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THE PALIN (“Nevermore”)

A cynical poem, ripped off, truncated, and bastardized (as only this blogger can do) from the illustrious Edgar Allan Poe’s narrative poem “The Raven”—first published in 1845.

Palin and Trump I David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star/Cagle Cartoons

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

O’er GOP’S death to civil right’s lore—

    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone caustically rapping, flapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some sweet, dear friend,” I muttered, “banging at my chamber door—

            Only this and nothing more.”

January 22, 2016

January 22, 2016

Cartoon used by permission:  Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News/Cagle Cartoons 

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was one month after December;

And each dying ember wrought a GOP politician crashing to the floor.

    Eagerly I wished to borrow—vainly from my hope for tomorrow

    Because of the past few months of sorrow—sorrow for America’s GOP horror—

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named “U.S. of Merkica”—

            Nameless here for evermore.

Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

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

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with political terrors never felt before;

    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

    “’Tis a visitor of hope maybe entreating entrance at my chamber door—

Some late person of intelligence entreating entrance on the GOP political floor;—

            THIS IT IS and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

    But the fact is I was napping, and so raucaously you came rapping,

    And so cacaphonously you came screeching, rapping at my chamber door,

That I know even Russia heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—

            But saw vapidness there and nothing more.

Sarah Palin I Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Cartoon used by permission:  Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch/Cagle Cartoons 

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

    But the screeching was unbroken, and the craziness gave no token,

    And the only words there spoken were the shouted words: “I’M HERE, YOU LIBERAL WHORES!!”

Then I screamed, and an echo murmured forth the words, “OH SHIT! THE BITCH IS BACK!”—

            Said I merely this—and nothing more.

Sarah and Trump II John Darkow Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

Cartoon used by permission:  John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri/Cagle Cartoons

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a crazy maven of the nutty days of yore;

    Not the least obeisance made she; not a minute stopped or stayed she;

    But, with stupid mien of religious crazy, perched above my chamber door—

Perched upon a bust of Obama just above my chamber door—

            Perched, and shat, and nothing more.

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so grossly,

Though its answers little meaning—little relevancy bore;

    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

    Ever was soooo stupid perched upon my chamber door—

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above perched this scary sore,

            With such a nickname as “Trump’s New Boor.”

Palin support John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Cartoon used by permission:  John Cole, The Scranton Times Tribune/Cagle Cartoons

    But the Raven (Sarah Palin), standing alongside Herr Trump, spoke much

Gibber-jabber, as if her soul in those words she did outpour:

*“How ’bout the rest of us? Right-wingin’, bitter clingin’, proud clingers of our guns, our God, and our religions, and our Constitution. Tell us that we’re not red enough? Yeah, coming from the establishment. Right.”

*“Well, and then, funny, ha ha, not funny, but now, what they’re doing is wailing, ‘Well, Trump and his, uh, uh, uh, Trumpeters, they’re not conservative enough.’ ”

*“And he, who would negotiate deals, kind of with the skills of a community organizer maybe organizing a neighborhood tea, well, he deciding that, ‘No, America would apologize as part of the deal,’ as the enemy sends a message to the rest of the world that they capture and we kowtow, and we apologize, and then, we bend over and say, ‘Thank you, enemy.’ ”

*“He is from the private sector, not a politician. Can I get a ‘Hallelujah!’ ”

    Nothing sensical did she utter—not a brain cell did she flutter—

    Till I scarcely more than muttered, “WHAT THE FUCK DID TRUMP DEPLOY?—

On the morrow SP must leave us, as my Hopes have flown before.”

            Then the bird said, “Drill, Baby, Drill; bitch—going nowhere, nevermore.”

Palin Speak Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

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

       Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by demons whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

    “Wretch,” I cried, “Satan hath sent thee—by his demons he hath lent thee

    Old man McCain unleashed thee 2008 of yester yore;

Curse him, curse him—go back to Alaska and return no more!”

Screamed I, in hysteria:  “BEGONE, DEMON—FOREVERMORE!”

    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the tempest and the night’s Alaskan shore!

    Leave no black plume as a token of the lies thy soul hath spoken!

    Leave our 2016 unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from U.S. ‘Merika’s heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

            Screamed my soul, “FOREVERMORE.”

Sarah and Trump Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

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

    And The Palin, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the bust of the Prez just above my chamber door;

    And her eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

    And the lamp-light o’er her streaming throws her shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out the shadow that lies floating on the floor

            Is in mourning for my country, and its future

‘Til this trumpet vanishes with her Trumpee—

out the door,

FOR-EV-ER-MOOOOORE!

Trump Mouth Taylor Jones Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission:  Taylor Jones Politicalcartoons.com/Cagle Cartoons 

*All actual Sarah Palin quotes, which were uttered (word for word) by her when she endorsed Trump for president in Iowa.  Be afraid . . . be very afraid, and WAKE UP AMERICA!  Any candidate who welcome’s Sarah Palin’s endorsement and allegedly proposes to give her a position in his cabinet must be looney tunes. 

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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.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO!

Do you know what I’ve discovered recently? I need to practice what I preach. Last week I revealed that I had been diagnosed with a chronic disease, and one of the things needed to manage that disease is to tone down the stress and take a break from all the bad news. I was dragging my feet on taking a little time off (maybe I was exaggerating the news’ crippling effect on me?) when I read that my good friend Sarah Palin (wink, wink) and her entire family had allegedly been involved in a drunken brawl recently. It was right then and there that I knew it was time to exit stage left for a season of news withdrawal.  (I mean if Sarah, et al, doesn’t have enough integrity to control her temper as a Christian family-values champion, then surely I must be teetering on the edge as a bloody Christian liberal.)

So I plan to stop reading the news for a season, stop posting on my blog for a couple weeks, and go stretch out on a park bench and watch the leaves change as I listen to the new duets CD (“Partners”) by Babs (Barbra Streisand) coming out on iTunes on Tuesday (how’s that for product placement?). (I think I’ll even start doing this pull-back every eight weeks or so to foster better mental health.) I shall not return to blogging until I’ve memorized every new Streisand duet, written six more chapters for my second book, and brought my blood pressure down to normal. BUT before I go . . .

Relax and take a break

Google Memegenerator

. . . I thought I’d relate a conversation I overheard between an alien husband and wife (not from south of the border but from outer space) as I took one of the first of my many naps (sans CNN) in my hammock in the garden. I could have sworn it was real—but maybe not. Judge for yourself.

***

ALIEN WIFE: So where would you like to go on vacation this year, Dear?

ALIEN HUSBAND: Not really sure, Snookums. We’ve been just about everywhere, as it is.

ALIEN WIFE: Yeah, I know. My favorite was the space ship tour of the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy. Wasn’t that awesome?

ALIEN HUSBAND: Oh, I don’t know. The trip was so God-awful long. If I recall correctly, it took us 20,000 light years to complete the tour. The dance band sucked, and I missed playing golf for what seemed like an eternity. I’m never staying away from a golf ball for that long ever again.

