Well, we did it! Andy said it couldn’t be done, but we hit double digits with WIND like it ain’t no thing, but a chicken wing on a string. A phrase, that while I enjoy typing, don’t understand in the slightest. 72 weeks in a row of double digit submissions!

An exciting development this week was that I received the first ever submission from Susanna Funk. For those of you that don’t know Susanna, she is one of the most badass people I know. In addition to be under the stress of being a health care professional in a state (Iowa) with a completely inept governor, she spends her spare time climbing mountains. Her WIND picture comes from Rocky Mountains National Park.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about submission rates to shove it in Andy’s face, you came to see the submissions:

Susanna Funk

Shannon Bardole-Foley

Tamara Peterson

Christopher D. Bennett

Kio Dettman

Kio Dettman

Kio Dettman

Kio Dettman

Joe Duff

Micky Augustin

Micky Augustin

Micky Augustin

Kim Barker

Jen Ensley-Gorshe

Logan Kahler

Monica Henning

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


SYMMETRY & PATTERNS! Another great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

I can’t help but think of Shannon when I think of the theme of SYMMETRY & PATTERNS. Back in the day, we would occasionally go to art shows and fairs together. It often ended up being a painful and frustrating experience because the art booths that she would like to stop and look at were the art that actually hurt my soul (at least a little bit) to look at. It was all symmetrical lines and shapes. I always thought, “if this is the kind of art she likes and she likes my photography, what does that say about my photography? Is it this awful and boring?”

On the other side of the coin, she also hated most of the art I liked. Considered it to be derivative of the illustrations one sees in children’s books. Whatever.

I’m not saying you should tap into your inner Shannon when making your SYMMETRY & PATTERNS picture, but it might not hurt. I’m not saying your picture should be boring and uninteresting. I borderline enjoy the theme reveal picture of the bathroom floor in front of my toilet*. I am saying that you should find a pattern and/or a subject that has symmetry. While this isn’t my favorite theme, I do look forward to seeing your interpretations. I bet Shannon will be counting down the days.

When thinking about creating your SYMMETRY & PATTERNS image, think on the following quote from noted Japanese author Junichiro Tanizaki:

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides.

Meditate on these words and you will no doubt, make a completely almost interesting SYMMETRY & PATTERNS image.

Then send me your submission(s) by 11 AM CST next Monday. The picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.

You can send your images to either bennett@photography139.com OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of SYMMETRY & PATTERNS in this place that admittedly has some symmetry and patterns of its own next Monday.

*Admit it. You are impressed with how clean it is.

24 thoughts on “WPC – WEEK 283 – WIND”

  1. Well, you know… winning friends and influencing people is what gets me out of the bed in the morning. That and being a wage slave.

    But it is pretty exiting to know that people actually read the symmetry descriptions. I’m pretty sure that most people don’t.

    While sure there are a few details left out to push a narrative, it is a long standing “grievance” between Shannon and I that when we went to art festivals, she hated the art booths I went to and I hated the ones that she was drawn to.

    She really likes structure in her art. I think that is the OCD part of her. I really don’t. That is the part of me that… well a quick look around my house can tell you that my organizational system involves moving messes around.

    On the positive, we both usually liked the same photography booths we started at.

  2. I definitely read the challenge descriptions each week. I always love the book quotes, or stories, etc. I enjoy them almost as much as the photos.

    I can see both sides of the art argument. For example – I have a Shannon Fauxdole quilted table runner in our movie room and I love it so much. It matches a little art piece I made with paint chips to a T (tee?), and they are both very symmetrical. On the other hand, I have some fiber art I’ve made that is not at all symmetrical, as well as several prints I’ve purchased. They both make me happy.

    I do largely hang my art symmetrically, however. It’s like a wall spreadsheet, and spreadsheets (as Shannon would agree) are the way a brain is laid out. I made a giant cross stitch on a 3′ x 6′ pegboard, and Shannon was so delighted to come up during it and find that I had laid out the design on an Excel spreadsheet (as she does the same).

  3. My descriptions, at least they started out this way, are kind of a dry run. I might try to make a Weekly Challenge Book. There are a few out there on the market and they are mostly pretty bad. With the mine’s Self-Directed Training Budget, I’ve purchased most of them. There is a company that does it by category. They have a book for Street Photography and Landscape Photography. Those are probably the best. But there are some that are literally just blank pages with a word at the top.

