February 22, 2017 | Posted in General
For the past twenty years I have spent more time “on the air” than “in the air” as it were. From the first moment I turned on the microphone at WDBC Radio in Escanba in 1997, to the upper echelons of Oprah Radio, WGN, CBS, SiriusXM and a couple other stops, I have never once had any reservation about speaking what as on my mind, live and in real time about any issue, subject, concern or topic.
Nor have I once backed down from a discussion with callers, looking for that coveted piece of property known as “common ground.” Conversion comes from conversation, not confrontation. The great challenge in life is that most of us don’t want to give up our “stuff” because that “stuff” is who we think we are, and to change our mind is akin to total surrender and who wants to do that?
So after twenty years and thousands of shows, conversations, discussions, bloviating, pontificating, ruminating and contemplating I always come to the same conclusion, no matter how many angles I look at the human condition.
Everyone thinks they are “right.”
The reason we cannot get out of our own way, is because we don’t even know we are in the way…because we “know” there simply cannot be another way.
“It’s my way…or the highway…”
Unhooking from the hard wiring that dictates our beliefs only happens when the system finally collapses on itself and shows up in a myriad of ways, illness, heart attacks, stress, anxiety, alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, divorce…you know… the hemorrhoids of life (by the way I have always felt they should be called ass-teroids which would be more appropriate) and even then…sometimes we don’t “get it.”
As I watch the flamethrowers set on full “incinerate” mode in the landfill of Facebook, torching each other as we insist on who is more “right” I am always reminded that as Billy Joel chirped, “we didn’t start the fire…” but that being said, it seems we are bent on making sure the flames continue. When a building is engulfed, firefighters don’t take out a flame thrower, they use water to snuff it out.
But not us…oh no. “Burn baby burn…”
To be right…so we can satisfy that ego part of us that needs to be right, that validating stamp of “righteousness”…that learned behavior we picked up along way making sure that as we swim in a world of 7 billion other people, we alone have the market cornered on…
For most of us, we have been taught to see the world in a “this OR that” landscape, where we divide our short life spans into political or religious categories, looking to fit our stuff in with other people who are like us. We gather with our chosen tribes, back slapping and lap sitting our way into a sort of human yak herd, asses facing inward and horns outward as to ward off any attempt at breaking the circle thus destabilizing the righteous tundra we paw at constantly to reassure ourselves that the ground beneath our feet is familiar and secure.
However, sometimes those “wake up calls” shakes the herd and some brazen human yak decides to see the world in a “this AND that” way, thus totally changing their wiring diagram and catapulting them into unfamiliar territory (the very image of a yak being launched on a catapult is already worth the time writing this) and their life slowly changes, even if the the wake up call is abrupt and loud.
The need to be right…lessens…the urge to be happy…increases.
Human evolution is slow.
It’s frustrating, gyrating and incredible all at once. That fact we have made it this far as a species is nothing short of a miracle to me, as we have tried every way you can think of to eradicate each other since two upright beings argued about the “right way” to dispatch a Woolly Mammoth or some other large mammal of the Pleistocene Epoch.
But here we are.
It’s been said that “when you argue for your limitations you get to keep them.” Unfortunately…those limitations also keep you…”right” where you “think” you belong.
“Tug of War” can only work if both sides of the rope are being pulled.
February 20, 2017 | Posted in General
President’s Day Edition!
Today is a federal holiday, all those pesky tax funded government services that just clog up life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are on hold until tomorrow. Banks are closed as well but you can use ATM (All The Money) machines without restriction whilst celebrating the 45 men that have guided our great nation.
Well maybe not 45 but more like 40 great men. Or…maybe 28 or 23 great men that…well how about 17 really great men that were able to help bend history and…uh…okay so about about 12…a dozen really incredible men that have made America the greatest nation on earth…or maybe really 8 or 9 guys.
