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On Election Night, November 8, 2016, most Americans had an very anxious evening. They tried to sleep, most of them arose later with a bad taste in their mouths — and readjusted their vision to examine this alien from planet TV-land’s The Apprentice. We later learned that Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin — clearly a chum of our profane, female-abusive leader — attacked our voting apparatus cleverly, allowing the President’s fans to knock Hillary Clinton into the political graveyard. It was a Stephen King story sprung into real life: the horror.
Now we’re living with the consequences. Our blunt President is a racist, a shrewd manipulator of his rabid, often racist base — white folks and wealthy people who realized One Of Us Is Now In Control. Insult to injury — rather, nasty to catastrophe — President Blunt is a straightforward liar in a nation which celebrates honesty as virtue. He has failed the litmus test of leadership of a democratic republic by looking away when our innocent citizens are killed in foreign countries — such as Otto Warmbier and Jamal Khashoggi. In both cases, Blunt behaved as though nothing awful had occurred.
We are forced now to endure Blunt’s stunningly inhumane behavior until the next Presidential election — a painfully long year-plus, arriving November 3, 2020.
To quote Tiny Tim, God bless us every one.
A Meditation on Skin
Writer: Bill Ardis
Our skin is the natural clothing we’ve worn since we sprang* from our mother’s womb. Skin is the body-bag of our lives which grows, becomes larger and stronger over time – with luck – and begins to deteriorate until we die.
We care for our somewhat elastic skin-bag as best we can, learning as the years pass, how critical it is to our health and longevity. We peep through its eyeholes, blow its nose as needed (let us not get a ‘cold’ or ‘flu’, which makes us miserable, though a doctor may speed our recovery). At last we are well, and we promise to take better care; and with luck and knowledge, we become healthy again.
Our mouth-skin is critical to our lives: what we feed it and liquify it, with most important edibles and liquidables (not a real word, yet); try to protect it from disease and elements which may damage our long-term health.
Socially, our skin is critical. The face is what others notice quickly, routinely, and glance away…we make judgments about what our skin-face presents. Do we look “good” and “healthy” to other people? Sad? Vibrant? Warm and alert; or distant, uncaring. Quick judgment by other people is continual and inevitable. We rather automatically compare ourselves to our family, cohorts, friends, and those whose favor we seek for a variety of reasons. And we compare ourselves with images in magazines, newspapers, television, movies – human images are visible everywhere in our cultures.
Our skin offers a variety of characteristics: race, “healthy appearance”, (subjective, as are many qualities) skin color, hair, wrinkles or lack thereof, healthy and well-cared-for nails on fingers and toes, and stomach and abdomen (tight? sagging? Attractive? Not?). And how about that that peculiar little navel?
Skin on Psyche
Our interior self – call it a “psyche” or perhaps “soul” – is reactive and affected by our skin as we interact with the exterior (to us) world at every waking moment. Do people smile winningly at us when we pass them with a nod or smile? Are we affected by how others react to viewing our skin-surface? Is their response warm and smiling? Do they avoid eye contact? Do the not like my skin-self? Or is the problem theirs? They may not feel they should interact cheerfully with others, even though they are strangers to you and the random passing stranger.
We protect our psyche with our skin. In fact, our primary notion is to protect ourselves in every way, so we are not damaged physical or otherwise. We learn very early in life to react to others in ways that make us comfortable, if possible. Do we react well to approaching and interacting with ‘new’ people – or do we approach tentatively, not certain if that is a wise choice.
Who are the “others”? What are their intentions? As we grow to adulthood, those questions are instinctively paramount.
You and Your Skin
Who are you in the world? Why are you here? And what is your intention?
*technically no springing was involved with your birth