Because COVID-19

A friend of ours is planning an outdoor birthday get together in her backyard with family and a few close friends. We offered to bring a cake. But then we decided that, rather bringing a birthday cake with a bunch of candles for her to blow out, we are going to pick up some cupcakes and put a single candle on the one we give to her.

Because, you know, COVID-19.76648169-B6DB-4D18-837E-E3BA064419F2

Sunday Writing Prompt — The “Lockdown”

Coronavirus in AmericaMy dear fellow Americans (and citizens of the world),

It’s time we had a serious conversation about coronavirus, Covid-19, or, as our asshole, racist president calls it, “the China virus.”

It has come to my attention that some of you apparently believe it’s a hoax and that the press and even the public health experts are using scare tactics to take away your freedom and liberty to be as stupid and selfish as you want to be. You question the efficacy of practicing social distancing and of wearing face masks when outside of your home, and make lame excuses for refusing to do so. You have even turned such practices into political issues.

Don’t you understand that social distancing and wearing of face masks are designed to aid in controlling and reducing the spread of this highly contagious disease that has infected more than 4.3 million Americans and killed almost 150,000? And, regardless of your age, gender, or state of health, you are not immune.

There’s an old expression: an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure. Don’t be a selfish, ignorant asshole like Donald Trump. For your own safety, and for the safety of those you know and love, stay at home whenever possible. And when you do go somewhere, wear a mask and practice social distancing. Doing so won’t harm or kill you and those you care about. Contracting COVID-19 may.

Written for today’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie.F9D146EF-8F7E-49B9-906F-0F46CF82C801Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (conversation), Jibber Jabber (believe), Your Daily Word Prompt (efficacy), The Daily Spur (excuses), Ragtag Daily Prompt (design), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aid).

Who Won The Week? 07/26/2020

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

Michael CohenThis week I am naming Michael Cohen as my Who Won the Week designee. For those of you who don’t know who Michael Cohen is, he was, for many years, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer.” Among other crimes he committed on behalf of Trump, Cohen arranged for payments during the 2016 election to silence women (including a porn star and a Playboy bunny) who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. Cohen was accused of  breaking campaign finance laws, and was found guilty of tax evasion and lying to Congress.

In December 2018, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for his crimes, and he finally admitted that the reason he committed those crimes was because of his “duty to cover up [Trump’s] dirty deeds.”

But this past May, Cohen was released to home confinement in his New York City apartment as authorities tried to slow the spread of coronavirus in federal prisons. However, on July 9th, Cohen was suddenly picked up and sent back to prison. According to probation authorities, he was sent back because he refused to sign a form banning him from communicating with the media or the public about a “tell-all” book about his time serving Donald Trump that he was planning on publishing prior to the November 2020 election. For the record, there is no law that prohibits federal or state prisoners from writing books or talking with the media while incarcerated.

This past Friday, Michael Cohen walked out of a federal prison a day after a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Cohen’s First Amendment rights were violated when he was ordered back to prison. The judge found taking Cohen back to the federal prison earlier this month was clearly meant to punish him for his plan to publish his book. The judge said that returning Cohen from home confinement to jail was “retaliatory,” and that it punished Cohen “because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and to discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and with others.”

I don’t find Michael Cohen to be a sympathetic character. In fact, I think he’s essentially a sleazeball and a piece of shit. That said, this decision is a victory not only for Michael Cohen, but for the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which, among other things, prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Song Lyric Sunday — Everyday People

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has asked us to use “ Different/Same” as our theme. This was a no-brainer for me. There’s one song that teaches us that no matter how different we appear to be, “we are the same whatever we do.”

“Everyday People” was a 1968 song composed by Sly Stone and recorded by his band, Sly and the Family Stone. It was the first single by the band to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it’s remembered as one of the most popular songs of the 1960s.

Stone wrote this about how everyone is essentially the same, regardless of race or background. The song mocks the futility of people hating each other for being tall, short, rich, poor, fat, skinny, white, black, or anything else. It’s a lesson that, in 2020, we still haven’t learned. Stone’s band, itself, was a mash-up of musical styles, with band members of different genders and ethnic backgrounds.

According to Songfacts, “Everyday People” takes some inspiration from Mother Goose, adding a twist to the traditional nursery rhyme “rub-a-dub-dub.” The familiar three men in a tub — the butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker — become the butcher, the banker, the drummer, and, in the spirit of the song’s message of solidarity among all people, Sly adds: “makes no difference what group I’m in.”

The song repeats the line “different strokes for different folks,” which became a popular catchphrase in 1969, and allegedly inspired the name of the television sitcom, Diff’rent Strokes. There’s also the recurring line, “And so on, and so on, and scooby dooby doo.” Some believe that the children’s animated TV series Scooby-Doo (often featuring the phrase “scooby dooby doo”), which also launched in 1969, may have been inspired by that line.

Here are the lyrics for “Everyday People.”

Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in

I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a blue one who can’t accept the green one
For living with a fat one trying to be a skinny one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo

Oh sha sha we got to live together

I am no better and neither are you
We are the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in

I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a long hair that doesn’t like the short hair
For bein’ such a rich one that will not help the poor one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo

Oh sha sha we got to live together

There is a yellow one that won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the red one that won’t accept the white one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo

I am everyday people

FOWC with Fandango — Aid

FOWCWelcome to July 26, 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 “aid.”

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. Please 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.