Happy Hollow-Days?

Prelude…

Ah, the time honored Holiday Traditions
Hitherto robust, cheery and tasteful
Nowadays busted, dreary and wasteful
Cannot live sans the former
Alas, must exist with the latter

No thanks, to the headless and soulless
Who only see convention in political rally terms
And contort holidays to conform to their flattened sphere
It begs a rundown of their rundown, festering festivities
Hence, this hammered down, Hollow-Days Roster

November…

Thanksgiving’s intent, once-upon-a-time pure
A day to display gratitude for each fall’s harvest
Yet, ’twas utterly corrupted by past, white man’s greed
Pummeled by Manifest Destiny’s – Genocide’s 1 – 2 punch
Left mass slaughter of Indigenous North Americans, in its wake

Today’s whites hotly deny critical thinker youths such truths
The uncouth fail to see how bygone mentalities of white men
Were precursors to today’s accursed; their MAGA-fest Destiny
Native Americans’ descendants sure to “NO” the RSVPs
Of white inviters, who’d have them over FOR holiday supper

December…

Christmas misbehavior; to upstage a dissed savior?
Sighing gifters hurriedly tack on / tuck in gift receipts
Wisely anticipate the ungrateful gifted
Ingrates neither gifted in smarts nor of wise disposition
All discourtesy of ass backward, parental rearing

Giftees offend gifters; greedily, rush mall-ward
Clutching shopping bagged gift rejects
Sweaty fingers and palms itching to parlay
Liberal return policies into pocketed stone-cold cash
Happy Birthday, Jesus?

December/January…

New Year’s Eve orgy
Animal House magnitude
Nude, drunken revelry
Resolutions Dead On Arrival
Long before each avowed recitation’s echo dies

New Year’s Day; morning after
Misery’s miasma; achy body; pounding head
Multiple over the bowl, beer belly evacuations
Hurled disgusting egesta
Along with epithet laced “never again” ruminations

February…

Valentine’s Day; Cupid’s arrow, awry
Finds deplorable cads ISO of (p)lay
Bamboozling; booze plying their prey
Despicably deeming victims altar sacrifice
Songsmiths asking, “What’s love got to do with it?”

Deep in rude dudes’ brain dead heads
Indecent proposals lead to “have-to” weds
Crossed fingers, behind backs, do back grooms’ “I dos.”
Divorce attorneys, so impatient, they consider
Tuxing up as groomsmen; gowning up as bridesmaids

May / November + July / September / February

Memorial / Veterans Days
Independence / Labor and Presidents’ Days
Original intent buried by a sundry of distractions
Picnics wallowing in fatty animal flesh; awash with stiff libations
Major league play by plays, parades and pyrotechnics

To Upstage Soldiers; valiant, selfless; both survivor and fallen
Marginalize Founders; devalue, their on paper, Democracy
Demean Workers: low paid, overworked, union busted, outsourced
Bastardize: The very Presidency a sitting prez attempted to topple
Ah, the mucked up, nouveau Hollow-Day traditions

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Offensive Fences and Walls

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One of my newfound WP compatriots employs a clever method to come up with a prompt word; i.e., to inspire some of his posts. He randomly selects and opens a book and, without looking, simply lets his extended finger land on the page!

Voilà, he’s found his “word”.

And on this new day, his prompt and now, mine too, becomes: Wall

For a left leaning man, such as I, there’s an instantaneous, free association with a freedom loathing X-prez who’s also an inveterate xenophobe.

As most of us are all too painfully aware, throughout his odious tenure, he was obsessed with making good on his bad (actually awful, deplorable) campaign promise of constructing a big, badass, electrified, spiked wall along the U.S. / Mexico border. And if memory serves, he also wanted to dredge out a moat, alongside, and stock that water filled barrier with fanged, venomous snakes and take-no-prisoners ravenous, carnivorous alligators.

Alas, memory serves well.

Long exasperated sigh.

Well, now that I’ve caught my breath, let’s let this wall issue promptly move our thoughts in a more humane direction…

Let’s address the defensive attitudes, which prompt people to erect invisible walls around themselves; just as formidable and impenetrable as the brick and mortar variety; the very type that get in the way of human understanding; the awareness that, deep down, most of us are more alike than different from one another.

The walls that inhibit problem solving, and, yes, even friendship and love.

Let’s deconstruct the word “defensive”, itself, right down to its root, “fense” and then sub in the letter “c”

Voilà, the word “fence” emerges; yet, another type of wall.

