America’s Changing Face

26 December 2015

The Hanukkah flames are gone, the Christmas tree lights are winking out and the world is once again quiet — well, sort of anyway.

I play Santa Clause hereabouts.  I’ve been doing it for nine years now.  2016 will be my tenth.  Sitting on my throne, I get to see a lot of people.  And as I’m rotated between several malls, I get to see folks from different areas and demographics.  Over this last decade I’ve come to notice America’s changing face.  When I was a kid back in Minnesota seventy years ago, the only faces I saw were white ones; blond, blue-eyed with freckles.  Oh, in the fourth grade there was an exception: A black girl who joined us in mid-year.  She was in my class.  She didn’t last long.  A few weeks later I was walking onto the school yard one morning and heard frightful ructions coming from the front door’s vestibule.

It seems some of my classmates had the girl cornered in the doorway.  This little mob was delivering vicious scurrilities, insults and racial taunts:  Nigger, jigaboo, go-back-to-the-jungle-you-monkey . . . It was appalling.  I elbowed my way to the front and there was my little classmate, hugging her books to her chest with a look on her face I’ll never forget.  I tried to get them to disperse but they were having none of it.  Their ringleader was a girl I especially didn’t like.  She had one huge black eyebrow that ran across her face from one side to another.  I tried to get her to shut up but she kept right on spewing and then turned her attentions to me, whereupon I drilled her right in the snot-locker.  That had some effect so I got the door opened and helped the girl get inside.  Making some awkward conversation, l accompanied her to the principal’s office.

We never saw her again.

Now it’s 2015 and what a difference.  Helping me on the Santa set were “elves” — high school kids of every description and bent and, perhaps most happily, the children of mixed stock.  Oriental, Negro, Caucasian, Semite, Native American, you name it.  It was as if the adults had been tossed into a  . . . well . . . a Melting Pot, if you will, and here were the children.

My elves spoke impeccable English.  Their manners were exemplary.  When there were dull moments, we chatted and I found all of them had aspirations way beyond pushing a broom in a downtown office building.  I fancy myself to be a polymath and I could talk with my elves on almost any subject and they could respond in kind.  When I offered new information, they didn’t sneer and turn up their noses as did so many young people of my day.  No indeed.  Also, as an added benefit, they were of comely appearance.  Of course the tykes who sat on my lap to tell me their hearts’ desires were also cast from this same mold.

So then, it seems the “mongrelization of the races” so feared by the peckerwoods, rednecks and stump-jumpers has come to pass and it has turned out to be a wonderful thing!  Give this trend two, maybe three generations more and their might well be only one race in this country; the American Race.  A new people to be a lamp unto the nations.

Ho, Ho, Ho

-Merlin-

 

 

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The Epiphany of Jamie Q.

13 December 2015

Many years ago, Jo and I rented the third of three units a horizontal triplex – a converted motel, actually.  We called it The Shithole.  It was located in what at the time were the outer fringes of Seattle.  We’d moved to The Shithole as a temporary place until we found better as we’d just moved back from a short stay in Minneapolis.  We ended up staying in The Shithole for four years.  We stayed so long because of the wonderful neighbors.  There were Mac and Paulette, or course, and also Jamie and Sherry.  Truly, it was like family.  We enjoyed ourselves capitally.

Jamie was a toss-pot of the first water.  If a liquid had alcohol in it, Jamie would belt it back with relish and gusto.  On more than one occasion, Mac and I dragged Jamie back to his unit and droped him on his bed.  Jamie was also an anti-gun type of guy while both Mac and I owned several guns each.  On many of our get-togethers, Jamie would rant on about the evils of guns.  But he did it with humor so Mac and I put up with him.

One afternoon, Jamie took the bus down to this favorite watering hole and got plastered.  While there Jamie stuck up a conversation with some bar fly who made loud protestations about his fealty to The Lord Jesus Christ.  Now Jamie, debauchee and drunkard that he was, also fancied himself as some sort of preacher or whatever.  In any case, the two whooped and hollered such that the barkeeper asked them to leave.  Now Jamie, for all his faults, was a generous soul so he invited his new companion home for dinner at The Shithole where they could continue drinking and Get Right With the Lord.  And so they did.

