There was some big, noisy trouble at my Alma Mater last Thursday, yet another ugly, festering consequence of the current political climate in this country. I’m going to write a lot more on the political climate (ouch) much later, and how I agree some of my favorite people think we should do, but for now I’m going to paste below – when I’m done ruminating – what I wrote this morning on the FB feed of an old Midd buddy, a conservative and Trump voter. I’ve actually been arguing with him about this for a while, as I don’t think he appreciates how extreme the R team, his own team, has suddenly and chaotically become. He even said to me a month ago, when I pointed out that Republican voters didn’t even seem to be listening to their own historical leadership like GW and Cheney, Nd he said without hesitation, ‘ you’re right, we really aren’t Republicans anymore’. The question that I didn’t ask – ‘what the heck are you know?’ – is going to play out whether I like it or not.
But I really don’t like this whole normalization narrative when it comes to it being ojay far-right to simply shill the sales techniques of dictatorships to get votes. I abhor the notion that vile, nationalist views (thinly veiled white supremacist and racist views) should be anywhere in our culture, not to mention ascendent.
As I have explained in detail here, what this old beat-up Yankee believes – please disregard my utter lack of experience on the matter, lol – is that our best bet for success on this beautiful blue planet is to willingly and purposefully live in peace and harmony, including all people of all colors and from all walks of life, simply because they are interesting, kind, and beautiful. In my extensive travels around the world I have found most people to be super friendly and, I will say, surprisingly accepting of my bizarre old self (even more bizarro lately, I got stories).
If I were TPrez, I would make a law that people all over the world should be memorizing the Declaration of (human) Independence and the Constitution of the United States, making them better every day for every one on the planet, thinking of one new idea a day (unless you’re a guy like this, then you could probably handle up to 10 or more), fixing the fuck out of nature and starting listen to, look at, and live with birds, trees and rocks a lot better, be better friends and custodians to all of them, and try to keep every last one of them that we can alive forever, if we can.
That would be a simple, decent, healthy promise for humans to make to our roommates. It’s the least we can do our animal friends. We love them so. (I love Jasper so much, I can tell you honestly I wouldn’t be writing this blog if he were not here right now. If he had not stood by my with deep loyaly through some difficult times. That’s what the animals do for us. I won’t even start with the trees ( *hint: actually man’s best friend. And I told you I love my dog. But it’s not even close). And there are millions more, animals – and trees – that we haven’t even met. I can’t even get to them all in my own backyard.
Anyway, that’s if I were TPrez, and I know, dumb idea. But anyway, once we got all that done, my mind would naturally turn to what I think is a human’s real business: liking yourself, your family, your friends, your community and your life, as best we can, helping them to grow and get better where we can, chilling, creating art and music, watching old movies with the kids, enjoying a little smoke and wine, making babies, taking the afternoon off and napping, and learning guitar (or origami?), even if you’re no good at it, and for absolutely no reason at all.
That’s my ancient dream of the hippie utopia, and I’m still clinging to it as the flesh sags from my stoned-out, yellowing and – surprising I know – 20-goal-a-year scoring bones. That’s my ridiculous, unDad-like but Mom-like, un-pragmatic, stupid, unrealistic, daisy-toting wet dream for the world – the that one everyone else in the world, for their own bizarre internal reasons – or maybe just out of annoyance and impatience – has been trying to talk me out of for my whole life.
In my little woodsy corner of the planet, I secretly and usually silently believe that in fact language is actually the biggest barrier to global harmony (esperanto anyone), and that fear (and it’s nasty cousins, hate and greed) are the only true enemies in the world (huh, that rings a bell). Further, I believe that often, if not every time, it’s better in the end to just let go of ancient, self-serving, and otherwise smelly-old-rotten ideas that even Jasper wouldn’t swallow, and have, by some estimations, killed – I don’t know, about a zillion? – human beings in the last couple of millennia. Now, there’s some real fake news. Tomorrow, this at the water cooler:
Bill Bob, quizzically: ‘ You online last night? I saw an article that like a zillion people were killed last week by muslim terrorists. You got any idea why we’re still here?’
Jim John, perturbed: ‘You think I have the first clue? I fell at sleep at 7:00 last night watching porn. I haven’t seen any Muslims around all da, armed or not. Amof, I don’t see anyone around. What IS up with this? Is it a company CTO day? The door wasn’t locked. It’s just you and me and we’re both white, last time I checked.’
Bill Bobb: ‘So you fell asleep with your dick in your hand in the man cave again last night? No wonder those terrorists didn’t find you. They probably did find you, got grossed out and booked it.’
Jim John: ‘Fuck you. The dog would have barked. Want me to make some terror on you with this? (points). Besides your ass is still a gianter black hole than mine. (pauses to scratch momentarily) Hey, I have to get back to my cube. Later BillBob’ (heads off)
Bill Bob, watching J.J. walk away: ‘Yo dickhead – steak and cheeses for lunch @ Waterfall or are you still broke?’
