On July 19th, 2010, I wrote my first blog post. Except for May 30, 2016, I have never posted the "Gone Fishing" sign, and I have never missed a week, not even the two consecutive weeks of breast cancer surgery. Nope. An episode went out on schedule. 417 of 'em. So deciding to slack off a bit for the month of July took a whole lotta forethought and consideration...about ten minutes worth.
The pearl-clutching over Justice Kennedy's resignation really pushed me to the brink. It's not like he's a liberal judge; he's just sorta in the center sometimes, but he's not a man of the people, especially not after his vote on labor unions this past week. He's just not as bad as he might be.
|Grandma Bessie at my wedding.|
41 years ago tonight...as I write this.
"Dis is not good. Better the noodnik you know den the noodnik you don't know."
She had a practical, pragmatic side I did not come to appreciate until it was too late to tell her I got it. Sometimes I wonder what she would say about politics right now. I can guarantee it would not be at all sunny and bright.
Grandma would also tell me to take a break. She was a good one for saying that although she never really did. Even after she retired from being a seamstress at Mays Department Store in Brooklyn and was spending winters in Flah-rida, she had "a little side job." She didn't like to talk about it...because she was the lookout at a news-and-tobacco store that had a bookie operation in the back. "It's okay," she told me, "they're nice men and they pay me without taxes." But, me she would tell to sit down and have a glass seltzer. Which I'm having right now.
So on that note, here's the deal. For the next five weeks, I'll be writing a short intro, followed by one of the Top 5 Wifely Person Episodes. Here is your first holiday installment. What struck me about it? Nothing has changed. Enjoy.
first published May 2nd, 2016
I was thinking Mies Van Der Rohe said, "The devil is in the detail," but I guess not; his usual attribute is "G-d is in the detail." Not that it matters much, but for the record, it's the devil.
This moving thing is draining. Not only am I living between two houses, I can't find stuff. I desperately wanted to make an egg cream last night and could not remember where i put the straws. Maybe it was because the straws were in the bag with all the kitchen drawer stuff sitting on the kitchen counter of the old house because I forgot to put the damn bag in the car? And let's not forget to mention the U-Bet was missing. Maybe because I have yet to take stuff outta the fridge? So after Talmud class, I trooped over to the house to pick up the bag on the counter and take the U-Bet. And as long as I was there, I took some stuff outta the freezer, and the rest of the art sitting in the dining room, and a few other odds and ends....as long as I was there. And then I had to unload the car....which was made infinitely more pleasant because one of my new neighbors saw me and popped over to help schlep. And then Senior son called because he hadn't heard from me in a while and was wondering if I was still alive. And then I had to put stuff away. And then I had to make that egg cream...... See what I mean?
This is very distracting from more important stuff....like President Obama's stellar turn at the Washington Press Corps Dinner. Or Trump accusing Madam Secretary of playing the "woman" card. After his little foray into mensuram aetatis with Marco Rubio, it's perfectly understandable why he would say such an immeasurably stupid thing to Madam. Ziggy used to say "A man's attitude toward women is inversely proportional to the size of his dick." Frankly, that explains a lot about Trump; the guy must have a peanut instead of whatever, because if he didn't, he wouldn't be braying about it the way he does.
The campaign is so disappointing on so many levels. I've said this before. The GOP has reduced the process of selecting the next President of these here United States into some kind of reality game show. It's so twisted that it's pathetic beyond description. And although I have moved into the Hillary camp, I am devastated by the smears and personal attacks of the latest incarnation of the Democratic campaign. I desperately wanted them to stay above the fray. I wanted a thoughtful, intelligent, issue-centric campaign like we had at the beginning....but alas....even theirs has sunk into some Ring of Hell arena. Crushed, I tell you. I am crushed.
Trump's schizoid presidential-asshole-presidential-asshole pendulum is really tiresome. And what's worse, it's just plain stupid. His so called policies are ridiculous. They don't exist outside of the ether filling up his empty cranium. His rallies are borderline excuses for violence. And the inhuman-on-the-street interviews of his supporters harken back to pre-war Germany. Read about the fall of the Weimar parties where there was no liberal, middle class with enough support to stop Hitler. Read the timeline, there are too many parallels not to view Trumpism with concern.
One of the biggest differences, however, is in the division of wealth. Whereas Hitler rose from poverty, Trump has not, and all his posturing will not made him Everyman; he is the poster child for elitism. He is anti-intellectual, a provocateur, and impulsive. And this is the guy a whole lotta people want talking to the rest of the world on our behalf? How quickly they forget.
But some of us don't. This year, Yom Ha'Shoah begins Wednesday at sundown. Ostensibly, this is a Jewish holiday, but it isn't really: it's a world commemoration. Remembering the Holocaust is the responsibility of every person on this planet. Yes, it's about the everyone who died because of Hitler's madness, but that's not where it stops. It forces ALL of us to confront that genocide is still out there. That unless we remember, it will happen again and again. The last of Shoah survivors are dying. We are losing their voices. Those of us who grew up in the last half of the 20th century bear our own version of witness because we were the first post war generation. We heard the stories from the Greatest Generation, and we heard the Shoah Survivors. We heard the stories of great bravery, and the stories of how others managed to survive the hell on earth that was Europe. For many of us, arms with numbers were not unusual sights and we all knew they weren't phone numbers.
Those who are the children of survivors have a unique obligation: to be the voice of our parents. Those of us who did not have survivors as parents have an obligation as well, to tell and re-tell the stories we were told, the ones hesitatingly told by our parents in uniform who were there and bore witness. I have my dad's stories, and one day, I hope I will finally be able to transpose them into written history, but I'm not there yet.
My friend, Margie Newman, however, has started down that road. She has begun the arduous and painful process of writing a memoir. This is a project worth supporting...especially if you are seeking the courage to do something similar. Some of you know Margie from her writing, others of you know of her because she was my partner in protest behind the silent flash mob at Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit back in March of 2014.
Once again, silence is not an option. We, the People, may not be able to prevent Donald Trump from getting the nomination, or running an independent campaign if he does not get the nod, but we can stop in the voting booth. To be silent is wrong. Not to vote is even worse. We, the People are the only ones who can save our own country. To be silent, to not vote, to be bystanders is just like giving this neo-Fascist a leg up. Don't do it.
Wednesday night, at the beginning of Yom Ha'Shoah, stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye, and say in your best, strongest voice, "NEVER AGAIN." If you don't say it, who will?
The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Standing up for what you believe is hard;
Going to the gas chamber for what you believe is even harder.