There are few movies that have resonated with me the way Tarantino’s opus did. So many memorable scenes, legendary performances, witty dialogue, innovative storytelling and sequencing, and a soundtrack commensurate with the overall greatness of the plot.
Interestingly, as we find ourselves at the edge of the abyss that is the looming election, and all that it represents in the story of America, IDROS can’t help but think that we are living our own pulp fiction right now. No writer…not even Tarantino, or Orwell for that matter…could have scripted a tale that would have done justice to the past year. 2020 has been the most bizarre and heartbreaking year imaginable. I am waiting for someone like Winston Wolf to be summoned, tuxedo and all, and help us all magically clean up the bloody mess of this year before the Missus gets home.
Alas…Mr. Wolf is not emerging from an Acura NSX in front of our homes anytime soon. But one can still wish, right?
A scene that really stuck with me in the movie…and made an indelible mark on my life, to be honest, was a dark and awful and shocking and suspenseful vignette…in a movie chock full of scenes that fit that bill.
But this one scene stood alone in its graphic violence, in its vulgarity and utter boldness, and ultimately in its humanity. Those that know the movie likely know where I am going here, but in these times…these unprecedented times, that scene…that terrifying yet cathartic scene, spoke volumes about life in America…not in 1994…BUT RIGHT NOW, in 2020, with race riots scattered across our country, the most divisive political climate imaginable, and a deadly virus hanging over us like a guillotine blade.
***Spoiler Alert! (though at 26+ years, this one is on you, not me…and shame on you if you haven’t seen this film yet anyway). Butch and Marcellus were kidnapped by corrupt cops. Butch musters his strength to neutralize the “Gimp,” and heads back upstairs toward freedom and safety from the monsters below. Inches from getting away, Butch has a change of heart. What those evil assholes masquerading as law enforcement officers were doing to a man (who moments ago was Butch’s arch-enemy) downstairs was unconscionable. Butch couldn’t let it go. He grabbed a sword and headed back into the dungeon of horrors.
When Marcellus answers Butch’s “you ok?” with the most memorable line of the scene: ”I’m pretty fuckin’ far from OK!” I believe he was speaking for all of us, who can’t believe the injustice that continues to surround large swaths of our nation…in 2020! ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR. Who can’t believe that a troglodyte used the past four years to pack our Judicial system full of lifetime appointees who will roll back all progress gained by certain minorities, oppressed groups and an entire gender. Who can’t believe this same troglodyte willfully abetted an actual plague in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and put millions more directly in harm’s way. Who can’t believe the third (or more) of our national population who emboldened and defended the monster who runs our country. Who can’t believe that so many people still support this administration after witnessing the past 4 years. Who wonder what happened to kindness, civility, decorum and empathy in our country and certainly from our elected officials.
We are all pretty fuckin’ far from ok. But we don’t need to get medieval on anyone.
We all have the opportunity to be Butch. Our humanity cannot waver, even as we bear witness to unspeakable horror and evil. We all must head back down those stairs, confront the evil, and do the right thing.
If you haven’t voted already, IDROS urges you to get out there and vote on Tuesday. Vote like your life depends on it. Vote like your neighbor’s life depends on it.
Because Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead. It’s time to move out of the darkness.
From the depths of the morass that has engulfed the majority of 2020, it is no surprise that anyone might think about heroes. We see heroes every day on the front lines, and our definitions of what it means to be a hero have likely shifted. Furthermore, most of the great superheroes of literature and pop culture were born during history’s darkest moments. IDROS is not sure any took the form of a short Jewish lady from Brooklyn.
It pains me to lose such an amazing soul…especially at a time like this, rife with divisiveness, fear and hatred. And let’s not forget the pandemic, which continues to haunt our world, adding to the stress and heightened madness of an increasingly polarized national and global community.
IDROS can hear the cheesy mid-80s Bonnie Tyler refrain echoing in his head. But even the lyrics of that classic ring hollow when put in the context of RBG…she would be appalled by that song. It plays on typical misogynistic tropes of what a hero is (a man), and who needs saving (a woman).
I am proud to admit RGB was and will always remain one of my most cherished heroes. She lived a full life, exceeding expectations at every step along her rise to sainthood; RBG continued a fight that incredible women like Susan B. Anthony and Eleanor Roosevelt initiated in the two generations prior, rejected the status quo, championing the rights of more than half of our nation’s (and world’s) population. She was a role model for the every-man and woman, her talents and grit and empathy certainly attainable to all (at least seemingly).
She is the type of person IDROS could only wish both of his children (the boy and girl alike) will grow up to become. She was a superhero in plain clothes (well, until she was rightly appointed to the SCOTUS and donned a robe of nobility…a distinction she never took for granted nor abused).
RBG understood better than anyone that the courts don’t write our laws. However, they do interpret them, and set precedents to reflect and bolster societal change for all Americans, in a society that is constantly evolving. The founders, all white men, created a government for their time, which governed and protected the ruling class…which was white Christian men. Still, they were wise enough to provide for checks and balances among the three branches of government, and to set about creating the most ambitious and mostly righteous government framework to date…a framework that for all of its faults, many of which have become far more nefarious only through the luxury of hindsight, allowed for flexibility. And RBG used this flexibility to her (and frankly all of our) advantage in a crusade to turn the tide, which was already shifting in society at large, by challenging the archaic status quo, and overturning decades and centuries of unfair prejudice and unequal precedent, mostly at the expense of women and many if not all other marginalized groups throughout America.
