About Last Night

So, it’s Wednesday, the day after the election. I spent the morning posting angry diatribes on Facebook, and the afternoon trying to figure out how to exist in a country of Ted Nugents. More than half the country is angry and incredulous. The tears and fears, the hand wringing, it is all justified and completely understandable. But now, we must go forward. How do we help one another get through the next four years?

The truth is, we should have all been doing this already, before the election outcome. But now, more than ever, we must all become heroes and stand up to the bullies. Bullies in whatever form they take. It won’t be easy, and we may very well have to put ourselves in harm’s way, but the more we make it part of our lives, being a hero will become second nature.

When you’re in a store, and you overhear homophobic, anti-Semitic or racist venom being spewed by some yahoo, call them out over it. Whether it’s being directed at someone Gay, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, Jewish, Agnostic, Atheist, or Sikh, come to their rescue. Don’t shy away and pretend you don’t hear it, jump in and be a warrior! If you see this scenario happening, join arms with your fellow man and create an army! It’s staying silent that gives the side of ignorance their power.

The only thing that a bully understands is strength. I’m certainly not suggesting anyone initiate violence, but we MUST take a stand. Teach your children to take a stand in the schoolyard! Don’t accept a woman being harassed at work as ‘the norm.’ We cannot allow boorish behavior to become acceptable!

This is about character. If the yahoo in the store says, “This is none of your business,” you respond with, “I’m making it my business!” Stand firm and exclaim, “Not in my America!”

I believe that once we all experience the power of being a warrior and we run TOWARDS our brothers and sisters under attack, instead of shrinking away in fear, we may not alter the thinking of the ignorant, but we will send a message that, just because our President is a bully, we won’t accept that kind of behavior as defining us as a nation. THAT’S NOT MY AMERICA!

What Makes Us Human? What Makes Us American?

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, Carissa Rogers, and goodncrazy.com. Some rights reserved https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, Carissa Rogers, and goodncrazy.com. Some rights reserved https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Two days before the 4th of July, I was walking Tomo, and my friend’s dog, Willie, who for some unknown reason I refer to as Wilson, on a truly magnificent Colorado night around 11 PM. The sky was perfectly clear and the stars seemed aware they were on display. Even the gnats and mosquitoes had taken the night off. I had just finished the second half of a gram divided between two doobies. The strain was…who cares, that’s not what this article is about.

As we came down the backstretch of our walk, Wilson wandered a few feet into a yard and found a well-rooted candidate he was considering to baptize. At the base of the tree, were two small American flags, the nine inch plastic flagpoles jammed into the soil at forty-five degrees, deeply enough to secure them, but not so far in as to cause the 6×4 inch flags to make contact with the ground.

Before Wilson’s brain could decide whether the location was pissworthy, I gently, but firmly tugged him away from urinating on Old Glory, and it got me thinking…

I am far from a flag waving nationalist, having studied many of our ‘interventions’ in Chile, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, etc, and the list of domestic abuses, but I have to say, despite all of our missteps, I’m still glad to be an American. Allowing Wilson to pee on the tiny flags was something I couldn’t tolerate. But, I thought, what if they had been the flags of a brutal, extremist regime? Would I allow the dog to defecate on the flag of our mortal enemy; an enemy known to murder, behead, and execute innocent people?

As I searched my heart and mind for the answer, I suddenly came to a definitive response, a resounding NO! Our enemies may act as barbarically as they can imagine, but I will NOT denigrate another country’s flag. By refusing to allow Wilson to pee on a flag, I may not be BETTER than my enemy, but I am more human, more humane. Consciously desecrating my enemy in any way, lowers me to less than human status. To me, that is what it means to be an American.

I can’t change the massive mistakes in our country’s past, but I can embody the traits that still make America great. Do the right thing. Take the moral high ground. Control my anger and be a better human. Be more humane. As Americans, let’s celebrate our humanity this 4th of July.

The Doobie Commandments

Bible card and joint courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (Providence Lithograph Company and Raihan Rana)
  1. If you’re in my house, you’ll smoke my weed. (Unless you have something I just have to try.)
  2. If you have a cold, or you feel one coming on, say something for garsh sakes. I’ll load up your own pipe, roll you your own doobie, whatever, I don’t care, just don’t pass on your cold.
  3. If we’re smoking a doobie, and you’re telling a story, stop talking, take a hit, pass it on, and finish your story. Don’t sit there talking, waving the joint around like a conductor leading an orchestra.
  4. If someone has the decency to follow rule #3, don’t be a dick and start a different conversation while the storyteller is taking a hit.
  5. Don’t announce that “this is cashed,” and dump out a bowl just because you want to try something else. Weed is cashed when it’s ashed. In case you’re wondering, ash is grey.
  6. If you turn a doobie into a wet mess, just apologize; it’s OK as you long as you take responsibility.
  7. A joint doesn’t need to have the ash tapped off every time it’s passed. Stop screwing around; hit it, and pass it on.
  8. If you spill bong-water, you’re a putz. Your best bet is to clean it up and beg forgiveness.
  9. If you’re already plenty high, no shame in saying, ”No más.”
  10. Respect my dog. He is second-in-command.

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