A little backstory: My jiddoo (grandfather) trucked produce for years. This was the age when the mob ran the docks and the teamsters ran the trucking. He was a naturally sociable and boisterous guy, being an Arab and an athlete. He had that Lebanese attitude of “If I’m kind to everyone, and charming, they’ll learn to love me, as they should.”
More current but still in the past: He always wore a lot of rings, and he’d clack them on the table as young I and my young cousins watched, mesmerized. I never knew where those rings came from but I was always fixated on one flawless ruby ring that caught the light with every tumble and never scuffed even as my brutish Jid would catch his hand in a door or slip the knife as he was cutting the raw lamb.
Back to the backstory: My Jiddoo befriended the dockworkers and developed ties with the Buffalino family. I’d also heard that they were just friends, and once they Buffs offered to break a kid’s arms for stealing my Jid’s coin collection. My Jid refused and just asked for the kid’s parents’ number.
Fast forward to last Christmas: My uncle Bill, out of nowhere, asked if I knew where my Jid got the old ring. I knew immediately that he meant the ruby and admitted that Jid had never told me. Uncle Bill informed me that that ring was a gift to Buffalino enforcers. My dear, sweet, but still incredibly intimidating Jiddoo had been an enforcer and was part of a select clique that owned those rings. My father stepped in and said something along the lines of “You really weren’t supposed to know that,” as he glared at Bill. “Your Jid did those things so we, and you, would never have to.”
Back to the old days: Jid, through his connections, ended up working his way through the seas of other truckers and buyers, and befriended the mobsters that ran the docks. He got to go in first because of this, and he carried a corer that acted as both a fruit tester and a weapon. He got to go in before the biddings and test every lot, every fruit if need be, so he’d know what to bid on and what to pass on. He became a Getter, a guy who could always pull through with the best material.
Jump forward a bit and skip some interesting bits that I can’t recall fully so I won’t recount, my Jid ended up opening his own produce store. This was a dream for a Lebanese man with little to no education except in the art of deal-making. So, to set the stage, my Jid is now running his own produce store and life is still very meager, but good.
My Jiddoo was a man with 5 kids and a wife who couldn’t work because someone had to raise them. A produce store in a small Lebanese neighborhood was not a cash cow, but he made due in his own way. He couldn’t afford dentistry or doctor appointments for his children. He couldn’t give them TV or Christmas gifts, but he offered two things: a train set around the holidays, and a steak every Friday night. He’d just bring some prime cuts home from the store each Friday and make my father and aunts and uncles feel wealthy for a night.
Around this time, there was a jewelry store that opened in a rougher part of town. The man who owned it was strong and motivated but he had a very hard time making ends meet, as most businesses do at their genesis. The man had kids and a wife, also a homemaker like my grandma, and was doing all he could to feed them.
My Jiddoo knew this man. Not his wife or his kids, but him. And every Friday, as my Jid grabbed the best cuts for the kids, he’d bring some of those hunks of meat to the jeweler. He’d say, “Hey (we’ll call the jeweler Tom) Tom, care to sample the new cuts?” Tom and my Jid both knew that this was charity, but Tom was too gracious and my Jid too stubborn to admit it. So this continued for ages. Every Friday, week in and week out, Tom had steaks for his kids and my Jid never wanted anything in return. He had Americanized as best he could, but he still had that Lebanese urge to accommodate anyone and everyone that he could. (An aside: if you show up at a house in the more traditional Lebanese villages even today and ask for a meal, they’ll generally give it to you and offer you a bed for the night. It’s a lovely tradition of hospitality and empathy.) Tom always told my Jid that if he ever needed anything, he knew where to call, but my Jid wasn’t into asking favors. An old habit from his mob days.
