“No Bad News!”

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Queen Evaline in The Wiz

“When I wake up in the afternoon
Which it pleases me to do
Don’t nobody bring me no bad news
‘Cause I wake up already negative
And I’ve wired up my fuse
So don’t nobody bring me no bad news
If we’re going to be buddies
Better bone up on the rules
‘Cause don’t nobody bring me no bad news
You can be my best of friends
As opposed to payin’ dues
But don’t nobody bring me no bad news
No bad news
No bad news
Don’t you ever bring me no bad news
‘Cause I’ll make you an offer, child That you cannot refuse So don’t nobody bring me no bad news.”(from The Wiz, 1978, music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls)

I am taking a break from my auto show posts to insert the lyrics to a song I have been humming for the last several weeks. The United States President has essentially declared war on the free press. Yesterday, his press secretary banned such stalwart news sources as the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and CNN from a press briefing.

When my daughter was little, this all black cast of a remake of  The Wizard of Oz premiered on Broadway. Since we lived in Oregon, we had to be content with the original cast album. My favorite song was “No Bad News,” most of whose lyrics are printed above. It reminded me of every person who closes their ears to the reality around them and insists on only “thinking good thoughts.”

Unbelievably(or totally believably depending on who you know)anything that ruffles the feathers of our apparently very very fragile commander in chief needs to be kept out of the news streams. This, of course, includes any negative comments that can, however much he needs to twist them, be about him. Anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish community centers? Mention them and you are attacking him. It rained on the inauguration? You have footage that shows that? Fake news! He lost the popular vote? Widespread unreported voter fraud.

If you have ever lived with an addict of any sort, you recognize the strategy. Turn the truth into an attack on the truth teller. It stopped working on me years ago, and it isn’t working on me now.

Read a  newspaper today. They sell them at the grocery store. Look for the small headlines. Sit down and take a deep breath and get a glimpse of facts.

Crazy Making 2017

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“I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

I never thought I would have to live through the insanity now issuing daily from the White House. I thought things like refusing Jewish refugees and rounding up Japanese American citizens and putting them in concentration camps were agreed on by all Americans to have been wrong. I believed that we had learned from the mistakes we agreed we had made in earlier times. I actually had fallen into the seductive idea of progress.

Now as the Twitter King sits and like a dictator issues daily orders, it is difficult to believe that we have gone back to World War II ways of governing. I have tried to keep my sanity throughout these past 10 days, but it is very challenging.

I return to Adrienne Rich, the author of the quote which heads my home page. From her poem Transcendental Etude:

“But there come times—perhaps this is one of them –
when we have to take ourselves more seriously or die;
when we have to pull back from the incantations,
rhythms we’ve moved to thoughtlessly,
and disenthrall ourselves, bestow
ourselves to silence, or a deeper listening, cleansed
of oratory, formulas, choruses, laments, static
crowding the wires.”
I am determined to evict Donald from my head where he insists on living rent free. Instead I will cleave to the truth(which exists and doesn’t allow for “alternative facts”) and daily pray for the wisdom to know what action to take minute by minute. Today my action is to let my readers around the world know that a majority of Americans are heartsick about the current actions from the White House. They do not represent us. We do not see Muslims as a monolithic threat, but rather as a religion which descends, as does our Christianity, from Abraham.
Peace.