Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lonely Rice-a-Roni

Look to San Francisco!
(by R.P.Edwards)

“Look to San Francisco!”
A phrase I’ll never use
For clarity on choices
The moral path…to choose
But perhaps it could be handy
A warning for a way
“Just look to San Francisco
You’ll end up…like them…someday”

Buckets and bags…of Happy Meal toys.  Yes, those little plastic lures, dangled before the young codfish gathered around the tube.  “Come and get ‘em!” And, they do, pushing mom and dad through the cattle gate up to the golden arches in order to get that toy…and, er…some food, too.  And, since our brood is so spread out (18 years between oldest and youngest) we’ve made many a trip to see Ronald.  And, since my ten-year-old has not yet bowed to the pressure to “man-up,” even this week I heard him make a request for…a happy meal.  And, oh yes, not a one of my six…is obese.

As many know by now, The Board of Supervisors in San Francisco overrode Mayor Gavin’s (no ambassador of conservatism) veto that would have stopped the ordinance crafted by said body to greatly discouraged McDonald's from tempting the tots with toys, only to feed them high-fat fodder.  The Mayor expressed misgivings at the government’s usurping the parents role of watching out for their kids health.  The Board…knows better.

Okay, the duplicity, the hypocrisy, the incongruity…is obvious.  San Francisco, the bastion of debauchery,  dares to lecture the rest of the country on what is right; and what is wrong; even going so far as to use the people’s power to twist arms in order to keep little Brian and Beth from eating a cheeseburger and fries.  How about this, San Fran, close your bath houses and abortion clinics and drug dens.  Then, and only then, will we give partial ear to your rantings against Ronald.  For, though we agree that the continuous ingestion of fatty foods…is detrimental; so, too, the absorption of San Francisco “morality” is detrimental…in the extreme. 


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Babblers unite!

The Babblers
(by R.P.Edwards)

Those with mental issues
Talking…to the air
Holding conversations
With people…who aren’t there
We used to see them coming
These troubled
And alone
But now they’re hard to pick out
For the babblers on...the phone

The producer leaned back in his posh Mayline Ultimo and, with the fingers of his right hand slowly drumming the mahogany desk (index to pinkie, and then pinkie to index), he (head slightly tilted to the side), paused a moment (looking at the twenty something intern who normally was seen scooting about with files, or sandwiches, but was allowed--as a courtesy before departure--a brief conference with the “captain”) and asked the question.

“Okay, Zak, what you got?”


“Settle down, Zak. (a slight pause as the young man nodded and gathered himself) Now tell me, how long have you been here?”

“Six months…s..sir.”

[to intercom] “Alice, bring Zack one of those French vanilla things that you like." "Alright, son, now, take a deep breath…and let it fly.”

“Mr. Realismo, reality shows are big.  But, as we both know, they’re not really…reality.” [Alice floats in and hands the student a frothing Styrofoam cup and places a steaming monikered mug of Black on the desk] The twenty-year old sips, and continues.  “I mean--and I know you know this--that the element of the camera, and the lighting, and the production team, well…well, they have to influence, even if it’s subconsciously…the participants.”

“So,” the other stops his drumming and picks up the mug, placing it on his slightly protruding middle, “so what do you suggest?  Something like that Jim Carrey movie, “The Truman Show,” where the whole world is wired?”

“Well, yes…and no.  I mean…here’s what I mean.  Say, for example we shake things up, just a little.  Take for instance…our technology dependency (the young man had been noticing the intermittent bleeping of the boss's cell-phone [signifying text messages]), we could, we could, say, find someone who is so addicted to, say, their smart phone, and then, carefully, stealthily, cause it to…fail.  (He leans forward) And it will fail when they're in a position that they can’t get a quick fix.  In other words; they'll have to get by without it! Well…I think…I think it could be interesting…even funny.  And, since there’s no visible production…well…that would be real ‘reality.’”

