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Archive for the month “January, 2012”

“Eyes Wide Open”, Blog by Kristin Matheny- #3 “MacGuffin: An Unlikely Relationship Between Politics and Alfred Hitchcock” 1/28/2012

“Eyes Wide Open” by Kristin Matheny

“MacGuffin: An Unlikely Relationship Between Politics and Alfred Hitchcock”

 1/28/2012 

Barack Obama is a master of the “MacGuffin”. He could put Alfred Hitchcock to shame, I swear…and Hitchcock essentially coined the term.

I think it’s time that Obama fans, ambivalents, and “he seems like a cool guy” liberal voters dust off their college Film Studies textbooks and research this wonderful little term. They could also just Google it, but I’ll save them the extra effort right now (Heaven knows that they don’t like to bother themselves doing actual research- isn’t that obvious?).  In fact, I’ll quote Alfred Hitchcock himself: “[We] have a name in the studio, and we call it the ‘MacGuffin’. It is the mechanical element that usually crops up in any story.”

The MacGuffin drives the plot, but it almost never has any intrinsic value. Sometimes you don’t even see the MacGuffin, and it might even be something completely made-up. It doesn’t even matter what the MacGuffin is, it simply creates action and suspense. In spy movies, it’s the “papers” the gumshoes are hot on the trail for- but who really cares what information is contained in the papers? In “North By Northwest”, the MacGuffin was the mysterious “microfilm” containing government secrets (that never seemed to exist anyway). It was all about the chase. In “Pulp Fiction”, it was the briefcase that John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson were after (though we never saw what was actually in the briefcase). The MacGuffin is a type of “red herring”, a fun distraction with no significance whatsoever. You find yourself getting all wrapped up in the meaning of said “distraction”, only to realize at the end of the movie that you had been lured away from important clues and actions all along. Duped! Hoodwinked!

You’re not supposed to fall for the MacGuffin!

To make the connection of a “Political MacGuffin” is natural. Politicos do it all the time. They promise vague concepts and propose seemingly sensible plans that promote an overall sense of well-being and confidence…and idealism. I recently heard a very famous conservative radio pundit (who shall remain nameless, only because I usually respect him immensely) go completely bananas over this whole debate between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich about tax records, Freddie Mac, and “historian” shenanigans. PLEASE! You’d think someone with a nationally-syndicated radio show would realize that the mainstream media has completely “MacGuffin-ed” Americans…even conservatives like you, me, and this guy…into believing that this garbage really matters! Like it has anything to do with economic policy and tax solutions. I am by no means a Mitt Romney fan, but I’m still wondering what in the world his tax records have to do with his ability to govern…if anything, these records are quite the statement on the insanity that is the Capital Gains tax.

Oh, believe me, I had to ask my liberal friends, who simply insisted that releasing the records was of some sort of vital importance (call me stupid, I didn’t see the point). They couldn’t really make much of a case for it. It reminded me of the so-called “Birthers”…it almost didn’t matter what they simply had to see, as long as they saw it. No value whatsoever. MacGuffins, all!

I wouldn’t call liberals MacGuffin masters by any means (heck, I wouldn’t call the “masters” of much), but I do think Obama has become an expert on Red Herrings and MacGuffins. Take his 2008 campaign for example. He never actually had an express plan for anything, he never elaborated on solutions. Didn’t it just make you want to scream?! He won debates because he simply glossed over facts and important issues by using big words and vague concepts, including the biggest, most vague concepts of all, “Hope” and “Change”. Shoot, it was the guy’s campaign slogan. We all questioned the meanings of the words. How can anyone (especially a president) provide “hope” to millions of people, and what on earth does that mean? Who’s even to say that we’ve lost “hope” in anything? “Hope” for what kind of “change”? It’s like the phrase “politics as usual”…specify, please!

It was the biggest MacGuffin of 2008 (and every years he’s been in office since) because it was a seemingly important concept that, in actuality, provided no meaning and had absolutely no intrinsic value. Three years later, it astounds me that people still repeat this “Hope and Change” phrase like the catchy chorus to some song you can’t get out of your head. What a phenomenal distraction, that whole “Hope and Change” crap was! Of all of those people that stood in line to cast their votes for Barack Obama, not ONE of them bothered to consider the fact that these words, like the man’s expanse of political knowledge itself, was completely hollow and void of substance.

