“Can’t you hear the children scream”? Send by Randy

They Voted to Eat their Young

Why it Matters,  They Voted to Eat their Young.  By Randy

  Picture1  Jakuniku-kyoushoku.  “It’s the year 2022, and the population has risen to a third of a billion for the United States.  Pollution, catastrophic climate change and blind greed-based taxation has caused severe shortages of food, water and housing nationwide while the military budget grows beyond the ability of the nation.  Only the wealthy can afford health care.  The environment is oppressively hot and humid thanks to the out-of-control greenhouse effect.  Corporate America has taken on the role of feeding most of the nation’s population with tasteless processed foods, over-preserved and under scrutinized, while nutritional and safety factors are the new cost of repeatedly underfunded government overwatch programs and an overworked populace repeatedly asked to sacrifice more and more so the wealthiest may receive favorable tax breaks.  The Soylent Corporation produces their wonder food called Soylent Green…” (edited quote of Soylent Green film summary, 1973).

   I am quite fascinated by movies, books and articles detailing the expected world of my current life, like the above movie synopsis.  I read 1984 and thought it was Oracular. Picture2 My father kept Popular Mechanics magazines from the 1950’s and 1960’s that tell me I should be flying my car by now.  Shortly after I was born American men were walking on the moon, stepping out of the nation’s boundaries as explorers and architects of a new future.  During that time, a generation fought against itself – one side imagining the heights we could go if we only dreamed, if we only loved one-another, if we only gave more than lip service to the idea of freedom, while others suffered a nightmare of bullets in jungles they didn’t know existed but a short time before.  Men of Peace, men of hope, men like John Lennon died to bullets, and it seemed like the generation had made its choice.  The fall of Jimmy Carter, the rise of Trickle-Down politics and Glory of Greed, Iran/Contra-gate, a new war in the land of sand and oil, and a new rising NRA became the Siren’s Song spelling the end to the hope of Lennon and King. 

  In ‘Men in Black’, Tommy Lee Jones asked Will Smith ‘They are beautiful, aren’t they…Picture3the stars…I never look at them anymore’.  Have we lost the hope that seemed to infect America when I was young, when cars were shaped after rocket ships and kids would look to the stars and dream of following in Buzz Aldren’s steps?  It is no wonder to me why people long for the world to be like it was in the ‘60’s.  Life was simpler back then, provided you weren’t drafted, a woman, a minority or poor.  Marjory Taylor Greene has called for a new America, a new Civil War, a new Hitlerian dystopia where we must declare our votes.  She wants to void criminal charges for a national secrets leak because it was originated by someone who was white, Christian and anti-war.  Lauren Bobert says that babies are being murdered after birth for the convenience of a late abortionist.  Our most recent president is in court for Rape, Tax Fraud, and his followers are going to Jail for Sedition and Violence in efforts to Overthrow the Government, but that’s all “fake news”.  Fox News pays $787,500,000 to avoid justice, Governor DeSantis kidnaps destitute families and declares gay people to no longer exist in Florida, and “Good Guys with Guns” stood by and watched babies be shot.  Across The Land of the Free, men are being accused of horrible crimes for telling stories to children and their parents in public libraries.  The religious right has declared the liar, the glutton, adulterer, the jealous, the proud, the lazy and the wrath filled to be saintly.

   I don’t think anyone really cares what Marjory Taylor Greene really believes since the idea that she would be called upon to seriously debate a moral standard in anyPicture4 capacity beyond a cautionary one is surely pure comedy.  She is surely not the cause of our troubles, only the parasite that feeds on our weakened flesh.  She is a result of a country that gains their beliefs from news anchors and pundits, like rags flapping in a breeze that the ill-considered salute unquestioningly.  I understand; I’m a Chicago Cubs fan, and I could respond to any challenge with “We’ll get them next year”.  Then one year they somehow kept winning and the joke became real. 

  The ’Trump in Politics’ era, which coincided quite conveniently with the ”No” era of the republicans brought about a fracture in what was respectable public speech. Picture5 I was raised that it is the obligation of every man to those who follow behind to make a world better than he found it so that his children may live their life without war, famine, disease, poverty.  But suddenly there was a black man in the White House and the era of fear and denial was upon us.  Now we are strangled by guns, anger, lies and false reality.  The preeminent focus is not what is best for our youth, our country, but what will regain the lost power of the ’50’s for those longing for a world gone by.

  What happened to love? Picture6 What happened to my neighbor?  What happened to those Sunday School lessons?  Have we lost already the promise of our fathers, the charge of those who came before?  We are meant to be a country of builders.   I feel anger and despair in those around me as they are denied their reality, denied their choice, denied their identity. 

  I would propose a new law, a new rule:  When finally that long line in the cold of November on that blustery Tuesday, alongside the ballot of new candidates and propositions, tax law and millages, sets a screen.  On that screen flip pictures of the voter’s family, his friends, his loved ones.  And, then, maybe his vote isn’t one designed to enact vengeance and fear but hope for those who come after.  Maybe then the vote is for the ones who truly matter in all that we do:  Those who will inherit the decision about to be made.