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Too Damned Much Too Damned Soon

On this day, I’ll be featuring an excerpt from my very first WordPress blog [6:56 am on March 3, 2016]; an account of a violent, deadly attack against Democracy; its severity matched only by al-Qaeda’s Tuesday, September 11, 2001 attacks in NYC, PA and DC and insurrectionists’ Wednesday, January 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Indeed, you and I will be reliving vivid recollections, as seen thru a 9-year-young boy’s eyes (my own); reportage of a national tragedy which had forced me to face down too damned much age inappropriate content; to grow up too damned soon…

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I voted for John F. Kennedy when I was ONLY six-years-old!

Well… uh… sorta. Here’s what had actually happened…

After Mom had closed the voting booth curtains, hoisted me up to adult eye level and demonstrated how everything worked, she actually let me shift JFK’s lever down! My having done something so grown-up on Election Day 1960 had been a feel good, defining moment in my young life.

As I grew physically, so did my understanding of (and respect for) the immense leverage, which each of those tiny levers can exert in shaping our nation and world. Tragically, not everyone opts in to such a civilized, orderly process. Such was the case on…

November 22, 1963 ~ It had been a gray, overcast, rainy Friday. There had been no school for Sis and me (due to parent / teacher conferences). I was just finishing lunch when my sibling came rushing into the dining room. Still clutching her pocket-sized transistor radio, she blurted out…

“Somebody Shot President Kennedy!”

Mom, Sis and I quickly adjourned to the living room. Even before our Zenith TV’s B&W picture tube had fully warmed up, we could already hear one of CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite’s earliest bulletins.

As time came grinding down to a dead halt, we felt ourselves rapidly descending into the depths of our nation’s communal shock. There was little else we could do… save for waiting and hoping that our worst fears would not be confirmed. But…

The bad news just kept on spilling forth from our nation’s TV screens while Kennedy’s dream for the betterment of our national / global society, was hemorrhaging forth from his head wounds… dying along with this great man. Eventually, Cronkite had to choke back his own overwhelming sorrow as he reported…

“From Dallas, Texas… the flash apparently official… President Kennedy died at 1 p.m., Central Standard Time… 2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time… some thirty-eight minutes ago.”

And that’s the way it was… the feel rotten, defining moment in my young life. The President I had “voted” for three short Novembers earlier had been blown away.

Bullets… not ballots… had removed John Fitzgerald Kennedy from office and shot to hell my childhood innocence.

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Vile, Volatile Vigilante

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Vile, volatile vigilante
Conceived in grubby grotto
Gestated in amniotic venom
Poisoned by toxic masculinity
Reared in evil environs’ dungeon

Vile, volatile vigilante
Schooled weekdays weakly
Sunday unschooled bleakly
Untutored in civics and ethics
Stripped naked of civility and integrity

Vile, volatile vigilante
Radicalized by hate traffickers
Brainwashed by propagandists
Sheeted/hooded Deep South white
Shirted World War II Scheisse brown

Vile, volatile vigilante
Militarized by gun nut sociopaths
Mollycoddled by militant gestapo cops
Freed by jury of like-minded, brain-dead peers
Unpunished by headless, bench warmer judges

Vile, volatile vigilante
Rewarded handsomely for ugly mayhem; murder
Morphed stick-figure role model
Trotted out fraudulent hero
Dubbed the abnormal new normal

Vile, volatile vigilante
Elevated soon to Sheriff?
Appointed soon to the Bench?
Elected soon to Congress?
Installed soon in Oval Office?

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When the Cupboard is Bare

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America’s latest buzzword is the I-word: Infrastructure.

Of course, too many leaders, legislators and laypersons, alike, fail to think big; to look beyond the roads, bridges, utility poles, sewers etc; and more to the point, fail to factor America’s current supply chain woes into such discussions.

To take the artsy, charitable, euphemistic road, let’s refer to these minimalists as “traditionalists”; not that they’d think big about even maintaining a minimalist tradition, either.

Anyway we look at this, untold decades have passed sans proper upkeep and upgrades to the mechanisms that move commodities from point A to point B.

And, once we factor in pandemic panic buying… well… I’m sure most of us are all too familiar with the end result phenomenon of store shelves / fixtures that… that…

Uh… let’s just say that if you’re in the market to buy dust bunnies, there’s NO shortage of ’em.

Such was the case, yesterday…

ISO a couple loaves of bread, my original intent had been to do a quick in ’n’ out at my local supermarket. That’s when the mere sight of picked over shelves instantly morphed me into a panic buyer.

