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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.

 

 

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

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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WINTER IS COMING

Do you know what I discovered today?  I’M BACK!  But while I was gone, finishing my third book which is due out in April, it appears that we had two defining moments as a nation:

#1.  “Number 45” has shown himself to be far more horrific, narcissistic, and petulant at governing than we could have ever imagined, which means (to borrow a phrase from Game of Thrones) “winter is coming” America! 

#2.  Astronomers discovered a nearby solar system with seven Earth-like planets that might support life.

Yeah, I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking about moving.

new-home-planet-john-cole-the-scranton-times-tribune

Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

I wonder if at least one of the seven planets will give me political asylum because I can foresee a time when open resistance to this administration may cause me problems. You see, I’m no longer just Eleanor “The Writer,” Eleanor “The Wife, Mother, and Grandmother,” I had to become “ET the Bee” when I joined the resistance movement recently after “he who shall not be named” started acting the fool over the past forty days.

I chose my underground resistance pseudonym because bees are the deadliest non-human animals in America.  One bee may not prove to be more than a nasty inconvenience, but when combined with 99 other bees, the stings can be deadly.

I know that I am nobody, and if my words (my choice of warfare) sting at all, at this point, they are simply a nuisance.  HOWEVER, when my words are added with others in the resistance (comedians, anti-Trump bloggers, and journalists with balls), they become powerful and will eventually bring down “Number 45” and his entourage—which is my hope and prayer.  (I told you that I’d pray for “Number 45”—I just didn’t tell you how I’d pray for him.)

But I can see a day when our narcissistic leader starts going after bloggers like he’s going after the legit Media.  (Actually, isn’t his wife already suing a blogger?  Yikes!)  Therefore, I’ve put together a back-up plan to apply for asylum on one of the seven new planets.  If they will let me in as an Earthly alien, which might be doubtful, given our reputation in the universe.

new-planets-osama-hajjaj-jordan

Cartoon used by permission: Osama Hajjaj, Jordan

TRAPPIST 1 SYSTEM

AQUARIUS CONSTELLATION

39 LIGHT-YEARS (235 TRILLION MILES) AWAY FROM EARTH 

Dear Trappist 1 Immigration Service:

My name is Agent “ET Bee,” and I am writing you to request asylum in the event that the Looney Tunes guy who has stolen the presidency of the United States (maybe via Russia—not what I’m saying, but others are saying it—SAD!), tries to kick out any and everyone who attempts to speak truth to power or who attempts to shake our citizens out of their foggy thinking. 

I have no idea how much of the Earth’s history you know, but we’ve been here before.  The first sign of a wannabe dictator is that they try to silence their critics.  It then follows with the dictator denying the Press access to information (sending them to Siberia), then imprisoning them, and finally killing them.  That way the dictator can present himself any way he chooses without pesky challenges.

press-and-dictators-dave-granlund-politicalcartoons-com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

As a resistance movement agent, I am engaged in the fight to keep “Number 45” (my name for him because I refuse to add the respectful word of “president” to the last name of a liar, pussy grabber, and womanizing, thrice-married, twitter-addicted, bromancer of Vladimir Putin) from becoming normalized and acceptable in the American psyche.  Last week, at least 60% of Americans did not consider “Number 45” to be our legitimate president.  Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million more people, and the orange orangutan won the presidency with 304 Electoral College votes, which I’m sure you think that system is really antiquated and quite amusing.  The end result was that the majority would like to have a do-over and those who voted for him were slowly waking up with buyer’s remorse.

not-my-president-milt-priggee-www-miltpriggee-com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

That was until last night when “Number 45” gave a speech to the joint session of Congress and actually acted presidential.  Did you watch it?  He was (for the most part) positive in tone and he didn’t talk about his poll numbers or his enemies, the Media.  Today, 76% of those polled approve of his speech and feel like maybe they can relax and everything will be just fine.

Alien brothers and sisters, this is where the slip-and-slide into Hell begins.

My peeps from another solar system, Trump was reading a practiced speech (he was seen going over it in the back of his limo) from a teleprompter that multiple speech writers had written.  Don’t be fooled by it.  Don’t listen to what he says—watch what he does to know where we’re headed as a country.  Don’t be fooled by his calm manner—his actions for the past 41 days do not support what you saw.

