Category Archives: being human

Words, Words, Words

My Dear Friends and Family,

This past week one of my daughters sent me this video of Jon Batiste performing “FREEDOM” on the Colbert Show. (I have included it below.)

As I watched, I felt I was transported to a Gospel Church moment. Batiste, who has long been Steven Colbert’s band leader is Black and Beautiful and moves like a dream. The song was a totally infectious experience and I think I played and danced to it several times. My daughter was right when she said it was a joyous happening to be shared.  And so I thought of all of you, my dear friends and family.

As I got ready to send it out, I started thinking about the name of the song and Batiste’s definition of the word, Freedom.  Being Black and Beautiful, he wrote the song from his perspective of the word. I get that. I understand that.  I applaud that.  

However,  I might sing and dance to his song Freedom from an entirely different perspective.  Along with oh, so many of my fellow beings, I could shout and dance out my freedom from a year of Covid Pandemic isolation.  

And as I continued my thought line, the lyrics of another song crept into my consciousness…

Words, words, words

I’m so sick of words

First from him now from you

Is that all you blighters can do

If you think Freedom is one thing, and I think it’s another, how do we communicate? In truth, it’s like we are all speaking a foreign language in an attempt to find a path to understanding. I thought about confusion in communications around three very important words…

What I wanted most in my life was to be KNOWN. If you know me, you’ll love me. Now, don’t yell on me. I was young and I was desperate. One important slice of this equation was missing. If I didn’t know me, how was anyone else supposed to know me?  When I was a student and fiancée, I defined Freedom as escape. The only way for me to be free was to escape home and family. Unfortunately, early in my life, my courage was limited to making a fool of myself on stage. In the 1950’s the approved way to leave home was to get married. Marriage equaled Freedom.  Twenty-seven years later Freedom equaled Divorce. Go figure!!!

At different stages of my life, Freedom meant something else.Today, I’m not sure if my mortality has increased my vision, but I am open to most everyone’s interpretation of Freedom. Except, of course, if their freedom takes away my freedom. This is a no-no.

I think it is inherent, dare I say it, on a cellular level most of us want to be known. It takes a great deal of courage to be known. I have a sneaking suspicion that fear wipes out that courage. This makes me believe you cannot be known without being FREE.  

TRUTH

First I shall tell you, growing up in my family my ability to survive was based on how well I could lie. From the womb, I was an actress, so pretending (that’s the polite word for lie), was very easy for me.

I shall admit, I had a lot of help from the adult community. How many times were you told, don’t tell mama, don’t tell poppa, if that’s your sister on the phone, tell her I’m not here… and on and on the requests go.  I’m not accusing anyone. Goodness knows it’s an accepted social practice… the little white lie.  But as a child, it’s difficult to discriminate the social lie from, “I did not lose  Mother’s engagement ring that she was saving to pawn because she needed money to pay into her Christmas Savings Account for your presents so you don’t get any this year.”  

I think about storm troopers throwing open the door and shouting out, ”Are you Jewish?”  What would you do?  I for one do not know. Of course, I’d like to think I would proudly stand up and do the honorable thing, but isn’t that the question? What is honorable? To survive or not to survive. Furthermore, in the scheme of life, he or she who casts the first stone could break a window and then what???  I do not feel the need to lie anymore. This is a good thing. And frankly, I don’t have a lot of patience with those that continue to lie. Nothing really is that important.  As long as I follow the Golden Rule… Do Unto Others as you would have Others Do Unto you… I don’t think I have to.  In someone’s wisdom (I wish I knew who)… THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.  BUT FIRST IT REALLY PISSES YOU OFF.

LOVE

OK  now we have come to the sticky part.  Oi Vey!  For this I am going to be moided (Brooklynese for murder). For me, there is no universal definition for the word love.

How could there be? Our life experiences forbid it.  However, when has that ever stopped me from having all the answers? I’m still making it up.The difference today is I know I’m making it up.

 All right, we need to separate Romantic Love from Universal Love. 

I have been in romantic love at least a billion different times, with all God’s critters.  Mostly male of every stripe and color. Only about 10 of the billion knew I was in love.  And of the ten, I married only one. Once was more than enough. Now, everyone has their own romantic love stories to tell and if I felt like it, I would tell you mine.  But I don’t. So I won’t. You can always do what I do and make it up. A kind of coupling of your truth with romantic love.   All to say that romantic love is brilliant and necessary for population growth and hormones. (It’s dropping by the way… population growth, that is… not hormones!!! Any theories???)  

Universal Love. For me it will always  belong to the world of Spirit. It is in that world I find myself more and more comfortable and more and more the need to inhabit. Yeah, sure, of course, to some extent  this feeling is age related. However, I have to acknowledge this world of Spirit has always been with me. I was among the many who had experienced early childhood trauma. Too young to know about God or religions, but always knowing somehow during this time, I was cared for.  In many of my darkest times, it is and was always there. It comes in the form of humor, wonder, and yes, mostly LOVE.  I have found my place in the Universe and I am loved not just by my friends and family. I can look at a sunrise and even knowing I had nothing to do with bringing it up (such a relief to have that off my plate!), be in love with the wonder of it all. I and those who can experience sunrise, sunset, and all the wonders of the Universe, know we are loved. How come it took me so long to get it? I don’t know.

