Michael / Marty B. Goode

Mention the name Michael J. Fox and (at the very least) two particularly memorable acting roles will instantly come to mind… namely… the big screen’s, Back to the Future, time-tripper Marty McFly and the small screen’s Family Ties, right-winger Alex P. Keaton.

As for that latter character, we’re talking about every aging hippie’s, where-did-I-go-wrong, parental-concerns-come-true. Imagine how disillusioned the Sixties, Woodstock era, flower children, liberals Steven and Elyse Keaton must’ve felt upon discovering how their Eighties era, politically rebellious son, Alex, is aspiring to be a materialistic, arch conservative Reaganite WHEN… correction… IF he grows up? YIKES!

Even so, the politically conservative Alex did have his socially redeeming qualities. Neither he nor his parents and siblings were ever conservative with their genuine love for each other… love, which could easily bridge the political divide.

Contrast that with today’s families. Let’s call them Families UnTied. Here’s where we find America’s party planners wringing their hands while tying to figure out “safe” holiday, dinner table seating charts. You know… just to [1] keep their invited, politically polarized family members (and friends, too) at arm’s length and [2] prevent them all from engaging in altercations that’d be far worse than a food fight. Long sigh…

On a much happier note… let’s turn our attention to another of Fox’s particularly memorable ventures into the entertainment world spotlight. In our blog topper video clip… he’s the honored, guest guitarist at a Coldplay concert… cast in the dual role of playing himself and reprising his Back to the Future character. Both Michael and Marty… get to stand center stage, play to their heart’s content, wow their adoring fans by really making that ol’ electric ax sing.

Obviously it’s heartwarming to see Fox being able to momentarily forget about life’s troubles for awhile. However, we must not forget the stark realities, too.

As most of us already know, this Coldplay concert venue was… still is… especially noteworthy… seeing how… since 1991… Fox has been courageously, fiercely rebelling against Parkinson’s Disease. Of course, as to be expected, there have been health setbacks, too. But Michael J. Fox is a courageous man who still has dreams of the day where medical science will come up with either a cure for Parkinson’s or, at the very least, find medicines / therapies to better keep it in check.

Working towards materializing his dream… towards getting back to a happy future, Fox has been going the activism route to put a public face on Parkinson’s… even appearing before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee back in 1999. From his first book, Lucky Man, author Fox elaborates on resorting to whatever it would take to win over conservative poliiticians’ hearts… that is… if politicians… in every negative connotation of that “P-word”… even have hearts. Said Fox…

I had made a deliberate choice to appear before the subcommittee without medication. It seemed to me that this occasion demanded that my testimony about the effects of the disease, and the urgency we as a community were feeling, be seen as well as heard. For people who had never observed me in this kind of shape, the transformation must have been startling.

Regrettably, what should’ve been Fox’s eye and government purse opening tactics hadn’t sufficiently startled the science hating, conservative politicians… neither back then nor now. Indeed, twenty years later these critically flawed lawmakers still see nothing wrong with sadistically taking their budgetary ax to nearly all medical research.

The very entities who are supposed to selflessly represent their bosses… the very voters who elect them… are selfishly lavishing tax breaks upon themselves / feathering their own nests, instead. Their fallacious feelings of self-importance… their ME ME ME vs. WE WE WE ‘tude is what’s upstaging Michael J. Fox and every other person in desperate need of help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cathedral Bells Toll For A More Equitable World

During this very month of August, back in 1619, two slave ships transported more than 30 African women and men from the area now known as Angola. Once they arrived in North America, they were promptly sold into servitude when bereft of conscience, English colonists paid for them with food and supplies.

On this very Sunday at 3:00 p.m. EDT, Washington National Cathedral’s Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith plans to ring their 12-ton Bourdon Funeral Bell. Said he…

“400 years after the first slaves were brought to this continent against their will, we ring it to both honor and recognize their strength in the face of injustice and dehumanization, and to work toward a better, more just and more equitable world moving forward.”

From my perspective, I deem it necessary to expand this memorial… to honor… to never forget… the estimated 600,000 more slaves who followed them… as well as the the 37+ Million African-Americans who, even today, in ways both subtle and flagrant, have never been, truly, fully liberated… have never, actually, achieved racial parity.

