Mumbo Jumbo

Don’t give me none of your
newfangled crap your
political mumbo jumbo your
new age ideas popping like
bright flashes inside that
liberal black hole you call a
head.

Spare me your good ole boy
blues and armchair politics
sloshed into your Jack Daniels
served up with “America’s
going to hell in a handbasket”
deep fried with a side of
b.s. 

© Pamela Rossow

 

Represent!

Words.  We know them and use them.  While some of us might have a better grasp on manipulating them, nearly all of us select language bites to express emotions or beliefs.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of words is:

1a : something that is said b plural (1) : talk, discourse

2a (1) : a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning usually without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use 

Language and words are symbols.  They point to things beyond themselves.  They represent something (whatever it is we are attempting to convey).  Again, the Merriam Webster dictionary states that to represent means:

1.to bring clearly before the mind : present <a book which represents the character of early America>

2: to serve as a sign or symbol of <the flag represents our country> 

We, as humans, have the power to pick the words we want to utilize (we are kind of like super heroes with special powers).  In the selection process, the words we choose either authenticate feelings and ideologies or mask them (in the latter, subverting those neutral words into falsehoods). 

Today, how are we going to use words to represent what is real, true, authentic, right?  How are we going to use our language powers for good and not evil?  Most of us are aware of the damage and aftershocks that poorly chosen words affect.  Again, I ask, how are we going to authenticate ourselves and build up others by using the gift of language to communicate empathy, kindness, and love towards others?  What are we going to do to slam the door in the face of those words that harm others?  That 3, 2, 1. . .detonate leaving behind a wake of destruction?  We can do it (if our brains are functioning properly and we exhibit a fundamental capacity for language).  The question is, will we represent?

 

 

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot!

As children, we discovered a way of resolving everything– which friends we’d sit next to at lunch, who used the 8 ball first, who got the last piece of gum and who had to dial the phone and ask to speak to the cute boy we were obsessed with at the time. It was rock, paper, scissors, shoot!

As a mother, this method is still employed. In fact, it was just used to determine whose turn it was to get in the shower first. It’s incredible. Four hands and a decision. Bam!

I’m convinced therapists everywhere would recommend this for everyone. You and your spouse are arguing about whose turn it is to get up in the middle of the night with the baby–rock, paper, scissors. Kids fighting about whose turn it is to take out the trash? Rock, paper, scissors. Dems and Republicans debating economic solutions? Rock, paper, scissors.

Some people will be sore losers but, hey! Fair is fair, right?  Try it and see if it doesn’t bring a little more calm into your life. Who knows? World peace? Less nukes? More love?

Buon Natale

Dear Friends,

It’s Christmas.  For some of us, we are experiencing hardship and loss (or remembering our losses and hurting because of them).  Some of us have felt the holes deeply other years and this year is more joyful.  Some of us will be separated from those we love on this holiday.  This day and celebration is for all of us, regardless, of where life’s tide has carried us.  Whether we are sad, happy, alone, struggling to believe, in a sandy desert or together with loved ones and friends.  So, here’s to all of us.  I’m grateful to be seeing my niece and nephew tonight and tomorrow afternoon.  They are my “hole pluggers” at times when I miss my children.  There will be food, family, and love.  There will even be some of the magic that has escaped me thus far this season.  Carrots for reindeer, cookies and milk for Santa, and the same request I have repeated for years, an elf please?  May peace, joy, and love be showered upon all of you.

Love,

Pamela

Boot Camp

I never enlisted in the military. Senior year in high school, I wanted nothing to do with recruiters. Somehow, without my consent, I was drafted on January 16th, 2006. Boot camp it was.  Looking back, I learned the hard way. Crawling under barbed wire. Remaining calm when drill sergeants got up in my face. Practicing my core values of honesty and integrity. I spent time in Purgatory. No one told me what I really needed was to revolt, to find my voice and use it, with force. To pull my Rights out of my pocket, brush them off, and exercise them. To look at the red, white, and blue and know I deserved justice. I learned the hard way. There’s no going back. No more deception.  Just raw truth.

Continent of Kisses

A kiss can be a comma, a question mark or an exclamation point.  That’s basic spelling that every woman ought to know.