Which reminds me… I want to share a new “AHA!!” with you. Just yesterday my 3 favorite words were, “I Love You”.  Today, with MY PHD in Judgement intact,  my 3 Most Favorite Words are,

 I DON’T KNOW.

And that’s my definition of Freedom, Truth, and Love.

Right?  Of course, right!!!

Love, Sally-Jane❤️

I THINK I CAUGHT A SYNDROME

My Dear Friends,

I have been a Covid hostage from March of 2020 until February of 2021, which is when I got my first vaccination shot.  That is enough time for what’s called the Stockholm Syndrome to take root and build within my psyche the necessary combination of fear and helplessness.  If that isn’t a diagnosis of the Stockholm Syndrome then I’m a monkey’s uncle.  Although, as we struggle with new gender definitions, I believe I would be a monkey’s aunt or monkey’s They????  Sorry, can’t go there because I am too ill informed.  

Ok so I acknowledge I am a victim of Covid Stockholm Syndrome.  And thankfully, I do not feel alone.  Please let me know if this resonates with you.

Since I have returned north (Brrrrrrr!!!), I have been talking to friends and family about their winter in a cold Covid climate and the advent of the vaccinations and the promise of a different Spring and Summer from last year.  I feel like I am a human who has been in hibernation. And as the vaccinations proceed very slowly, one foot in front of the other, sniffing and searching as I go, testing the waters as I move from my cave into the light.  

In a sense, the exit from my cave and my acceptance of the vaccine is a very personal leap of faith. Every time I have ever made one of those leaps of faith, I have found the juice of life is more profound and though the leaps can be challenging and frightening, ultimately for me they make my life more satisfying.

Yeah???  So what’s my point??? 

Well, I have discovered quite a few friends that are satisfied with the Covid status quo of the past. Translation: No vaccine. I have spent much of my life opting for FREE CHOICE… religion, race, sex, education… your life, you choose.  Well, of course there is a caveat… what’s the matter with you?  You think life is fair or free?  Not!  Only for babies! And then, as sadly we know, in many cases not even for babies.  

All right already, I’m getting to it. Here is my point. There is a cost to life. We are periodically asked to make a leap of faith.  And for me, getting the vaccine is a leap of faith.  There is so much we don’t know.  We don’t know way more than we do know… forever.  However, if I want to come out of my cave, not wear a mask, travel to see friends, relatives, or the Aurora Borealis, give or get a hug from someone outside my POD (OMG it sounds like a remake of The Body Snatchers), then I need to get my shot.

So what has this got to do with the Stockholm Syndrome? 

All of us have been kidnapped by Covid, that’s what!!! 

I think it’s time we recognize that fear and helplessness narrows the world and limits life’s opportunities and the wonderful joyful noise that goes with it.

Right???  Of course Right!!!

Love ~ Sally-Jane ❤️

P.S.

I am not throwin’ away my shot

I am not throwin’ away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwin’ away my shot

My Shot, from Hamilton

What Has La Brea Tar Pits To Do With Herd Immunity?

My Dear Friends –                  

I have had some interesting discussions with friends and acquaintances who have refused vaccinations. Now we all know how ridiculously judgmental I can be… not all the time, but enough of the time to make these discussions, in polite terms, volatile. The reasons against Covid-19 vaccination run the gambit from “not enough time” to “prove the efficacy of the drug” to “political chicanery” from all parties, including current and former Presidents as well as everyone in the House and the Senate, ad infinitum.  

Now, I shall acknowledge the use and abuse of both parties to politicize the vaccinations.  Science has always had difficulties with the powers that be. Religion and science have made nice over the centuries. They are still suspicious of each other but my take, at least in the United States, is that slowly, very slowly, religion has begun to take its proper place in the pantheon of life as a support system for individuals… part of the four freedoms… freedom of worship.  My belief is that this freedom will allow Science and Religion to co-inhabit the world. Imagine that!!

Over the past pandemic year in isolation I have been keeping good company with myself. Herein lies a recent conversation I’ve had with me:

What is behind the rejection of vaccination?  FEAR!!

Duh!!!  So tell us something we don’t know????

OK, I’ll try.

I’m stumped.

Go to Google.

Again?

Yes, again!

Oh, this is good… it’s almost as though Google knew what I was thinking.

That’s what they are paid for.   

Listen to this quote from Bertrand Russell.

Who?

British Philosopher (1872-1970)

Right!

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct and tends to produce ferocity towards those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”

Yeah, soooooo….

So this Covid Pandemic has frightened all of us… some to death, some to illness, some to lockdown, some to boredom, some to anger, most to confusion and paralysis.

Wow!  Puts me in mind of the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

Excuse me?

The Tar Pits outside of Hancock Park. Over many centuries, the tar pits preserved the bones of trapped animals.  

Excuse me?

