Tag Archives: politics

Mayonnaise Users Are At Fault

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Today’s politics is a highly polarized mess. People on both sides of the political aisle have been asking how this happened, why there’s not more love in the world, and why people would rather spout weird beliefs rather than seek compromise.

The short answer is: mayo, which, as you can see (unless you’re a user) is a four-letter word.

The United States is composed of several kinds of people:

  • Good people: We use mustard and possibly ketchup (but not catsup) on our hamburgers.
  • People on the wrong side of the tracks: They use mayo on their burgers and probably break into grocery stores in the middle of night when they run out of it.
  • Special Sauce Scum: They use thousand island dressing mixed with God knows what else on their burgers.

True Americans know what belongs on a hamburger. Americans who are supporting the wrong political candidates and putting the country in peril are people from the Mayo and Special Sauce camps.

Some of us add stuff to our burgers, but we don’t force our beliefs on others. I like bleu cheese (the scum spell that as “blue cheese”) and a dab or horseradish on my burgers. Some years ago, I accidentally got addicted to guacamole sauce  on burgers, but I have been clean for over twenty years.

I never force my habits on others, much less go to Congress or the Supreme Court to get my likes and dislikes codified one way or another into the national psyche. But I draw the line a mayonnaise.  Why the hell (pardon my French) would anyone want to spoil an all-American hamburger with (as Wikipedia defines it) “a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk, and either vinegar or lemon juice”?

As a survivor of the cold war, my first thought is “Commies.” But the conspiracy is wider than that. Have you noticed? A lot of so-called “regular people” are slathering mayo on their burgers–and just about everything else. Yes, it works in chicken salad and tuna salad, but that’s about it.

If you’re a mayo user–or even a thousand island dressing user–please stop for the good of the country.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “En Route to the Diddy-Wah-Diddy Landfill While the Dogwoods Were in Bloom,” a new e-book short story available on Kindle, iTunes, Kobo and Nook.

 

 

Should I be writing about political issues?

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Arts, publishing and books websites are showing us a large number of links about writers and politics these days. Some writers are speaking out (from one side of the aisle or the other) at rallies, via letters to Senators and Representatives, and posts on Facebook profiles. Others are writing poems, entire poetry chapbooks, essays, book reviews, short stories and novels that reflect their concerns about a wide variety of political, economic and social issues that became part of the very polarized national debate during the Presidential campaign.

Somebody–I forget who–once said that all fiction and poetry is at one level or another political. Perhaps so. My contemporary fantasies can’t help but show sadness over a world that relies more on technology than spirituality. My two Florida conjure novels shine a light on the racism of the 1950s. Nonetheless, my primary intent with these novels was telling stories I was passionate about rather than creating “message novels.”

When I think about the folk songs of the 1960s–and a lot of the poetry and fiction as well–I remember them as being intensely political, about “the military industrial establishment,” segregation, poverty, and the Vietnam War. We seem to have come full circle back to writings of protest and resistance against conservative policies as well as writings suggesting that that previous liberal policies created a mess that needs to be cleaned up.

Of course I have opinions about the issues. One opinion of longstanding favors a better approach to the environment, conservation, protection of wild areas and natural resources, and more care about not polluting the environment. Since these views go all the way back to the days when I was in the Boy Scouts and first began to participate in conservation organizations such as the Wilderness Society and the National Parks and Conservation Association, I will keep writing about this–and referring to it in my stories.

While I respect writers and others who feel a need to speak out for or against the issues that now threaten to further divide this country into camps that refuse to work toward consensus, I’m not going to do it. For one thing, I have no credentials that give me any special insight into whether we should be doing ABC or XYZ.  For another thing, much of the debate in both the news media and the social media is being driven by biased or skewed news, sensationalism and other misleading information, and voters on both sides of the issue who approach discussion with a “my candidate right or wrong.” All of this divides us further and makes the truth harder to find.