So fast forward to the 80s, when my father is getting ready to propose to my mother. My father, Ed (oldest son and namesake of my Jiddoo, who had a very Arab name but the Americanized version was basically Eddie) is shopping for a ring. He brings my Aunt Maureen along for advice. She’s a very gabby, talkative woman but my stoic father forgives that for her stylistic touch in these matters. My father goes to a jewelry store in Berwick. It’s the same one that, when it was floundering, my Jiddoo patronized and supplied with steaks. As my father is browsing, the managers, children of the late man my Jiddoo knew, ask my dad’s name. He says his first but catches himself before saying the last. My Jid always said “I was kind to those folks to be kind. Don’t ever drop our name for a favor.” My gabby aunt Maureen jumps in and tells them his last name. The managers light up and say he has to take a discount, he must, after all my Jid had done for them. My father begrudgingly agrees.
My Jid only knew the old man who’d been long dead before my father visited that store. He’d never met the kids, never met the wife. That old man had been so appreciative of my Jid’s meager gestures that he internalized that beautiful kindness and craved a chance to pay it forward. So much so, he’d told his kids the story and hoped they’d feel the same way. My dad had never met any of those people, and they’d never met him, and yet they did all they could to repay him for the kindness of his father. And now my old man tells me, if I ever get married, I should go to that store. They deserve the business.
This is a very long and roundabout way of saying something that I hinted at in the title. If you do good, that good will live on. You won’t always see where it’s paid forward, but in this case we did, and that’s why I used it as an example. We’re all energy, and the kindnesses we do are energetic extensions of ourselves. Every kindness you do is an admission that you are better than no one. Everything you can give, you should give. Ideally, you should give because it’s the right thing to do, but I understand that not everyone sees it that way. But we all crave immortality deep down, and doing good will let you live forever. We’re a blink, but our memories can be at least a nap. Allow yourself, and your memory, to live on through the kindness that those around you remember. There’s nothing to lose, and immortality to gain.
Have US politics been this divisive since the civil war? Parties fight each other, civilians take sides, that’s all natural, but when was the last time we were at a point where a sitting democrat US president would advocate republican policies for a large portion of his term and still have them call him a Muslim?
For that matter, when since the 60s/70s have we been at a point where blatant racism/islamophobia (same thing) was not only tolerated but accepted? People building their campaigns on racism. Newt Gingrich calling President Obama the “food stamp president”, wonderful dogwhistle politics. Santorum saying he doesn’t want to give black people food stamps, he wants to give them the means to earn their own food, disregarding the fact that there’s far more white people on foodstamps than black people. Why did he single out Black Americans for it, if not for pure racism?
Look at any syndicated political cartoonist. Barack Obama is portrayed with big blue lips, Michelle Obama is portrayed as a big fat unattractive person, their children are portrayed as “thugs” (code for n*gg*rs). This is something people get paid for. If a political cartoonist like Chuck Asay or Sean Delonas did a portrait of the Obama family, it would be a perfect amalgamation of every type of bigotry at once. Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia, they’d even figure out a way to work homophobia into it.
We are living in post-slavery America’s darkest time. Every politician is bound to denounce every Middle-Eastern state that isn’t Israel. Israel, by the way, is a Fascist state under its current government. Most Israeli citizens oppose the war-mongering policies of their government. The rising left-wing in Israel is incredibly inspiring. They’ve had anti-Palestinian bigotry shoved down their throats for their entire lives and they still simply believe in equality.
And yet American politicians hold to the the demands of our right-wing Christians. The people who, in reality, are the most anti-Semitic, but they’re hedging their bets on the biblical apocalypse. We support Israel so strongly because THE BIBLE. Really?
But forget Israel, let’s just look at the facts. TRAP laws are springing up across the nation. These laws are specifically designed to box out Roe V Wade and absolutely destroy a woman’s right to choose. Look at the Republican party’s full-on opposition to the idea of birth control being covered mandatorily. Catholics, who are the strictest about birth control, still support BC coverage by a large majority.
We live in an age of a war on women, a war on ethnic minorities, a war on homosexuals, a war on trans people, a war on the poor, a war on everyone except the people that make up our governing body. And there’s literally no way to counteract it through voting. Because of policies sent down from those before us, you can’t get elected to any significant position unless you’re a cisgendered straight male, usually white, and insanely rich. There are some exceptions, but they have no power.