Here’s the story!  Back thousands of years ago there was an approaching climate change.  Over the centuries there were many climate changes. You know like another Ice Age or heat wave or drought… there weren’t too many deniers of climate change back then because there weren’t that many humans and there were no political parties. However, most of the animals and the few humans had very sharpened animal instincts. The largest of which was survival. Survival and fear go hand in hand. So picture the dinosaurs chomping away on trees and grass (yes most of them were vegetarians) and as the weather changed, their survival/fear instinct was aroused.  Now they loved L.A. but those who followed their instincts left Hancock Park and moved north to where they found safety for many millenniums along with evolutionary changes.  

Today you can see the remnants of those who ignored their survival/fear instincts and became trapped in the ooze of the La Brea Tar Pits.  

What has that got to do with anything?

Sometimes talking to myself is so difficult. Do I have to spell everything out for you?

Please…

It’s called species adaptation. Species that adapt to changes survive. Species that don’t… don’t!

Yeah?  So what?

Don’t you see. We have two herds. We have the Vaccine Herd Immunizers or the VHI.  We have the No Vaccine Herd Immunizers or the NVHI.  Both herds fear Covid.  However, once the scientists and the FDA approved the vaccines, the VHI team lined up, pushed ahead and did whatever to get their shot. They moved. They adapted.  Yes, into the unknown but for them the known was death and illness and no hugs.

The NVHI are waiting and thinking. Not adapting. Still chomping on leaves and grass.

La Brea Tar Pits… now do you get it?

Not to worry. I am donating my brain to Science.

All, to say my dear ones, I’m not telling you what to do, God Forbid, when have I ever done that?  

If you want to survive to fear again…

Pick the right Herd!

Love, Sally-Jane

P.S. A lesson in LIFE for Pro and Anti vaxxers… please stream the very brilliant and moving PBS American Masters biography of Oliver Sacks.  

As Auntie Mame so eloquently said: “ Life is a banquet. And most poor suckers are starving to death.”

The Bigger They Are the More They Get Stuck…

My Dear Friends,

I’m not into sea stories… unless it’s something like Katherine Ann Porter’s Ship Of Fools.

And then came the Ever Given. This is the name of the container ship which is part of the Taiwan based shipping company Evergreen. En route from China to Rotterdam sliding through the Suez Canal, it drifted. The hull of the ship drifted sideways into the sand wall of the Canal. HOME!  It liked where it landed.  Unfortunately, nobody else did. Most particularly the hundreds of other container ships in passage  in both directions which were now as STUCK in the Canal as the Ever Given.

A Suez Canal Dialogue ensues:

Captain of Ever Given (to Ali Schwartz, the unfortunate Canal Administrator on duty at the time) : All right already guys, we’re stuck.

Ali Schwartz:  How did that happen?

Captain:   One of my guys said we did a Tokyo Drift.

Ali Schwartz:  What the hell is a Tokyo Drift?

Captain: Damned if I know… some movie, I think.

Ali Schwartz:  O.K. we’re in contact with our Suez AAA Service Representative.  They will be there shortly.

Captain:  Hurry! The guys behind me and the guys in front of me haven’t let their hands off their horns since it happened.  

Ali Schwartz:  Before they leave to pull you off… is your membership paid up?

That conversation occurred 10 days ago.  The Ever Given is still there.  Stuck in the side of the canal. Commercial traffic, no less the family on their yacht for their once in a lifetime passage through the Suez Canal, are all stuck and if you are one of the unlucky people who ordered something online from China (like through Amazon, Walmart, etc) you can either relax or go out and buy it retail like at a store like the old fashioned way.

I feel a lot like the author of this article in the Atlantic… stuck on the container ship being stuck. In all my self help and therapeutic analysis of my voracious need to control, the story fascinates me.  I have spent half of my life intellectually aware of the need to surrender and in the surrender to understand how little in life I do control. I try. God knows I try, but habit and really, I think, fear, impedes my progress.  

And so the Ever Given is as good an example, a lesson in understanding surrender.  What the hell are we supposed to do when the mechanics of life do not cooperate in moving the chess pieces of life?? 

So, now as I watch the world converge on the Suez Canal with all their equipment and expertise and they still cannot move the behemoth, here’s my advice to one and all… 

  1. Surrender is a good thing.
  2. Find an alternate route if your travel plans involve the Suez Canal.

Right? Of course, right!

Love, Sally-Jane ❤️

Gratified and Satisfied…

My Dear Friends,

We have all heard it a million times… writing is such a lonely craft. No matter how writers try to distract themselves from themselves, eventually they must succumb and begin the lonely climb from sub to conscious thought, from pen to paper or fingers to computer. Yes, I am describing my own journey. And then the thoughts are dispersed to the person or in this case, the “list” of those brave souls that signed on to accept and read my blog. All to say, I thankfully, always get some response to what I write.

So that even if I write in the wilderness, eventually after sending the blog out, someone or someones rescue me from my solitude and brings me into their thoughts and responses and I am profoundly gratified and satisfied.

