The end of the innocence (poem)

When at three a.m

the witching hour brings comfort

as even monsters must find time to rest

when the daylight brings anxious news

and old mangled memories resurface

 

Holocaust, Warsaw, Ukraine, internment

aren’t cautionary tales anymore

Freedom, liberty, rights, justice

are mere fragments of what they used to be

 

But this one did this, and that one said that

bad begets bad begets justification for wrong

and murmurs of revolt and resistance and fighting

civil war – not as a historical reference – begins to churn in our daily speech

 

Seal the borders, close the door, lock all your possessions inside

burn the mosque, chase the bandit, handcuff a child who left fear to find fear in our eyes

chase the shadow, chase your neighbor, run from those who mean to do you harm

who is this person, what is that danger, should I say goodbye to the world as I know it?

 

What is this you ask? what place are we now? What room have we entered into?

Not something new, but the end of an age, something bleak and troublesome 

for those who know the hardship of life

Just like Henley used to sing. In days of summers long passed

This is the end.

This is the end.

This is the end of the innocence.

We are, all of us, guilty now

Liberals, Conservatives, and a Sinking Ship.

Donald Trump.

You know, I don’t know how much the Republicans won in November on their own and how much we – as democrats – contributed to it. But I watched this segment with Bill Maher earlier this evening and it made a lot of sense.
Liberals – among other things – have terrible communications issues. Which is ironic, given that most consider liberals to be educated elitists snobs who love to hear themselves talk. And in some instances – they’re right.
Let’s say, for instance, we’re all on a boat and it’s sprung a leak. Now, a liberal will analyze the boat, they’ll identify the source of the leak, they’ll inform everyone on board that IN FACT, a leak exists – everyone will understand in no uncertain terms that the leak is VERY BAD for everyone, there will be committees formed, a symposium on the issue,  someone may give a TED talk, and debate will break out over the correct way of fixing so said leak while everyone applauded each other on how smart they are. Meanwhile, the water levels are rising.
There never seems to be a ‘fix’ where liberals are concerned.
There is no ‘roll up your sleeves and get dirty’ in an attempt to keep the boat from sinking.
Conservatives on the other hand, simply say so said leak doesn’t exist. Everything is just fine. As a matter of fact – if a leak exists over in the aft portion of the ship perhaps we should punch a hole in the bow so the guy who makes lifeboats can capitalize on a sinking ship.
Then a war breaks out between the liberals and the conservatives over if and why water is rising on the boat, the liberals blame the conservatives, the conservatives blame liberals, republicans blame democrats, and democrats blame republicans while so-called ‘independents’ run around talking about how all of them are wrong and that George Washington gave a speech before he left office declaring water in a boat is bad and the how the boat should be allowed to sink since it isn’t the responsibility of the boat, to begin with, to keep people afloat. No one likes these guys, btw.
Meanwhile, the passengers in the ship are starting to panic. They see gridlock. An immobilized group of people who are unable to fix, what should be an easy problem to fix, and when they get desperate – they elect to give the command of the ship to one figure who says that ‘he alone’ can fix all their problems.
So, the man seizes control of the vessel and while he may have sorta kinda temporarily fixed their issues – by plugging the leak with corpses of the liberals and conservatives – the ship is not the one everyone boarded and now the ship is being piloted by Black Beard – when all along the leak could have been fixed by turning the ballast pumps on, draining the water,  and welding the leak.
Essentially, by making the system work again.

Trump did not win by an overwhelming vote, despite the conservative propaganda. He won because no one bothered to vote. If you look at the statistical data – democrat turnout to the polls was the worst it’s been in thirty years. Voter turnout overall hasn’t been this bad in almost 75 years.

Trump made gains because no one gave a damn about the system, anymore.

Why?

Because, as Bill pointed out, while tea partiers were putting in neo-conservatives on school boards whose sole purpose in life is to eradicate public education, liberals were busying themselves with being the  ‘thought police’ and decided to ‘educate’ the world about how ass backward it was. There became endless criteria on what it really meant to be liberal and it was us that shrunk our own tent as we castigated those who did not march in ideological lockstep with trigger warnings and slut shaming.