Her fervent wish…and obvious fear (perhaps her own kryptonite), was to live long enough to be replaced by whomever won the next presidential election (read: anyone but Donald J. Trump).
Which is why the very system for appointing RBG’s replacement, which is grossly unjust and reeks of everything RBG spent her career attempting to eradicate, stings so much. IDROS is haunted by the fact that his hero, the first woman to ever lie in state at the US Capitol, , would be disrespected so much, not just by the Republican party, but in a bit of painful irony, by the very governmental bias she dedicated her entire career to making right. This was a woman who had been confirmed to the bench of the most hallowed court in our nation by a vote of 96-3 (and who the f*$k were those three, by the way? Show your faces damnit!*** More on this below…IDROS is here for his faithful readers…allowing you to forgo the Google machine, save you the click and lessen the suspense all with one fell swoop).
A Supreme Court Justice is appointed by a sitting president, and then confirmed by the US Senate. This process is inherently unfair, granting far too much power to the Republican party, and not nearly enough to the true majority in our country. This is not a political opinion…this is fact. IDROS is not one who posts on social media how hypocritical it is that the Republicans are jamming a Conservative judge down the nation’s throat hours after the passing of a Liberal judge (they are) when they so vehemently argued against the Democrats doing the opposite in Obama’s final year as president (with far more time left in his term, mind you, than DJT has left in his current tenure). IDROS understands that this particular hypocrisy can be found on both sides of this aisle and is poisoned by politics.
HOWEVER, because of the anachronism that is the electoral college, created to protect the interests of farmers in more rural areas of the country at the time of its founding, our president is not necessarily elected by the majority of the voting public. In fact, Trump lost the popular vote, but won the election, as did GWB in 2000. The electoral college as it is laid out (a vestige from centuries past) serves to favor the Conservative Right, with deep ties to the very people who desired to secede from our nation, who rose up to fight the bloodiest war in US history in an effort to maintain their “right” to own slaves. The electoral college literally gives more electoral power to relics of the Confederacy than to the areas of the country who fought to quash the racist and ANTI-AMERICAN ideologies that nearly undermined our United States. Even as our society evolved to recognize its evil past, and to move in a more civilized and inclusive direction, the electoral college by its very existence, precludes the political and legal framework of our country from moving with the tide of social progress…and actually serves to stymie it.
FURTHERMORE…the house of congress that confirms (or denies) a presidential Supreme Court appointee is the SENATE…not the House of Representatives. How is that unfair? Well the Senate grants equal representation to all states. That’s right, two senators are elected from every state, no matter how big or small, how densely or sparsely populated, and no matter the racial make-up of its population. So yes, Delaware and Wyoming have the same Senatorial influence as Texas and California. And FYI, so called “Red” states outnumber “Blue” States in our country by almost a two to one margin (even though Blue voters outnumber Red voters overall by a slim number).
These processes favor the Republican party, allowing less populous states to have unfair influence in choosing not only our president, but the members of our Supreme Court. RBG spent her career fighting injustice like this (institutional bias that favored those who created the law, rather than the full population of people those laws should be meant to protect).
IDROS can only hope that RBG’s death can be used as a galvanizing moment for those who value the rule of law in our country…for those who see the world as she did, and seek to protect all of the citizens of America…especially the most marginalized among us. My most fervent wish is that her death unites enough of us to enact change to the political framework of our country, to move away from structural biases like the electoral college and Senate approval of Supreme Court Justice appointees (the House should do this).
***Ah yes, now back to the three Republican Senators who opposed confirming Ginsburg — Sens. Jesse Helms (N.C.) (who was as repugnant a human as there ever was, inside or outside of Congress), Robert C. Smith (N.H.) (who was one of the staunchest anti-gay rights politicos in IDROS’ lifetime, and who campaigned vigorously against the appointment of the first openly gay ambassadorial appointee, James Hormel) and Don Nickles (Okla.) (who actually was the most benign of the triumvirate, but should also be noted for his vehement opposition of the appointment of our nation’s first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, for again, his unwavering anti-abortion stance and a fear that she would not be willing to overturn Roe v. Wade. It should be noted that O’Connor was appointed by Republican president Ronald Reagan and ended up being confirmed by a vote of 99-0) – all protested RBG’s support for abortion rights. The only senator who did not vote, Donald W. Riegle Jr. (D-Mich.), was in Michigan attending the funeral of Rep. Paul B. Henry (R-Mich.). It should be noted that at the time of the vote, the Senate was composed of 57 Democrats and 43 Republicans (so yes, 40 Republican Senators voted to confirm RBG).
Please remember to vote this November (or before).
Thank you to all who helped make my birthday as great as it could be under these circumstances. Loved the messages, calls, texts, sexts, cards, emojis, balloons and general fanfare. Special shout out to Mrs. IDROS, who went above and beyond as usual with an incredible surprise recreation of one of my favorite restaurants, menus and birthday dinners.
As usual in America, our policy du jour is about making cents, rather than making sense.
Who is overseeing the testing sites…I fear those centers lack the regulatory oversight to be effective, and worse, may be spreading the virus (you know…bringing hundreds of likely ill people together to fester in a parking lot petri dish…)?
America is a Cancer…as we celebrate our nation’s birthday, it occurs to me that our American Zodiac sign might be…fitting?