Hey, let us not forget my friends… I began my game of life as a performer. My passion was in putting myself before an audience and hoping I gave them pleasure or challenge or both. That give and take audience response was my initial lifeline from dysfunctional family life to dysfunctional married life. My ever growing, developing, nurturing, constantly challenging, and most loving relationship with my daughters was and always will be my raison d’être, but performing was definitely my second choice.

So writing in the wilderness is very difficult for me. And without response… OI VEY! … you’ve got to be kidding… a killer… an absolutely killer. I’ve been told to not be bothered by the lack of response… blog readers don’t usually respond. Well, in this last Blog about the Netflix movie, I Care A Lot…. I specifically asked for a response… and I got it.

I’m going to try and figure out how to rework my blog so I can keep this “audience” response going. In the meantime, I want to share some of the responses I received.

From Jim:
In my reading lately I’ve come across the concept referred to as the attention economy. Mostly in reference to social media like Facebook, Twitter,  etc. it is the idea that our attention is finite and of value and we should pay attention to how we ‘spend’ it.

These dark, ironic ‘humor’ movies and shows make me feel like I’ve not only wasted my time but been ripped off in terms of my attention. And since everything is tracked these days I am starting to be much more circumspect in how I allocate my attention. 

Here is the original article which introduced the phrase attention economy into my brain… I Talked to the Cassandra from the Internet Age (NY Times)

From Donna:
I saw the trailer for “I Care A Lot”. Half way through the trailer, it ’sceeved’ me out and I moved on. What a horrible plot!!!… The world is frightening enough these days without adding to it.

From Pamela:
I was afraid of that. I saw the blurb and could feel the ickiness. Glad you STOPPED WATCHING!!! Your senses are too precious to fill with such a vile version of humanity!

From Paula:
In CA almost impossible to have someone declared incapacitated in the courts.  Court also sends out its own independent investigator.  Anyway wanted you to know this so that you can sleep again…

FYI, I never watch movies like this anymore (even in the past I rarely watched) – no matter what the reviews.  Too much ugliness in the world already. I need an escape.

From Vel:
Just read your blog and SO glad I decided to pass on that film! But here’s a bit of news that gives that swindling racket a ‘Hooray for you, Girl’ upbeat twist: At 93, She Waged War on JPMorgan—and Her Own Grandsons

From Dianne:
I read your blog.  That movie sounds horrible.  Glad you switched over to reliable Agatha. 

From Lana:
Ugh. I watched that movie last night. I wanted to quit part way through it — I actually found it very uncomfortable and a little bit horrifying. I also wanted to see if it had a satisfying end (yes, sort of). But I went to bed with a flutter in my throat, kind of wishing I hadn’t watched it. But it made me wonder if, during the Trump era, producers made more movies like that — characters derelict of conscience or humanity

In reading up on the backstory of the movie, I see an article in The New Yorker was part inspiration: 
The Takeover
The whole thing scared the be-jesus out of me. 

From Ron: 
This came from reading your blog …

Now if you have any responses to these responses… write on MacDuff!  

While there have been shows where some audience members left before I did, (I’ve been in a few “turkeys” in my time), but as Laurence Olivier said, “If you haven’t had any bad reviews, you can’t call yourself an actor”.  

You see this is the kind of digression that counts as a distraction when I am trying to write. All I meant to say is… if you want to respond to any of the responses my machines are always open.   

Love, Sally-Jane ❤️

Game of Life: Humanity: 1 / Immorals: 0

My Dear Friends & Family,

Last night I looked forward to watching a new Netflix thriller/mystery I Care A Lot. It had some of my favorite actors Dianne Wiest, Peter Dinklage, and starring Rosamund Pike.

Basically it’s a story of a woman Marla Grayson (Pike) who is in the very profitable business of defrauding seniors. Her racket is guardianship:  identifying powerless retirees, having them falsely declared mentally incompetent and herself appointed their legal conservator and then defrauding them of all their assets which by some not so mysterious ways ends up in her bank account. This happens through the collusion of doctors, nursing homes, and oblivious judges. It’s a really juicy plot.

I began watching and somewhere as I was approaching the halfway mark of the film I began to get a queasy feeling in my stomach. At the beginning, her success record of 100 per cent was challenged by only one son concerning his mother. He wanted to see his mother.  He questioned her need for Guardianship.  Marla chewed him up and spit him out.  She was unstoppable.

She makes a mistake by targeting the mother of a crime boss but rather than show fear, she ups her game and no matter what the threat (and there are many  consequential threats) pursues her dream of being so rich she is untouchable. (Put forth in the movie as “The American Dream”)

I didn’t stick around to see if she succeeded. I was sick to my stomach watching  the amorality that filled the script and  screen.  Not one character in this film had any and I mean any redeeming features… a dark world that only got darker. Why do I want to watch people whom I don’t give a fig for succeed as they decimate whatever and whoever is in their way without any consequences.

As for me, I immediately reached for an antidote to the poison that had been spewing from my television for over an hour… I definitely stayed too long at the fair.  I turned to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.  Plenty of really villainous types but somehow always caught in the web of their own making.  

To put salt my own wound, today I caught an interview with Rosamund Pike from an article in USA Today. Her statement made me wince. 

