Thinking Aloud. . .


Has anyone ever considered who is getting rich and even richer each time a massacre occurs in America? Has anyone ever stopped to consider that a “good man with a gun” is only wishful thinking at best, and at worst an advertising campaign, created for the sole purpose of selling more guns and bullets?

How is it possible that our nation as a whole has fallen for the biggest advertising con job in United States history?

The most outrageous part of all is that it’s entirely within our power to stop this spilling of American blood. Yet all we give are our condolences, peppered with moments of silence. And the dead remain dead.

***

I am sick and tired of the non-stop media attention Donald Trump has received and continues to receive.  It’s hard to believe he has been given millions of dollars of free publicity for his own aggrandizement.  What other candidate could begin to match that kind of media exposure?

In retrospect, maybe, that much press coverage was good for a while; it has taught us he is a terrible candidate for the presidency, but isn’t it now time to pull the plug?  Nothing he says is coherent or valuable — except to our enemies.

***

It was just the beginning of the weekend; Friday night I was watching the local news on TV as police surrounded a club in Orlando. The news was vague; no one knew exactly what was happening inside the club.  I feared that it was something absolutely terrifying.  Why else such a huge police and media presence?

I discovered the next day that a local celebrity had been shot by someone who had decided he just didn’t like her. Some depraved sicko had destroyed a human life just like that.  I could not imagine the horror.  But the horror was just beginning.

Early Sunday morning the news about another club, and yet another massacre in Orlando; my blood ran cold. So much violence!

I watched the count of the dead climb from 23 to 50, but let’s not forget the 53 wounded.  That maniac shot at and hit 103 human beings – 103 lives changed, damaged or destroyed.

I don’t know if I can return to Orlando anytime soon without wondering if there is some other maniac with a gun, waiting for an unsuspecting shopper.  All of which is unfair to the beautiful city of Orlando and the wonderful people who live there.  I feel ashamed of my cowardice.

Lesson learned — the sight of so much blood, and the cries of so many victims is way stronger than courage.

***

I briefly met Muhammad Ali in a hotel elevator in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico.  Staring at him, I remember thinking the champ didn’t look like a fighter at all. His face was beautiful and his voice gentle.

“Let them in.” he said, as the elevator door closed, but his companions, hotel security, would not allow us to enter the elevator. This encounter took only seconds, but I will always remember it and him.

***

“Bill Nye boo’d in Texas for saying the moon reflects the sun.”

When I read about this incident in Texas, I was stunned.  Even elementary school children know that the moon reflects the sun, but as I understood it, those doing the booing were adults — not as well educated as children, perhaps.

It is then I decided that to survive as a nation we all need to call out Stupid, who has now become a bully, flaunting  its ignorance as virtue.   If this offends us, we all must then ensure that Stupid fully understands that it and its faithful companions, Hatred and Bigotry, are no longer welcome in our country.

***

We live in a nation enamored with guns and violence. We watch too many movies and TV that reinforce our fascination with weaponry.  Obviously, many of us go through life believing reality should mirror the violent fiction on both the big and small screen.  As a consequence some weak minded individuals take up arms and blast their way to the 6 o’clock news and the banner headlines of the print press — instant fame and satisfaction for the insane.

***

Neighbor: Did you know there’s a big black snake living in your bushes?

Me: Yes!  It’s our first anniversary next week.

Neighbor: Well, what are you waiting for?

Me: Excuse me?

Neighbor: When are you going to exterminate?  That thing stopped my heart when it slithered across your driveway.  It is damn big.

Me: The Black Racer’s name is Sylvester Stallone.

Neighbor:  It’s a pet?

Me:  Absolutely not! Sylvester is part of my maintenance staff.  He takes care of the rodent population.

Neighbor:  You’re crazy!

Me:  As a fox!  I don’t have to pay him for the service.  Listen, I am a good neighbor; so allow me to warn you that Sylvester doubles as part of my security staff. As such he doesn’t like strangers.

— Neighbor gets the hint.

***

“Latinos are now the largest group of color in the country, with a popula­tion that exceeds 54 million people, making up 17 percent of the total U.S. population and 46 percent of all people of color in America.

“The countries of ancestry of the six largest subgroups of Latinos are Mexico (63 percent), Puerto Rico (9.2 percent), Cuba (3.5 percent), El Salvador and the Dominican Republic (each about 3 percent), and Gua­temala (2.1 percent) — collectively comprising 84 percent of the total Latino population in the United States.”

      —  Brown is the New White by Steve Phillips. 

***

Two days ago I ordered an iPhone from Walmart. It was a smooth, easy process until twenty minutes later when Walmart customer service emailed me; they had canceled my order without explanation.  

I telephoned immediately and asked customer service what went wrong?  That information was unavailable, the agent said.

When pressed for information the customer service agent would only say that there was some irregularity with payment. What irregularity? Walmart’s customer service would not clarify; the order was cancelled and I would have to accept that.

OK, no problem, I told her; my money is good anywhere, and it is. I then placed the order with Gazelle. That transaction also went smoothly, and even more importantly Gazelle did not cancel the order without explanation.  My new phone was on its way.

Twenty-four hours later, I received another email from Walmart, informing me that my new phone had just shipped. WHAT?!   Stupid strikes again.

***

This morning I was weeding a small patch by the front door when suddenly, I heard a deep, loud, snarling growl behind me!

Yikes! Holding my hoe as a weapon, I whirled in the direction of the sound, expecting to see some sizable animal creeping up on me; nothing stood there.

Wondering if perhaps a snake could growl like that, I poked the bushes along the walk with my hoe.  Nothing revealed itself and since the bushes are only 20 inches high and 19 inches deep, nothing big really could possibly hide there.

Then I heard it again. The growl had deepened into a low, rumbling threat. My curiosity and my courage ran into the house; I followed suit.

From time to time I still peek out the window to see if the owner of that growl will show itself. So far nothing. It must be shy. I guess I’ll never know what small beast drove me away, with the power of its roar.

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2 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud. . .

  1. Carole, this is bad. I kept trying to find something reassuring to contribute. The only thing I can find after a mind search is that the number of people booing Bill Nye was considered small. Isn’t that a comfort?

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