A few years ago, my church had a gathering for people experiencing the Christmas blues. I didn’t go, but I understand it wasn’t well-attended, so it fell by the wayside. I never believed it was from a lack of need.
There is surely a market. I think a lot of people feel OBLIGATED to act peachy-keen about the holidays.
They may be financially underwater or stressed about getting the perfect gift. Loneliness is often a factor at this time of year, ironically. Grief and estrangement are huge during the holidays. I have to actively work against the melancholy, myself.
Let me tell you what makes me feel just a little peachier at this time of year. It’s when I use my solstice powers to request that you Ask Roger Anything. If you do so, I am obliged to answer, generally within four weeks.
A wide variety
You could ask about impeachment or peach melba or the book James and the Giant Peach, though I have, in fact, never read it. The Allman Brothers album Eat a Peach or the duo Peaches and Herb or songs referencing the fruit. Or a different fruit. Or even vegetables.
Think of this as a method of social interaction that could alleviate your stress and mine. If you’d rather, vent that frustration over family gatherings, as you bite your lip not saying the wrong thing. Or saying it. You could share it here.
Per usual, you can leave any of your questions and/or suggestions, in the comments section of this blog or on Facebook or Twitter; for the latter, my name is ersie. Always look for the duck.
If you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s ducky, but you need to state that specifically. E-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to be unnamed; otherwise, I’ll assume you want to share your identity. Pseudonyms also work.
“bound together in love and loyalty, friendship and affection.”
Hey, I said you can Ask Roger Anything. Someone I know IRL sent me this link from Fox News – “Deroy Murdock: Dem presidential candidates lie when they claim Trump is a racist.” The subtitle: “Democrats love to call President Trump a ‘racist.’ It’s a lie fanned by the Old Guard media that contributes to the poison of division choking America.” I’m not connecting to it, but you can find it if you want.
“These and other Democrats deliberately ignore the 25 or more instances in which Trump condemned racism, denounced white nationalism, attacked anti-Semitism, applauded Jews, embraced blacks, praised Muslims, and preached national unity and love among Americans, from coast to coast.” These include calls against white supremacy after the El Paso shootings, and generic good wishes during Black History Month or Ramadan.
This is a lot to unpack. First off, I reject the notion that the candidates are “lying.” They are expressing opinions. I mean, “What IS racist anyway?”, which I tried to address.
Next, the notion that the MSM is “fanning” the flames suggests something that isn’t accurate. I’ve watched the evening news on two networks (CBS, NBC) at least five days a week for several years. Many people, and I am among them, had been exasperated by the media saying he said something “racially tinged.” It’s been only fairly recently when a report noted when a “racist” comment had been made.
I have said I believe he is racist. This does not reflect a few events or policies but rather a systemic pattern of behavior.
One of the positive examples Murdock, citing a National Review article, mentions is this: “All Americans, whether first-generation or tenth generation, are bound together in love and loyalty, friendship and affection.” This was at a swearing-in ceremony in the Oval Office on January 19, 2019.
“We are all equal. We are one team, and one people, proudly saluting one great American flag. We believe in a safe and lawful system of immigration, one that upholds our laws, our traditions, and our most cherished values.” Yet his policy on LEGAL immigration belies his rhetoric.
In other words, his words are often not to be believed. In other words – yes, I’m going to use the same L-word here, so brace yourselves – he lies. He prevaricates about issues consequential and irrelevant. He states mistruths about foreign policy and weather maps.
His “attacks on the congresswomen of color in The Squad were the breaking point for… Gregory Cheadle. [He] has not only broken with the Republican Party, he’s running for Congress as an independent.
“President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme,” Cheadle told PBS Newshour. “Republicans are too sheepish to call him out on anything and they are afraid of losing their positions and losing any power themselves.”
“Cheadle is calling out the ‘pro-white’ agenda of Republicans, and he’s come to have second thoughts about his initial response to [Trump’s characterization] ‘I wonder to what extent he said that for political gain or for attention.’ Don’t wonder!”
Still, if you are uncomfortable with labeling him “racist,” that’s fine by me. Former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile recently said that she often has trouble from people angry because she will not label [him] as a racist… She thinks it is time for citizens to have a ‘conversation’ without resorting to name-calling.
“Brazile said, as a woman of color, people, and not only Democrats, expect to hear she thinks [he] is a racist, but racism, ‘America’s original sin, slavery,’ is something that everyone has to deal with.” This is no doubt true.
One of the insightful things my wife said at the end of August is that we mostly didn’t drive each other crazy. Still, we both agreed that it’s good that she’s going back to work in September.
You’d think it’d be easier to write, being unemployed retired. My personal running joke: I gleefully ay I’m unemployed, a LOT. Of course, I’m NOT looking for a job.
More than one person asked if I had gotten to the point where I don’t know how I managed to squeeze working into my schedule. That has been true only since when I came back from Indiana the third week in July when I DIDN’T have to go back to work and deal with 500 work emails and a ton of reference questions.
I still have a lot of organizing of the bedroom, which will involve pulling clothes out of drawers and closets, trying on stuff, making piles, then making it liveable enough for my wife to sleep in there.