Why It Matters 4 by Randy


Why it Matters IV

The cost of doing business

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  As I look into the mirror, shaving a greyed beard from a face lined by time and trouble, I remember a younger face once looking at me from this very glass with similarly sad eyes.  A boy of dirty elbows and skinned knees, and behind that perpetually down-cast sight beat a heart filled with impotent rage.  I knew my life was wrong, it was unfair, and it was a hot mess of a kid staring back from the mirror that reported horrible things filled with quiet unshed rage and denial of every truth that came anywhere near. WIM4 pic 2 At that younger time, I was pure lethality with a gun.  I made a game of being able to spin the cap off a bottle without breaking the bottle by just nicking the side with the bullet, but I enjoyed the explosions of the shattering glass when I missed.  Like many kids, I relished the wanton destruction, the control of continued existence or the end of that bottle.  I felt powerful, skilled, and capable in a world where otherwise I foundered at the whim of forces I felt incapable of withstanding, weak, ineffectual.  

  If you have never held a gun, you know not the thrill of life, nor of death.  For many a gun is the mark of independence, the goal of maturity, the status symbol of greatness.  Instead, a momentary pull of a finger decides an accident of foolishness or the demands of a spurned heart WIM4 pic 3a and the most intimate of actions lets one be alive still and another not so very much.  It is horror and excitement and at no point does the heartbeat slowly for any involved.  It is but for targets, some may say, but what is target practice but the refinement of the skills necessary to kill that which you intend great harm?  Some say it is an act of freedom to hold the means to life and death in your hands, but whose life, whose death?  And why is the ability to take a life a definition for freedom?

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  From the tenor of this post, many would think I am against gun ownership.  To be fair, I couldn’t care less if someone owns a gun.  I similarly don’t care if someone owns a pit bull, a monster truck, or wants to live life as a raging karen. WIM4 pic 5 It is the unmitigated gall, the pretentious and pompous attitude that one’s ownership of a gun shall not be infringed, even in the misuse and mishandling.  Bill upon bill has come before congress, requesting the mere modicum of relief to those of us unwilling to be set upon by others unfettered 2nd amendment rights, only to wither in committee, shot down by the special interests lobby.  How sad a people who have decided money is far more important than the life of a school child.

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I often wonder if Dylan Thomas knew about the lure of guns when he wrote “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at the close of the day.”  When imagined and closeted monsters come and seek to take all that we hold precious, when fear and anger burn so bright as to risk all that is dear, WIM4 pic 7do hold tight to that instrument of power, that wand of courage that burns away the dark and sends the monster back into the closet?  But power is fickle, isn’t it?  It isn’t only our own fear, our own rage that dispels in the smoke of a smokeless powder concussion.  Quiet little sparks in Uvalde, in Sandy Hook, splashed out little stars in last moments of terror.  And as those little lives fade, do you wonder if their last thoughts are to be thankful that old men may rage, that young men may rage?  Hold on to your fear, gentlemen, do hold on to your fear if that is all you have left.  

  Don’t be sad, little ones.  It’s just the cost of doing business.  You understand, don’t you?

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Why it matters 3, by Randy

Why it Matters III

WIM3 pic 1Perhaps it was a poor choice. Some would certainly say so, while others, me included, found it a fantastic and hilarious romp into the absurd. Nonetheless, wisdom be damned, there he was. Dressed as a woman. He said he felt there was no choice. He said it didn’t change who he was, only allowed what made him distinctive and what he found to be imperative the opportunity to exist rather than be closeted and slowly dying in the darkness, the loneliness, the loss of all that was dear. The person he was, the identity that he felt in his heart wouldn’t change with the dress, it wasn’t the dress or the men’s clothing that made him who he was, it was only the outward appearance shown to a world that rarely gave a damn.

WIM3 pic 2For a while, as he navigated this new life as a woman, he felt mostly complete. The children loved him as he watched over them, cared for them.

The stuffed bra was something to get used to, something he had to learn to reach around. The make-up was daunting, but convincing. The wigs, the garters and hose, and the dresses. They were new, different, and they allowed his genuine being to be there. In the mirror held his alter-ego, staring at him soul to soul, questioning his motives, his beliefs, his methods to obtain that which he realized was his greatest calling. We all have those moments; I do as I look into the mirror in the mornings as I prepare for my day. What will today bring? Who will I be when incidents and consequence calls? Do I even believe what I say I believe? Do I live what I believe?

WIM3 pic 3Perhaps you have already seen through my deception as I bring my most favorite and troubled actor’s great film into this debate. Robin Williams was the great storyteller, the comedian who made the world laugh. Who knew his pain?

Who knew, despite how he was loved, that he felt so alone and lost. Behind the makeup, behind the laughter, behind the scenes of all that drama he brought to us beat the heart of a man who would leave us all too soon. It became all too obvious that we never knew him at all. We never knew what worried him, what he feared, what demons chased his dreams. We laughed at his characters as he made it all right with the world and brought about a happy ending in just a couple hours. If only it would.

To all those struggling to be free, I pray you may be one day. Never give up. Never surrender.