A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #51) - Did We or Didn’t We have 52 Sundays This Year?

As you may have noticed, I took to a new subtitle for this blog a few years back.  Years ago, I would write my entries during my lunch periods at work and then e-mail them home for final publication.  In the beginning I was writing 2-3 entries every week.  It made me feel good that I could be this productive at anything at that time of my life.  This went on for about 4 years. 

I got laid off from that job 10 years ago.  I was forced to write at home whenever I could find the time.  My production suffered since I could seldom find a good time to put my thoughts to a Word document.  There were other factors also involved.

I hit a writer’s block one year and I had to admit that the sudden lack of inspiration got the better of me.  This went on for several months.  I grew depressed because I could not think of an idea to write about.  I had a lot going on that year: my block came at about the same time as my mother was having her final illness.  I can’t say for sure if her situation upset me so much that it affected my writing, but if that was the case, then it was all in my subconscious. 

I finally settled on a specific time each week, Sunday morning, to work my blog.  It has proven to be the perfect time for blog writing for me.  I am not rushed to put anything on paper and then get ready for work on a Sunday.  I decided to rename my blog Sunday Morning Post, and began to enumerate the entries much like a magazine publisher would track their editions.

This rather large explanation is circling back to the title at the top of today’s entry.  It states 51, not 52.  This is the last Sunday of the year and I don’t believe I missed any weeks.  Aren’t we supposed to have 52 Sundays to coincide with the other weeks of the year?

Apparently, the answer is “no.”   I just checked the calendar and it only has 50 Sundays for 2020.  Well, no wonder 2020 proved to be such a kidney stone of a year.  It didn’t have all of the Sundays that other years might have.

Okay, so I didn’t miss any Sundays.  It turns out that I have another problem: I can no longer count up to 52!  Whew!  That’s a relief.

Anyway, we should take this opportunity to bid a fond farewell to 2020.

“Get the hell out of here, 2020!  You proved to be miserable to the entire world.  I thought 1968 was the worst with all of its political and cultural upheavals, but you certainly outdid 1968!”

Begone!  Amscray!  Don’t the calendar kick you in the ass on the way out!”

Now I feel better.

(Thank you for reading.  Here’s hoping that 2021 will be good for all of us, because we deserve it, damn it!)

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2 #50) - Christmas Carol Follies – 2020

Recently, the Capital Hill Dramatists Quorum Productions premiered their annual presentation of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol.   The story is so familiar to every student of English literature by now — a greedy, tightwad capitalist in early Victorian era England is given one last chance to redeem his soul on the holiest of Christian holidays.  Past productions were tweaked a bit, with offbeat casting and script revisions when the production was directed by the likes of Bush political consultant Karl Rove.  The results were predictable.

This year’s production in the hands of current White House adviser Stephen Miller is anything but predictable.  Don’t say you weren’t warned:  it’s going to be a bumpy night.

To be fair, Miller did not have much resources with which to work.  Type casting ruled the day in this year’s production.  Yes, who better to exemplify the contexts of greed and capitalist corruption better than reality TV star Donald J. Trump.

On second thought why should we be fair?

Trump towered over the proceedings with a genuine conviction that it really was his money that Bob Cratchit (ably played by President Elect Joe Biden) was squandering in the coal scuttle.   True, Trump is no Alastair Sim, but who else would you trust with the line, “If they would rather die, they better do it and decrease the surplus population.” Surely Dickens had Trump in mind when he wrote these classic lines!  Trump also adlibs something about herd immunity at this point.

The remainder of the cast is filled out by other Washington political veterans:  Barack Obama returns as Tiny Tim and Nancy Pelosi is Mrs. Cratchit.  Unfortunately, their performances are upstaged by Trump’s ham-handed performance.  Ditto for the roles of the Christmas ghosts who look deceptively like Republican icons Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan.  Each one of them blinks at amazement at the proceedings and you can see the genuine look of WTF on their faces.

