Tale Weaver — Then and Now

EA2CBDD8-9D78-46B2-9ECB-3065C5B40AD1Taking a look backward about fifty years, back to the late Sixties and early Seventies, I used to be active in the anti-Vietnam War/anti-Nixon protest movement. It was a turbulent time in America; a time when a lot of people felt divided, alienated, and disenfranchised.

Ultimately the U.S. cried uncle and gave up engaging in that unwinnable war. Sadly, so many young men lost their lives in the Vietnam, and those who made it back home were treated very poorly, even though they, as individuals, most of whom were drafted into military service, were not responsible for that unjust, unnecessary war.

Now flash forward to 2020 and we see the build up of yet another turbulent time in America. Another time when large segments of the population feel just as divided, alienated, and disenfranchised as they did fifty years ago. Maybe even more so.

People are, once again, taking to the streets, staging large protests.BE4EA7A9-9BFC-41F3-98DC-1E6F19723281But what is different now than then is that these protests are not about a war. They are about the very fabric of our American society. Back then, Richard Nixon, the corrupt president, resigned, the war ended, and America came together to heal.

But Donald Trump, an even more corrupt and morally bankrupt president than Nixon, is not going to resign. And the American institutions that have stood for 250 years are crumbling beyond repair. I don’t believe our country will be able to weather the Trump storm.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, where the topic is “protest.” Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (backwards), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (alienate), Ragtag Daily Prompt (uncle), The Daily Spur (Service), Your Daily Word Prompt (responsible), and Jibber Jabber (build).

Music Challenge — Lean on Me

Music Challenge LargeFor his latest Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge prompt, Jim Adams gave us the Bill Withers song, “Just the Two of Us.” The instruction Jim gives for this prompt is to “focus on this song and use it” as inspiration for our own post. But he also says that we can “write about another Bill Withers” song or we can “write about tears, struggling to make a better life, good things coming to those who wait, or the beauty of it all.”

The other day I was driving to the grocery store to pick up a fairly large list of items and the Bill Withers song, “Lean on Me” came on the radio. Now I’m not what you would call an emotional guy. In fact, I would categorize myself as a more stoic type. But for some reason, as I was listening to Withers sing that song, I became overwhelmed with a profound sadness and started to cry. I had to pull over to the side of the road and wait until the song ended so that I could pull myself together enough to resume my drive to the grocery store.

I’m still not sure what came over me. Maybe it was a combination of things — the coronavirus pandemic, the turmoil the country is going through since the brutal murder by four Minneapolis policemen of George Floyd, or the fact that we have Donald Trump as POTUS and he’s destroying the country I live in and love. But when I heard the song, I felt hopeless, like I didn’t know if I could carry on, and that there’s no one left anymore to lean on.

I’m okay now. I’m back to being my stoic, detached, unemotional self. But seeing Jim’s post this morning reminded me of my uncharacteristic reaction to “Lean on Me” and I decided to share it with all of you in this post.

Friday Fictioneers — Very Hot Air

B196993C-5418-43D4-B09A-3E96A5C6FB57“Sir, do you have a cap or a hat?” the man loading the tourist into the hot air balloon basket asked Charles.

“No,” Charles responded. “Why?”

The man answered, “The way these things work is that we heat the air inside the balloon with a burner, which causes the balloon to float upwards. The flames from the burner generate a lot of heat.”

“So are you saying I can’t go on this balloon ride without a hat?”

“No sir, but you are tall and have a full head of hair.”

Charles’ wife was the first to smell singed hair.

(99 words)

Written for today’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Ronda Del Boccio.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — June 12

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 12th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally published on June 12, 2010 on my old blog.

Another One Bites the Dust

D4A65C8F-7FAE-463A-BB08-C575CE5192A6🎶Another one bites the dust / And another one gone / And another one gone / Another one bites the dust.🎵

Okay, I’m reasonably sure that Queen, the 70s and 80s British rock group featuring Freddie Mercury, did not have the thinning of the auto industry herd in mind when it released this song, but the fact is that yet another storied auto brand is biting the dust.

Yes, they’re dropping like flies, these car brands are. A couple of years ago GM dumped its Oldsmobile division. Then, last year, it disposed of the Pontiac and Saturn units. Back in 2001 Chrysler dropped the venerable Plymouth brand.

And speaking about Freddie Mercury, the news now is that Ford is dropping — finally — the Mercury brand.

For other than car buffs or those directly involved in these brands, from manufacturing to marketing to the dealerships and car salesmen, the passing of these brands is barely a noticeable event. After all, for the most part, these cars were just slightly different versions of other car brands in the auto-makers’ stables.EFAF10B5-89C7-4517-9F33-BAD080B5B108Was Mercury, in a transparent attempt to make it seem a bit more upscale, anything more than a slightly gussied-up Ford? Didn’t both Oldsmobile and Pontiac pretty much share everything with Chevrolet, except for some extra trim (and higher base prices)?

Still, it is kind of sad to see the passing of these venerable, albeit redundant, car monikers that I’ve known since childhood.

FOWC with Fandango — Alienate

FOWCWelcome to June 12, 2020 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “alienate.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.