I mean, those last 2 jars of my fave peanut butter were mine; ditto that re the last 7 cans of tomato sauce, 1 can of coffee and 5 packages of breakfast biscuits (which, btw, had been out-of-stock for 6 long weeks). Hell, I even upped my bread purchase from 2 to 6 loaves (my intent to freeze the surplus).

At that juncture some comfort food was in order and, as you may have already guessed, I wound up snagging the 1 last box of doughnuts.

Bottom line, instead of spending under $10 I wound up forking out over $80.

It was on the drive home, that I got to thinking; what if, in some instances, the cause of the empty store fixtures is not, exclusively, supply chain related?

Now, here’s where the issues, not unlike the actual undelivered products, can start to pile up.

  • Labor shortages due to an evolving workforce; one that’s disgruntled with back breaking, gut busting, low paying, laborious drudgery.
  • Unscrupulous CEOs squirreling away surpluses within their warehouses; thereby fabricating the very “shortages” which trigger all too real panic buying.
  • In the short term, these head honcho’s will manage to exploit shoppers ISO viable alternatives; coerce us into settling for less popular brands / substandard products.
  • In the long run, these conman-managers will get to greedily witness the primo merchandise flying off the shelves when they DO eventually get around to the restocking.
  • And, sans any doubt, only doing so AFTER they’ve reprogrammed the check-out barcode scanners to assess values which far exceed each item’s MSRP.

Yep, there’s never any shortage when it comes down to inflation / price gouging.

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A Sorta Retraction

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Preface: I post the following content voluntarily; under no pressure other than that exerted by my own good conscience / desire to maintain a fair-minded blogger image. However, I’m in no way legitimizing the conduct of anyone deemed to be of bad conscience; and there will be a slew of them present, below. That duly noted, let’s get ‘er done…

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Contained within one of my recent posts, I made the following blanket statement…

“Nazis just like Donald J. Trump and the 74,223,369 Nazis who voted for him last November.”

CommonSenseTom • Blog Title: Must See MeTV Tonight! • 11/11/2021

While it’s true that those 74 million voters backed Trump at the ballot box, not all of them are swastika arm-banded, goosestepping, concentration camp commandants itching to preside over a latter-day Holocaust.

But, lest anyone even begin to breathe a sigh of relief; ever be foolhardy enough to grant them blanket amnesty…

We must keep in mind the other ideologies Trumpers harbor; how any particular one of these mindsets (or permutation thereof) could mutate America into a whole different animal; perhaps, even relegate the United States of America to just four words scrawled across a dusty, midldewed, wrinkled, tattered, bullet-riddled, bloodstained map.

Now, generally speaking the Trump camp is in no way monolithic.

Were we to flesh / flush ‘em out we’d discover this “Top” 10 List:

  • Low Info Voters who get programmed by his propagandists
  • Sycophants who fantasize / feel arousal for their icky “hero”
  • Rabid Capitalists who lust after / worship the almighty buck
  • Evangelical Christians who blindeye his hedonism/misogyny
  • Social Conservatives who incorrectly assess him like-minded
  • Q-Anon Conspiracists who are bat-crap crazy; chronically so
  • Proud Boys/Domestic Terrorists, who live to see freedom die
  • Militant Bigoted Cops who, in error, think he has their backs
  • Gun Nut Dudes who cannot otherwise… ahem… measure up
  • Chickenhawks who get off on seeing spilt red blood / red ink

Beyond that, I’ve lived out my entire (over three score) lifetime under the influence of this sagacious advisory…

“People will judge you by the company you keep!”

My Mother and Father • c1958 and onward

Doubtlessly such sentiments (coupled with my anger re Trump’s January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol) both played significant roles in my issuing my 11/11/2021 blanket statement.

What a shame the individuals who conform to one (or more of) those 10 classifications cannot conform to my lessons in life; courtesy of my learned folks.

For if they could take such a message to heart, they’d immediately disassociate themselves from Donald J. Trump and, in turn, gradually start shedding their ugly, Nazi sympathizer image.

