Category Archives: angry rant

I’m Not Gonna…

If you are planning to vote for this criminal for four more years, you don’t wanna read this post.

I am not gonna talk about any of the good things that this criminal prexydent has done… because there aren’t any. He has only caused me loss and pain and financial hardship. And it is fairly obvious he won’t win four more years… unless he cheats, which he has publicly promised to do.

And I am not gonna talk about how he and his gang of senatorial hypocrites are stealing another seat on the Supreme Court. It is obvious that they can’t be trusted to tell the truth. They said when they stole Merrick Garland’s seat that it was because it was an election year and the people must decide. But this seat opened up much closer to an election day and suddenly the rules are different. But I am not gonna talk about that.

And I am not gonna talk about how he thinks he can further punish all of us who are against him by making the most right-wing court in recent history with a six to three edge so that he can destroy the Affordable Care Act, all progress in the battle against climate change, women’s right to choose, and any other progressive change that may come up under the next three or five prexydents if we succeed in getting rid of him.

And I am not gonna talk about how thoroughly racist he is, sending unmarked and unidentified militias into cities protesting the police killings of unarmed black people just so they can stir up more violence and help him make his case that black crime is out of control in Democratically run cities.

And I am also not gonna talk about how this orange-skinned man is insulting black and brown congresswomen like Ilhan Omar, calling them unpatriotic for serving in the Congressional seats that voters gave them, based not on their qualifications for the job (they are much more qualified than he is for his job) but solely on the color of their skin and the religion they embrace.

I am not gonna talk about how some real law-enforcement official should’ve removed him from office for crimes already committed a long time ago.

Clint Eastwood is a conservative, but I’ll bet he isn’t in favor of Trump stealing the 2020 election.

So, I am not gonna say anything further about or against this criminal clown that has killed so many of us and continues to scheme about our ultimate demise and his personal profits. He does bad things… especially to my blood pressure. I need to not talk about him anymore. I am gonna vote during Texas early voting, in person, to make sure my vote gets counted. And I am not gonna vote for a Republican ever again. I am simply not gonna!

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Filed under angry rant, politics

Recovery

My son has recovered. His COVID test came back negative. He is feeling much better, and he plans to go back to work tonight.

I wish getting back to normal was as easy for those of us who are old, tired, weak, and still devastated. There are a number of long-term things that have to recover.

The climate is the biggest thing. In twelve years we have to go from degrading our atmosphere at record levels of toxic crap expellations and Western States going up in flames to helping the the biosphere heal itself.

It may already be too late. We may have already irreversibly exterminated all life on Earth.

But there is reason to believe that human creativity will invent drastic solutions that we can actually be forced to implement, those of us who don’t lose our lives before that spark of genius becomes a wildfire.

But we also have to recover from a world where selfishness and hatred have grown to a point that many of us can no longer function as a part of the world. The economy is broken. Almost all of the wealth in this world flows into the pocketbooks of less than one percent of the entire world’s population. And they don’t use their wealth to benefit the rest of us, like they were forced to do back in the Eisenhower administration. They become more and more hate-filled and more greedy. They hoard their wealth, pouring it into stock buy-backs and further acquisitions, puffing up their bank accounts. And then they blame the working poor for being too lazy to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps (a magic trick that defies gravity, and I have never seen actually working.) People label each other as “the other” and begin seriously hating each other on the basis of skin color, religion, or party affiliation. If all of mankind shared only one body, it would be severely infected and probably terminally ill. Its critical organs fight against each other.

We will not save ourselves from climate change without first solving the “Me-first!” crisis.

I illustrated today’s rant with an oil painting I did with peacefulness in mind. The Native American child and the stag on a starry night are supposed to symbolize peace, harmony, spirituality, and hope, all of which we desperately need to heal ourselves. There is not enough of that going around in the non-oil-paint world.

So, my family is recovering from the darkness where we’ve recently been. But we will never be recovered until, as a world, we all help in the recovery.

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Filed under angry rant, Paffooney

Today in Rabbit-People News

Okay, big miscalculation here. My old eyes can’t read the rabbit-talk in this cartoon. So, let me do something about it.

