Sunday, February 28, 2016

February 28: Oscar Night, Snow Storm, Classic Saint Marty

It is the night of the Oscars.  Traditionally, it snows in the Upper Peninsula on Oscar day.  I'm not talking about a dusting.  On my way home one Oscar night, I got stuck in a snowbank at the bottom of a hill.  Tonight, the snow is falling.  Winter weather advisories are in effect until tomorrow night.  Inches of white stuff predicted.

But, it is Oscar night.  The snacks are bought.  The ballots are filled out.  The Red Carpet pre-show is on the television.  The countdown has begun.  I will probably be up until past midnight.  I will be up around 5 a.m. tomorrow morning to shovel out my driveway after the city plows come down my street.  I will be VERY tired tomorrow night.

But, tonight is all gold.  Pulling for The Revenant and Sylvester Stallone.  I wouldn't cry if Kate Winslet wins tonight, either.

Four years ago, it was all about the Michigan presidential primary on this day...

February 28, 2012:  Selfishness in Our Name, Primary, Voting

"There are some upon this earth of yours," returned the Spirit, "who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived.  Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us."

The Spirit speaking here is the Ghost of Christmas Present. He is dressing down Scrooge for his comment about the Ghost depriving poor people of a meal every seventh day. I'm assuming Scrooge is referring to the Sunday closure of businesses or charities or almshouses that provide food and warmth to the less fortunate in Victorian London. I'm sure there's some historical reference I'm missing here, but the intent of Scrooge's observation is clear. The Ghost's response is one of the two times when he gets pissed in the novel. (The other time comes at the end when he reveals the specters of Ignorance and Want from under his robe.)

Today is primary day in the state of Michigan. Republicans and Democrats and Tea Party members and Green Party members all head to the polls to decide who should be running for President of the United States.  Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have been all over the state, from Detroit to Marquette.  In addition, their political ads have been eating up the airwaves, as well.  I, for one, am going to be glad when this day is over and the candidates move on to the next battleground.

I have never made a secret of the fact that I'm generally not fond of Republican politicians.  One of my biggest beefs with Republicans is the fact that they seem to view themselves as the only political party for good, Christian people.  Republicans call themselves Christians, but they spend most of their political energies taking away programs that benefit the poor and under-privileged:  universal health care, welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, Head Start programs.  If it doesn't help out people in the higher tax-brackets, Republicans aren't interested in it.

What the Spirit says in the above passage really resonated with me this morning.  Most Republicans, I think, give Christians a bad name.  They lay their decisions at the feet of Jesus, and, as a result, more poor people go without health care.  More poor kids get sub-standard educations.  In the meantime, Republicans go back to their six-bedroom homes and six-figure incomes, feeling like they've done their Christian duty by protecting the wealthy.

Ebenezer Romney and Ebenezer  Santorum
The Ghost of Christmas Present instructs Scrooge to put the blame for society's ills where it belongs.  I believe in that.  Mitt Romney is against the auto industry bail-out, until he meets an auto worker from Detroit on the campaign trail.  Rick Santorum is against President Obama's health care program, until he meets a single mother of five with no health insurance on the campaign trail.  All politicians (Republicans and Democrats, alike) need to take responsibility for their choices and deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness. 

Jesus and the Spirit of Christmas have no part in hungry or sick children, in men or women living on the cold streets.  That's all the Scrooges of the world.

Saint Marty won't be voting for any Scrooge, especially a Republican one.

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