So before you go out and commemorate our past presidents by purchasing tires, living room furniture and/or a great mattress (Last Presidents Day, J.C. Penney took 40% to 60% off furniture and mattresses! Hooray for US!) its easy to remember who the “Final Four” are when it comes to presidents with once glance at Mt. Rushmore- Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt and Honest Abe.
Some think tankers often put FDR above his cousin TR (which probably would have really ticked him off) along with Eisenhower and Truman in front of Thomas Jefferson who may or may not have cared less.
But there isn’t any monument to the lesser known, bottom of the list men that may have held the title of president but didn’t really do a helluva lot.
Andrew Johnson might just be the worst US President this country has ever experienced. AJ was VP when Lincoln was assassinated. He was the first president to be impeached, and after the Civil War when the country was a sandbox of shit and violent riots and revolts popping up all over the country; he did more to extend the period of national divide and contention then he did to heal the wounds of the war… Basically he did zip.
“I am not fit for this office and should never have been here” insisted Warren G. Harding who enjoyed being liked more than he coveted being a great president. As POTUS he kept himself busy with golf, poker, and his mistress, while appointees and cronies plundered the U.S. government who came to be known as “the Ohio gang. ” Many of them were later charged with defrauding the government, and some of them went to jail.
While he might have been the greatest general in US history, Ulysses S. Grant’s incredible military skills didn’t translate well to his presidency and it was a deep bunghole of corruption. While not as bad as Andrew Johnson, who he proceeded, Grant thought he could just delegate and then sit back to regulate-except that the people he delegated to…were idiots and as my friend Duane Kinnart points out, it was his sister Alysses S. Grant that had more of an impact. Whether or not Grant actually had a sister named Alysses doesn’t really matter, because as we have learned “alternative truth” is just as viable as you know…real truth.
Our tenth president was John Tyler, who was such a dolt according to his own Whig party they kicked him out. The “Whigs” eventually went the way of the Dodo Bird…go figure.
POTUS #7 was given the nickname “Old Hickory” by troops he commanded in the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson because he was so tough but he spent much of his presidential time in the early years to dealing with “The Petticoat” affair (also known as the Eaton affair) was an 1830–1831 U.S. scandal involving members of President Andrew Jackson’s Cabinet and their wives. Led by Floride Calhoun, wife of Vice President John C. Calhoun, these women (the “petticoats”) socially ostracized John Eaton, the Secretary of War, and his wife Peggy over disapproval of the circumstances surrounding their marriage and what they considered her failure to meet the moral standards of a cabinet wife. The affair shook up the Jackson administration and led to the resignation of all but one cabinet member. Add to that the “Indian Removal Act” of 1830 that paved the way for the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of American Indians from their traditional homelands to the West, in an event widely known as the “Trail of Tears,” a forced resettlement of the native population.
Finally we remember of course other of those great men and their famous deeds…Richard M. Nixon insisting he wasn’t a crook or liar, LBJ who couldn’t keep his cowboy ego in check and the Vietnam Wall is part of his legacy, James Buchanan who said “slavery isn’t an issue” and allowed seven states to secede which created the stage for the Un-Civil War and while there could be an extensive debate on both sides of the political aisle about who is the “worst” so perhaps a few quotes from our esteemed elected leaders are in order as we honor them today.
”Facts are stupid things.” -Ronald Reagan, at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, ”Facts are stubborn things”
“You cannot be president of the United States if you don’t have faith. Remember Lincoln, going to his knees in times of trial and the Civil War and all that stuff. You can’t be. And we are blessed. So don’t feel sorry for — don’t cry for me, Argentina. Message: I care.” —President George H.W. Bush, speaking to employees of an insurance company during the 1992 New Hampshire primary
”It depends on what the meaning of the words ‘is’ is.” —Bill Clinton, during his 1998 grand jury testimony on the Monica Lewinsky affair
And finally this perspective from the great general and president Dwight D. Eisenhower who said ” Things have never more like the way they are today in history.”
Exactly right Ike.
The more things change…the more they….don’t.
