In Memoriam ~ (One Quick Limerick #042)

 

 

My Mother’s teaching career she was ditchin’,
Trade off: 1 hubby, 2 kids and 1 kitchen,
Nixing her plans majestic,
For mere matters domestic,
Might well explain why she always was bitchin’?

 

On this day it has been 15 years since my Mom passed on… became part of something bigger… be that “something bigger” eternal life or oblivion. At the very least she had achieved a short-lived genetic “immortality” by adding her genes to Earth’s gene pool… that being a fleeting nature because she never wound up becoming a grandma.

To humorously chronicle her life and times, I had composed the above biographical limerick… transforming it into the second to the last homemade birthday card I had ever presented to her.

Her reaction? She had gotten a few chuckles out of it.

 

 

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Will Don Don Duds’ Duds? (One Quick Limerick #041)

 

Towards white supremacy, Don doth aspire,
His Klansman / Nazi base feels stoked, afire,
To coddle both sets of buds,
He’ll model both sets of duds?
‘Neath Don’s White Sheets he’ll don Brownshirt attire?

 

The so-called prez has a deplorable history of pandering to his hate mongering alt-right / white nationalist / Klansman / Nazi base. Even in the wake of the Charlottesville, Virginia bloodshed… vehicular manslaughter… where one of his goon pals deliberately plowed into a crowd of anti-racism protestors… murdering one woman and maiming dozens more… the soft on domestic terrorism, fake prez still categorized the sociopathic, bloodthirsty, deplorable alt-right vermin as “fine people”.

Ergo, it’d not be much of a stretch to consider the following (fortunately hypothetical) alternate timelines…

Had Donald Trump been “prez” during WW-II he would’ve been in bed with Adolf Hitler… had he been “prez” at a time leading up to America’s Civil War, he’d have sided with the vile slave owners… perhaps pissing off the northern states to the point of seceding from the United States.

 

Related Reading:

Article #1

Article #2

 

FYI… you can access archived limericks, poems, and lyrical parodies by clicking onto my poetry category.

If you’ve found this post worthy, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment… click onto this blog’s headline to access the “LIKE Button” and “Comment Box”.

 

 

 

April BlogCast ~ Timeless Heartfelt Sentiments

 

Welcome to our monthly musical get-together.

We, who came of age in the Sixties… an era seething with military madness, political unrest and societal upheaval… had no shortage of songs interwoven with antiwar, political and social commentary. These TIMELY and TIMELESS song lyrics pointed squarely at (in some cases with the middle digit) the aggression and injustices, which were sullying and degrading humanity all across America and throughout our world.

Throughout the decades that followed, when liberal minded presidents were at the helm, we did manage to take some baby steps towards extricating ourselves from such ills. But… to keep it real… there were also conservatives who would not stand for any part of what we stood for… who were (still are) hell bent on undoing any and all progress. Which means…

There still is so much of our work that remains undone.

More recently, Barack Obama, our nation’s very first biracial President, did offer average Jane and Joe Americans that sunny ray of hope. But his plan to effect change we could all believe in head-on collided with political gridlock… “courtesy” of his obdurate opponents. Net effect, these archconservatives had been the political equivalent of an endless, total eclipse of the sun.

And considering how the present-day, backward, reptilian brained, Tyrant-o-saurus Rex has been on a national and international rampage… making his primary ongoing mission to muddy and cover up each and every forward moving footprint his predecessor had left… well… now more than ever, there is an ever-growing need to “air” this month’s BlogCast songs.

On a more positive note, if such lyrical sentiments are ever, truly taken to heart by the powers-that-be, we could wind up with an energizing soundtrack that’ll, eventually, fight and win the war against aggression, oppression and discrimination in all of their grotesque, deplorable forms. Well, at least we can dream about it, right?

You likely noticed those two capitalized and italicized “T” words at the outset of this blog. The TIMELY and TIMELESS quality of this music has the capability of engaging critical thinkers wherever we may be… at the very least… inspiring a far greater liberal turnout at the polls this midterm election year.

On a more technical note: Admittedly, choosing between featuring original recordings vs. cover versions was a tough call. To resolve this, I’ve formatted the covers to appear onsite and link to the originals offsite over @YouTube. For any of you, who choose to click onto the smaller font’s artist/song names beneath each vid’s main title, you’ll be treated to a comparative study of the earlier artists’ interpretations / renditions.

So, sans any further delay, let’s all ear and eyewitness how all of these recording artists have so adeptly and passionately infused their heart and soul into the musical mix. Be these songs Sixties era or more recent, they’ve kept my hope alive… and hopefully yours too… hope for a better global society and better tomorrows.

