Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dear America,

Here's the thing, I had in my head these last couple of days songs from Fiddler on the Roof.  I Was planning on the song 'Tradition' for your jump start this week, and then the more I thought about it, 'Sunrise Sunset' seemed more in line with my mood; what can I say, the sweet poignant melody won over the raucous Jewish papa trying to make a point. Not to mention, the prophetic moment in the movie...the love birds were just starting out and had absolutely no idea what was in store for them over the course of their marriage.  Crazy kids.

And speaking of kids, I think it is pretty rotten what they are doing to Christopher Columbus in school these days. Of course, my gripes over the loss of Columbus aren't anything new.  It's been a slow death over the years; little by little, any tradition that appears like we are holding to our guns and religion seems to have fallen by the wayside, like they've been tossed off the wagon lying dazed and confused, and poof, left in the dust!

Yeah, it's okay to abuse the C word to sell cars, or mattresses, or use as a fresh department store ploy to bring customers back in the door -- even banks and court houses are closed in honor of him -- but teaching our kids a little American folklore, fugetaboutit.  Using Christopher to make a buck, now that's American; but to make every attempt to bury the guy from the pages of history with new questions raised, or invalidating what was thought to be India in his mind, and turning just a small piece of our birth on it's ear, now that would be making a good impression on our kids --  and while we're at it, let's go ahead and change the day to teaching tolerance towards trans-gender students, or something like that.

As if this wasn't enough to send an American girl packing, the school calendar still has to account for some silly excuse for the day off -- in honor of the day we used to call Columbus Day.  To throw us parent's off the trail, schools get a little sneaky about it too; as my girl had the last Monday in September off, it was just far enough away from the actual day to be sure we wouldn't connect the dots, but we're onto them; while the best name they could come up with for use on the calendar was "Certificated Non-Work Day;" really, they did.

It is nice to know there are still some places, mostly on the east coast, who still carry on a Columbus Day Parade tradition --  hip hip hooray for that show of bravery -- and my bonnet off to you.  I wonder how long before the District of Columbia will change it's name?  Oh G, don't go there...

I have no intention to go into all the seedy details of why our dear Christopher has been thrown under the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria, there are plenty of bloggers and TIME magazine articles to get your fill of that controversy a little more.  I'm not here to do that.

But in keeping with how I started out this morning, I ask you, does a marriage last looking back to all the bad times?  Does it manage to keep the ties that bind by constantly rehashing what doesn't work and what isn't going right?  Is that the way to preserve the tradition and celebration of the union of two people?  Nag, Nag Nag...that's all you ever do...

I think not.

Traditions last because they are worthy of the effort; and they ultimately become the force that sustains us as we go from day to day, sunrise to sunset, year in and year out.  We begin to piece together his traditions, her traditions, and make new family traditions, all the while keeping in concert with the season, elements of our culture that help bring us together in celebration year after year, through thick and thin. 

Yes.  It may very well be that Christopher wasn't a perfect gentleman; but in the day, his day, brutality was the way -- or else you may not have survived to live to see another day; the call for keeping things in perspective here, people, would be an understatement.  Not that it is an excuse for harming other people; but let's face it, the system today wants us to totally rewrite tradition simply because we have evolved -- and in doing so we assume to know more in all of our political correctness, and with that knowledge, choosing the best course for America appears to be working awfully hard at trying to discredit her bit by bit, silly traditions and all. 

You know, there are people who never wanted Chris to succeed, some even say that Queen Isabel herself was just playing with him; did you ever think about that?  The funny thing is, not believing everything you read, or everything you hear, was just as noteworthy then as it is today; so put that in your peace pipe and smoke it.

And speaking of Queens, you know our President had a date with destiny over the weekend; having a colorful audience march on Washington -- the Human Rights Campaign to further the rights of Gays and Lesbians-- reminding him of the promises he made to them only a year ago.  As reported, the audience was not necessarily all for one and one for all, in fact, they were almost split (would that be Bi?) in their loyalties to our President, as it would seem he hasn't done enough, fast enough.  Oh, I beg to differ on that one, but who am I to say?

