Too many weeks “like this”

hitting things

sky's The LimitIn response to my most recent request to Ask Roger Anythingfillyjonk writes: Green says “I hope I don’t have a lot more weeks like this” after having several people in his life die and wow, I have had WAY too many weeks “like this” these past couple years. (ANOTHER friend at church lost her husband on Saturday). I’ve stared into the abyss altogether too much these past few years but find I have few answers

While I’m unclear whether it is an actual question or an observation, the narrative is compelling enough to try – emphasis on TRY – to answer it. The short answer is that I don’t know. Sometimes, I feel that I don’t know anything. But I keep throwing things against the wall, hoping some of them stick.

Releasing the rage

For one, I yell at the television when certain people are saying… the polite term is BS. This is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating perhaps from 2015. Lindsay Graham, for instance, is far more frustrating to me than people who are always awful, like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Josh Hawley. After expelling the anger, I feel better. No harm is done. Furniture and people are intact.

Recently, I mentioned to Arthur that a Dear Abby letter actually enraged me, much to my surprise. Basically, a family member thought another in his tribe was grieving for too long. She had “overstayed her time on the pity potty.” Abby for her part disagreed with the letter writer. Having allowed myself to be angry, it dissipated.

For far too long, I had tended to try to suppress my anger as “not nice” until I would blow a gasket. One needs to release the steam from the radiator.

Boy, I miss playing racquetball. That was a really good release of tension, hitting a bouncy thing with a fancy stick. I’m reminded that when I got really perturbed, I would find a stick, maybe a tree branch that had fallen, and strike it against a telephone pole or another item unlikely to be damaged. Therapeutic.

Can’t nothing be love but love 

On a Vlogbrothers post titled Motivation in Hard Times, John Green noted that he used to operate out of anger and resentment. And for a while, that worked for him. He showed up his old writing teacher who said he wasn’t good enough to be in his class. Ha! He had books published and then turned into movies. But ultimately, and he is a tad embarrassed by it, hesky's The Limit says it comes down to love.

In February, Dua Lipa interviewed Stephen Colbert on his show. She asked him about his faith. He said it’s “‘connected to the idea of love and sacrifice being somehow related and giving yourself to other people.'”

Surely, love is the optimal route. Yet you also need to find a term that’s become almost a cliche, self-care, whatever that is. It might be playing with stuffed animals or listening to music or reading comic books or getting a massage. Writing helps me somewhat. It’s naturally different for everyone.

I wish you well.

Valentine’s Day rambling: NECCO

Johnny McDaniel, worked over the years as a miner and milk truck driver, married and divorced Rodger’s mother three times and he loved music

necco.conversation-heartsThis being the middle of the month, I thought I’d do some linkage related to love. The first post,from Mark Evanier’s blog, he posted back in June 2018, but I saved it for this day.

Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin “are a splendid union of two very talented people who seem to know absolutely everyone in their profession, their profession being The Theatre. Here’s nine minutes of Jim and Steve singing about their relationship.”


Alumni couple celebrates 75 years of marriage
Dorothy Dever ’43 and Robert Dever ’43 met at SUNY New Paltz – my alma mater – as education students and were married on August 28, 1943, in East Rockaway, N.Y. They are now celebrating 75 years together.


Season 2 of the Love Letters Podcast: taking on a big, complicated, seemingly unanswerable question: How do you meet someone?


Things I loved about the Super Bowl: Gladys Knight’s performance of the national anthem. The NFL at 100 ad. The Democracy Dies in Darkness ad AND a response. What I didn’t love: the game.


Only one of the reasons I loved Frank Robinson, the first black manager in Major League Baseball, who died February 7: he was the Most Valuable Player in the National League in 1961, playing for the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds traded him away after the 1965 season. He was the Most Valuable Player in the American League in 1966, for the Baltimore Orioles.


Rent-a-sister: Coaxing Japan’s hikikomori men out of their bedrooms
Not only do these Japanese young men not date, sometimes they never leave their bedrooms.