 

Lena Markley & Brother Sanford ~ Get Together

Youngbloods ~ Get Together

“L” Debois ~ What’s Going On

Marvin Gaye ~ What’s Going On

VazquezSounds ~ Blowin’ In The Wind

Bob Dylan ~ Blowin’ In The Wind
Stevie Wonder ~ Blowin’ In The Wind

Justice Collective ~ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

Hollies ~ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

 

In parting… all I can add, here, is…

As consequential, expressive and inspirational this program’s timeless songs have been, what a shame that the political wasteland we are presently slogging through has made them so desperately needed and damned relevant. Maybe someday they’ll be played purely based on their musical merits. Someday…

Thank You for listening, viewing and reading. I’ll be posting my next monthly BlogCast during the first week of May ’18.

To access past programs, click onto my BlogCasts and Music categories.

If you’ve found our musical get-together enjoyable, don’t forget to like, comment and share. Those options can be accessed by clicking onto each blog title.

 

 

 

Nightmares And Dreams

Fifty years ago, on this very evening, the same Zenith console TV set, which, five years earlier, had been my window to the spinning out of control world of Dallas, Texas… the site of President Kennedy’s assassination… was “now” providing me a similar view of Memphis, Tennessee.

My recollections are now strong… almost as if I’ve time traveled back to this tragedy. I’m once again an adolescent, age 13, home alone since my folks have gone out for the evening to watch my sister’s performance in her High School Junior Class play. I’d have eagerly tagged along with them had it not been for my body being under siege by a particularly nasty rhinovirus.

Once again, Walter Cronkite has become the bearer of bad news. Once again, his reportage focuses heavily on the death of someone so young and so vital… someone who had said so much of importance… and still needed to say so much more.

Dr. Martin Luther King had been slaughtered, silenced… cut down in his prime… by an assassin’s bullet.

I’m stunned and saddened… those identical, sinking, heavy heart, Dallas magnitude feelings now resurfacing. I had so hoped that in the five years since November 22, 1963, that America had changed… well… at least a little? But knowing that it hadn’t was sickening me far, Far, FAR more than any of my cold’s worst symptoms.

Dr. King must have already seen the sickening writing on the wall… his final speech best described as prophetic…

Senator Bobby Kennedy, a 1968 presidential candidate, delivered his from the heart speech (note how he doesn’t rely on his notes)… deemed to be his finest, ever, oratory. He also gets credited with preventing riots in Indianapolis. Many other cities… nationwide… could not make such a claim.

So, why do I, a Caucasian, feel so strongly about Dr. King? Mainly because I’m a caring, compassionate, colorblind human being.

Beyond that, I do know that poverty, too, is colorblind. I could readily identify with King’s fight to help hardworking, struggling, impoverished Americans achieve The Dream he had spoken of. After all, if there was one thing my eye witnessing my own, low income, schoolteacher parents had taught me, it was that our family of four was unduly burdened by our barely scraping by lifestyle.

To this very day, I can still vividly recall handing over seven, one dollar bills to my Dad… several years worth of my hoarded allowance money, which he had given to me… just so we could put some food on our dinner table that evening. Oh, how my hand-me-down clothing’s patches always had patches. Oh, how I remember our slumlord’s coal fired furnace that could’ve easily carbon monoxide gassed us all to death.

I could never forget (and still can never forget) all the bullies at school, who had verbally and physically assaulted me… even spitting in my face. I now ask… in some small sense… had I not had my own bitter taste as to what it was like to be singled out… profiled… discriminated against… by oppressors?

And while Dr. King’s fight was focused upon helping African-Americans, I believed his spiritual and practical messages to be universal. If ever taken to heart by the elected powers-that-be, that would’ve certainly made my own family’s life… indeed, every impoverished family’s life… better too.

Fast forwarding to more contemporary times… while it’s true it took far, Far, FAR too many decades… no, strike that… centuries in arriving, America did wind up electing and reelecting Barack Obama as our 44th president. In my mind, this was a gleaming ray of hope that We The People were finally turning our backs on our nation’s racist past. And I’ve never been more proud to say that I had had a small part in making that a reality… by my voting for that intelligent, insightful, righteous man both in 2008 and 2012.

But now? Regrettably, America is being gutted by #45, who sucks up to both the KKK and Nazis… who takes sides with racist cops who profile and mow down innocent blacks… who lambastes pro football quarterback Colin Kaepernick who has frequently, justifiably and peaceably protested such police brutality and racial inequality by harmlessly taking a knee during the pregame playing of America’s National Anthem. Which raises the question…

Will this now ongoing, Trumpian nightmare obliterate Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream?