Jim John: ‘Dude. I found a 20 on the floor of the truck this morning. ThankGod Rita didn’t find it first thing looking for smokes. Hey, wait … you still got that half a Twix in your pocket? It isn’t melted yet, is it?’
Bill Bob: ‘No, it’s fine, here…’ (digs in back pocket.)
And so on … and so on …
Hell, even us Americans were able to learn a few tricks and do ourselves a few healthy favors in the 20th century. We outgrew littering ( the youngsters don’t even remember the convenience of throwing your used coffee cups out the car window), and public butt smoking (ewwww) in about 20 years. Even this ever-puffing lung-killing numb nuts was able to hang up his pack a day butt habit after 25 years. I changed. Never thought it could happen, butt it did. And look – we’re all still here and apparently standing, if a little dazed and confused.
From my house, it seems that as for making war in the 21st century, really, I gotta tell you I just ain’t seeing the point anymore. You can see Jasper’s last 12 dumps from space – maybe more if it weren’t for the recent snow – you really think somebody can start a new war without us knowing? In 25 seconds? Why don’t we just turn off the TV for a sec, shut down all the listening devices, stand up in our glass house, walk over to the glass door, lean out the door to the wide open yard and say, ‘Hey you – get the fuck off my lawn?’
Why don’t we just do that, right now, with satellites, an android and an app? The End War Entirely Project. Hey, Google, can I set up an alert by text & email if black suited soldiers come up my driveway – let’s say, between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm – on weekdays? Click, click, scroll, scroll. What’s up with war even being possible in this century, anyway? Am I missing something? Is it just that we have so many guns left to get rid of, we just gotta keep shooting ’em? Why don’t we just … stop? Duh. Look in the Bible. Ask the man from Nazareth for some instructions, I’m sure he’d be happy to fax them to you, or send you a link. Your always talking about him anyway. Let’s put him to work.
We humans figured out Space travel, for Christ’s sake. Let’s unleash the power of the imagination of our these best scientists and thinkers and artists and let them do their job, and figure out a way that we can stop desecrating a sacred planet, for money and fear, stop killing each other in the face, and get over, once and for all, this ancient white-guys-gotta-be-the-boss, everyone’s-gotta-hide-their-money, everyone’s-gotta-look-and-act-just-like-me BS? Doesn’t anybody even watch Start Trek anymore? Are you that busy with that smartphone? This is classic stuff! This is learning!
And while we’re at it, we may as well just git on and quit all this believing in ghosts and magic also, these ghouls and goblins and Gods and Monsters. What say ye? Bzzzz. ‘What is, never gonna happen in this lifetime, Alex?’. I ask you: can we possibly start afresh with reason and logic as our temporary base of operations? Maybe you should start at the beginning on that. Those folks may help. Or at least, can we agree to agree, can we just all throw up our hands and say ‘Well, okay, I guess, maybe Dave’s right on this’: that believing ain’t knowing and knowing ain’t believing. Believing a thing isn’t enough to ever make it actually be true. You just aren’t ever going to know. You just can’t.
Or, as my Mom used to say, ‘It’s very hard to know for sure, dear. Very hard.’ Right on, Sheila. I still get all my wisdom from you.
No, Jasper, calm down … I didn’t mean real BS. lol
Dave’s comment on Gma’s post:
This is a complicated story, but I think it’s a legitimate concern and argument that the right wing – and not the left – has become dangerously extreme in this country. After all, the Libs still voted for a traditional standard-bearer of the party. Rebbubs voted for a white supremacist, nationalist and xenophobic billionaire narcissist with a nasty grudge and a lot of vague Russian connections. Not the same league at all.
From a policy perspective, the country has not moved left but way way right. Trump is now in the process of undoing years of compromise and progress hammered out by both parties. That is, at a minimum, and enormous waste of time that’s going to cost us years of effort to get back. If people were not protesting that angrily, I would actually wonder if we were okay.
Next week, Midd, invite a speaker to talk about the benefits of an 80% tax rate on anything over 10M, free utilities for all, free health care coverage, and instituting a maximum income in the US, and see what happens. (Budget wise, I’m guessing we’d be ahead fyi- and though TPrez and his cronies might have to sell a yacht or two, they’d still be millionaires.) Protecting the excesses of the rich is actually the sacred cow in the room. The minimum wage raises the cost of products? Holy crap. Half of what you pay for your cheeseburger is just a cover the raises that CEOs have gotten since 1970. Are you happy with that?
Alternatively, just put Whoopi Goldberg in the White House and see how Rebbubs react. This is the world Liberals find themselves in today. Keep trying to convince us that your calorie-free nonsense is actually a healthy cheeseburger, and it may get bad.