Nope. I can read it now. But that’s the problem. Not only is it not funny, but it’s also sorta racist. But wolves do eat rabbits. Still…

News in the RabbitTown Gazette includes the fact that my son is nearing recovery from COVID 19, and nobody in the house has caught it from him. He gets tested on Saturday so he can return to work if the test is negative.

Of course, the nation-wide news is not so great. This is 2020 after all, even in RabbitTown. The price of carrots is still within reach. But rabbit people are continuing to get sick from the pandemic which will be with us well into 2021.

And the weasel in the really bad weasel-wig that somehow got elected Prexydon’t is still favoring wolf-people, even when they kill an unarmed rabbit. And he blames the rabbits for being mad about how the wolves seemed to get away with murder. He twists the facts to suggest that exercising your right to peaceful protest is the cause of the chaos.

Yes, I am basically a rabbit too.

According to the featured editorial in the RabbitTown Gazette, you should be able to say, “Rabbit lives matter!” without having wolves answer back, “You mean ALL lives matter!”

After all, if you can’t admit out loud that “Rabbit lives matter,” then you really mean the opposite when you are saying, “ALL lives matter.”

Rabbits, whether they are black, white, brown, or red, have unique rabbit qualities, and they all have a basic worth. And I don’t mean as food for wolves.

The paper seems to have only bad news about the economy when you look at it from a rabbit perspective. Sure, the wolves are doing great right now on Wall Street, but that doesn’t help those of us who are not invested in the stalk market. We regular rabbits, and especially poor rabbits, are struggling to keep carrots on the table.

So, it is time for all good rabbits to do whatever a rabbit can. And that’s the way it was today in Rabbit News.

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Filed under angry rant, artwork, cartoons, commentary, humor, Paffooney, rabbit people, racial profiling, satire, surrealism

Fighting the Good Fight

I like to think of myself as a good person. In fact, having been a successful public school teacher, I basically feel that calling myself a hero is not the same sort of toxic narcissism that Prexydental Trumpalump displays when he thinks of himself that way.

I need to get it through my thick head that everyone sees themselves that way, and that it is universally untrue. We let too much badness go unopposed. We are hard-hearted too often towards our fellow men and women… and children… and animals… and the planet as a whole.

We see others who are different than ourselves as “others” and exclude them from our groups, some of us going so far as to villainize others just because their skin is green, or because they know what “Blogwopping” means and we don’t. And what we villainize, or demonize, or verminize, we feel righteous in harming, even exterminating.

So, what’s the point I am making? Am I such a loathsome creature that the only way I can make the world a better place is to curl up and die? Of course not. That’s the darkness talking me back into grave ideas and depressed thinking. I need to spread a little of that old Norman Vincent Peale peanut-butter on the slice of toast that is my world. Yes, a little bit of positive thinking can re-butter your toast for the better in order to prepare you to battle the battles that must be fought and won.

A true warrior is not the guy doing the most killing on the battlefield. And he is not the one who dies for his country either. Both may have their place in a war, but neither is the one who wins it. A true warrior is the one who endures to the end. The last man standing. The one who rules the battlefield at the end of the day.

So, what do I mean with all this warrior nonsense? I mean, my Great Grandma Hinckley was a true warrior, because she steadfastly led her family through five generations of it, and made more generations possible.

You say the world is dying of climate change? My Grandma was a relentless garden-keeper, helping us to survive with garden-fresh sweet corn, sweet peas, pumpkins, squash, and carrots from her garden. And she planted a multitude of flowers every year to keep the bees happy and a everything they pollinated growing.

You say we may succumb to pandemics and plagues? Grandma Hinckley was a maker of chicken soup, a mender of wills and willpower in the downhearted… church-goer, psalm-singer, user of Vick’s Vapo-Rub, Dr. Scholl’s inserts, Werther’s Original Butterscotch and Hard Candies, and if worse came to worse… Castor Oil!

And for political problems… government corruption and such? Well, maybe you can’t still vote for FDR or Eisenhower… but you damn sure better vote.

Yes, my Great Grandma Hinckley was a true warrior.

And so, I am ready for the fights to come. I will be a warrior like her. I will be a problem-solver, and I will endure. Because that’s just what you do, no matter the odds against you. I learned it from her. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one with a warrior for a grandma, or mother, or father, or sister, brother, wife, or son… even daughter. We stand a chance if we will only stand together. And we do it for love.