    But even the ones that are well-done I think are too complicated. They are targeted towards photographers. Like THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE on the website, I would want it targeted towards anybody with a cell phone. Educational yes, but you don’t need a neutral density filter to complete a challenge.

    Also, the books in the better collection doesn’t include a spot to tape or glue in submission.

    Back when I did THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, although I didn’t like all the “themes” it was a good combination. There was a few word description. Then a place to put your interpretation. Then in the back of the book was an extended explanation of the theme.

    Yeah, there is a difference between art that Shannon makes and what she likes. But every thing you just wrote about spreadsheets made my heart hurt a little bit.

    True story:

    2020 was the first year that I was deemed worthy of getting the Shannon Christmas Newsletter. I legitimately thought it was a brand new tradition. So I texted her that I liked her “new” tradition and hoped that she continued it. Many of the Christmas letters I used to receive have dried up. It is tough in the publishing industry these days.

    She wrote back that she has been writing the Christmas letter for like 20 years. Then she emailed me copies of all the ones that she still had copies of.

    I’m not making this up.

    I wish I was making this up.

    But I’m 100% not making this up.

    One of the years, her Christmas newsletter was an Excel spreadsheet. It was the most Shannon thing that any Shannon ever Shannoned.

    Obviously,* I’m overstating for dramatic effect. There is a place for symmetry and patterns in art. But in all things… moderation.

    I don’t know I have a way of hanging art. Wall. Nail. Art. Hope that looks okay. Partially why I did the canvas wall. If I just completely cover the wall, I don’t have to think about it.

    I’m hopefully going to start on a new wall hanging venture in the next few weeks. Gonna tackle the hallway next.

  4. Well Congrates I’m on vacation so my phone isn’t at all important to me so I had no idea of the theme or the challenge, but I would have to say the the new persons pic was sweet and I’m very proud of our group of “misfit toy/photographers” for their pics this week, bonus points for identifying the quotes movie???

  5. I assume you are referencing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But I think a group of misfit photographers is an excellent analogy. It is definite a group of people with a wide variety of life experiences, artistic visions, skill levels, and equipment. That is why it is pretty great!

    You are going on vacation the week of the State Tournament, I am shocked. Shocked I tell ya!

    Susanna’s Instagram is probably my favorite thing on the social medias. She is currently training to climb Denali in 2021. Being a mountain climber is an interesting passion for somebody that lives in Iowa.

  6. That sounds like it would be a great amalgam of the different styles you’ve tried – because ultimately, I think the best changes come about by people who have tried others’ solutions and figured out why they don’t work. I don’t know what a Kreg tool is from that place in Huxley, but I’ve heard the story enough to learn that they basically have made millions by tweaking a system that didn’t work.

    I love Shannon letters! I don’t know that I’ve been on the list for 20 years, either – but then again, we’ve really only sent ANY out since the kids have been born. And we really send them mostly to family (particularly Jon’s family in CA). We do write a little letter usually. I have neglected this practice the last two years – this last year mostly because I legitimately forgot that we were bearing down on Christmas. I put up our trees the day after Christmas, shopping was done well in advance, and I even organized our neighborhood giving tree family drive and had that done well in advance of Christmas – there was no urgency, which usually is what drives me to get them done. A last minute “oh, crap, I need to do Christmas cards/letters.” But I definitely don’t have a copy of them. I mean, I kept the cards for scrapbooks for the kids, but not the letters. That is more organized!

    I wish I’d ever spreadsheet-ed a Christmas letter, but now I have an aspiration. I do organize all four of our clothes closets by color/category, which is basically a spreadsheet for your clothes. It makes me insanely happy to see the order and be able to find the shirt/pants combo that is needed in a given situation.

    I think your walls always look great – and having an entire wall covered makes it breathtaking and eye-catching! I have a smaller gallery wall of weird stuff in our living room that is very symmetrical in its layout, but has disparate types of art on it – so I guess a combo? We’re getting some photo ledges made and put up for our basement den – I will put lots of art and photos on there in a variety of styles/sizes, and don’t have to worry about layouts since they’ll just sit on the ledge. I’m sort of excited for that freedom – they’ll mostly stack, so I don’t need to worry about if they are straight/even/sized correctly/eye-catching. I’ve got a style in mind and started creating stuff for it, we just need to get them installed and then I can constantly switch/add/remove. Controlled chaos.

