Glad To Own These Glad Rags

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This past Tuesday, May 18th, Jenn White’s NPR program, 1A, atypically focused upon apolitical content. An associate of hers will fill in a few more details:

“After a year of referring to jeans as ‘hard pants,’ it’s safe to say that living through a pandemic has changed our relationships with our wardrobes. But just because our more festive garb has gone unloved for 14 months doesn’t mean our clothes don’t matter — to ourselves and to the rest of our world. This idea — we are what we wear — is the inspiration behind Emily Spivack’s “Worn Stories.” It’s an archival project, turned book, turned Netflix miniseries that offers vignettes into people’s lives by way of their clothing.” [Read More Here]

Kathryn Fink

Initially, this Doubting Thomas chuckled while wondering, do we really have ‘relationships with our wardrobes’, i.e., beyond the squeaky clean, mechanical, wear-wash-rinse-spin-dry cycles?

Well, no sooner had my laughter and cynicism waned than my own “Worn Stories” began to play out; a few, perhaps, even worthy of author Spivack’s consideration? I dunno. One thing for sure, I had no farther to look for proof than mere inches above my eyes; namely…

The baseball cap my sister had given to me back in 2004; shortly after she picked me up at LAX. That event signified the onset of my 3 week fun vacay with 3 goals; [1] attend a family reunion of two, [2] celebrate a milestone birthday and [3] allay my yearlong grief (I’ll elaborate by blog’s end). Months in advance, my sibling / tour guide had planned our sightseeing destinations; i.e., the greater Los Angeles area’s “hidden in plane sight” natural and historical wonders, most of which other tourists rarely, if ever, get to see. By the time I had to fly back to Michigan, well, I didn’t wanna go. Not when my Golden State vacay had proven the gold standard of adventure.

There are three more “Worn Stories”, to relate, too.

My brown plaid wool jacket still reminds me of the waning days of the summer of ’72; when both my public school teacher father and I had journeyed to the neighboring “big city” ISO back to school fall apparel; our actual try-on sessions becoming secondary once we got a better sense of this shared quality time and how September would be heralding my transition from high school senior to college freshman. And, it was two decades after that, when my seamstress mother’s repairs / restorations had extended its wearability; to such an extent, this outerwear still serves me well nearly half a century later; especially as my go to, late fall / early spring garb.

My bright blue Gap® Pocket-T still looks nearly retail selling floor new, mainly, because I wound up only wearing it when posing for my annual birthday photos (throughout the Nineties and early Aughts); all snapped by my shutterbug mother, who knew how, typically, blue hues help folks look their best. In her younger days, she had spent so much time in the dark room that, career wise, she could’ve traveled a far more intriguing, artistic path.

My short sleeve polo, too, is still in its prime, mainly due to its early retirement following a 22 hour long vigil. It’d been just prior to speeding off to my mom’s nursing home bedside, when I had paused, momentarily, to choose this top’s color. It’d been down to black v. green; my opting for the latter in hopes I might, somehow, cheer mom up; maybe enough, so, in defiance of her physician’s grim prognostication, she’d manage to rally one more time? Alas, that was not to be. In the end, my mother had escaped Earth to enter Eternity. To this very day, it’s my belief that what had finally “won her over” to The Other Side had been her getting a glimpse of the behind Heaven’s Gates reunion, all in her honor: all courtesy of her loving family and friends who’d gone before her.

And so, I ask once more…

Do we really have ‘relationships with our wardrobes’, i.e., beyond the squeaky clean, mechanical, wear-wash-rinse-spin-dry cycles?

In a heartbeat, thanks to author Emily Spivack, I can now answer that with an unequivocal, vocal YES!

