Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Weiner, Palin, and Uncommon Sense

Maybe because it's easier, or maybe because I've had some positive responses to it as a style, I'm going in rapid-fire fashion tonight, to try to help give some visible structure to what we are seeing and not seeing lately, what we're loving and hating, what we want to say but can't, or won't (or, maybe, shouldn't), my two cents tonight have deflated to the following suggestions...

To Weiner:

1. Get out

To Palin:

1. Stay out

2. Study

To Chris Matthews, Anderson Cooper, Bill O'Reilly, Jon Stewart, (gulp) Glenn Beck and most other media figures of today:

1. Stop interrupting guests. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. We don't expect you to let them use your show as a platform, but for God's sake, let them finish a FREAKIN' sentence! You guys mentioned above are older and ought to know better than to follow this trendy interrupt-because-I-think-I'm-smarter-and-wish-to-show-less-respect phase that the younger ones have latched onto. STOP. Let people finish a sentence or two. For viewers and guests, MAKE THEM STOP!!! Say something (guests) on the spot or write e-mails, call or set up peaceful protests. :)

To guests of above hosts (or any hosts) including field/associate reporters:

1. Answer the gd question! Do not answer, "That's an interesting question..." as it is offensive; a host tends to PRIDE themselves (hello? their, umm, JOB?) on asking interesting questions. They go get degrees and stay up late at night and rehearse and re-rehearse and get professional feedback on questions before posing them to you; they do NOT need to hear your opinion of the value of their question. Not only do they not need it, but it sounds condescending, like something a professional father/mother might say on bring-a-parent-to-school-day when a second-grader asks a "good" question. Keep your opinion of the value of the question to yourself; WE, the viewers get to decide that and if we don't like it, we'll tune out... The host does NOT need to hear that YOU think they have just asked a $64 mil.-dollar question: they DO need to hear the effin' answer!

Mika from Morning Joe (and other designated giggle/nod dudes/chicks)

1. Stop nodding and smiling like a parrot on Joe's shoulder when you have no idea what he or others are talking about. Joe, shame on you. Shame on you for bringing on somebody like her to make you look smarter. I consider that professional assault and abuse. Other designated prop. people: don't like being professional ass-kissers and foot-rugs? Stop acting like it, then.

American voters who give a damn where this country actually goes:

1. Don't vote for somebody because of their sex, religion or race.

2. Don't vote against somebody because of their sex, religion or race.

3. You're free to vote for anybody for any reason in America. But you're also free to try to belly-flop on top of a hot-air balloon from a moving 747, while drunk (after all necessary permissions are granted, ahem).

4. Stop pretending. If you want Obama out because you dislike blacks, say it. Have courage. If you voted for Obama just because he was black and you don't give a damn where America goes, say it. Have courage. If you insist on constantly defending Sarah Palin because she's a woman (when you know, deep down, that she's a functional vegetable), say it. Have courage. Why? It'll tell us where we really stand as a nation. When we stop the posturing, we start the understanding.

5. If you vote for people regardless of "party lines," because, in your heart, you honestly believe that those leaders would propel this country closer to a more perfect union... more toward freedom and security, both economically and otherwise... more toward a nation that has people in better health, in better circumstances... more toward a nation that leads not by bullying and back-alley politics but by examples through individual and group achievement... if you are not a slave to form, but to the best commonly-understood-and-agreed-upon meaning of the U.S. Constitution, based on what you honestly believe the forefathers and the many who have died in our defense wanted for this country, you have intense, sincere and ever-lasting respect from me and anybody else that I can manage to tell your story to.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. (Forgive typos; very late, very tired...)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Tangible Reminder of D-Day: Man and Child Bleed on Beach

June 6th, 1944, is the greatest day in American military history, ever, as far as I'm concerned. Thousands of brave American, Canadian, and British men rushed the shores at Normandy... many never even making it to the actual shoreline because of the shelling, MG44 machine-gun crossfire, or drowning from abandoning their landing craft and sinking with all of their gear on. The men had been giving a huge breakfast that day, too, and had a seasickness rate of about 65%. Bad, bad seasickness.

The ones that did make it to the shoreline lost even more.

The shelling continued (big artillery shells/little bombs exploding on the beach, sending shrapnel out like a thousand bullets in every direction... some of those bullets as big as baseball gloves... some as small as grains of sand--some were grains of sand). Then, if the shrapnel didn't get them, they had the concussion from the blast to worry about, which essentially shakes you to death.

If they survived those obstacles while watching their friends and fellow soldiers getting shredded and blown to pieces, they still had 800-1000 yards of beach to cross before getting to the bottom of the cliffs/hills where they could begin their assault on the bunkers that housed the enemies that were killing them by a factor of about 100 per minute.

That 800-1000 yards of beach is not only still being shot to Hell by the machine guns and artillery, but now there are land mines to step on, not to mention the machine guns are getting more accurate as you get closer. Moreover, those Hedgehogs you were able to hide behind initially (German chunks of tripodic metal meant to stop tanks and landing craft; one of four levels of barriers they had against landing craft) disappeared along that last 800 yards. Just bare, open beach, and running, charging men.