February 15, 2017 | Posted in General
For the record, what follows has nothing to do with how I voted, or you voted, or if you voted. It’s a commentary on comparison, for better or for worse. It’s also lengthy, but I kept it intact full well knowing the attention span of most humans is about 28 seconds these days.
I first read about Theodore Roosevelt in the “Child Craft” book volume “Great Men and Famous Deeds.” back in 1966. Since then I have become an avowed “Ted Head” and have read nearly every book he wrote or has been written about him. His journey from a sick young boy to robust leader of America, author, explorer and vigorous defender of “the strenuous life” has been a main tenet for me for the past fifty years.
So the worst thing that can happen is to have my girlfriend point out the “Perspective” section in the Chicago Tribune a week ago with a big picture of President Theodore Roosevelt and a caption that read
“Is Donald Trump the new Teddy Roosevelt?
I read the piece written by a young man who works for a think-tank policy center in Chicago and as my blood pressure began rise I knew that sleep was going to be a bit sparse until I was able to transform the torrent of thoughts at this absurd comparison into a response.
Three days later I was done.
I reached out to the the author of the 700 word commentary and shared my thoughts with him. He responded in kind, as I had approached him in a respectful way. For the record, I have been watching comparisons of TR and DT for two years so it’s not a new thing for me. What follows is the original email I sent to him.
” I read with great interest your piece in the “Perspective” section of the Chicago Tribune dated February 11, 2017 titled “Is Trump the new Teddy Roosevelt?”
Actually, I have read it four times, first for impact, second for clarity, third for accuracy and the fourth time, just minutes ago at a bit after 4:30 this morning to be objective before I attempt a measured response, which comes two days after my initial reaction which was a level of shock akin to reading the comparison of New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees with former President Rutherford B. Hayes because they have similar facial features and according to Brees “Being a quarterback and holding a high political office both require a “buck stops here kind of mentality just like being the president.”
That motto of course belongs to Harry S. Truman, not Hayes but I digress. Point is just because there are what might appear to be similarities on the surface of our 26th and 45th presidents, it’s below the water line where I put my focus.
With respect, due to your time, energy and effort on the “Perspective” piece, and as a decades long student of Theodore Roosevelt, his life and work before, during and after The White house and as a talk radio host that has conducted extensive interviews on our 26th president from some of the preeminent historians of our time including Douglas Brinkley and Patti O’Toole, I can understand why you attempted to make the “case for cloning” but in my opinion failed to do so, where it matters most, past a loud demeanor and insisting nature.
The “rise” of Teddy Roosevelt in no way was similar to Donald Trump. You must know from your research that it was TR’s father who infused him with a deep sense of duty and a “to whom much is given much is expected” credo, which is it the exact opposite of Trump who grew up with “to whom much is given, then expect more…and more…and more.” Theodore Roosevelt Sr. was called “Great Heart” by his children and insisted that they make the world a better place with no regard to their own rewards.
Hardly the same foundation blueprint that Mr. Trump’s “rise” has been built on which leans more towards legal maneuvering, multiple bankruptcies, and telling B-list celebs “ You’re Fired” on television.
As to the mythical fascination of the military your point does not connect for me based on historical fact. TR had a deep sense of duty to country-nothing “mythical” or “factious” but rather an “obligation” that came from of his father once again, but not for his own valor, but rather the fact that Roosevelt Sr. “paid” a stand in soldier, to serve in his place in the Civil War, (an accepted practice in those days,) but a responsibility that young TR vowed he would never skip no matter his position. Prior to his service in the Spanish–American War, Roosevelt had already seen reserve military service from 1882 to 1886 with the New York National Guard. Commissioned on August 1, 1882 as a 2nd Lieutenant with B Company, 8th Regiment, he was promoted to Captain and company commander a year later, and he remained in command until he resigned his commission. As you know under his leadership, the Rough Riders became famous for the charge up Kettle Hill on July 1, 1898, while supporting the regulars. Roosevelt had the only horse, and rode back and forth between rifle pits at the forefront of the advance up Kettle Hill, an advance that he urged despite the absence of any orders from superiors. He was forced to walk up the last part of Kettle Hill, because his horse had been entangled in barbed wire.
