Just a rambling thought…
Before I go onto the meat of this today’s column, I want to address another issue that maybe is not great shakes as far as the world is concerned or any social movements of any merit but something I just want to address.
Why? who knows. Maybe its a deranged mind of a anachronistic socialist… a remnant of a molecule of LSD left over from my hippie days… some brain synapse gone wrong from the all the booze and drugs I did thirty years ago… who cares… its my rant and I’ll rant if i want to… I’m allowed…
Lately, there is this debate on Facebook… and, I imagine on other social networking forums… that pits the “I never watch Game of Thrones (GOT)” and those that are fervent “Throne” watchers.
What all is happening in these “debates” is that some of the GOT watchers are calling some of the “never watch” peeps elitists or worse. Some GOT peeps even go so far as to say some of them in the “never watch” side go around lauding the fact that they never have seen GOT as if it were a kind of “badge of honor” AND then being a bit overly vociferous, pompous, snobbish and a plethora of other words I could pull up from my thesaurus about the fact that they have never, ever watched GOT.
In reciprocation, I could say… and some of the “never watch” group have, else there would be no ongoing “debate”… some of the GOT peeps are just as bad with their fervent lording the show over all that is holy that the show is the greatest fantasy work that has ever been conceived and then brought to the televised world. Since, I have never watched the show I can’t testify to that fact of whether it is or is not or might even be in the higher ranks of great fantasy that has been brought to the screen either as a movie of a televised event. And, since I have never read the books from which GOT is derived, I can’t even comment on whether the story, or fantasy fable, is even worthwhile of the accolades that it has gotten.
As far as them that say they don’t watch GOT because they ain’t into fantasy… I decidedly do not fall into that camp. I like science fiction, suspense, fantasy… a lot. Among the authors that I have devoured are peeps like Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Dean Koontz and, yes, of course, J. R. R. Tolkien… I have read Lord of the Rings at least three times and seen the movies more than once.
I have also seen many of the preceding authors’ works translated to the screen… sometimes very effectively, sometimes with mixed results and sometimes dreadfully.
Just an side… I tried watching Harry Potter… I never read the books… did nothing for me.
I don’t watch Game of Thrones simply because I watch almost no TV at all except for sports and some nature shows or documentaries or a movie once in a great while. Want more heresy? I don’t do Twitter. I only have a cell phone for emergencies and the camera feature for concerts where real cameras are not allowed. And, I don’t do any… in fact I never have… of those movie rentals things like Red Box, Netflix or Amazon… I don’t even do iTunes.
So, when I say I have never watched Game of Thrones it’s not of any sense of snobbishness or I wearing it as a badge of honor but simply a case of I don’t especially like sitting in front of a TV watching it when I could be reading a book or writing stuff on my computer.
For them that have a need to continue with the debate… have at it. If, by chance I make a comment or interject a thought about the phenomena that is Game of Thrones… I only do so as statement of reality and not meant as anything more or anything less. Just that… a statement of fact. I simply have never watched Game of Thrones, and presently have no desire to invest the time to do so. I may, however, pick up the books upon which it is derived and invest time in reading the story (stories?) and at that point, who knows, I may invest moolah and buy the series off of Amazon or some such internet site and just sit my ass down and watch the damn thing.
Not all religious ultraconservatives go to heaven…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace…
I haven’t spoken about Pope Frankie in a long time… however… if ya’ll remember… despite my personal feelings about religion … essentially, that it is truly one, of the many, opiates that the powers that be (.00001%) utilize to subdue and manipulate the masses… I kinda, sorta like the dude. The main reason why is that some of his top opinions of life and the world… him and me sorta see eye to eye on.
Pope Frankie has called out America and the rest of the so-called developed countries of the Western world to uphold moral leadership by welcoming vulnerable refugees who are feeling war and violence and oppression into their countries.
He has been among the most vocal on bringing attention to the threat of global warming… and, especially it effects on the poorest of the worlds countries and communities… and then calling on countries with the most resources… hello. America!… to do more to protect the Earth and to help those that have been harmed the worst by the effects of climate change.
Pope Frankie has called climate change a fact. And, he says that it is all Christian’s responsibility to address it.
In 2015, he said that climate change is mostly human-made, and that a failure to do something about it would be a failure in doing our jobs to protect God’s creation and have “grave consequences for all of us.” Frankie has also said that we have been introduced to this world to be stewards of the planet, and therefore dealing with climate change is a must… it is mandatory. And once again… he says it is an issue of morality because the poorest and most vulnerable would be impacted the most by global warming.
His stand on labor…
He once told a group of Italian workers… “There is no good society without a good union, and there is no good union that isn’t reborn every day in the peripheries, that doesn’t transform the rejected stones of the economy into corner stones.” the pope said on June 28 during an audience with Italian union leaders.
He also told the same workers that unions risk losing their “prophetic nature” when they mimic the very institutions they are called to challenge… “Unions over time have ended up resembling politicians too much, or rather political parties, their language, their style.”
