. I think once I get that book out there this spring, I’ll be able to “fight the good fight” with my writing. I want it to be to the demolition of the bigotry and intolerance of Right-wing Christianity what Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was to the abolition of slavery—only done with humor.

REST:     Seems like a good idea to me. Remember, through it all: Live as if you were dying tomorrow, Sweet pea! Because we’re only guaranteed “now.” Gotta run. I hear it’s going to snow again tonight. I think I’ll head on down to Puerto Rico.  St. Peter tells me that it’s going to be sunny and 85 degrees all week. See you when you finally cross over, kiddo.  Good luck!

February 21, 2015

Used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News, Cagle Cartoons

***

“I think it’s nice to age gracefully. OK, you lose the youth, a certain stamina and dewy glow, but what you gain on the inside as a human being is wonderful: the wisdom, the acceptance and the peace of mind. It’s a fair exchange.”Cherie Lunghi

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”—Pope Paul VI

“Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive… to live now… to have the courage to confront each day.”—Bernie Siegel

“We are bombarded on all sides by a vast number of messages we don’t want or need. More information is generated in a single day than we can absorb in a lifetime. To fully enjoy life, all of us must find our own breathing space and peace of mind.”—James E. Faust

Quotations courtesy of www.brainyquote.com

***

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

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

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.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Change of Heart

Do you know what I’ve discovered this week about winter?  Besides the fact that I hate winter, I really think that when that damn groundhog (Punxsutawney Phil) sees his shadow and proclaims six more weeks of winter, my body actually goes down for the count in February with a debilitating respiratory sickness that kicks my ass up one side of the ice rink and down the other.   To say that I currently have a cold that is trying to take me out is an understatement, and I have only one entity to blame:  Punxsutawney Phil.

symptoms of cold cheezburger dot com

Image from www.cheeseburger.com

The snotty tissues spill out of my robe pockets and over the tops of dozens of wastebaskets in my house forming competitive mounds to compare with the frozen snow hills that landscape my front yard and deck.  I am mainlining giant pots of homemade chicken soup, chugging galloons of “ET’s Magic Snot-Extractor Potion” (rum, green tea, lemon, ginger, garlic juice, pomegranate extract), and Nyquil (Day and Night). Still there is no healing in sight—just projectile snot-farts coming out of every orifice of my body 24/7 at the speed of a paint ball trajectory that is sure to bring down the recipient with the power of the bubonic plague.

In the midst of all this devilish mucus extraction, I still had deadlines to finish for my book’s publicity (Monsters’ Throwdown).  But as I was putting on the final touches to my new website that went live in the midst of all this bacterial hell, I fell into a feverous, drugged sleep and had the most curious of dreams about Punxsutawney Phil (PP), my husband (WW), and me.

website

  Eleanor’s New Website/full of surprises and treats/check it out when you get a chance:  www.eleanortomczyk.com

In my dream, I awoke and furtively looked around a strange room to determine where I was.   It seems I was in the hospital wired up to a heart-monitoring machine and an IV drip while my body was strapped down to a bed with large leather belts.  As I tried to wrestle myself loose, my husband came to my side and tried to calm me in my agitated state.

WW:     So you’re awake, Honey.  How are you feeling?  You’ve had a rough night of it.

ME:        Really?  I don’t remember a thing.  I don’t even remember coming to the hospital.  Why am I strapped down like a mental patient?

WW:     You face planted into a bowl of chicken soup and knocked yourself out.  Doctor said it was caused by an abuse of too much Nyquil combined with your secret mucus extractor recipe.  As to the insanity straps, you kept trying to get out of bed to go buy a gun because of some perceived threat from Punxsutawney Phil.

ME:        Ooooo. . .I remember.  It’s all coming back to me now.  I was being threatened by that asshole rodent.  He’s the reason I keep getting these colds every February, and I’m unable to shake them until the spring.  I need to put a stop to this threat and stand my ground against this rodent, right here—right now.  A gun will give me the courage I need to get the job done as soon as I can get out of here.  Word on the street is that Punxsutawney Phil has gone to Florida.  Even he is tired of this Polar Vortex.

WW:     What do you mean “threatened by”?  What has he ever done to you?  You emphasize the word “rodent” as if he were some sub-species not created and loved by God.  Besides, Punxsy’s human handlers are the ones who actually make the predictions, and I’ve read that they are wrong 60% of the time, yet you get this respiratory infection every February, like clockwork.  Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction doesn’t have anything to do with you getting sick—he just goes along for the ride.