Estimates vary, but we lost about 6,000 men that morning of the Allied Forces (2,500 Americans), and that doesn't include the pilots and paratroopers that were killed the night before on botched bombing runs and drop zones, due to cloud cover.

I have two tattoos, and almost got a third. I probably would have if I could have afforded it. The thing I asked myself and answered before I got my tattoos was, "What can I put on my body that I will not ever be ashamed of?," and my answers were my daughter and my country, so I got tattoos honoring both. The third tattoo I almost got was going to be of the beaches on D-Day. I was thinking about adding an artistic element of making D-Day happen at night (maybe 4 hours before the actual landings). I still may get that tattoo.

Today is June 5th, 2011. I was at the local public beach with my girlfriend, her daughter Mallory, and her niece, Whitley. Whitley got cut. They were out on some rocks about twenty yards from the shoreline. I could see the blood coming from her foot. I rushed out to pick her up and bring her to shore, and the moment I picked her up and turned to walk back to shore, I stepped on a sharp rock and cut my own foot open.

We were both bleeding like broken dams. I kept telling Whitley that the water makes little drops of blood look like lots of blood. I kept my cool (matter of fact, I didn't even notice my own cut until one of them pointed it out, although I sure felt it when it happened... adrenaline does strange things to the mind).

We rinsed hers off in the water, and mine, wrapped our cuts in towels, and applied pressure until the bleeding stopped. Whitley said, "I feel funny." I asked what she meant and if she was dizzy. She said she was dizzy and a little sick. I told her to sit down but keep the pressure on the cut. What I didn't tell her is I was getting dizzy and sick, too. Sweat was pouring out of my pores. The nausea was staggering.

For just a moment, there, on that free, American public beach, I felt a sample of what those men at Normandy felt. In an effort to save something or someone that mattered to me, I was injured, and bled the sand red just as Whitley did. But even with all that drama, I can swear on all things precious that this statement is true: I didn't need to go through that to appreciate what those men did on D-Day. I really think about that day regularly and in high regard. But the panic, nausea, bleeding, cuts... it put me in the D-Day frame of mind, on a microscopic scale, for a few moments, and except for Whitley being cut, I actually am glad it happened, because it makes me feel closer to D-Day than I already was.

There is a reason they called them, "The Greatest Generation."

Please take two minutes to think about those brave souls that died that day, and what they lost to give us what we won.

Friday, June 3, 2011

When the planets fall, I think I may have other obligations.

I keep thinkin’ there’s a fire in the fireplace that I didn’t light.

It’s always one of the cats, licking her shoulder, flickering.

I don’t ask why the one gets confused with the other in the front and back of my mind.

Cats are not like fire, nor fire like cats.

The absence of bondage to normal Earthly fears that I’ve killed are giving me nightmares.

I usually don’t remember them. I just wake up fearless, still, and exhausted.

When a bird flies into a window, now, I look at it, and in my mind, I only shrug.
I shrug in my mind.

The reason for that is that nagging question: why should I go through the physical act of shrugging?

I used to feel fear and shock and concern for the bird.

Now, I know he’s just another living creature on the assembly line toward death.
And, if he wants to spend some of that time unconscious in my front yard, who am I to intervene?

What if there is a really advanced civilization nearby, or God? Either shows up, and there’s only one thing you can know, and that is that you are stupid. That God, or that something greater, is what we follow, because we are so easily programmed by nature to follow leaders.

And some leaders are not leaders at all; they are simply entities or non-entities that we ascribe depth of meaning and power upon or into.

I have lead a few times and believe I do it well, yet my own hate for authority pushes me naturally out of leadership positions.

I’m anti-authority, and no authority cares until they try to exercise authority over me.

Egos. Testosterone. Estrogen. Spicy food.

Ron is anti-establishment. He knows that the whole thing is rigged, and he’s not letting anybody get away with a fucking thing, ever.

Love is sweet-tasting, pink lemonade, as long as it is served in a glass, with ice, on a warm day with perfect weather, when you’re thirsty.

My head aches, roughly. Everything below it is in a state of accelerated dying.

I wish when I died, I could keep my brain alive in a jar for a while until I was actually tired of thinking.

Have you noticed that all the fears you have, or almost all of them, never materialize? How many have killed you?

A baby will love you, then like and love you, then love and hate you, then hate you, then love you, then love you for the rest of your life.

We have five senses that we know of. Do you realize that, biologically, the number of potential senses is endless? What if an adjacent society has 22 or 545 senses? You cannot imagine that, can you? I could, because I’ll just start guessing and never stop. Until my brain is in the jar, and I've imagined them all.

Pork is not the other white meat.

How can somebody praise God emphatically for letting them live as they survive a tornado, while claiming that they are a christian who is promised a castle in the sky, where there is no pain or traffic jams or sprained ankles.

We're so limited. So, so limited.