In addition he has said that labor unions not only must guard and protect workers, but also defend the rights of those who are retired and those who are excluded… the poor and jobless… who often are left by the wayside in the struggle for human rights and democracy for all peoples.
AND… something I continually harp upon about Capitalist society…
Pope Frankie says that men and women are not created just to go work, go home, then wake up the next day and do it all over again… they need a time where they can enjoy a “healthy culture of leisure,” which he says… and I whole agree with him on… is a human necessity.
Frankie has noted that when some parents leave for work, their children may still be sleeping… or… when they get home from work they may already in bed. He says, “This is inhumane. For this reason, this other culture (of leisure) must go together with work; a person is not made just for work, because we don’t always work and we shouldn’t always work.”
And especially near and dear to my heart… Frankie says the modern world’s worship of idol of “god of money” leads to disenfranchisement and extremism
He says, “There is war for money.”
Take a moment and sit back and grok the reality, the simplicity and the truth of those few words.
Frankie then adds, “There is war for natural resources. There is war for the domination of peoples. Some might think I am speaking of religious war. No. All religions want peace; it is other people (Capitalists and the 1%) who want war.”
In 2013, Pope Francis wrote a massive statement, called an apostolic exhortation, in which he decried what he called the “idolatry of money.” Among the things he said were…
“The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.”
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”
And… in a speech, he delivered while visiting Bolivia… he said, “Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home.” And… “Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labor is not mere philanthropy. It is a moral obligation. For Christians, the responsibility is even greater: it is a commandment.”
He has even taken to task his own intuition… Catholicism… “‘When the administration is fat, it’s unhealthy.” He has gone on record as saying the Vatican needs to become a leaner, more efficient administration that “would (should?) free up more money for (doing good works).”
“Terrorism grows when there is no other option, and as long as the world economy has at its center the god of money and not the person … (this) is fundamental terrorism, against all humanity… “And, once again he says… “There is war for money. There is war for natural resources. There is war for the domination of peoples. Some might think I am speaking of religious war. No. All religions want peace; it is other people who want war.”
These words, which appeared in The Wall Street Journal, followed other remarks he had made earlier that argued the various Middle East conflicts/wars are over economic and political interests and are not religious or any so-called “Islamic terrorism.”
Trumpty Dumpty and the wall…
Frankie pointedly came out and took Trumpty Dumpty to task for wanting to build a wall along the border with Mexico, saying, “A person who thinks only about building walls … and not building bridges is not Christian.”
Frankie does not see evolution as a myth.
Many elephants as well as many, if not most, conservative religious individuals and groups generally refute the theory of evolution.
And, they do it in a sometimes very nasty and exclusionary manner when politicking against including the theory as part of the teachings of public schools, universities and the scientific world. Frankie… albeit in “nicer” terms… says this is bullshit.
He says, “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything, but that is not so.”
So why all this love for Pope Frankie?
Because, frankly, if we leave out the Christianity part of it, I simply agree with almost everything he has said, professed or promoted in the preceding listing of his beliefs about humanity, humanity’s responsibilities to each other and what the fuck we are doing to one another … economically ecologically and whatever else there conceivably is… and how we need to change all the bullshit.
Speaking about religion…
This is Pope Frankie’s own opinion about that subject…
And, some may wonder why I like this dude?
And then most recently there is this…
“Not all religious ultraconservatives go to Heaven.”
The NYDN article says …
“A pair of Pope Francis’ close associates took aim at American Catholic ultraconservatives and accused them of partaking in an “ecumenism of hate” in the journal, La Civiltà Cattolica. They suggest certain voters across the country are using their cause of religious liberty and opposition to abortion to institute a “theocratic type of state.”
The article from La Civiltà Cattolica, titled ‘Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integrism,’ identifies President Trump’s chief strategist at the White House, Steve Bannon, as a ‘supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics,’ who has blocked action on climate change and exploited ‘xenophobic and Islamophobic visions that wants walls and purifying deportations.’”
Bannon, who is a Catholic and a former altar boy told the New York Times the essay “lit me up.”
Many other conservatives also joined in the chorus of denouncing or belittling the article as unjust and unfair criticism of their conservative agenda and activism.
Even before the article was published, many Catholic supporters of Mr. Trump, who won the white Catholic vote, were already wary of Pope Frankie for suggesting during the campaign that Mr. Trump was “not Christian” because of his preference for building walls rather than bridges. As well as his open armed welcome and embracing of the LGBT community and so-called failed Catholics into the modern day church and for his general forgiveness extended to those that have had abortions, or have remarried outside the church, by allowing them to receive communion at Catholic services… not to mention his very public and criticism and harshness towards the institution of Capitalism.
The authors of the article Rev. Antonio Spadaro, an Italian Jesuit without any official titles but has previously been called “the pope’s mouthpiece,” and Marcelo Figueroa, an Argentine Presbyterian minister who is a friend and longtime collaborator of the popes, warn that conservative American Catholics have strayed dangerously into the deepening political polarization in the United States. They even make the point that the worldview of American evangelical and hardline Catholics, which is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, is not so very unlike that of jihadists.
