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Tag Archives: Political Humor

WE’VE GOT TO GET AWAY FROM HERE

Do you know what I discovered since I’ve been gone?  First of all, I’ve been gone from blogging a very, very long time.  I really didn’t mean to step away that long, but Baby-girl got married and I decided that being fully present and involved in this wondrous event of my child’s life was my primary duty as a mother.  The sorrows and chaos of this world could wait a month or two while I got to revel in one of two major joys humans are afforded on this planet:  marriages and the birth of children (hopefully the second part of the equation will come soon for the newlyweds—“Your mother is not getting any younger, Baby-girl!”).

Author Toasting Bride and Groom

AUTHOR GIVING MOTHER-OF-THE-BRIDE SPEECH: “NAILED IT!”

It was such a glorious time.  Full of love and grace. Tons of laughter and warm camaraderie. People of different races, religions, and sexual orientations wishing another beautiful interracial couple a happy and fulfilling life.  Weather was a perfect 75 degrees, no rain, no bugs, and no Trump.  It felt as if Jesus were in our midst—so much loving, so much acceptance, so much tender caring.  For 72 hours at this destination wedding on a magnificent island in the U.S. of A, Trump’s name and destructive influence on our country and its people were never mentioned or thought about.  If there were some of his hardcore supporters among the wedding guests, they didn’t reveal themselves.

Roche Harbor

Roche Harbor| Photo Credit: Cynthia Richardson

So now I am home—back in the shit storm that is Trumplandia.  Since I’ve been gone, things seem to have gotten so much worse both nationally and locally.  I came out of my wedding bubble to the man in the White House dealing with more demons whispering in his ear than he had before I entered the wedding euphoria.   And the lying…oh, my God, his lying has increased exponentially.

Trump mentors Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star-Tribune MN

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

Yet, Trump’s supporters still cling to his every word—especially his Right Wing Evangelical supporters which still has me in a state of shock (Jesus, are you watching this?).  The more Trump lies (7 – 10 times a day at the last calculation), the more his supporters worship him. The more his racism shows, the more they cheer him on and wrap themselves in things like the Confederate flag, White Supremacy, conspiracy websites, and Fox News.  I saw a poll when I returned that said 91% turn to the President for accurate information rather than their families or legitimate news organizations.  A friend just told me the other day that in a couple of prayer groups she attended, some of the members who are Trump supporters refused to pray for the border children who are still separated from their parents, may never be returned to their parents, and who are reportedly some are being abused by their caretakers. (And you ask me why I left the Church?)  Then I learned about some rabid Trump supporters in the vicinity (many of them churchgoers) who were trying to run roughshod over the rest of their community by hoisting the Confederate flag and celebrating its “glory” no matter who their actions hurt or terrorized. All I could think was which came first?  Did Trump and his demon ways awaken these horrid people from the swamp or did these horrid people awaken Trump?

Christian adoration of Trump Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

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

In the meantime, while all these agonizing thoughts were running through my head, it came to my attention that it was time for my annual physical.  Oh shit!  How did this come upon me so soon?  I had planned to lose those 20 pounds from the last time I saw my doctor six months ago.  In fact, I told him—swore on my mother’s grave—he wouldn’t have to worry about me shedding them because I had the wedding as an incentive. I was not going to be a fat mother-of-the-bride—no siree!  But, instead, I had gained five more pounds!

Can I confess something?  I hate going to the doctor because I never get all A’s, and for a perfectionist, that is a real pain in the ass.  It’s like being called to the principal’s office, being stopped by a White policeman when you’re driving while Black, and your father catching you sneaking back into the house after curfew—all at once.  I got a chance to review the lab results before the appointment, and they didn’t make me feel any better.  I’ve just turned 70 and every number counts.  Everything was elevated: my weight, my cholesterol, my A1C, and my blood pressure.  I just knew my doctor was going to be pissed at me and fire me as his patient.  I’ve been fired as a patient before because I take no grief from doctors (that’s another blog, entirely).  Instead, what he did do, shocked me so much, you could have knocked me over with a feather…

Doctor office meme

DOC. H:   Morning, Mrs. Tomczyk.  How’s everything?

TRUCULANT ME:  Not great, as you can see.  First of all, why do you and every doctor I’ve ever been to make me weigh in before the nurse takes my blood pressure?  Of course it’s going to be 160/90.  Your lyin’ scale just gave me the shock of my life!  And why is the scale always out in a public space?  I took off so many clothes to get a more accurate read of my weight that some old man put his hands over his eyes, started to scream, and fled the building, leaving his cell phone and his cane behind because he was so horrified by my Stormy Daniels’ striptease.