The victories came at a cost of 200 killed and 1,000 wounded.
In contrast, Donald Trump attended military school when he was seventeen for five years and has stated he has had “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.” Five deferments from service in the Vietnam years and his continued insistence that he had great sacrifice in that time. “It is a dangerous world out there. It’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.” Somehow I don’t hear TR saying of John McCain (even if he vehemently disagreed with his politics) that “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Trump lived out a “fantasy” at military school and “always wanted a Purple Heart” but apparently wasn’t willing to serve his country to put his life on the line like so many men and women have. Roosevelt charged up San Juan Hill and was awarded the Medal of Honor for doing so, 103 years later. Our 26th president was the real deal in every way, our 45th “Commander in Chief” in my opinion (and as a veteran myself) is not.
TR was a fervent “Trust Buster” that took on the likes of JP Morgan as he distrusted wealthy businessmen and dissolved 44 monopolistic corporations as a “trust buster.” He took care, however, to show that he did not disagree with trusts and capitalism in principle, but was only against their corrupt, illegal practices. His “Square Deal” included regulation of railroad rates and pure foods and drugs; he saw it as a fair deal for both the average citizen and the businessmen.
The same “wealthy businessmen” TR despised, Trump is not only attempting to put in vital cabinet positions but they form his inner most circle. One look at extensive list of Trump “enterprises” would reveal much of the same corrupt and illegal practices might have gotten Trump “called on the carpet” at the White House back in 1907, (perhaps standing in line with Morgan) but for all the reasons that have been passed off as “success” in his run for the Oval Office in 2016.
TR was a brilliant intellectual, a noted naturalist and staunch conservationist and author of over 20 books. Trump speaks according to experts at a 6th grade level, claims that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese and hired a “ghostwriter” who has gone on record stating he regrets taking on the project to promote a “larger than life” myth that is based on ego.
The difference to me is obvious, Trump “sees himself larger than life” and Roosevelt “was larger than life.”
Theodore Roosevelt had a long record of public and military service before being installed as vice-president to William McKinley by the republican party who felt that the best way to keep him from making waves of change was to put him in the then benign VP slot. If not for an assassin’s bullet that claimed the life of McKinley, it’s quite possible that TR would not hold a place on Mt. Rushmore, averted a national disaster by ending the 1902 coal strike, put in place consumer protections for food and labor along with championing the working class the he knew are the bedrock of the republic, been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, built the Panama Canal and created the National Park System.
TR saved the Grand Canyon from strip mining and private development, by using the power of his office in 1908-full well knowing the value of the land to future generations was more important than the profits to be gained from private interests. In contrast, President Trump is on record as saying the EPA should be abolished and has put a man up for confirmation to head the EPA who as spent his political career suing the very office he seeks for obstructing “development.”
Donald Trump’s rise to the White House was nothing like Roosevelt’s in that he offended everyone from a disabled reporter to women to a POW and dug into a group of people that have long felt their country had left them behind by promising that which he cannot deliver, spending billions of dollars to put himself in the spotlight of the most coveted office in the land, which feeds his ego more than it will feed their needs. Trump recently told Anderson Cooper that “I can be the most presidential person ever, other than possibly the great Abe Lincoln all right? But I can be the most presidential person. But I may not be able to do the job nearly as well if I do that.”
While I am not sure what all that means, TR was quite clear when he wrote “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
At the surface, I see where your attempt to make the comparison between the two as they share a loud, brash, in-your-face reformer of sorts from New York, who is bent on “bucking the establishment” could hold water. TR was tough on immigration but understood the value of Mexico in the unfolding century. He wouldn’t build a wall, he would build stronger bridges between the two countries.
Under the surface however the most important distinction between the two is boldly apparent.