Also, dear aliens, check out the creatures who surround him and whisper in his ear—day in and day out.  The Alt-Right, anti-Semitic slug, Steve Bannon’s actions belie Trump’s speech before Congress regarding his sudden concern about the rise of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in America. 

bannon-the-jabba-david-fitzsimmons-the-arizona-star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

I will stay on Earth as long as I can to sting and agitate “Number 45” as often as I must in order to get my fellow Americans to wake up and resist this creature who should never have become our president.  In the meantime, Dear Aliens, it would be best if you not send representatives to the United States (or anywhere else on our warring planet) in the immediate future because we are pretty fucked up as a species, and our leader just might gather you up and deport you to Mexico.

Until our next communication,

Signed:  ET, the Bee!

new-planets-nate-beeler-the-columbus-dispatch

Cartoon used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

***

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT) ABOUT TRUMP’S QUASI STATE OF UNION SPEECH

I am discovering that we Americans are being lulled to sleep—like lobsters in a kettle who get used to tepid water turning into a boiling death.  One minute they’re moving around in their watery grave—high-fiving one another—the next minute they are dinner.

AMERICA, LISTEN TO ME:  “Number 45” is an actor—a reality TV star.  He holds a Screen Actor’s Guild membership card.  There was no there, there during the “State of the Union” speech.  He was “playing” normalYou saw a performance artist act as the president of the United States during the quasi State of the Union.  If you mistake that show as reality, you’ll be purchasing a one-way ticket to Trappist 1 System along with my fictional character by the time Trump’s term is over because you won’t recognize our country.   We will not be great, we’ll be 1984 part deux.

Oh, and as to the shameless and deplorable way he exploited the widow of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, which so many pundits are applauding, this is how you know what kind of human we’re dealing with here: Trump used this woman’s grief to cover up the fact that he ordered a military operation that failed and is being challenged by many—including Owens’ father who refused to meet with Trump when his son’s body was returned to the States.  The buck stops at the President’s desk as Harry Truman once said, but Trump has blamed the failure of the raid on Obama (“Obama planned it before he left, I just followed his lead”) and the military (“they lost Ryan, not me”) while waving the incense thurible of a widow’s broken-hearted tears to cloud our minds and make us forget his culpability as Commander in Chief.   The only time Trump veered off script and spoke in his “own words” which showed his true colors—his penchant for applause and adulation—was when he made that cringe-worthy statement to Owens’ widow as she sobbed while looking up to the heavens.  “Ryan is looking down right now, you know that, and he’s very happy, because I think he just broke a record,” said our very manipulative and cynical president.  (I assume “Number 45” meant Owens broke a record of applause for someone at a State of the Union address.)  Yeah, that’s just what Navy SEAL Owens was thinking as he looked in from the Great Beyond at his beautiful broken family:  “Shit, my applause lasted longer than Spencer Stone of Sacramento, California (staff sergeant in the US Army who helped stop a terrorist attack on a train in Europe) at last year’s State of the Union with President Obama.  Hot damn that certainly was worth getting killed for and destroying my family in the process.”

“We are one people, with one destiny… The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us. We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts.”  This was one of the more poetic phrases in Trump’s speech that I would love to embrace.  I suppose that means no more nasty tweets against Saturday Night Live, Meryl Streep, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, or against anybody who doesn’t like him, or against any journalist who is getting too close to his relationship with his boyfriend, Vlad.  If “Number 45” will stop tweeting vicious, petulant messages, maybe I’ll start to believe his beautiful, scripted words, but until then…

state-of-union-david-fitzsimmons-the-arizona-star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

 

***

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE

“This speech [Trump’s address to Congress] will get very positive reviews. But remember—government isn’t a speech [emphasis=mine]. Today, before this speech, with little fanfare, Trump signed into law an NRA-backed bill that will allow more mentally ill people to buy guns. And remember, there is still Russia. That is not going and cannot go away.”– Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast/ Donald Trump Finally Sounds Presidential. For 60 Minutes

***

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).

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: THIRD BOOK FROM AUTHOR DUE OUT IN APRIL 2017!  WATCH THIS BLOG SPACE.