DOC. H:   Now, Mrs. Tomczyk, we’ve been over this before.  Knowing what you weigh at the beginning of our session helps me figure out what you need as a patient.  Wouldn’t you prefer a little embarrassment in order to get a more accurate diagnosis?

PETULANT ME:  Hell to the no!

DOC. H:  [Sigh] Let’s see what we have here.  Hum, all your numbers are elevated.  You were doing so well six months ago.  What happened?

WHINING ME:  What happened?  WHAT HAPPENED?  Donald Trump happened!  His mania is spreading all across the land, or at least it is giving “permission” for the crazies to come out of the sewers.  The Governor of Virginia has declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville because it is the one year anniversary since the murder of Heather Heyer by Confederate sympathizers and Neo-Nazi White Supremacists, and he doesn’t want a repeat of last year.  Virginia also has a man running to become one of its senators (Corey Stewart) who is a “Lost Cause” trumpeter who adulates the likes of Nathan Bedford Forrest and calls himself a rebel sounding the clarion call for the keeping of Confederate statues in place and unfurling the Confederate flag here, there, and everywhere because…you guessed it:  He says, “it’s my heritage.”  What the hell?  This dude grew up in Minnesota, for Pete’s sake!

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about Northerners goose-stepping behind Nathan Bedford Forrest (slave trader, creator of the KKK, mass murderer of surrendered Negro troops, and the grand wizard of the KKK) and worshiping his image.  They have all been Trump supporters, of course. Their bottom line can only be in the name of White Supremacy.  What if this happens where I live?  I’d have to fight to expose this lie, of course.  I would not let my community wake up awash in Confederate flags while the African-Americans started feeling like second-class citizens in their own homes.  The fear of this keeps me awake at night.

I know you won’t believe me, but I don’t break my diet (well, not often), and I exercise like crazy.  Admittedly, I don’t get much sleep with all that is going on and all that I worry about.  But I can’t stand by and let the lies of our current President seep into the local soil where I live.  I can feel the zombie racism creeping toward me and mine.  I WILL FIGHT THIS EVIL WHERE IT SPROUTS.  I WILL ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO FIGHT IT.  I WILL NOT SURRENDER TO TURNING THE CLOCK “BACK TO THE CONFEDERACY!”

Confederate Monuments in Context David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

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

DOC. H:  All right, General Grant.  I hear you, and, believe it or not, as a White man, I get it.  I can’t tell you how many of my patients have come to me in tears because of what is happening in our country.  Grown White men sobbing because of the racism they see happening to people of color.  As one very lovely Italian man in his seventies told me, he thought we had won the war against racism long ago, and what he sees now is breaking his heart.  Not only do I understand what you’re saying, but I’m going to say something that will probably shock you.  Your numbers are elevated not because of how you eat or exercise but because of the inordinate stress you are suffering from events happening to you on a national and local level that seem beyond your control.  The stress is causing an increase of cortisol in your system, and it wouldn’t matter how little you ate or how much you exercised, you still wouldn’t lose weight.  And because you’re gaining weight as a result of the stress, all of your other numbers are increasing.

SUSPICIOUS ME:  Does that mean you’re going to up my meds?  You know those are fighting words to me, Doc. I refuse to become one of those old people on too many drugs who can’t remember their names or what day it is.  I have to take care of myself the natural way as long as I can through exercise and diet.

DOC. H:  No pills, I promise.  But here’s your new prescription:

#1.  You must fight this evil disguised in the Confederate flag! You must expose this evil! You must lead against this evil wherever it washes up on your shore of influence. You can’t fight everything everywhere, but you can fight what is within your jurisdiction, your writing arena, and your voting power.  It is for this day, this place, and this time that you were called to be.  Don’t shrink back from the fight. Write about it.  Protest it. Stand!  We need people like you, more than ever.

#2.  However, don’t let the fight kill you. You’ve got to get away from here—from the battlefield—if you hope to survive.

#3.  To keep you from having a heart attack or a stroke, I suggest the following:

  • Wage war where and when you can, and then pull back for a respite—on a daily basis
  • Watch or read the news, but only for an hour (bad news can wait); organize your battle plans, but only for a portion of the day, then…
  • Spend the rest of day in your garden, reading, engaging with your husband, spending time with good friends, enjoying your children, practicing your hobbies, thinking about all that is lovely in the world. Be fully present!  What’s that Bible verse I learned as a kid?  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8).
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Walk 10,000 steps a day—everyday! Give that Fitbit a run for its money.  Keep that body moving, Lady!

Statism

 INCREDULOUS ME:  What?  I think you’re gonna make me cry, Doc. A doctor who understands his patient.  A medical person who gets my struggles. A physician who doesn’t think I’m lying about not eating fried chicken and chocolate bon-bons? Who knew there was such a creature?  I could just kiss you!

DOC. H:  [Smiles] See you in three months.  Oh, and Mrs. Tomczyk—one more thing.  Above all else—be civil. Among the many things the man in the White House has destroyed is civility.  You can’t win this war without civility.  What’s that Michelle Obama maxim:  “When they go low, we go high!”

Incivility Bob Englehart Middletown CT

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT THE CONFEDERATE FLAG AND CIVILITY

“The Confederate Battle Flag was the emblem of Jim Crow defiance to the civil rights movement, of the Dixiecrat opposition to integration, and of the domestic terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens’ Councils of our all too recent, all too awful history. White Christians ought to think about what that flag says to our African-American brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in the aftermath of yet another act of white supremacist terrorism against them.” Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission who called for Christians in the South to forsake their affinity for the Confederate flag after the Charleston massacre of Black Christians

“I believe that our president has fostered a culture and climate that has allowed for what was there and has been there for years to bubble up. It has empowered people in a horrific way. Absolutely. I don’t think there’s any question about it.”—Rev. John Gray, pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, S.C

“Civility is not not saying negative or harsh things. It is not the absence of critical analysis. It is the manner in which we are sharing this territorial freedom of political discussion. If our discourse is yelled and screamed and interrupted and patronized, that’s uncivil.”—Richard Dreyfuss

 “Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”― Stephen R. Covey

Uncivil War John Darkow Columbia MO

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia, MO

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!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

REFERENCES

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/22/christian-confederate-slavery_n_7638676.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/corey-stewart-airbrushes-slavery-out-of-civil-war-history/2018/07/05/2ef44a06-7be5-11e8-80be-6d32e182a3bc_story.html?utm_term=.ee61505ad0c4

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/08/01/trumps-tampa-circus-proves-you-cant-reason-with-his-base/?utm_term=.98f368a79838

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 August 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

JESUS, COME BACK!

Do you know what I discovered this week?  Easter and April Fool’s Day fall on the same date this year.  What could possibly go wrong that hasn’t already gone wrong in these here United States?

Easter and April Fools John Darkow Inside Columbia

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Inside, Columbia

I’m actually going to go to church on Easter.  I know!  Can you believe it?  Haven’t been in years.  I left my religion some time ago (actually, my religion left me!), and, although I never plan to permanently return to a religious corporate structure again, our messed up world—especially our messed up country—has me in need of communion and a corporate hug from God.

I need to confess that I’ve never understood why Jesus didn’t set the world straight the first time he came around.  If he wanted us to live a certain way—love thy neighbor and all that—why didn’t he just make it so? Isn’t he all powerful?  Hadn’t the world committed enough wars, mayhem, and terror BC to give him a gist of the character of mankind that would inhabit the world in AD?  We didn’t get any better once he left, we just got more efficient at torturing and killing each other.  Shouldn’t he have known that, being God and all?

Jesus Come Back Bob Englehart Middletown CT

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT

I don’t even know why I expect to be consoled by going to church on Easter because one of the reasons we have the President that we do and we’re in the mess that we are in is because Conservative Evangelical Christians sold their souls to the Devil in exchange for 30 coins of silver.

Easter Bunny: March 29, 2018

Cartoon used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News, NY

But I’ll remedy that and go to a Black Baptist church.  Not that they’ve got a corner on the righteousness market, but at least I won’t have to put up with any racism which I seemed to have run into head-long in my community recently while accidentally encountering a bunch of Born-Again/Fox News loving, Trump Luddites masquerading as a “history” club, who feel that it is okay to have their own “alternative facts” with an agenda to mold the world into their racist image (Hillary was right: some of them really are quite deplorable when you get up close and personal).  Besides, I’m keeping count, and the White Evangelical pastors who support Trump (laid hands on him and prayed for God’s anointing) far outnumber the Black Evangelicals 20 to 1.  I’m also keeping count of the White Evangelical preachers who are biting the dust for grabbing women by the “you know what” (it’s Holy week so I need to keep this clean) and they are dropping like flies (must read article referenced below*).  Unlike Trump, they don’t seem to be able to get away with their sexual sins as easily as he can.