Theodore Roosevelt lived a robust, dedicated “bully” existence ( a term of exuberance and fortitude) before, during and after his tenure as president. In contrast, Donald Trump is just a “bully” in my opinion who leans on threats, exaggerations, non-truths, half truths and insults… and that difference more than any strained attempt at similarity is the defining factor between being enshrined on Mount Rushmore with Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson and building skyscrapers with your own name on them.
Much of what Roosevelt did while in office under the republican banner would today be considered liberal- conservation, social and work place reform, trust busting, investing in long term projects that would affect future generations. The challenges in 1907 are different than they are in 2017 but there are some fundamental pieces that never change.
Theodore Roosevelt had character built out of deep loss, failure and challenge, whereas Donald Trump (in my opinion) is a character, a product of his own PR and a reality show. For me that along with the aforementioned laundry list of accomplishments TR put in place is more than enough to make any comparison pale at best. Your writing ability aside, I hope that President Trump doesn’t read it and think in some way he needs to be the 5th face on the rock in South Dakota because he has on some level been compared to TR.
John St. Augustine
February 14, 2017 | Posted in General
This is a special re-posting of my blog from four years ago. I was in a very different place physically, mentally and for sure emotionally if not spiritually as well. Winter was dragging on and I was in the midst of another transition…but much like the Grinch at Christmas, a bunch of second graders helped me find my heart again.
Mr. John’s Heart.
February 17, 2013 |
After bouncing around a bit when it comes to securing income in-between speaking engagements and other such non-traditional routes to paying the bills I decided to get back in the classroom, not to take a new course of study to further my career, but rather in front of the room teaching, not in the back of the room sleeping. Last year I took the required online course to get certified as a substitute teacher in Michigan and so when I am “up north” I can contribute more than just taking up space in the woods. As the holiday hiatus ended, school ramped up and after figuring out that my phone ringing at 5:30am was neither a crank call or bill collector but the opportunity to enlighten, inform and inspire young minds I was off to the blackboard jungle in earnest.
I quickly found out there are no blackboards anymore, replaced by “whiteboards” with dry erase pens taking the place of chalk.
One of the teacher’s best weapons, the dreaded shriek of chalk on slate was removed from the arsenal. It has been over 20 years since I manned the big chair in the classroom, then it was at the same high school I had attended years before. As I recall it was more like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” than higher education. I have alway been more comfortable in the high school setting where for the most part you don’t have to tie anyone’s shoes or wipe their nose, unlike the smaller life forms that reside in the elementary grades. So when the phone rings its usually a call for a male presence in grades 9-12.
However all that changed last week, the day before Valentine’s Day.
The phone rang later than usual in the morning, a cheery voice on the other end asking me if I could cover a class last minute. “Sure I said…no problem” “Oh thank you so much,” the lady on the other end of the line had hooked me in without the specifics. “What high school is it?” There was a long pause…
“Honey it’s not high school…it’s 2nd grade.”
WHAT WAS THAT? “Did you say 2nd grade?”
My mind was swirling with images of little kids grasping at my coat or pawing on me with their little hands or worse…runny noses. But how could I say no after I had already said yes? OK…I will do it, fairly sure that by 3:30 that afternoon I would be nothing but a carcass, my brain picked clean by questions like “Do fish fart?” Or “Why is there air?”
I hurried to the school a few miles away, after taking time to coffee-up and walked into the classroom to meet the kids who were getting instructions from the principal. I walked in and if they looked like Lilliputians to me, I must have looked like a bearded giant to them. When the principal introduced me to my charges it was as…
Over the years I have been in some tough situations but as I stood there with 20 pairs of eyes on me waiting for the first words to come out of my mouth I couldn’t remember any of them. The teacher I was filling in for had left explicit instructions as she was out with laryngitis and so what was first on the docket?
Something I had not done since I was a student at Belding Grammar School in Chicago, some forty-five years ago…
We all stood up, faced the red, white and blue flag and began our day together…
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
I was near tears as these little life forms, in practiced perfection recited some of the most revered words in America, their voices so clear and small, yet full of conviction and power.