***

REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/02/28/any-minute-now-trump-will-ruin-the-good-impression-he-just-made/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/01/mr-trump-visits-the-capitol-same-old-lies-in-a-terrifying-new-context/

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/donald-trump-congress-speech-235547

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/03/01/the-pundits-are-wrong-trumps-handling-of-the-ryan-owens-affair-was-contemptibly-cynical/?tid=pm_pop

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/22/world/new-exoplanets-discovery-nasa/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/02/24/bannon-and-trump-are-out-for-revenge/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

http://www.salon.com/2017/02/24/steve-bannon-says-trumps-cabinet-of-billionaires-is-selected-for-a-reason-deconstruction/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bannons-dangerous-deconstruction/2017/02/26/0d1aab0e-fad2-11e6-be05-1a3817ac21a5_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-f%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.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on March 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

HELLO SANTA, IT’S ME

Do you know what I discovered this week?  I need to talk to Santa! Reason is I think God has gone AWOL on the world, and maybe Santa can help me find him. I know that Jesus has a birthday coming up, and I’m hoping he’ll show up for all the celebrations in his name. I thought it imperative that I try and reach him to give him the 411 on how wicked we’ve become, and how things are being done in his name that would turn the angels into screaming banshees of despair.

TRANSCRIPT OF PHONE CALL BETWEEN SANTA AND ELEANOR, THE BLOGGER (ET)

(Scene opens on festive lodge in the North Pole in a great room full of people drinking eggnog and singing Christmas carols led by a fat Black man in a red suit with a long white beard. Phone is heard ringing in the background as a little person in a Santa Christmas sweater with elfin ears scurries to answer it.)

 black-santa-sweaters-tipsy-elves-dot-com

Photo credit: tipsyelves.com

ELF:        Santa Claus’ residence—how may I direct your call? If you’ve been naughty, let’s cut to the chase and confess it now, ‘cause ain’t nobody got time for end of year lyin’.

ELT:       Lionel, this is ET. I need to speak to Santa, please. It’s a matter of some urgency.

ELF:        No can do, girlfriend. He’s leadin’ the Christmas carols, and you know how much he looks forward to kicking off the season with a karaoke song fest of carols. Listen …

God rest ye merry, gentlemen

Let nothing you dismay

Remember, Christ, our Saviour

Was born on Christmas day

To save us all from Satan’s power

When we were gone astray

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy

O tidings of comfort and joy

ET:         Well, “to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray” is exactly why I’m calling, not to mention that I am horribly dismayed. I need to know if Santa knows where Jesus is, because he seems to have gone AWOL. I couldn’t find him in the terrorist attack in Brussels, and I looked for him in the midst of the kidnapping, butchering, and rapes of the young girls in Nigeria by the Boko Haram. When I didn’t see him there I searched for him in the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub, and most recently I’ve been trying to locate his presence in the election of Trump who I hope and pray is on Santa’s naughty list.

 santa-hacked-fb-bob-englehart-caglecartoons-com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

ELF:        You know that information is classified, ET. I can only talk to you about your sorry-ass behavior. As to the whereabouts of Jesus, unlike Santa, he’s what they call “omnipresent,” so you should be able to locate him wherever humans hang. Oh man, Santa’s singing one of his favorites—this is his jam. Girl, between you and me, give Santa a couple glasses of schnapps and a karaoke machine and that man loses his mind. Listen …

Up on the housetop reindeer pause,

Out jumps Good Old Santa Claus

Down through the chimney with lots of toys

All for the little ones Christmas joys 

Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn’t go? Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn’t go?

Up on the housetop, click, click, click

Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick.

ELT:       This is exactly why I’m calling. Tell Santa I hate this song. It is anathema in Aleppo and the Southside of Chicago. There are no chimneys left for him to slide down with “lots of toys” to foster “Christmas joys” for “all the little girls and boys.” All the little ones in Aleppo are either dead, dying, or on their way to wandering the Earth in a catatonic state in search of shelter and food. All the little ones in Southside are afraid to even go outside. And don’t even get me started on all the other places in the world that are so terrifying that Santa would never be able to land his sleigh without being shot out of the sky or off the rooftops.  Tell Santa that I’m not feelin’ these stupid songs this year, and I am beginning to lose hope, which is why I need to have a little talk with Jesus. Where is he? Why doesn’t he do something?  Lionel, get Santa on the phone, please, before I blow a fuse!

santa-in-turkey-marian-kamensky-slovakia

Cartoon used by permission: Marian Kamensky Slovakia, Cagle Cartoons

ELF:        Girl, you not the boss of me. If you want to talk to Santa then you need to pay to play. I tell you what. Fax me a song for Santa to sing—like a special Christmas pick of yours—and if he likes your song, he’ll tell you where Jesus is and how to get your hope back.

