I like to think myself as seeing people as they truly are, looking beyond labels. This morning I realized just how shallow I can be.
I first heard about Sam a few months ago. He is one of my neighbor’s brothers and she told me he was getting out of prison just before Christmas. At the time I didn’t give it much thought, just conversation. She was excited she would finally get to see him again. I was happy for her, ’cause I’m such a caring, compassionate guy.
Today she was coming up the stairs while I was on the balcony, Sam was behind her. She introduced us. I remembered the conversation from months ago and realized he had just gotten out after an 18 year stint.
We talked for the next hour or so. About his plans. About how his life had changed in the time he was “away.” He was smart, articulate, positive. He owned his choices and was quick to point out life had been more than fair to him. He paid the price for the choices he had made and he believed he would also pay the price or reap the reward for the choices he is making now.
He’s a guy I could hang out with and have a good time.
But here’s what it showed me about myself I didn’t like. When I went back into Area 51 after our talk, I was surprised by him. Without me even realizing it, I had in my own mind a “picture” of what an 18 year ex-con would be like. Seeing himself as a victim. Unintelligent. Negative. Angry at what the world had thrown at him.
It made me wonder how many other “categories” of people I dismiss without realizing they are “people” not just a category. Political affiliation. Religion or lack thereof. Skin color. Geography. Socioeconomic status. Job.
In 2017 I’m going to attempt to see more “people” and less “category.” That might be the best Christmas gift I could receive. Thanks Sam.
Tonight I’ll be on Free Thought Radio with Larry Rhodes and Shawnee Casteel at 6pm Eastern time. I’ll be talking about how even atheists can be irrational and suffer from logical fallacies.
I’d love for you to listen in and, possibly, call in.
It will stream live online here:
The call in number is (865)333-5937
Hope to “meet” you on the phone tonight.
I’ll bet the title ticked you off, huh?
That’s OK. I figure it’s a pretty divisive title. If you can stifle the fire of your ire for a bit, let’s see if I can defend it, K? Thanks.
When Trump first came on the scene, he made bold claims about what he would do as president. Instantly everyone talked about how he couldn’t do many of those things. You can’t legally require Muslims to register. You can’t deport 11 million people in 2 years. Heck, you can’t even find them in 2 years. The president doesn’t have unilateral authority to do whatever the fuck he wants.
That’s called checks and balances. It’s there, in that Constitution thingy. I read it once.
Most reasonable people realize his bold ideas are unpossible to implement. Either they violate the Constitution, or he could never get them past congress, or they are just, well, unpossible on their face.
But people who support Donald Trump are either blind to these realities or support him for other reasons, like they want a glimpse of the First Lady’s lady bits.
How is this like Grandpa Bernie, the lovable curmudgeon hero of the middle class? Some of you are ahead of me already. For those who took the short bus to the blog, I’ll explain:
While people love to hate Trump, people love The Bern. Sure he smells a little oldmanish, but he makes good points. The wealth gap is a problem. Healthcare is a problem. The middle class is struggling in basic areas.
I agree with him 100% when he identifies the problems. Heck, on some of them, even Trump does.
But think through what he says he is going to do: Single payer healthcare for all. I heard about that once. This black guy came to Washington and sweated bullets to make it happen. In the end, Congress wouldn’t go for it. They won’t go for it with Bernie, either. Not because it’s not a good idea. Not because it doesn’t work well in other countries. Just because they are ideologues. They don’t yet “Feel the Bern.”
(As I side note, I DID feel the Bern. I found it surprisingly leathery and a little sticky. He seemed to enjoy it though.)
How about free college for all? Again, radical move. It would put us on par with other western countries. At least it’s not illegal (I’m looking at you, Trump) but without a complete change in Congress, it’s not going to happen either.
Is it possible Bernie will be elected and then suddenly all the red states (and a few of the blue) will defenestrate their current senators and congressman/women and replace them with Stepford Wife like Bernie Bots? It is possible, it is not remotely likely.
On the Trump side we have bold ideas (whether you agree with him or not, you gotta at least say he says bold things) that cannot in the foreseeable future ever get implemented. On the Bernie side, you see the same. You may like one and not the other, but they’re kinda similar.
I don’t care how you vote. Heck, in most states, how you vote will have no impact on who gets elected president anyway. I live in Tennessee, baring Jesus himself appearing on Bill O’Reilly and endorsing the Democratic nominee, those 10 electoral votes are going to the Elephant in the room.
Just don’t be silly and think Bernie can get the things he wants done much better than Trump can get his. You may like and vote for Bernie for all kinds of good reasons. Getting those things done shouldn’t be some of them.
Feel free to correct me in the comments if you disagree.
It was unsightly, but not so much that people thought the Host deformed. “His hair looks funny” they would say and leave it at that. A curious comb-over. A consistently bad coif. Nothing more.
But it was more. Much more.
He was alive. He was conscious. He had a purpose, a mission.
For decades he had maneuvered the Host through business deals. Raising the puppet’s profile – their profile – to the world stage. There had been books, television appearances and, for the last decade, television shows. He had done his job well.
He enjoyed the notoriety.
Now his mission was almost complete. Soon his brothers would join him. Soon this tiny planet with its low gravity would be colonized. Soon its inhabitants would be thinned to a reasonable number – enough hosts to maintain the keratin farms and no more. Those would mostly be the females, they would only keep enough males for breeding. Males ate too much and their taste was consistently unpleasant.
As he sat now, perched atop the puffy head and paunchy body, he was satisfied. Just another rotation around this planet’s star and his task would be complete. There, behind the curtain, he made the Host smile the satisfied smile he could only mentally imagine. He amped up the Host’s adrenaline in anticipation of the crowd. The speaker was finishing his introduction.
“…and now, I am honored to present to you the next president of the United States, Donald J. Trump!”