~ Mistinguett (Jeanne Bourgeois)

Go ahead, slap some more pejorative labels on my culture. We, North Americans, have been known to promote obesity, drugs, alcohol, violence, imperialism, slavery, colonialism, war, and–kissing. You heard me, kissing! How fantastic is it that, despite all of our numerous transgressions, we are recognized as the culture that developed kissing? That we have been a fertile continent of Eskimo kisses, air kisses, butterfly kisses, kisses of peace, friendly kisses, cultural kisses, parental kisses and the all familiar romantic kiss!

There’s just something about the term itself that makes me smile. No, I was not thinking about Gene Simmons (sorry Gene). Being half Italian, kissing is in my genes. But I’ve found that I’ve had to restrain myself, on more than one occasion, so as not to make non-kissers uncomfortable. If you’re reading this and I intimidated you by a PDA, I apologize. I’m working on it. But what if what the world needs now is love and–a kiss?

For you skeptics, try it and let me know how it goes. You don’t have to begin like the French do with a left cheek kiss, right cheek kiss and then another left cheek kiss. Start small. Kiss your wife’s hand. Give your baby an Eskimo kiss. You might feel awkward at first but press on. You can do it. Let’s start a kissing revolution. One that involves thirty-four facial muscles and one hundred and twelve postural muscles. If we kiss more, who knows what could happen? World peace? Global empathy? Less violence? More love? I’m in, are you?

Dear Karl,

 

 

 

Dear Karl,

I must admit, to the dismay of some of my friends, that I like some of your ideas. I’m not pleased about one aspect of your personal life involving rumors of your relationship with Helene and fathering a child with her (when you already have a wife and seven kids).  Should the allegations be true, you are thoughtless and vulgar. But, I digress . . . .

Your fetishism of commodities is brilliant. Love it. Human labor as objectified–amazing.  I also admire your concern for the rights of the oppressed and downtrodden during the time you spent in London. Children should not be chimney sweeps shoved headfirst to clean out the soot and muck. They should not work in pottery mills breathing hazardous dust that kills them at young ages. Thanks to you, Engels, and your contributions to the dialogue concerning child labor abuses, child labor laws were finally enacted. While enforcement wasn’t carried out well or much, it was a step in the right direction.

Your theories regarding dialetical materialism, a whole other matter, Karl. Your belief that “the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought” (Marx, Das Kapital, Vol. 1.) is nutty and I must disagree. I’m leaning towards Hegel on this one.

I can agree with you that the bourgeoisie, a more elite population with power, privilege, and prestige, controls the means of production. I also concur that within capitalism, a certain level of greed propels the system and can spiral out of control. However, this is where I leave your Communist Manifesto on the shelf.

Capitalism is dialectic to a degree. It is filled with contradictions–I will give you that. But your belief that capitalism in an economic downturn means that an end is near, seems to have been proven false (at least with the U.S.). The system bounces back. If it does not, we will speak more about this matter.

Furthermore, you say that a revolt against capitalism is needed because it is most likely the only way a society will move away from it. You’re probably correct about this, too.  Many of us, who are capitalists, will not wave white flags and lay down.

Your hope that socialism will ultimately result in communism is interesting to mull over but your concept of communism, as a stateless, classless, societal system is bizarre. I must inquire, really, Karl? Even you must admit you have no idea how this system will make it off your paper and be implemented. That’s why so many of your followers cannot agree on this matter and bicker about it to this day.

Karl, you also seem to neglect the reality that many countries who have tried to adopt your model have failed, repeatedly. Not only have they failed, they have flopped. In the flopping, what was supposed to be a stateless society, ended up being overridden by the government and a chosen few. Economies tanked and stagnated. Human rights were violated.

Sorry, Marx. It was a darn good try. I admire your zeal and prolific writings on these matters but, in the end, many of your texts are just interesting reads.

It’s true capitalism has its flaws–every system does. Changes could be made for the better. We have to deal with monopolies, outsourcing, modern-day slavery, imperialistic snobbery, and much more. But I’m sticking with it and will try to be a positive agent for social reform. So here’s to change, maybe a direct democracy? There are many other types of democracy to try. Why not? In the meantime, Karl, get some rest.

Regards,

Pamela