My Fallen Idol

 

When I was a kid, and got my first record player, the first albums I listened to were comedy albums, because those were what I had. I listened to them repeatedly, until I could recite them verbatim. And I would do exactly that, for anyone who would listen and several who wouldn’t.

Those records provided me plenty of material for my standup routine. Records by comedians such as Shelley Berman, Dick Gregory, Brother Dave Gardner, The Limelighters (a singing/comedy group), and Jonathan Winters. Look them up, kids.

Oh. And Bill Cosby.

He was easily my favorite. He made me laugh more than anyone I’d ever heard, first with his recollections of childhood, then his anecdotes of marriage and parenthood. As far as I was concerned, he was the funniest human being in the history of the world.

I so wish I could hang on to that. I wish I could always remember him as “America’s Dad,” the way we all came to know him during his hugely successful television show in the 1980’s. The guy in the commercials, sharing Jell-O pudding with the kids.

But Tuesday, he was led out of a courtroom in handcuffs, on his way to prison, to serve a three to ten year sentence for sexual assault, a crime of which he was accused by some 60 women.

And America’s Dad, whose hilarious stories I used to recite to friends and family, died for good in that moment.

And, in all honesty, I grieve that loss.

 

But, even more, I want to give a standing ovation for all the women who stood up to Bill Cosby, the Good Guy, the Icon, and said, “You raped us! And you’re done getting away with it!”

I mean, think of what a burden these women have carried over the years. The guilt. The shame. The fear of recrimination if they dared to accuse one of the most beloved entertainers of all time.

And, the recrimination they, in fact, received when they did finally speak up. People didn’t believe them, of course. After all, this was BILL COSBY!! How dare you accuse such a good man of such a horrible deed?!

But, they didn’t back down. They found strength, courage and tenacity in each other. And, in the end, they found vindication. That’s worthy of all our cheers, as well as our support going forward, for any and all women willing to hazard an unmerciful, unrelenting, unforgiving gauntlet of skepticism, ridicule, judgment, contempt and far worse, to tell the stories they have ashamedly kept inside, perhaps even for years. We must encourage these women – these victims – to bring those stories out into the sunlight, and expose the predatory men who violated them.

In this case, those stories brought down a man who believed his fame entitled him to any woman, anytime. Now he gets to contemplate his actions in a prison cell for the next few years.

America’s Dad.

 

I wonder: will he have the nerve to ever look his wife – or his daughters – in the eye again?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Here With Me

 

Today, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day.

And I have a message for you.

If you’re thinking about killing yourself…

If you’re thinking that life is just too hard to take…

If you’re thinking that there’s no hope, no other option…

If you’re thinking that you’re a hopeless case…

That you’re utterly worthless…

That everyone would be better off without you around…

That no one understands the depths of your pain…

That you’re just tired of trying to get through day after f###ed-up day…

That you’re all alone…

I promise you, I have thought every single one of those things. And more. Pretty recently, in fact.

And I’m still here. And I’m glad.

Life may look pitch black from your view, but I’m telling you: there is a light.

And if you need some help finding it, there are some people who can give you that.

In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 800-273-8255. Internationally, visit http://www.iasp.info to find help near you.

Believe me, I know life sucks, but I don’t know anybody who can help you get through death.

So stay here with me, and live. Let’s face this together.

Who knows? We might even end up liking it.

UBUNTU

Very inspirational. Something we should aspire to but, sadly, will probably not.

QUEST

CANDLE

In the Xhoso culture of Africa, UBUNTU means, “I am because We are.”  Dr. Horty @ IT IS WHAT IT IS  blog shared this with her readers.  I found it absolutely profound in the troubled times of our world and especially American society today.

The boy replied, “How can any one of us be happy if the others are sad?”

An anthropologist visiting and studying the Xhoso tribe placed a basket of fruit and presented a game to a group of young boys.  Run to the fruit and claim it.  If the strongest and fastest of those boys had raced to the basket of fruit placed at a short distance from them, that one boy could have claimed all the fruits.  Instead, they joined hands, ran together as a group, and claimed the fruits as one, thereby insuring all would partake of the prize.  When the anthropologist questioned their…

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One more letter to my Senators

This has to stop NOW!

Ends and Beginnings

Note: Feel free to use any or all of this letter to send to your representative(s)

So, are you asking yourself this question yet, what does Vladimir Putin have on Donald Trump? And if you aren’t asking yourself this question after the Helsinki love fest my only question to you is why aren’t you? Trump has spent the last year and a half bashing our closest and most loyal allies. People and countries that have come to our defense no matter what the cost to themselves or their countries. Nations that have spent money and shed blood on our behalf. And rather than thanking them for their support and their loyalty Trump condemns them, ridicules them and embarrasses them while heaping praise with the enthusiasm of schoolboy in love on a violent and dangerous dictator.

We don’t need Russia. Trump claims that because they are a “nuclear power” that somehow…

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The Decline and Fall of the United States

Thank you, trump supporters, for all of this.

