A Non-Flesh ’n’ Blood Kindred Spirit

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One scant week ago, a much too long absent, non-flesh and blood kindred spirit arrived at my front door to resume our regular visits. At first glance, a double take was in order; mainly because I hadn’t seen this otherworldly friend since the pandemic had shuttered our world; well over a year ago.

Suddenly, upon factoring in my (typically) restless / sleepless condition, I had to wonder if I had nodded off? Wandered off into Dreamland? Or, was something else playing out; oh, say, along the lines of a supernatural themed TV series-come-true? Might I be blasting off from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone launch pad?

However (brushing all reader attention grabbing hyperbole aside), as everything actually turned out, ‘twas not unnerving in the least. Quite the contrary!

What we’re actually discussing is my unexpected reconnection to a newsprint and ink publication; namely, a weekly newspaper (featuring state and local goings-on, human interest stories, recipes, op-eds and obits; not to mention the brain challenging Sudoku and crossword puzzles. All in all, food for thought!

Now, I do know (long sigh) that newspapers don’t mean all that much to the general public anymore; especially folks who’ve never known anything other than our (regrettably) Internet dominated and dependent world.

And usage of “regrettably” is not an exaggeration; especially considering how easily we could all become disconnected; be that issue related to tech gremlins / www dead zones, consumer cost-cutting or something far, Far, FAR more wicked and UNNERVING!

With regards to that last listed item, at present, we’re discovering too damned many nations on the brink of ideological collapse; inclusive of the United States (in spite of President Joe Biden’s efforts to thwart his immediate predecessor’s ongoing treachery). Problem is that fascistic leaders are far, Far, FAR too proficient at manipulating the misguided masses into committing what is tantamount to ritualistic, socioeconomic suicide.

Freedom does die wherever / whenever the cultish rabble get fired up by (smarmily) charismatic firebrands; otherwise known as a-hole autocrats to us wise, reality based, critical thinkers.

To take a brief spin thru that rogues gallery let’s “try on for size” the ideologically and psychotically supersized Vladimir Putin (Russia), Xi Jinping (China), Kim Jong Un (North Korea), Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (Egypt), Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey), Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines) and, saving the worst for last, the duly deposed in 2020 (and presumed 2024 chomping at the bit wannable Donald J. Trump.

Uh, on second thought (re that try on session), let’s not.

More to the point, ever since tyrannical Trump made “FAKE NEWS” his catchphrase that pays / got that reverberating in the echo chamber, brain-dead heads-of-state, worldwide, have been overusing and abusing such vernacular, ofttimes verbatim, whenever genuine article journalists spot on expose them as societal parasites.

Even more to the point, most autocrats keep their grubby little paws poised over the Internet Kill Switch. After all, in the end (THE END) when it comes down to trampling human rights, their first order of biz is to sever all lines of communication, especially online reportage. It’d not be hyperbolic to say that, in the wrong hands, such a “circuit breaker” could eventually unravel the Internet and kill the truth.

My above concerns are the very reasons why I deem all reputable, hard copy newspapers akin to:

A Non-Flesh ’n’ Blood Kindred Spirit of mine; hopefully yours too.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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Zone Out on this 60 Year Old Gem! (Vid of the Day)

In the Witching hour of this new day, I briefly nodded off before my TV… regaining consciousness just in time for the MeTV rebroadcast of one of my all-time fave Twilight Zone episodes… Time Enough at Last. It has to be more than happenstance that they opted to showcase this classic so close to its original 11/20/1959 air date.

Submitted for our approval… we find Rod Serling’s teleplay adaptation of a short story by Lynn (pen-name Marilyn) Venable. This is where we meet her farsighted protagonist, the banker / bookworm Henry Bemis (actor Burgess Meredith), a voracious reader residing within a society that flat-out hates to read (kind of reminds us of our present-day surreal world, where weirdos love to ban and burn books).

It’s during Bemis’ lunch break where, with book and newspaper in hand, he sneaks off to secrete himself inside the bank vault, only to soon be rattled back to reality by the seismic rumblings of kick-ass, nuclear explosions. Upon emerging from his makeshift bomb shelter, he soon discovers he’s the sole survivor and that, while there’s a limitless supply of non-irradiated canned food, there’s also limitless, unbearable loneliness and utter purposelessness amidst the rubble. His profound sorrow is only mitigated when he stumbles upon a Public Library… offering him a limitless (albeit strewn) stash of literature. However… just as he’s about to settle down to savor a really good read…

If you don’t have “Time Enough”… Zone out on this 0:53 clip…

If you do have “Time Enough”… Zone out and savor this 2:23 clip…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Childhood Innocence Was Shot To Hell!