IDROS does not agree with the removal of “all” historical monuments that celebrate racists and miscreants from a bygone era…many absolutely should be removed, and many others should be updated with plaques and inscriptions that detail A) why the monument or statue was erected, and more importantly, B) why the man/men (yes, it is almost always men, not women) are a stain on society, and, if known, whether they were more (racist, misogynistic, generally awful) than was the standard during their time (take Woodrow Wilson for example….)
What kind of reading and self-guided education have you been doing vis a vis racism in America? It’s never too late.
It’s a good thing America has been made great again, because we are not going to be allowed to leave our country again for a while as more and more nations close their borders to our citizens.
What instrument would you rank 5th all time for rock music (after guitar, bass, keyboards and drums)? IDROS goes harmonica.
If you enjoy non-fiction reading, I recommend any of the 4 books by brothers Dan and Chip Heath. Similar to Malcolm Gladwell, they write fascinating, research-based books that dissect important phenomena that affect all of humanity. A lot of what they write can be channeled into self-help and can add value to all of humanity. Dan works at Duke University, and Chip works at Stanford, in case University prestige and affiliation moves the needle.
IDROS is almost as embarrassed to live in Florida as he is to live in America right now…neck and neck really.
Facebook, Twitter and all other social media platforms need to be regulated more fervently in terms of “free” speech. It’s nice that large companies like Unilever, Starbucks and Verizon are now throwing their hats into the ring, pulling ads and hitting FB in its e-wallet…but this again proves that corporate conglomerates have more power than people in America and in the world…and so our politicians will continue to do their bidding, often at the expense of humanity.
Watched “Joker” this past weekend. Uncanny how much Leaf looks like Phil Dunphy…perhaps scarier than the themes in Joker.
I think my favorite moment from last month (#PrideMonth) came when the conservative majority court that our president and his lackeys fraudulently stacked in their favor, ruled to uphold LGBTQ rights…at least this time.
A few celebs that share my birthdate (June 29): Colin Hay, Kawhi Leonard, Nicole Scherzinger, Richard Lewis, Theo Fleury, Pepper Johnson (remember that block by Byars?), Dan Dierdorf, Fred “Gopher” Grandy, Bob Evans (the producer, not “Down on the Farm”)
What’s a tougher watch…the first 20 minutes of “Up” or the first 20 minutes of “Saving Private Ryan?” Any other movies with a more difficult opening to watch?
It is not easy to come up with a list of 47 (he says after only 18 entries).
A Monday birthday is not optimal. A Coronavirus birthday isn’t anyone’s first choice either. But both of those scenarios are outside my control (IDROS mutters to self, “not helping”).
Sad to not be celebrating this lap around our sun at the South Jersey shore.
40 years ago, all 4 Philly sports teams were elite. This year, who knows…but the Phillies lead the league in positive coronavirus cases, so there’s that
Remember when the Flyers were the best team in the NHL just before Covid shut the world down? Good times.
Recommend Philly-boy-turned-rapper Lil Dicky’s show “Dave” if you need a reco.
Who else is completely skeeved out by paper (and coin) money right now?
Dave Chappelle – 8:46 is pure genius. No doubt he belongs on the Mount Rushmore of comedy.
Who are the 3 others? (Eddie, George and Richard are consensus, but Mel, Carol, Larry, Lucille, Rodney, Jerry, Joan and Carl are all worthy of consideration).
Neil Young’s latest new release of old material “Homegrown” is very good…great in spots. My favorite song on the album is “We Don’t Smoke It No More,” a drunken barroom blues nugget that should be categorized among NY’s greatest blues efforts.
Phish, and especially Trey, have been prolific during the pandemic thus far. I will definitely miss seeing them this summer at traditional venues, but for my money, I prefer Tuesdays with Phish (for DAAM) to those with Morrie (sorry Mitch).
The selfishness of the “anti-maskers” is mindboggling, and their ridiculous stance is emboldened from the top.
Speaking of ludicrosity, our citrus fruit in chief needs to READ ICCULUS (if he can read)
I think that lost in the 125,000+ deaths so far from Covid (many of which I believe are the direct fault of DJT and state governors like him…yes I mean you, DeSantis) are the countless survivors of the coronavirus, who will become part of the data set that make this seem like a more docile beast than it is, but whose lives have been forever negatively impacted by the disease (breathing issues, lung scarring, organ damage, etc.). We don’t know what we don’t know, and the fallout from this shitstorm is far from realized at this point.
There haven’t been any school shootings on Covid’s watch thus far…so there is at least one silver lining
I have no real problem with calling Covid “The Chinese Virus” or “The Chinese Flu” per se…after all, we still call plenty of illnesses, viruses and pandemics by their place of origin, or by a country name (Spanish Flu, West Nile Virus, Ebola, etc.). I only take issue because of the buffoon who feels it necessary to make it a racist put-down by doing so.
Chuck E Cheese’s declaring bankruptcy, obvious as it may be in these crazy times, is devastating to my son.
The past 3 ½ months have been surreal.
Family Feud style, top 6 answers on the board: Can I get a(n) ______________?
Are the mobs coming for the White House? Will it inevitably become the Multicolored House?
There isn’t a litany of great famous athletes who have worn number 47 in history: Jack Morris, Tom Glavine, Mel Blount, Jerry Lucas, John Lynch are the best of the bunch.
Does 7 qualify as late? Like, am I now in my late 40s?