So my “voice” is going to stay focused on environmental issues and in writing fiction even if the two things get stirred up together a little bit. None of the rants–even those I basically agree with–on Facebook and elsewhere are changing people’s minds. Why not? Because they’re skewed toward the far right or the far left rather than a more centrist approach where people can really discuss the issues sanely rather than throwing gasoline on the fire with dueling wisecracks and graphics.

I welcome those journalists and other writers who do their best to look past the hysteria and tell us the facts and/or to carefully analyze the practicality, ethics, and legality of the issues in their news stories, features, essays, poems, and fiction. Anything else is pretty much spitting into the wind.

–Malcolm

 

Nightbeat: Every lie is true somewhere and vice versa

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Washington, D. C., January 23, 2017, Star-Gazer News Service–Woke up this morning and worried about the fact that my waking up might be a lie. In a post-truth, alternate facts world, it’s easy to doubt oneself, because wrong is suddenly the new right.

My therapist asked me to talk to a sock puppet named Billy Joe.

“Tell Billy Joe how you feel about your lack of certainty,” my therapist prompted.

“I feel bad and that ain’t good,” I said.

“Don’t we all,” said Billy Joe.

“I don’t know who you are anymore,” I said, “much less who I am.”

Wikipedia graphic

Wikipedia graphic

“Well, I’ll tell you. Most people don’t know what happened on Choctaw Ridge,” said the puppet as he settled down on top of a copy of Carl Jung’s Red Book. “I went up there to talk to my guru, and he said, ‘Every lie is true somewhere and vice versa.'”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

My therapist was furiously taking notes, and by that I mean, writing quickly rather than with anger.

“It’s cutting edge quantum theory,” said Billy Joe. “Unfortunately, the world didn’t understand such things very well in 1967. Personally, the guru’s revelation led to that embarrassing Tallahatchie Bridge incident.”

“I’m sorry that happened,” my therapist said.

“Don’t fash yourself over it because I’m not really dead. Sure, that’s a lie in this universe, but not in the universe next door. As my guru explained, everything that can happen does happen. But the things that happen split off like a family tree into many universes with hundreds of worlds, worlds more numerous than the stars in a clear night sky over the rock of waters.”

“Does that mean alternative facts are true in another universe?”

“It does,” said Billy Joe. “Once a person learns how to listen to the spirit of the depths, he’ll understand that.”

“You’re still up at the sawmill in alt-reality?”

“Alive and kicking along with the cat in the box.”

“So, somewhere else, I’m still asleep,” I said.

“How do you feel about that?” asked my therapist.

“Empowered.”

“That’s why you pay Billy Joe and I $375 for a 38-minute hour,” she said.

She stood, tossed Billy Joe back in the sock puppet bin along with “Big Bopper,” “Buddy Holly” “Ritchie Valens,” and “Judge Crater.” When I walked outside, I saw morning had broken and realized for the first time since February 3, 1959 that the music never died and that even though the spirit of the times loves alternative facts and post truth, the truth will never die either.

As a journalist, my job is to remain neutral while writing a story, but I still think it will be fair for me to ask those whose facts don’t ring true, “What universe are you living in?”

–Jock Stewart

Most politicians are people on parole from hell

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devilAs you might have noticed, there’s been a fair amount of political talk going around this year.

A lot of it illustrates my hypothesis that politicians–especially career politicians who don’t believe in term limits–are people who were consigned to hell who’ve been let out on parole because hell is full and/or because Satan thinks they’ve been rehabilitated and/or because having them running loose in the temporal world is the result of another one those “learning experiences” both God and the Devil want humanity to wallow through, albeit for different reasons.

Looking at the results of this learning experience so far, it appears we have failed. No, this isn’t a comment about who won and lost, but about how we’ve played the game.

Badly, I would suggest.

Will Rogers, who wasn’t a fan of government, once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Assuming he’s in a grave, he would be turning over in it now because the facts no longer matter. They’re not even funny.