ALIEN WIFE: Well, at least (according to Trans-universe Wikipedia) we got to visit it before it gets completely sucked into the Milky Way. Speaking of the Milky Way, how about visiting that pretty blue ball that was formed four and a half billion years ago in that galaxy? You know, the one that has billions of humanoids and so many species that I can’t even begin to keep count of them.

ALIEN HUSBAND: Yeah, you mentioned visiting Earth before. They always seem to be at war, though. How would we know where to land and what people to chat up? If we’re going to travel that far, I want to stay in human homes—no cold, sterile hotels like on that other planet, whose name we dare not mention lest we break out in hives from the horror of it all.

ALIEN WIFE: Ugh, the giant roach motel—never again!  Well, since we both enjoy being around creatures with integrity, why don’t we dip down into Earth’s Internet, pull out names of people from their recent news cycle who claim to model integrity, and we’ll give them a call and see if they would be open to hosting a couple of alien travelers for a bit.

ALIEN HUSBAND: Okay, let’s see what we can pull up on the Universal Wide Web.  Hold on a second, it’s buffering (damn Galactic Cable).  Okay, here we go.  It says here that a “Mr. NFL” and a “Commissioner Goodell” are trending this week. When I enter the word “integrity,” Mr. NFL’s mission statement pops up. Look-a-here: Integrity is number one of Mr. NFL’s seven core values, and Commissioner Goodell has signed off on the values as well. Wooooo-hooo!

ALIEN WIFE: Excellent! What does it say about their commitment to integrity? Someone who models integrity should be a marvelous representation of their planet and a good vacation fit for us.

ALIEN HUSBAND: I’ll read it to you verbatim from Mr. NFL’s website:

INTEGRITY

“We safeguard the integrity of the game.

We are ethical in all of our dealings with fans, clubs, business partners, and each other.

We follow through on our words with action. We are honest and direct.

We create an environment that inspires trust and confidence.”*

Rice Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by Permission Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

ALIEN WIFE: Oh, isn’t that lovely! Sounds like our kind of beings. And their leader is Commissioner Goodell, you say? He must be full of integrity and honesty. Given that mission statement, I bet he is a great leader. What about his family? Anything about them?

ALIEN HUSBAND: Nothing about his immediate family, but he has scores of young men who are part of 32 clubs that he is responsible for, and they play something called “football” for billions of their currency. It is a very lucrative sport that only the country called the United States plays. From first blush, it looks alarmingly brutal. They are trained to slam their bodies into each other, trained to crush their opponents, trained to maim and almost kill each other just to capture a ball that is the shape of a prolate spheroid while millions of fans go insane with apoplectic glee and buckets of something called beer and Buffalo wings.

ALIEN WIFE: Are you serious? Why would I want to visit people like that—people who make wings out of Buffalos and then eat them?  Eeeuw!  Not to mention that they sound as if all the gentleness and sweetness has been beaten out of them once they learn to play this ball of the foot. What if they can’t turn that violence off, and they beat the ca-ca out of us like they do their opponents?

ALIEN HUSBAND: You have a point. Maybe they have a switch that can turn them from violent to docile. What if they can pulverize their opponents on the field within a game, but become as gentle as doves when they go home? Would that be acceptable?

ALIEN WIFE:  I don’t know, Babe . . .

ALIEN HUSBAND: Look, I’ll keep searching for information on that possibility because I really am intrigued by this national pastime called NFL football and drinks with suds, and edible wings of buffalos.  Besides, I hear they have great golf courses, and I can’t imagine a golfer not having the utmost integrity.

Violence Schizophrenia John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

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

ALIEN WIFE: Mksrock, that is so disgusting.  Sometimes you can lapse into such a Neanderthal.  Look on the Mr. NFL website again and see if they address the violence potential off stage, so to speak. Does it say anything about them considering the long-term consequence of such violent behavior just to snatch a ball from one another and run around a piece of ground while other humans cheer their brutality? This is very, very upsetting to me. I don’t want to visit these NFL Earthlings, Mksrock darling, if I will be beaten to a pulp because of their worship of violence in order to win a game. I’m a woman. How will they treat me? They sound absolutely horrid. I won’t go, I tell you! I won’t!

ALIEN HUSBAND: Now Ezricka, dear, please calm down. I won’t make you stay with an NFL player if you don’t want to. But if it helps you get a better picture of these guys, their third core value has a line that shows they do understand and support the consideration of long-term consequences of internalizing violence. Surely, they don’t take this aggression off the field. And it is clear that Commissioner Goodell makes it an important part of their character development that they treat other humans with respect and kindness as they go about their everyday lives. We should be just fine. Here, read this:

TRADITION AND INNOVATION

“We recognize that the NFL’s traditions are an asset, but we also embrace change. . .

. . . We are thoughtful and deliberate in our thinking, and always consider the long-term consequences of our decisions.”*

Rice II Bob Englehart The Hartford Courant

Used by Permission: Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

ALIEN WIFE: You must think I was born yesterday Mksrock instead of billions of years ago. We come from a very civilized corner of the universe, and I don’t plan to spend my old age being humiliated by this Mr. NFL or his commissioner. Pick someone else (not in the NFL) that claims to have integrity who will treat me with respect as a woman.

ALIEN HUSBAND: As you wish, dear. (I wonder if Earthling wives make it this hard for their husbands to plan a vacation?)  Let’s see here: how about a politician—an ex-governor? Bob McDonnell of Virginia. He’s been trending on Twitter. It says here on the Universal Wide Web that he has so much integrity he ran for office as the family values husband, father, and leader, and was on the short list of vice-presidential candidates when a Mr. Romney ran for the Office of President of the United States. Let’s stay with ex-Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen. How lacking in integrity could they be having been a Christian governor and a lovely Christian wife?

Gov McDonald Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission: Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

***

I am discovering our country will probably never be destroyed from “without,” but most certainly will collapse from “within” if we don’t change our moral compass.   I do not fear an ISIS takeover, a Muslim jihad, or the threat of a dust-up with Russia. I do, however, shake in my boots when I see a preacher (Eddie Long), a politician (Scott DesJarlais), a businessman (Bernie Madoff), a beloved coach (Joe Paterno), a revered assistant coach (Jerry Sandusky), another family values governor (Mark Sanford), a stellar golfer (Tiger Woods)—the list is endless—saluting righteous core values in public, but doing just the opposite behind closed doors. It makes me very afraid for the future of our country—it makes me very afraid for the salvation of our world which is why I need to go and rest now. I’ll see you in a couple of weeks! Be kind to one another, and remember to do the right thing by each other. Who knows—maybe aliens are watching!

Alien visit

For the love of God, show us some integrity!