As a time of day, 7 never qualifies as late (I realize you might be running late for something at 7am or 7pm, or you may have overslept till 7, etc., but that doesn’t make 7 late…it makes YOU late).
How lazy was Susan? Would one instantly know upon meeting her?
47 is a prime number
RIP Carl Reiner, a true American treasure. My heart aches for Mel, Rob, the entire Reiner family and all Americans who knew and loved one of the greatest comedic minds of all time. In a time where we all can use as much laughter as possible, his void will be hard to fill.
A few more celebs that share the IDROS birthday: Harmon Killebrew, Maria Conchita Alonso (“The Running Woman”), Bret (not Jemaine) Mckenzie, Charlamagne Tha God, and, of course, Gary Busey
America is, and always has been, a work in progress. Our forefathers, some of whom were asshole slave-owners, racists, and misogynists, were remarkable in many ways, especially in their time. And our constitution was drafted to allow America the flexibility to evolve, and to get better over time. Never forget, on this Independence Day, that those who broke from their colonial rulers, did so at great personal and collective risk and against great odds, to create a new land of opportunity for “all” (read: originally, all white men…but slowly, more and more inclusive).
It is incumbent upon all of us to make our country better. Somewhere along the way it seems to have been lost on many that we have a responsibility to continue what our Founding Fathers started. We are truly only as strong and great as our weakest link(s). All of us must strive to do better, to be kinder, to be more empathetic, to educate ourselves and our children, to call out injustice when we see it, to refuse to remain silent in the face of oppression, and to make our nation better for future generations.
Thanks for reading, and Happy 4th. Stay safe everyone!
I volunteer as a docent at Miami’s Holocaust Memorial. This is a book we have in the office there. A simple and profound book. The word “Jew” typed six million times creates an incredibly large tome (it’s as thick as an encyclopedia volume as you can see), but it is imperative to remember that each of those words represents a life cut brutally short. Each “Jew” has his or her own story to tell. I do my part to bring some of those stories to light, to honor the memories of those six million. Much of my own family was ravaged by the hatred embodied by the Shoah, and as the last of the survivors near the end of their lives, I strive to be a bridge to younger and future generations, passing on the critical message of NEVER AGAIN!
When considering the current COVID-19 crisis gripping the world, most people point to the Spanish Flu in 1918 to be the most recent example of a global pandemic.
Today, on Yom HaShoah, I challenge that assertion. The rise of Fascism, and in particular, the Nazis, posed a far more virulent threat to mankind…and make no mistake: The Nazis and all they represented, were, and continue to be, a virus…a plague on humanity.
Defenses were down after the War To End All Wars and its aftermath crippled the global economy, foisting our planet into the Great Depression. Germany, as the instigator and loser of WWI, was hit hardest. And so the Nazi virus began its invasion using a path of least resistance, enveloping central Europe in a fever-dream of swastikas and a promise to Make Aryans Great Again.
At first, a majority of Germans and their neighbors didn’t take the threat seriously. They had ample opportunity to snuff the early flames before it spread. But through a combination of denial, selfishness and policies of appeasement which focused on local problems (be it within one’s family or municipality inside of Germany, or on fellow countrymen and national strife beyond the German borders – particularly in England – I’m looking at you Chamberlain), they failed to take early decisive action.
In fairness, those who unleashed the virus on their fellow man were deceitful. They propagated a campaign of lies, slyly undermining any efforts to slow the spread. Propaganda ensured rapid infection by way of sleight of hand…the virus was…get this…hailed as the cure – the magic elixir that would solve all of Germany’s rampant and real problems: unemployment, stagflation, poverty…helping the once-proud nation and it’s people to a return to glory. How? By blaming all of these problems on the Jews, of course.
By the time the NAZI-88 virus annexed the Sudetenland and bulldozed Poland it was too late. The disease had mutated. Local populations with dormant but no less virulent strains of the insidious ailment actually helped spread the disease. NAZI-88 preyed on hubris. And the weak, the elderly and the disabled were ravaged. Certain members of society were quarantined, and forced to produce munitions to bolster and help spread the infection.
But millions of ordinary European citizens had a choice…they could help stop the spread of NAZI-88, or they could aid and abet the virus in its death march across Europe. NAZI-88 could not truly take hold throughout the continent without the help of the ignorant masses…both those who actively spread the infection and those who passively sat idly by as the disease ravaged their communities.
Let the lessons of NAZI-88 be forever etched in our minds. In times when the ground below us begins to crumble, and the flames of hell begin to pierce our foothold, it is up to the masses to join together and extinguish, not fan, the flames, and to reinforce the barriers that protect our weakest brothers and sisters from slipping through the cracks. For it is ignorant to believe the sacrifice of the old and frail, of the disabled and infirm or even of the Jews or some other minority will smother the raging fires below; rather, doing so will serve to feed those dying embers and erode the earth that protects us all from their grip.
I don’t roll on Shabbas…and now, you won’t catch your author anywhere near a bowling alley any other day of the week either.
Bowling has to be one of the highest-risk activities to spread a contagious virus (maybe second to a trip to Chuck E Cheese’s?) Just thinking about reaching my fingers into those three holes (get your mind out of the gutter…see what I did there?) in any of those colored balls at a local bowling alley makes my stomach churn and the little hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Add to that the shared rental shoes, the touchscreen automated scoring apparatus, the arcade games, the bowling alley bathrooms and the other patrons (many of whom would fit right in on Tiger King) and you may as well reserve an ICU wing at the local hospital.