That’ll depend upon whether or not Democrats can regain Congressional majorities this coming November.

 

 

Yelling “Fire” In & Opening Fire On a Crowded Theater

 

Let’s talk Constitutional Amendments… starting with the 1st, which states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

To flesh out those above “talking points” a bit…

America’s Founding Fathers had known democracy and theocracy could never coexist… that freedom of religion must also be inclusive of freedom FROM religion. As for civil disobedience / political protest, they not only had viewed citizens calling out errant leadership as the height of patriotism, but they also recognized how such demonstrations do act as a societal safety valve / a preventative of revolutionary wars… especially when responsive, responsible leadership takes constructive criticism to heart and then rectifies the problem(s)¹.

They had also understood how freedom of the spoken / published word (and more recently the blogged word, too) could never be an anything goes proposition. In other words…

The 1st Amendment’s right to free speech was never intended to permit anyone to yell out “FIRE!” in a crowded theater… especially where and when no such conflagration exists. In other words, to get one’s jollies by victimizing innocent people… by maiming and murdering them… was never meant to be a protected, Constitutional right².

Let’s move along now to the 2nd Amendment, which states:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Once again, to flesh out that above “talking point” a bit…

America’s Founding Fathers would’ve never equated “A well regulated Militia” with the present-day, too few rules and regs, gun sick society which the National Rifle Association has spawned… i.e., the bullets flying, blood splattered, pop-up, anytime / anywhere domestic war-zone.

They would’ve been appalled by the NRA’s hardliner sociopaths, who absolutely refuse to accept even minimal, common sense laws such as bans on military grade automatic weapons, raising the age for gun ownership and… last but not least… background checks to ensure weaponry is not falling into the hands of the criminals and the criminally insane.

The 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms was never intended to grant carte blanche to gun nuts… i.e., allow them to open fire in a crowded theater… or for that matter… anywhere else. In other words, to get one’s jollies by victimizing innocent people… by maiming and murdering them… was never meant to be a protected, Constitutional right.

Yet, essentially, is not that very scenario exactly what the NRA’s stone hearted, hardliners have been lobbying their political puppets to perpetuate?

Equally deplorable is their MO for routinely targeting and marginalizing all who oppose them… and far worse yet… how they’ve been ridiculing and showing little sympathy to the still in deep mourning survivors of the mass shooting at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Targeting, marginalizing and showing little sympathy to society. Hmmm… when you really thing about it… that not only describes the overall attitude of the NRA but also each and every mass murderer who has ever open fired on innocents… the next mass murderers who will (someday soon) open fire once again.
 

Footnotes:

¹Such concepts are totally foreign to the present-day, unenlightened, Oval Office occupant.

²Hate speech must never be protected, either. It not only kills the human spirit and dignity of its targeted victims, but also incites the oft deadly, accompanying physical violence inflicted by lynch mobs.

 

 

The Last (Pancake) Supper

 

Fifteen March Twenty-Seconds ago, upon punching my timecard’s final out slot, I found myself navigating through the mercifully short, 15 minute, p.m. commute. I was feeling all tuckered out…my exhaustion caused not so much by my paid labors but, instead, due to my having taken on responsibilities as a caregiver… my teaming up with paid, home care professionals… our mutual goal being to assist in my nearly nonagenarian Mom’s recovery from a recent heart attack… to nurse her through an ever-growing, myriad of other age related complications, as well.

As was customary during that (now) bygone era, upon greeting Mom, I was once again sitting at her sickbed, our telling one another all about our days… as well as reminiscing about the good old days. It was while chatting, attempting to cheer her up that I started experiencing… well… it was sort of a feeling of deja vu. I say, ‘sort of” because a role reversal of sorts was involved.

You see, it had been my caregiver Mom who, decades earlier, used to sit bedside… chatting to cheer me up as I weathered the countless childhood storms… i.e., the emotional turmoil of being relentlessly, verbally and physically assaulted by elementary, junior high and high school bullies… i.e., the physical illnesses, which ran the full gamut from colds/flu, measles, mumps, chickenpox to my more serious, post-op convalescence following my tonsillectomy.

Of course, no recollections of those times would ever be complete without mention of my Mom’s favorite, surefire home-remedy / cure all… i.e., her made from scratch pancakes saturated with maple syrup.

Fortunately, I had never succumbed to that “macho” notion that “real men” don’t cook… so I not only knew our “secret” family recipe but, thanks to Mom’s OJT, I also had plenty of work experience in preparing them.

