The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘politics’

Attn: Ellen (12/6/17)

Front

Ellen328a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

Ellen328b

 

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

Here we see a cartoon depiction of our current political landscape.
Honestly, what’s the best course of action when the more you pay attention the more disheartened and disappointed you feel?

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com OR
@DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?

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January Haiku

Did you know I’m doing a haiku a day this year? You didn’t? Are you, like, not even paying attention to me? That … No, it’s fine. We can talk later.

Oh, hi reader, sorry about that. I have a Twitter account, just like the president of the United States! And, just like the president, sometimes I tweet nonsense, sometimes I tweet complaining about people.

Here are my January haiku tweets. (And here is my Twitter account.)

 

January 1
Wife’s cold is awful
Ah that classic tourist spot:
A Czech hospital

January 2
Sick wife, three BIG bags
Please train ride be nice and calm …
Oh, hello bomb threat

January 3
Flying friendly skies
Really, it’s Air Canada
AHHH! They’re speaking FRENCH!

January 4
Back to work today
Hey! I feel ok! … Uh oh,
Jet lag sneak attack

January 5
Wife’s cough is a beast
World tour of docs continues
Drugs, work your magic!

January 6
Thank God it’s Friday
Weekend of football and sleep
Which sounds heavenly

January 7
My wife and I share
Snacks, blankets, feelings and colds
We’re adorbs that way

January 8 (they played the Pats)
The Texans advanced!
Who do they get to play next!
…Oh. Well. Good season.

January 9
MONDAY!? And still sick!?
Looks like a day for me-light
Like me, but less so

January 10
Clemson v Bama!
What a game! … I read today.
(Bedtime called early.)

January 11
I’m done with this task!
But wait, what if I tried this …
Three Days Later: aghhhhhhhh!

January 12
A day without news
If I don’t look, he’s not there
This sand is so warm

January 13
“Hmm, should I cancel?”
“Um, sir? May I transfer you?”
Comcast round 2: start …

January 14
Postcard writing fest
At a little coffee shop
For @theellenshow

January 15
Wife brought the dog home
A great kennel (her folks house)
Bit far though (Houston)

January 16
Ranger assistant
Phone interview yesterday
*Pushes glasses up*

January 17
It’s Planned Parenthood
Not called unPlanned Parenthood
You bunch of jackals

January 18
Went jogging last night
First jog in forty-five days
Oh, hi pain, missed you

January 19
Garmin watch ordered!
Because data is my friend
And I love running

January 20
Shout, scream, vent and groan
Then exhale all the anger
And bring calm kindness

January 21
Toastmasters event
Morning with speech loving geeks
Yeah that’s right, I’m cool

January 22 (a lame playoffs day)
Griping about news
But hopeful for good football
… Is this Trump’s fault too?

January 23
I expect to see
U.S. declares war on Mars
With each news update

January 24
It’s two years today
Since waxing poetic vows
With dear friends and fam

January 25
Two day training done
My brain is full and I’m now
Much more corporate

January 26
SNARK IN THE WATER!
Having dinner with a pal
When the snark arrived

January 27
Made a joke today
Where I referenced shutter speed
Nerd status maintained

January 28
Ramping up my jogs
But today I have a prize:
Huge cinnamon roll!

January 29
Wife and mom agree:
Politics driving me mad
But … Trump! … It’s just … TRUMP

January 30
Dear America,
<Sound like a goat being maimed>
So, that’s how I feel …

January 31
Working on scale tests
Little change here, small tweak there
And then wait … and wait …

Meryl Streep, Meghan McCain, and Another Unasked for Opinion

Last night Meryl Streep gave a speech that called President-Elect Trump to task for some things he has said and done, and it generated a lot of noise as a result. One bit of noise came from Meghan McCain’s Twitter account, where she said,

I agree with Meghan. She got a LOT of negative responses, so I’ll explain why I agree.

I think part of the Trump victory is due to a lot of people seeing him as a rejection of a PC-movement which they didn’t like. People going to corporate training to learn about ‘microagressions’ and how they can’t make jokes like this or that, and they were sick of it. Trump represents an absolute and loud rejection of any notion of being PC.

Personally, I think that’s bad. But I get why some people like that.

Sometimes people post something on social media talking about a situation where someone was racist, or sexist, or xenophobic, or any number of words that seem to be much more a part of today’s lexicon than they were 10 years ago (or perhaps that is my imagination). And people, who liked how things were and were comfortable and ok with it, didn’t like being told what once was normal is now considered offensive.

That makes sense to me – someone coming in and telling you that what you are doing is wrong is frustrating. Especially if that person is pointing this out to you as though you’re dumb or awful.

There are times that I have read a post and thought, ‘nuh uh, you’re just being dramatic.’ But then, ideally, someone has further explained what they were saying. WHY is this sexist? HOW is that statement that seems normal to me actually subtly racist? And the best is when I can observe this, question it, and learn without judgement. This is difficult to achieve – it takes a patient teacher AND student to tackle socially embarrassing and difficult topics like racism, sexism, and xenophobia.