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Filed under angry rant, autobiography, battling depression, family, goofy thoughts, healing, humor, inspiration, Paffooney

Pontification

Yes, I am guilty. Yes, I will probably do a lot of it in this essay. Do I make stuff up out of thin air to support my pontifications? Well, I try not to… most of the time.

That bit of pontification I just shared is not mine. It’s Vonnegut’s. But it is pontification never-the-less.

To be fair, this manner of delivering information, founded on the basis of revealed Divine authority (as if I were the Pope) is not an evil thing… if it is not misused to propagate misinformation and lies. It is often used to convey moral imperatives and Christian values. And to be fair to me, I rarely pontificate unless I am joking and don’t mean to be taken seriously.

Never-the-less I am often told that my fiction is didactic and my essays tend to hold forth with my convictions and conclusions as if they were revealed to me in a visitation from a burning bush or something.

From my humble perspective, however, I wish to point out that I have, through years of teaching experience and encounters with grave issues that affect health and wealth and happiness, learned a few things the hard way that count as wisdom. I would offer the defense that, in spite of what my wife would tell you, I am NOT always wrong about everything. (I am maybe only wrong about most things.) And as such, my opinions, backed up with facts and anecdotes, are sometimes worth listening to.

As I am probably not going to overcome my habit of pontificating any time soon, I should probably warn you about some of the things I have been thinking about of late that I am likely to pontificate about in upcoming blogs. Here are just a few;

  1. Bad things that happen to Good People are what actually turn them into Good People.
  2. The reverse is not always true. Good things happening to Bad People can worsen them, but they become Bad People when the good thing we are talking about is getting away with doing something bad.
  3. The world is coming to its end. Of course, it is always coming to its end, until it reaches its endpoint at which it probably won’t end and then the prophets of doom will have to pick a new Doomsday that probably won’t end it either… though it might.
  4. The St. Louis Blues hockey team gets to be Stanley Cup Champions for two years in a row because of the pandemic. COVID 19 was only 99% a bad thing.
  5. If you are a three-inch tall fairy warrior, a rabbit as your faithful steed is better than riding rooster-back. That’s because if the spell wears off your mighty steed, the rabbit won’t mistake you for a bug and eat you. (But never disguise yourself as a carrot to hide from humans while riding rabbit-back.)

So, I admit to having bouts of rabid pontification. But I would argue that it is a very natural bad habit for a retired school teacher to have. Up until my retirement I regularly delivered the Word of God (as filtered through the Texas State Board of Education) to kids in a classroom.

They would often respond, “Oh, God! Not again!”

To which I would answer, “I am not God. If I were, there would be lightning right now.”

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Filed under angry rant, humor, strange and wonderful ideas about life

All That Really Matters

I was not able to post yesterday for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is the turmoil caused by this nation trying to come to terms with those sins of the past that come back to haunt us and hunt us in the present.

I am an old white man. I suffer from “white privilege” in ways I can’t explain to some of my white friends back in Iowa, a State that was almost entirely white when I was growing up there. (And I pray that I grew UP, not just old.)

I learned yesterday that it matters how you put in order the things that you can say on matters of race. You can’t just say, “Black lives matter” to some white people. They will angrily insist that “All lives matter.” They will then proceed to tell you that you are being a racist when you suggest that black people are somehow more important than white people. I learned that you should say instead, “All lives matter, which means black lives certainly matter too. And the debate now is about a few recent black lives that were treated like they didn’t matter, and so, their lives ended in being murdered.” You can’t give white people a reasonable-sounding way to get out of admitting that, or they will. (See, I can be a bit racist too. I sometimes have a hard time believing all white people have positive human feelings in them somewhere.)

My illustrations for this post all came from Pinterest.

It has often, in my teaching career, been a disadvantage to be a white male. Black kids don’t believe you can see them as a good person. If you have to call them down for misbehavior, the worst ones will automatically assume it is about their race and not their behavior. A good teacher needs to listen more than they talk. You have to get them to open up about what happens in their lives that makes them behave the way that they do. You have to make them understand that you actually care about them and want to help. You have to earn their trust to get their best learning behavior. And being white makes that all so much harder. Not just with Afro Americans. Hispanic kids too. Vietnamese kids too. And I promise you, if you take the time to really get to know a kid… from any race or culture… you will discover that underneath it all, there are no bad kids. You stand a very good chance of learning to love them… no matter their racial or cultural differences from you.