“Don’t walk through life just playing football. Don’t walk through life just being an athlete. Athletics will fade. Character and integrity and really making an impact on someone’s life, that’s the ultimate vision, that’s the ultimate goal – bottom line.”—Ray Lewis

“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”—Oprah Winfrey

“Men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community.”—John W. Gardner

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S BOOK, “MONSTERS’ THROWDOWN”? IT’S FABULOUS!

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frontcover

REFERENCES

* http://www.nfl.com/careers/values

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/nfls-elaborate-security-network-is-supposed-to-protect-league-from-trouble/2014/09/13/795949aa-3b4a-11e4-8601-97ba88884ffd_story.html?hpid=z1

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/13/football_violence_and_americas_cultural_divide/

http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/08/mistress-and-abortion-loving-rep-scott-desjarlais-is-up-by-33-primary-votes/375785/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/09/10/ray_rice_domestic_violence_janay_rice_is_standing_by_her_man_but_the_nfl.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2014/09/terrell_suggs_domestic_violence_like_his_teammate_ray_rice_the_ravens_linebacker.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.

 
21 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ripped from the Headlines

Do you know what I’ve discovered this week about blogging? There is no Hell like the one I enter when I walk through the portal that puts me at a loss for words. I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, I don’t bathe, and my poor husband gets no hot meals or happy endings.

After my July 4th post my brain went into hiatus. (I’m not sure, but I think it is vacationing somewhere in Bora Bora.) All this is keeping me from proceeding with my second book. My first book, Monsters’ Throwdown, was published six months ago, and I need to follow up with book two by the end of the year.

Writers block Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbs||Cartoonist Bill Watterson

As I fell in full face plant upon my laptop, my husband (WW) came home to no dinner and me still in sweat pants, looking as if “sexy” was a word that had never entered my vocabulary (Hey, never-you-mind: at age 66 I can still work it, baby!). I kept murmuring: “so many words, so many headlines, so little time!” As my editor, WW’s been through this drill before and instantly sprang into action to try and untangle my brain.

WW:      Okay, don’t panic. It’s only words that have gotten themselves all scrambled in your head. Let’s freestyle and bring everything down to basics and do a simple word play to unscramble them. One word only: spill out the first adjectives and nouns that come to mind as fast as you can.

ME:       Ignorant, frustrated, surprised, frightened, mortifying, disgusted, humanitarian, embarrassing, violent, stupid, ship, border, help, wrinkly, Paula, “eeuuw,” ignorant, corpse, football, van, Cuba, zombie, St. Louis, Florida, Robin, elephant, crisis, déjà vu, blurred lines.”

WW:      All right, all right, all right—that’s a start. How many news articles have you read? Never mind, don’t answer that. I can tell by your glazed-over eyes that you’ve read hundreds of online news and research articles. What if I help you eliminate words and headlines that can’t produce an interesting post? Would that clear your mind?

ME:        No. [Said petulantly while scratching my head like a monkey—convinced by my hypochondriac mind that I probably have head lice from not washing my hair for days.]

WW:      Humor your husband—after 35 years, you owe me this. I’ll randomly choose which words can be eliminated in the first round: “Ignorant, frustrated, surprised, frightened, mortifying, disgusting, humanitarian, embarrassing, violent, stupid, ship, border, help, wrinkly, Paula, ‘eeuuw,’ corpse, football, van, Cuba, zombie, St. Louis, Florida, Robin, elephant, crisis, déjà vu, blurred lines.” You’ve read scores of headlines since July 4th. Which ones come to mind that would fit the description of the eliminated words: ignorant, frustrated, disgusted, and stupid?

MM:      Easy! Idiot Sarah Palin Demanding President’s Impeachment—WTF! (Eliminate the words ignorant and stupid)  2/3rds of Lincoln’s Party Agree with Palin and Think Obama Should Be Impeached Causing Lincoln Statue to Burst into Tears—the Lincoln Statue Is Inconsolable (disgusting, frustrated).

Zany Sarah Palin Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by Permission: Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

WW:      Yep, toss the Sarah Palin headline. Enough of that Christian poser. She’s just an attention ho. Ignore her.

Let’s get rid of some more words and headlines to help clear your head. Here we go—let’s eliminate: surprised, frightened, mortifying, humanitarian, embarrassing, violent, ship, border, help, wrinkly, Paula, “eeuuw,” corpse, football, van, Cuba, zombie, St. Louis, Florida, Robin, elephant, crisis, déjà vu, blurred lines.” What headlines get flushed from your muddled brain with those words? Go!

ME:        Okay: Online Dating A-hole Rejects Beautiful Woman in Her 50’s Because He Says She has “Wrinkly Skin,” Even Though He is of Similar Age and is Nothing to Write Home About—Dave, The Neanderthal is Upset When Lovely Lady Dumps His Ass and is Now On the Run from Millions of Angry Women in America (wrinkly, violent); Robin Thicke’s New Album, “Paula,” is Attempt to Win Back ex-Wife, But All Agree is TMI Cringe-Worthy (Paula, “eeuuw,” embarrassing, Robin, mortifying, blurred lines); Corpse Slips Out of Funeral Van Onto Street and Freaks Out Passer-byers (surprised, corpse, zombie, van, frightened); Elephant Sobs After Being Rescued from Five Decades in Chains—Promises Never to Forget His Torturers’ Sorry-Asses Whom He Plans to Trample Underfoot in Hell as He Makes His Way to Pachyderm Heaven (elephant).

WW:      Drumroll please. That leaves you with the words “humanitarian, ship, border, help, football, Cuba, St. Louis, Florida, crisis, and déjà vu.” Can you see a blog story on the horizon?

Republican Prayers

Used by permission: Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

ME:        Oh my God, the word pipes are unclogged! Hey Babe, you’re like Drano to the brain. I should bottle you and sell you to other writers.

Anyway, I think the post will be about the children crossing the border from Central America and how the politicians are using them as political footballs. And although the Dems and the Repubs need to get off their asses and help pass comprehensive immigration reform, this is not an immigration problem as much as it is a humanitarian crisis. The Party that stands for “Pro-life” needs to step up to the plate and help bring God’s grace and mercy to the situation instead of praying that these children will vanish back over the border to the Hell they came from.

And although I’m a true fan of the President, I’m not pleased with his decision to send these children back to their countries, nor the request for border funds to speed up their deportation—in fact, if you’re listening Mr. President, I am really saddened! Members of the GOP are already trying to sue you and calling for your impeachment, what do you have to lose by doing the right thing by these refugees? As far as I’m concerned, these babies have already come with signs on their backs that they are in danger from the enemies they left behind. Just to get to America, some of the children have been reportedly raped and abused, terrified and traumatized. I think I’ll write about how America has never really lived up to our refugee mission statement.   I’ll introduce my readers to the déjà vu story of the Voyage of the Damned—the ship (SS St. Louis) that carried almost 1,000 Jews from Germany to America in 1939 after Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”) and the beginning of Hitler’s open annihilation of the Jews. Cuba refused the refugees and as the good German captain hung off Florida’s shores hoping and praying that the United States would allow the refugees to disembark, he was forced to return to Germany with most of his passengers while their relatives shouted encouragement to them from scores of small boats feverishly trailing the massive ship of the damned. Except for those who managed to make it to European countries beyond the reach of the Nazi extermination machine when they returned to Germany, many of them were eventually rounded up and sent to concentration camps where they died horrible deaths.