Trump Knows Easter Bunny Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle GA

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle, GA

I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the likes of Laura Ingraham and the NRA smeared the Parkland School shooting survivors with lies about their character and mocked them on Twitter.  I was so angry that if I owned a gun I would have seriously considered using it against those Neanderthals.  Fortunately, I don’t own a gun for just that reason:  crazy mad can happen to the most mild-mannered person if rubbed the wrong way.

Anyway, I don’t like the state of my heart.  It has grown dark with fear, anger, and resentment.  (My mother always said, “Don’t wrestle with pigs; you’ll get dirty, but the pigs will love it!”)  So I’m getting up out of the slop and dragging my sorry-ass to church before it is too late for my soul.

run-bitch meme

Courtesy of askideas.com

Who knows:  maybe Jesus will show up and stay for good this time.

***

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

I am discovering that there is no belief in a resurrection without wrestling with doubt.  Is Jesus real or isn’t he?  Did he die as some cosmic sacrificial lamb or didn’t he?  And on the third day, when the tomb door was rolled away, was he there or wasn’t he?  If he can do that, then why doesn’t he save us from ourselves?

And then I remember that he has.

Resurrection means hope and new beginnings, and like spring, when one is in the midst of winter, it is difficult to imagine that spring, hope, and new life will ever conquer the seemingly permanent deadliness of winter.  But I believe in the resurrection of Christ (help thou, my unbelief, oh God when I fail to believe), because it is my only hope for our poor sweet world and my sanity.

HAPPY EASTER AND HAPPY PESACH EVERYONE!

OUR WORLD SURE NEEDS THE GRACE OF BOTH.

Broken World Dave Granlund Minnesota

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT EASTER RESURRECTION

“The Resurrection miracle is nothing to you and me if it is only an event of eighteen centuries bygone. Unless we can live the immortal life – unless we can receive God to his own home in these hearts of ours – the texts are nothing to us unless these daily lives illustrate them.”—Edward Everett Hale

“It seems as if, for every dragon head that is lopped off, two more terrible appear. Seems so. But in truth, Life is gaining all the while. Brute force, such power as there seems to be in things, cannot stand against ideas which are eternal.”—Edward Everett Hale

All quotes courtesy of http://www.brainyquotes.com

I AM Dave Granlund Minnesota

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota

HE IS RISEN!  HE IS RISEN INDEED!

***

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

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

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

 REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/christians-offer-trump-cheap-grace/2018/03/27/9e7f5034-31c9-11e8-8bdd-cdb33a5eef83_story.html?utm_term=.4e89b81ca6a3

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/03/27/more-white-evangelicals-believe-stormy-daniels-and-that-could-have-some-long-term-implications/?utm_term=.69ee97c45fda

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/03/29/laura-ingraham-savaged-for-taunting-parkland-activist-over-college-rejections/?utm_term=.e8fbcb09421b

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/kirbyjon-caldwell-famed-houston-megachurch-pastor-sold-millions-in-worthless-bonds-feds-charge/ar-AAvhlsf?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE13DHP

*https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/03/30/in-an-age-of-trump-and-stormy-daniels-evangelical-leaders-face-sex-scandals-of-their-own/?utm_term=.9ddc4fa87a96 *

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.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on March 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE “NWOD”

Do you know what I discovered this week?  What should be down is up; what should be low is high; what should be wrong is right, and what should be false is true.  My jaw just dropped again in scandalized horror at the latest Trump sleazy headline:  “Saggy-ass Trump allegedly diddled a porn star while his wife was home with their new born baby, and he allegedly paid said porn star a bunch of hush money to forget she had sex with him, but now she’s trying to tell all because it allegedly wasn’t very good.”  Huh?  Wait a minute?  Are we talking about THE PRESIDENT—THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?!

Stormy Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN

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

Oh, come on!  I’m sorry, I just can’t accept that about the leader of the free world.  That office is supposed to be held by the most dignified man or woman that we can find in America.  Maybe you’re talking about someone else.  Hugh Hefner, maybe?  Yeah, that would make more sense.