But I digress.
There are a number of distinct memories I have from childhood, both good and bad, that are forever etched into my mind, along with certain imagery…just thinking about the events below brings me back to a certain time and place in my life. And conversely, reminiscing about certain times in my life, I immediately recall these events which are forever associated with those specific ages and moments.
Gas station lines during the oil crisis in the ’70s
Phillies 1980 World Series Victory
Iran Hostage Crisis (in particular, the yellow ribbon – replete with its own song)
USA Hockey victory over USSR – The Miracle on Ice
John Lennon’s Assassination
Reagan’s Assassination Attempt
76ers 1983 World Championship
We Are the World
Stock Market Crash of 1987
Earthquake Disrupts 1989 Bay Area World Series
The Gulf War – “This Aggression Will Not Stand!”
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
Berlin Wall Comes Down (And the subsequent dissolving of the USSR)
Magic Johnson Reveals He Has HIV
Rodney King Riots
Duke Back-to-Back Championships 1991-1992 – (in particular, the UNLV game in ’91 and the Kentucky game in ’92)
OJ – The car chase and the trial
*The list is not exhaustive and shows a clear bias toward negative stories (one wonders if that is a human thing, a media thing or an IDROS thing). IDROS included impactful events from early childhood through college graduation. Also, please note these are all shared events. Obviously, like IDROS, all of you have personal memories and life-altering events of which only you and your closest family and friends might be aware. But this COVID-19 affair affects the entire planet and so this list includes only events shared by much of, if not all of, humanity.
IDROS would love to hear from any readers who have other watershed events to include in the comments below.
Thinking back on the list above, IDROS can’t help but wonder how his and all children will remember this dark and unique time in our world.
How will it be taught in schools? What will be the lasting images and photos of the pandemic that will fill the History textbooks? What would be the impacts on our world? Did humanity change as a result? And how so? Do we look back at this time nostalgically? Did any good come from this crisis? Did society learn anything from this? What, if anything, was forever changed by Coronavirus? Was our response effective? What could we have done better? Where did our efforts fail? How are we more prepared going forward for another such threat?
A few of IDROS’ stray observations so far from the Coronavirus Pandemic:
No school shootings – an underrated benefit of this craziness
My kids don’t realize the fears my wife and I have when doing mundane things like going grocery shopping or getting gas in this new world
They also don’t know what we do once we return with our haul, or have it delivered – the hours wiping down all the boxes and packages with Clorox wipes, etc.
If you weren’t a hypochondriac and/or germaphobe before this pandemic…you are now!
IDROS fears even more than usual for all women and children living in an abusive home during this crisis (please read this great piece)
Doctors, nurses and hospital employees are true heroes (as are grocery store employees, delivery men and women, and all first-responders)
Yardwork is more fun when you are quarantined, but only marginally
Little to no traffic on the roads is a pleasant and welcome benefit of these times
IDROS believes the current situation must be especially difficult for anyone working a 12-step program (or similar) and prays for your continued strength – on the plus side: zoom meetings are available and the coffee is likely better
IDROS is legitimately scared…for his family, friends, all who are protecting us and helping us through this time, America, and for humanity
America’s greatest challenge in this pandemic, in IDROS’ humble opinion, is the vast amount of freedom the citizens of this country enjoy…to truly contain and defeat this enemy, a full lockdown is necessary and should have been instituted long ago (think, February). But Americans would never allow this en masse and will need to see much more devastation than a couple thousand deaths before allowing the government to claw back their freedoms. Nations with citizens who are more accustomed to dictatorial rule, or at least fewer liberties and freedoms in general, have fared much better during this pandemic.
That said, IDROS is humbled by the overwhelming selflessness of the majority of American (and global) citizenry. Most people are sacrificing everything for the greater good, forgoing sanity, their careers, income and most that life has to offer outside the four walls of their homes to ensure the safety of the first-responders, medical professionals, elderly and immuno-compromised in our communities…and frankly, have done so with no real clear leadership. There is no precedent for this situation and still, by and large, the response has been amazingly awe-inspiring…at least so far.
IDROS would like to thank all the kind people out there like John Krasinski who are trying to keep us focused on the good during these trying times.
Please be safe everyone. Humanity will prevail! Have faith and stay the f*c@ at home!
Pumpkin spice surrounds us once again, and it is as inescapable as a crowded checkout line at Target. The kiddos are starting (or in the case of Florida, where IDROS lives, have already started) school. Halloween decorations, costumes and candies have flooded retail hubs across America. And so, by the transitive property, we can safely assume that FOOTBALL SEASON is upon us. And with it, Fantasy drafts have hijacked the productivity of at least 60% of society and have added stress and resentment to marriages across the land. Polls and power rankings are honed and proliferated by pedigreed dart-throwers at major sports media outlets all over the nation.
Why? Because everyone loves lists. All things in life are better when boiled down to an ordered, unordered, random or deliberate list…especially when it’s ranked. Some of these rankings are serious, and help inform people’s choices for colleges, grad schools, private schools, mutual funds, new cars, doctors, lawyers, and a host of other products and professionals we are free to choose. Some are less serious, but nonetheless drive the music we listen to, the movies we see, the Fantasy players we draft, the “top” answers on a certain Game Show and more importantly, the relevancy regarding certain arcana such as the best songs from certain decades, the best movie roles for certain actors, the best quarterbacks of all time, etc.
