The Stars in Our Heavens

 

Many years ago, when ships navigated the waters of the world without modern technology – they looked heavenward, Ship Captains looked to the stars to figure out where they were, where they were going, and how to get back home again.

At the founding of our nation, Thomas Jefferson wrote these words in The Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal. That they are endowed, by their creator, with certain inalienable rights. That among those rights were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Knowingly casting who we wanted to be – as a nation, as a people – high up into the night’s sky.

And while those words did not – in any way – guarantee smooth sailing, for this country was and still is wrought with conflict of race, religion, skin color, sexual orientation – those words became a focal point. A goal. Far-flung up to the highest point in the heavens and even though potentially unreachable – nevertheless was a place our country could cast it’s gaze when it felt like it was shifting too far in any given direction. Or if it was feeling lost, off course.

It’s in THOSE WORDS we find our truth once declared before God and the foundations of this earth, as well as a challenge to the greatest empire the world had ever seen as well as their king.

Our veritas, our truth.

The truth is not in the eye of the beholder, that’s a fool’s statement, words of a moral relativist. The truth never moves. It is constant. A truth is eternal. It may get covered up. Clouds may pass over – blinding us from the light of truth – but it cannot remove that star, that truth, from being. It is still there shining down regardless of whatever storm blows up obstructing its light.

Now, there may be those who wish to cloud up our skies to keep us from seeing it. There are pedants who strike at the hand that wrote those words demanding his name be eradicated from history’s texts. But in doing so they risk their own eradication as much as those that cloud up the skies do. Their purist arguments are often reductive.

Everything today feels wrong because it is. This throwing out of illegal immigrants without rational. This sudden movement shift to the right. This purist ‘America first’ mentality which harkens back to darker days of the early 20th century. This is all obfuscation. Donald Trump and his ilk, as well as his supporters, are nothing more than a storm that’s blown up.

As Americans, we need to look up and cast our gaze back upon our truth. Then and only then, will we begin to navigate these choppy and suddenly unsafe waters we sail today. We are off course. We are not living up to who WE said we were. And we do so, to our own peril. Regardless of where you stand politically. We have denied ourselves of OUR Truth. No immigrant, nor a terrorist, nor foreign power can remove that truth from us. That’s something only we can do. Something we’re doing to ourselves, right now.

And if we’re not careful, we’ll run her aground. Look up, America. Get your bearings. Get your sea legs back. Get YOUR TRUTH, BACK!

Semper Avanti.

The Fundamentalist Inside Me.

bigger-boat

 

The fundamentalist in my head – that little part of me – that ‘thing’ so wretched and vile, so unmerciful and braggadocious, has been whispering to me all day.
In that corner of my consciousness. In the back where I keep the memories of the past so malignant like cancer, that stinks like spoiled meat, has been echoing its angry voice through my head all day.
I see in my head truth becoming a lie. Facts have become fiction. Climate change is ignored for coal production and more fossil fuel extraction.
I see in my head the rise of authoritarianism. Conway is calling the media the ‘instigators’ of trouble – when her boss is the ultimate trouble maker. For having whipped a country into a feeding frenzy with the wretchedness of his speech.
Although, I see compassion blazing white hot. When a Mosque was burnt to the ground due to the encouragement by the sitting president to mistreat foreigners and strangers – Jews, the people Christ first went to, the most persecuted people in history, hand over the keys of their synagogue for their distant cousins to worship. And when I see people march for their rights, for their futures, and for their posterity – it is met with scorn and ridicule from a populace that’s been encouraged to bear its teeth.
I see the rise of white supremacy. “Go back home,” “We don’t want your kind here.” “Speak English.” “Build a wall.” “Turn refugees back.” “Make America Great Again.”
I see the rise of fascism. “The newsmen are all liars.” Denial of Russian Involvement in this election. Denial of the popular vote. The rising up of power hungry preachers into key positions in government ‘to investigate’ higher learning. The placement of a woman to teach children ‘creationism’ in place of good, solid, fact-based science. Someone who will eradicate history. The great agitators who speak of Christ out of one side of their mouth yet starve men in the streets, cut off workers compensation, make health care less affordable, while living in palatial splendor. Those who castigated the Popes of old and called the church “The Great Whore’ while wearing thigh high boots on television with their 1-800 numbers convincing old women to endorse their social security checks to them. Men, more in love with power than the God they pretend to serve.
While that Pope, seemingly powerless, begs the world not to head into the direction it is heading. While he tries – maybe in vain – to steer the world back from the brink by reminding them of supremacy’s failed history. While he tries to hold back the flood.
I see a nation teetering on the edge of oblivion. While the world shudders in horror and absolute fear. I sense a war on the horizon. The drums beating down from inside the bowels of the earth. Perhaps The Church was His church after all.
No, that little troll isn’t warning me. He’s celebrating. He’s basking in the glow of what he sees as this ‘world’s’ comeuppance. He is the one so filled with rage and contempt for the world that didn’t lock step into what he thought it should be. They didn’t believe exactly how he believed. He who thinks himself superior to all others. He who thinks he is saved of the saved and everyone else is damned. This is the voice of radical. This is the voice of a hatemonger. This is a fearful and loathsome creature who can never ever be satisfied.
And no – Donald Trump is not the Antichrist. No. To Republicans and their voters – he is revenge. He is justice. He is law and order. He is no longer having to bite their tongue when someone whom they consider lesser demands equality. He is no longer having to bite their tongue when cruelty and malice rage forth like bile. That turn a blind eye when they see someone on the street hungry and abandoned. When they blame the woman alone for becoming pregnant. When they call a soldier a hero but the veteran a drag on society. No, Donald Trump is their hero.
To us -who know better – He is the Beast.
We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

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

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.’