We eat our own.

No one thought to call not only the republicans out on the carpet for their rampant anti-human and complete lack of decency but the democrats as well for their churlish and misguided snobbery – while pleading to the common sense center of our electorate.

Because that statement would have offended someone. It should have. It would have offended the right people. The wing nuts who chased everyone else away from the ballot box.

While racists and white supremacists have – for now – won the day, it was because of our own self-cannibalizing elitism. While the rest of America – who isn’t racist, isn’t homophobic, isn’t bigotted, who’s just tired of the nonstop craziness and the thought police telling them how to think and then screaming at them that if they did not, in fact, think the way these liberals did, they were the aforementioned banes of society – simply stayed home and handed over – on a golden platter- the keys to the kingdom.

We bought Donald Trump as much as anyone else because in our race to the pinnacle of self-awareness and delusions of grandeur we became fucking stupid.

Watch Bill Maher’s segment, here

I told him (poem)

​How could you be so souless?

A demon in Elizabeth Taylor

White Diamonds.

Working hard to provide for your…

Property.

That’s what we were.

Things.

Not people.
No, there was no softness 

Just hard edges, razor sharp points

Hugs as hard as concrete and kisses that made us bleed
Lovelorn children turn to starving adults

Never full, can’t get full, never enough

Sex, God, attention – Must. Have. Attention

A misplaced glance likened to a bomb blast

And like burnt paper we simply slide away
What did you do?

Let your men touch them, let your man touch him

Take possession of an innocent and render it unholy

Make it hungry, make it needy, if it’s hungry we won’t leave, can’t leave, cannot ever ever leave
And that’s it isn’t it?

Miles and years apart we may be

But my thoughts don’t belong to me

You posses it pound for pound and you’re in for a penny

Ride this horse until it drops
Get over it, they say, let it go

But how when you still whisper in my ear?

Since no boundaries were honored, stripped down until I was naked

Miles and years it doesn’t matter 

Doesn’t matter, you’re right here!
Utterly filthy and unrepentant

Demon possessed son, I grew a conscience

Ive been fucked in more ways than one

But you knew that already

Knew before you named me Freddie

That I’d be fucked figuratively before actuality could begin
Meh, so what?

So what?! I loved them. they fed me

Fed me hungry love starved soulful body

And one even managed to marry me

Said he loved me – I I!!! Was the one

Me
And in the quiet stillness

As he sleeps I whisper 

Whisper to him the things that I remember 

Things that had gone on before

And among the things I told him about the long long road I be traveled and all the things and people and places I’ve been
I told him 
I told him
Mother
I told him what you did.

30 pieces none the richer

 

Dollman, John Charles, 1851-1934; Thirty Pieces of Silver

This is what makes me laugh about Donald Trump.

We had eight years of calm, thoughtful, and articulate governance by an educated well-intentioned man.

And for eight years we’ve had to put up with the blithering idiocy from people who swore up and down this man was going to do everything from allowing the U.N to take over the country to setting up FEMA camps for those who were ‘patriotic.’

When Barack Obama was elected president these people feared one thing.

Karma.

That’s it. Karma. They were afraid of what Barack COULD have done to them. They feared something that THEY felt guilty about. Something in the social consciousness of the body politic that knew AND UNDERSTANDS that racism exists.

That knows when an unarmed black man is gunned down by police – that man’s civil liberties were violated.
That his rights as a U.S. Citizen were arbitrarily dismissed. Because the color of his or her skin made them less in their eyes.

Essentially, like AIDS, the cops were ‘killing all the right ones.’

Barack was a threat to that mind set. To the continuance of that minds set taught to their children and grandchildren through the years. He stood in contrast to what they believed a black man was capable of.

Educated, articulate, successful, and they hated him for it. They hated his wife, for it. They hated their political impotence in ridding the country of him. He served eight years. If his polling data is to believed, he’d serve another four and perhaps another four after that if our laws didn’t prevent it.