IDROS enjoys a good list as much as anyone, and so what better way to “kick off” American football season (see what I did there?) than to proffer a very special list…the ultimate list.
Behold, the IDROS ULTIMATE LIST OF LISTS (top 25 answers on the board…revealed in descending order for the reader’s pleasure). As always, if you have any suggestions or additions, feel free to contribute in the comments:
25) To Do
24) Do Not Call
23) Endangered Species
19) Christmas (Holiday)
17) No Fly
12) Most Wanted
9) Hurricane (Apocalypse) Prep
2) My (…of the best things in life…yes, the one your kiss is on)
Well, well, well, Alabama. I would love to write that you have sunk to a new low, but that is virtually impossible for a state of your “caliber”…and yes, those are air-quotes, and meant to denote the irony of typing such a word and associating it with what can only be described as the inner bowels of hell…a place with fewer redeeming qualities than a disease infested mosquito.
Before I get into the real story here, I feel it necessary to give some points of reference to my seemingly heavy-handed opening salvo…so here are some incredible facts of modern-day Alabama (we all know the glorious history Alabama showcased prior to the Civil War).
Average Income of Alabama’s citizens ranks in the bottom five (5) for both median household and per capita income. IDROS is not trying to belittle hard working citizens, and would never try to mock anyone for their income level. The point here is twofold – First, Alabama contributes poorly to our national income tax coffers as a result of its citizen’s income level; and Second, the state is not carrying its weight in any shape or form and should not have the ability to sway large national issues that may affect US citizens outside of Alabama, ever, as a result.
Alabama ranks in the top 10 (#7 actually) in violent crimes per capita…sure, numbers 1 and 2 above contribute big time to this statistic, but there are a number of states that fall in the bottom of one or both of the lists above and has a violent crime rate far below that of Alabama.
The point here is that Alabama is pretty much the worst place in our country…so doing something like introducing this ridiculous new abortion law is pretty much in line with expectations from a place that ranks 49 out of 50.
Ahhhh…the homogenous group of 25 white MEN, people who are unable to get pregnant themselves…mind you…who took it upon themselves to place the rights of rapists and incestuous sexual predators above those of Alabaman women. Women who are, aside from actually being able to get pregnant, grow another human life (or two or eight) inside of them, get overwhelmed with hormones, have their insides and outsides stretched, crushed and contorted to unfathomable limits, lose countless hours of sleep, and endure pain unknown to all males, actual and EQUAL constituents of these 25 jerk-offs.
The plot gets a little interesting given that Alabama has a female Governor (Kay Ivey). Yep…the populace of that state was evidently enlightened enough to trust their governance to a woman (IDROS believes it must have been a balloting error), but still doesn’t believe said woman should be able to govern her own body. We shall see if Governor Ivey even cares, or if she too is so corrupted by the hypocrisy of the religious right that her own body is no longer part of her jurisdiction.
IDROS would like to make one point crystal clear. No sane person, including IDROS (if you are flexible in your definition of sanity), is PRO abortion. Your author knows HIS lane…and emphasizes the male possessive in absolute solidarity with the fact that this is not an issue that should be legislated, debated, or even posited by any males of our species. Sure, we can opine, when asked, or in the event it is our spermatozoa that fertilized the specific ovum that led to a very difficult decision…maybe even weigh in…in a supportive and chivalrous manner.
But the same people who claim to be PRO “Life” have seen to it that our nation has more guns than people and easier access to them than to clean drinking water. The same mother f-ers that clamor for smaller government want to shrink it so that it fits inside a woman’s vagina…so they can control it from the inside. Talk about hypocrisy. And the vast majority of the government a-holes (and their voter base) who support the legislating of women’s bodies are men (all 25 were in this case).
This “are you f-ing kidding me” watershed moment is even more grotesque and complex than it might appear, however. Why? Because the ridiculous men who brought forth what amounts to the most misogynistic, criminally insensitive and malicious anti-abortion legislation in our nation did so with an ulterior motive in mind. You see, while they do believe the ideas in said legislation, even they, Alabaman politicians, raised and educated in the great school system of Alabama, know enough from their 4 and 5 years in law school and several attempts at passing the bar exam, that the legislation is unconstitutional.
And so these wily little weasels are setting a no-win trap. IDROS feels like Admiral Akbar realizing the deflector shield is still up. The ACLU will step in, trying to protect the females of our species in Alabama, and appeal this legislation all the way up to the SCOTUS…where the new and inferior, rage-inducing conservative majority sits waiting to pounce…and to upend Roe v. Wade.
IDROS says f ‘em. ACLU, hear me now and listen to me later (yes, in Hans and Franz accent)…do not interfere! Let Alabama remain the stain on our nation it desperately seeks to be. We all see where this is going…back alley abortions; bringing back the coat hangers. I can see the blood running down the legs of those poor women now into puddles in some awful Alabaman alley. The Crimson Tide will take on a whole new meaning. And all the blood will be on the hands of a bunch of men, who thought they knew what was best…not just for the women of Alabama…but for the rest of our country as well. (IDROS apologizes for the nauseating, though alliterative, imagery)
IDROS wishes we rational Americans could have a late term abortion and force Alabama out of the US. They are a drag on our resources and are now trying to influence national policy. They must be stopped.
Kay Ivey…you are the first potential blockade. IDROS hopes you choose wisely…but fears the worst.