This is about familial love: How A Long-Lost Guitar Was A Lesson In Grace And Forgiveness

“Rodger McDaniel was 21 years old when his father died. His dad, Johnny McDaniel, worked over the years as a miner and milk truck driver, married and divorced Rodger’s mother three times – and he loved music.”

As someone commented: “Those Story Corps folks have killed me almost every Friday morning for years. Don’t know why I even bother to wear mascara on Fridays.”


Finally, Chuck wrote: May as well cancel Valentine’s Day now

“The New England Confectionery Company – better known as Necco – went bankrupt last year, and their products and recipes were purchased by an Ohio-based candy company, Spangler, in the bankruptcy sale.

“And Spangler didn’t have enough time to produce enough candy hearts – with their ubiquitous messages of ‘LOVE YOU’ and ‘I DO’ and “CALL ME” and ‘BE MINE’ – in time for the 2019 Valentine’s Day season.

“Now this doesn’t mean that candy hearts won’t be around for the season – I understand two other companies, Sour Patch and Brach’s, will have candy hearts – but let’s face it. They’re not Necco hearts.”

Here’s a confession I don’t know that should make, especially living New England-adjacent. But here goes: I hate those NECCO candies. I think they taste like chalk. I’m so glad to get that off my chest.

Ringo Starr and “peace and love”

Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence,

spiderThe birthday of Ringo Starr is July 7. And for his birthday, Ringo wants us all to flash the peace sign and say the words “peace and love” at noon in whatever time zone you’re in.

In 2005, on that date, there were the horrific London bombings.

In 2016, on that date, there was the horrific shooting of police in Dallas, TX apparently by a lone gunman, an Army veteran.

OBVIOUSLY, this “peace and love” stuff is not working.  It’s NOT working. Does this mean we stop trying? Hell, no.

Scott Pelley of CBS News noted, in his live interview with the Texas Attorney General, the irony of the specific mass attack, since the Dallas Police Department has been a model for confronting police brutality. He misspoke in a cringeworthy moment, but yes, we DO get it. Dallas officer-involved shootings HAVE rapidly declined in recent years. DPD should get props for trying to do the right thing. Why were THEY targeted?

Just like Philando Castile was trying to do the right thing when he was shot by a police officer at a traffic stop, so this “right way to deal with cops at traffic stops” would not have helped. Why was HE targeted?

It’s our difficult duty to shut out the noise, that “race-baiting” Elizabeth Warren is to blame for the death of Dallas cops, or a former Congressman (!) calling for revenge against President Obama and Black Lives Matter. Escalation of rhetoric is NOT the remedy.

I’ve been reading a book – more about that when I’ve finished it – that suggests that certain segments of society see information very differently. This explanation of Black Lives Matter may be useful to some; I do hope so. And if not, well, I’m trying.

Regardless, we may be ultimately stuck with Ringo Starr and “peace and love.” We drag out hoary Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes, appreciative that his words have outlived him. And, given, the means of his death, hope that he is, or will be, correct.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction … The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

Martin Luther King – Loving Your Enemies

Jesus was very serious when he gave this command; he wasn’t playing.

mlkMartin Luther King Jr. delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, 17 November 1957.

…It’s so basic to me because it is a part of my basic philosophical and theological orientation—the whole idea of love, the whole philosophy of love.

In the fifth chapter of the gospel as recorded by Saint Matthew, we read these very arresting words flowing from the lips of our Lord and Master: “Ye have heard that it has been said, ‘Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.”

Certainly, these are great words, words lifted to cosmic proportions. And over the centuries, many persons have argued that this is an extremely difficult command. Many would go so far as to say that it just isn’t possible to move out into the actual practice of this glorious command. They would go on to say that this is just additional proof that Jesus was an impractical idealist who never quite came down to earth. So the arguments abound.

But far from being an impractical idealist, Jesus has become the practical realist. The words of this text glitter in our eyes with a new urgency. Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies.

Now let me hasten to say that Jesus was very serious when he gave this command; he wasn’t playing. He realized that it’s hard to love your enemies. He realized that it’s difficult to love those persons who seek to defeat you, those persons who say evil things about you. He realized that it was painfully hard, pressingly hard. But he wasn’t playing.