What a way to start the day…any day actually.
It was a roller coaster ride to say the least, as I blended subtraction problems in math with a story about how much I loved to read when I was a boy. We talked about the snow that swirled outside during recess like a snow-globe and if dogs are better than cats. I needed some help at times, so when I asked for “an expert” in everything from when lunch was to the music class later on in the day, every hand went up, to help the giant in front of the room navigate his way to the final bell.
Being the day before Valentine’s the kids had a free period to make cards and bookmarks for their parents, so out came the blunt scissors and construction paper, the bag full of plastic hearts and beads to adorn the keepsake cards which would eventually end up in a storage bin only to be pulled out twenty years later. The line formed at the desk as I cut paper into cards and gave them each a handful of goodies to paste on as they pleased. They worked at their miniature desks like elves getting ready Christmas as I sat up front, on my third coffee.
When recess came, the entire school bundled up and headed out to the blizzard, giving those teachers not on duty a respite from the boundless energy and constant motion of a room filled with 8 year old little humans. A few female teachers stopped to check in on me, making sure that my “maleness” was still intact as the only other fellow in the school was a computer teacher. On a longer break I talked with the teacher in the room next door, so impressed with the dedication it takes to mold these little humans, grade by grade into more advanced life forms… “28 years I have been teaching.” When I asked the secret to her longevity it was one word.
“I love these kids like my own” she said. I could only imagine how many hundreds of children benefited from her nearly three decades of good energy. We chatted for a bit, and as I walked back to the room just before recess ended, it struck me how much good energy had come back to me from the 2nd graders, how fortunate I was that the phone rang and that I had said yes.
The last ninety minutes of the day had one kid handing out heart shaped sugar cookies from his grandma, ten minutes of me sharpening pencils by hand as my right thumb turned red, got numb and swollen from trying to get the right point on those #2 pencils. The smell of sawdust and lead was intoxicating…by now the pawing, runny noses and silly questions didn’t really matter.
With just a few minutes before I was to let them out in the hall to dress for home, three little humans came up to the desk and told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands…to which I obliged.
“OPEN YOUR EYES MR. JOHN!”
There in my hand was the prettiest, most heartfelt Valentine that I have ever been given…it had been passed around right under my nose and every little human in the class had scrawled their names on the back .
The big red heart on the cover was a reflection of how this day had knocked the rust off my own heart and I was able to find a bit of it again like the “Tin Man”…”A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others” and much like the “Cowardly Lion” I was reminded of what real courage is…
Teaching 2nd grade.
February 8, 2017 | Posted in General
I have been waiting for the right time and place to use the image of “The Odd Couple.”
I took this picture at O’Hare while waiting for my flight to Seattle on November 7th, 2016 one day before the election that would determine the next leader of the free world that took place on Tuesday November 8th.
93 days ago…today.
Time flies when you’re having fun…or not.
So why did I pull this picture off my hand held electronic umbilical cord device for The Wednesday Rant?
Well, first I wanted to know if The Donald and The Hillary were actually in the same place at the same time or was it a photoshop job?
My sources revealed that they both did the shoot at the same time. Proof that two different species can in fact occupy the same space.
Kinda nice to see them smiling, right?
If I hadn’t been witness to the carnage, bloviating, pontificating and name calling reminiscent of a 6th grade popularity contest for eighteen months, I could almost envision them as owners of a real estate company or perhaps old chums at a high school reunion.
But of course, it’s the message that really caught my eye.
“THE END IS NEAR.”
Those words carry much inflection and reflection at the same time. For a country weary of the political tug-of-war “THE END IS NEAR” might be a harbinger of a peace of sorts, where we could finally put down the hammer and nails we pounded each other with and take a breath that in just hours all would be well again.
Perhaps it was meant as a nod to the voters of both candidates that whichever of the two claimed victory, the opposite side would see the incoming POTUS as a figurehead horrible change or ongoing incompetence, as we strain almost everything through our political brain drain and identify as an elephant or donkey instead of a human being.