Other American houses of worship, nationwide, also plan to ring their bells today… and as my local NPR radio affiliate reports… some of them plan to extend Rev. Hollerith’s duration from one minute to four. In other words…

1 minute = 100 years / 4 minutes = 400 years

On a technical note: The above video’s total time = 19:28. That breaks down in this manner…

0:00 thru 4:02 = bells / 4:02 to 15:25 = songs / 15:25 thru 19:28 = more bells (4 more minutes)

How long you choose to listen and meditate is a decision I totally leave up to you. I am posting this video some two hours earlier than the 3:00 p.m. designated start time because I know it will take time for folks to find my site.

My parting sentiment…

The denial of human dignity, freedom and equality was… still is… and shall forever be a crime against humanity.

 

 

 

Parmalee’s Performance: Par Excellence! (Sunday Song)

Fast Facts:

Program: Sunday Song Series
Episode: Week #50
Recording Artists: Parmalee
Selection Title: Sunday Morning
Genre: Country
Trivia: This is this Series’ 9th Sunday a.m. song title
Recommendation: Playback and unwind
Sunday Songs Archive: access @ site category “1-SundaySongSeries”
Invitation: Please return for another Sunday Song… seven days from now…

 

 

My Brother’s Keeper

 

FULL DISCLOSURE: My being only a casual reader of the Bible, I’ve never deemed it a page turner worthy of a cover to cover read. Admittedly, my interpretations of scripture can stray unto paths less “traveled” by the major league, professional theologians.

Nevertheless… hopefully… you and I can still lace up our athletic footwear and… upon tying all of the required double knots… go for a walk through life. I think you’ll find our journey enjoyable be the road you’re upon secular, devout or somewhere in the middle. So… are you with me?

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” is rooted to the Biblical Story of two brothers… Cain and Abel… that very question attributable to the fratricidal sociopath, Cain, who uttered those words to God with a haughtiness and hostility that… well…

Let’s just say that had this involved a vengeful, small “g” god… such a deplorable attitude would’ve invited… at the very least… one hurled lightning bolt. Indeed, could we not envision such a PO’d deity gleefully training his glowering, evil eye’s “crosshairs” on “home plate”, winding up his throwing arm and delivering the perfect, strike-three-and-your out “pitch”? ZAP! Cain’s miserable hide reduced to a pile of smoldering ashes?

To help bring this “brother’s keeper” issue into better focus, let’s apply it to a more contemporary setting. It’s regrettable, but true, that we are facing down what has become our “What’s in it for me” society, where we’re discovering way too many individuals who… either unwittingly or willfully… are unleashing Cain’s arrogance and aggression.

Whatever happened to that sense of obligation to humanity? That eagerness to look out for the well-being of one another? That desire to keep each other out of harm’s way?

When we really think about it, aren’t nearly all of us living examples of how humanity’s very survival depends upon these vital to life, unifying attitudes? I know I’ve benefited from them. Indeed, when I had least expected it, one selfless soul had rushed to my rescue.

This all gets backdated to my early childhood, when I first met Danny. His being one year older hadn’t gotten in the way of our becoming best friends. Being next door neighbors, too, meant we could spend countless hours of quality playtime together. In essence, he had become my big brother, I, his little brother.

Of course, once my family had moved out of the neighborhood, everything changed… and not always for the better. You see, in the meantime… or maybe I should rephrase that to say… IN THE MEAN TIME… a handful of my public school system’s bullies were having a grand old time sadistically and mercilessly targeting me with their verbal abuse and physical assaults. They had totally demolished my sense of self-esteem… had literally driven me into abject, social isolation… demoralized me to the point where my already infrequent returns to my (one mile distant) old stomping grounds (to visit Danny) soon became non-existent. Had these bullies severed our brotherly bond, too? Only time would tell…

As one would expect, the passage of time didn’t diminish my tormentors “visits” with me. One day, with my streaming tears further fueling their viciousness and uproarious laughter… just as I was feeling that I could not possibly take it any longer… a raised authoritative, familiar voice began sternly ordering them all to stand down. Nope, it wasn’t the school principal or even a teacher taking charge.

It was none other than Danny!

Factoring in my distraught state of mind and my blurred with tears vision, I had almost deemed him a too-good-to-be-true apparition. I don’t know where he had found such bravery. His being outnumbered FOUR to ONE, I seriously doubt he could’ve stood his / my ground, had this actually come down to physical blows. Indeed, mere moments later, both Danny and I were saved by the bell… the ringing school bell… that had sent us all hurriedly scurrying off to our designated classrooms.

My biggest regret has always been how I had neglected to thank Danny, my big brother on two levels. For his [1] I’ve got your six schoolhouse corridor intervention and [2] imparting upon his little brother… by example, not by intent… his “I’m my brother’s keeper” sensibilities.