  7. Probably more money to be made from a tool than a photo theme book, but I’ll be satisfied with an even million. From the first book.

    Sad to hear that the economic conditions have also put the DeWaard Press out of business. Thoughts and prayers to the out of work employees.

    Sometimes I think about putting out a parody Christmas letter, but I worry that it will be completely confusing to many, many people. But I guess that would be the point.

    I think Facebook mostly killed off the Christmas letter. Which, sent Facebook almost killed off our democracy, they have a pretty good track record.

    The Boone County Historical Society asked me to help with their social media. But then I haven’t heard anything back from them since I told them I haven’t been on Facebook in years. So maybe I missed out on that.

    What was the point of putting up the Christmas tree the day after Christmas?

    I just threw up a little bit in my mouth when you described your closet organization. I’m sure it isn’t related though.

    I have to spend about 30 minutes a week filling out a spreadsheet at work. It is the worst 30 minutes of the week.

    You’ll have to send me a picture when you have this new setup. Sounds like it will be cool.

  8. We’ll try to soldier back next year and reopen the press. Mostly mine are semi-sarcastic, but do talk about the kids a lot. Mostly because it’s been, like, two years or more since they’ve seen Jon’s mom, let alone his siblings in CA. Might as well keep them semi-acquainted.

    I would greatly enjoy a parody Christmas letter, so I’m on-board with this idea.

    Now that Instagram allows you to automatically post to Facebook, could you get around your social media of FB that way without feeling too yucky, and still help out the Historical Society? You’d be great at that.

    Ugh. Meant to say day after Halloween. Usually I wait for the day after Thanksgiving, but I did not do any such waiting this year – might as well have that joy as long as possible. I thought about just leaving them up all year long and decorating them differently for each holiday.

    I purchased a 1950s-style white tinsel tree after Christmas this year that I’ll put up next year, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I would be curious about the style of a Chris D. Bennett tree.

    Designing spreadsheets are far more interesting than the data entry.

  9. I must be on the outs with the Historical Society. It has been over a week now and haven’t heard back. I guess I got cancelled.

    You’ve always been able to directly post to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr from the Instagram app. Although, posting to Twitter is fairly pointless, since it doesn’t show the picture, but just a link to your Instagram post. I think I might technically still have a Tumblr account out there.

    The day after Halloween makes more sense. Although the 12 Days of Christmas actually start with Christmas Day, so that also would have made some sense if you are teaching your kids some kind of hardcore orthodoxy.

    I know some people who do keep their tree(s) up year round and change the ornaments.

    I don’t put up or decorate my own tree. My niece Alexis does. However, she couldn’t this year because of the pandemic and the fact that she has two kids now. Therefore I had to put my own tree up this year. Which is something I probably wouldn’t have done if I wasn’t working from home. My tree decorating style is try to put every ornament in the ornament box on the tree. I prefer old or unique or handmade ornaments, but I don’t have many that fit into any of those categories.

    I will probably run my current tree into the ground or until my Mom buys me a new tree. I think she has given me about 3 or so trees in the last 10 years. I don’t know why. But as simple to put together tree as possible.

    But your 1950s style tree does sound cool.

    Burning printed out spreadsheets is the only joy I’ve ever got out of spreadsheets. Just kidding, I don’t even enjoy that.

  10. Yeah, sounds like you enraged the Historical Society and are now cancelled. Man, cancelling is the worst. Anything but being cancelled. Did I see you have a FourSquare post on Twitter recently? Man, that was a thing that went away fairly fast.

    That reminds me – did you ever work with a Twila at the Mine? She’s… a lot, and hardcore righty. Was on Parler due to “censorship,” posts about it on Facebook, etc. Sometimes I’ll point out her horrible politics, but usually I just have her blocked. She had some post last night about how she’s now drinking Pepsi because “Choaka Cola” had made her mad. Someone asked in the comments how they had offender her. She said she disagreed with their training policies so she was discontinuing supporting them, and so I was pretty sure I knew where that was leading, so I googled it. They’re teaching diversity, and had a video about being “less white” in terms of oppression, offensiveness, etc. All good things, right? But not to old T-diggle. So, to point out how asinine that was, I just wrote “cancel culture” in her comments. One would have thought she’d understand I was pointing out how hypocritical this was, but instead she liked my comment and said “they’re sure trying.” I just deleted it.

