We Ain’t Discussing the Dawg

Ok, so in our household, I’m Meathead and Dad’s Archie (All In The Family), can’t say we ever had an Edith, however, my sister did have a Joey Stivic doll when she was young, creepiest thing, who was Archie’s grandson from his daughter Gloria and Meathead. If you fed him water via his little bottle his anatomically correct wee-willy actually peed. It was friggin hilarious, but when I tell people, generally the young people, that my sister had one they look at me weird.

So, yeah, I’m the Meathead to Archie’s racist rants, the voice of liberal values and ideas based on science, not gut and that’s just the way it’s always been stinkin’ thinkin’, and my Dad is, um, not. And this year I even failed to call him on Father’s Day, and my sister texted me last night about it, and she said I forgot, I said I did not forget, because I was not discussing the dawg; and she knew right away what I meant.

Dog on picnic table with cat and family - 1980's - thetemenosjournal.com
Lexi, Jinx and Mom – early 1980’s

One day years and years ago, a Saturday morning, it’s summer and later that day we’re heading to my Fathers’ company picnic, and we were talking about bringing with us our gigantic looming Doberman named Jinx. A complete buffoon, and really didn’t get out much, and this discussion, or pleading with Mom to let us bring her, had been going on for close to half an hour, when Dad pipes up, and he never pipes up, and says, really firmly, and with that southern drawl…we ain’t discussing the daaaawwwg. Well, suddenly we all break out laughing. Ok, me, Mom and Lexi, Dad was looking rather pissed off at us all by this point, and Mom says back to him daaaawwwwggg, and goes back to a fit of giggles for a bit longer.

Needless to say, the dawg did not come with us that day.

So in our little discussion, she mentioned that she and Dad got a tad heated concerning the “dawg” down yonder Dad and MsBrenda are so enamoured with, still, I guess. So, yeah, she knew what I meant when I said that was why I didn’t want to talk to him.

She also said she thinks he wants to overstay his 2 terms, and I gave her an affirmative, yup, that’s exactly what he wants, and I’m convinced this whole migrant manufactured crisis is part of that larger scheme.

A feeding frenzy of anger would seem to be the only way to elicit any responses from that rumptus down south of our border. A cacophony of citizens, in sync, on the same page, THIS will not be, they said.

Yet, here we are, and still there is a heart that beats in America, gofunding campaigns, pro-bono lawyers, and protests across the country, some of the gofunding accounts have been setup towards the bail money for those souls seeking asylum at the borders of the U.S., who are being prosecuted for the crime of seeking exile from the mouth of a burning pyre of violence and chaos that is now the reality of their homeland.

In one of the lectures I watched of Timothy Snyder, based on his extensive knowledge of the history of Eastern Europe, he spoke of those “helpers” during World War two who assisted the Jews, who hid them from the Nazi’s and helped to smuggle them out of these places of death, with documents forged, safe houses, and passage-ways of resistance across mountains and checkpoints, they helped them flee, those few, while everyone else turned a blind eye.

And who were they? In most instances he said they were the product of prosecution themselves, the Protestants in a Catholic village, the refugee from somewhere else who came seeking exile once, and so forth, they understood, they had compassion, empathy and courage forged from their experiences.

Life is political, not because the world cares about how you feel, but because the world reacts to what you do.”

Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Today on my news feed, stupidly reading the comments, and it still once in a while amazes me at the ruthless racism that exists on both sides of the border. All I’ve been able to think of is how those who agree with what is happening would feel being made to go through what those asylum seekers have endured. The months of Mothers not even knowing where their children are, or if they’ll ever see them again, and the anguish must be unbearable.

Perhaps, though, certainly, some may comfort themselves with the knowledge that they at least now have a chance for a better life. Yet, still, the desperation that would cause a person to make such a choice, such an anguishing decision, to go forward, and risk at least one of them having a chance.

It occurs to me that maybe THAT is the point! Think about it, that he wishes for a rush to the border to justify his wall to his base. Migrant numbers have actually been down substantially in the last few years and what a better way to advertise than a great big uproar, while appealing to the racism and ruthlessness of his base supporters. Migrants from Mexico have been going steadily down for the last decade and watching one program earlier, with a former Ambassador to the U.S. saying that Mexico had been experiencing a booming economy, and in fact, many Mexicans were returning home.

He went on to point out that much of the strengthening of the Mexican economy was due to NAFTA, and the trade relationship that spans the North American continent, with the core ideology of securing our borders with trade and strong relationships, healthy economies and socially conscious democratic leaders; and is now at serious risk of being squashed by this madman. Another pledge to his base, so two for one shot here I guess maybe he’s figuring, negotiating for his precious wall, causing a crisis to focus everyone’s attention on the migrant issues, and destroying NAFTA, all part of isolating his citizens from all outside noise, or interference.

Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Now that has all changed, as the U.S. under Trump has begun to cave in on itself, and shut the door to all international organizations it once championed, well, and ignored, and turned on its allies with course insults, allies that once turned to the U.S. as a leader, now turns away in disgust and worry at the changing geopolitical landscape that man is redressing all on his own.

As nationalist ultra-conservative governments win seats all over the world, and elections, the G6 nations cluster together as some of the last vestiges of the values that stand at the core of democracy, of hope, dignity, a robust multi-party government, offering all a chance to have their say.

Globalization certainly has effected some industries, but the housing market collapse and the recession and weak recovery afterwards, have deadened the hearts of many throughout the States, as they’ve watched whole industries disappear to progress, and years of economic uncertainties, government scandals, and heightened fear as wave after wave under Bush of alerts warned of attacks from the big bad guys over in the Middle East, the boogy men and women were at the door, and stealing their jobs, and fear reigned and in walks the man with the gaudy gold-leaf tongue and all the answers, and what a show he puts on.

Once we subliminally accept that we are watching a reality show rather than thinking about real life, no image can actually hurt the president politically. Reality television must become most dramatic with each episode. If we found a video of the president performing Cossack dances while Vladimir Putin claps, we would probably just demand the same thing with the president wearing a bear suit and holding rubles in his mouth.”

Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

They gulp down the kool-aid, love the show, and feel the economic surge his tax cuts generate, fueled by their concerted belief in the sneaky evil liberal “deep state”, they ignore all the corruption and cheating and his lies and love his racist ideas, do not see the vampire they invited in through the front door. They are blind to the chaos his reign of power has unleashed on them, as he slowly gains a grip on the authoritarian regime he very much desires, controlling the narrative, the ups and downs, the media frenzy of his own creation, gleefully watching them foam at the mouth, march in the streets, all due to his manufactured crisis.

Frankly, I still find it unnerving to watch it all unfold, not the least of hearing the same lie stained words parroted from my own Fathers lips, and I couldn’t on Father’s Day wish him anything but ill-will, and I didn’t want to discuss the dawg that day and didn’t call him, for fear of what horrible thing I would say, and that truly makes me very, very sad.

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