“Walk in the light while there is light.”
– Leo Tolstoy
Aunt Carmen died today; just days shy her ninety-seventh year. A matriarch and a beacon of grace remembered fondly for her dry, sly sense of humor.
When I was ten years old, Aunt Carmen, cousin Jimmy, my mother and I traveled by bus to Queens New York to the optimistic nineteen sixty-four Worlds Fair, a universal and international exposition, with the theme, “Peace Through Understanding”, and dedicated to, ”Man’s Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe”. We visited many exhibits; The famous Unisphere, a twelve story stainless steel model of the earth, but the one that remains foremost in my mind is the amphibious car, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXlmkve3Q7A, that Jimmy and I tested the attributes of as Aunt Carmen, like a rock, stood waiting on the shore.
I visited Aunt Carmen many times at her homestead on number ten road. One time, while standing in the driveway saying our goodbyes, Aunt Carmen quipped, “ Bobby, does that tan go all the way up?”, as she reached her fingers under the hem of my jogging shorts and lifted it to my waistband, (the tan went pretty far up).
Aunt Carmen was a special light in my life; her humor, her steadfastness, and her stoic independence a fine example: a radiance not extinguished, but a light free to fly throughout the universe.
Here are the persecutors of the righteous, haters of truth, lovers of falsehood, who do not acknowledge the reward for righteousness nor cleave to what is good or righteous judgments, who are vigilant for not what is good but what is evil, from whom meekness and patience are far removed. Her are those that love vanity, who follow after rewards, who have no pity on their neighbors and do not labor for the oppressed or know their creator. Here are the murderers of children, destroyers of God’s image, who turn away from the needy. Here are the oppressors of the oppressed, defenders of the rich, unjust judges of the poor, sinners in all things. Beware, children, of all these!
– The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles – The Didache
Anger, confusion, loneliness and fear drive humans to commit inhumane acts. A congressional representative with well over three million taxpayers dollars in farm subsidies proclaims, “The one who is not willing to work shall not eat.”, a famous princess offhandedly remarks, “Let them eat cake.” The wealthy and the self-righteous tend to forget that all are created equal. There are millions of working men and women that do not receive a living wage and are subsidized through SNAP: not one of them receives the largess of farm or corporate subsidies that goes to already wealthy individuals.
Sodomites presented golden ingots with their images stamped onto them to the peasants and then refused to sell them food. Upon the serfs deaths the Sodomites would reclaim the coins.
Those that do not get paid will not eat. Those that cannot work will not eat.
Cutting funding to food stamps is not about saving government money it is about redirecting funds to those that already have.
There will always be those who mean to do us harm. To stop them we risk awakening the same evil within us.
– James Tiberius Kirk
Even the intelligent and impassioned reporters of life have made the country of rich as unreal as a fairy-land.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
The misnomer of Happy Labor Day reeks of hypocrisy. A government that calls itself a democracy failing to institute a living wage for laborers in favor of multi-billion dollar profit corporations suffers a terrible abnormality which it pretends to conceal – protesting honesty and transparency – must be doing so to remind itself of its misprision; while taxing the working class to subsidise those that are paid to little as well as bolstering the hugely profitable corporations. The rich believe deep in their hearts that they are better than laborers as do the nouveaux riche and the neocons. Farmers granted millions in subsidies and easements begrudge the black woman down the road working two jobs at seventy-two hours a week SNAP benefits to feed her children, which amount to pennies next to their plunder; they blaspheme her as a “taker” labeling themselves the “makers”.
Happy Labor Day.
We are all queer fish, queerer behind our faces and voices than we want anyone to know or than we know ourselves.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald