Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘commentary

Trigger Words

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It’s so transparent, the malevolent words inserted as a preface to the targets of his greatest fear in any given moment. It’s a glaringly obvious tactic that is an essential weapon in every middle school bully’s arsenal.

“…radical Democrats!,” he emphasizes, striving to make them universally synonymous.

“…China virus,” he repeats in hope of deflecting blame as far away from his shoulders as possible.

He wants everyone to hear these trigger words, sympathizers, and nemeses alike.

He wants the descriptors to provoke. Who wouldn’t? I’d like to win the middle school war of words, too. Then you wouldn’t need to actually proceed to the playground fistfight that is the next result, if it came to that.

When I am tired, behind the wheel in the long commute at the end of a grueling day at work, and a soundbite plays on the radio before I can react to mute it, I am triggered to anger over the disingenuous conflations that sorrowfully smear the citizens of this democracy whose constitution he took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend.

“…anti-American protestors…” he rails while conspicuously and purposefully avoiding mention of the victims of the racially unbalanced excessive use of force by white police officers across the country that is sparking marches in the streets here and around the world by such wide cross-sections of populations as to be beyond grouping any more specific than “citizens.”

I know that those citizens are not being “anti-American.” I understand that he is tarnishing the masses to bolster his own weak attempts to garner favor with an outdated mindset that is in lock-step agreement with the false portraits he is ruthlessly painting.

Imagine, if we could only see what his other hand is doing to the pocketbooks of the 99% while he keeps all eyes and ears on his latest tweetstorm or disinformationbook post.

I urge all voting citizens of the United States of America to look beyond the partisan rhetoric, be smarter than any social media misdirections, and give your attention to the question of where the money is going. What is the national deficit? How will you afford health care and housing and transportation when an unmanaged pandemic is raging? How will our government address the maintenance needs of our aging infrastructure in the face of a changing climate?

Vote sensibly. Don’t fall for the trigger words our middle-schooler-in-chief is trying to sell.

There are blue skies out there if we can find a way to all reach them together.

That’s the place our chickens want to go, I can tell by the way they all look at it when they settle down on the roost at dusk.

Well, that is, except for the ones that are determined to perch upon the highest possible spot they can fit on for now…



Written by johnwhays

September 3, 2020 at 6:00 am

Other Shadows

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On Monday, I posted one of the better shadow pictures from my photo-taking walk with Delilah over the weekend. For comparison, here are a few other shadows that didn’t come through as well as I would have liked.

I’m not sure what it is about each one that has me feeling they just missed my elusive and intangible ideal, but there is something they lack.

I knew the shadow in this second image was less intense, but I hoped it might still give me something to work with toward a final reward. I’m afraid it fell short.

Almost. Maybe. Not quite.

There is too much going on in that last one for me, none of which nailed it in terms of the individual areas of focus, less so as a whole.

Still, it was plenty of fun trying. Thank goodness I wasn’t shooting film that required developing. It wouldn’t have been worth the wait.

Speaking of developing, yesterday’s big development for me was the online publishing of a commentary piece I submitted to the local Twin Cities publishing staple, Star Tribune.

The editor accepted it for their “online extra” Opinions feature, meaning it would not appear in the printed paper edition. That’s okay with me, as paper readers wouldn’t be able to provide the immediate comments that the e-edition allows. A wise author might stop reading the online comments after the most rewarding appreciation showed up, but it’s a little like not being able to turn away from the sight of a wreck.

I’ll take the good with the bad. It’s more like real life.

I started writing that piece for a Relative Something post, but by the time I finished, felt it deserved a crack at the Strib. Since they seem to agree, I hope you will read it on their site by clicking on the image above. I think they gave it a better presentation than I would have. (The picture was their doing [and I’m very happy with it].)

Feel free to comment, either there, or here. You can tell the world if you think I just missed, or I nailed it.






Written by johnwhays

February 26, 2020 at 7:00 am