    I hope Alexis and her children can come put it up for you this year, that the world is safe enough! I bet it’s a lot of fun to watch the kids help, too. Even if they leave most of the ornaments on the bottom 1/4 of the tree, it is a great time – I bet your mom would enjoy that, too.

    I wish I had any of my grandparents’ old ornaments, but I don’t. So, we used store-bought for a while, and still use those on our tree downstairs in the basement. On our main one, though (the one that will be 50s inspired), we have all handmade ornaments. We do one ornament-making each year as a family, we’ve been doing that for probably five years or so now? And then I have made a bunch of others, some crocheted garlands, I made felt balls and made some strings of it. I really like the idea of having a memory behind stuff, so I love that your tree is full of that. And even anything store-bought will remind you of Alexis and her children. That’s awesome.

  11. My favorite part of the Cancel Culture Myth as it is purported by conservatives is that (besides it not really existing) they are the largest purveyors of “cancel culture”. In fact, they INVENTED it. Remember all the people burning their Dixie Chicks albums? Those weren’t liberals. Most recently I see that they are trying to “cancel” the Muppets.

    If you want to not support a band or company or person because of something they did, I’m completely fine with that. I don’t want to give my money to pedophiles with a child sex ring in the basement of their pizza parlor either. That is what Jeffrey Epstein did right?

    I also don’t want to give my money to racists or homophobes.

    But what I hate about it so much is that when liberals boycott whomever (I don’t even remember because it isn’t all the effective) say MyPillow guy. Then conservatives are out their screaming about their complete misinterpretation of the first amendment (and I thought their misinterpretation of the 2nd amendment was bad).


    But then the Muppets slap a warning label on a couple of their own episodes, then their misinterpretation of the first amendment disappears completely.

    Anyways, yeah, I haven’t heard back from the Historical Society.

    Twila was before my time. But I do appreciate how somebody is on Parler still can’t help post on Facebook. I haven’t legitimately been on Facebook in 4 years. I left because its algorithm propagates right wing propaganda making Facebook, ultimately right wing propaganda. Facebook is already, essentially, a right wing echo chamber. But that still isn’t enough pure oxygen for some people.

    I had heard about the Coca-Cola thing, but I’m sure Pepsi will have another ad with that Jenner girl giving a Pepsi to a cop and that will offend her and she will drink RC Cola. It isn’t even ironic how the people who use words like “snowflake” and “triggered” just need to look in the mirror. But self-reflection is hardly the strength of the right. It is chanty pithy racist 3 word slogans and burning $200 Nike’s to own the libs.

    I give you props for trying with Twila though. That is more noble than just quitting Facebook.

    Alexis also usually decorates my Mom’s tree too. Hopefully that tradition is resurrected this year. I don’t think the kids will be old enough to help decorate yet though. Anela will be barely 1 year old and Kanoa will be a little over 2. So maybe he could help.

    That is a great tradition of making decorations. I hope when the move out on their own that you box them all up and give them to them for their own tree. Charlie probably won’t care until he has his own kids, but you never know. We used to have a family tradition where my Mom gave Carla and Teresa nutcrackers. Eventually it stopped because they just had too many. I never really got in on the tradition, cause I didn’t care. Or I was a guy. So now the only ones I have are the ones she gave to Olivia. I actually put them out for the first time last year. I normally don’t decorate much for the holidays, but I had the time this year, with working from home. I enjoyed it more than I would have guessed.

  12. I honestly wish I could “forget” a fraction as many of the moronic things I’ve done as the Republican Party. It is amazing to me that they casually boycott (at least on social media) everything from bakers of gay wedding cakes to entire musical genres, and yet they make it out to be a “libtard” thing. I think one of the main differences between the Democratic Party leaders and the Republican Party ones is simply the willingness to bald-faced lie. The left finds it morally reprehensible, and the right is like, “Eh, it’s fine.” I think a lot of them actually KNOW what the First Amendment means, they can just whip up their largely uninformed base by claiming it means something else. (Same with the Second.) That really is all they can care about, that they can claim that the left is taking away their sovereign “rights” as defined by Facebook, and then get out voters. They are betting on their voters being morons – and it’s currently the smart money.