Endless Bitchen Summer

July 16, 2018: A Day That Will Live In Infamy

We have been attacked by our own president.

The United States is no longer in control of our own foreign policy; Vladimir Putin and the Russian Confederacy are dictating our agenda.

This is unprecedented. All Americans should be highly alarmed.

At this point, if you vote for anyone who supports the Trump agenda, you are voting against the sovereignty (independence) of the United States.

There is no going back. Our president has humiliated and broken ties with our democratic allies, while he embraces the world’s dictators.

Where do you draw the line?

  • As the sister of a brother who suffered from Muscular Dystrophy, the line for me was crossed when Trump mocked the disabled reporter in November 2015. What type of person does this? In a society that decries bullying, our president is the biggest bully in the world.

Trump…

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Why Do I Keep Talking About Gun Violence? Good Question.

The problem is guns. Not people. Guns. None of you 2nd Amendment folks will ever convince me otherwise.

Dogpaddling Through Life

Saturday I went to a Pride/ Family Togetherness Rally. Everywhere I looked I saw the happy, smiling faces of people who were enjoying each other’s company while celebrating who they truly are. And I looked everywhere, too, because I was watching for people who appeared out of place.

People like the 30-something white guy (a former high school teacher) that showed up at a rally held in a town an hour away and heckled the crowd while an Episcopal priest offered prayer. When confronted by members of the crowd, he pulled out a gun.

The NRA wants us to believe that all gun owners are responsible and have nerves of steel, but the stories I read daily about our well-regulated militia are enough to make your hair curl. Actually, It’s the Well Regulated Militia that share those stories on Twitter and Facebook (I strongly encourage you to follow this account).

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The United States

The State of the Union, brilliantly set to verse…

Post-Tragic Life

Anxiety inducing news, everywhere you turn
Old men lighting fires, watch the word burn
I’m beginning to think the people won’t learn
As long as there’s crumbs, we’re dying to earn

The news is real, but it’s twisted to lies
Often repeated, epic in size
By smiling faces in clever disguise
Hoping for change, but nobody tries

Scared, and stressed? There’s a pill for that
Or just buy our product, be happy and fat
But fat isn’t happy, now what do you do
Not to worry, there’s a pill for that too

Scapegoat a race, it’s been done before
Weren’t we against that, in the last world war?
So if not for freedom, what do we fight for?
Just so the rich, can have even more

Children in cages, scared and alone
Taken from the desperate, fleeing their homes
Legal points of entry, blocked by Border SS
Forcing illegal crossings…

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Tangled Up in Blue

 

These are my two favorite times of the year in Texas, in order:

Whenever the hot weather finally ends, and cool weather has moved in.

And right now, when all the bluebonnets are out.

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The bluebonnet is our state flower, and it’s about this time every year that they show up in force; amazing, broad, blue brushstrokes across the Texas canvas.

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And I love it.

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They also look good with some Indian Paintbrush mixed in with ‘em…

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And you can see them in the country and the city.

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It’s common to see drivers pulled over on the shoulder of the freeway to get a picture of someone, usually kids, standing or sitting among some bluebonnets. (What you don’t see, are those kids getting treated later for bug bites.)

Anyway, they’re beautiful (the bluebonnets, not the kids), so treat yourself to their splendor if you’re in Texas in the next couple months or so.

They’re purty, y’all.

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A Brief History of a Genius

 

We didn’t understand much of what he said; we just knew it was brilliant.

That such a singularly remarkable mind could reside in such a thoroughly disabled body should give you a clue as to the man’s heart.

Professor Stephen Hawking died at his home in Cambridge, England, at the age of 76. He was diagnosed with the crippling nerve disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at age 21, and told he would probably live only a few more years.

His heart told him a lot longer than that, because that amazing mind had much, much more to share with the mere mortals around him.  Long after the ALS ravaged his body to the point of almost complete uselessness.

What he did have to share was way above most of our pay grades. See, Professor Hawking was a theoretical physicist, whose job it was, according to him, to figure out the origins of the universe. Why are we here, and how did we get here, in other words. His dramatic breakthroughs on black holes and cosmology paved the way for all other scientists of his field to follow.

Hawking’s landmark book, “A Brief History of Time”, is widely regarded as the least-read bestseller ever. Lots of us bought it, lots of us started it, but not too many of us got all the way through it. (This ol’ boy didn’t even attempt it.)

He spoke of things that often were even beyond the comprehension of his colleagues. His mind was on just that much higher plane than ours.

But, more significantly, he didn’t allow the disease that mercilessly attacked his body to deter his ability and determination to think, to explore, to theorize…

And especially, to communicate. To share his discoveries. To try and make them more accessible to the mortals, so they could share his excitement at what he had found.

Dr. Sheldon Cooper, the physicist played by Jim Parsons on the TV series, “The Big Bang Theory”, is undoubtedly shedding tears for his scientific idol today.

We were graced with his presence, awed by his brilliance, and inspired by his will.

Thank you so much, Professor, for giving us a piece of your mind. May we be good stewards of the knowledge you so generously imparted.