The producer takes a sip, places his cup next to the picture of his teenage daughter, Lisa, and, turning it for Zak to see, he then pulls up his phone and shows the lad that his needy child has already sent him, this a.m., ten text messages.  “Zak,” he says, taking another sip, "it’s been done a million times.  The most famous being the old show, “Candid Camera.” But…I like it.  And, I think I know who we can use for our first show.  Now…give me your ideas.”

Yes, the cell phone.  The other day as I traveled my "nearly personal" way home [traveling by car is impersonal.  Walking, is personal (i.e. most likely for personal interaction) and biking is…nearly personal.]  Anyway, I was cruising along and there was this fellow; rather unkempt, shabbily dressed, a wild expression on his face and…and…he was audibly talking…to someone...who wasn't visibly present.  I deduced, “Not all there.”  Be it drugs, or perhaps a mental condition, or a combination, he was somewhere...outside the norm.

Now, the next day or so--again in the near-personal mode--I saw another fellow; not as unkempt, not wild eyed, but also talking…to someone.  I pondered for a moment and came to the conclusion…one of those blasted phone-in-the-ear things.  This guy was most likely talking on the go and couldn’t be bothered with a hand-held phone.  But...I could have been totally both cases.

So there we are.  Our difficult lives; where we must make snap judgments on the fly; has just become…more complicated.  And, added to the mix, "I" sometimes like to pray…out loud.  So the casual observer--in the personal or near-personal mode-- may, upon seeing me, ask, “Mental imbalance?  One of those blasted ear-phones? Or maybe a religious…nut?  Heaven help us.”


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Roadside Memorial

Roadside Memorial
(by R.P.Edwards)

Teddy bears and flowers
And candles by the way
A placard filled with sentiment
The things that loved ones…say
How sad it took a tragedy
Before the words were said
For measures, dear
That comfort, here 
Bring nothing to…the dead

It was a peculiar sight.  An out-of-the-corner-of-my-eye…sight. You see, nearly a week back, in my usual two-wheeled traverse towards home I thought, as I pedaled quickly towards leisure, that I caught a glimpse of, just across the street, one of those road-side memorials.  You know, the kind we all see from time to time.  A certain “spot” decorated with flowers, and often…a cross.  Always signifying a tragic accident in which someone…died. “Peculiar,” I thought, since this “memorial” --if that’s what it was-- was next to a building and, certainly, since “I travel this road all the time” if there were an accident of consequence…I’d know about it.  “Perhaps it’s just the leavings of the homeless, or an unusual gathering of refuse…awaiting the “truck.”” And on I went. 

The newspaper gave the account.  A young man of only twenty lost control of his car and hit, literally, a brick wall.  And, such was the sturdy construct (brick “and” block), that, although the vehicle was able to break through the barrier; such was the force that the near-teen…died.

And so, having learned, I made my way to the “memorial.” I paused to read some of the inscriptions and take in the sight of gentle things.  I observed, if you will, the desperate reachings of loved ones to somehow convey, if they possible could, affection or care, or simple friendship, to the deceased.  And, as the Holidays approach I am mindful of the adage that pleads… “Give me flowers while I’m still living.” Yes, that’s when they should come.  When arms and hands are warm and able to receive…and then…give back.

The “memorial” lasted perhaps six days.  Carefully tended.  After that…gone.  But I know, out of sight, there are many, because of the loss, who are suffering.  A prayer for your comfort.  And a reminder…to us all.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Veterans Day
(by R.P.Edwards)

Oh how we love celebrity
The gifted
The degreed
But these have space
To flaunt their face
‘cause others chose…
To bleed

Veterans Day.  Originally Armistice Day, a show of gratitude to those who fought in World War I; now expanded to all vets.

I’ve noticed that this particular holiday doesn’t merit the same recognition as others.  Many institutions stay open and purr along as if it was just another November work day.  Indeed, my son’s university says…“wha?“ and my job wouldn’t think of “Holiday Pay,“ for this remembrance.  And, at first I thought it might be a “peace time” diss from a sometimes fickle public.  Then I thought some might consider it redundant.  After all, we do have Memorial Day.  But today, yes, this very day, I learned the real reason.  You see…it doesn’t fall on a Monday!  Ah…it’s so simple!  For some reason it must always fall on November 11.  Thus…no long weekend.

