Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in...The Godfather!
I have given up on politics and I thought I'd walked away. But, a couple of incidents got me thinking this morning. I've seen my nation in general and the world as a whole embrace political parties like they were a freakin sports team.
"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.".Plan 9 from Outer Space.
So, I am concerned when I see rhetoric calling each other Nazi's, inbreds, and accusing people of genocide by murdering millions of people by either not getting a vaccination or killing babies. Most of us on either side of the political issues actually just want to feed ourselves and our family. Have shelter and clothing and access to good medical care.
What, me worry?...Alfred E. Neuman Mad Magazine
I'm now 65 years old. Somewhere in the next 20 to 25 years I will possibly have already shuffled off this mortal coil or if I'm still here I probably won't be worried about politicians, pop stars and as hard as it is to believe Wild Women.
So the next several years are not going to be my years as far as moving the chains on politics or current events. But, still. I have a son and my wife is younger than me and besides I've come to suspect we really do go around more than once. But that's a story for another day. I do care that the world becomes a more peaceful place to live and nurture each other.
The writer, the comedian and the politician:
there were 3 people this week that caused me to think about our society. I was right in the middle of my morning coffee when I pulled up the comedian on YouTube. I was in the process of a frappuccino at Barnes & Noble when the writer caught my attention and this morning while innocently checking the morning headlines on my tablet while drinking coffee when the politician caught my attention.
I see a pattern here. I'm more likely to think about stuff while coffee brings me back to life. Sounds good but it also can cause me to pay attention to politics while I'm waking up and that (insert sarcasm here) can be a problem.
Yeah it's Stephen King. If you've ever talked to me or read anything I've said then you're not surprised that my favorite author made an impression on me. I read my first King novel "Salem's Lot" at around 18 years old and the rest is Constant Reader History.
But, I've got a bone to pick as we say in the South. My favorite author has allowed Trump and partisan political echo chambers to cloud his common sense. He's lost a little off his fastball in my opinion.
I'm left of center. Meaning I am anti censorship and I think being honest is more important than pats on the head from all the cool kids in media and late night TV shows. Uncle Stevie used to identify as a hick from the state of Maine. His backstory is really impressive and inspirational in the fighting through hard times and addiction. I'm a Northeast Alabama hillbilly. Maybe that's a small part of my early infatuation with his writing.
But, I'm reading more and more where he seems to lose the thread of the story and wanders off into "ain't all republicans pieces of feces and ain't all democrats gifts from above territory." Now don't get me wrong. Stephen King has been a Democrat ever since he made the self described mistake of voting for Nixon and his leanings have always bled through his writing to some extent. But he also usually had some redeeming qualities for most of his characters that exceeded politics and even (gasp) had no political message at all. At least not in your face.
But, reading his latest novel he actually has a line about the "White race isn't all bad." Now repeat that line and insert any other people's, color or race and tell me what would happen.
Still, it was one freaking line in a larger story and Uncle Stevie gets a pass. But, then I pick up a rare novel of his last night at the store and sipping my frap (ain't I cool?) I start to read it. Now "rare" in this context just means it's a Stephen King novel I haven't read. It's actually a collaboration with another talented author and it's the third part of the Gwendy's Button Box series.
It started out awful. Full throttle politics from the get go. Now true the main character is now a politician. But, damn surely he isn't silly enough to think all the good guys belong to one political party. Anyway, I might pick it up again. But, life is short and I pick and choose what I spend it on a little more carefully these days.
Bill Burr is a younger (well at least to me) comedian who is white and I think married to a black lady. He is popular with a wide variety of people and if you're 55 and younger you more than likely know him. I mean we ain't talking Richard Pryor or Steve Martin here But he's aight.
So Bill Burr is talking about abortion during his stand-up. Now, he appears to have similar views to mine But I'm not sure. My view is I hate it but I'm pro choice because I don't have the right to demand what a woman does with her body and the responsibility she has to take on in order to carry a baby. But, again that's a discussion for another day. Bill's point was that we should at least be honest and call it what it is. Killing a baby. He did the whole skit and I can't even begin to do it justice here so I won't try. But, he made an example of preparing a cake and putting it in the oven. Now, it's not a cake yet. But if some (expletive deleted) comes by and takes the cake out of the oven you don't say "hey, you ruined my potential cake" No. You say hey (expletive deleted) you ruined my cake.
Just caused me to think. I'm still an old school liberal. But, we should be able to talk honestly about our different views without painting the opposition as cold hearted idiots.
Mitch McConnell. The Senator from Kentucky. He is far right hypocrisy personified. There I am sipping coffee and I click on a headline where old Mitch is now being noble and calling out Trump on his treachery for denying the constitution and fanning the flames of violence on January 6th. The problem is like most political people he waited until Trump (who I despise) lost power before speaking "truth." Anyway, I won't get into much about Mitch and other politicians because their blather ain't worth my time. But, saying I'm a Democrat so don't look at Hunter Biden. Or I'm a Republican so don't demand Trump be investigated is helping to kill our society.
But, that's all I've got to say about that. It's about time for me to get on with the rest of the day. Bout time to put an egg in my shoe and beat it!
It's just a ride:
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around it has thrills and chills. And it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for awhile.
Many people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to wonder, "hey, is this real or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we...kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride,shut him up!"
"Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, And my family. This has to be real."
It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amock...But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no saving of money.
Just a simple choice right now. Between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.
Here's what we can do to change the world right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and spend it on educating, feeding and clothing the poor of the world. Which it would pay for many times over. Not one human being excluded. And we could explore space, together, both inner and outer together, in peace.
I saw a video the other day. It was one of those things where people fairly and unfairly bait the police. But, that's not the point of my story. It was just the catalyst that got me thinking.
A spit and polish officer dressed in all black walks upon an elderly homeless man. Just sitting there by a business making all us "normal" people myself included uncomfortable. The type of person we move away from and look the other way hoping whatever misfortune he has won't rub off on us. After all he or she is different from us.
So the cop pours out the drink the man was sipping. Yeah it was probably alcoholic but it wasn't clear. And he tells the elderly man that he will arrest him if he sees him again.
The old homeless man gets up and Dear God, Sweet Jesus it looks like he is carrying the torment of all the creatures in the world. Soiled baggy pants and humiliation and addiction on top of a life story that perhaps started in a mother's arms. I wanted to look away. I wanted to cry.
Please go back if you find time and read the Bill Hicks presentation one more time!