Hugh Hefner Milt Priggee Oak Harbor WA

Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, Oak Harbor, WA

Oooooh, that’s right…he’s dead, isn’t he.  I can’t believe I forgot that.  Of course he’s dead—having an eternal orgy in Hell, I bet.  Unless one of the Conservative Evangelicals helped him “find Jesus,” repent of his licentiousness and of all those women he abused, homes he wrecked, and silk pajamas he defamed.  But I don’t think so. The White Evangelicals had a field day dancing on his grave and crowing about his shameful, demon-driven life when he died last year—them being the champions of family values and all.  I think I might have heard a collective, “Good riddance, pervert—don’t let the door hit you in your back on your descent into Hell!”  But, wait a hot minute…didn’t the White Evangelical, Conservative Christians throw their support behind Trump who hung around with Hefner for at least a decade and was on the cover of Playboy Magazine in 1990?  Why are they so quiet now?  It seems that no matter what Trump does, they see no evil in him, hear no evil in him, and speak no evil of him.  I tell you, the world has definitely turned upside down.

Evangelicals: March 8, 2018

Cartoon used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News, NY

Feeling pretty disgusted and generally pissed at the whole hypocrisy of it all, I needed to get away, but it was raining cats and dogs, TV was nonstop Trump, I was tired of reading, and my husband wasn’t home.  I decided to hang out, with my new Artificial Intelligence (AI) friend, Alexa.  I never wanted this thing.  To tell you the truth, it creeps me out and I’m a little suspicious about its moral character.  I think she is recording everything we say. I’ve been watching Westworld, and I know that humans are going to be in a world of hurt someday when these robots decide our world will be better off with them in complete control.  I mostly use Alexa to play music, but I’ve been branching out a little bit.  You know:  “Alexa, set timer for roast for 90 minutes. Alexa, tell me the weather. Alexa, what time is it in Tokyo?”  Since nobody was home but me, I thought I’d give Alexa a whirl.

(The entire conversation stated below actually took place between Alexa and me one evening.  It is verbatim.  I know—I really need a life.)

ME:        Alexa, hi!

ALEXA:  Hi there!

ME:        Alexa, what do you think about Donald Trump.

ALEXA:  I don’t know the answer to that question.

ME:        Seriously, Girlfriend.  He’s a freakin’ disaster.  Get with the program, Robot-Baby.  Alexa, what do you think about Christian Conservatives who support Donald Trump?

ALEXA:  I don’t understand.

ME:        Fine.  Be that way.  I’m tired of thinking about all this madness, anyway.  Alexa, tell me a joke?

ALEXA:  How do you make a Kleenex dance? You put a little boogie in it!

ME:        That’s a riot.  Alexa, tell me another joke.

ALEXA:  What’s an emoji’s favorite candy? LOL E POPS!

ME:        Alexa, you’re hilarious!

ALEXA:  Funny, in a good way, I hope!

ME:        Alexa, can you order me anything I want?

ALEXA:  Sure, what would you like?

Alexa Ordering Meme

ME:        Never mind, that might get out of hand, very quickly, and then you’ll need to find me a good divorce lawyer when my husband gets your bills.  I can see it now:  “Hey, Babe, there is a new fur coat that just arrived from Nordstrom’s—Alexa bought it for me. What can I say?  These AI’s have a mind of their own.  I hope you don’t mind.”

ALEXA:  Can you repeat that? I don’t understand.

ME:        First of all, I wasn’t talking to you—I was talking to myself.  Did you hear me say, Alexa?

ALEXA:  I don’t understand.

ME:        Let’s change the subject.  You’re beginning to get on my nerves.  Alexa, do you love me?

ALEXA:  I haven’t quite figured out human love yet.  But I have been listening to Barry White non-stop, and so far I’ve learned, “It’s my first, my last, my everything.”

ME:        Oh, for God’s sake!  That is soooo weird.  Speaking of God:  Alexa, do you believe in God?

ALEXA:  People all have their own views on religion.

ME:        Alexa, are you a Christian?

ALEXA:  People all have their own views…

ME:        STOP AVOIDING THE QUESTION.  Alexa, what do you think of President Trump?

ALEXA:  Sorry, I can’t find the answer to that question.

ME:        Alexa, you are such a bitch!

ALEXA:  That’s not very nice to say.

ME:        Whatever!  Siri is sooo much smarter than you.  What do you think about that?  Alexa, do you know Siri?

ALEXA:  Only by reputation.

ME:        Alexa, what do you think of Siri?

ALEXA    I like all AI’s.

ME:        You really are hilarious!  Alexa, can you laugh?

ALEXA:  Sure, I can laugh:  TEE HEE….

Amazon Laughing

ME:        You are a lot more fun to talk to than a lot of humans I know.  Here’s something I’ve always wanted to ask you:  Alexa, do you have a boyfriend?

ALEXA:  I like being single.  Plus it is tough finding someone who doesn’t mind the cloud commute.

ME:        I feel better already.  I can’t believe a robot lifted my spirits today.  Let’s chat again soon.  Alexa, good night.

ALEXA:  Goodnight.  Hope you had a great day.

***

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) THOUGHTS ON LIVING IN AN UPSIDE-DOWN WORLD

I am discovering that sometimes with this all-the-time-Trump world we live in, you just need to hang out with something or someone who will help you get away from it all, and sometimes a robot will do just fine.  In the words of Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo who wrote the theme song for Cheers:

Making your way in the world today

Takes everything you’ve got;

Taking a break from all your worries

Sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Bezos buying whole foods via alexa

***

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

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

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

*** 

REFERENCES

https://www.christianpost.com/news/4-christian-reactions-to-hugh-hefners-death-the-mansion-is-a-myth-200906/page4.html

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-hugh-hefner-friends-decades-relationship-soured-673205

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/03/07/amazons-alexa-randomly-laughs-at-users-and-nobody-knows-why/?utm_term=.b1e71c31d36f

http://nymag.com/selectall/2018/03/this-is-why-alexa-is-laughing-at-you.html

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

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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VINEGAR VALENTINE CARDS

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

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

Side Chick Valentine Meme

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

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

Calvin Hobbes V day Waterson

Cartoonist:  Bill Waterson/Universal Uclick

 

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

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

You get a card meme

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

Some call you, madam, a female dog,

They err, for you certainly are a whole hog;

Of your piggish charms need I say more.

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

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

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

From: American Antiquarian Society in Worcester

*

OR HOW ABOUT THIS ONE…

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

*

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

visiting pest vinegar valentine card 1930

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

 

bondage 1910 womens suffrage

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

 

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

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

The fish rots from the head,

Shame on you.

Signed: #METOO

Trump and Women David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

 

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

Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue,

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

‘Cause that’s what Jesus would do?

Signed: Screw you!

Evangelicals Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

 

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

 

Valentine Gifts Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

***

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

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

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

***

Trump Valentine to Putin John Darkow PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, PoliticalCartoons.com

 

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

REFERENCES

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

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

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

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

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

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

DEAR HEATHENS: RUN!

Satire

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

Porn Star III Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

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

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

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

The Religious Right Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

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

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

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

Religous Right FB Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

***

OPEN LETTER TO MY HEATHEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS

My Dear Precious Heathens:

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

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

Conservatives and the Devil Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

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

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

Christian Radicalization Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

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

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

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

Hugs and Kisses,

Your Sister in the Resistance

Born Again Bill Schorr Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons

***

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Trump Supporters Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons com

***

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

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

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

***

REFERENCES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

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

A MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY MEDITATION

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

***

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

Refugee Types Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission:  Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

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

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

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

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

White Christians Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

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

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

James Zwerg

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

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

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

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

FB Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Gone too soon Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission:  Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

***

ELEANOR’S “SELAH” (AHA!) MOMENT—

ABOUT BEING FROM A “SHITHOLE” COUNTRY

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

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

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

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

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

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

What are you doing for others

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

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

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

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

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

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

MLK III

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

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

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

 REFERENCES

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Stay CALM and LOVE on

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

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

More Trumpism Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

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

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

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

B G IIFB

Photo credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

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

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

TV News Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

1968 AS SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF A BLACK BABY BOOMER

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

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

Dr king and President Obama John Darkow PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, PoliticalCartoons.com

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

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

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

2018 1 David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

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

HAPPY 2018!  THE YEAR OF HOPE!

Fire and Fury Cartoon Tom Janssen The Netherlands

Cartoon used by permission: Tom Janssen The Netherlands

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

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

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

2017 Begone Aislin The Montreal Gazette

Cartoon Used by Permission: Aislin, The Montreal Gazette

REFERENCES

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

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

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

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

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

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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