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Pandemic Elegy

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Oh, the high hopes I had had for humanity
That Corona-V’s “lessons”, could usher in sanity

Yet, the chronic infirmities; confirmed grim fatalities
Failed to touch every heart; teach all righteous realities

The food insecure; the ailing uncured folks, rife
Cannot claim birthright to the long and good life

So, society still stagnates; suffers abundance of denseness
The trigger happy oft spawn, sheer sorrow’s immenseness

Be breaking news gun nuts, civilian or cop
There’s no way in Hell, they ever can stop

When warlords gleefully slay, each new conflict’s white dove
Ditto couplet’s conclusion; mentioned above

Greed for green and green envy; both too frequently meet
At the crash prone intersection; namely Main and Wall Street

Then there’s the myopic, moronic throne sitter asses
Who flat-out refuse to reduce greenhouse gasses

The rightwing’s science deniers pooh-pooh Covid infection
And their spin doctors downplay their Jan. 6th insurrection

In our world, infamy glutted / gutted by inanity
Corona V’s lessons could not lessen insanity

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Limer-ICK! (1 Quick Limerick #105)

The Fascist is hell-bent on human rights harmin’
His brown nosers act-out in freak show, alarmin’
Their mouths drool praise for Sir Grump,
Slick puckered lips smooch his rump?
And cheeky tongues morph into surrogate Charmin™?

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Shaving Face

The following “transcript” represents yesterday’s, late afternoon, barbering-before-the-bathroom-mirror-musings; just prior to my unavoidably setting foot into our Covid-19 ravaged world…

When taken at face value, for most coming of age males, facial hair management is little more than a “Hey everybody’s doin’ it.” societal custom. Believe me, from the very moment that ol’ razor makes first contact, a boy really starts to feel manly.

Of course, be we meticulous shavers or low-maintenance follicle sculptors, many of us can relate at least one hair- related (hair-raising?) anecdote.

For instance, my bygone public school system’s totalitarian administrators totally nailed their mandatory shaving manifesto to our schoolhouse front door; that grooming code not stopping at students. Yep, one conservative curmudgeon / bible thumper / school board member (who also just happened to run our town’s barbershop), actually wanted to fire our bearded, affable art instructor, T.J. (who had refused to comply).

I swear to God this IS true! That holy roller / capitalist’s contention had been (words to the effect)…

His amorous female students will fantasize about his facial hair tickling them.

Let’s refer to Mr. Conflict of Interest by his initials J.C.
(far, Far, FAR from the bearded one; i.e., Jesus Christ)

Setting aside that above aside, let’s scrutinize the motivation behind shaving, in general. Methinks something far more telling is afoot. But, is this (forgive the wordplay) an outgrowth of Practicality? Inadequacy? Denial? Hygiene? Opportunism? Or, some permutation, thereof?

Fleshing that out…

  • Practicality: Hey, few fellas enjoy “filtering” food (especially soup) thru a mustache.
  • Inadequacy: Let’s face it, guys feel bummed out when beards look uneven/scraggly.
  • Denial: Re this Psych 101 issue, some guys OBSESSIVELY cling to bygone boyhood.
  • Hygiene: Pandemic / pubic health concerns oft unearth beard / mask incompatibility.
  • Opportunism: Capitalism has manufactured an entire industry around facial follicles.

Personally, I’ve always found my own beard to be a force to be reckoned with. Based upon the late, great stand-up comedian, actor, social critic and author George Carlin’s Hair Poem / Beard Poem, I’m sure he’d concur with this man’s Follicle Manifesto when I proclaim, “Live and let live!”, “Let yer Freak Flag fly!” and “Let the damned thing do its own thing!”

Of course, such philosophizing, of late, has not been tenable.

The pandemic (rife with its own end of the world implications) has changed everything. To properly mask up, I’ve had to lose 99% of my end of the world beard, which, way back in February 2020, had dipped far below my sternum. Oh, the irony!

The hair-raising Corona-V disaster, notwithstanding, throughout my entire adult life, I’ve drawn the line at what my mustache does. My being a soup connoisseur demands it!

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Father Gander?

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Dedicated to you, this word parking lot
Be you asphalt layer or launched astronaut
An on the lam lion or lamb that’s fear fraught
The well-heeled Rhodes scholar or frugal self-taught

If silly verse is what you’ve sought
Some frills, fluff, piffling afterthought
Check out this poem; it’s good for naught
Kin to “hey diddle diddle” diddly-squat

Life oft leaves us overwrought,
Both disappointed and distraught
Some reel unglued; some feel real taut
Be you cut loose flailing or spider web caught

This tossed word salad; an awful onslaught
Is this vegitable’s veggies; so fraught with rot
I’ve dogged you with doggerel; you’ve freely bought
A jug full of malarkey; far far from juggernaut

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
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Stay Healthy!

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To Don or Doff; that is the Question?

