Wednesday, January 2, 2019

#IWSG - JANUARY 2019 - CHECK IN - A NEW ME??? I CERTAINLY HOPE SO!

Here we are at the start of a new year. 2019 and I certainly hope it is better than the last three. Well hell, for me, I'd like it to be better than the last thirteen, but I really can't quibble. I'm no longer married to the guy who got the gf when I was hospitalized, so there's that. I have a roof over my head and food on the table and will apparently, have slightly more of it this coming year.

Now, if I can just start remembering things; like, days of the week, where I'm supposed to be and where I've laid certain paperwork that just MUST be filled out right away! Trying to set and keep these goals also involves trying to set and keep goals for writing. I've been writing some of the things I've remembered for a dear, dear friend about the Roman Empire during the Imperial Age - fact-checking all the way, to make sure I remember names and dates - and this has been a lot of fun. She's enjoyed the stories and it's fun to do.

I'm going to continue in this vein, but am going to expand and write more fiction this year, too, Juneta, look out! Anyway, I want to wish every one a very happy and prosperous and productive 2019. Happy #IWSG'ing! 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

#AMWRITING #BLOGGING – BARBARIANS AT THE GATES?


With less than a month to go in 2018 and reflecting back on the last several years in this country, as well as globally, it would seem that ideologically speaking, our planet is taking a pretty direct veer to the right. Rather than being aligned with the Allies, it would seem that we have more and more nation-states auditioning for parts as a member of the Axis team, which we all remember fondly from World War II. Do we remember that, or teach it to anyone anymore, and the harsh lessons that were learned there?

It would almost seem that is not the case. I remember pretty vividly comedian Jay Leno, on the “Tonight Show” in one of his “Jay-Walking” exercises asking random people who had been some of the Axis leaders. One answer stands out pretty well. Apparently, Tim Hitler led Germany into war against the world. I bet he was a fun guy!

Seriously, we seem to have forgotten the principles that make up ANY democratic, or pluralistic society. Y'know, those ones about people striving to be free? This would also encompass being equal and safe under the law, but we've pretty much thrown all of that out the window with the abrogation of our III, IV, V, VIII, IX and XIV amendments. Lest you think I'm just getting all fancy with my Roman Numerals, let me assure you that I do know some Constitutional Law and I've also spoken to some law officers who've agreed with me. They're also concerned that we've violated Writ of Habeas Corpus, as well. Shit. The only thing we lack in this fun-house are snappy uniforms and jack-boots.

I realize too that I've whined down this road before and I'm never gonna say “I told you so”, because in the end, any country gets what it deserves, when it votes stupidly. I truly believe that. I've been working as an Inspector for the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections and this election was remarkable, especially here in Florida.

We had three very close races that ended in recounts and manual recounts, and even ended up with Miami-Dade County's Election Supervisor resigning in disgrace (honestly, she shoulda gone long ago; that whole county is crooked as a dog's hind leg, in my opinion).

I was already mad at Senator Bill Nelson (D), because one year ago, last September, when I was calling people like mad, and other Senators, Congressmen and all kinds of people to rally the vote for Net Neutrality, I couldn't even get my own damned Senator to set up a Town Hall meeting, 'cause he was worrying about re-election. He did absolutely NOTHING for us, the men and women who spent years building and improving the internet. I set up so many Town Hall meetings for other Senators and people, but I could never get Bill Nelson to do something this important. So, when the General Election came around, I wasn't surprised that he and Rick Scott, our soon-to-be ex-Governor, who has all the charisma of a crowbar were pretty much neck-and-neck and it was RECOUNT time! Not just for the Senate race, but the Governor's race and the Secretary of Agriculture. (Rick Scott DID win for those keeping score at home.)

All of these too-close-to-call races came down to a bunch of school-yard name-calling, neener-neener-ing and the usual shenanigans that always seems to devil Florida politics, but this almost the worst yet; the worst being the year 2000, when we had no President for what seemed liked an eon; I early voted in N. C., where I then lived, went on a concert tour, moved back to Florida, after celebrating the New Year and we STILL had no goddamned President. It took the Mary Kay of Political Nonsense, Kathleen Harris to throw the vote to the GOP, after months of flap-doodle about hanging chads, bushels of ballots being thrown out of the backs of moving vans on I-95 and more chicanery than ever existed in Huey P. Long's imagination when it came to rigging politics.