With a hot-and-heavy election approaching, Obama and his team of spinsters and media cronies are MacGuffin-ing all over the place, not to be outdone by their previous accomplishments…and too many people are falling for this. Have we learned nothing from the King of Suspense?! If “Hope and Change” were the pointless “microfilm” and irrelevant “briefcase” of the Barack Obama legacy, then everything going on now is the “Rosebud”, the ultimate MacGuffin (for those of you who are familiar with the masterpiece that is “Citizen Kane”). Here are a few examples of recent MacGuffins I’ve spotted:

MacGuffin #1: These Romney tax records. And all of this Gingrich “Freddie Mac” crap. Distractions. (I don’t care who you want to win this thing, I have to ask who is behind the publicity of these stories. I admit that I was curious to see Romney’s tax record…until I asked myself why. Then I realized that my mouth tasted strangely of Kool Aid.)

MacGuffin #2: This “Conservatives as intolerant bigots” business. Oh, the liberals just LOVE to pull this one out of their proverbial hat, don’t they? Today, I read a news story that discussed a “heartfelt apology” that Barack Obama delivered…delivered, of course, with the self-righteous chastising/smugness that he seems to constantly revel in using…with regards to the alleged “booing” of a gay soldier at a G.O.P. debate a while back. The nerve of those “several audience members”, as he put it! The nerve indeed! (Nevermind the fact that, according to witnesses, it had only been a few audience members who were actually booing the question the soldier presented, not the soldier himself.) I’m even hearing die-hard conservatives backpedaling and defending our stance on things like “family values”. Why should we have to defend that? I’m not homophobic, Lord knows, and neither are the candidates. So, then, why are these G.O.P. candidates issuing apologies and going out of their way to defend themselves against these attacks?

Argh. Even they are starting to get Kool Aid mustaches!

MacGuffin #3:  Drawing attention to the personal (sometimes exaggerated) flaws of the candidates. Okay, now I fully recognize that many conservatives are “values voters” (I am no exception), but I will not let these trifling details stand in the way of logic. Now I know some will disagree with me here, but the big issue…the only issue…is, simply, WHO is the best person to fix the mess we’re in and get us back on track. WHY are we letting airheads like John King distract us with petty details? My mother, a stalwart conservative (and Santorum supporter) told me yesterday that she just couldn’t get past Newt’s affairs, “it’s just been in the media so much”. A close friend of mine recently admitted that, even though he really liked Ron Paul’s platform, he just “doesn’t want to hear his annoying voice and cringe at his theatrical gestures he sees on the news” for four years. A Democratic Strategist on Fox News two nights ago flat-out called Rick Santorum a “bigot” for his family values…somehow making an invisible “homophobic” connection (and not able to cite any specific homophobic reference or remark)! Of course, let’s not forget Wagner over on MSNBC calling Santorum a bigot. Unfortunately, many conservatives are falling for this type of MacGuffin, too. My main man, Herman Cain…the man who I wanted to be president…was MacGuffin-ed right into dropping out of the race. Proof…pudding. These eye-catching phrases, words, and news stories (“Newt is a cheater, he might cheat our country!” “Santorum is a bigot!” “Romney is a fatcat!” “Paul is crazy!”) are full of 100% empty logic in most cases…and it’s working.

The liberals have fallen for it. Many independent voters have fallen for it. And now WE are starting to fall for it, turning against ourselves and attacking like-minded friends and fellow patriots! This is exactly what “they” want.

I could go on and on, but these are just a few examples. I’m proud to say that, after much contemplation and prayer (and attending events for all four remaining candidates) I finally decided on a candidate, and I finally voted today. Now, the man I voted for is who I believe can fix our nation and restore our economy, but I have spent the last several months trying not to fall for the MacGuffins. I can’t say I’ve been any better than you, or anyone else, but I see seemingly rational fellow conservatives, tea partiers, and patriots getting all wrapped up in these “Rosebud”-style distracters, and I foresee disaster if we continue to do this. We can’t assault each other for supporting or not supporting a candidate, we can’t fall for these petty tricks and red herrings.

At the end of the movie, it’s never the MacGuffin that was important, what was critical was the plot itself, and the resolution of the story. Alfred Hitchcock warned us all not to fall for these, to remain fixated on the story…and the end result.