This is a Part One post. Look forward to part two where I cite probably over 50 mainstream media links that show how fucked we really are.
twitching and he feels sore, eyes are burning, head is achy;
heart is beating faster than a locomotive filled with methamphetamines
and he’s in love with everything but tired like a ketamine
addict, burning with anticipation like he smells eggs and bakey.
he’s got the shakes and his bill is covered in his own dander;
his wings are shaking but he really loves the thrill of it,
his every muscles convulses and his eyes remain still but it
doesn’t change his predicament so just take a gander
at this strung out fucker with everything at stake;
he hasn’t got the wheelchair but he is still a Drake
It’s the real Dave Imboden, not an imposter,
emboldened by the forties he’s holdin’ which foster
a level of courage only found in OE,
and he screams YEAH YOU KNOW ME to reincarnated OGs
risen from the ashes of a half-dead culture
'cause today's sucker MCs botched the sepulture;
they left a few too many nails out of the casket
slowed down on purple drank and even yay couldn’t mask it.
So now we’ve got a bunch of rottin’-ass rappers
popping out of the grave so give LA a wide berth,
'cause as they say when there's no room left in Cuba
Tupac will once again walk the earth;
Biggie’s eating those who won’t call him big poppa
and Rev Run’s trying to bring back Adidas,
Eazy-E’s spreading the hiv all over
and he won’t stop yelling about his penis;
Alliya somehow got involved
and Dirt Mcgirt’s just squirtin’ blood out his gums,
now this nation needs a hero and it found him;
a handsome young man who can handle his rum.
Yes just as situation reached crisis levels
a guy named Dave stumbled onto the scene,
and sure he was looking pretty disheveled
but the dude was rough ‘n’ tumble - tall, lean, and mean;
Hapless citizens rushed straight past him
and he tripped toward a hydrant, landing right on his gourd,
but he got to his feet and was aghast at what he saw-
a rhyme-spittin’, pipe-hittin’ shambling horde;
He gathered his thoughts and clamored for solutions,
thinking quick but not rushing because he knew better
than to jeopardize things by jumping to conclusions,
then he smiled because he knew he’d come out unfettered.
As the creatures came closer, he gathered his courage
and stood his ground in the face of death-stalkers,
then he spit the lines he knew could bring anyone down,
through tight lips he said WAKA WAKA FLOCKA FLAME
WAKA FLOCKA FLAME
WAKA FLOCKA FLAME
WAKA FLOCKA FLAME.
And as quickly as they had risen, the abominations had had enough,
they sank back into the earth and then Dave boned a bunch of chicks and stuff.
Today I will be reviewing the hell out of Fireside Chat Winter Spiced Ale from the 21st Amendment Brewing Company. I will also include a bonus Bad Beer Review because ever since that guy told me to review Keystone Ice or Light or whatever it was, I’ve thought that was a good idea.
Read more …
(Disclaimer: I usually hate when people curse a whole bunch in writing because I think it’s lazy, but I was incredibly hammered when I wrote this.)
I went to the pizza place today. The pizza place is where I buy all my beer because it is cheap as fuck. Their 50-cent special today was Long Trail’s various beers so I bought a random mix of 12 of them. I will now review these stupid beers. Also, allow me to give one disclaimer: I do not know shit about fancy beer words and all that “hoppy” or whatever bullshit. I say what I taste and that’s it. I’ve been drinking way too heavily for 7 years. I know what the fuck I like and don’t like.
Read more …
Sun beaming down says “America’s great!”
and just for today I’ve no desire to debate;
the star-kissed land seems eager to say,
”God smiles down on the USA!”
Read more …
Freshman Representative James Lankford
Cletus Kasady - Serial killer/Supervillain
I think you see where I’m going with this.
CLEARLY, Madame Web has breached the gap between Kasady’s world and ours, and brought him in for some evil purpose. God only knows what carnage may ensue. (Get it.)
I promise next time I post something it will be a poem.
My hangover was directing my day, as has often been the case over the years. As usual, I avoided any scenario that may involve loud talking or clapping. Weaving through back alleys, dodging parades, fucking off from any attempt at stranger-conversation, I made my way home.
Read more …