    The rewriting of all of the MyPillow Guy stuff vs the Muppets being sensitive is a great example of the misapplication and misinterpretation of the First. Just like Trump stirring up a frenzied mass via the direct actions of his words not just on Jan 6 but over the past decade – that’s “free speech,” it’s not his fault people did exactly what he told them to. He shouldn’t be held accountable, but I’ll be gum darned if Coke teaches me to not smother people with my whiteness.

    Twila was/is the epitome of the person using all of the social safety nets, not profiting from literally ANY Republican policies that apply to her, and still believing it because that fancy-talkin’ guy in the bow tie on Fox News told her to. But, because I’m polite, I don’t point obvious and glaring inconsistencies from her own life – because, she’s the type who wrote “geewhillikers” and “sposed to” in her CDB logs unironically. (If you ever want some fascinating reading, subgroup on her logs some day and read a few for a display in moronic colloquialisms.) And she 100% made the grand “I’m tired of being censored here and going to Parler” declaration, and then posted a bunch literally the next day. An aside – I found a Twitter account a couple weeks ago that lists the top ten liked/visited Facebook pages’ names from the previous day, and it’s almost always far-right BS.

    Ah, that might be too young to help Alexis, that’s true. I hope that leaves you on “fun uncle” duty. Although 1 and 2 are sort of the “wrecking ball” ages where you are just basically constantly preventing head injuries.

    I make sure we try to put initials or names on them, so that I can divvy them up as the kids get older. Even if they just want to keep them here until they get families of their own, I want to make sure that they can keep them. We have a different type of ornament each year, so it at least gives variety. I do agree – Charlie likely won’t care until his spouse tells him to, or his kids want them. Jon’s mom sent him a large tote of his childhood ones a few years back, and I don’t think he’s opened it.

    The nutcrackers are a wonderful tradition! (Alice and I tried to do something similar with snow globes, but we sort of stopped after a few years – need to pick it back up.) I can see where 40 years of nutcrackers would be hard to display, but I love that you have some of Olivia’s. Especially with you being at home so much more, you get to enjoy them and the memories so much more. This was definitely the year for that Christmas cheer. I usually LOVE decorating for Halloween, and didn’t do any this year because it was too depressing. But I went hard on Christmas, because it was super-happy. I liked your table display from your socially distanced trick-or-treat! I hope kids enjoyed the alien head.

  13. Hey the Republican Party freed the slaves and I’m pretty sure that is the only thing that they care to remember. Republican leaders and Democrat leaders aren’t even playing the same game. Look at what is going on with Neera Tanden right now. She is being crucified for a few meant tweets by the same people that were terrified of getting a mean tweet from Mango Mussolini. It is sad that a few years ago this was touted as being the Information Age, but it didn’t take long to figure what we are really living in is the Disinformation Age.

    There is a quote from Lincoln that I’m not going to get verbatim, but it goes something like, “Tell the people the truth and the country will be saved.”

    I don’t think that is the case any longer. Tell the people the truth and they will turn their back and look for the comforting lie. It is the immigrants fault. It is the homosexuals fault. The white male is oppressed. I’m the victim!

    I see right outrage has already moved on from the Muppets to Hasbro for the whole Potato Head thing. But I’m sure that will be just a boycott and not cancel culture.

    It is weird how so many of the people that use our social safety nets, want them taking away from other people. It was terrifying how many people I saw interviewed on television saying that they wanted Obamacare repealed and when it was pointed out that they are on the Affordable Care Act, they would say, “I like the Affordable Care Act. It is Obamacare I want repealed.”

    It is also weird how almost all the blue states are economically successful and pay in way more in taxes than they get back. Hmmm… wonder where all that excess tax money is going? Is it to prop up failing red states?

    I saw a movie a long time ago where Robert Redford was running for Congress. He was asked about “welfare” and his character said something like this:

    “If it is okay to subsidize a corporation that doesn’t need it. Then it is okay to subsidize a person that does need it.”

    I’ve seen the grand gesture of people that are fed up and are never coming back. They always comeback. Nowhere else gives them what Facebook gives them.

    I don’t follow that Twitter account, but I must follow somebody that retweets them frequently. Yep. It is always like 4 Ben Shapiro articles. 3 FoxNews stories. 3 NewsMax stories.