The world is changing. And these people are afraid of that. They are afraid that in a couple generations the average American will look a lot different than the one today. They’ll have brown skin. Dark eyes.

The only constant in the universe is change. Something President Obama promised in his campaign eight years ago. Change.

And change did occur.

America is freer that once it was. 20 Million more Americans are receiving healthcare than once they were. Our economy is making record gains. And the world is safer now that Osama Bin Laden is out of the picture.

But over the past eight years, there has been a festering. Like a wound or a boil left growing. The bitterness and fear and animosity became infected. The hate that showed up in 2010 with the emergence of The Tea Party, turned vile.

And that nastiness found a replacement for Barack to mirror the infection. To bring it to head so to speak. Donald Trump is a joke that isn’t really funny. Right now there is a lot crass humor making its rounds but it’s a form of stress relief called Gallows Humour. Laughing, essentially, because if you don’t you’ll start screaming.

The feelings of anger and resentment were so strong, that it caused the children of the Greatest generation to betray their parents and everything their parents stood against. When Hillary Clinton mistakenly yet accurately, described these people as ‘ a basket of deplorables’ she wasn’t lying. ((But let’s be honest here, she had no way of winning anyway. Because while racism is the depths of the ocean, sexism in this country is the Mariana Trench)) These people are deplorable and so is their president. We need to start calling it, and them, for what they are.

Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ for 30 silver. But Judas’ greatest sin wasn’t because he betrayed Christ but because he gave up hope. He lost hope in redemption, he lost hope in forgiveness, he lost hope in the idea that tomorrow could be a better day. And he never got a chance to use that money. When Christ was led away to his inevitable demise, Judas realized what he did and hung himself.

I think over the next several days, maybe weeks, America will realize what it did. It will realize that change is inevitable, it is the only constant in the universe. But it will also realize that while the change was inevitable, the change COULD have happened on its terms. It could have reached higher than the wickedness of its own heart, it could have banished the fear of the ghosts of times passed, it could have abandoned the superstition and did what it SHOULD have done. Instead, it will realize just what kind of change they bought for thirty pieces of silver.

I just hope – for all our sakes- that the noose, that symbol of utter hopelessness and despair, that was for so long a threatening symbol of racism, that while not held in the hands of those who hated our former president’s skin colour, certainly held it in their hearts, will not be pulled taut by a madman who is, quite simply, yet profoundly, unAmerican.

We have all been betrayed.

The Artists’ Job (Merlye Streep)

​The Artists Job – Meryl Streep – is to remind people of their humanity. That is why the arts have always been referred to AS the humanities. 

The Fascists job is to remind people how to get rid of their humanity. 

The President Elect is a petulant manchild who has exposed this country’s greatest weaknesses. It’s racism, it’s homophobia, it’s sexism, it’s myopic world.

Essentially, he’s a mirror held up to the American public to show it’s mediocrity. 

And it isn’t pretty. 

It’s petty. 

It’s slow, and slothful, and stinginess. 

Why do you think the klan backs him? why do you think the skinheads back him? 

Hell, the evangelicals? 

Sure –  his supporters are loud as fuck. 

But they’ve always been loud. 

Because their certainty is threatened by anything other than those who look, act, and live outside of what they’ve deemed as ‘acceptable.’

These people will target artists – because, well – we make easy targets. We don’t live in direct relationships to certainty. 

We are not addicted to the opiate of absolutism. 

We question the world around us. 

We are constantly in the world’s ear asking, “Are you sure?” 

We are doubt. 

We are their conscience. 

Their hesitation.

And when they tell someone to shut up and act, or shut up and sing, or shut up and write – they’re telling their conscience to shut up and stop reminding them of their shared humanity. 

No one ever runs into an abortion clinic shouting, “IM NOT SURE!!!”

No one flies a plane into a building shouting, “COULD BE WRONG!”

No one ever murders someone saying, “Things are kinda fuzzy but just in case….”

No, those who do – do so knowing with 100 percent clarity that what they’re doing is right. 