And the office. She emptied one file drawer in there, dumping all those receipts for 2007. The multiple insurance companies I’m dealing with need their own folders that I can access, not just wade through a drawer repeatedly.
BTW, she and I file very differently. She puts the tabs on the front, but I put them in the back. She keeps receipts chronologically; I have categories, such as appliances. In other words, her way seems to work for her most of the time, but I can’t find a damn thing. I need my own.
With all that context, it is time for you to Ask Roger Anything. Anything at all; hey, I’ll time to answer them, most likely with a couple of fortnights (n.b. – I still don’t have time to take up Fortnite).
As always, you can leave any of your questions and/or suggestions, in the comments section of this blog or on Facebook or Twitter; for the latter, my name is ersie. Always look for the duck.
If you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s allowable, but you need to SAY so specifically. E-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to be unnamed; otherwise, I’ll assume you want your moniker to be noted.
“I learn something from criticism because when it comes from sources you respect, you always examine it and learn.” – Maurice Strong
The readings MAY involve the consumption of alcohol
Arthur, who is experiencing that brutal Kiwi winter right now, was the first person to both Tell AND Ask Roger Anything.
TELL: You should write a book!
ASK: What obstacles would you have to overcome, and/or what would you need in place to write a book?
Back around my birthday in March 2019, I thought what I might do in my retirement. Writing a book was not even a consideration. What would I write it about? Me? I wasn’t feeling it.
Then in May, I came around to maybe writing about the house in which my mother grew up. I’d actually floated this to one of my cousins a couple of years ago. She was doing some genealogy about our common ancestors. It was beyond the scope of what she was working on, but I spent a lot of time there myself.
Moreover, my sister Marcia has a LOT of photos that she’s scanned. the pictures are mostly of the exteriors, but also a lot of people over a roughly 60-year span.
There’s another book that I thought about, involving the year I turned 19. A momentous year in my life. The problem is that I’d have to reveal my own shortcomings publicly.
The good news, however, is that I had kept diaries as far back as March 1972, so I have detailed accounts of at least some of what I did. And I mean OVERLY precise. What I ate, and where, et al.
I think I got the idea from my college roommate in my freshman year, a grad student named Ron, who wrote down EVERYTHING he spent, a candy bar or going out to dinner. One day, he spent $1,000 on a car, which really skewed his daily averages.
My diaries, and there are about a dozen of them, continued to about 1986. It’s not the entire period, because several of the journals were destroyed in the flooded basement of the apartment building I was living in c 1997. I genuinely don’t know what I have and what was lost.
At the time, I was quite upset, but now I am somewhat relieved that at least part of my ever-present past has been obliterated. It means, though, that EVENTUALLY, I’m going to read those remaining chicken scratching. Thus, the advantage and the obstacle are the same.
Some of it will be great. Is THAT when I saw that concert! I’ll get to relieve some of the history of FantaCo, the comic book store where I worked in the 1980s.
Some of it will be awful. My, was I petulant? Or unkind! Or oblivious! I’ll probably get to relieve heartbreak that I caused, or received! Oh, boy.
And, ha! now I’ll probably have time to read the damn things. The readings MAY involve the consumption of alcohol.
From that mess of a life, I’ll have to figure out what the STORIES are. 1972, which I remember surprisingly well even without the prompts, has a certain dramatic arc. Other than that year, I’m not at all sure about a narrative. And how do I write about other people I’ve mentioned, many of whom are still around?
Once I DO start writing, if I start writing, I realize that I need to do it when I’m mostly alone, when my wife and daughter are asleep, or downstairs watching some dance show on TV, or off to work/school. I work best in the presence of semi-loud, generally familiar music.
Usually, at the this time of the year, I do this thing Ask Roger Anything. That still holds; more anon.
But THIS time only, gentle reader, you ALSO get to give me unsolicited advice about what I should do upon retirement from my job, which will be very soon.
Some of you braver folks have already offered me suggestions in this area. They contain the “You can take on…” statements, which I assiduously ignore. The “let’s think on that” category comprises things like travel, if we can figure out what to do with the cats.
Now the clearly clever people have come up with ideas such as taking naps – brilliant, I say!; reading that stack of magazines that have piled up; and watching those shows still clogging the DVR. I did mention naps, right?
Here’s the other thing. When you TELL Roger Anything, Roger can haughtily ignore your ideas. Whereas when you ASK Roger Anything, he HAS to respond to that, usually within the month, to the best of his ability. Obfuscation is allowed in ARA, but it’s not generally employed.
Of course, if you were extremely clever, I suppose you could get your “tell” to sound like an “ask”. And you can ask anything, no matter how mundane. I can do mundane especially well; wait for the next round of my ABC Wednesday responses.
As always, you can leave any of your questions and/or suggestions, in the comments section of this here blog or on Facebook or Twitter; for the latter, my name is ersie. Always look for the duck.
If you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s swell, but you need to SAY so specifically. E-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to remain mysterious; otherwise, I’ll assume you want your names to be up in lights like the Broadway star you want to be!
Oh, yeah, I still need to finish watching the Tonys…