The two men argue in their essay that American evangelical and ultraconservative Catholics are using the banners of religious liberty and opposition to abortion to try to supplant secularism with a “theocratic type of state.”
These are all issues that Pope Frankie has himself criticized people for ot =r has spoken about how religions can be used for very wrong purposes.
Spadaro would not say whether the article earned Francis’ approval nor whether he’s spoken to the Pope since its publication. However, it is well known that Pope Frankie wants to make the church more inclusive, particularly in the United States and that he is not afraid to “fire” certain high ranking clergy peeps if they fail to get on aboard with his program of social activism and taking the church to the streets and the masses… the workers… the people.
Spadaro did say that the gist of the essay was to forward Frankie’s argument that religion in the service of politics or power is ideology, and that the manipulation of anxiety for political ends risks rendering the church a “sect of the pure.”
While, this specific essay and the words and what they said are not directly from Pope Frankie, it is also safe to say that the words would not be out there if Frankie didn’t approve of them in the first place.
So, while it may be true that all dogs get into heaven…it may also be the case that if you stray to far from caring about your fellow human beings and you worry too much about screwing thy neighbor instead of loving thy neighbor then maybe ya’ll just might be outside looking in when Gabriel blows the horn for last call.
Conglomerate Proctor & Gamble (P&G) uploaded an ad to YouTube last week that shows black mothers throughout the decades discussing racism with their children… it’s called “The Talk.”
The two-minute video was created for the company’s “My Black is Beautiful” campaign. It shows how Black parents have to deal with speaking with their children of various ages about how racism unfairly treats them or will eventually treat them and it won’t always be just with words it could be a case of whether they make it home at night.
It opens with a 1950s-era mother telling her son, “It’s an ugly, nasty word, and you’re gonna hear it. But you are not gonna let that word hurt you.”
The next scene show two parents walking with their son in a baseball uniform. He was excluded from a game being played. The mom says, “There are some people who think you don’t deserve the same privileges because of what you look like.”
Another mom tells a very young daughter there is prejudice in the world that will make it harder for her to achieve her goals than it will be for others who are not her color… “Remember you can do anything they can. The difference is you gotta work twice as hard and be twice as smart.”
Another mom is at the dinner table with her teenage son… she asks… “Do you have your ID? … In case you get stopped.” He nods and mumbles yes.. Then picks up his drum sticks as he gets up to go to a practice.
The girl starts to sigh and say she is a good river and she isn’t about to do anything to get a ticket. Mom says, “This is not about you getting a ticket, this is about you coming home.”
And, while Black folks have been highly support of the ad, there has been a fair amount of white folks that have said the ad is espousing an anti-white message.
P&G… said naw. No way.
A P&G spokesperson said, “People were like, ‘Thank you for speaking my truth. But, it has been a past interesting couple of days where we’ve seen a few people position the ad quite differently and stoke some fires.”
One particular fire stoker has been the conservative National Review which said it was “identity-politics pandering.”
One person who claimed he was a cop posted on Procter & Gamble’s Facebook page: “I am a proud parent of 2 African American kiddos and I’m a cop. I will no longer buy any P&G products.”
P&G said, the controversy that has raged around the internet was sort of the point. A spokesperson said, “Our goal and job is to reflect the variety of conversations that are happening. The desire and hope is that people come forward and engage in constructive dialogue … and that means understand the point of view of the black women who are reflected in the advertising.”
The spokesperson also tinged the statement with a touch of capitalist reality when he said, “We do it because we believe in talking about these topics leads to great understanding and that leads to change… At the core of that, we believe strongly in equality so we have a world that’s not only good for society but for business.”
And… maybe what people should stop bitching about how the “The Talk” offends them or how it is anti-white… instead maybe they should exercise their grey matter… it’s called thinking and objectively examining what is being said.
Maybe instead of denigrating a commercial called “The Talk” for being anti-white and anti-cop maybe people need to understand there is still racism and bias in America that needs to be addressed and done away with so that all people can enjoy their human rights.
I wish I knew how
It would feel to be free
I wish I could break
All the chains holding me
I wish I could say
All the things that I’d like to say
Say ’em loud say ’em clear
For the whole round world to hear
I wish I could share
All the love that’s in my heart
Remove every doubt
It keeps us apart
And I wish you could know
What it means to be me
Then you’d see and agree
Every man should be free
I wish I could live
Like I’m longin’ to live
I wish I could give
What I’m longin’ to give
And I wish I could do
All the things I’d like to do
You know they’ll still miss part of you
And I’m way way over due
I wish I could be like a bird up in the sky
How sweet it would be
If I found out I could fly
So long to my song
And look down upon the sea
And I sing because I know
I would see you
I sing because I know
I would see you
And I sing because I know
I would see you
To be free, yeah
(Written by Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas)
Another thousand words…
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