Border Children Pat Bagley  Salt Lake Tribune

Used by Permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

ME:        Knowing what we know now, we would have and should have taken in all the passengers of the SS St. Louis. Yeah, that’s the post I’ll write for my blog. Thanks, Babe.

WW:      Happy to be of service, Cutie. In the meantime, why don’t I order in Chinese? And how about I run you a bath? You’re smelling a bit “ripe”—like Pepé Le Pew—almost as if you accompanied the children from Central America across the border.

ME:        Oh, that’s really cold, husband of mine!

***

I am discovering that our country’s mission statement about immigration is full of high-tone rhetoric, but it is only words if the moral component of the Statue of Liberty’s invitation is not embraced and adhered to when the humanitarian situation calls us to do so:

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-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

It is easy to boast of our immigration policies and our Christian morals as a country when they don’t cost us anything or come in the correct color, with the desired skillset, and the proper entry point. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, our country has come to this crossroad many times and we have failed to treat the “alien” amongst us as seeing Jesus in the “least of them.” And don’t even get me started about how my ancestral peeps (dragged here against our wills) would have had a much better transition out of slavery to emancipation had the refugee situation been handled with grace and charity instead of 100 years of Jim Crow brutality (one million ex-slaves became sick and died after the Emancipation).

Immigration History robertnielson21 dot wordpress dot com

Courtesy of Ampersand by B. Deutsch || www.amptoons.com

“No country, including the United States, did as much as it might have or should have done to save innocent victims of Nazi persecution – Jews, Gypsies, political opponents and others. Restrictive US immigration policies kept hundreds of thousands of refugees from finding safety in the United States, most tragically exemplified by our refusal to allow the St. Louis to dock with its cargo of refugees – many of whom perished when the ship was forced to return to Europe.”—Eizenstat, May 1997 from “Voyage of the Damned” by Marilyn Henry/Jerusalem Post July 1998.

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”Eleanor Roosevelt

“The U.S. immigration laws are bad – really, really bad. I’d say treatment of immigrants is one of the greatest injustices done in our government’s name.”Bill Gates

“Most Christian ‘believers’ tend to echo the cultural prejudices and worldviews of the dominant group in their country, with only a minority revealing any real transformation of attitudes or consciousness. It has been true of slavery and racism, classism and consumerism and issues of immigration and health care for the poor.”Richard Rohr

writers block

. . . so that is what it was!

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

REFERENCES

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-korth/sex-over-50_b_5563576.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ej-dionne-republicans-are-bordering-on-heartless/2014/07/13/cc152306-092e-11e4-8a6a-19355c7e870a_story.html?hpid=z6

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/29/flat-earth-society-psychology_n_2038198.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_St._Louis

http://www.holocaustforgotten.com/voyageofthedamned.htm

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/01/17/none-is-too-many-memorial-for-jews-turned-away-from-canada/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/border-crisis-scrambling-the-politics-of-immigration-policy/2014/07/12/78b6ab16-0920-11e4-8a6a-19355c7e870a_story.html

http://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007697

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/14/4231203/an-explainer-on-unaccompanied.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 July 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Santa Baby: Do You Feel What I Feel?

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  I have issues with Santa—have had them ever since I became cognizant of his existence.  In fact, I hate him!  As I was editing my first Christmas remembrance in my book, Monsters’ Throwdown (due to be released next week just in time for Christmas), it brought back painful memories of my attempts to get white Santa’s attention to stop by my poorer-than-dirt ghetto house and leave me a present or two as a poor-black-child.  I wrote letters, I said prayers, and I set out cookies and milk, but still no Santa (now that I am an adult, I have a strong suspicion that the rats who were as big as cats ate Santa’s snacks).  Once I started encountering Jews and discovered they got no visits from Santa either—whether they had been good as could be or not—I knew that fat white dude in the red suit made us all feel pretty much like pond scum by not showing up with presents for us.

Santa Sign David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

As I got older, I realized Santa’s lack of shimmying down certain chimneys had more to do with economic inequality on my part and religious preference in the lives of my Jewish neighbors; although later I would discover that a few of my Jewish friends had Christmas trees along with their Menorahs, and Santa had made a deal with their parents to drop by on Christmas Eve just like he did at the homes of some of the Christians.  Talk about having one’s mind blown.

I pretty much forgot about the likes of Santa until I had my own children.  We moved to Israel when my older child was two months old and our younger child was born there.  I was having enough trouble helping them understand the difference between Israel’s “Kippi Ben Kippod” from “Rechov Sumsum (an Israeli coproduction of Sesame Street)” and America’s Big Bird from Sesame Street. Teaching my children about a Santa who didn’t bring the other neighborhood children presents wasn’t worth it.  Plus, it never occurred to me to teach them about the fantasy of Santa given my history with the dude, although our neighbors did help us find a fir tree from a kibbutz in Galilee so that we would feel more at home on Christmas Day since they knew it was a religious holiday for us.   By American standards, it was probably one of the ugliest trees one could possibly imagine—decorated with strings of popcorn, cranberries, and ringlets of colored paper.  But to us it was magnificent because it was provided by our Israeli neighbors who all came down to our apartment to “ooh and ah” at it.  All of my neighbors went out of their way to wish us “Merry Christmas” and we wished them Happy Chanukah at the appropriate time during all the years I lived there.  (Did I ever mention how my Israeli neighbors were the salt of the Earth and always made me feel very welcomed as an ex-pat?)

***

Then one year we came back to the States for Christmas vacation and my older child was sitting on my mother-in-law’s lap while her grandmother was reading my child a story about Santa Claus.  “Who is this?” asked my mother-in-law as she pointed to a picture of Santa.  The more my baby looked at the picture in total confusion, the angrier my mother-in-law became in demanding a definitive Santa recognition.   Finally, my three-year-old broke out into a heartbroken sob out of fear and confusion because she felt she was making her grandmother, whom she was seeing for the first time, very angry about her failure to identify a fat man in a red suit with an enormous beard.  As I ran to rescue my baby from this stupid emotional quagmire, my mother-in-law turned beet-red and went ballistic:  “I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO FIND THE WORDS TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH THIS DISTURBS ME THAT YOU’VE NOT TAUGHT THIS CHILD ABOUT SANTA CLAUS!”  As I ran from the room cradling my frightened baby, I shouted:  “Ask her who Pippi Ben Kippod is—then maybe she’ll pass your stupid fantasy-man test.”  When we returned to my beloved Israel, I got an envelope from my mother-in-law containing only an Ann Lander’s column titled:  “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!”  (Did I ever tell you that I suspect my mother-in-law always hated me, and her words had the ability to make people feel like crap—no matter what the age?)