Too many people have failed in this mission. We should’ve learned our lesson three years ago. Let’s focus on the end goals: to restore Conservativism and to get rid of this president.

Let’s make Alfred proud.

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Broward Tea Party Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events:

Broward Tea Party Monthly Meeting: Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Place: TOTAL WINE & MORE   15980 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, Fl., 33027

Time: 7:00PM to 9:00PM    **Meeting sign-in and Meet & Greet: 7:00PM to 7:15PM. The meeting will begin promptly at 7:30PM.

Guest Speaker:  Gary Gershman, J.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Humanities (Holocaust Studies, American History, & Constitutional Law) at Nova Southeastern University. Gary will speak on the Constitution.

*Sign-up for the Saturday, February 4th Kris Anne Hall Constitution Seminar: $25/person includes lunch; make checks  payable to: Broward Tea Party, Inc.; You can also sign-up/purchase tickets via PayPal, on our website (special events link at top of page): www.TheBrowardTeaParty.com

*Water, sodas, and coffee will be provided. Please, bring a snack or treat to share…Greatly appreciated!

BRING A FRIEND, GUESTS MOST WELCOME!

*Glenn Beck/Mercury One Restoring Love Event, Dallas, Texas – July 26, 27, & 28, 2012. BTP has pre-registered for 50 tickets. The main event cost is $10. Interested people need to bring the $10 ticket fee to the February 1st meeting, or contact: lee@thebrowardteaparty.com *Further info on the event planning will be forthcoming; STAY TUNED!

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Kris Anne Hall Constitution-Bill of Rights Seminar: Saturday, February 4, 2012    

Place:  TOTAL WINE & MORE   15980 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, Fl.,  33027

Time:   10:00AM to 5:00PM

Cost:   $25/person includes lunch

Sign-up/purchase tickets via PayPal: “special events” link at top of webpage: www.TheBrowardTeaParty.com   Sign-up will also take place at the Feb. 1st Broward Tea Party Monthly Meeting; make checks payable to: Broward Tea Party, Inc. **Cost at the door day of event, $30.

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Karen Harrington

Broward Tea Party 1st Anniversary Monthly Meeting: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Special Guest Speaker: Karen Harrington, 2012 U.S. House of Representatives Candidate, Fl. CD 20. Karen is the GOP opposition to incumbent DNC Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Karen was our first guest speaker March, 2011.

Place:   **Walter C Young Community School Theater   901 N.W. 129th Ave., Pembroke Pines, Fl.,  33028

Time:   7:00PM to 9:00 PM    Sign-in and Meet & Greet:  7:00PM to 7:15PM   Meeting begins:  7:30PM

*Coffee, water, and sodas provided. Please bring a snack or treat to share…Greatly Appreciated!

                                      BRING A FRIEND, GUESTS MOST WELCOME!

**PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE!

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Broward Tea Party January, 2012 Newsletter

Co-founder’s Corner

By: Charles Robertson

My introduction to politics began twenty years ago with an organization much like the Tea Party.  The Jaycees were, and still are, a volunteer community service organization which, like the Tea Party, has several local chapters, several dozen state groups, and hundreds of groups nationwide.  Unlike the Tea Party, the JC’s have an organizational hierarchy like our government with local, state, and national elected leaders.  As an insider I got a firsthand look at politics behind the curtain.  It was both eye-opening and disturbing.

The Jaycees were started in the early part of the 20th century to give young people an opportunity to develop business skills by offering them hands on opportunities to develop and run their own community service projects.  Local groups would submit reports on their events and these reports would be judged against others to determine which chapters would win year-end awards at the state convention.  The other all-important judging criteria, was membership, as in which chapters could add the most members.  Getting young people to join a community service organization was a difficult task made even harder by the $50 membership fee.  The methods used to boost membership numbers and win awards was politics at its worst.

Membership often involved using proceeds from events to buy memberships for friends of members who weren’t the least bit interested in membership.  Or they quite simply picked names from the phone book and signed them up.  Writing reports for judging involved finding the right creative writer who could embellish and exaggerate while still maintaining some plausible credibility.  Often these writers were paid for their work, all this for some plaques and trophies.  Amazingly the winners felt proud of their achievements.  No one tried to change the system, because everyone was too busy manipulating it.