And as an old white man, I suffer the disadvantage of never being able to truly understand what it feels like to have to worry that, at any moment, the police might kill you with a gun, or press the life out of you with a knee on your neck… just because of the color of your skin. That is in no way a fair thing that black men, black women, and black kids have to worry about that.

I am saddened and frustrated too that I can’t do any more to correct this terrible injustice than I am doing. I can’t attend protests because of my poor health and the pandemic that will probably kill me anyway. I am too old and crippled and broke to do any more than write this essay and post things on social media that make some of my old white friends angry and ready to argue.

I feel bad. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, and too many more diminish me, make me hurt in my heart. And all I can do about it is tell you that there needs to be more love in this world, and less hate. And I hope maybe you have a little more of it to add to the world. After all, that’s all that really matters.

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Filed under 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion, angry rant, commentary, compassion, empathy, kids, Liberal ideas, philosophy, racial profiling

Polly Ticks

Politics are complicated. Our economic and quality-of-life issues are basically killing us during this pandemic. And you cannot blame it all on the Simian in Chief. Or even on his Mean Monkey Party (GOP stands for Greedy Old Primates). They get a lot more of the justified blame than they are willing to accept without a lot of monkey howls and poop throwing. But not all the greedy evil people are Monkey Party People. There are definite problems with the black spots on the armor of the white knights we were depending on to slay the dragons.

The problems with Herr Twitler, the Chaos Clown have only gotten worse. We failed to hold him responsible for any of the many crimes he has committed. Impeached, but turning impeachment into peachy pie, Trumpalumpa the Oompaloompa is now able to do anything his manic monkey mind can conjure up for him to use against us. We suffer for the crimes of being poor, or a minority, or an immigrant. No matter what he does to us, he will get away with it, and then take away the whistle-blowers’ whistles and turn all Inspectors General into blind-folded privates.

And if I die from Covid 19, the terrible Trumpinator will not exactly be convicted of murder. But he is directly responsible. After Ebola there was an extensive pandemic playbook and procedures and protocols in place for the next health crisis. But because the Trumptastic Trumpaloo detected Obama-cooties on it, he threw it all away and fired the special task force and pandemic office.

And it is not even fun to make fun of him anymore. Nothing that used to be funny can still create even a wan smile. And how much of this is my fault?

I voted all Democrats in the last election. I have called most of my Republican, Trumpatater-loving friends doody-heads enough to alienate all of them (though admittedly I used a number of big words so that they don’t know what they mean). I have explained the problems with Trumpapalama and his minions like Devos and Barr on social media until I’m blue in the face, and purple on the inside. But none of that gets rid of the pumpkin-headed Cheeto-man.

I even need to get some of these dividers for the family dinner table. I am beginning to prefer lyme-disease ticks over Polly Ticks. I have had way too much of my blood sucked out these last four years.

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Filed under angry rant, cartoon review, cartoons, clowns, foolishness, humor, politics

Mickey’s Somewhat Pretty Okay Not Rotten Weekend

I have had a rough time since the pandemic began. I still get my pension check at the beginning of each month… for now. So, I am a lot better off than those whose jobs were taken away by the lock-down. But I did lose all potential income from substitute teaching. And the plumbing in the house is still aging badly, sprouting leaks everywhere that I have no money to fix with professional plumbers. I can barely afford Fix-it Tape which only slows a leak and does not completely end it. Notice I said “leaks”, not “leeks”. Onions I can defeat. But water is not my element to master.

Today my faithful microwave, the one that I had for four years in my last classroom, gave out. A spark and some smoke and she cooks no more.

But it is not all bad news.

My wife secretly has two more microwaves in her secret evidence-of-hoarding-disorder stash. She let me use one. She also found a leak-clamp for temporarily staunching leaky pipes at Home Depot where I haven’t dared to go in the pandemic because of my diabetes and high blood pressure. So, the weekend was slightly more un-yuckified than I expected.