ET:         Great. I’ll be faxing you a Christmas song for Santa to sing next. I actually wrote it to sing at the President-elect’s Inauguration, but he declined my offer to perform. (As if anybody else of any quality is going to do his inauguration—please!) The song is actually a rip off from a Dr. Seuss poem and the Albert Hague melody from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” It shouldn’t be too hard for you to find the orchestration to download to the karaoke machine.

ELF:        Okey-dokey, Smokey. But I’m makin’ no promises that he’ll talk to you …

(As quick as you could say, “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way …” I heard Santa’s voice begin to sing the song that I wrote to send to the President-elect for Christmas. What Santa thought of it, I will never know because he never came to the phone to tell me where Jesus was hiding out.)

***

CHRISTMAS SONG FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP

You’re a cruel one, Mr. Trump

You really are so bad,

You’re as nasty as a pit bull, Twitter hateful as can be, Mr. Trump,

You’re a pussy grabber with a greasy gigantic-ass rump!

trump-on-naughty-list-rick-mckee-the-augusta-chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

You’re unstable, Mr. Trump,

Your heart’s a callus troll,

Your brain is full of ca-ca, you have vipers in your soul, Mr. Trump,

I wouldn’t go near you with a nine-thousand-foot-ass pole!

trump-and-santa-john-cole-the-scranton-times-tribune

Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

 You’re unqualified, Mr. Trump,

You’re one of Moscow’s mules,

You have all the believability of a con man on the run, Mr. Trump,

Given a choice between you and Putin I think I’d choose the Russian skunk!

vlad-the-elf-milt-priggee-www-miltpriggee-com

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

 You’re a tax cheat, Mr. Trump,

The king of bankrupt casino slots,

Your heart’s an alt-right slushy with duped Evangelicals crushed on top, Mr. Trump,

You’re a thrice-married, serial cheating, braggart meatloaf topped with rancid orange slop.

bad-santa-milt-priggee-www-miltpriggee-com

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

 You’re incorrigible, Mr. Trump,

You’re pushing our country off the rails!

You don’t care about poor people, climate change—Muslims even less, Mr. Trump,

Your cabinet picks are an appalling pile of Ayn Rand minions from the sewers of Hell!

trump-cabinet-steve-sack-the-minneapolis-star-tribune

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

 You’re undignified, Mr. Trump,

You’re classless as a boar,

Your head is unintelligent—your vocab’s 4th grade score, Mr. Trump,

The three words that best describe you in my mind, and I quote:

“Disgusting, Dishonest, DEPLOO-OR –

RA-BLE!”

santa-donald-marian-kamensky-slovakia

Cartoon used by permission: Marian Kamensky, Slovakia

***

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT)

I am discovering that life has always been a crap shoot for humans (remember the plagues, the Crusades, the Dark Ages, the French Revolution, WWI, WWII, and the atom and hydrogen bombs?). There have always been wars and rumors of wars, crooked politicians, crazy kings, and maniacal despots who make their corner of the world a living hell for those who don’t deserve it. None of these horrid leaders have anything to do with the reality and goodness of God, but everything to do with the wretchedness, selfishness, and cruelty of the human heart.

Many of us in America are feeling pretty hopeless at the election of Mr. Trump. We see what we thought was a progressive country turning back by 100 years with the election of this man if something doesn’t stop it from doing so.

I am very afraid.

But this Christmas, I am going to remember why I worship a god born in a manger. I celebrate Christmas because of the hope it gives me. Hope that in the midst of pain and suffering, a child was born to represent the love that is the character of God (pure, accepting, and unvarnished), and to show us humans how to live in that love. I am strong in my faith that my hope will not be derailed and that the love of Christ will prevail. In the meantime, I’m sending President-elect Trump a Christmas present: My promise to make my own future by joining the resistance movement that constantly mocks his “unprecidential unpresidential” choices, antics, and tweets for as long as he is in office. There is nothing a narcissistic personality hates more than to be mocked and ridiculed. Merry Christmas President-elect Trump.

And Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Peace-filled holidays to all who travel here.

born-into-this-world-bob-englehart-politicalcartoons-com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, PoliticalCartoons.com

***

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT HOPE

“We are feeling what not having hope feels like,” Obama told Winfrey in a recent interview when asked if she felt her husband had kept his campaign promise about ‘hope and change.’ “We feel the difference now,” she said. “Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept. And Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. He and I and so many believed that … what else do you have if you don’t have hope? What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”—Michelle Obama/Oprah Winfrey Interview

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”Desmond Tutu

“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.”Bradley Whitford

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The worst thing that can happen in a democracy – as well as in an individual’s life – is to become cynical about the future and lose hope.”Hillary Clinton

***

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? Check out http://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).

***

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.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

WAKE UP, RIGHTEOUS WHITE FOLKS!

Do you know what I discovered since returning from Thanksgiving festivities? Fidel Castro died. I threw a party to celebrate. I was eleven years old when Castro seized control of Cuba “in the name of its people,” and, although the worst he ever did to me was instill a debilitating fear that the holes in my dirty underwear would be seen and mocked by my classmates while scampering under my school desk before the Soviet nuclear bombs roared out of Cuba and dropped on my head, he screwed up the lives of millions of his fellow Cubans something fierce, and they may never recover. While I appreciate the few moral decisions he managed to get right in his lifetime (backed Mandela and opposed Apartheid, and provided health care for his poorest people along with an education system for all Cubans—albeit, propaganda-laden), his horrific, murderous sins, lies, and torture earned him a primo place in Hell.

castro-destination-steve-sack-the-minneapolis-star-tribune

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

Thinking about Castro—especially as various people have been soft pedaling his legacy this week—I am forced to think about despots in general. I tend to dwell on the things that obsess me—like despots and the damage they can cause—and when I obsess, I dream. The other night I dreamt that I couldn’t sleep because of all the crazy leaders since the beginning of time who have not treated their people with equity, respect, and dignity—who have royally screwed up their countries when they became the president, the king, or the despot. And in that dream, I thought of Trump, and then I thought of his Chief Strategist (Steve Bannon), and the more than the 800 reported racial incidents since the election, and I went in search of a White man to tell my sorrows to … but, alas alack, he was asleep—so I woke him up, anyway (in my dream, that is)—hoping that he would help me out.

president-trump-bob-englehart-caglecartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Caglecartoons

[Leaning over my husband’s sleeping body, I tried to pry open one of eyelids.]

ME:        Psst. Wake up! Are you asleep?

HIM:      Yes.

ME:        Are you sure you’re asleep?

HIM:      Yes.

ME:        Hum, would you like a little roll in the hay, old man?

HIM:      Ah, yeah!

ME:        So, you are awake.

HIM:      You tricked me!

ME:        Yes, I did. Because I need to see if you’re still my husband of 38 years, or if you’ve been snatched by a Trumpet spirit.  I think something awful has been happening to a lot of the White people in our country, and I need to make sure you’re safe. Open your eyes so that I can see if there are any demons inside of you. Hum … You seem okay. Now that you’re awake, can I tell you what I need help with?

HIM:      Do I have a choice?

ME:        Of course not. Did you know that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center there have been over 900 reports of harassment or intimidation in every state except four in the past several weeks, and in most of the attacks, Trump’s name has been invoked? And our President-elect hasn’t done a damn thing about it. Trump can tweet about everything else at three a.m., but he has been very passive about this crap done in his name. One of the incidents that sent chills down my spine is the one I read in Ebony today. Listen to this:

“A White Massachusetts man received a letter warning him not to bring Black friends into the community from someone saying it has ‘zero tolerance for Black people’ and that ‘we have reclaimed our country back by selecting Trump.’ Another letter he received read: ‘We have just cleared the White House of niggers! Do not bring niggers in our neighborhood… We will kill them.”