To keep all of this real… I do know there’s very little chance that Danny will ever read these words. In fact, he may no longer even be amongst the living. Even so, I’ll say this anyway…

My eternal gratitude to you, Daniel H.
Last known locale: Bremerton, Washington

 

 

 

 

Don’t Let A Clogged Drain Drain Your Wallet

 

Seeing how it’s been eight long years since I last hired a plumber to snake my kitchen sink’s drainpipe, it was no surprise that, as of late, it’s been a bit slow in getting the job done. I was just about to place a phone call for help when something totally unexpected went down.

On the night prior to my recycling day, I had prepped an almost empty shampoo bottle by rinsing it out / draining the sudsy contents into that very kitchen sink. By the next morning, I noticed a dramatic drainage improvement.

Hmm… methinks my shampoo brand is fully capable of doing double duty as a pipe cleaner.

Since I do wish to avoid angry blog comments, allow me to downplay my qualifications and qualify my claim. When it comes down to rating other shampoo brands’ pipe cleaning worthiness… I’m no expert… I just play one on the Interwebs. That duly noted, I do suspect that if your shampoo’s formula involves any oil based products you’d be more apt to clog rather than clear a drain. In other words… under those circumstances…

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Anyway… seeing how my merely rinsing out a nearly empty bottle has worked wonders, I now plan to deliberately drizzle a few cents worth of my shampoo down that drain. Comparing that cost to a steep plumber’s bill, I’ll be, at least, $100 ahead.

 

Hmm… what would he have wanted on his tombstone?

 

We must come up with a suitable epitaph for the world’s 11th-richest person, who had amassed a hefty $50.5 billion prior to “buying the farm” earlier today. Seeing how… far too frequently… he had prioritized the political right over the principled right… check this out…

 

David Hamilton Koch

Born: May 3, 1940
Died: August 23, 2019

He couldn’t take it with him,
But that’s just as well,
C-Notes ain’t fireproof,
They’d have burnt up in Hell!

 

 

 

 

 

Now’s Not the Time to Kiss and Make-Up!

As one who still reads about current events in the newsprint and ink format, I’m well aware of the glut of slick, glossy, advertising circulars that get crammed in after the Classifieds Section… inclusive of those promulgated by the huckster of health and beauty aids products… ULTA.

When such attractive ads are taken at face value… one would tend to believe such a beauty conscious corporation would be run by folks with beautiful consciences, too? Yes? No?

Well, if the allegations are proven true, that would mean that ULTA…as of late… has been engaging in the medically / microbially unsound business practice of selling USED make-up. USED MAKE-UP!

Think of the reader chorus of EEEEWWWWWWWWs that has just occurred! And, most assuredly, I would encourage women, who now worry that their health and well-being may’ve been needlessly endangered, to check out their options at TopClassActions.

Let’s move on to the deeper than skin deep issues. While, intrinsically, the desire to look one’s best is not a bad thing….

In this purportedly liberated, new millennium, why must anyone permit youth obsessed Hollywood, Madison Avenue and ULTA their narrow definition of female attractiveness? Ironically, such an outmoded mindset oft gets perpetrated and perpetuated by a slew of fantasizing, male porkers whose own faces could rarely, if ever, be described as anything even remotely beautiful and youthful.

Speaking from this liberated guy’s perspective… as unfair as this actually is… most men never feel compelled to use similar cosmetics because society accepts our appearance no matter how old we look. Or… to clever up this post just a tad…

We live in a world that accepts males even after our mugs cease to resemble The Picture of Dorian Gray while the paint was still wet. BTW… my kudos to Oscar Wilde for his inspirational, imaginative literary work of the same name.

But to get back to the unbecoming buisness model of allegedly selling USED, UNSAFE products, let’s consider the slew of nasty diseases out there. To be merciful, let’s limit this to a rundown of just one…

What if ULTA were to resell returned lipsticks, which have been infected with Herpes? Just how attractive / alluring would the new owners’ lips look once that nasty, chronic disease’s symptoms appear?

Such nightmarish scenarios will be ours so long as we elevate unscrupulous leaders who deregulate their anything-for-a-buck, corrupt CEO cronies.

Indeed, this already is a business trend that consumers… ULTA et al… will be facing down when nobody with ethics is minding the store.

 

 

The Very First Time I Felt Like a Father

 

Whenever my destinations involve malls, cineplexes, supermarkets, etc…. rain or shine… my car usually winds up in the parking lot periphery to [1] avoid dings and dents on fenders / doors, [2] force myself to get a bit of exercise and [3] ensure that, upon exiting my parking space, my automatic transmission can be shifted into D rather than R.