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Of late, as the vaccine “have” nations have just begun to protect their populaces, an impatience has been (shall we say?) germinating / incubating. Yep, immature folks have been demanding the relaxation of pandemic mitigating protocols; chomping at the bit to eschew (chew off?) their pandemic masks.

While modest gains have been cause for celebration, pragmatists (I among them) regard such a course of action to be too much, too soon.

More to the point, for reasons I shall never understand at all, throughout the pandemic, mask wearing has been so hyper politicized / ostracized, its as if facial coverings brand wearers as what? Some sort of wusses?

Far be it from me to rain on anybody’s way too early VCV-Day (Victory over Corona-V) parade, but…

Even as I type / you read these words, it is still conceivable that epidemiologists have yet to discover the full range of dirty tricks, which that filthy pathogen still has well hidden up its figurative sleeve. My gawd, the experts did not brand Corona-V “novel” just for the “fun” of it. And, lest we forget, until late 2020 / early 2021, Covid-19 variants had been unheard of.

Little doubt, these same experts (and critical thinking laypersons, too), at present, are all wondering:

  • Just how long will present day vaccines continue to protect the public?
  • Might anti vaxxer movements / vaccine hesitancy thwart herd immunity?
  • What impact will vaccine “have not” nations have on the “have” nations?
  • What if there are yet to be born microbial cousins; e.g., Covid-21? 22? 23?

Should any of these concerns prove problematic, that’d mean our current pandemic woes are far from over; that that next “once every 100 years” pandemic could arrive significantly sooner.

Granted, such worries tend to sound rather iffy. Nevertheless, what does anyone have to lose by continuing to, bare minimum, social distance and mask up? Are not those who balk at doing something so simple to comply with the actual wusses here?

In other words, why piss away what little progress we have made, so far?

Look, as of my posting time, 3,385,901 (known) souls have already perished, worldwide (and still counting). Seeing how even one of those deaths has already been one too many, is it really too much to ask for everyone to continue playing it safe? After all, this pandemic can never truly be over until IT IS over.

On a more positive note, there is no denying that our masking up, this past fall/winter. did kick conventional influenza and rhinovirus ass; not to mention prevent aerial allergens and pollutants from entering (even damaging) our lungs / bodies.

Even in pre-pandemic times, many civilized, compassionate peoples throughout our world already respected one another sufficiently to mask up.

I headlined this post, To Don or Doff; that is the question? So, what is the answer?

Well… long sigh… the grown-ups “in the room” would not only automatically consider the former D-word the easiest, wisest, smartest possible, no-brainer solution to our pandemic woes, they’d also be sufficiently patient to allow the eventual arrival of actual, favorable conditions to settle the matter / answer the damned Q for us.

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Where Does Clyde “Enjoy the Go”?

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Trumper Republican Andrew Clyde, of late, has been doing double duty as both charlatan U.S. Congressman and authentic (Orwellian magnitude) American History revisionist. He recently weighed in… correction… pooh-poohed Donald J. Trump’s January 6, 2021 attempted coup d’état, thusly:

“There was an undisciplined mob, [but] to call it an insurrection in my opinion is a bold-faced lie. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall, showed people in an orderly fashion in between the stanchions and ropes taking pictures. If you didn’t know the footage was from January 6, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”

To borrow bold-faced liar (and poo-poo / doody head) Clyde’s own words…

Since when does “an undisciplined mob” constitute “a normal tourist visit”, hmm?

To briefly rehash reality…

Most sensible, peaceable, pro-democracy people, worldwide, perceive January 6th far more accurately than Clyde does. We had been eyewitness to the (then) President of the United States of America ordering his attack against the United States of America; emboldening his MAGA mad hatters to storm the U.S. Capitol; to do whatever it’d take to deep-six democracy / prevent legislators from performing their Constitutional (12th Amendment) stipulated duty to certify Joe Biden’s / Kamala Harris’ Electoral College victory.

Of course, Trump’s malignant narcissism did make it impossible for him to accept ballot box defeat; so much so, that he flat-out lied about widespread voter fraud; so much so, that he believed his own lie; so much so, that his devotees eagerly ate up whatever poop he fed them; so much so that, in defense of their indefensible prez and his fraudulent cause, they murdered and maimed; pillaged and looted; despoiled and soiled; so much so, that they even took dumps in the hallways; trampled and tracked their own feces throughout the premises.”