This had gone on for several weeks when Jamie approached Mac and me as were having beers on the patio.  Looking sheepishly at us both, Jamie said, “I never thought I’d ever ask this, but can one of you guys led me a gun?”  Jamie explained that the night before, while Jamie, Sherry and the new friend broke bread, Jamie let slip that he and Sherry lived together without benefit of clergy.  The new-found friend was aghast.  “Thou livest in sin!” he bellowed as he rose from the table.  For the next while, he denounced Jamie and Sherry as fornicators and denounced Sherry as a temptress and a Jezebel.  To ice the cake, the new-found friend told our Jamie and Sherry they must be chastised and have their souls shriven.  Jamie said Sherry was about to pee her pants, she was so scared.  It took Jamie a good while to coax the fellow out the front door and once out, told the fellow to not call and not come by anymore.  Slam went the door.  End of friendship.  But not quite yet.  The fellow did in fact come by and he did  in fact call.  Like every night.  He told Sherry  and Jamie that their chastisement was close at hand and that he was to be The Lords instrument in delivering said chastisement.

That did it.  Jamie called the police.  After hearing Jamie’s story, the cops asked if the bar fly had taken any overt actions on the chastisement.  No, said Jame.  Well, said the cops, Jamie could get a protection order against the fellow but as the fellow had made no attempt to deliver the chastisement, they couldn’t arrest him.  It was the following afternoon that Jamie asked for a gun.

I had an extra .380 which I lent Jamie after giving him suitable instructions on its operation.  Thanking me with humble grace, Jamie went back home.  Mac and I nodded in satisfaction that our position on self-defense had been vindicated in the eyes of at least this one anti-gun nut.  A convert had been made.

That night, the re-fried Christian called again to inform Jamie and Sherry that the Instrument of The Lord’s wrath was about to come by for a visit.  “Now you listen to me you fuckin nut”, Jamie roared into the phone, “I see your fuckin face around us ever again and I’ll blow a hole in your putrid goddamned head because now I’ve got  a GUN!  Now leave us alone!”

Well, the fellow did indeed leave them alone.  He never called and never came by.

I told Jamie to hang onto the gun for at least six months, just in case.  A few weeks later Jamie bought a .38.

-Merlin-


Those Sacred Private Property Rights!

4 December 2015

I’m a devoted reader of my local newspaper.  Last week the paper printed a broadside written by some fellow in a tinfoil hat.  The good fellow maintained the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) who are raising a howl over a monstrosity proposed by a land developer have no business objecting to the bad effects the development will have on their lives.  Land developers and speculators, so the writer maintains, are entitled to do anything they want under the rubric of Sacred Private Property Rights.

Well, these Sacred Private Property Rights are a shoe that fits both feet.  If a developer feels he or she can dump on other property owners, simply because the developer owns land, then those other property owners – who also own land – have every right to dump on the developer.  One man’s right is another man’s wrong.

Because Sacred Private Property Rights can be in conflict, there has to be some kind of tie-breaker.  I think that the Sacred Private Property Rights of those owning single-family dwellings (houses) trump those of speculators, developers and real estate salesmen.  To some this idea smacks of heresy for in the USA, we have an overweening concern for businesses.  The belief seems to be “Business before people”.

After the Bush Depression, most of us have had the scales fall from our eyes and see businesses for what they are, and they are not benign (see my previous post).  We must rein them in.


While we are on the subject of Sacred Private Property Rights, I’d like to clear up something about your Sacred Private Property Rights: You are the last one on the food chain.

  1. First, Uncle Sam can condemn your Sacred Private Property and “take it for public use” (and sometimes for private use too).
  2. Next comes the state, which can ‘take” property for the same reason.
  3. Followed by the county.
  4. Then the city.
  5. Then the bank, if you owe on it and don’t pay.
  6. And the county again for property taxes, which if you don’t pay, it’ll “take” too.
  7. And don’t forget zoning and permits – you have to get governmental permission to build anything, even to simply add toilet, let alone fill a wetland.
  8. Finally, at the bottom, comes you.

-Merlin-