Those that that purports to have the greatest of faith usually have the least and the bravest person in the world is the one who stands in uncertain times and stands in truth. 

Even if it’s detrimental to them.
I’ve refused – in part- to accept this since the election. I’ve advocated for – and still do – calm. But the notion that my life and others lives are in a heightened state of danger given that this election went the way it has – makes me afraid. 
And I HATE being afraid. 
Meryl Streep was right, a democracy is only as strong as its media. We’re only as strong as those we send in to question the establishment. The writers, the journalists, are the ones who advocate for transparency. 
Donald Trump may have the most powerful position in the country – but he is still a servant of the people. And he WILL bow to the WILL of the people – all of the people- or he WILL be replaced. 
I will NEVER bow my knee to fear. 
I will NEVER allow anyone else to either. 
And I will NOT allow Donald Trump to assume that he’s free of the watchful eye of the fourth estate just because he thinks he ought to be. 
He’s in for a shock. 
Thomas Jefferson’s final line in The Declaration of Independence was thus: “… we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
A written DOCUMENT that has survived the ages. 
Our grandparents showed us fascism can be defeated. Our forebears showed us tyranny can be shrugged off. And as long as mankind has walked the face of the earth, the pen has always been mightier than the sword. 
Authors, artists, actors, singers, we have a sacred obligation not just to America, not only to each other, but to humanity. We’re the ones who’ve been left stewards of it. 
As Patrick Stewart once declared, “The line is drawn, here. No further.” 
It’s time we explain that. 
 https://www.cpj.org/
Please, consider a donation.

Me, The Asshole

​When you make fun of a handicapped person – you lack empathy.

When you call someone a fag, Dyke, fairy, homo, bull dagger, punk, etc. You lack empathy.

When you call someone a n****r, spic, wop, coon ass, camel jockey, muzzy, white bread – you lack class and empathy.

When you want someone off welfare or think people should be cut off of social security or Medicare because You’ve decided they don’t need it. – you lack empathy.

When you can hurt someone because your God said it was okay, or your Holy Book said it was okay – you don’t lack religion, you lack empathy

When you go online and are shitty to people in the comment section and purposefully say the meanest thing you can think of – YOU lack empathy.

When you think it’s okay to starve an artist because YOU think they make too much and have to turn to another source for income because ‘the industry’ is bleeding them – You lack empathy.

When you can’t have an adult conversation without screaming – you lack empathy.

When you bring Chicago violence up to make a point but haven’t donated money to organizations IN Chicago to help end the violence – you lack a conscience and you lack empathy.

When you vote for someone who could potentially cause damage to a group of  under represented people and get confused about why they’re mad at you – well, your brain broke, you’re dense, and you lack empathy.
Now – take that word Empathy and replace it with ‘humanity’. 
And while we’re on that subject – you do realize the arts are ALSO called, ‘The humanities’, right? So every time I see a comment about ‘shut up and sing, dance, write. No one cares what you think’ or ‘author behaving bad’ or ‘who do they think they are’ or any variation of that…I hear, ‘Stop making me question myself. My ignorance feels too good, I’m too comfortable in my world view. Let me shut my conscience up by shutting you down.’
Not my circus. Not my monkeys. As an artist it’s MY JOB to bring things to your attention. 
I will stand for ‘We the people’ when it ceases to mean ‘Me, the asshole.’

God, Kim Burrell, Ellen Degeneres, and beer

Earlier I watched Pharrell on Ellen and they spoke about Kim Burrell. You can watch their discussion here. This was a really great way to deal with The Kim Burrell’s ‘sermon’.

This was a really great way to deal with The Kim Burrell’s ‘sermon’.

Tolerance of intolerance is itself, intolerant.

Unlike the Gaine’s family – Kim decided to step out into this subject and condemn and even spoke about ‘gay people dying in 2017.”
But if Kim actually read her Bible, and was a Biblical Literalist – she had no business preaching in the first place. The Bible strictly prohibits women, preachers. It also prohibits women in pants. And cutting their hair. And speaking to men in an authoritative position and on it goes. It’s not only a sin – it’s an abomination.