    I might just be getting hopeful here, but I’ll probably take down all my winter decorations this weekend. I think winter sucks more when you are working from home. I don’t even really hate winter. Maybe you feel winter more when you are working from home. It compounds how much time you don’t leave your house or something

    That is a wonderful tradition with the snowglobes. But if she has a sled named Rosebud, I can tell you how her life turns out.

  14. Oh my gosh, “Lincoln was a Republican so we CAN’T be racist” is brought up in every white power defense ever, and it’s disgusting. (“Mango Mussolini” made me laugh hard.) I also especially love the term “snowflake” that they lobby, despite having the most fragile and humorless overall party ever. That reminds me – have you noticed that there are, like, ZERO funny Republicans? Even their “comedians” or whatever just aren’t funny. And I don’t mean that from the stance of not liking their politics – I just mean, they aren’t funny. It’s not good humor. They see zero nuance or irony, they are all blunt force objects. For example – you would think that maybe ONE of them would see how moronic it is to get upset about a freaking potato having a gender identity despite not even having genitals, but here we are.

    That’s 100% accurate on how this group just wants OTHERS’ safety nets taken away. Not MINE, I need that. It’s also just fundamentally unkind – in the “Christian” party, that doesn’t seem to play well. I’m so glad you knew which Twitter stats I was talking about! I mean, when you’re just getting Russian money dumped in to help with that, it’s going to keep happening.

    I waited until the day after Epiphany this year to take down our trees, I think? We have some little baby Christmas trees in planters on our front porch – I unplugged and removed the lights from them, but still have those out because they look festive. I’ll change them out when I can get some actual plants in there that I’ll likely kill by early July.

    Winter is oppressive this year, in particular. I don’t really care for winter, other than empirically thinking snow/ice are pretty. I don’t like being cold, I don’t like driving in it. But when you’re mostly stuck inside just watching the days count down, it feels way worse.

    I’ll make sure to watch out for any William Randolph tendencies. Apparently we’re fairly closely related, so it may be in the blood. I’ll report back later.

  15. I don’t know if you are familiar with alternate fact historian Dinesh D’Souza, but one of my favorite things on Twitter is watching an actual historian named Kevin Kruse dunk on him over and over and over again. He is a big proponent of the Republicans can’t be racists because they “freed the slaves”.

    If I was forced to pick who the best president in American history was, I would probably pick Lincoln. But in 1864 he ran on a platform of white supremacy. You could be an abolitionist and be a racist.

    But even all of that being said, it is so ridiculous to think that a party doesn’t change over 100 years. I mean look at how much the Republican Party has changed in just 4 years ago. Eisenhower… heck Nixon and Reagan would not even recognize today’s Republican Party.

    Eisenhower would be wondering why he thought the Nazis just to have CPAC design their stage after a Nazi symbol.

    I think a lot of people just don’t see whatever they are getting, whether it be say a free lunch program for their kids or whatever as a handout or in this state farmer subsidies as a handout, but anybody else gets something they are a welfare queen.

    I personally get pissed when people try to attack social security because I know it would have been even rougher for my family after my Dad died if we weren’t getting his social security benefits.

    If you ever want to read some fascinating, look into how the Republican party became the Christian party. It wasn’t by accident. It was a well executed plan. They started the recruitment based on racism. It was by appealing to southern Christians that were opposed to desegregation. When they lost that battle they moved them on to abortion. Suddenly, Christians were Republicans.

    I also took my tree down the day after Epiphany. Or it might have been the day of Epiphany. But I would normally choose to wait until Epiphany to take my tree down, but sometimes my Mom just shows up and takes it down.

    I always leave my Nativity sets up until Epiphany though. They are the only thing that I normally put up and take down myself.

    I don’t mind the cold, it is just the short days that get me. Although, I have to admit, I do want it to get crazy cold at least once during winter. But this year, I didn’t enjoy it as much as normal.

  16. I have seen some of D’Souza’s BS. I have always rolled my eyes and not ever clicked on his tweets – I’ll have to go start looking at those, that sounds awesome.

    It’s incredible to me how the right just doesn’t care about facts. I mean – Thomas Jefferson only bothered freeing his slaves after he was dead, and kept one of them on call as his mistress… and they act like anything he wrote is infallible. The fact that CPAC can do something like that stage setup and people are like, “Cool, cool” – I don’t know, there’s a lot of latent evil out there.