People on both sides are making mistakes. Too many people point out wrongs of others in harsh and unforgiving terms. This makes it easy to reject any future conversations around the same topic. Someone who is more conservative who has been called narrow-minded and idiotic will have to summon even more patience to then hear a rational explanation of why their words, which they may have said without being aware that they could be perceived negatively, were actually offensive. And someone who has been called a libtard and gay for expressing frustration with Donald Trump will have a harder time explaining calmly why they are feeling frustrated.

Meghan McCain added to this, by writing a statement that had some truth to it but seemed intended more to get attention and rile people (she’s in the media, the media digs clicks, bingo, bango, bongo). But she’s kind of right – a rich, elite, liberal person saying that Trump represents some awful ideas? … That’s just going to have some people hunker down in their opinion that anyone speaking ill of him is actually wrong.

That said, I thought Streep voiced her opinion well and the people that will further embrace Trump after listening to her were maybe those who are unlikely to see another point of view at all anyhow (too steeped in their own opinion).

What’s my point? Calm down, listen, ask questions, try to understand the other side. It’s a much more interesting and good use of your brain to think about something you haven’t thought of – and who better to introduce you to such notions than someone on the other side of this far too divided us vs them climate we’re now in the abominable pleasure of living in.

 

Google searches of the word ‘racist’ from 2004 – present day

Google searches of the word ‘sexist’ from 2004 – present day (a marked increase)

Google searches of the word ‘xenophobic’ from 2004 – present day

Attn: Ellen (11/23/16)

Front

ellen287a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

ellen287b

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

Here we see a depiction of an American woman escaping contentious and fruitless political conversation over Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and remember to keep your escape canoe handy.

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?

Attn: Ellen (1/27/16)

Front

Ellen248a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

Ellen248b

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

Watching political debates is very confusing for me. It’s maddening, depressing and oddly makes me think briefly (very briefly) “I should run for an office.” And that thought is sincere! I think that because I think I could help, and do good. But then again – pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffft. You know?

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com

Why am I doing this?

Running Thoughts

Are flying bugs actually a bunch of daredevils? When people are out exercising with their mouths hanging open, gasping for air, do bugs gather, dare each other, and then go for it? The goal of course being to fly in to the Sarlac Pit, the Pit of Despair, and then to fly out again.

For the true daredevils, those who have survived a trip into the Pit and come out alive, they go for the next challenge: a quick punch to the uvula (aka The Wrecking Ball), and then out again. This is why so many of us seem to choke on bugs while out and about, they weren’t absent-minded, they were the bravest and dumbest of the bug world’s daredevils.

***

I saw a guy wearing a Clippers jersey the morning after they had lost a game (a playoffs game for those of you who are not very basketball savvy). Is this man a dedicated Clippers fan, showing his support for his team despite a loss? OR, is he a very clever and mean Oklahoma City Thunder fan, walking around and delighting whenever an actual Clippers fan sees him and says, “tough loss last night, huh?”

***

If I was very passionate about a politician, here’s what I would do. Starting around four days before the election I would get a bumper sticker (or lots) for the main opposing candidate and I would drive like an absolute a-hole. The WORST. I would cut someone off, then switch lanes, slow down and flip the bird, then cut them off again. Why? No reason. People would see me, think “I hate this guy …” and maybe, JUST maybe, if this was an undecided voter I would have swayed them to vote against the candidate I am representing. Or, more likely, they will not vote.

Unexpected Facts from the Lincoln Book

Remember way back on Monday, when I talked about Lincoln by Thomas Keneally. I decided to make a note of a few facts that I learned from the book that I thought were crazy.

General Scott had stationed troops along Pennsylvania Avenue and around the Capitol with the specific instructions, for the first time in American history, to protect the incoming president’s life.

 

Near the east portico of the Capitol, a rostrum had been built, with barriers to separate the inauguration party from the public, again for the first time in history. The old republican piety of the president’s being merely the first among citizens had come under threat of the assassin’s bullet, a threat that would never leave the American political scene.

 

That successor was Gen. Ambrose Burnside, a robust six-footer with ferocious “sideburns,” as people had begun to call those flourishes of facial hair in whimsical regard for the general.

 

Similarly, a flat 3 percent tax on all incomes over eight hundred dollars per year was introduced, and though it produced at first an insubstantial flow of revenue, it marked the beginning of the fiscal world twentieth-century Americans would inherit.

When Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address another man, Edward Everett (a classical scholar), spoke before him. Everett spoke for TWO HOURS, and his speech was considered “enormously successful, brilliant in the eyes of contemporaries.” After that speech Lincoln gave his now very famous address. And according to one historian, Garry Wills, it changed things.

In its exalting of vernacular and biblical oratory over Everett’s Greek Revival tour de force, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address made the traditional rhetoric of its day suddenly obsolete. “[A]ll modern political prose descends from the Gettysburg Address.”

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