Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows I’m not a big fan of the television news media. And by news, I mean legit news organizations, not the sly-as-a-fox-make-shit-up-to-brainwash-our-viewers-in-order-to-serve-our-oligarchic-agenda “news.”
CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, BBC, etc., are all legit news. I may not like the way they present the news, um, I mean BREAK the news, since it’s always BREAKING NEWS with fancy graphics, ominous scoring, and dramatic language—for Pete’s sake, I’m watching the news, not a James Cameron movie—but they are legitimate.
Legit news organizations are NOT fake news. They don’t make shit up. Yes, they make mistakes, as we all do, but they are responsible and correct themselves, or even fire people. We all know Fox never makes mistakes. They are infallible news popes. (That’s sarcasm for those who don’t get sarcasm.) Continue reading “Freedom and Fake News”
When did fighting back against bullies, having no tolerance for intolerance, and accurately calling out the deranged, disgusting, and delusional become the new racism? When did speaking the truth and presenting the facts become hate speech? When did verifiable facts become a liberal bias? How did the smart and educated become the enemy?*
But we are now living in Orwell’s 1984.
The lines between radical and normal, rational and delusional, truth and propaganda, fact and fiction, and ethical and immoral are intentionally being blurred. And by the leader of the free world. If he and his lying minions keep at it, and the cult of deplorables—the hard core 30% who still worship Trump like a messiah—do not wake up, there will not be a free world left for him or anyone to lead.
*My guess is this has always been the case for a segment of the population. But especially when sly-as-a-Fox “news” started and whipped their viewers into a frenzy with fake outrage and weaponized rhetoric.
Before the phone rings and my parents cackle-sing “Happy Birthday” into my ear then ask me what kind of cake or pastry I want for my birthday dessert, I wish to address our dear leader and make some birthday wishes of my own.
It is an honor and privilege to turn another year older under your noble reign. May you transfer so much wealth from the poor to the rich that Putin needs to build more Russian banks to hold all the money. May the sick without healthcare not die on the sidewalks in front of your towers. May Mar-a-Lago always rise above sea level. May you detain and deport many Mexican rapists. May facts remain as elusive as your tax returns. May you find the 3 million people who voted illegally. May your faithful followers, especially the Sean Calamity Shamity asslickers, forever defend your cons, lies, vulgarity, indecency, bullying, and cruelty while whining about how victimized they are by liberals. May they always believe fake news and never wake up to the truth. May your every tee shot be a hole-in-one.
And most of all, when your time comes, may God show you more mercy and grace than you did for his children.
The phone’s ringing.
So, dear leader, as you blow out the candles on the planet, let us eat cannoli cake.
Dear conservative friends and family,
I am not your enemy. And you are not my enemy. But you’d never know that from the information you receive. I have tuned into Fox. I have read Breitbart. The overwhelming message they send is that I, your friend and loved one, should be despised, ridiculed, and, yes, some even say eradicated.
Think about that.
No, really, think about it.
Turn off the TV or radio and get quiet with that thought.
Is your happiness really dependent upon my demise?
Somewhere in your heart I hope you know their sole objective is to divide us. To make you and I seem so irreconcilably different that we hate each other. But the truth is, we are more alike than we are different. Everything I value—things like respecting my fellow human, living an honest life with integrity, being a responsible citizen, caring for my family and friends, and most of all, adhering to the golden rule of treating others as you would like to be treated—is completely compatible with everything you value and hold true.
These are (apolitical) conservative values. And I believe we share them. I hope we do.
We are one tribe. But you’d never know that from listening to the false prophets trying to convince you to hate me.
Your liberal friend
My prediction: James Comey’s testimony will mean NOTHING. Actually, less than nothing.
Less than nothing to the Republican Congress and nothing to every one of Trump’s supporters.
Looking for some sort of salvation through stultifying and stilted testimony (with big words that Trump and his followers can’t even understand) in front of Congress (which, by the way, is controlled by the Republicans) is like sending out Donny Osmond to win “Rapper of the Year.”
I confess my “make a wish” moment is to have a spelling bee somewhere in middle America and make the winning word “emoluments.” Continue reading “Get Dirty”
Thank you Mayor John Birkner Jr. and the Westwood Borough Council for hanging the pride flag on the borough hall. Reading about the flag raising at njersy.co/westwoodrainbow made me quite emotional. As a kid, I would have never imagined my mostly conservative hometown being so welcoming and inclusive to celebrate gay pride month. Of course back then I had no idea what gay pride was and the rainbow flag—what’s that?
When I came out in the early 90s I didn’t believe that being gay was something to be proud about. Nor was it something to be ashamed of. I still believe this. Being proud of inherent traits like having blue eyes or being left-handed or being gay seems a little silly. For me, pride comes from how you live your life. It’s about having the strength to be honest with yourself and your loved ones, to accept yourself, and to live out and openly with integrity and respect for your fellow human, especially when they didn’t quite understand you, and at a time when the world was a much more hostile place than it is today.
I applaud my hometown for the message it sends and for making the world more welcoming than it was yesterday.
Now, of course today has some important differences. The advance of technology, the impact of the internet, our fragmented media landscape, make it easier than ever to splinter ourselves into echo chambers. We can shut out contrary voices, avoid ever questioning our basic assumptions. Extreme views are given powerful microphones. Leaders willing to exploit fear and skepticism have tools at their disposal that were unimaginable when I graduated.