Sunday, November 27, 2016

My Conversion to Dumb and Dumber

Escapism has always seemed like a strange phenomenon; a denial of reality where one purposely and willfully checks out of a here and now situation into a land of make-believe, while fully aware that the return to the untenable and unbearable is unavoidable.

During the Great Depression, many businesses went belly-up; in small towns with desolate storefronts, the one remaining functional operation was the local movie theater, a source of refuge from the horror of a society collapsing in on itself.

Now the function of fantasy-fare has taken root in my day to day life. No more documentaries on the Third Reich or genocide in Rwanda grace my screen. I search for romantic comedies, culture-clash comedies - in short anything that does not require serious thought or provokes probing questions on the nature of existence.

Escapism has become my friend and now I know why crappy, corny, silly, low brow movies do so well. Prospective filmmakers, gird your loins. It's time to descend into mindless pablum that the masses will need as the insanity of Rumpland takes hold.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Love Thine Enemy Like Thyself

In this period between President-elect status and the inauguration of King Rump, all sorts of rationalizations are taking place.

"Give him a chance."

"Have an open mind."

"He'll govern differently than the rhetoric-laced policies he eschewed on the campaign trail."

"Put a photo of him on your altar" (the worst suggestion so far).

Unbridled contempt and negativity help no one but there seems to be a basic naievity in the above postures. True, incessant whining and griping is a downer for everyone; to hurl counter-insults at King Rump and his kind in the hopes of out-sliming the slime merely engenders self-sliming.

Having an open mind, in my scenario, is being awake and aware to "the what is," which is in fact a hostile takeover of the US government. Adolph Hitler began his Holocaust with words. Organized killing came much later in the game, long after Hitler had thoroughly soaked his minions with hate-speech.

Where in Rump's picks is there any indication that we have none other than a far-right government grabbing the reins? And why would us lambs think that a Justice Department, run by the rabids, would not be the handmaiden of hate legally enshrined?

We are just descending in the fire of ignorance and chaos run amok. In the short term we may lose nothing; in the long term the Age of Ice and Fire has commenced.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The New 911

Since election day (our new 911), a creeping surrealism seeps through the airwaves as King Rump's cabinet picks are trumpeted via a larger than life flat screen. A toxic smog fills every molecule of perceptual reality during waking moments; as nightfall settles in, bedtime is met with eager anticipation as slumber becomes the refuge from this hell-in-the-making.

A mantra oft heard now - a country divided - is actually not accurate. Most presidential elections disenfranchise approximately half the voters, but in this case the divide is not between Republicans and Democrats but between the blind and the depressed.

Why did almost half of this First World country choose to ignore irrational behavior, lies, threats, deceit, fraud, and predatory behavior? Even the false news stories couldn't hold a candle to what came straight out of King Rump's black hole of a mouth.

The refusal of intelligent, educated people to see the dangers of this madman are not only troubling but mystifying. What has happened to common sense of half of the United States?

For those who choose to keep their eyes open and  recognize a red flag when it is waved in front of their nose, start revving up the engines. A long fight lies ahead...not one of violence, not one of weapons, but a battle for the heart and soul of humanity.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Slow-Moving Coup

In the two year period of single motherhood
between marriage #1 and and marriage #2, I dated one of the White brothers from the famed band Earth, Wind & Fire. Apart from a friendship that eventually surpassed romance, one thing stands out. Said boyfriend gazed into the air and remarked that in the 21st century there would be a Fascist takeover of the American government.

His comment seared into my brain and has remained in the forefront for over 30 years. What we see now is a full-fledged coup that brought to power a candidate with an extreme right-wing agenda. His appointment of Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist was only the first of horrific picks, all of them either members of the extreme right and/or amoral men of great personal ambition.

The FBI stepped into the election process to inflict maximum damage to Hillary Clinton. The Russians hacked Democratic party member emails and released them on Wikileaks (and the content was pablum compared to the dealings of King Rump over the decades). This is called sabotage at the highest levels and cannot be underestimated.

Hitler was democratically elected and drew huge crowds. The Big Lie brought unimaginable suffering to the entire planet. Although Hillary Clinton in fact won the popular vote, our electoral college system, the brainchild of the slave states intended to weight the game in their favor, has also insured that when the people speak a.k.a. giving Hillary Clinton a majority, their voices will be squelched.