You see, some automotive “genius” had thoughtlessly designed my car’s rear end to stick up so high in the air that it’s nearly impossible for a backing up driver to always see short in stature passersby.

With that in mind, what now follows is my parking lot, pedestrian safety related tale… a narrative with both an unexpected twist and a far deeper message…

Not too long ago… as I was hoofing it inward bound to a Whole Foods market… while still too distant to rush to the rescue… I spotted / heard an exuberant little boy… probably no more than a four-year-old… who was rushing straight into the path of an oncoming SUV.

The distracted driver had totally missed seeing the stop sign and just kept on carelessly barreling down the service drive, which ran past the storefront. Noticing, too, who I assumed to be the tyke’s (also distracted) mommy, I did all I could possibly do under the circumstances. In my last ditch attempt to attract her attention… maybe even the boy’s, too… I yelled as loudly as I could, “WATCH OUT!” Suddenly looking up to see the impending disaster, she rushed towards her son and snatched him out of harm’s way… just in the nick of time!

As I did my grocery shopping that afternoon, I realized I would’ve reacted in the same manner regardless of the imperiled person’s age… but… that this had involved someone so young… well everything began to register on a personal level I had never even considered before.

During my entire life as a non-parent (sixty plus years)… this was the very first time that I had truly felt like a father. Having helped prevent a youngster’s serious injury… maybe even saving his life… only served to prove how the parental instinct is programmed into us all.

And that’s why I now make my heartfelt appeal to my countrywomen and men, who presently misdirect their parental instinct to protect a 73 year-old man-child rather than the immigrant children he bullies and abuses.

Looking out for the well-being of children upstages / upends politics! Hell, it even transcends religion. We are talking about pure, parental instinct, here. And, as my above story amply points out, one need not even be an actual parent to feel these feelings.

All I can say is if… at the “mere” thought of wailing, sobbing, crying immigrant children… you cannot feel the anguish in your heart… well… humanity just might be heading towards a metaphorical, group cardiac arrest.

A cynic might even begin to wonder if “the patient” is even worth saving. Let’s hope that such world-weariness won’t impede a sorely needed, long overdue, full, societal recovery.

 

 

 

“Mr. Worf… Fire!”

There are select Star Trek TV episodes that I will always re-watch… even though I’ve totally lost count of how many times I’ve previously seen them.

I know… I know… were Mr. Spock present, he would certainly point out…

“That’s totally illogical. You already know… by heart… these entire story-lines and their happy endings, too. You’ve gotten to the point where you can even blurt out character lines… oft verbatim… oft even in sync.”

At that point, I’d counter with…

“So… I’m an actor wannabe! So… I know their / “my” lines… what’s wrong with any of that? Besides, were not happy endings normally foregone conclusions even when these episodes were first run?”

But to set all debating aside…

Earlier, on Wednesday evening…. courtesy of the H & I (Heroes & Icons) Network… I got to relive Star Trek TNG’s 3rd season ending cliffhanger… The Best of Both Worlds (Part One). I courageously boarded Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s Enterprise 1701-D to help my crew mates engage and conquer the Borg… i.e., save humanity from assimilation / being reduced to mere automatons / drones.

BACKSTORY: Back in the day of home-taped VHS cassettes… I had tons of fun seamlessly, selectively editing into The Best of Both Worlds (Part Two), the Battle of Wolf 359 scene footage (culled from the debut episode of Star Trek Deep Space 9).

But, to get back to my main topic…

Never has there ever been a finer example of Sci-Fi screenplay writing and episode scheduling. After all, with Part One originally airing on June 18, 1990 and Part Two on September 24, 1990, we, the TNG geeks wound up anxiously waiting to discover whether the Federation or the Borg had prevailed. True, we were already expecting a happy ending… but there was still one unanswered  Q: Would it take one episode or more to achieve plot closure? Hell… the writers could’ve easily transformed this Man vs. Machine conflict into an entire season… and I think their opting out from that was a mistake.

Even though Part Two’s airing is tomorrow night… 19 hours and 30 minutes from my posting time… the wait will still feel much longer. Even so… as it was in the Distant Past… I can still feel the anticipation in the Here & Now! Thanks H & I!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A (Shared?) Healthy Core Belief (1 Quick Limerick #092)

 

Whether we’re centrist or left or right polar,
Be our views secular or holy roller,
We know there’s NO real excuse,
For Donald Trump’s child abuse,
Enforced by ICE and each border patroller.