Monday, February 20, 2017

No President's Day For You!

No President's Day for You. Because you're not nice.

You know who else wasn't nice? Your inspiration, P7. He called himself the “direct representative of the common man” too.

He was not 70 years old like you, but instead 67. He packed double pistols, and toted them. I'll even let you call him a double pistol packing insane dude who could almost be standing right in front of you today.

Are we talking about P45 or P7? I forget, one seems to be the tarnation reincarnation of one of the worst presidents our country has ever known.

Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson was the 7th president of the United States. He was called Old Hickory not for his craggly face as one would think, but because he'd beat you about the face and chest with his hickory cane, getting a good blow in on your spine too if you ever disagreed with him or he set a not- a- likin' to you.

Here's where else the similarities between these two get goose-bumpy: they were both - gasp- 6’2″. Though our modern recreation of Old Hickory states that his “doctor” using the quotes that our current POTUS likes so much, puts him at "236" pounds, the original Old Hickory was a frightening 140 pounds.

140 pounds of chihuahua weight frenzy.

P7's I- don’t- give- a- shit life began at age 12, when he joined a local militia and quickly became a prisoner of war for the British. When ordered to polish a British General’s boots, he told the requesting officer that he’d shine his boots the day the officer got to know a donkey biblically. The Brit General slashed an X on the young Jackson’s face with his sword, and Jackson again issued the invitation, “Go to your beast, sir.”

Hoooooooooooooly crap, what a mouth.

His mother and father were both dead by the time he was 14, and being an orphan meant he was dirt poor–and yet he grew up to be the 7th president of the United States. He often bragged about how he was a self made man, no help from others, with only himself to count on. He taught himself country lawyerin’ Matlock style, and thus began his political career.

The very first assassination attempt on a U.S. President was against Jackson, when an unemployed painter aimed a pistol at Jackson and misfired. Jackson whipped out his hickory cane and proceeded to beat the poor idiot of a man about the head so severely that members of congress had to pull Jackson off.

No gentrified country leader, Andrew “The Mob” Jackson had many organizational “ties.” He set a group of his “friends” (actually PIRATES) to defend New Orleans. The British attackers totally freaked at the undiplomacy of it all that they ran yelping away with their tails between their legs, not knowing what to do without the customary honor and decorum of a political leader.

Jackson was in over 103 duels in his life, fighting with someone almost DAILY.

The most famous run-in was for shooting a man who looked at his wife, Rachel. Oh, and Rachel? Whoo boy, he married her while she was still married to another man. I don't want to be sued since I know bloggers get sued so I won't say something about what I heard about someone being still married while getting married, I just won't say it. Even if many people are...

Old Hickory held his Presidential ball on the White House lawn, and invited the entire nation– because remember? He called himself “the president of the people.” His wife wasn't there, she stayed in a hotel away from the White House instead. Are these deja vus only freaking me out?? The White House was trashed inside and out, and Mrs. Jackson was nowhere in sight.

Jackson was the only President to leave office with the country in the black and the entire national debt paid off by strong arming other countries into paying back every cent they had ever borrowed from the US and for saying the US would be made a fool of NO MORE.

Like I said, it's not just me who sees the similarities between P7 and P45. P45 has chosen Jackson as his idol/inspiration. It is Jackson's portrait that he's chosen to hang square in front of his line of vision in the oval office.

To guide, inspire, and sing to while he looks up, We did it ourrrrrrrrrrrrr waaaaaaaaaaaaaay.
* * *

Sunday, February 19, 2017

We All Just Want To Be Seen

photo Carrie Stuckmann
We tell our stories to find out who we are.
We tell our stories to remember who we've been.
We tell our stories to say we are here.
This past Saturday, LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Milwaukee gathered for the first time to meet as the 2017 cast of this year's show. 11 of us heard our stories for the first time, and we took in how our stories work together.
Our stories work together: as we sat around the meeting room table, an incredible serendipity began to rise. Every one of the 11 people in the room was a stranger. How is it that these 11 lives of people who do not know each other, so different and apart, make sense enough to fit in with the 10 stories shared before and the ones that came after?
It's because we are together in this life.

As hard as it is to believe right now, with the heartbreaking divide in this country that doesn't look like it can heal, what LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Milwaukee created yesterday, was evidence.
Proof and evidence, that was seen, felt, and heard, on the way we have the capacity to hold each other in our lives. We join our experiences and even though we don't know each other, we feel that we do because of our stories.
We share our stories and we see the cracked couch where you nursed your baby who is now leaving for college. We see you as you were when you were four years old and you hear that your mother has fallen. Tell us how you as a mother of five, work to find 28 hours in a day that has only 24, and we are breathless right along with you.
We are there, alongside you, and we are alive. What we crave when we share our stories, is to be seen. To not disappear without someone knowing that we were here, and this sense of presence is what we need when we sit down and write our stories.
We want to be seen, and we are seen when we speak, and we are seen when we are in the audience and hear someone at the podium speak a story where we finally feel understood. Our lives don't feel so separate and alone anymore. Stories connect us and have us looking to each other: when we listen and when we know you when you know us.
Please come to our LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Show on Sunday, May 7, at Alverno College's Wehr Theatre.
Come take in the stories that are a hand held out to you and you, taking that hand and saying that we see each other.
No one is invisible when they are seen through someone else's story and when they are heard with the words they share.
I have a long list why I need you to be there on May 7, but let's say this:
I don't want to forget that the love we have for each other as human beings is something that will appear, when we do.


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