Our democracy has been imperiled at various junctures of history and we are entering another time of heightened danger and a waning of the Light. The only solution at the moment is to get our own houses in order so that when we act it can be with precision and clarity for maximum effect.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Blind Pigs

Please excuse this disparaging titular reference to pigs because they are divinely sensitive creatures. In the current lexicon, however, they are a symbol of smut.

I can't bear to listen to Fox News for its uber-right wing rhetoric, nor do I listen to MSNBC with its more liberal agenda, even though my sentiments echo the later.

CNN is my choice because it is a centrist channel which airs both the right wing sycophants of King Rump and the Democrits. My preference tends toward soaking in a range of opinions without being completely dipped into the shit of Fox or the safe haven of MSNBC.

Hold on though - safe haven? Well, this is where the blind pig analogy begins to settle in. Almost no one in the media is addressing the point that King Rump's ascendency is based on lies, repeated so often and with such a vituperative pitch that the masses took it in as truth. The mainstream media seems to ignore this lethally effective tactic that was a ploy straight out of Adolph Hitler's playbook.

It goes without saying that it serves the Democrats and the American people (who voted in a majority for Hillary Clinton) to retool an approach that forms a massive push-back to our neo-fascist government. As Bernie Sanders tweeted, if the Rump agenda continues to foment hate, "we will be your worst nightmare." Go Bernie.

And so, as the media asks the Democrats to contemplate their navel, let's not be lulled into the illusion that it was their fault. Just as the rise of Hitler poisoned Germany and the land of Johann Sebastian Bach, let us not be poisoned with the idea that we failed in any one strategic error. Hillary Clinton was sabotaged by Russian leaks delivered by their handmaiden Wikileaks. The American people were sabotaged by the director of the FBI, the handmaiden of Rudy Guiliani and King Rump and more aptly, the neo-con agenda for world domination.

Islamic caliphate, you have a problem. The Fascists have their eye on the prize too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

King Liar Ascends the Throne

On the eve of Rump's election, a media commentator said that she hoped the character Donald Rump created in his campaign for "effect" is not the person he will be as president. Another person on the panel reminded us that who he represented himself to be is indeed who he is. Rump's victory speech was none other than that of a wolf in sheep's clothing lulling the flock into complacency.

Commentators are all talking about what Clinton did wrong to lose the election. They are missing the point. Donald Rump perpetrated The Big Lie. He rallied an ignorant and uninformed base with lies so big and bold that his toxic brew found a cancercous spot in which to rest in the American body.

Perhaps the most disturbing are the people I know in my daily life - many with Master's Degrees - who were as woefully uninformed as that "basket of deplorables" a.k.a. the KKK. Why did these educated Californias join with the Far Right to support Rump?

Hillary Clinton just remarked in her concession speech that we need to approach a Rump presidency with an open mind - and she offered her help. She is a class act but the subterfuge that has dogged her for decades seems to be so alive and well.

With a Republican Congress and President, and with a Supreme Court to be restocked, we will see a reversal of many the laws and programs that protect human rights. Our only choice is to never lose heart, to continue to press for the rights of all, and know that nothing ever stays the same, for better or worse.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Need to Be Needed

Recently, the Dalai Lama published an OpEd piece in the New York Times that caught my attention, although that's not peculiar as I regard him as the most sane person on the planet. He wrote that we all have the need to be needed. Infants need caregivers as a matter of life or death, but as they grow into childhood and beyond, if they feel useless or unseen, an acute pain will grown in their hearts and minds. At the other end of the spectrum, the elderly often feel pushed aside, not appreciated for their life experience, and discarded even while the body yet breathes life.

Buddhist philosophy exhorts the individual to perform actions to benefit all beings, with the inference that at our best we are "givers" and not "needers." Yet, the Dalai Lama pointed out the pathos of human existence. Unless we understand that we are an vital part of the universal sphere, that we are very much needed to create a kinder reality, it is like being cast out to sea in a boat with no rudder.

In short, we need each other desperately. The parts are more than the sum of the whole and to be whole, all of us has a part in this drama called "life."

Between the Frying Pan and the Fire

When the first inklings of a pandemic started brewing in late January, I was in Bodgaya, India, the place where the historical Buddha attai...