Santa Judgmental

My grandson (the child of the daughter that my now dead MIL terrorized about the recognition of Santa), went to see Santa the other day.  Apparently, it did not go well.  He refused to sit on the dude’s lap and pretty much lost it when he was coerced into coming within 20 feet of the fat man in the red suit.  Later that evening during our phone call, I asked him why he didn’t want to get next to Santa and tell him what he wanted for Christmas.  My five-year-old grandson astutely said:  “I didn’t like him—I didn’t like the way he made me feel—he made me feel all waggy and crunchy inside.  Anyway, Santa don’t bring me presents, Mommy, Daddy, Mama-Mama, Mema, and Grandpa brings me presents on Christmas!”  (Did I ever tell you that children have the ability to make us feel very clear-headed by their assessment of life, if we carefully listen?)  I’m sure my mother-in-law was turning over in her grave when she heard him say what he did about dear ol’ St. Nick.

As I was pondering whether the dislike of Santa could be passed down through a person’s DNA, I heard about three news stories concerning words:

Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin Uncovering War on Christmas—“Americans saying happy holiday tantamount to disowning Jesus—ram Merry Christmas down their throats in the name of Jesus!”

Pope Francis releases his “The Joy of the Gospel” and chastises the world “not to forsake the poor”—his words are challenging and riveting

Nelson Mandela dies at 95—his collective words and actions humble us and make us want to do better with our lives

Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin’s caustic words (they both have criticized our new Pope for being a socialist and a Marxist) made me feel all “waggy and crunchy” inside and made me want to cry, but the words by Pope Francis and the legacy of words left behind by Nelson Mandela made me feel so good, that all I could do was go out into the street and wish everyone I saw, “Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, and Merry Christmas with all my heart!”  When I saw the joy in the eyes of the people I had greeted, I knew that I had touched them with the true spirit of Christmas, and I felt really good, because I could tell I had made them feel good with my generosity of heart as well.

Pope Nativity Scene Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by permission:  Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

I am discovering that Maya Angelou was correct: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

***

“I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.”—Dick Gregory

“Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Claus. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?”Jon Bon Jovi

“Our family was too strange and weird for even Santa Claus to come visit… Santa, who was jolly – but, let’s face it, he was also very judgmental.”—Julia Sweeney

“You know, in a way, ‘Dear Santa Claus’ is rather stuffy… Perhaps something a little more intimate would be better… Something just a shade more friendly….How about ‘Dear Fatty’?”Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960

***

IN REMEMBRANCE OF MADIBA

Your heart of forgiveness, your words of grace, and your brotherly love will be greatly missed.  You made us all feel that we could live better lives if we tried.

Mandela Meme

RIP NELSON MANDELA

1918-2013

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 December 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Jive Time Turkey: A Satire

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  When I don’t get enough REM sleep, I tend to have crazy dreams.  I’ve been working night and day to get my book, Monsters’ Throwdown, ready to launch during the second week of December (the cover is finished and it is soooooo fantastic), but when I finally got some shut-eye, I had dreams about a turkey.  Not just any turkey, but the one that is being pardoned by the President next week.  He kept screaming:  “I DON’T WANT TO BE PARDONED.  I WANT TO DIE!  I HATE THIS PLACE—HUMANS ARE A DISGRACE.”

He was in a psychiatrist’s office—lying on a couch and chatting with my alter-ego who was his therapist.  Even though what the turkey said sounded like gobbledygook to me, Dalai Mama understood him perfectly because he’s a “jive turkey” and she has spoken “jive” for years.  (For the uninitiated, a Jive Turkey is, “One who speaks as though they know what they’re talking about…though they do not—a bullshitter,” Urban Dictionary, and Jive is, “a form of slang associated with black American jazz musicians.”)

Turkey Quiting America Cagle

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

In my dream, Mr. Turkey was dressed in the disguise of an owl and was thrashing back and forth in an agonized state.  The Dalai Mama was trying to calm Jive Turkey down and get him to tell her what was so agitating.

DALAI MAMA:   Yo’ Jive Time Turkey, how’s it hanging—what’s the word from the herd (the other turkeys)?

JIVE TURKEY:     I’ve escaped, dag gobble—that’s the word!  I’m on the lam from Farmer John’s place in Badger, Minnesota.  I just found out that all the extra food and fluffing of the tail that I’ve been getting was so that he could bring me to Washington, DC next week to be pardoned by the President.  Then I’m to be sent to Mt. Vernon to live out the rest of my days.  But I don’t want to live, I tell you!  I hate people—they are the scourge of the Earth.  God should start all over again with a new batch.

DALAI MAMA:   Seriously, Jive Turkey, it’s not that bad—we’re not that bad.  Are you in the know about this pardon or are you a solid bringer-downer (a person who worries about nothing)?  This just doesn’t jive” (doesn’t make sense).  Usually they pick a turkey from much closer to home.

JIVE TURKEY:     Of course it jives!  I saw Farmer John flip the grip (shake hands) on the deal with some Lothario from Ontario (a fast worker or charmer) who flew out from DC a couple of weeks ago to check me out.  Once I knew it was a done deal, I concocted this owl disguise and flew the coop.  Pretty clever, if I do say so myself.  Bet you’ve never heard of stuffed owl for Thanksgiving.

Turkey in Owl disguise cheezburger dot com

Meme from Joanhascheezburger.com

DALAI MAMA:   You mean that Farmer John doesn’t know you’re gone?  This isn’t hep (cool) Jive Turkey.  I could get into a lot of trouble for not turnin’ you in to your farmer.  Besides, Farmer John must have thought you had the chops (ability, skill set) to do this gig, or he wouldn’t have chosen you.  It’s true that America has a few bad apples, but for the most part, we’re a decent people—I’m just layin’ it on you straight (telling it like it is).  Have you ever been to a Thanksgiving dinner at the home of an American family?

JIVE TURKEY:     Yes, I have, as a matter of fact.  I got a sneak preview of an upcoming family Thanksgiving dinner from looking into a crystal ball.   I was a voyeur to what I thought was going to be a swellelegant (wonderful, marvelous) event, but it turned out to be a blood bath.  They were all buckets from Nantucket (heavy drinkers), and it didn’t take long for the family of ten to descend into chaos.  All I could think was:  is this the reason 46 million of my peeps gave up their lives—so that people could treat each other like Turkey ca-ca?

DALAI MAMA:   What??  What happened?

JIVE TURKEY:     My friend Bernice was the sacrificial poultry for the family I observed.   The sister-in-law insisted on cooking the dinner—it being her first.  I suspect she was awfully jealous of her husband’s wife’s monopoly of the holiday.  She didn’t thaw Bernice in time, forgot to take out her guts, and overcompensated by turning the oven up to 500 degrees—charcoaling Bernie’s hide while undercooking her insides.  Everyone got food poisoning, but before they all ended up in the hospital, I almost solid blew my top (went crazy) at their family ideology and communication skills.