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Disrepair

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When disunity, duplicity, incivility, irresponsibility overrule
Society falls into disrepair along these disappointing lines

Ugly voter suppression (f)laws enforce minority rule status
Empowers the power junkies who help themselves to more

Testy tyrants hose down their puny plots with testosterone
Sociopathic chickenhawks trigger no-end and no-win wars

Bullet blasting (not ballot casting) executes régime change
Perpetrated, perpetuated Big Lie lays waste to Democracy

Boneheaded, cultish, sycophantic insurrectionists run amok
Try, in 1 scant afternoon, to slay a 2½ century old Republic

Gun nuts shoot up school houses and houses of worship
Badged man’s bigotry / brutality targets people of color

Class warfare fattens the fat cats; flattens the proletariat
Welfare secured for the wealthy screws over truly needy

Non-living wage, no benefits, sweatshops harvest the poor
Human Resources Dept “Cafeterias” serve (up) hired hands

Nutritional and intellectual starvation drain body and mind
Every negative “ism” sows seeds of suspicion and hatred

Runaway greenhouse gasses render our Earth uninhabitable
A deadly, unbridled virus sucks all the air outta the “room”

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Four Top-Story Op-Eds

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While deep carbon footprints, leave our planet sore
Science deniers stomp down more, More, MORE
Sans a kick-ass, greenhouse gas curbing plan
Earth kicks the bucket, ‘cause fools kicked the can

Pandemic pooh-poohers, fret not ‘bout ill health
Pander to seekers of ill-gotten wealth
They likely pan the five mill Covid dead
And pant over their $pread$heet$, instead*

Orange snowflake melts down in his golden lair
Contests the election, that’s been proven fair
His Big Lie will spark doubt; do vast harm
Beyond the day that asshat buys the farm

The hardcore right, hazards Jan 6th rewrite
To morph OrangeMan, into what? Traitor-Lite?
To gaslight the TrueBlue, all still taken aback
By the fake prez who waged too real attack!

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*Alternate Line:
And pant over their $pread$heet$, in bed

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No Affinity For Xfinity

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For the benefit of anyone who may be wondering, Xfinity is a trade name of Comcast Cable Communications, LLC; AKA an ISP with a MO that doggedly barks at / hunts down / chases after new customers.

So, just how doggedly is their pursuit?

Well, I’ve been rejecting their snail mailed come-ons 52 times a year for (at least) the past 5 years (likely longer); which begs the question:

How long before the Xfinity Team geniuses connect the dots to conclude that I do not respond well to hard sell tactics; that I’m hardly unique in this regard.

Look, I have no problem when businesses promote their products and services in a reasonable, responsible manner. How would I define that?

  • Reasonable: No more than one advert campaign per Earthly season.
  • Responsible: Business practices, which do not destroy planet Earth.

Alas, it’d appear Xfinity’s bite is even worse than its bark. Yep, it’s bye-bye bark, branches, leaves and trunks when their hatchet men chop down entire forests just to restock that LLCs supply cabinets with untold, metric tons of paper stock.

BTW, I did take a few moments to pour over Xfinity’s latest one pager and nowhere within the voluminous fine print is there any mention of that text getting printed out on recycled paper.

Worse yet, their bad for the environment SOP doth not end with deforestation; seeing how they frequently, pointlessly, manufacture utterly nonredeemable PLASTIC “gift cards” to glue to their mailers. As if what? Simply stating their offered discounts would not suffice?

And, lest anyone forget, low demand for recycled plastic means that it oft ends up getting dumped into our oceans.

So, what’s a beleaguered junk mail recipient to do? Well, were it not against United States Postal Service regulations (and City Ordinance), I’d park my recycling cart next to my front porch and ask my letter carrier(s) to deliver all Xfinity correspondence (and other junk mail) therein.

Yet, such an extreme could never even begin to reclaim the energy needlessly wasted during the manufacturing stage of such adverts AND the subsequent, secondary energy waste when the recycling trucks make their never-ending, weekly rounds to collect this pitched paper and plastic.

After all, it’s impossible to defy the laws of Physics.

At issue, too, is how everyone doesn’t recycle conscientiously. One needn’t look any further than the Post Office lobby trash receptacles; typically over flowing with the junk mail discarded by the renters of on-premises P.O. boxes.

After all, it ain’t easy to defy the laws of Human Nature.

Going beyond even these concerns, one has to question the reliability of Xfinity’s Internet connection and speed. Look, advertising doesn’t come cheap, which means wasted bucks means less funds allocated for the upkeep and upgrades of their Internet infrastructure. In other words inadequate funding equals inadequate service OR Rubbish In equals Rubbish Out.

After all, it’s unwise to defy the GIGA* law of Computer Science.

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* Garbage In / Garbage Out

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COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference

Glasgow