Archive for the tag 'Bernie Sanders'

10 January 2016: The Big Short

January 10th, 2016

There were half a dozen people in the theater today for the 12:05 PM showing of THE BIG SHORT.  I don’t know about the other people there, but I thought the film was brilliant, at least the 10 percent of it that I understood.  I need Bernie Sanders to explain the other 90 percent, which is why he has my vote.

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If I Had a Gun…

January 1st, 2016

For 24 years, the whole time I was in the Philippines prior to leaving for the United States, I knew that my father owned a gun.  I can’t tell you what kind it is, or what it looks like, because I never actually saw it.  I only heard it. Because, every New Year’s Eve, my father would take out his gun from wherever it was hidden and, at the stroke of midnight, he would slip out into the backyard and fire celebratory shots into the night sky, the noise competing with all the exploding firecrackers in our Manila neighborhood.

My father died in early December of 1969, a year after I left for America.  I don’t know what happened to his gun, but some years later I heard from my siblings that, late one night, when my mother heard someone walking stealthily on the roof of our old house in Sta. Mesa, she apparently found my father’s gun and did what he did, slipping out into the backyard and firing warning shots into the night sky, frightening not just whomever was up there on the roof, but also all future intruders.  Those gunshots were to let everyone in the neighborhood know that my mother had a gun in the house, and that she was not afraid to use it.

I am truly conflicted about this story about my gun-toting parents, because I’ve always been afraid of guns.  I’ve never had one, and I don’t ever intend to acquire one, the NRA and the second amendment be damned.  But, that said, if I actually had a gun, I think I might have put it to good use in some of the following situations:

On the highway, whenever someone passes me on the right, or when someone cuts into my lane without signaling.

In grocery stores, whenever anyone with tons of groceries decides to use the checkout line marked “For 14 items or less.”

On airplanes, whenever there are mothers who do nothing to stifle the penetrating screams of their crying infants.

In restaurants, whenever the avaricious owner fails to honor my reservation for a semi-private room, then sends me a long non-apology via voice-mail explaining why my party of nine was bypassed for a party of twenty because “twenty is more than nine.”

In posh hotels, whenever affluent one-percenters give me the finger because I’m wearing my Bernie Sanders t-shirt.

At home, while watching the news on television, and it’s (almost always) about Benghazi or Hillary’s e-mails or, worse, the latest pearls of wisdom from Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, ad nauseam.

In the classroom, whenever an overly enthusiastic student will not shut up and give those who are more timid a chance to speak. When I started to feel this way, about five years ago, I decided it was time to retire.

I may be a son of a gun, but thank God I don’t have a gun.  Now, if I had a hammer, guess what I would do with it?

15 December 2015: “Feeling the Bern” in My T-shirts

December 15th, 2015

Like some women from yesteryear who acquired pretty sets of panties with the days of the week delicately embroidered on them, a couple of months ago I bought a bunch of “Bernie Sanders for President” T-shirts in different colors, one for each day of the week.  Although I know Bernie does not really stand a chance against Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for the 2016 presidential election, I feel that the longer he stays in the race, the more Hillary will be forced to move left of center, perhaps even take on Bernie’s life-long crusade against millionaires and billionaires, with his raging battle cry against the country’s top 1% for owning over 90% of all the wealth in America.

I’ve been wearing my Bernie T-shirts everywhere, sometimes over heavier turtlenecks when the weather is cold.  The reception I’ve been getting varies greatly, depending on where I am.  At the farmer’s market in Lawrence or Dean & Deluca in Overland Park, or Trader Joe’s and  the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, I get smiles and lots of thumbs up.  At musical events at the Lied Center in Lawrence, or the Folly Theatre and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, people look at me quizzically, then move away discretely.  But not in Chicago.

I was in the Windy City this past weekend, seeing a couple of operas at the Lyric, for which I dressed properly, because I had been forewarned on television about all the street violence and shootings there.

Early one morning, however, wearing one of my Bernie T-shirts, I found myself sharing an elevator with a couple in the tony Allegro Hotel where I was staying.  One isn’t supposed to look at people in elevators, so I didn’t.  But I did note out of the corner of one eye that, early though it was,  they were dressed as if for an evening party, or maybe just returning from one; that the woman was much older than the man; that she was wearing around her neck artificial pearls the size of Christmas tree ornaments; that the pancake on her face was so thick she had better not smile or we would all crack up with her; that she looked like Marlene Dietrich just before she died.

In any case, as the elevator door opened on a floor before mine and the couple started to leave, the man glowered at my T-shirt and muttered darkly under his breath, just loud enough for me to hear: “More power to the one percent.  We earned it, and we get to keep it!”

To which I replied meekly, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

He gave me the finger and, before either of us could reach for our guns, the elevator door shut and I was able to return to my room without further incident, where I replayed the rather surreal event in my mind several times and slowly began to “Feel the Bern.”

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