And we cannot dismiss this passage as just another example of Oriental hyperbole, just a sort of exaggeration to get over the point. This is a basic philosophy of all that we hear coming from the lips of our Master. Because Jesus wasn’t playing; because he was serious. We have the Christian and moral responsibility to seek to discover the meaning of these words and to discover how we can live out this command, and why we should live by this command.

Now first let us deal with this question, which is the practical question: How do you go about loving your enemies? I think the first thing is this: In order to love your enemies, you must begin by analyzing self. And I’m sure that seems strange to you, that I start out telling you this morning that you love your enemies by beginning with a look at self. It seems to me that that is the first and foremost way to come to an adequate discovery to the how of this situation…

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that…

Read the whole text HERE.

Martin Luther King was born on this date in 1929.
***
One Of TV’s Most Inspiring Women Almost Gave Up

September rambling #2, hernia operation edition: Consent 101

SamuraiFrog completes his Weird Al epic.

Thesaurus
Am I having fun this morning? Hernia operation. I may be “out of pocket” for a few days.

Why did the Speaker of the House quit? The Plot Against Planned Parenthood and John Boehner.

From the American Conservative, no less: The Quiet Grand Strategy of Barack Obama. “Are the president’s diplomatic initiatives winning a new American Century?”

Study: White people react to evidence of white privilege by claiming greater personal hardships.

There Is No Excuse for How Universities Treat Adjuncts.

Re: the Muslim teen who created a clock and got arrested, it’s now clear they didn’t think he had a bomb. And talk about foolishness in school settings: 11-year-old gifted student suspended 1 year for having a pot leaf that wasn’t a pot leaf.

From Wondermark: Fauxtopia.

A TIDE commercial.

And now for the sex portion of our post: Consent 101 and How Often the Average Couple Has Sex.

Too Much in Love to Say Good Night.

End Daylight Saving Time.

Harvard linguist points out the 58 most commonly misused words and phrases.

Now I Know: Switzerland Making Headway Against Rabies and The Mystery of the Appalachian Bend and Everyday Superheroes at the Elder Care Facility and How Smoking Gave PEZ a Boost and How to Pay Yourself $2.1 Million in Taxes.

From Donna: “Thinking of writing a bedtime book for grownups along the lines of GOODNIGHT MOON. It will be titled SHUTUP BRAIN.”

R.I.P., Nancy J. Ellegate, who sat about 40 meters from my desk at work, and who I talked with about myriad topics several times a week.

A bridge comes down in Binghamton, my hometown.

Ron Marz on reviewing comics.

There Will Officially Be NO MORE X-Men in Marvel Comics.

A nice little primer on aspect ratio in movies.

Muppets. As of this writing, I haven’t yet watched the first episode of the new show yet. TV’s Newest Reality Stars (e.g., Kermit Gets Set Up) and has the new show taken an-unfortunately-dark-turn and Joey Mazzarino has left Sesame Street.

I Made Alex Trebek Say ‘Turd Ferguson’.

The longest-running shows on Broadway.

career-distortions

R.I.P., Ben Cauley of the Mar-Keys.

Like what you like, ABBA division.

Joe Jackson’s Ode To Joy.

SamuraiFrog completes his Weird Al epic: 10-6, and 5-1. Could my response to his response to a post of mine be far behind?

Chuck Miller says goodbye to his 78s.

MASHUPS: Blondie Vs. The Doors – Rapture Riders and Stevie Wonder vs The Clash – Uptight/Rock The Casbah.

The history of the memorable and covinous Dick Van Dyke Show comic books published by Gold Key in the sixties.

GOOGLE ALERT:
What was the first comic book you remember reading? and Tips for Surviving and Thriving at The Albany Comic Con and a roundtable discussion on the topic of comics blogging and Do comics matter? (And I don’t mean Chris Rock, I mean Sgt. Rock.)

Re: the second cartoon:
Reza Farazmand says: “Feel free to repost these comics on your blog/website/forehead, as long as it’s for non-commercial purposes. Just attribute the comic to poorlydrawnlines.com and include a link back. Thaaanks.”

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