    We also subsisted on Social Security for a long time – my bio dad was on disability even before the fire, and never paid even the dollar a year in child support he was supposed to. I can’t even imagine the situation you guys were in, but I know that we needed to be able to depend on that. Twila’s husband has been on pseudo-disability for decades, and so…? The ironies are glaring. I’ll for sure look into that info on the Republican = Christian process! I’m not surprised that they did it as a purposeful move. It allows them to play moral high ground, since the majority of the US currently is Christian or agnostic. “If you loved God, you’d be against transgender and gay individuals.” Maybe I missed a part of the New Testament, but I don’t get that vibe from Jesus AT ALL.

    Epiphany makes sense to me. It’s the official logical end of the Christian holiday season, which is what the tree traditionally represents. I need to get out my Isabel Bloom Nativity next year, I have had trouble finding it since we moved. I’m so glad that you have one! It’s one of those wonderful visual reminders of the actual point of the holiday.

  17. You don’t have to follow D’Souza. Just follow Kevin Kruse. @KevinMKruse. Just going through his pinned tweet could take you a long time and it worth it.

    Here is a great Politico article on the origins of “The Religious Right”:


    Here are some things about Jefferson. One, if Lincoln was a Republican and the Republicans completely own him, Jefferson is a Democrat. He founded the Democratic-Republican Party that eventually turned into the Democratic Party. Not a 100% straight line, but pretty close.

    But referring to Sally Hemings as a “mistress” even white-washes that story. It should read, Thomas Jefferson frequently raped a slave named Sally Hemings. There is no such thing as consensual sex between slave and master. Period. He raped her so often she had six of his children. So Donald Trump wasn’t the first serial rapist to hold the White House.

    Jefferson definitely not infallible, but if you ever go to Mount Rushmore, I recommend the Jefferson Vanilla ice cream. Supposed to be still made with Thomas Jefferson’s original recipe. That rapist made a mean ice cream.

    Speaking of American historical figures with, let us say, complicated relations with their slaves.

    Have you ever heard of Richard Mentor Johnson?

    He was the 9th Vice President of the United States. He “married” one of his slaves. They never legally married, but he treated her as his wife and everybody else had to treat her as his wife. She managed his business affairs when he was away. They had two daughters who were free.

    She died before he was Vice-President, but the fact that he was “common law” married to a slave, destroyed most of his political aspirations.

    Another “fun fact”: She was mostly European, but still enough African (1/8) to be a slave.

  18. Got it! I’ll follow.

    Exactly! And I definitely “whitewashed” (literally) and cleaned up Jefferson’s relationship with Hemings there. Much like – I like Clinton as a politician, but the same is true of him and Lewinsky. She wasn’t a slave, so I wouldn’t go with rape necessarily, but it was a horrific misuse of power. It’s one of those situations where you wish that you could find a hidden diary of Sally Hemings that explained what her feelings really were. All of the “but the forefathers” folks try to claim that they had this loving, wonderful relationship – maybe, but rape. It was rape. He owned her, and could use her as he wanted. It’s grotesque.

    I was on a call when I read this, and “that rapist made a mean ice cream” made me laugh into the receiver. It was beautifully worded. I do love a good vanilla ice cream, and we’ve never been to Mount Rushmore – we want to go as a family at some point, so I will for sure add Jefferson’s ice cream to my to-do list.

    I have never heard of that about Richard Mentor Johnson! I’ve never even heard of him; that’s fascinating. It’s still jacked up, but at least he tried, you know? Our history is fascinating and so layered.

  19. Monica Lewinsky is also a great follow on Twitter. She seems to be doing well these days and her sense of humor is amazing. Probably a survival tactic. I can’t remember where I saw it, but I recently saw something where they did a compilation of the type of stuff the media said about her and the jokes the late night comedians made about her. It was absolutely nauseating. It was textbook on “how to create a culture where victims of sexual assault/harassment won’t come forward.”

    Yeah, she wasn’t a slave, but you are talking about a what 20 year old woman and the most powerful man in the world. The dynamics in that situation couldn’t be more skewed.

    I just remembered, that Lewinsky montage was in the Free Britney documentary.

    Bill Clinton is an example that a person can be a terrible person and be a good president.
    Jimmy Carter is an example that a person can be a great person and be a terrible president.
    Barack Obama is an example that a person can be a great person and a good president.
    Donald Trump is an example that a person be be terrible on all levels.