Mystery solved. 

So, do me a favor, will you?  What say you and I pause a moment from fawning over movie and TV stars; divert our eyes from political celebs; pull ourselves away from the electronic toys that consume our free time; and say a prayer for our service men and women.  And, along with the present, let's offer a bit of thanks for all those who have gone before.  For, without question, those who are so very high--their faces reflecting the sun--these stand upon the backs of the multitude; the many selfless veterans (living and dead) who do, and have done, their job; without fanfare, without applause; and often...without thanks.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Missionaries needed

(by R.P.Edwards)

I puzzle at the pondering
While on the judgment seat
The murderer, most heinous
Awaits the jury’s…mete
For tearfully and trembling
They debate his final breath
The justice due
For someone who
Put innocence…to death

I was searching for a Christmas station.  The old Buick needed a fill-up so I cruised across the state line and put the radio on “scan.”  You see, a year or so ago a couple local radio stations went Christmas…mad.  Immediately after Halloween they started playing nonstop holiday tunes.  And…I liked it.  Well, apparently I was one of few for now…they are waiting.  I suspect “Frosty the snowman” and “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” will make a showing after the Thanksgiving bird…is no more.  And, as for the scan; for a moment I thought I had found my desire, but, alas, it was only the London Bach (boys) Choir giving the intro to “The Rolling Stones” classic, “You can’t always get what you want.”

Four days.  That’s how long it took the jury in Connecticut to sentence Steven Hayes to death after his grisly part in the murder of Dr. William Petit’s wife and daughters.  Of the action, the lone survivor said, "Vengeance belongs to the Lord. This is about justice. We need to have some rules in a civilized society."

And I think to myself, “What in the world is wrong with a society where life in the womb is slaughtered with abandon, and the thought of depriving a heinous murderer of “his” right to live (because, frankly, his actions nullify that right)…causes great pause and trepidation?” And I must conclude it is a malady of the soul.  A foundational drift.  A spiraling…of the spirit.  A disturbing twisting of right, and wrong…and reality.  And the solution, dear reader, is revival.  A revival akin to the Great Awakening that prepared the fallow ground of New England for the seed of Liberty.

And yes, I know there are many of “faith” who think no human act ever merits…execution.  We’ll save that debate for another day.  But for now, I “need a little Christmas…right this very minute…”


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Judging judges

(by R.P.Edwards)

When judges stop their judging
And choose to wear the crown
The rightful heir must rise up
And cast the judges…down

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
(Jude 1:6)

Just a quick note before I slog off (nearly skate [getting nippy]) to work.  I found a degree of satisfaction that, in the recent elections, three of the Iowa Judges that used their position to endorse gay-marriage; these three were told to hang up their robes…and go home.

I must admit, I like this “vote to retain” policy.  Even on my Illinois ballot there were two who were up for renewal (I said “yea” to one; “nay” to the other [both remain]).  And yes, I know there is supposed to be a “no-strings” quality to the judiciary so that they may remain impartial.  But…when the “trusted” go astray; when they follow the leanings and unctions of those who cannot win via the voting booth and choose, instead, to legislate from the bench; what are we, Joe public, to do?  Well, as in Iowa, we politely show them the door.  And, for others who are so high and secure that the citizens individual say holds no fear; for these that brazenly deem it their duty to “right the wrongs” of the ignorant; who shamelessly blaspheme against the near-sacred document they have sworn to uphold…for these, my fellow citizens, we need to become acquainted with the useful tool provided by the founders; it is known as…impeachment. 

Time for work.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Some Advice for Speaker Boehner

Got a light?
(by R.P.Edwards)

“Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!”
A once common phrase
Now gone with the wind
Along with the haze
Today we love bodies
And to hell with the soul
We primp and we pamper
Till we’re laid…in the hole

John Boehner, the Cary Grantish congressman from Ohio.  Born second of twelve, growing up in a smallish house with one bathroom (ugh), started working in the family bar…at 8, elected to congress in 1990, distinguished  himself, elected speaker, then minority leader, and now to be speaker again…and…and…a smoker.