Don’t need a degree in human behavior to figure that one out.
However, most interesting to me is the date of the issue which is November 14th, 2016…seven days after the election date of November 8th.
I know that magazines have to “go to press” and “hit the news stands” at a certain date and all that but that fact that TIME put “The Odd Couple” on the cover, full well knowing it would be out after the election peaked my thought processes…and I have been marinating on it for the past 93 days.
That is a heaping helping of head space occupied for a long time…and here is what came to mind (thus creating a nice clear cache’.)
If we look at everything up close under a “microscope” it’s so easy to lose perspective, which is essential to retaining a sense of balance that can be attained from seeing the world through a “telescope.”
The eye strain and brain drain that comes with looking into everything close up is enough to piss off the Good Humor Man.
Every single move gets put in between the glass slides, pressed flat and viewed and magnified hundreds of times until clarity is long gone and everything looks like mitochondria instead of the entire cell.
We become so focused on one piece of the puzzle, that we cannot see the whole picture anymore.
Whereas (love that word) a microscope looks from the inside out, a telescope of course is able to look from the outside…inward. To take the whole of things into consideration and slowly bring into focus that which needs to be explored from a great distance and see other parts of the puzzle that a microscope cannot.
93 days have given me the chance to pull back the microscope and replace it with a telescope.
My gray matter is grateful. My jaw muscles no longer clench and as Hedy Lamarr said in “Blazing Saddles”-
“…Please rest your sphincters.”
We’ll get through this…for better or for worse, like it (or each other) or not and as Winston Churchill exclaimed “More brandy!” I mean…
“This too shall pass.”
Consider… The American Revolution, The Uncivil War, assassinations of Lincoln & Kennedy, The Manhattan Project and Iwo Jima, Vietnam, Disco Music, Nixon, Pet Rocks, K-Cars, Wilbur Mills, The Keating Five, Watergate, Hanging Chads, Joe “Liar!” Wilson, the 1969 Cubs, “Bradgelina” “Weinergate” Tammy Faye, Glenda Ray, Morris Day and James Earl Ray & Valentine Janicki along with (dishonorable mention) Bin Laden, Hitler, Rodan, Weird Haircut Guy in North Korea, Richard Speck, Marlene Dreck, Harry Beck and throw Morton Downey Jr. in for good measure.
Point is…the world has always been on the brink of something since two Neanderthals’ fought over who got the to keep the woolly mammoth leftovers.
While I admit I am amazed at the number of people I have connected with that claimed to have “suffered” the past eight years (by First World definition) because of who sat in the Oval Orifice (they all have jobs and houses and cars and went to ball games, and watched re-runs and had sex and BBQ and vacation and took college courses and buried loved ones and became parents and grandparents and moved into new homes and took a hot shower in that time) their “suffering” has ended…and for that I am glad.
For those who are girding their loins for the next 1,441 days please continue to go to work and enjoy your houses and cars and go to ball games, and watch re-runs and have sex and BBQ and vacation and take college courses and you might bury loved ones or become parents or grandparents or move into a new home and please…take a hot shower in that time.
And also…if you are moved to send cards and letters to the White House, do it.
If you feel the need to protest, go for it.
If you cannot help but dig incessantly on the internet for every scrap of evidence to support your position and inundate your family and friends, feel free to do so.
But please keep this in mind.
“THE END IS NEAR” alright but it has more to do with people than politics.
In the 30 minutes, it’s taken me to empty my brain cavity of these thoughts, 3,158 people checked out, kicked off, bit the big one, kicked the bucket, bought the farm, ceased to exist, cashed in their chips, became extinct, and clocked out.
Be vigilant, be involved, be loud and be proud, pound yourself and others into submission as you see fit.
Just make sure you don’t forget to be alive…and one last thing.
Wouldn’t be interesting if the “loser” of a presidential election automatically became the vice-president?