In the event Kay drops the ball, or the Alabama House of White Male Dicks vetoes her refusal…
Then ACLU, IDROS knows you mean well. But leave this alone. Don’t let Alabama potentially ruin the rest of our country with its ignorance and hypocrisy.
As a closely related aside, IDROS loves the Godfather Part Deux. An amazing scene (among many) is when Kay explains to Michael that she didn’t lose the baby. Watch here. Reflect. Such a great scene! And to think Alabama even wants to prevent women from snuffing out future Mafia Dons with this asinine legislation. Furthermore, IDROS likes that Alabama’s Governor is also named Kay…maybe she will use this opportunity to grandstand, and theatrically shout “This Legislation Was an Abortion…It was an Abortion!”
This is Us. (See what I did there? Pittsburgh….sadness.)
Unfortunately, there has been no shortage of seminal moments in our world that showcased the abject and baseless horror human beings can inflict on one another. History is littered with prime examples. And literature teems with responses.
A little more than two years ago, in the wake of another hate crime (Pulse, Orlando), just as Hillary and the Donald were wrapping up their victories in their respective Primaries, a young lady sat in one of the most American establishments there is, deep in the heart of a battleground state, and wrote these powerful verses:
Smith’s opus deftly captures the paradox of our planet, our world and humanity. It is at once breathtakingly beautiful, and horrifyingly awful. It makes you gasp in wonder, and cry tears of fear and futility. It is simultaneously optimistic and pessimistic. And in my eyes, if a person can take the human condition and our imperfect world with all of its flaws, decay and unbearable cruelty, and bottle them up in fewer than twenty lines of lyrical free verse, mixed with hints of optimism and belief in our children, in our future…well then perhaps not all is lost…even after Pittsburgh…and Parkland….and Las Vegas, and Charleston, and Sandy Hook, and so on down the line.
Still, they are just words. So while I encourage you to read them, re-read them, pass them on and focus on the hint of optimism at the end, please know that words are powerful, but actions always speak louder. I urge you to vote. And choose kindness. And teach kindness.
“If I believed an assault weapons ban would have prevented this from happening, I would have supported it.” Marco Rubio, CNN Town Hall February 21, 2018
We all remember the game we played as children, usually while swimming. Now imagine playing the game, but in a strange twist of fate, all the other children were replaced with doppelgangers who happened to be deaf. You call out “Marco….Marco….MARCO!” Your frustration grows as your playmates remain silent. Finally, unable to take it anymore, you open your eyes to make sure your friends were still in the pool. There they were, just as you remembered before closing your eyes. So were they ignoring you? You call out again, “MARCO!” Still silence. Like any child, you get real close and yell into someone’s ear, “MARCO!” Nothing. Finally, unable to take anymore, you grab a friend by the arm violently, screaming “Marco!” and shaking him or her. He or she responds, “what the hell? Stop grabbing me!” You begin to cry, and get out of the pool.
I am that frustrated kid. I am sure many of you feel similarly. How can these troglodytes live amongst us? Are they kidding? How did this guy get elected? How can this devil woman believe the venom she is spewing? How is this La Derrière character allowed to breathe the same oxygen I am? Can half our country really be this stupid? Why aren’t the more educated among the gun freaks not stepping in to slap some sense into their ignorant brethren? How many children have to die before things finally change? All of them? And if all of them is your answer (and believe me, after the nonsensical answers I have heard from your camp, I wouldn’t put it past you), then what exactly are you protecting with your prized guns?
And down the rabbit hole I go…again.
Look, kudos to Marco Rubio for even having the balls to show up Wednesday night. The governor and our Narcissist-in-Chief were clearly too busy polishing their extended taints (the space their testicles, which were sold to the NRA, once occupied). And good ol’ Rubio even showed sense enough to concede a few points…albeit minor points…on every White Supremacist’s favorite Constitutional Amendment. But look at his quote again (“If I believed an assault weapons ban would have prevented this from happening, I would have supported it.”) This is so insulting. How can you know if such a ban has never been enacted? Who cares what you believe? Facts save lives. Not beliefs. This is the same BS-laden venom anti-vaxxers spew that puts children’s lives at risk. And how dare you look the very children who miraculously survived the Rambo-like blitzkrieg of an assault weapon carrying 19-year old, and spew that garbage. YOU HAVEN’T TRIED EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO SAVE LIVES! And you know how IDROS knows this? BECAUSE YOU HAVEN”T ENACTED A LAW THAT MOST LIKELY WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THAT 19 YEAR OLD D-BAG FROM BUYING THE ASSAULT WEAPON!
In a recent Facebook post, when I called Bullshit on the NRA and their supporter’s entire platform vis-a-vis guns, many of my faithful friends and readers asked me…”So now what do we do?”
Below is IDROS’ playbook (this is not exhaustive):
KEEP THE PRESSURE ON! Every day that goes by after a mass shooting weakens our leverage. But we can’t take our feet off the gas. Sandy Hook deflated all of us…we all have this horrible aftertaste in our mouths (it is actual throw up…we all threw up in our mouths a little) because “If nothing changed after 6 year olds were massacred, nothing will ever change…” IDROS is still in shock over the inaction. Thousands of young lives have been extinguished far too early since that awful day…and we all know that if even one of those lives could have been saved by common sense gun control measures…So keep writing on social media. Join a march. Call or email or write your Congress people, Governors, Council people, Comptrollers, DAs, ADAs, Attorneys General, Commissioners, Mayors, Sheriffs, Clerks and unwelcome residents of 1600 Pennsylvania. Boycott any company or business that supports the NRA. Write letters to large known NRA donors. Call those supporters out on social media.