ME:        This shit is popping up all over the place—not just against Blacks, but against Muslims, Latinos, women, Asians, and Gays and Lesbians—all in Trump’s name! Right after the election, I saw a copy of an anonymous note left to a Muslim teacher that she better take off her head-wrap because it wasn’t allowed anymore now that Trump was President, and that she should “tie” it around her neck and “hang yourself with it.”

 hate-groups-adam-zyglis-the-buffalo-news

Cartoon used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News

HIM:      Well, I didn’t vote for Trump and neither did any of the White people we consider our friends. Why did you wake me up? I’m not guilty and neither are they. Also, you’re a smart person, and I know that you know that all White people who voted for Trump were not racially motivated.

ME:        Of course, but I have a feeling that all the racists who voted did vote for Trump! His election seems to have given them a free “get-out-of-jail” pass. And how do we know that the White people who say they voted for Hillary did just that? What if there were millions of White people who were going to vote for Hillary, but once they got in the voting booth, they voted for Trump instead, which is why we’re in this mess? What if this is like The Invasion of the Body Snatchers? I’m beginning to be suspicious of every White person I meet—wondering if they are secretly going to say or do something racist to me. I passed some little ol’ shriveled-up, monkey-faced White lady in the grocery store the other day—she looked to be about eighty years old. When I smiled, she didn’t smile back at me—just kind of scowled at me. I got very suspicious and started to wonder (as I tasted the grapes to see which ones were sweet), whether she was a secret “Trumpet” who resented my very presence amongst the fruits and vegetables, which is why she was giving me the stink eye.

stink-eye-meme

HIM:      She probably was wondering whether she should call a manager to report the crazy lady on aisle two gorging on grapes she hadn’t paid for who was giving her the evil eye. How many times have I told you that tasting grapes before you buy them to see if they are sweet is not kosher?

ME:        And how many times have I told you that when grapes cost $6.00 a pound, they will not have the privilege of entering my grocery cart unless they can prove their sweetness value before I leave the grocery store—besides I only ate two (one green and one red). The grocery stores would help us all out if they simply put up signs that said: “Sweet grapes” or “Sour as Hell Grapes,” then a person would know which grapes to avoid. WAIT A MINUTE! Maybe that’s what we ought to do with all the American citizens if we want to let minorities and vulnerable people know where the safe spaces are—like we labeled the buildings during the Cold War to let our citizens know where we could take shelter when the bombs started droppng. Maybe we should all wear pins on our lapels that say “I Am My Brother’s Keeper—you’re Safe with Me,” or “Fuck You! Only White, Straight, and Christians Wanted Here—Go Back to Where You Came From.”

HIM:      Oy—both those pins would have to be the size of sandwich boards with all that wording! But okay, I get it—I do. I’m concerned as well, but weren’t you one of the bloggers that said you’d pray for the new President and give him a chance?

ME:        Yes, I said I’d pray for him to do the right thing. But he’s not doing the right thing. All this bad shit is happening to people caused by the rats that Trump’s rhetoric flushed out of the sewers (Alt-rightists, KKK, generic racists, xenophobes, and homophobes). In the meantime, we have a President-elect who has surrounded himself with some, at the very least, cynical actors and at the very worst, hardcore racists. All this while Trump retweets his “facts” from conspiracy websites which push fake news and foster lies as click-bate headlines. I saw an interview with Trump supporters the other day who were shown that something he had said and tweeted was a lie (“millions of votes had been cast by illegal aliens, or Trump would he would have won the popular vote”), and with the facts right in front of them, they still refused to believe that President-elect Trump had lied. Truth has now become what a person wants it to be.

post-truth-patrick-chappatte-le-temps-switzerland

Cartoon used by permission: Patrick Chappatte Le Temps Switzerland

HIM:      Well, that’s just vile.

ME:        Yes, it is, and if people don’t speak up, we are what Clive Irving calls, “silent complicity in that vileness.”

HIM:      So what do you want me to do?