Among the hundreds of members, the quest to be the State Leader was intense.  The eventual winners always had one-common-ability.  They weren’t the smartest, most dedicated, or most qualified, but they were the best communicators.  The eventual President was always that individual who knew how to work the crowd, shake the most hands, and deliver a motivating speech.  I learned early on that the challenge of promoting great leaders involved overcoming a system that emphasizes charisma and style over substance.  It’s the same system that elevated an inexperienced, newly elected Senator with a history of voting present, to the most powerful position in the world.

When the Tea Party emerged I finally saw an answer to “the system.”  A grassroots movement whose power was generated by its numbers not by any elected leader.  A movement founded on core values, principles that are the foundation of our country.  Unlike any political group, our Tea Party offers no personal promotion.  Most everyone who joins a Tea Party does so out of concern that our country has gone off course, far away from the limited government and fiscal responsibility that is our heritage.  The power behind a united group of dedicated, principle-driven activists would seem unstoppable if only there were enough of them.

Our priority is clear, “we need to grow in numbers.”  The forces working against us are also clearly defined and formidable; a biased liberal media, a two-party system designed to exclude threats, labor unions, liberal special-interest groups, public apathy, and last but not least our own elected officials who seem intent on growing government and increasing our debt.  To counter and overcome these forces will require real grassroots mobilization.  Our members, the foot soldiers in our movement, need to become promoters and recruiters for the Tea Party.  Each of us needs to be personally responsible for adding at least 1 new member. Success is as simple as this: “grow baby grow”!  Let’s set the example here in Broward County, others will take note and our success and message will spread, which is our plan for victory.

 

Lee Levin

Lee wants to remind all members, that starting with the March 7th Monthly Meeting we will no longer meet at Total Wine and More. **The Wednesday, March 7th Meeting, and all meetings after, will be at: Walter C Young Community School Theater, 901 N.W. 129th Ave., Pembroke Pines, Fl., 33029.**

BTP Member Straw Poll Results

January 4, 2012 – Gingrich: 28.5%, Santorum: 26%, Paul: 19%, Romney: 12%, Perry: 7%, Huntsman: 5%  (Pre New Hampshire Primary)

December 7, 2011 – Gingrich: 49%, Bachman: 12%, Paul: 10%, Perry: 8%, Romney: 8%, Santorum: 6%, Huntsman: 4%, Johnson: 2%    (Pre Iowa Caucus)

January’s Guest Speaker: Doug Harrison

Doug was born in Jamaica, where he and his parents experienced the negative effects of socialism, first hand. His family immigrated to the United States to escape the political climate of their homeland. Doug grew up in South Florida, attending elementary, middle, and high school, here. He went on to attend the University of Florida, for his undergraduate degree, and the UF Levin College of Law. His background includes being a former Miami-Dade prosecutor, a local law practice, and teaching adults at the college-level about our country at Broward College. Doug also serves as the co-chair of the South Florida Chapter of the Americans for Tax Reform, ATR.

Doug espouses conservative free market, free thought and Edmund Burke ideals. He is extremely concerned with the progressive political climate of local, state, and national politics. He states, “500 to 1000 politicians “rule” the 1.7 million people in Broward County. He wants to make citizens aware of what’s going on and who’s controlling our government. The progressive front is organizing around the country, including here. Awake America, which is the antithesis of the Tea Party movement, is organizing across the nation, in every town, city, and state. Doug wants to educate and inform people of the threat groups like this pose to our rights and self-governance.

A new Florida State House seat, District 104, will be formed when redistricting is finalized. Doug Harrison plans to announce his candidacy for SH 104 District, soon. He will be a candidate in the 2012 Election. “Stay tuned!” Doug is a breath of fresh air on the South Florida political scene. He is young, energetic, and determined to change the face of “politics as usual.”

Committee Reports

Speaker Committee, Lee Levin:

– CNN Money may have BTP take part in a focus group.

– Guest speaker for the Wednesday, February 1st Monthly Meeting, will be Nova Southeastern University Associate Professor of Humanities, Gary Gershman, speaking on the Constitution.

Kris Anne Hall will present her Constitution/Bill of Rights Seminar Saturday, February 4th, hosted by the BTP.