I think it maybe reflects the fact that people need a dose of what this film serves up at this time. I think it’s that kind of dark, irreverent humor that we’re all a bit in need of.

~ Rosamund Pike

For the life of me… Where was the humor?? Definitely not the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup. Of course, as an actor I totally understand the thrill of being chosen but I find her statement unbelievable and irresponsible. 

I certainly don’t recommend you see it, but if you have seen it I’d love to know what you think.

My philosophy has always been what goes around comes around. Time is not in anyone’s hands… but my belief is… in the game of life, The Decency and Humanity Team: 1 / The Amorals: 0     

Of late, we have been sorely tested… but ain’t that what life is all about? It isn’t easy. It is difficult. And it definitely isn’t fair.  Our work is never done. We have occasional breaks from the onslaughts… a walk in the woods, a picnic by the lake, a good book, a great movie, friends and families… and then we are right back in it again: snow and ice in Texas. 

My beliefs say we always know what the right thing to do is… we are always challenged to do the right thing. Sometimes we can. Sometimes we can’t. But we know. That is what separates us from the beasts…

Right???  Of course, right!!!

 Love, Sally-Jane

MEA CULPA (or THE INSIDIOUSNESS OF SYSTEMIC RACISM)

Dear Friends and Family,

First, let me tell you a story.  

After the story, I shall share a very important article from The Atlantic and a really sharp video from a comedienne I’d never heard of before, (how unaware can an aware person be?) regarding the same subject from different people with the same ideas. Are you bored, yet? Well, after I tell my story, I promise, you won’t be.

Over a week ago, I received an email from a dear friend from across the pond (Atlantic Ocean for the uninitiated). London, England to be specific. She and her husband have been in real lockdown since the discovery of the more contagious variant of Covid 19.  So no complaints about what you can or cannot do…. they cannot do or go ANYWHERE! Get it? Good!  

Well, as they sit long term in their home, computer working, staring into space counting steps and other things, they have become Titans of Television. They are oh so grateful to the streaming services.

In particular, in her email, she mentioned a Netflix series called Lupin.  She exclaimed how wonderful it was… a very clever French Detective Series with wonderful scenes of Paris and an extraordinary leading man. She had never seen him before and she raved about what a great actor and how gorgeous he is. She is as critical as I am (amazingly, on certain occasions she can be even more judgmental than I can… hard to imagine) but since we usually agree on what we read and see… plays, movies, television, I knew I would have to watch it.

The very next night I turned it on. At the beginning of episode 1, the script brings you into the bowels of the Louvre, where the cleaning staff gathers to do their nightly chores. For the first 10 minutes of the episode, I searched for and could not find this extraordinary leading man. All the cleaners passed before my eyes and I kept waiting for him. Finally, it occurred to me that this very beautiful black actor, Omar Sy, was the man. 

I couldn’t believe me! Consciously, I never thought the leading actor she raved about would be black.

OK… going back to title of this piece, it never occurred to me the lead would be an unknown-to-me black actor, who is actually very well known in France.

Shame on me. 

My own systemic racism showed itself. I am a voracious reader of writers of all persuasions, as well as a writer myself who is appalled not just by systemic racism, but by all the white overprivileged people who chant, “I AM NOT A RACIST!”. It is the rare white person that is truly color blind. I grew up in Brooklyn. I went to schools in Manhattan.  My classes were always mixed. I shall not use that ridiculous phrase, “Some of my best friends are…” Even so, I thought I was one of those rare white ones.  

I am not. For me to feel comfortable again, and I confess after this self revelation, I am so very uncomfortable, I have to crawl out and away from my dark denial into the light of  who I really am… with all my zits and warts, and work this denial out of my system. 

Now let me talk about my journey with and in denial. My experience tells me I use denial to protect my ego. I believe the ego is my defense system and you can’t be an artist without a strong ego.

As an artist, rejection is a primary color. Every artist exposes themselves to a very personal onslaught of slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. The product involved in this rejection and criticism is ME… my soul, my heart, my very skin. Without risk, there is no art. It is easy to say “you win some, you lose some”. In risking, the artist completely exposes him or herself. Without the defense of the ego, aka: denial, I would have evaporated a long time ago. As I matured, and please believe me, I am never going to finish that process… (no complaints, just a confession.) Over the years, I realized very slowly that denial was losing it’s sparkle. It was a growth inhibitor. While I thought it was protecting me, it actually made it very easy to repeat some very negative behaviors: abusive relationships, unhealthy habits like smoking and eating, and exposing some personality and character traits that developed from being brought up in the usual normal dysfunctional family.

Previously, if there was something in my life that was too painful to bring into consciousness I kept it buried (denial) in what I thought was a safe place. Now, I work very hard at acknowledging my denial. And when I do acknowledge, make no mistake, peeling the layers of denial away to tell myself the truth is a very painful process. And that is why most of us back away from exposing that denial.

My mother always told me, “Sally-Jane, the truth will set you free, but first it’s really gonna piss you off.” Actually it wasn’t my mother, it was one of my many therapists.