And the list of abominations and sins was not to make a laundry list so people can argue about who is more accursed than who – it was to make a broader point that everyone is messed up with their own issues.

I mean, come on. Mixed fabrics? It would make laundry a bit more difficult – but if he went to mixing fabrics. I think he was trying to be ‘inclusive.’

Radical Equality in the eyes of God.

I had a great conversation last night which affirmed a belief that I had – The greatest commandments God ever gave, which usurps every other – is to “Love thy God with all thy, heart, thy soul, and love your neighbor has yourself.”

It’s reiterated later on in the gospel that of all the commandments given love is the greatest.

Which is sort of ironic if you think about it. What’s Ellen ALWAYS PREACHING?

Love each other.

If someone preaches something and it isn’t first rooted in love – it’s not the gospel. The Bible is meant to serve God. Not the other way around and it most CERTAINLY wasn’t meant to serve people’s skewed world views.

God don’t care how you were raised. He doesn’t care what your grandpa said. What part of the country or the world you are from. Who your daddy was. Or what your political affiliation is. He doesn’t care.

At all.

Why do you think slavery and Jim Crow stuck around so long? Because it was reinforced by twisting the scripture and preached out of the pulpit.

Nothing and no one has the right – Christian or otherwise, to condemn people for things they cannot help. Or hell, they can’t condemn people for this they CAN help – condemnation, is patently off the table.

Because as soon as you do it, you open yourself up to it.

“Judge not, lest ye be….”

Did you know at one point it was STRICTLY FORBIDDEN for Christians to loan other Christians money at an interest rate?

It was also strictly FORBIDDEN for a Christian to SUE another in court.

It was also FORBIDDEN to divorce and FORGET REMARRYING.

So why have we made accommodations for that? Why did we change that? Because enough people found themselves in those situations and therefore were able to find enough grace to be okay with it.

But we hold Grace back from everyone else.

Why? Because Grace is offensive. We like it where we fail, or where we are frail, or where we have issues. But like a welfare check or social security – we don’t like it when OTHER people get it. Because we divine in our minds that ‘the other’ isn’t worthy of it.

We do the same thing in this country in regards to rights.

The world is so filled with judgment and prejudice – even in churches where it pours out vile and putrid and filled with hate. Those people are as ‘saved’ in my opinion, as the man in the moon.

But the difference between the ‘world’ and ‘the church’ is – in the world, I can judge—-and drink beer.

Why in the world would I cut myself off from beer to come and hang out with you when I can do the same thing out here?

Why do you judge your brother for a speck in his eye when there is a plank in yours?

There is a REASON why, when the Devil tempted Christ in the DESERT, he brought with him…The Scripture. There was a reason Christ was killed by the ‘saved of the saved’ of his time. HE was judged – according to Scripture.

There was a reason why Christians were first persecuted for their beliefs because they were being persecuted ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE.

In the book of Deuteronomy – anyone ‘hung on the tree’ was – according to the belief system at the time ‘cursed’.

That was the big dividing line between Judaism and Christianity. Jews didn’t accept Christ as the Messiah because he’d been crucified on the cross.

The Bible cursed The Son of God. Take that in. Let that stew in your head.

Because you at one point in time had to be a JEW FIRST, before you could be a Christian. Christianity was a sect of Judaism before it broke away.

Along with all the ‘rules’ Christ broke, among touching unclean women, unclean and even dead bodies, breaking bread with Gentiles, having women in his presence where men were also, jumping in to save a woman from being stoned to death, he broke another IN THE WAY THAT HE DIED.

So not only were Christians worshipping a pagan god, they were worshipping one that had – according to them – had been CURSED.

That’s not supposition- that’s church history.

You wonder why atheism is running rampant all over the place – you wonder why people have given up on God? Don’t look at the ‘worldly’ influence.

Take a good long hard look at the church. You got the doctrine, you have the splendid Cathedrals, you have the legacy – what are you missing?

You’re missing the Love of God.

Kind of an important ingredient don’t you think?