Friday, January 27, 2017

"...Hashtag Redux..."

Not a day passes, these days, that I don't find yet another thing that Donald Trump and I don't have in common.

Today's discovery isn't fresh out of the muck, but it's timely and topical by my chronometer.

He is incapable of ever being wrong, ever admitting he doesn't know better about anything and everything and, rest easy, chronic worriers, his wall will be built, get old and fall to dust before he ever admits that he has ever made a mistake about anything.

As for me, well, I'm more than ready to admit that I made a serious mistake .

Three weeks ago, give or take, I posted the following on my primary Facebook page

a legitimate case can be made that the hashtag #notmypresident is inappropriate under any circumstance, given that respect for the office is, and should be, separate from respect for the person occupying the office.....
that said, for those of us who wish to respect the office while expressing our displeasure (and/or rejection) of the occupant.....
ladies and gentlemen.(drum roll...)
this citizen, and I invite you to join if you feel so moved, believes the incoming occupant to be
he has the opportunity to prove otherwise.
breath, to date, not currently being held.

It took me less than a month to realize:

a) I was still making an effort to speak on behalf of taking the high road.
b) my own personal respect and reverence for the office of President was factoring into my judgement
c) I was, foolishly, given my own life experience and the perspective gained accordingly, sub-consciously playing "peace maker" in a tsunami sized cess pool of rancor, venom, vitriol, disgust and demagoguery.

I freely admit, at this writing, that I made a mistake in suggesting that Donald Trump be given anything even remotely resembling respect.

He was unfit and unqualified to be President the moment he set foot in the race.
He remains, clearly and egregiously, unfit and unqualified to be President.
He was, and is, a reprehensible human being who I would go to extraordinary lengths to exclude from my personal and/or professional life, were I to encounter him in more "civilian" circumstances.

His behavior, since his swearing in, has done nothing to indicate there will be any improvement in his presentation and has done EVERYTHING to indicate that his damaged personality will become more unwieldy and harmful to this nation and the world

His election to the nation's highest office represents what , I feel confident, will eventually be judged as one of the lowest, most disgraceful moments in the history of the United States of America.

All that is necessary, it was wisely said, for evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing.
I harbor no illusions about my editorial two cents having any kind of impact whatsoever on the fate of a nation or the world.

That said, I reiterate that my previous post was an error in judgement, a betrayal of my own intellect and an indifference to the gut instinct that has served me reasonably well as a man, husband, father, grandfather and friend for the past 65 years.

I am an educated man. I am well above average in intelligence. I have no deeply rooted or blinding prejudices that would taint or mutate my willingness and constant desire to be accommodating, reasonable, compromising and/or ready and able to see all sides, in hopes of finding common ground on this planet we all share in our mortal lifetimes.

And I harbor no personal ill will, nor wish for harm, toward Donald Trump.

But, for the record, if only for my own sense of speaking the truth as I know it, he is, now, and for the remainder of the time this nation is afflicted with his emotional and psychological state of being.....


Here's an additional bonus I will be freely sprinkling around.


Note: if you are reading this piece and are, either, a Facebook friend or found your way here via Facebook and you disagree with my comments, spare yourself the time and bother of replying or commenting here, or there, in any way. 

In the spirit of the man elected to sit in the Oval Office, I'm only interested in hearing from people who agree with everything I say or do every hour of the day.

And, I will delete any comments that are not in sync with my own.

Fact is, actually,, that if you are still endorsing this man and the things that he represents, again, save yourself the bother of reply and unfriend me on social media immediately.

Given the outrageously obvious obscenity of this man's presence in our national life, your continued endorsement and/or support of him pretty much guarantees that you and I are done anyway.

God bless you and yours.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

"...For One Brief, Shining Moment...Every Twelve Months..."

November 22.

To most people born after, say, 1955. just another number on the calendar, inspiring little or no emotion with the possible exception of the first tremblings of the hustle and bustle of holiday madness just up the road.

For those born before that year, though, some inevitable thought and reflection.

Bobby Braddock is an acclaimed, award winning country songwriter and a Facebook friend.

He posted this articulate and moving remembrance on his page today.

 Fifty two years ago today,, around noontime, on a sunny but slightly chilly day in Dallas, the 35th President of the United States was assassinated at 46 years of age. I was a very young piano player, about to drive away from the motel where I was living in Orlando, Florida, on my way to a band rehearsal at the El Patio Club where we were playing. The lady who ran the motel yelled out that Kennedy had been shot. Her live-in boyfriend, a grizzly old redneck guy, hollered, "I hope they killed the n*****-lovin' sonofabitch!" By the time I had driven the two-minute ride down Orange Blossom Trail to the club, they announced on the radio that the president was dead. That night, the normally-packed club had a sparse crowd. We played mostly slow dance numbers and knocked off early. On the day of the president's funeral, I went into a jewelry store in my hometown to pick up a watch that had been repaired. A TV set was on, and the only sound was that of drum rolls and horses' hooves. I listened to network radio on my 45-minute drive back to Orlando, and except for the occasional soft voice of the announcer, it was those same sad drum rolls and horses' hooves the entire trip. I was an infant when Pearl Harbor was bombed, so the JFK assassination was the first national tragedy in my memory. It was a time I will never forget.

Other Facebook pages, especially those devoted to either Kennedy nostalgia or assassination minutiae, are offering up a lot of reminiscence today.

None of the major news sites and/or sources have much to say about the date, a random mention of it and its historical significance, here and there, the only acknowledgment to be seen or heard.

Inevitable...and understandable.

Because there comes a time, with every event in this life, when that event, without fanfare, sometimes with no notice at all, quietly slides over from the here and now to the once upon a time. 

Even the most dynamic, dramatic, even history altering moments have a way of, slowly but surely, moving from the front pages to the back pages  to the little cards in the drawers with the Dewey Decimals printed on them.

Or tagged links on Google, as the case, and the forward march of technological advance, may be.

November 22 has become one of those events.

That's the paradox of the blessing of time healing all wounds.

Scars remain for the life of those who felt the blade.

But memories fade. 

Tears of grief and loss eventually dry to be replaced with tears of joy and laughter.

And lives sometimes become legend.

Nobody understood that better than Jackie Kennedy.

" now he is a legend," she remarked sometime during that emotional and historic weekend, "when he would have preferred to be a man..."

And part of that legend was the framing of that life in the romantic haze of Camelot.

That framing done by Jackie herself in an interview with author Theodore White some weeks after the assassination.

The nation was stunned and needed to be consoled and soothed.

The thought of a young King, complete with beloved Queen, adorable Princess and Prince, struck down in blinding Texas sunlight at the height of his powers and the peak of his youth was just Shakespearean enough to be both crushing...and consoling....sorrowful...and soothing.

As memories faded.

Tears of grief and loss  dried and were eventually replaced with tears of joy and laughter.

And life became legend.

The day John Kennedy died, two reporter acquaintances of the murdered President were consoling one another.

"We'll never laugh again," she remarked.

He replied, "oh, we'll laugh again. We'll just never be young again."

Those of us who were alive at the time will surely agree that, of the two of them, he was right.

We started laughing again.

But we did get, and are still getting, a little older every day.

And, as it happens with getting older, we forget things from time to time.

Like names...and numbers...even dates.

But some things we still manage to remember, too.

Like names...and numbers...

...and November 22.