The mother kept picking on her adult daughter about her weight and alluding that maybe the size of her tits and ass was the reason she didn’t have a husband yet.  The daughter burst into tears and locked herself in the bathroom for the rest of the dinner.  The brother’s new girlfriend was a good for nothin’ clueless mop (no good woman) who asked:  “What do Jewish people eat on Thanksgiving?”  The brother’s lesbian sister almost hit the girlfriend up side her stupid head with a gourd, but she got distracted when the grandmother’s teeth fell into the mashed potatoes.  The mother’s sister announced that she only likes Thanksgiving for the Black Friday sales, and since stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and the like had opened early that morning and nothing seemed to be going on here, she was going to go shopping.  “Nice visiting with you all—let’s do it again next year!”

Thanksgiving shopper David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission: David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

The nasty-ass uncle that everyone knows is a pervert (doesn’t every family have one?) started antagonizing his niece and her wife about the Kenyan in the White House and the Obamacare website disaster, because if we had simply asked him (in all his wisdom, having completed one year of a two-year community college), he would have told you that the Kenyan doesn’t know a goddamn thing about what he’s doing and should go back to Africa where he belongs and leave the running of the country to white people.  He made sure we all knew that he respects the office of the president—just not this president.  The aunt (the uncle’s wife) agreed and boasted about their new Facebook “like”:  “Never Apologize for Being White” because agreeing with the contemptible ideology of this group didn’t make her a racist.  The aunt went on to brag about how they were helping people like Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin take back their country for the real Americans.  Which is why, when they took the family out to dinner after church last week and racked up a bill for $95.46 for nine people, they did not tip their lesbian waitress.  They did, however, leave her a note on the receipt that said they were purposely not leaving her a tip because it would be a sin to use God’s money to support her abomination of a lifestyle.   At that point, the aunt’s black adopted sister (also a lesbian) pulled out a pistol from her purse (after all, this was Texas) and shot her sister between the eyes, as the word, “bitch” entangled with the smell of burnt turkey.  The mother started screaming like a banshee and fainted as the dentureless grandmother gummed the words:  “Dis ith dey worth Danksgivin—eva!”

On that note, I had to exodus (flee, make tracks, beat a retreat).  It was then that I made up my mind that I don’t want to live on this planet with you people.  If you can’t get along with your own Jive family then how in the Hell can you get along with the rest of the world.  I hit the in and outer (the door) and left those drips (horrible people) in the dust.  Since then I’ve been reading every news article and watching every media outlet about the situation of man on this planet, and you people don’t get any better. And now I just want to die along with my comrades and be done with you all.

(A special shout out to 25-legit-words-hepcats-jive-talk-dictionary for the Jive words and definitions.)

Thanksgiving The Real Truth

Cartoonist: David Horsey/http://editorialcartoonists.com

I am discovering that there are no other holidays like Thanksgiving.  It is one of the few holidays where we can celebrate without regard to religion, race, or status.  We just need to grab a turkey (or some tofu) along with a deep pint of gratitude, and we’re good to go.  I am also discovering that there are no Norman Rockwell perfect family portraits of Thanksgiving dinner in real life, either.  The problem is, we all try and recreate those fantasies during the holidays, and therein lays the heartbreak:  the more we try to make our families perfect, the more they come undone.

There should be a sign over all of our door frames this Thanksgiving that says:  Relax. Today is detente!  None of us is perfect.  I know you probably resent your mother for all sorts of things, and she thinks you can be a little shit from time to time, but let’s declare this a day of extreme gratefulness and thanksgiving for all our family members—just as they are—(unless it’s Uncle Chester, the family molester, and he shouldn’t be invited, anyway; there is a limit to our hospitality).  Leave your egos at the door and your age-old animosities at home. We will not think about what we don’t have, what we haven’t been to one another, or what we won’t become in the future.  We will praise God for bringing us into the world, we will thank the Lord that we have friends, siblings, children, and grandchildren—imperfect though they may be—and that we are not alone on this Earth.  If we are mourning the death of loved ones, we will still grieve but give a shout out to the Almighty that we woke up alive this morning and can breathe—ready to conquer a new day and to heal a little bit more from the ravages of this world.  And for God’s sake—for your sake—for your family’s sake—remember to forgive with abundance and laugh . . . a lot!

Thanksgiving Table Jeff Parker

Cartoonist:  Jeff Parker|| Florida Today

“It wasn’t easy telling my family that I’m gay. I made my carefully worded announcement at Thanksgiving. It was very Norman Rockwell. I said, ‘Mom, would you please pass the gravy to a homosexual?’  She passed it to my father. A terrible scene followed.” –Bob Smith

“The funny thing about Thanksgiving, or any big meal, is that you spend 12 hours shopping for it then go home and cook, chop, braise and blanch. Then it’s gone in 20 minutes and everybody lies around sort of in a sugar coma and then it takes 4 hours to clean it up.”― Ted Allen, The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes

“Thanksgiving, when the Indians said, ‘Well, this has been fun, but we know you have a long voyage back to England’”. –Jay Leno

***

May your stuffing be tasty

 May your turkey plump,

 May your potatoes and gravy

 have nary a lump.

 May your yams be delicious

 and your pies take the prize,

 and may your Thanksgiving dinner

 stay off your thighs!

Unknown

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, MY FELLOW AMERICANS: WE HAVE SO MUCH TO BE GRATEFUL FOR!

Thanksgiving America Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission: Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

REFERENCES

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/11/21/news/turkey-presidential-pardon

http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Dealing-with-a-Dysfunctional-Family-During-the-Holidays

http://mentalfloss.com/article/51801/25-legit-words-hepcats-jive-talk-dictionary 

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.

 
15 Comments

Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A Different Set of Rules

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   If I spent every day visiting all the places that I couldn’t enter before the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (I was born in 1948), except through the back door as a maid or a slave, I’d probably never die—at least not anytime soon.  That is why I engage in a project surrounding Martin Luther King Holiday weekend that brings me great joy.

Not only do I sashay my black ass (dripping with bling) through the front door of a former slave-owning or white’s only establishment at least once a year, but I stay in the best room they have to offer, order room service for breakfast, and get an 80-minute massage if they offer it.  Since MLK weekend coincides with my husband’s (WW—“White and Wonderful”) birthday, I walk through the front door of those former plantations with my arm wrapped around my white husband’s arm, a big smile on my face, and give a silent middle finger to the racists ghosts who surely must roam the halls of said establishments.  Because there is no way any god worth his salt would ever allow those unrepentant slave owners entrance into Heaven (are you hearing me Thomas Jefferson?), I am convinced their Hell must be tailor-made to watch an African-American making herself at home with sheer abandonment in their “whites only” environment.

I call this bitch slap to the haunted the FYRS-LWITBR Project, which stands for “FUCK YOU RACIST SPECTERS—LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE!”  My “in your face” rebel cry has nothing to do with the current owners (I do not visit the sins of their ancestors upon them so long as they treat me with dignity and respect), but I do take on the racist ghosts of their lineage.