Soooooo… if Congressman Clyde actually believes that “a normal tourist visit” is inclusive of defecation and fecal smearing, what might his own personal life be like?

  • Is this U.S. House Rep. housebroken?
  • Would an outhouse outclass his digs?
  • What type of art hangs off his walls?
  • Does he gross out his house guests?
  • Just where does Clyde “enjoy the go”?

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What the Survey Sez

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Preface: Should any yesteryear Republicans ever read this post, know that, primarily, my beef is with today’s Trumpers, who have crashed your political party and dumped their own ideological dung into your punch bowl.

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Yesterday, I received a landline phone call from a Trumper conducting a survey. Instantly, it became obvious that he was seeking validation of his party’s know-no-bounds wretched ways; as well as hitting us up for contributions that’d ensure their cancerous message to the masses will continue to grow and metastasize. The particulars…

First off, came his ominous warning that our conversation was being recorded; which served as my cue to vent my disgust re all things Trumpian.

Next, came his queries, all deviously crafted to manipulate public opinion; to get our responses to conform to their unacceptable status quo. Any efforts to stray off their beaten path instantly triggered his repeated retort (words to the effect) “I’m sorry, I did not hear your response.” What he actually meant was, “I’m not sorry and don’t want to hear opinionated peeps, such as you.” All of which prompted my own query, “Are you a robot?”

Despite Da Man’s claim that (my characterization) he could fog up a dentist’s mirror held beneath his nostrils, he still flat-out refused to clear his foggy noggin long enough to interact with me. Any of my attempts to heighten his awareness re real world people problems had fallen on deaf ears.

With my frustration mounting, I actually hung up on him (three times); only to discover he was even impervious to my attempts to shoo him away. Yep, he was so self-absorbed that he just kept droning and deadpanning on and on; endlessly pouring out his Trump spiked Kool-Aid™, too!

Cutting to the chase, my having been caught off guard, I probably could’ve presented / defended the average Jane and Joe perspective a tad better. However, I will be better prepared if, someday, he or some other Trumper attempts to ever, again, party with… correction… party against this commoner. My response to such a survey…

I’m a true blue American, who flat out refuses to pony up one red cent to prop up your horse’s ass hero; namely, the narcissistic, fascistic, chronic liar, insufferable sore loser Trump. I’d NEVER be a party to your freak show party; inclusive of your suck up, sicko, MAGA mad hatters; ‘roid raging, militant, genocidal, bigoted storm trooper cops; gun nuts who morph houses of worship / schoolhouses into blood splattered, corpse strewn battlefields; your vigilantes, Klansmen, Nazis; misogynists, homophobes and sanctimonious bible thumpers; your brain dead, science and pandemic deniers, QAnon whack-a-doodles AND (saving the worst for last) your burn down America insurrectionists. Your warped Republican Party must absolutely, permanently sever all ties with all of the above deplorables, especially Donald J. Trump and his entire family. Until you comply, I want my phone number to top off your NEVER CALL LIST!

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Shush Such “Shus” ‘Tudes

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PREFACE: If any of this poem’s words hit home; i.e., describe any of your own homeland’s educational, spirtual, corporate and/or governmental head honchos, they must never be flagged as true leaders. Hmm, having barely survived D.J.T., might that make me a leading authority re this leadership vacuum?

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Arrogant, swaggering, pompous, officious
Ominous, discouraging, disheartening, inauspicious
Impolitic, incautious, inappropriate, injudicious
Evil-intentioned, vindictive, malfeasant, malicious

Malevolent, malignant, gross, corrupting, pernicious
Nefarious, degenerate, fraudulent, flagitious
Vulgar, indecent, crude, caddish, lubricious
Mercurial, erratic, neurotic, capricious

Robotic, monotonous, dull, tedious, repetitious
Shifty, unsavory, shady, devious, suspicious
Money grubbing, rapacious, covetous, avaricious
Ruthless, overzealous, unbridled, vile, vicious

Clandestine, cloak-and-dagger, covert, surreptitious
Irrational, groundless, preposterous, superstitious
Revolting, cold-blooded, serpentine, vermicious
Treasonous, rebellious, riotous, seditious

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