ME:        OH, PLEEEASE!  He’s a rodent—a thug—isn’t he, and once a rodent, always a rodent!  I think he’ll never change and he is a threat to my well-being.  You know how those creatures are.  I contacted Punxsy once to share my complaint, and he gave me all sorts of lip (“It’s not my fault—my handlers made me do it,” “I’m suffering from the same frigid temps as you,” “Cut a brother some slack”, and “Who the fuck do you think you are messing in my life, bitch; I don’t need this shit!”).  Punxsutawney Phil says he’s sick of winter too, but he’s not God so why am I always fuckin’ with him about the weather forecast.  As if I believe him.  And why didn’t he show me the respect I’m due as a human?  Huh?  If I want spring to come early—then early it should come.  No excuses.   I shouldn’t be sassed at by a rodent—a thug.  I want a gun, I want it now, and I’ll show that woodchuck-chuck who is boss.

Ground Hog II John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

Used by permission:  John Darkow, Columbia Daily-Tribune, Missouri

WW:     Then you’re not getting out of these straps until you have a change of heart.  You may be crazy, but I’m not.   Anyway, don’t you know that Punxsy is not the only winter/spring groundhog forecaster?  You’ve got your Ohio’s “Buckeye Chuck” (you should know that since you’re from Cleveland), your West Virginia’s “French Creek Freddie,” your New York Staten Island’s “Chuck” (full name is Charles G. Hogg), your Georgia’s “Gen. Beauregard Lee,” your North Carolina’s “Sir Wally Wally,” and your Alabama’s “Smith Lake Jake.”  What you gonna do—shoot them all just because they don’t do what you want them to do when you want them to do it?  And what if they take up guns out of fear to protect themselves from the likes of you?  Good grief—I think your snot elixir has eroded different parts of your brain and heart, and you’re getting ready to do something that isn’t rational.  Now listen to me.  Most of the ground hogs are good varmints and want what we all want:  shelter, food, gainful employment, and good education for their children.  They have a few bad apples but so does every mammal group.  But for the most part they make up your woodchucks, your delightful whistle-pigs, your land-beavers. . .

ME:        Oh for God’s sake.  Save me from this commie, liberal, rodent-loving shit.  Just get me a gun, WW!

WW:     Nurse!!!  My wife has gone over the edge and needs to be prepped for heart surgery!  She is a danger to herself and all mammals!  I authorize the surgery at once!

Ground Hog RJ Matson,

Used by permission:  RJ Matson, Cagle Cartoons

I am discovering that this story about a “marmot monax” told in jest is symbolic of how we Americans don’t need more gun control laws as much as we need a change of heart.  I have no problem with people being able to defend themselves and their loved ones in their homes, but we’re becoming a nation that feels we have the right to “stand our ground” when others don’t do what we want, how we want it, and when we want it—basically we have the right to shoot and kill if another citizen simply pisses us off:

Neighborhood Watch man murders innocent teen carrying Skittles and Tea

Retired Tampa police captain shoots and kills father texting his babysitter before start of movie.

Businessman shoots and kills teen outside convenience store because music was not to his liking.

How long will it take before our country is one giant cemetery from coast to coast because we no longer promote the grace of “standing our ground” by moving our seat, walking away, or turning the other cheek?   Isn’t that better than standing before our Final Judge with innocent blood on our hands and realizing that we really blew it regarding “loving our neighbors as ourselves”?  God have mercy because none of us is safe from the hardened hearts and sick mentalities of a delusional percentage of our countrymen.  Absolutely none!

Michael Dunn Racist Murderer Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission:  Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

 “Our love affair with guns has nothing to do with tyranny, or militias, or self-preservation. Just ask any NRA member the following: If Jesus Christ himself were to come down off the cross and grant you one wish, would you opt for a world without guns — or the one we live in now? If every gun owner truly feared for their life and liberty, the answer would be obvious. But it’s not about life and liberty. It’s all about the sheer hard-on of owning a gun.” ― Quentin R. Bufogle

“How many have to die before we will give up these dangerous toys?” ― Stephen King, Guns

 Guns Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission:  Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

REFERENCES

http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/02/02/groundhog-day-punxsutawney-phil/5101379/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/19/jordan-davis-parents-good-morning-america_n_4814567.html

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/07/justice/florida-movie-theater-shooting/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/02/19/the-daily-show-segment-on-jordan-davis-rings-devastatingly-true/?hpid=z6

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-im-black-dont-shoot-me/2014/02/20/3899521e-9a61-11e3-b931-0204122c514b_story.html?hpid=z5

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.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,