***

In the interest of full disclosure, my children think I’m crazy.  That’s because I’ve raised them to be color blind, and to my knowledge they have never suffered at the hands of racists, which makes me very happy.   Their friends are color blind (black, white, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Straight, Gay), as well, and have formed little urban families around each other to unite against the hardships and vagaries of life.   I am very proud of them, and I consider them all “my children.”

But my children and their friends have not seen what I’ve seen or experienced the hatred I’ve embodied.  They have never heard of The Negro Motorist Green Book which was in full swing the year I was born and lasted until after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and they have never had to plan their travel around such a book just to keep from having their asses kicked (or killed) by men in white robes and pointy hats carrying burning crosses.

The Green Book was started by Victor Hugo Green (a Harlem mail carrier) in the 1930s and it would eventually cover lodging, eateries, and stores in every state in the USA as well as Bermuda, Mexico, and Canada that would do business with Negroes.    If there were no hotels that would cater to African-Americans (often the case), the book would list “tourist homes” that would rent the traveler a room or two for their journey.  The Green Book spoke volumes by “omission,” as the writer Justin Hyde has noted.   In 1949, no restaurant was listed in Alabama that would serve black people.  Justin Hyde in his article on The Green Book in Jalopnik underscored the fact that “Black motorists in those eras frequently kept extra fuel, food and portable toilets on hand to avoid stopping in unfriendly locations. Even outside the South, roadside motels and diners often wouldn’t serve black customers.”  In 1963 (one year before The Green Book was taken out of circulation), I was kicked out of a New Jersey hotel in the middle of the night along with a family (a lawyer and school teacher and their two young children) that I was the babysitter for, and we were forced to drive through the night to our approved “Negro cabin” in Maine.

***

INTRODUCTION PAGE OF THE NEGRO TOURIST GUIDE:   “There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please, and without embarrassment. But until that time comes we shall continue to publish this information for your convenience each year.”

The fact that President Obama’s 2nd inauguration (talk about “living well is the best revenge!”) fell on the same day as the MLK holiday weekend and coincided with my husband’s b-day gave me the perfect excuse to engage in my “project” (not at the plantation above used only as an example, but at another glorious location in the South and situated on the Gulf of Mexico).

***

As I stretched out on the beautiful “sugar sand” of a site where there once stood a private mansion that I could have only entered the back door of to make the beds and empty the slop pans, I meditated for hours on how far we had come as a Nation since the publication of The Green Book.   I watched the inauguration of our  magnificent 44th president from my waterfront suite as I lifted a glass of champagne to the triumph of a man that we are lucky to have as a leader.  As I contemplated my own American journey, I joined President Obama in spirit to pray for the further emancipation of our Hispanic brothers and sisters, our Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters, and the disenfranchised jobless families in our midst who need a helping hand.

***

I am discovering, however, that even though we are in more “tolerant times,” one must be ever vigilant against the spirit of bigotry—especially amongst the religious—or we will be doomed to repeat our history.  Martin Luther King often preached about the complacency of white Christians toward the suffering of those who did not fit their cultural narrow-minded viewpoint (specifically the Southern Baptists).    I have read many of the multitudinous sermons preached by well-intentioned pastors in favor of slavery in the 1800s and then again against desegregation in the 60s and their arrogance and cold-heartedness grip my heart with horror.  Where would we be as a country if righteousness had not won the day?

Today it boggles my mind that Christians who say they love Jesus are part of the Tea Party, but they don’t speak out against the racism that is so visible on their websites and from the mouths of their leaders.  I know that not all Tea Party members are racist but their silence is killing me.  The language of the Tea Partier is slightly different from the overt racist (normally doesn’t include the “n” word), but it is deceiving to the perpetrator because they see themselves as righteous:  “I respect the office of the presidency but I don’t respect this president because he is a Socialist, a Muslim, a spawn of Satan or Hitler (I’m searching for his hidden horns and drawing on his Hitler mustache even as we speak)” or “I don’t have a racist bone in my body, I just worship Sarah Palin, Fox News, and the Drudge Report who do”—said with such vehemence and so many times that it prompts the person of color to scream to the heavens:  “me thinks thou doth protest too much, Tea-bagger!”

racist teabaggers cartoon politiskink dot com

Racist Tea Party Cartoon|image from politiskink.com

DEAR TEA PARTY:
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than
sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Even though we’ve come a long way, whenever I do a Google search with our President’s name, I almost vomit from the visceral racial hatred and disrespect that lashes out at me from the Internet because it seems that some of us are playing by a different set of rules, requiring others of us to reinstate “The Green Book” in order to survive.  This causes me great despair until I read the blogs of people like Frank Angle who wrote “On MLK 2013” (http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/on-mlk-2013/ ) about the repentance of Elwin Wilson in 2009, a former Klansman, who attacked and beat a black college student in 1961 when he was one of the Freedom Riders trying to win the ability for African-Americans to travel across country via Greyhound and Trailway buses.  The black freedom rider grew up to be Congressman Joe Lewis.   Frank Angle included a YouTube video in his blog post of Wilson and Lewis’ exchange of repentance and forgiveness after 50 years, and it makes the viewer understand that there is a God, and one day we will all overcome our bigotry, our stupidity, our short-sightedness, our lack of grace, and our arrogance!

***

For years, Elwin, an admitted former member of the Ku Klux Klan, says he prayed that he would meet the man he attacked at the bus station.Oprah.com

***

QUOTES BY MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

      “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

 
31 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Angry Birds, Randy Men, and Dog Whistles

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   I’m still exhausted from the election and have to get an eyeball operation (don’t ask—it’s too gross for words), and I’m looking forward to some much needed rest this Thanksgiving holiday.  Because my brain is so fried, I couldn’t think of a thread for a full humorous story to save my life.   But as I read the major headlines this week, I suddenly found myself wishing I were God so that I could chime in with some type of supernatural act of retribution regarding some of the news events that made me chuckle, caused me to be horrified, or made me really, really sad.

If I were a goddess, I’d tell turkeys to form a labor union, go on strike, and hide out in caves somewhere—never to return—until their consumers repent. I have become convinced this week that we Americans aren’t holding up our end of the bargain that would make it worth the turkey putting his head on the chopping block for us.  If I were a goddess, “The Petraeus Affair” would prompt me to initiate a recall of all the men who lived in America from ages two to ninety-two (that includes you too WW, just to be safe) to redo my initial design and implant in each and every one of them an automatic shut-off valve for their thingies when they start lookin’ to make a booty call on any other woman besides their wives.  If I were a goddess, the multitudinous racists acts that have flooded the news cycle since our President was reelected (i.e., “Kids Hate-tweet Obama, Echoing What They Hear at Home”), would make me want to open up such a can of whup-ass that the world would have to come to an end so that I could start all over with a new batch of people.  (Aren’t you glad I’ll never be endowed with any supernatural powers—I’d be an absolute terror?)