And this weekend I was having a free-book promotion for A Field Guide to Fauns. I was expecting to give away too few free books again. I expected the Twitter writing community to turn up their noses because it is a story about a family of nudists living in a nudist park. But the Twitter nudists that follow me because of Recipes for Gingerbread Children were delighted. I gave away more books in the first two days of the promotion than I have given away in any other promotion.

It feels good to have someone reading my books, even if they are naked when they read it.

And I have reached a point where I am relatively certain, without being tested, that the illness I have been feeling is all just diabetes and allergies, and I have not yet fallen ill with Covid 19.

So, I can honestly say that I feel very… Meh, okay right now. Better than expected, and a lot better than dead.

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Filed under angry rant, feeling sorry for myself, health, humor, novel plans, Paffooney, publishing

Now is the Winter of Our Discontent…

I am not Richard the Third. But I did do that soliloquy in college for my class in oral interpretation and got an “A” for it. I can channel those who think they have been wronged. I know whereof they speak… forsooth.

If you are not happy with the President’s handling of the pandemic and economic crisis, (and if you are happy, I hope your recent lobotomy is giving you some peace and rest) you are not alone. The Sun of York has not been the right answer.

I am not, however, a dissembler like Richard. I have no plot to remedy the discontent. I can only tell the truth. I will probably die of the virus before this pandemic passes. I honestly do not fear death. I do fear for loved ones who are also at risk. But while I do not welcome death, it will not find me with any sort of burden of regret. I have been an honorable man. I have taught children, and acquitted myself well of the task. I have been a passable husband and father. I have committed serious acts of art… as well as numerous less-than-serious ones. This is not a suicide note. This is simply me declaring myself at peace with the universe.

And this is also me declaring that I once again am unwell. I don’t think it is the virus. I have been extremely careful. But this one stalks more successfully than the H1N1 and various bird flus that I have previously survived. And I always seem to get whatever serious virus is passing around.

Still, it is probably not the Coronavirus that currently has me sick and in bed. No fever. Only chest pain, headaches, and nausea. I also have a variety of other pains, mostly psoriasis in nature, but also some other internal ones. I could be suffering from prostate cancer, heart disease, or mini-strokes brought on by diabetes. My eyes are going bad. And I am not going to any doctors because of the risk of infection in the doctor’s office and the expenses that health insurance expects me to pay for myself. (I hope this pandemic eats all of Aetna’s lunches for the rest of the year.) There are plenty of ways that this current health crisis can do me in. I will endeavor to die at home on my own terms. And I will try to stay alive long enough to vote the bast***s out of office.

I apologize that Mickey wasn’t funny today. Sometimes he needs to complain a little. Even Richard the Third was down and blue in between villainies. And he ended on one really bad day at Bosworth Field.

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Filed under angry rant, autobiography, Depression, health, humor, photo paffoonies

Dusted and Down

I did some house-cleaning today. The ceiling fan in the kitchen was filthy. It had grease from cooking on the nearby stove top all over the blades. And embedded in the grease was dirt and grime. So, it had to be scrubbed with Clorox. And I am allergic to Clorox. So, now I am done for the day. My lungs hurt. And it is hard to think. But I am not dying today from that. I am pretty sure the virus that has us shut up in the house has other plans for me.

But not everything is bad. Dust is bad. I am allergic to that too. Yet, I have now gotten 1,800 followers on WordPress. And somebody is using Amazon Prime to read more than one of my books. The pennies are rolling in on my Amazon author’s dashboard. Number one son has a serious girlfriend. Number two son has a work-at-home job that he is doing right now. And my daughter, the Princess, is helping her mother to finish cleaning the fan.

As part of my quest to rewrite AeroQuest as a comedy-science-fiction series, I am rereading the first book in the series.

Rereading your own work can be surprisingly rewarding in unusual ways. When I was working on that novel and reading and re-reading each section and Canto, I really began to hate the writing. It is my worst work so far. And yet, after plenty of time to forget how awful it seemed at the time, I find myself laughing at the jokes again. I know I am a notoriously un-critical critic. But I also am convinced I am a good writer, and even my bad books are better than I usually think. Now, if only somebody else would read them.

Work continues on AeroQuest 3.

So, even if I am a little bit down and blue, I am not out yet. The Dust wlll not win.

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