SoCS — Cacophony

This week, Linda G. Hill has given us the word “loud, or a word that means loud, as the focus for our Stream of Consciousness Saturday posts.

Megaphone I know that most of you who read my blog with any regularity would believe me to be a liberal person. And you’d be right when it comes to politics and social matters. But when it comes to everyday life, I’m actually a rather conservative fellow.

I don’t wear loud clothes. I don’t turn the volume up to 11 when I listen to music, although I do turn the volume on the TV pretty loud for shows that don’t have closed captions because my hearing sucks — probably because, in my youth, I used to turn the volume up to 11 on my stereo with my headphones on.

I don’t like loud restaurants because the clamorous ambient noise makes it hard for me to hear what others are saying, so I will occasionally nod my head and smile, hoping that doing so is an appropriate response for whatever everyone else is talking about.

For that same reason, I don’t like to go to loud parties. And the cacophony of noises on the street, be they fire, police, or ambulance sirens, or the sounds of passing buses and trucks, drive me crazy.

So deep down inside, while I may sometimes be loudly outspoken on my blog, I’m actually a very quiet man who rarely shouts or yells and who very much prefers peace and quiet to loud and boisterous.

And that’s one of the aspects of blogging that I love. I can write loudly without making a sound.

Anything But That

D4E7EC5B-99A2-4D97-A539-466EC0ABC94BEveryone in the family was gathered together for Christmas Eve and Day. It was a formidable gathering and the holiday decorations, both inside the house and outside, were resplendent.

The children had been waiting in anticipation to open up their Christmas gifts under the large tree early on Christmas morning.

One of the older, more rebellious of the children, a rather cynical teenager, was making a bunch of snide comments on Christmas morning. His father, tired of his son’s impertinence, pulled him aside and asked him to cease his divisive behavior.

“Look around you, Pop,” the boy said. “What you see here is the epitome of blatant consumerism, a society showing all the symptoms of decadence and decline. I can’t be a part of this.”

“Oh my God,” said the father, “please don’t tell me you’ve become a liberal!”

This silliness was written for these one-word prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (family), Fandago’s One-Word Challenge (formidable), Ragtag Daily Prompt (resplendent), Your Daily Word Prompt (anticipate), Nova’s Daily Random Word (gift),  and Scotts Daily Prompt (symptom).

Merry Christmas everyone.

FFfAW — So Much For Global Warming


“It freaking snowed last night,” Jonathan said as he looked out of the kitchen window.

“Get out!” Jeanine, exclaimed. “It never snows around here.” She came over to the window. “Will you look at that? That’s got to be a couple of inches, right?”

“See, Jeanine,” Jonathan said, “the President is right. This whole global warming thing. It’s just a big hoax. How can the the planet be getting hotter if it got cold enough to snow in LA last night?”

Jeanine looked at her husband. “I think you’re confusing weather and climate. Climate change is not just about warming temperatures. It alters weather patterns, which can result in extreme weather events. Heat waves and large storms will become more frequent and more intense. There will be more precipitation, storms, floods, and droughts due to climate change.”

“Woman,” Jonathan said. “You’ve been drinking too much of that liberal Kool Aid lately.”

“Well, Jonathan, maybe you should ask Trump why it snowed here last night. He undoubtably knows more than the climatologists.”

(171 words)

Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Photo credit: Yinglan.

Democrats and Republicans

AE32E48D-A4FD-46E3-BF88-E95FEAD232EBGroucho Marx once said, “All people are born alike — except Republicans and Democrats.”

Unfortunately, what Groucho said decades ago is even more true today. The partisan divide is at an extreme like I have personally never experienced…and I lived through the Vietnam era, when this country was very politically divided.

We all share stereotypical views of those on the other side of the aisle. For example, if someone you’d never met learned that you were a Republican, they would likely assume that you are not black, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, nonreligious, or Jewish. If they learned you were a Democrat, they would likely believe that you are not a white evangelical Christian and you don’t live in a rural part of the county.

Most Democrats are left-leaning, liberal, and are usually associated with progressiveness and equality. Most Republicans are right-leaning, conservative, and are associated with big business, economic freedom, and with self-reliance. But to be fair, “most” doesn’t mean “all.” There are plenty of crossovers, like me, a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.

I consider political party affiliation to be like religion. When babies are born, they have no religion. But they are taught about religion from their parents and most children embrace the religious beliefs of their families and maintain those beliefs into and throughout adulthood.

Similarly, babies are not born either Democratic or Republican. But they will typically embrace and follow the political leanings of their families.

My question is what has happened to moderates within either political party? These days moderates are ridiculed as being either RINOs or DINOs (i.e., Republicans/Democrats In Name Only) and of being disloyal to their party (even when being loyal to their party is being disloyal to their country). Political compromise and a willingness to negotiate with the other side are considered signs of weakness.

It’s a sad state of affairs when the primary purpose of a political party is to do everything it can to stymie the other party, thus effectively blocking the government from getting much of anything done. For anybody.

Day 16 — Hometown Politics


Day 16: Was your hometown a “backwards” place or do you feel that it was progressive?

First, I don’t thing the words “backwards” and “progressive” are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I’ve known some progressive people who seem kinda backwards and some backwards people who are relatively progressive.

That said, the DC suburb in which I grew up was a mixed bag. At least I think it was. After all, I was a kid at the time and politics wasn’t something that was of keen interest to me.

My parents were conservative Democrats. Yes, that is a thing. Just as there are liberal Republicans. I am what might be called a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. But in this age of Trump, I have moved much further to the left. What sane-minded, thinking person wouldn’t?

Okay, I think I’ve wandered far off topic for this prompt. So I’ll end this by saying that my hometown in the DC area is, due to the current administration and the current composition of Congress, quite backwards and not at all progressive.

This post was written for Suzanne McClendon’s September Challenge, which is comprised of 30 questions (one for each day of this month) regarding your background and history.