 

The following is an excerpt from my very first WordPress blog*… my memories of 54 November 22nds ago… when… as a (then) 9-year-young boy… a horrific, blood splattered, national tragedy forced me to eyewitness too much age inappropriate content… to grow up way too soon.

 

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

Well… uh… sort of. 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.

 

 

Assassin’s (perhaps assassins’) bullets had also irreparably devastated our entire global society. We can only speculate what the alternate timeline would’ve been… what our present day world would now look like had JFK opted to stay in DC 54 years ago, today… had kept a low profile for the remainder of his time in the Oval Office (he likely would’ve won a second term).

I do think it fair to conclude that had the voters witnessed what a real president’s policy and demeanor should be… had JFK been able to usher into reality his visions for a better world and better day… our electorate would’ve NEVER, EVER settled for any of his deplorable, dishonorable, stick-figure successors… namely…

The psychotic, “used car dealer”, war-hawk Tricky Dicky Nixon… the labor union busters, devastators of the middle class Ronny Reagan and George H.W. (daddy) Bush… the war criminal / torture chamber manager George W. Bush who on 9/11, first, got caught with his CIC pants down  and, next, went on a rampage to fear monger Americans into granting him carte blanche… to recklessly trash U.S. Constitutional freedoms and needlessly, pointlessly war monger his way into no-win invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq… to stupidly allow himself to be morphed into the ventriloquist dummy / puppet of his own VP; the evil, greedy, sociopathic, war criminal Dick Cheney.

And saving the worst of the very worst for the very last, real Americans would’ve booed and hissed the xenophobic, homophobic, narcissistic, misogynistic, jingoistic, materialistic, infantile, senile, bullying #45 right off the stump.

Well… long sad sigh… to borrow and update Walter Cronkite’s sign-off catchphrase…

 

And that’s the way it is November 22, 2017.

 

 

If you’re a fan of sci-fi twinged, episodic TV… writer J. Neil Schulman’s “what if JFK had survived Dallas” themed alternate reality gets brought to life by the cast and crew of the classic TV series, Twilight Zone… this particular installment titled: Profile In Silver

 

 

*My debut blog, A Tale of Two Timelines Part I, is filed away in my Archive. For those who’d like to access it, click onto March 2016 and scroll down… way down.

 

CBS NEWS BULLETIN

 

The following is an excerpt from my very first WordPress blog… my memories of 53 November 22nds ago when, as a (then) 9-year-young boy, a national tragedy forced me to face down too much age inappropriate content… to grow up way too soon.

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

Well… uh… sort of. 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 a 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.

Up till then, TV had been a source of light entertainment… but… Cronkite’s pioneering venture into live, breaking news, non-stop coverage, reality TV… proved neither. Worse yet, one could never make the Kennedy Assassination “go away” by merely switching channels or by turning off the TV. Nothing could’ve ever changed that horrifying outcome… one which… even today…  is perpetually, sending debilitating shockwaves outward from that Dealey Plaza Ground Zero… all across the space-time continuum.

Even now, more than half a century later, my vivid, as if they had just happened mere seconds ago, memories can and do cause tears to well up in my eyes.

For anyone, especially someone as young as I had been, learning to cope with these issues would not be getting any easier. Two days later, I was among millions of TV viewers who had become eyewitnesses to the live network broadcast of vigilante Jack Ruby gunning down alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

While some folks might applaud an-eye-for-an-eye “justice”… innocent until proven guilty is the law of the land and I, among many, believe Oswald should’ve had his day in court. We might’ve even discovered the answers to all the still lingering, unanswered questions.

Now, whether you had actually watched and “survived” all of that long ago bloodshed or have merely read about it in America’s history books… I’ll bet you, like I, have oft fantasized about traveling back into time to save the life… save the presidency of John F. Kennedy… and have also wondered… with a successful outcome… what would America be like today?

I now invite you to read about… or better yet… view here… a compelling, alternate reality to November 22nd… as presented by TV’s “The Twilight Zone”… the episode titled “Profile In Silver”. Observing actor Andrew Robinson’s performance… his so convincingly bringing JFK back to life… can and does evoke tears of joy.

 

ADDENDUM posted 12/07/16 10:10 a.m. to modify blog’s final paragraph / replace YouTuber’s removed “Twilight Zone” video.