I keep a mental checklist a list of things that simultaneously amaze and annoy me. These are usually people and events that are so vapid, so devoid of any value, but yet so widely covered in main street media, Facebook, Twitter, and every available on-line news source that is out there.  I can’t seem to get away from any it, and part of me thinks that the overbearing nature of the mountain of information that stares me in face every day, will likely cause a mental illness to develop…or worsen the one that may already be there.

Let’s start with two prominent figures in public life today, Pope Francis and Donald Trump.  You might have been thinking, if I am so annoyed at what I am reading or seeing every day, I should just turn off my phone/computer/television, right?  But my retort to that would be to say, how can you possibly get away from two inescapable and monumental figures in today’s society.  It’s nearly impossible.

Ok, to the point…Pope Francis is said to be the most progressive pope in our lifetime, but I just don’t see it that way.  He is coming to Philadelphia, my hometown, in less three weeks time.  There is a private Catholic Academy in our area that has recently fired an openly gay teacher, and vehemently stands by its decision to do so. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/pa-staffer-same-sex-marriage-fired-catholic-school-article-1.2285604  The Pope, as progressive as he is,(hint…that is sarcasm) will not intervene and arrange for a good teacher to get her job back.  If the teacher is doing her job, who cares about her personal and private life, outside of the school?  The Pope could easily make this happen, and if he wants to appear to be as progressive as many claim him to be, this is exactly what he should do.  But, I will argue, that the progressive tag that has been placed upon him is bogus.  Maybe even put there by the church itself, to make him and the Vatican appear to be something that it isn’t.  They are good at that…they’ve re-written their own history several times in order to keep the good standing, power and long reach that they currently do.  They are no different than any other corporation with a Public Relations team spewing out things to make them look good in the world view.  How can he be progressive when he still leads people to believe things like http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2015/09/01/pope-francis-temporarily-allows-priests-to-forgive-abortion-pundits-react.  The fact that people believe that a Man, A Human, has this kind of extraordinary, inhuman power is foolish.  I agree, there is something to be said for having faith, but we can we couple it with just a little realism please?  I read a funny quote the other day from George Carlin,  and it said, “I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.”  Truer words were never spoken.  In the age that we live in, a man who wields as much power and influence as he does, should do more to allow for some real progression, not the mistaken perception of doing so.  My complaints about Pope Francis aren’t that he isn’t progressive, it’s that he isn’t nearly as progressive as he should be.  He isn’t really willing to challenge history and antiquated values and beliefs.  If he stood in front of the estimated two to three million believers coming to hear his words in Philadelphia in a few weeks from now, and he decided to fully support things like gay marriage, surely it would be shocking, but even more surprising would be the amount of Catholics and church supporters that would change their stance as well.  He has the power to set the tone, and his followers…they will follow.

On to the one of the most ridiculous public figures in my lifetime and now, incredibly, a front-runner in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump.  He is the embodiment of what I dislike in humans; arrogant, conceited, egotistical, narcissistic, as well as a bigot and a misogynist.  And he may be our next President.  If that is the case, then are those that support him the same type of person?  Generally speaking, I’d have to say yes, and that is a worrisome thought.  It means that many people support not only his right to act like an idiot in public, but they will support him as a representative of our country at the highest level.  He has and continues to make a mockery of the election process and all of its pomp and circumstance like he did in the initial debate back in August.  This was an opportunity for him to make valid points and explain his platform, but instead he grandstands, hurls insults, and avoids giving answers to direct questions.

He may have some ideas on what needs to be dealt with in this country to make it safer, more financially sound, and overall a better place to live, work, and then die, but he is going about in all of the wrong ways.  Take the Wall that he wants to build across our Mexican/United States border as an example.  He neglects to acknowledge the true history of this country, and that is, our ancestors were the illegals once.  They were the ones doing the raping and pillaging. The white Europeans stole what belonged to the Native Americans, took it all for themselves, and then of course, rewrote the history on it, just like the Catholics.  What Trump fails to realize is that any illegal that comes to this country, is really just trying to make a better life for themselves and their family.  Do I think immigration should be unregulated, of course not.  Let’s just not be so unsympathetic about how we go about doing it.  Unless you are a Native American, then you or your ancestors were an immigrant of some kind, at some point in your/their lifetime. We all need to have a little empathy for those not as fortunate to have been born in this country with the opportunities that have been presented to us.

JRB

 

My First Time

Posted: September 1, 2015 in Life, Writing
Tags: , , ,

I write a lot…I write letters, emails, resumes, notes, blurbs, etc…I think that I am a decent writer.  I have been told that I should be a professional letter writer.  I don’t know if that exists, but it would be a pleasurable job, much better than the one that I currently have. I have solved many problems with a written letter…but I have also caused a good deal of problems with the almighty “pen” as well.  Every time I write, I remember my mom’s words to me when I was 12 or 13…”Don’t ever put something in writing that you don’t want the wrong person to see”…or something like that.  Essentially, she was trying to tell me about the permanence of thoughts and feelings in written form.  It can never be unread, and could easily be passed around for others to see. Email and this type of forum make this problem that much more acute.  But, I’m at a point where I want people to read what I think.  I’m not looking for an agreeable set of people to say, yeh, he’s right about that.  I’m just hoping to provoke thought, inspire opinions, and to connect.

What can you expect…a little of everything.  Politics, current events, religion, science, music, art, but mostly, it will be about being human.  I have made several major mistakes in life over the past few years, and that has what has brought me right here, right now.  I dwell on and regret things I’ve done, but I cant change those things.  I have formed opinions about life that are drastically different than they were five or ten years ago, and this is the culmination of all of my time as a human. Flawed, yes.  But I am ok with that.  We’ll see if you are down the road….