FIND TURNCOAT FORMER GUN NUTS – IDROS is certain there are NRA members who have lost loved ones in one of these senseless mass shootings. We must find these people and tap into the “Come to Jesus” moments. It’s so easy to brainwash the ignorant. But even the most devout cult followers can be easily deprogrammed when traumatized. And these people can expose the weaknesses in the NRArmor. There may be other former NRA members who have seen the light without experiencing trauma…we must utilize these gifts.
GET OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE / ECHO CHAMBER – Posting rants, sharing articles and blogs, and voicing disgust solely in our own networks, families and circles of friends is not enough. For the majority of us, most if not all of our outlets have similar political and social ideals. We must take the discussion to those who don’t already share our beliefs. Sure, my parable about the most frustrating game of Marco Polo ever looms large here, but if we can get through to even one or two people, have meaningful discussions and debates, and find some common ground in a forum where others like THEM might be watching/listening/reading, we may actually preach beyond the choir. The recent Townhall aired by CNN was great, but unfortunately, most of the people in our country we want to receive that type of message view CNN as the devil, and would rather have a family of Middle Eastern foreigners move in next door than tune in. So be sure to engage the one or two hard line gun fanatics in your network and/or family. Engage in a Breitbart or NRA message board. Find anything the likes of Tomi Lahren, Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity posts and respond. Sure, for the most part you will feel like you are playing Marco Polo in a school for the deaf. But it is vital to keep the lines of communication open.
FUND THE ANTI GUN LOBBY – Unfortunately, IDROS does not think there is an equivalent to the NRA in terms of funding and influence that lobbies for sensible gun control. THIS POST is dead-on in much of its logic. It is a much more difficult task to influence a bureaucratic system awash in red tape to create new legislation, than it is to influence the same people to DO NOTHING. And since those who own guns and want to keep owning guns are much more motivated to protect their stance, even on a boring, garden variety Tuesday, than the opposition, who really only ever shows its teeth following a mass catastrophe…well, we get present day America. Michael Bloomberg and his Everytown For Gun Safety seems to be the best we have, and it is fairly new, established in 2014. IDROS would prefer to see money removed from politics altogether, as it is the root of all evil and corruption, but because so much money hangs in the balance of every major election outcome, unfortunately, this is unrealistic. So fund the opposition to the NRA. Solicit outspoken celebrities and wealthy friends and associates to do the same. Everytown is still in its infancy, but as the opposition to the NRA grows, the power of the gun lobby will shift. This article implies that money doesn’t matter. IDROS begs to differ.
MARCH MADNESS – IDROS loves the idea of March For Our Lives. The surviving MSD students are giving our nation a clinic in how to enact change following a mass tragedy, and all of us who have been clamoring for change dating back to Columbine or any of the hundreds of shootings since owe these brave children a debt of gratitude. So get out there and support them physically, financially and/or any way you can. Colleges are promising not to penalize students who garner any disciplinary fallout relating to protests and marches. Here’s hoping companies will follow suit when hiring time comes. But as much as IDROS supports the student marches and protests, there is another option which may send a more powerful message, and just might get lawmakers to act more expediently. IDROS turned to his wife the evening of the Parkland shooting (IDROS’ wife is a longtime administrator at a school in South Florida) and said, “this has to stop, and I know how to stop it quickly. Unfortunately, it’s up to you. And by you, I mean all school employees, nationwide…pre-school through universities. Teachers, administrators, janitors, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, athletic coaches, counselors, nurses…all of you.” Please know that IDROS does not suggest others risk their financial security, their employment, their job security, their pensions, their futures, lightly…and anything IDROS is recommending, please know IDROS would be willing to do himself, along with his wife. Because it is all of their lives who are at risk every day. Because this is not what any of them signed up for when they made the incredible selfless choice to become educators and champions of our children. And because these are actual, current, registered voters whom the lawmakers actually represent right now, and for us to ask our children to do this alone may just be asking too much. IDROS recommends all school employees across the nation take the calendar at face value, and MARCH, starting in March. March 1, 2018, all employees strike until Congress enacts sensible gun control measures…PERIOD. All moneys forfeited, and jobs lost as a result must be guaranteed and made whole by a fund to be set up, like a GO FUND ME. And the rest of us will back this effort by A) Dealing with the frustrating and difficult repercussions of having our kids at home during this time period; B) Funding the GO FUND ME to make sure no person involved in this effort loses a single paycheck from doing so; and C) Offering support in any other way we can. IDROS believes this will work, and will work more quickly than any other tactic. Why? Because the opposition may have more lobbying money, but when push comes to shove, more than their precious little guns, they need their kids in school…and their politicians would not withstand the avalanche this kind of mass walkout would unleash.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas once said: “Be a nuisance where it counts. Do your part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action. Be depressed, discouraged, and disappointed at failure and the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed, corruption and bad politics—but never give up.”
Let’s honor her, and the brave students and faculty at her namesake school, by doing all we can to move the needle. We must not let these precious lives…any of them, from any of the tragic shootings of our past…be lost in vain.
As always, thanks for reading. Please share, and if you have any clout with the Teachers’ unions, the NEA, the Department of Education, the PTA, etc…let’s make this a MARCH to remember. Our children are counting on you.
Please let IDROS know if you have any other ideas to share that might help save lives.