Yes, my sweet friends and family, coming out of denial is extremely painful. Birth usually is.

Love, Sally-Jane

P.S. A few quotes that will help me along the way come from Richard von Weizsacker, circa 1985, making a speech as the Federal President of Germany commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the end of World War II:

Seeking to forget makes exile all the longer; the secret of redemption lies in remembrance.

***

Whoever refuses to remember the inhumanity is prone to new risks of infection.

***

All of us, whether guilty or not, whether old or young, must accept the past.

P.P.S. Before I forget… (A great title for a one woman show), here is the Atlantic Article

Denial Is the Heartbeat of America.

And Amber Ruffin’s monologue:

I Love a Mystery…

My Dear Friends and Family,

As some of you know, “I Love a Mystery”…

And even though I was very young back in 1944 (10 to be exact) I was old enough to remember a RADIO show by that name of which I was a devoted listener.  My passion for the mysteries of life, no less literature, started when I was very young. For the last 20 years, at least, I buy and read the good ones from all over the world. Pitting my puzzle-solving oriented brain against Holmes, Christie, Sayers, Highsmith, Penny, le Carre, Ross Macdonald, Markell, Hiassen, Crais, Mosely… to name just a few of the masters. Lately, David Ignatius has captured my imagination.

His genre of books is the political thriller in the land of the internet. I am computer challenged on every level. Without help from a very dear friend, I would never have been able to organize and send the Blah Blah Blog. (There’s a juicy self-deprecating remark just pulsing to be written which I will hasten to ignore.) So why would an internet driven mystery intrigue me?

I’m so glad you asked. Because David Ignatius is a journalist, editor and columnist for The Washington Post. I find his 11 novels to be edged with reportorial skills that give insight to the real and actual political workings of hot spots around the world (Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Russia; just to name a few) and no less detailed workings of the many Departments of the government of The United States.  Truly, in the most legitimate sense of the words, he has inside information.

So What?????

Well, ever since January 6th and watching as the President metaphorically, but really actually, yelled “FIRE!!” in a crowded theatre, prompting the frightening, illegal and unbelievable assault on the Capitol, I have been waiting for someone to unravel the mystery of how this horrific happening came to be.

The information we have received up to this date has been sparse, incomplete, and does not tell the whole story. To put it in today’s terms… it just doesn’t compute.

I am inspired to try my hand at writing a political thriller based on the events of January 6th.  Including that which preceded the happening and what follows. With your indulgence I am going to share with you my outline.  Forgive me if I seem to overstep the bounds of rational reasoning. Come to think of it, for the last four years that particular mental condition appears to be as contagious as the virus…

Here is my outline in 3 parts…

Part I  Phase I

January 2009
Palm Springs: A Gazillionaire meeting hosted at the palatial fortress of Manny Midas of the top ten Gazillionaires.
Topic:  “There’s a Black Man in the White House

The decision after everyone finally stopped blaming everyone for being asleep at the wheel was to fund an educational program that would train young men and women to promote the “Rich-As-Croesus-Old-White-Racists-Men” (RACOWRM) ideas of racial and economic division.

Their strategy was brilliant. DIVIDE AND CONQUER.

The old white racist men decided to endow a Rich-As-Croesus-Old-White-Racists-Men’s educational program in various colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Taught mostly by committed conservatives* of every stripe and occasional color, the programs offered what appeared to be an almost free education for those who qualified.  

Upon graduation, the sharper and by now completely committed conservatives were offered high paying positions in the Conservative Think Tanks around the country and public relations firms committed to radical ultra-conservative issues… formenting public opinion on issues such as gerrymandering, voting restrictions, immigration policies… They did this through organizing social media, creating many ultra-far-right-radical-conspiracy-theory individuals and groups.

*Point of clarity: There is no judgement on being a conservative by choice. However, there is a difference between being an Ultra Radical Anything where reason and logic exit the field, leaving no opportunity for dialogue.

RACOWRM danced the Scrooged Screw (a well-known Rich as Croesus Dance) at the success of their program and vowed to meet every year in Palm Springs to discover how else they could control various Government programs from their hot tubs in Hot Springs.

Part II Phase II

In 2012, the rich as Croesus old white racist men were assured by the pundits and by the amount of  money they spent that the black man in the White House was a one term President.

NOT!!

In January 2013, meeting again in Palm Springs, without dance or hot tubs, these RACOWRM decided it was no more Mr. Nice Guy time… the gloves were off.  

The momentous decision of that meeting was to search and find a missing President.  A missing Presidential candidate that would bring White Privilege back to power and center stage. Criteria was important.

Manny Midas, the richest of the RACOWRM, was a fan of a television show called The Apprentice. He enjoyed watching the host make a fool of himself and he made a lot of money as one of its sponsors.

For reasons we can only guess at, but shall never know, Manny fought for and won the lottery on finding the missing Presidential candidate.  Of course, it helped that this man came with his own base (literally and figuratively). His fans were addicted to his vulgar, intolerant, and mentally unstable character. Human nature at its worst.