Anyway, one of the group's chief beefs is with this "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military -- signed into operation in 1993 by President Clinton.  So let's hold up for a moment --

Now, talk about tradition -- the military is one area that is built upon basic rank and file tradition, and make no apologies for it.  Matter of fact, if I may be so bold, the military probably survives BECAUSE of their traditions.  How they train, by enforcing codes of honor and discipline and exercises past on through the generations-- is based on tradition.  How they communicate on base with each other, by salute, by title, and on the field in special forces and secret missions -- is based on tradition.  The trust built between troops and leaders is built upon the strength knowing that someone has your back -- is based on tradition.

In the military -- unless you are on R&R or on leave (that is a whole nother level) -- it is never about sexual preferences at all, ever; it's about one thing, and one thing only, and that thing is making sure each man or woman is prepared to follow through with the duty at hand, the mission, the order of the day. Period. 

And don't you think it should be up to the military to decide its own policy -- wouldn't they know best?  Wouldn't preserving the commoradery and trust be the ultimate goal, while I may be stepping out of line must add, don't you think they know a little more about this than a President who has never served?

Yeah, yeah, I'm just a girl, so what do I know -- but I'd be willing to bet there have been gay men (and women) fighting in wars for, ooh I don't know, centuries; God knows, anyone read about the Romans and Greeks, hello?  The notion that there are real men, who also happen to be gay, who want to honor their country by joining the military is nothing new. 

But really, is it the right thing to talk about it?  What is so wrong with the "don't ask, don't tell", perhaps someone could enlighten me?  But isn't it more important to just know that the guy following your ass is a friend and not a foe -- isn't it more of a matter of being sure that no matter what, no matter who you prefer to go home to at the end of the day, that this guy has you covered?  Maybe that wasn't the best choice of words...

And I would also assume, don't you guys know anyway?  Don't you pick up on the signs?  And perhaps, when considering the importance of keeping the stability and loyalty factors on high alert, maybe this is an issue we really shouldn't be announcing, as if wearing pink fatigues.  I mean, come on, besides cowboys, this is probably one of the most manly professions of all time...just keeping it real.

And even though I am not one of those women who would find delight following in my father's footsteps in the Navy, it doesn't mean they aren't there; plenty of women join and are certainly fully capable.  They, too, have every right of becoming the best that they can be in the Army, or whatever.  Truth is, these days there are women who dig that, I'm just not one of them.

And yes, the military welcomes any new recruit; but lest we forget the structure of the military itself is all about conformity; nobody should step out of line and nobody should fall out of pace with the pack.  The military really doesn't have time to care if you have to come out of the locker or not --its nothing personal, its just business -- the business of protecting our nation and any other people in distress.

You know, as luck would have it-- and this may be a huge leap for some of you-- but I caught the end of a Rock Hudson and Doris Day movie on Sunday, a romantic comedy from 1962 in Lover Come Back. He's totally this Hollywood heartthrob, a yummy yummy man -- DD was kind of cute, too, but who cares about her, right. 

But let me ask you this, would Rock have been able to pull it off all those years if we knew he was gay?  Think about it.

Hudson worked as an aircraft mechanic in WWII for two years, do you think anybody asked?  Do you think he wanted to tell?  Did the war survive and more importantly, was the mission accomplished, without knowing which side of the fence he was hitting, of course along side anyone else of similar persuasions, or not? 

You know, Rock's Hollywood agent made him get married just to throw off the dogs, it's just what you did back then in order to uphold the image of every woman's dream and maintain a position of integrity on the silver screen; I guess that would also explain the moment when Rock pops out of bed the next morning, after a drunken stupor that leads to their demise in marriage, still wearing his pajama bottoms (that scene's been changed in Hollywood too)...anyway

If we could just take a moment to step back a bit and take a breath, without it appearing like we do not care at all (because we do), and see the bigger picture in all of this? Is there a chance for that?

What Americans have seemed to have forgotten is that tradition can serve us; and serve us quite well over the years in fact.  Dare I say, tradition has made or saved millions of marriages and won wars! 

