Shall we keep pretending?

Hey, let’s all go back to our childhoods and pretend!  Let’s pretend we’re home in our safe back yards, have a bunch of cardboard boxes hooked together and we’re playing house; playing dolls; playing store.  Or, we erected a blanket as a tent and we’re in the wilderness of the Amazon…explorers!  And when we tire of it or it gets too complicated we move to the hop-scotch grid; play tag; kick-the-can or just sit and read nursery rhymes.  Dinner time…then sleep…and tomorrow things were back as the same as before and life is good.

Those were the days…huh?  Safe…secure!  Well, I’m sorry to tell you, for many of us — for anyone with half a brain — pretending is over.  No one, even those of less-than average intelligence, cannot admit our country didn’t take an abrupt (backward) change in a single evening this November.  Not that the seeds of change weren’t always lurking in the background but for many of us, our pretend world didn’t want us to believe they were and we simply ignored them.  But those who kept them safe and viable just smiled…nodded…and waited.  They were just waiting for the right fertilizer to bring the seeds back to life.  Happily for them a potent brand of fertilizer emerged, an odor-free pile of dung called Make America Great Again!

Before November many of us pretended that the Civil Rights Act had done away with racial bias; we pretended that there was no viable issue regarding establishment of a National religion; we pretended that truth, honesty and respect were the foundations of our American society.   We pretended that people with guns really didn’t kill people but people with books did.  Many of us men pretended that this country understood there were actually women who were smarter than some men and deserved to be compensated (even elected) both socially and economically for it.  We pretended that our marriages weren’t going to fall apart if same sex marriage was legalized and that there might be some logic in planning for parenthood.

We really didn’t want to notice that our pretend world was beginning to crumble sometime when more and more Americans were listening to Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell and Sean Hannity and it escalated when so many accepted FOX News a valid (and honest?) news media.  In 2008 we were so elated that we never considered that racial hate would blossom after the election with its undertone that America was never meant to have an African American President (although the Constitution missed that issue).  Then, in 2016 we learned that women should only be moms, homemakers and sex objects, the important stuff (wars and politics) relegated specifically to the men.  That funny-looking goof-ball Michael Moore kept warning us but we just ignored him…he dressed funny.   Yep, back to the good ol’ days.

Well, folks, the pretending is over for more than half of us.  Television and the internet (Facebook and Twitter) sure screwed that up as did all the political pundits and pollsters.  But for the other half who are now in charge you get to continue your pretending.  You get to watch Fox News and unfriend those on Facebook who don’t want to keep on with your brand of crap.  Better yet, you have been given a smorgasbord of reasons to continue to pretend.  There’s really no drought in California; there’s no floods and hurricanes in the Carolinas; no tornados in Ohio; that smoking doesn’t harm you and that the goal of the LGTB community is to convert everyone to their way of life.

You can continue to listen to those who claim we really never landed on the moon and that Sandy Hook was a liberal hoax.  You can keep telling yourselves that our economy crashed AFTER Obama was elected and hasn’t recovered a smidgen since.  Or, that illegal immigrants have taken all the really good jobs that our American citizens are just desperate for, leaving for them only the part-time positions at McDonald’s and Burger King; and that these non-Americans are responsible for nearly all the crime while contributing nothing to our society.  You can pretend that the coral reefs are indestructible; that polar bears are increasing exponentially; that electric cars are not as cool as 4WD Dodge Rams; and that there are more forests and less pollution than there was fifty years ago.  And, Golly Gee…let’s pretend that it wasn’t that a virus evolved into a new deadly strain, it was that God sent the Zika Virus to Brazil to punish the Americans for legalizing gay marriage.

But primarily, you can pretend that it’s a scientifically proven fact that the white race is superior mentally and physically (Hey, LeBron James, take that!) and, as Richard Spencer told his followers, “America was until this past generation a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity.  It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”  And, as long as you’re pretending, pretend that God will fix everything and that when something bad happens pretend it’s really that God is punishing someone (or a community) for being nice to LGBTs, or the children of illegal immigrants, or by praying to the “wrong” god.

To all of you Republican morons who want to continue with your imbecilic and self-serving pretending, I wish you a happy and well-deserved world collapse!

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

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Election Epitaph

It was almost exactly 53 years ago that we were presented with the news that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.  While I had been a Nixon supporter, I was pleased with Kennedy’s charisma and leadership and the news was devastating…our President…MY President had been assassinated!  I remember walking around for days feeling as if I were going to throw-up.  Now, 53 years later I am experiencing that same feeling—the loss of hope and of imminent despair, yet it is not the same.  The difference between then and now was there were able persons in Kennedy’s administration to take the reins and continue to lead us. The personal loss of our President still burned deeply but the country continued on in the same steady course as always.  Today we have placed it in the hands of incompetents.

Another difference was that the assassination was the action of a single bitter angry young man with a desperate desire to act in a political way to further the cause of his commitment to communism and in so doing elevate himself as an important “revolutionary.”   Today the assassins are neighbors, a barber, a retired school teacher, a used-car salesman, etc.. who believe they should have been dealt a better hand and have been short-changed by a changing world.  They believe they should have more and others less, especially those not of their ethnicity or religion.  They have retreated to the mind-set of blaming their failures on the actions of others; on taxation, immigration, automation and globalization.  They want the country to retreat to the 1930’s but personally retain all their technological comforts of 2016, their motor homes, big-screen tvs and Medicare benefits.

If these people truly wanted change why — with an 11% approval rating — did congress achieve almost complete re-election, sending them back to continue to do little or no actual work during their difficult work schedule of less than 3 days/week.  The answer is simple and sad.  They don’t really want change, better conditions nationally and world-wide, just changes specific to each of them so as to enhance their comfort for the short terms of their lives.  And in desperation they have put their trust in the hands of a man who promises them he can and will fix things without any explanation of how.

The human race has its share of failings but this is by far the most self-serving.  Sad!

(R)EVOLUTION

From primal ooze they say we came

That cells congealed to form a brain

And since…the world’s not been the same

Humanity evolved.

 

For those first several million years

We hid in caves to quell our fears

Protected there, we persevered

To our lot we resolved.

 

Then we began to sharpen stones

And tie them tight to sticks and bones

To the ends of staffs… which then were thrown

We soon learned of our might.

 

It wasn’t till these tools we made

That man, the hunter, found his place

Then soon the warrior was embraced

And found a cause to fight.

 

In all those years that went before

There was no strife or need for war

Then greed and skill with weapons bore

O’er battlefields we trod.

 

To justify the path we’d laid

The lives we took by gun and blade

To lead us in a world crusade

We so created God.

 

We offered our prayers up to Him

That war in His name, we should win

That He absolve us of all sin

At our communion feast.

 

But victory did not bring us calm

It brought, instead, human aplomb

With brain and hands…we built the bomb

And said it would bring peace.

 

The world is better now, I think

Since humankind became extinct

And rat and cockroach rule the stink

Of what we once called “Earth.”

 

Our spirits roam the starry plains

Reflecting back from whence we came

But cannot overcome the shame

And thus, defy rebirth.

 

It begins again in primal ooze…

 

W. Dean Carrier