From 2013 until 2016, the RACOWRM built their special candidate. It was like reading or watching a sequel to Mary Shelley’s 19th Century novel. (look it up)

Using their same principle of Divide and Conquer, the Ultra Conservative Think Tanks and public relations firms worked tirelessly through the use of algorithms (can anyone explain that to me?) and other modern techniques of social media on the internet to organize and develop the “Younger Not So Rich White Racist Men and Women”. They fed the YNSRWRMW the necessary information to make their chosen candidate irresistible.

Let’s face it. It was kind of  a miracle. To convince people that a bankrupt unsuccessful businessman in his 70’s who was a reality TV show host and who had never won an election or served in any public capacity, except as a Page 6 headline making President Clinton look like a member of the Puritan Party, would make the perfect President. The moon was definitely in retrograde because…

HE WON!!!

Against all the odds and evens and pollsters and punsters and everyone in the real world, he actually won!

Part III Phase III

I’m not sure, guys, whether to fast forward through the gathering storm of false news, the twitter and the tweeting, mind-boggling appointments, and too numerous to count declarations of “You’re Fired”, to get to 2020, but I think I shall…

It must be said that our Palm Springs group continued to meet and continued to pull strings on their creation and they were happy. They had a proven handle to control. If they wanted action of a certain kind, they primed the pump of his ego. His tweets were his method of governing. Leaving the real work of legislation and judicial review to their RACOWRM Worker Bees and the President’s family. His being “the greatest” worked miracles for their agenda. If he got out of line, they just let some of the air out of his ego balloon and woosh, he was back in line. The RACOWRM never veered from their original agenda – stoking the fires of racism. This election year was supposed to be a shoe-in. So many Democratic candidates, all fighting and blaming each other. A party in disarray. Definitely a shoe-in. 

And then an ill wind blew in from China.
Whoa!  Regroup time!

The RACOWRM were stymied. No matter how much money they threw at the virus – and they did throw money – conquering the rogue virus was beyond their control. And to add to this conflagration, another black man was murdered by a group of white police officers. George Floyd’s death by police should not have been any different than the thousands that came before, but (and that’s another story) it was. Combine the pandemic with the Black Lives Matter rebellion by blacks and whites and the playing field has been permanently altered.

Well Guys, he never got his MOJO back. Unfortunately for the RACOWRM, their creation was a man incapable of dealing with reality which means he cannot be called upon to cope in an emergency.   

He tried. He caught the virus to prove his super powers of recovery. However, no matter what he did, he never found the magic wand or pill to staunch the bleed.  So he lost the election.

He remembered what his best buddy Roy Cohn advised him, “NEVER ADMIT DEFEAT”.
Perfect advice for this situation. He didn’t lose. He won.
He was still the world’s greatest… victim.
They stole his election. “They” being anyone who knew he lost. 

Uh-oh!  The RACOWRM had to find a way to distance and disassociate from their creation. They were able to get their Ultra Conservative white worker bees to prime his pump again.

The plan was to stoke his ego to the bursting point. He needed to both implode and explode… a very difficult task. So when he lost the election his backers were set up to create chaos and dissonance and if push came to shove, which it usually does in these situations, violence.  This was easy to do. They simply had to convince him to ignore the election. Ignore the Pandemic. Ignore anything happening in the real world, which was fine with him because he would do that anyway.

But as his ego was being stoked, the various Younger Not So Rich White Racist Men and Women were being organized to follow their leader. They had had a dress rehearsal at Charlottesville which proved very successful. 

It was not difficult to get their creation to stand outside the White House on January 6th, a little puff of ego air, and do exactly what he and his family and his various white racist groups were programmed to do –  scream “FIRE!!” in a crowded theatre, aka “The White House”, followed by invasion, assault, and destruction of the Capitol of the United States of America, as they were bidden to do by their leader. And they didn’t have to work to get access. They were indeed invited in and escorted out.

Okay that’s as far as I got.
I’m waiting for the CIA, the FBI, the various intelligence agencies to suss it out.
So, what do you think? 
Do I wait? Or is this the craziest most ridiculous unbelievable plot that no publisher in the world would buy because it could never happen in this country?

Love, Sally-Jane

Update January 14:

I thought this post was a reasonable compilation of fact mixed with my over-the-the-wall, wild and vivid imagination about what I felt brought about the Capitol riots of January 6th. 
I clearly did not go far enough. 


There is now a call for investigation of claims that on the day before the pillage, Republican representatives and senators who had spread the lies of a fraudulent election, organized tours through the Capitol for the riot gang leaders from their different states. They allegedly pointed out points of interest like Pelosi’s office and various other chambers. 
Didn’t you think it was strange they knew exactly where to go? 
The Capitol is a mighty big building. I’ve been through it many times getting lost as I went. 

Without guidance????  Fuggetaboutit!!!!

Like I say, never say I told you so…

Love.  Sally Jane 

HUMAN WILDFIRES SET BY KNOWN ARSONISTS

How is that for a headline???

I don’t know about you but even before the pandemic and certainly before the election, I began to worry about what was happening to cause the ever-widening gap between citizens in the United States.