Tradition can celebrate a hero of yesteryear with a parade down main street and kids making paper hats, reciting an old, enduring story --albeit romanticized -- surrounding the discovery of a new land (even though we know the Indians or Vikings were already here). 

According to my studies, what seems to work best with tradition is accentuating the positive and looking at the bright side--  finding the appropriate lesson to learn -- in spite of knowing, that even Columbus was human and made some mistakes;  to dig any deeper, we're likely to uncover just more dirt.  On the other hand, dig in the right spot far enough, we may strike oil, or a fountain of youth, or a civilization carrying the secrets of keeping the peace for over two hundred years and counting.

Honestly, the liabilities of taking a hard look down memory lane may downright send us all into a tailspin, if we're not careful.

The reality is, the ages have not been kind to anyone-- dictators, rulers, kings and queens, Indians and pilgrims, Christians and Muslims, communists and Jews, rich and poor, women and children, dinosaurs and cavemen, polar bears and all -- millions upon millions of lives have been snuffed right off the face of this earth from unadulterated brutality -- whether for the right reason or not, with or without rewrites -- history speaks for itself. Killing even so much as a fly, is still death.

America, the so-called evil, war mongering empire that it is, did not invent war, hostile takeovers, or anything close; after a painful birth, America was actually the first to bring real civility unto the world, and to this day tradition still stands as the symbol of hope and prosperity for all people.   

So do we have to lose our soul, the golden thread that binds, the stories that teach, and the traditions we hold dear altogether because of technicalities?  Does looking back to our faults and failures serve us?  Ultimately, will this new attitude build us up or tear us down? For me, it is just foolish to keep looking at ways that continue to polarize us, when at our fingertips are ways to meet if not somewhere in the middle, but perhaps find us, along with our baggage, even upon higher ground.

And speaking of accentuating the positive, how about this, how about we make an avant garde shift of our own making.  Not to diminish the professionals, the architects, the attorneys, the doctors, the designers, the chefs who also happen to be gay -- but what is it that we characterize most with the gay culture?  Come on...you can do it...

Think about it -- with all due respect in their inherent ability to never fail us --  we all know that anyone who is considered a total flamer knows three things very well.
  • they make the juiciest cocktails
  • they throw the most fabulous parties
  • and parades, don't even get me started
Am I right, or what?  They are the party Gods, no less; and can turn anything into a festival, even under the stress of a total PR conundrum like Columbus Day.  I am most certain they can turn that ship around  faster than you can say, chrissy cocktail.

So you know what I'm thinking... I'm thinking drastic times call for drastic measures; a situation like this warrants a whole new department, a new Queen Czar if you will.

Gays should simply take charge of festivities.  Besides doing all the other stuff they do so well-- with flair,  flamboyance, in absolute perfection -- and how do you say, jeune sais qua -- they can also bring back the dip-pity-do, turn paper mache back into an art form, and pass out the jello-shots, teaching America how to make even hangover's fun on New Year's Day to ringing it all in again on New Year's Eve along with everything that comes in between, hell, maybe we can invent even more holidays under the new management (Rio, yo bettero y watcha yo backejo, si...)

The mission: ushering in a new era, and assuring a new nation, of a return to the day when America celebrated its traditions freely and openly, in schools and in neighborhoods, from sunrise to sunset, military bands and all.

For who doesn't love a parade, no?

make it a good day, this Christopher COLUMBUS day, hip hip hooray day,  G

You know if it works, the gays on parade force, maybe they can do something with cleaning up Hollywood too...aren't the old musicals on the big screen overdue for a comeback...imagine a Judy  Garland back to life. Or how about Paint Your Wagon with Clint Eastwood before Dirty Harry?  Or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Oklahoma or My Fair Lady or White Christmas or all the Elvis Presley and Esther Williams movies ever made...just think about what the kids today are missing. That's what the modern evolved school needs more of...time set aside for Friday afternoon flicks documenting nostalgia, innocence and a time traditions stood still.

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