    Sometimes character doesn’t matter as much as we want it to count, and that kinda sucks.

    Let’s face it, it was probably Sally’s ice cream recipe. That was probably what got him hot under the breeches. Watching her work the handle on that ice cream maker. I guess if we think about it, Thomas Jefferson is just another white male victim.

    One thing about the affair is that it has made Sally more famous than Jefferson’s wife.

    Think fast, do you know his wife’s name?

    Did you say Martha? Okay, that is right, but I still think you said Martha, half thinking of Martha Washington.

  20. I’ve been meaning to follow Monica. It’s so gross that people used phrases like “getting Lewinsky-ed” and such as half-hearted crap jokes. And you’re right – they were said on every single late night show, every talk show. This poor girl was basically treated like a slut by everyone, when she was a young girl being preyed upon by a well-known horndog who didn’t mind taking advantage of his position. Being president had to be a wet dream for Clinton – unfettered access and the ultimate position. I need to watch the Free Britney series still – that’s another girl who had the pressure of a billion old men panting over her and the media making wholly inappropriate comments.

    I wish we had a billion more Obamas in our future. It makes me happy that so many people are realizing how amazing of a human being Jimmy Carter is. He’s an incredible inspiration.

    You’re right – Sally is more famous than Martha at this point. I knew Martha Jefferson, but only because of the musical 1776. Which is not something of which I should be proud, but it’s true. I think they maybe started being more honest about Sally in around the millenium? I may not be correct there.

  21. I do recommend the Britney doc. I was only vaguely aware of all the stuff that happened with her and seeing much of it being put in the context of it happening at the same time as the Monica Lewinsky stuff really hit home.

    I’m not much into celebrity lives. I didn’t dislike Britney or her music, but it definitely wasn’t what I was into back then. I have heard a few covers of some of her songs that are cross-genre and that has made me realize that some of her songs are actually pretty great. Maybe not what I would listen to on a regular basis, but better than I remember.

    All of this is to say, even if Britney was a celebrity I would have been into back in the day, I still probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to her personal life. I remember her being married to a dancer that was really mocked. I remember before that she dated Justin Timberlake. I also remember that she shaved her head. I vaguely knew that she had lost some control of her life, but I had no clue that she was still under a conservatorship all these years later.

    So lots of the information in the documentary were completely new to me and shocking. Especially the questions that she would get asked in interviews. I can’t say I’m a big Justin Timberlake fan either, but I respect his talent. I didn’t realize how awful he was to her.

    And while it is pretty horrible what is going on with Britney, I don’t think it is the kind of injustice that would cause me to take to the streets to protest. I would consider wearing a Free Britney shirt though. Although people would think I was doing it in an ironic hipster sorta way.

    Anyways when you juxtapose Britney and Monica Lewinsky, you realize, late night talk show hosts were pretty damn creepy back in the day. Not just them, but them.

    Yeah, Obama is a good guy, but did he pass a tax “cut” where 20% of the households reaped 65% of the benefit and the bottom 20% got 1%. Doesn’t sound like a man of the people to me.

    I was pretty sure it was Martha Jefferson, but then I talked myself into thinking I was thinking of Martha Washington and then I looked it up. A lot of Marthas back in the day. I hope Marthas weren’t Karens.

  22. I know that I’ve always tapped my toes to her stuff when I’ve heard it in a waiting room or whatever, but I think I heard a clip of her singing without being edited to beat heck, and it wasn’t great. So I never took her super seriously, but she’s a showman. The fact that she can’t just get control back of her life is horrifying. She’s got children and a career, and it’s BS that her dad keeps controlling it. I’m going to have to watch that, for sure. I’ve got a whole bunch of shows I’m running behind on.

    Even the talk show hosts I like (like Conan and Letterman) made all kinds of comments on both. It’s awful.

    The Revolution was lousy with Marthas, for sure. I think it was the “John” equivalent. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a John.

  23. Yeah and when you watch the documentary, it is her children and the fear of losing them that caused her to agree to the conservatorship in the first place.

    The Free Britney documentary is part of the New York Times series on Hulu. In case you decide to watch it.

    Swinging dead cats. Why has this gone out of favor? But yeah, there must have been 10 Johns that signed the Declaration of Independence.

Comments are closed.