WTF indeed!  Dickens would not recognize his own work in this year’s production.  Spoiler alert:  there is no act of redemption in Trump’s portrayal.  He’s a tight-fisted bastard in Act One and he remains a tight-fisted bastard when the curtain rings down on the finale stolen line-by-line from the opening of Springtime For Hitler.

Miller and company can’t even come up with an original idea for their racist propaganda!

First there was Trump/Scrooge’s balking at the charity collectors in Act One.  In Dickens Victorian Era the line was “Are there no prisons?   Are there no work houses?”   Now, in 2020, Trump adlibs, “It’s not my fault.  I take no responsibility!” with a dismissive snort. 

In the end, Tiny Tim is not saved from an agonizing premature death.  Instead, Trump/Scrooge turns over the entire Cratchit clan to the Home Office as illegal immigrants from Mumbai.  Apparently the Cratchit family name is actually Cratchitpoli, and Trump/Scrooge acts with over-the-top giddiness as he exposes without evidence their illegal presence in his England.

There is a rumor that Miller’s production will tour in Russia once the Trump administration closes shop in January.  God speed.  Seriously, God speed and don’t even think about coming back.  Until then, the production will continue throughout the holiday season in the well of the Senate and other undisclosed locations in the Capital region.

(Thank you for reading.  Any resemblance between the actions described in this review and an actual theatre production are wholly and purely coincidental. Please remember to stamp out humbugs wherever and whenever possible.)

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #49) - Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Funny you should ask...

My oldest dearest friend is a widowed, retired teacher living in Merseyside.  We have long corresponded now down through the years via mail.  Recently we were unsure if postal communications would still exist at this point in the year and we switched from letters whenever to weekly e-mail updates.  Recently she asked me this:

“Because of being surrounded by bad news I have been watching a lot of feelgood films, many of them Christmas themed with a happy ending so here's a question for you: over many years I have noticed that in American films or TV programs people are wished "Happy Holidays" rather than "Happy Christmas". Is that a thing based on religion, i.e., the person being wished the greeting may not celebrate Christmas or is it for another reason? I've always been interested.”

I responded:

I was used to hearing both expressions growing up.  I would use them interchangeable and, like most Americans, probably never gave a thought if the recipient of our greeting was delighted or offended.   I realized as I grew older that many people I encountered did not celebrate Christmas and I would make it a point to say Happy Holidays more often than Merry Christmas.  Over the last few decades, businesses and merchants went the safe route as well and began using the words Happy Holidays in their stores so as to not offend their non-Christian clientele.

Then an evil curmudgeon by the name of Rupert Murdoch invented Fox News.

This international broadcast news company started a campaign some years ago that Christians had the right to be offended if they did not hear the greeting Merry Christmas.  They have called this "The War on Christmas” and use it to rile up their right-wing conservative viewership.  They argued that Christians should not turn the other cheek, or just treat others as they wanted to be treated as Jesus taught us.  The Fox News Christians now get in other people's faces and demand that they say "Merry Christmas."  This has always struck me as being and acting "un-Christian".  These people have only gotten more militant over the years and I am not looking forward to see how they behave after this year's election.

As for myself, I will accept either Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays as a greeting.  I don't allow myself to get offended since I realize that whoever is greeting me is only a fellow member of the human race who is not wishing me ill will or harm.  I wish more people thought like I did, but they don't and I accept that as well.

I will also add today that I am also grateful and never offended if someone wishes me “Have a nice day”.  My rationale: we live in a society chances are about equal that the people we meet everyday will either wish us a good day, or shoot us just because they have the right to own a gun feel they have something to prove.  Given those odds I will always graciously accept a good day wish.

(Thank you for reading.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and please have a nice day.)

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #48) - Sad Anniversary

This coming Tuesday will mark 40 years since John Lennon was murdered.  I’m sure we all have our favorite memories of him, but for today I will post a few of his performances which give us a chance to contemplate what we had, and what we lost.

The video images vary in quality, but much like these images some of our own memories are fading as well.  It is what it is, and sometimes that is sad in and of itself.

Thank you for reading.  Ja guru de va-oooom….)