Throughout our history, we've tried to burnish our political wheelings-and-dealings with a patina that it doesn't quite deserve. We may mouth plenty of good words about how we stand united and how equal we all are in the eyes of the law and flower it up a bit to make it sound really pretty, but the fact is, we've really done a pretty shoddy job here, pretty much since our inception. Our performance is patchy at best, but, in the past, we were able to fend off such icky things as tyrannies and treating our Leaders as Cult figures – although we're skating on thin ice in this area right now – because we had this remarkable capacity to sit down and discuss our differences like the rational humans we purported ourselves to be.

Yes, we did live through the era of President Obama and to a fault, I never heard an African-American say “Obama's OUR President!” - I voted for him - I was thrilled that he was elected and never saw the type of behavior that has been witnessed with the election of Donald Trump. No one on “the other side” behaved as though they were some found member of a long-lost Wu-Tang Clan bandsman crossed with Jesus, nor acted with the kind of superiority one sees from the Trumpkins. By the way, I vote principles, NOT platform; put your crayons away, you haters.

Is this just the kind of ass-hattery that occurs to simpletons who find themselves on the right side of the so-called rising tide of some ill-gotten demagoguery that will most surely come to a bad end when Robert Mueller finally does subpoena Donald Trump? Trump cannot possibly think that he is going to pardon himself on these charges of malfeasance and payments and kickbacks and bribes to shut up mistresses and I could go on and on and on, but you get the point.

I rather think that Trump will resign and then paint himself as a sort of martyr, rather than ever have the bald facts surface and have the countless naifs see him (well, maybe) for who he really is. The truth is, it will be one more excuse to see the truth through the prism of their own ignorance and once again, cry “fake news!” and completely mis-read everything that has gone on in this country for the last decade or so. To say that we have just insulated ourselves within our own echo chambers, via the internet and like interests is also to say that we have truncated our own ability to discern what the real truth is.

It is completely easy and understandable to go ahead and say “nay!” to anything that is in opposition, when we have Balkanized ourselves so completely. To truly educate ourselves, we MUST reach out, must go where it is not comfortable, must expose ourselves to thoughts and ideas that expand what we think we might hold to be self-evident. There is no certainty any more and we must get used to that.

We need to face one another in this time of near-crisis; for ourselves, our planet, our future and our sanity and most importantly, for our grace. For if we do not do this thing and come to accounts with each other, we will surely perish and soon.

Rant Over!


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

#IWSG – DECEMBER 2018 CHECK-IN – REVVING UP THE ENGINES



After being dormant for so long, it seems there is a plethora of things and themes and subjects to write about. I want to pursue fiction, but am not sure I'm all that creative. When I was in high school, I was trying to write a piece of music and the best I could come up with was “meh”. One of our Composition teachers had an ABSOLUTELY FOOLPROOF METHOD for writing the perfect melody and we hastily got to work.

We sat side-by-side on the piano bench and blocked out some chords and then carefully picked out the notes, according to Mr. Hathaway's method. I put them all together and then added some rhythm and syncopation in the melody. It looked beautiful on paper. It rose and fell and died away and came to a beautiful conclusion. I eagerly played in on the piano and looked at Mr. Hathaway. We both looked at one another for a minute. Then, we busted up. “That's horrible!”, he said. I agreed. I'm no composer, although I can INTERPRET music beautifully and make it my own, so, using that as my guideline, I am not sure that I can create fiction.

I'm a hell of rhetorical writer and great with historical events and dissecting things and analysis, but I'm not sure that I can cobble things up out of whole cloth. I've dipped my toes into some flash fiction which is fun and I think I need to continue in that vein and then go from there.

Anyway, I see that my shambolic life has leaked into my blog. What was to have been a post just about where I had been and what I was not doing all of this time and ending with my crap-tastic fall that garnered me a broken left hip, has somehow confused the #IWSG gang. (See previous post.) THIS is the #IWSG post, ha. Oh well. I do things like this all the time. I had entered “#IWSG” in the title and of course, Blogger helpfully remembered it for me. Gah. Anyway, happy IWSG'ing everyone! I do hope you're all looking forward to the Holiday season. I certainly am!