I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Pull up a chair. Let's talk.
Clearing My Head
May 24, 2022Posted by on
Herewith, a few things I want to say (and a great example of why the word “ramblings” is in the title of this blog…
First up, Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson. Anderson plays for the Chicago White Sox. Donaldson plays for the New York Yankees. More importantly for this moment is that Anderson is black and Donaldson is white. During a game over the weekend, as they crossed paths in the infield, Donaldson referred to Anderson as Jackie, apparently as a reference to Jackie Robinson, one of the most revered athletes in American sports.
After the game, Anderson, his manager (Tony LaRussa), and other personnel with the White Sox accused Donaldson of making a racist statement by calling Anderson Jackie. Donaldson claimed he meant nothing derogatory by it, and that he had joked with Anderson in similar fashion in the past. Why? Because in a 2019 interview, Anderson apparently claimed that he was “today’s Jackie Robinson.”
Here’s my question … how can it be considered racist to refer to a modern day ballplayer by the name of one of the most revered athletes in the American sports canon? Seriously. Every team has retired Jackie Robinson’s number so no player will ever use it again. Every year, all teams celebrate Jackie Robinson day with this year’s celebration coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball.
I’d get the outrage if Donaldson called Anderson an Uncle Tom or Aunt Jemima or a pickaninny or a nappyheaded loser or a slave of the system. Or a whole lot of things, but this … somebody help me out here.
And, oh by the way, Donaldson was suspended by MLB a game for what he said.
Second, I got around to watching the final episode of This Is Us last night. (I know, I know, there’s one episode left, but that appears to be a “greatest moments” type of episode. Last week’s episode was the real last episode of the series.)
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this show. The first season was an absolutely gorgeous experience, the closest thing to perfection I think a TV series can be. As the seasons rolled by, I felt like the writers and creative minds behind the show were trying to hard to squeeze as much drama and tears as they could. And then this final season of the show, about half way through, became nothing more than a slog to the end, with each episode used to close up story lines, to wrap things up, and they did everything they could to tie each of those story lines up with tidy, neat little bows. Not exactly how I would have ended the thing.
Anyway, as I watched the final episode last night, there were a few moments when my eyes teared up a bit. I wondered why and figured it out relatively quickly. The show is nothing if it’s not about connections that are made and are there no matter what. Family, friends, people never even met, people no longer there. But the connections remain and they draw you in. This final episode was a wonderful reminder of how important those connections are. How vital they are to our human condition.
Third, a little update on what I’ve been doing on the creative side. I finished a novella a couple of weeks ago. It’s a 45,000 word domestic thriller. If you’d like to take a listen to the opening of the story, you can search for my podcast Slice of Life Stories on Spotify, Apple, iTunes, and other podcast platforms. The Spotify link can also be found here. The story is with a couple of beta readers at the moment, but once I hear back from them, I hope to have this story out by the end of June. It needs a cover. It needs a real title. And once it gets those things, I’m pushing public. This was as fun, quick story to write and I hope readers enjoy it.
I’ve also started painting again. Last year, I had an objective of getting a website up where I could start selling some of my “functional art.” Coasters, spoon rests, vases, trivets, trays, clocks, and a few other assorted things. Along with less functional painting experiments on canvas. At some point, I’d also add photography to the website.
Well, plans don’t always come to fruition. I’m hoping to focus on that in the next couple of months and at least get the website up and out there while I populate it with products. We’ll see if it happens this year.
Finally, I’m moving on to another writing project that I describe as the most challenging I’ll ever take on. It’s a personal story that is about a member of my family who is no longer with us. It will be creative non-fiction, trying to tell this person’s story with the facts I have and filling in the rest with details that are as accurate and true to her as possible. We’ll see if that happens this year. 😉
Fourth, serial killers in fiction. Are there any that aren’t filled with cliches and tropes. Last weekend, I went to a local book and music fair. I bought a handful of books from the writers who were there. I started reading one of them last night. It’s about a serial killer and guess what? Within the first two pages, we learn that he has mommy issues. Why? Why can’t he have daddy issues? Why can’t he have big brother issues? Or little sister issues? Or, here’s an idea — no issues at all, just a cold-blooded, ruthless killer who likes to kill people? Nope, can’t have that. Mommy issues, because apparently that is the only thing that drives people to become serial killers. Jeez. Anybody out there aware of good serial killer fiction that doesn’t involve mommy issues.
Fifth, and finally … guns. That’s it. Nothing more to say because it doesn’t matter. Nothing I say will change this frozen, numbed state that we are in. So … guns. Fuckin’ guns.