So, the more we talked… the more I realized Mom had always selflessly and tirelessly stood in my corner throughout my life… the less fatigue I was feeling. And the more I wanted to repay her for all of her past moral support. Oh, you should’ve seen the smile on her face when, clear out of the blue, I said, “Mom, I’m heading for the kitchen to prepare a pancake supper for the two of us.” Within an hour, we were sitting down at our dining room table and savoring the delectable, finished product.

I am so glad that Mom and I had shared our special meal together, for a mere two days later, she wound up breaking her leg. Nine days after that, after being admitted to a nursing home, a post surgical complication… pneumonia… set in with a vengeance and after that?

Well, exactly one month after our pancake supper, I was delivering Mom’s eulogy.

Mere hours ago, on this very night, I headed to the exact same kitchen to prepare a new batch of pancakes. Later, as I sat down at the exact same dining room table I raised my coffee cup and sent my words to the heavens…

“Mom, this fifteenth anniversary memorial pancake supper is to honor you and keep your memory alive. I shall love you forever, with all my heart.”

I should also mention that, set before me (us?) was the exact same, saved syrup bottle that both Mom and I had poured from on this very night, 15 years ago. A bottle once filled with sweet maple syrup, but now empty… no strike that. It is still filled with the bittersweet memories of the last pancake supper Mom and I had ever enjoyed together in this Earthly realm.

About all I could possibly add, here, is that since we can never really know if the last time we see one another will be the last time, we need to always act accordingly.

 

Hush Money & Blank Checks

Neither Donald Trump’s (alleged*) extramarital hookup with porn star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) nor the (allegedly*) $130,000 political hush money coughed up to silence her seems to faze the run-of-the-mill, Evangelical Christian who has lost his / her moral compass. Nope, not as much as an ounce of outrage… as one would expect from any holy roller worth his / her salt.

I mean… where the hell is the litany of fire and brimstone sermons heavily referencing Biblical passages… oh… say… Sodom and Gomorrah… pillars of salt… etc.?

Well, it would seem that, in contemporary times, Evangelicals are not looking back… not looking down their noses… not looking anywhere else but up to their bad boy Donny. These… uh… well… let’s just refer to them as lowercase “c” christians… harbor an atypical, attitudinal mashup… an unorthodox mix of laissez-faire and beating around the bush.

To better illustrate how they’ve been rationalizing and equivocating about something that’s unambiguously wrong, check out this FOX “News” softball interview where Pastor Robert Jeffress tiptoed through the theological and political minefield, thusly…

“Evangelicals still believe in the commandment: Thou shalt not have sex with a porn star. However, whether this president violated that commandment or not is totally irrelevant to our support of him. Evangelicals knew they weren’t voting for an altar boy when they voted for Donald Trump. We supported him because of his policies and his strong leadership.”

Hmmm… I’ll refrain from digressing, extensively, by setting aside the pastor’s whopper about “strong leadership”.

Since it’s been more than half a century since the last time I counted myself among the devout, churchgoing Catholics, forgive me if I’m a bit rusty, here, but… oh… what the hell… I’ll give it a go anyway.

While Alex Pope’s “To err is human to forgive divine” is a core tenet of many a religion… I do seem to recall that any granting of absolution is provisional. The prerequisite, here, is that the sinner, with all his heart, must desire to mend his wicked ways, vow to never sin like that again and, working towards those goals, be actively seeking spiritual guidance.

Yet, to my knowledge, Pastor Jeffress has neither mentioned that Trump is remorseful and ISO such advice nor has that holy roller (who must have a hole in his head) ever mentioned he is currently (or soon will be) helping to extricate and elevate the so-called prez from his dens of iniquity / amoral abysses.

To sum everything up… I am not a father, either theological or biological, but, nevertheless, I will still offer some fatherly advice to Pastor Jeffress.

1. Never forget that your BFF, the thrice wed, twice divorced so-called prez, neither respects womankind nor views marriage to be the sacrament it is. Marital infidelity is his MO. And, if he cannot remain faithful to poor Melania, there will come a day where he will not remain a faithful servant to Evangelicals.

2. It is also conceivable… and staying totally within his vast range of character flaws… for that misogynist to selfishly think only about his own pleasure. Consequently he would abdicate and delegate all responsibility for birth control usage to his conquests.

3. Remaining mindful of all the above… any cad who’d think nothing about hauling out his checkbook to cover up his tawdry affair… will someday… if he hasn’t already done so… also think nothing about cutting a check to foot the bill for an abortion… perhaps more than one.

Hmmm… considering how you Evangelicals have a zero tolerance for all abortion… were it ever proven your bad boy Donny was ever a party to that…

Would you still cut that bad ass a blank check?

 

 

* Just to stay in CYA mode