We live in a world of fake news and selective-reporting-by-corporate agenda. People are arguing on Facebook, citing “the fake news I believe” vs. “the fake news you believe.” The gist of this approach is that people listen to “news” reports and editorials based on the fake news that best coincides with their view of the world as they think it ought to be. Any sane person steps into these debates at their peril usually to be slammed by people on both sides of the aisle as an ignorant troll.

So where are we now? Some say we’re in a hell of a mess. It’s so bad that most of our comedians have gone from being funny to being strident. It’s so bad that 75% of people’s prayers these days are that the people believing the wrong set of lies will perish in a flood or volcano. It’s so bad that hell itself looks like a paradise.

So, what’s to be done?

Some say, if you can’t beat them, join them. That sounds unseemly, like a sell out, like the fastest way to hell in a hand basket. Some say, “sue the bastards,”  though the trouble is, we can’t seem to agree on which bastards need to be sued. Some say, “make love, not war,” and while that’s not a bad idea, it probably won’t send the nasty politicians back where they came from. Others are running around like chickens with their heads cut off and, as we all know, that doesn’t accomplish a whole hell of a lot.

My advice–which isn’t worth a damn–is to keep silent until the extremists on both sides of the political spectrum run out out of ammo. That may take a while, but better safe than dead.

–Malcolm

 

 

New Presidential Candidate to out-trump Trump

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Junction City, TX – Star-Gazer News Service – Local author Caine Molasses, whose recent bestseller Grits on the Half Shell has been banned from schools across the country, announced his candidacy for the Presidency today from an Albino County jail where he’s serving time for skipping 25 straight alimony payments to his former wife Sue “Sugar Beet” Hawkins who, with her sister Sadie, runs a dance studio on the other side of the tracks.

Sweeter than Grandma

Sweeter than Grandma

Warden Bill Smith, who introduced Molasses to the prison exercise yard news conference, said that since the author had been a model prisoner, he would make a wonderful President.

“My campaign is a blend of the worst ideas from this year’s crop of Presidential wannabees simply because those ideas get the most publicity,” Molasses said.

His campaign manager Bugsy Baker, formerly of Chicago, said “even the dead will want to vote early and often for this man.

According to his campaign literature, Molasses will promote the following:

  • Carve up all the nation’s great banks into the chaos of tiny inefficient banks they used to be prior to all the mergers. Inefficiency means more jobs and more jobs mean more prosperity.
  • Build a Berlin-style wall along the border with Mexico at Mexico’s expense, complete with machine guns and a “Checkpoint Carlos.” Strengthen the war on drugs by sentencing users to do their time south of the wall until America is so drug free, the cartels will go out of business. We’ll be crime free by 2023.
  • Promote the concealment of all e-mails, letters, diplomatic packets, phone calls and texts from the American public who really have no business spying on their own government during sensitive negotiations with rogue governments, unruly Senators and Representatives, or rich people who are willing to kick in a few bucks for better government considerations.
  • Unleash Wall Street so that it can truly become the Las Vegas of the east. Let them do what they do best under an investor beware philosophy. Don’t get in the game if you can’t afford to lose your shirt.
  • There are a lot of countries out there who only respect force. Force is good for our military industrial complex because it means jobs for the common man and woman who screw bolts on new tanks and it means a larger military which means jobs for people who would otherwise be in jail or on the county or hoping Uncle Sam will pay their college tuition. We need an invasion every year or so to stay on top of our game.

Molasses, who has been married fifteen times, says “my love life is evidence I can sweet-talk anybody into my bed. That’s the first duty of a great President.”

Baker told reporters that he knew Molasses fight to get noticed would be an uphill battle since the major candidates are saying so many outlandish things, “they already have CNN or FOX news in bed with them.”

“When elected President,” said Molasses, “I’ll guarantee that every man, woman and child will receive the minimum daily requirement of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc along with 14.74 g of carbs and 1.213 kcal of energy from the department of agriculture. After all, that’s what I’m made of.”

JockTalksPoliticsStory filed by Jock Stewart, Special Investigative Reporter