Smokes and Cokes.  That was the name of the little breaks that served as a carrot to we bald headed boys as we were relentlessly marched, and exercised, and instructed; being molded into a cohesive military unit…in boot camp.  Yes, we’re talking over thirty years ago and, although smoking was considered a vice, unhealthy, smelly, it was not the “sin” it has become. 

I learned that Mr. Boehner was a Barclay burner as an aside in the “Juan Williams” story, a week back.  Juan mentioned that his wife was a smoker and, as such, she went to the public quarantine spot outside a restaurant and got to know a congressman named John.  She liked him.

And I was thinking; and…drawing on the utter hypocrisy of the elite that constantly beat the drum against tobacco while, at the same time they joyously rip babies to shreds even as they promote a “lifestyle” that can slice twenty years off a practitioner's life; yes, I was thinking, “What could Mr. “smoker” Boehner do in the short term to counter the PC crappola?”  Solution:  Reinstate the smoking policy in the Speaker's Lobby.  You see, this comfy hall was a refuge for the “hated” class and, Ms Pelosi, when she took the reigns, she wanted to lead by example and ban the evil weed.  Mr. Boehner (although he's said he wouldn’t) should relight the smoking lamp (at least in some degree) to make a statement that “substance” has at long last arrived and, if perchance the President wants to stop by, he and the speaker can sit down on the leather chairs, share a match, and put their heads together…for our good.

Conclusion:  Do I advocate smoking?  No.  But, in the priorities of Good and Evil; what say we start with the heart (the spirit) and work out from there.

* In the above piece I alluded to the health hazards of homosexuality.  Be anti-pc, and read a substantiating article by Nathaniel S. Lehrman, M.D.,  Homosexuality: some neglected considerations

 * Back in my “layoff” days I visited the smoker subject.  Here’s a link: The Smoker


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Vote, the prize

The Prize
(by R.P.Edwards)

Faithful escort
Hallowed head
The sacred dead
Waiting, as we leave our bed
To take us to…the prize
Bought with blood
And widow’s tears
The orphan’s cry
That lasts for years
The escort, waiting
Ever near
To take us to…the prize
And so arise!
And don thy right!
And join with deeds
The heroes fight!
Whose measure, full
Embraced the night!
To give to us…the prize
And with their leading
Sober tread
Complete the task
The joining thread
To add “amens!”
To sermons said
The taking…of the prize
And with our choice
And duties done
We bid farewell
To daughter, son
Until again, they rise…and come
To take us to…the prize

It was a simple text message from my recently married, eighteen year old daughter.  “Don’t forget to vote :p”  Reply: “Thanks 4 the reminder. Did you vote yet?” Reply: “Yup, just did”

I must admit, I felt a bit of gratification.  Although, honestly, my contribution to her “sense of duty” may have had little to do…with me.  She has, after all, married a young man--in many ways mature beyond his years.  But I hope, in a small way at least, that my “being around” caused her to take the time, this day, to be a citizen.

Yes, election day.  When we, the privileged children of heroes, are given the opportunity to validate their sacrifice.  As the poem above implies, I envision the hundreds of thousands, in dress uniform, resurrected for the day, waiting to escort each citizen…to the polling place.  Sadly, many will be left…alone.  But, on this day, many will be followed to the place of decision.  And, unlike some lands where the walking and doing…may cost them their lives, we may pass to and fro safely, because the dying…was accomplished by our fathers.

To conclude: if you haven’t done so, GO VOTE!  And then, sit back and await the results.  It’s an American thing.  An imperfect, sometimes raucous thing.  But, the privilege was paid for by the blood of patriots and I, for one, will not dishonor or disparage their gift…the prize.

In the above Poem the phrase, “And widow’s tears, the orphan’s cry that lasts for years” is from the Song, The Stone (listed in the video bar).  I’d be honored if you took a few moments to view…again.