Image from boysrockbr.blogspot.com

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT:  Turkeys Revolt in Reaction to Black Friday Creep!

This would be my first agenda item as a goddess:  solidarity with the turkeys!   Target, Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us, Best Buy, and Sears are starting the “Black Friday Creep” at 8:00/9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day!  People already started lining up at Best Buy a week ahead of schedule (camping out in tents), and Kmart plans to open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day!    At this rate, why do the turkeys need to lose their heads for a dinner that will probably take place while standing in line in front of a retail store?  It is one thing for turkeys to sacrifice their lives for family bonding and communication (even if most of the time it is an illusion, at least people are trying), but if Black Friday gets to creep all over T-Day, then if I were a goddess, I’d snatch up all the turkeys and redistribute them to places like Africa, Haiti, and all the starving places beyond the realm of all the discount stores.  (I’d keep the turkeys in New York and New Jersey because somehow I think the victims of Hurricane Sandy could care less who is selling what this T-Day, and they’d give anything to sit around a bountiful table with their families and houses intact, while thanking God for their blessings and tripping all over each other to tell the world what they are thankful for:  survival.)

Summers Cartoon|Image from Orlando Sentinel

BREAKING NEWS:  Sound Judgment No Longer a Function of the Male Brain—Has Moved South

Let’s see nowWith the “Petraeus Affair” we’ve got two disgraced four-star horny generals, two possible femme fatales, one shirtless FBI idiot who doesn’t know when to cease and desist (start with keeping your clothes on, bucko), and a scorned and publicly humiliated wife who should attach an umbilical cord to the likes of Gloria Allred, because if I were counseling her as a goddess, there would be no forgiveness for little horny General-man, and he’d be gifting me bling until the day Jesus returned!

(Now do you see why I don’t deserve to have supernatural powers, and why I should remain a mere mortal all my life, even in storyland?  How can a world exist without forgiveness?)

If I were a goddess, I would be ripping right now because everybody is mostly blaming the femme fatale and not the man who was thinking with his one-eyed monster instead of his head (you know, General, you can always “just say no”).  In the meantime, America has lost strategic talent at a time when we most need it because brilliant men let their brains travel south to permanently take up residence below the belt, and sound judgment on multiple counts got flushed down the toilet.

A Mori Cartoon|Image from The Miami Herald

NEWS FLASH:  Black President Reelected—Racial Dog Whistles Still Selling Like Hot Cakes

If I were a goddess I wouldn’t be able to contain myself against the “haters” and I would fricassee each and every one of their asses.  Can I go on record here and state how absolutely fucking pissed I am as an African-American Christian that so-called “good Christian people—in the name of Jesus” (yeah, I’m talking about you Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Franklin Graham) are blaring racist dog whistles with words that the Stop Dog Whistle Racism blog helped me list as “welfare queen,” “uppity,” “lazy,” “illegal alien,” “doesn’t think like an American—secretly prays to Allah,” “Kenyan,” “Communist,” “Socialist,” “takers” (the list is endless), as if the words were rabid dogs and those dogs informed their political choices.

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“Who can forget the Sarah Palin rally in 2008 when a woman clearly shouted, ‘Kill the n——!’ (speaking about Barack Obama) while the vice-presidential candidate blithely went on; not only did Ms. Palin go on with her speech, but she also wink-wink courted this kind of ‘passion’ in subsequent rallies.”By Marie Myung-Ok Lee “Kids Hate-tweet Obama, Echoing What They Hear at Home”|salon.com

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Who can forget when I pointed out the debacle at the Sarah Palin rally to a white Christian friend and what her response was?  At first, adamant denial that something like this had ever happened (as if I were lying or exaggerating the event), and then a glib dismissal:  “Oh, well so what—she blew it!  There’s nothing she can do about it now.”  Actually, Sarah did do something about it almost immediately—she let the race-baiting dog whistle blow and blow and blow, and then she passed it on to other members in the Republican party, because she knew exactly what type of dogs she wanted to respond to its pitch.

Google Image

All too often, images, symbols and language are used intentionally and unintentionally in our political elections and policy debates. These trigger unconscious racial stereotypes. The viewer or reader isn’t even aware that he or she is responding to unfounded judgments based on stereotypes rather than facts.”stopdogwhistleracism.wordpress.com

DeRosier Cartoon|image from Time Union

I am discovering that no one is immune to the racist’s dog whistles of our culture.  We must be ever
vigilant or our ears will tune into their whistle’s pitch while we adamantly insist that we, ourselves, are not racist.  Sometime ago, an African-American woman who was a friend of a friend, whose home I was visiting began to blow a dog whistle which played the tune:  “the Holocaust is a myth which was made up by the Jews to manipulate others in their quest to take over the world.”  I was horrified, I knew better, I pushed back (gently and with a sense of humor so as not to offend the hostess), but at the end of the day, I laughed it off and let it slide because I didn’t want to create a scene.  Shortly after that scenario, I went to live in Israel and for three years, stood with the entire country to annually memorialize the Holocaust with a moment of silence, I toured Yad Vashem in Jerusalem (the Holocaust museum)—uncontrollably sobbing from beginning to end—and I encountered several survivors from afar who still had the concentration camp number tattooed on their forearms from the Holocaust that “never existed.”  No one will ever get away with blowing a racist dog whistle against the Jews in my presence again, because I was given the privilege of touching their horror—if ever so distantly and momentarily—and it sensitized me to the racist whistles they hear that call out the dogs of destruction against them as a people.   I want that same sensitivity for every people group who is unlike me but suffers from similar contempt and disdain (we all suffer).  And the next time someone—a person who boasts of being a believer in Jesus, no less—refers to a group of Muslims as “diaper heads (true story),” he better be prepared for the tongue-lashing of a lifetime, because I’m not putting up with that racist shit anymore from Christians.  We of all people should know better, because it is not “what Jesus would do.”

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“I still smart a little at the slight.  When you’ve suffered a great deal in life each
additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.”—Life of Pi by Yan Martel   

“I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the ‘history’ I was told in second grade. But considering that (when it comes to holidays) mainstream America’s traditions tend to be over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it’s a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all.”Ellen Orleans

“When Romney thinks he’s behind closed doors and he’s just telling other people like him how politics really work, the picture he paints is so ugly as to be bordering on dystopic.  It’s not just about class, but about worth, and legitimacy . . . Romney doesn’t voice these opinions in public.  He knows better.  But so did the voters.  That’s what you see in the overwhelming rejection Romney suffered among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and young voters.  They sensed that Romney fundamentally didn’t respect them and their role in the economy, and they were right.”—Ezra Klein, rom the 47% to “gifts”: Mitt Romney’s ugly vision of politics|The Washington Post

Don’t take any plug nickels and don’t respond to any dog whistles—except to render them ineffective!

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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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