How had the words of our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and our very laws been made to look like yesterday’s mashed potatoes.  How had “reasonable men and women” become frightened enough and desperate enough to lose their good old American Horse Sense and verbally and physically hurt their fellow humans who had another opinion. I had always known that the Civil War was still an open Southern wound, slow, if ever, to heal.  In my opinion, the way the South voted as first a Dixiecrat bloc and presently a Republican bloc, proved that to me. However, there are so many good people of good intent working to heal those wounds, I had hopes.  

Daily my hopes are being pounded into dust. I didn’t understand. Usually, after an election, there is elation for one group, dejection for another. Eventually, as a nation, we pull up our socks and hoping for the best, pull together for the good of all. After my own disappointment in 2016, I really did hope for the best and was willing to give one and all the benefit of the doubt. A doubt, unfortunately that over the years expanded exponentially. I digress.   

How did we forget that the American Way is to come together? Furthermore, life isn’t just about me, right?  It’s about me in concert, cooperation, and coordination with my family, my friends, all my relationships… which  includes my citizenship. Even if elected officials negate their responsibilities, that doesn’t absolve me of my duties as an American citizen. 

Little did I know that working against all that good old American way of thinking were some of my social media choices. I have written before about the use of propaganda in this digital age. How did I get snookered into the very action I was wailing about?  

I had written about Cambridge Analytica and how they invaded through algorithms people’s privacy ….  and forgot that one of the major contributors to their success and ultimately their downfall was Facebook.

Yesterday, a good friend asked if I had seen a recent Netflix Documentary, The Social Dilemma. I hadn’t.

STOP.  WATCH IT. THEN DELETE.  

I saw it last night. 

If they can’t find you, they can’t influence you. And if you think you can withstand their influence, make an appointment with your therapist. Denial and Delusion is not the name of a law firm, it is what I am guilty of.  How can I continue to wonder why this growing rash of violence, separation, discord evolved from air? It didn’t.  

Corporate greed from a new corporate breed: PROFIT OVER PEOPLE

Until these social media corporations have the same regulations as telephone, radio, and television companies have, you can personally take action.  And it is an action that is totally in your hands… literally in your hands.          

DELETE

LOVE, Sally-Jane ❤️


P.S. Whatever Holidays you are celebrating I wish you love and joy. Herein are my gifts to you all:

P.P.S. I got some interesting responses to my latest Blah, Blah, Blog… Here are 2 of them:

1.This isn’t the first time Heather Cox Richardson and I have explored similar topics. Hers from an educated historian perspective me from the seat of my opinionated pants:

In Houston, Texas, today, police arrested a former police department captain for running a man off the road and pointing a gun at his head in a misguided attempt to foil a massive voter fraud scheme. Sixty-three-year-old Mark Anthony Aguirre claimed to be part of a citizens’ group investigating voter fraud. Believing his victim was hiding 750,000 fraudulent ballots in his truck, Aguirre rammed the truck with his SUV and held the driver first at gunpoint and then with his knee in the man’s back until police came. Upon inspection, it turned out the truck was full of air conditioning parts. The district attorney, Kim Ogg, said “His alleged investigation was backward from the start—first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened…. [W]e are lucky no one was killed.”
And the reason for this crazy man’s head bent full of these crazy ideas is Greed.  Greed by big corporate players like Facebook and greed by right wing hucksters like Doug Jones who draws attention to his website by gorging out conspiracy theories in order to keep his audience outraged which makes them keep coming back for more and let’s him sell them more and thus pull in huge amounts of moneyAs they say in all of the detective stories:  If you want to catch the criminal follow the money. 

2. What do you think about THIS…?  Facebook Doomsday Machine 

It Worked!

My Dear Friends and Family,

No matter which political party, our citizens voted!

Hallelujah!

The largest number of voters EVER participated in the democratic process.  Whether you agreed or disagreed with their choice is irrelevant. The naysayers (and I confess at times I vacillated as one of them) proclaimed  the downfall of Democracy.

NOT YET!

Of course the division in the country exists to make life complicated and difficult. Just stop for one moment and think about it. Together we exercised our rights as citizens. No matter our differences, we stood on line together, we waited for hours together and in certain states and locations we kept our distances and were masked. In other locations not so much… but it didn’t matter. Either way we voted. There was not a single instance of violence or disruption throughout the country during this largest of voting turnouts.

For Miss Pollyanna here, I see a light.  If we can be together in one action, maybe in time together we can learn to hear what the “other side” is saying and find our way towards if not reconciliation, then perhaps agreeing to accept our disagreements.

As a wannabe 87 year old Talmudic Scholar said:

On the one hand a leopard cannot change its spots.

On the other hand a good spot remover can do wonders.

Right??? Of course, right!!!

♥️ Love, Sally-Jane

P.S. There is a gracious way to concede defeat:

I don’t want to hold public office if I need to scheme my way into the post.

Stacey Abrams, November 17, 2018

P.P.S. Have a good time watching this:

Antsy Voters Can’t Get Enough Of Biden Bashing Trump In Avengers Election Remake