ME:        Sound the alarm! (I secretly think all you White people know each other, anyway—just joking!) Tell White folks to stop being so gullible. I can almost feel them slipping into a somnolent state that things can’t possibly be as bad as the media say because Trump saved 1,000 Carrier jobs (they fail to note that he lost 2,000 Carrier jobs and gave Carrier a bribe of $7M in taxpayer money). Tell all the White people you know, and they should tell all the ones they know, and so on, to raise up armies of brotherly love. Be vigilant. If you care about the character of our country, start bombarding Trump’s website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts with demands for him to make a major prime-time speech against the racism being done in his name. When good White folks see racial, homophobic, or xenophobic incidents, they should intervene—not turn a blind eye. Film it, post it on Facebook, and shame the perpetrators—then come to the defense of your friends and neighbors being abused by letting them know that for every one person that is doing the hating, there are fifty people who won’t stand for that hatred. At the very least: tell White folks to SMILE at people who don’t look like them! It’s a human’s first signal to another that they are entering a “safe space.” Be as kind as possible to everyone you meet!

HIM:      I’ll go you one better: why don’t we all (no matter what the creed, color, or race) make it a New Year’s resolution to become our brother’s keeper—no matter who we voted for. We can push back any darkness brought into existence by Trump if all good-hearted people (of which there are more of in America than haters) treat others like they wish to be treated and make a concerted effort to stand up to evil in their spheres of influence.

ME:        Excellent suggestion! In the meantime, in the morning, I want you to take me to buy a gun.

HIM:      WHAT!?!

ME:        Since Trump’s election, gun ownership has gone up dramatically in Black communities because we are scared to death about Trump’s actions and inactions. We’ve seen this shit before—it’s called the Jim Crow Era. Next time I go into the fruits and veggies, I’m gonna be packin’ heat!

HIM:      Oh, for God’s sake . . . I can see it now: Shoot out in aisle two—old Black Woman and Old White woman gun each other down in between the grapes and the kumquats because both perceived the other to be a threat. Go back to sleep, Woman. You had me at “we are our brother’s keeper,” and you lost me at “packin’ heat”!

giving-trump-a-chance-wolverton-cagle-cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons

***

ELEANOR’S “SELAH” (AHA MOMENT)

I am discovering that I am not going back to the way things were in the 50s when I could not live where I wanted, dine where I wanted, shop where I wanted, be educated where I wanted, or walk down a street without being harassed about being in the “wrong neighborhood.” Wherever I wish to live today is the right neighborhood for me.

I am sure that my gay brothers and sisters will not go back into the closet, and my Muslim and Latino friends will not return to a land where they may have been born but left to enjoy the freedom of living in America.

In case you haven’t noticed, what is happening in America is happening all over the Western world: a brand of right-wing nationalism with all its racist tentacles is popping up in every election.   All righteous Americans need to fight this with every breath in our bodies or we will cease to be an exceptional nation—a shining city on a hill—we will be a footnote in the history books detailing the destruction a despotic leader can do to a country when its citizens engage in groupthink due to fake news, post truths, and cold hearts.

fake-news-i-nate-beeler-the-columbus-dispatch

Cartoon used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

***

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES REGARDING BEING “OUR BROTHER’S KEEPERS” AND OUR PRESIDENT-ELECT

“Today we know that World War II began not in 1939 or 1941 but in the 1920’s and 1930’s when those who should have known better persuaded themselves that they were not their brother’s keeper.”—Hubert H. Humphrey

***

“Because deceit was one of Fidel Castro’s greatest talents, and gullibility is one of the world’s greatest frailties. A genius at myth-making, Castro relied on the human thirst for myths and heroes. His lies were beautiful, and so appealing.”—Carlos Eire, an author and the T.L. Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University

***

seath-mcfarlane-tweet

Seth McFarlane Twitter Account

***

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).

***

REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/castro-was-a-false-liberator/2016/11/30/ebf9be1c-b718-11e6-b8df-600bd9d38a02_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-d%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/fidel-castros-revolution-succeeded-but-his-promises-evaporated/article33057887/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-post-truth-world-of-the-trump-administration-is-scarier-than-you-think/2016/12/02/ebda952a-b897-11e6-b994-f45a208f7a73_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_sullivan-345pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/28/the-only-crimes-on-the-rise-in-donald-trump-s-hometown-are-hate-crimes.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/11/14/after-trumps-win-some-minorities-feel-unsafe-now-thousands-want-to-protect-them/?tid=a_inl

http://www.salon.com/2016/12/03/fake-news-a-fake-president-and-a-fake-country-welcome-to-america-land-of-no-context/

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.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on December 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,