Fl.CD 20 U.S. House of Representatives candidate, Karen Harrington, will celebrate BTP’s 1st Anniversary with us at the Wednesday, March 7th Monthly Meeting.

Planning Committee, Kristin Matheny: PC is working on the details for an After-Primary Rally; need speakers (candidates?)  Also in the works, a 1st Anniversary Picnic for March/April at Vista View Park, Griffin Road and I-75.

Fundraising Committee, Berta Medina: Fundraising dollars will be used to help put the BTP message out; purchase of bumper stickers, door hangers, and new business cards.

Communications, Judith Welker: BTP is very active on Facebook-114 members, FreedomConnector-82 members, and Twitter-685 followers. To sign-up to receive BTP’s new Word Press Newsletter/Blog via email: www.thebrowardteaparty.wordpress.com

Members should reach out and spread the BTP message by sharing links to our Newsletter, Blogs, and event postings. We are also encouraging members to volunteer to work for their candidate(s) of choice; mailings, making phone calls, and walks distributing candidate and voters information. We are a grassroots organization and “boots on the ground” are needed to win back our nation!

Candidate debates, pre-Florida GOP Primary: Jan. 23rd NBC,  Jan. 26th CNN. Times TBA.                                                                                                                                                                     

 **Florida Republican Primary: Vote, January 31, 2012**

Open Forum Discussion:

Members discussed various topics surrounding the  election.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              >How money shapes political opinion                                                                                                                                                                                                   >The importance of the internet in shaping political opinion                                                                                                                                                       >How BTP’s 3 Core Values relate to the presidential candidate’s platforms                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                >A spokesman for the Libertarian Party of Broward County invited interested members to attend monthly meetings held the 2nd Wednesday of each month, at Denny’s restaurant, Oakland Park Blvd. & I-95. Chair, Donald Sheldon, and the Libertarian Party are sponsoring a Get Out the Vote campaign.

Upcoming Events:

Broward Tea Party Monthly Meeting: Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Place: TOTAL WINE & MORE   15980 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, Fl., 33027  

 Time: 7:00PM to 9:00PM    **Meeting sign-in and Meet & Greet: 7:00PM to 7:15PM. The meeting will begin promptly at 7:30PM.

  Guest Speaker:  Gary Gershman, J.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Humanities (Holocaust Studies, American History, & Constitutional Law) at Nova Southeastern University. Gary will speak on the Constitution.

 *Sign-up for the Saturday, February 4th Kris Anne Hall Constitution Seminar: $25/person includes lunch; make checks  payable to: Broward Tea Party, Inc.; You can also sign-up/purchase tickets via PayPal, on our website (special events link at top of page): www.TheBrowardTeaParty.com           

*Water, sodas, and coffee will be provided. Please, bring a snack or treat to share…Greatly appreciated!

                                BRING A FRIEND, GUESTS MOST WELCOME!

 *Glenn Beck/Mercury One Restoring Love Event, Dallas, Texas – July 26, 27, & 28, 2012. BTP has pre-registered for 50 tickets. The main event cost is $10. Interested people need to bring the $10 ticket fee to the February 1st meeting, or contact: lee@thebrowardteaparty.com *Further info on the event planning will be forthcoming; STAY TUNED!

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Kris Anne Hall Constitution-Bill of Rights Seminar: Saturday, February 4, 2012                  

Place:  TOTAL WINE & MORE   15980 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, Fl.,  33027                                  

Time:   10:00AM to 5:00PM

Cost:   $25/person includes lunch

Sign-up/purchase tickets via PayPal: “special events” link at top of webpage: www.TheBrowardTeaParty.com   Sign-up will also take place at the Feb. 1st Broward Tea Party Monthly Meeting; make checks payable to: Broward Tea Party, Inc. **Cost at the door day of event, $30.

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Karen Harrington

Broward Tea Party 1st Anniversary Monthly Meeting: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Special Guest Speaker: Karen Harrington, 2012 U.S. House of Representatives Candidate, Fl. CD 20. Karen is the GOP opposition to incumbent DNC Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Karen was our first guest speaker March, 2011.

Place:   **Walter C Young Community School Theater   901 N.W. 129th Ave., Pembroke Pines, Fl.,  33028

Time:   7:00PM to 9:00 PM    Sign-in and Meet & Greet:  7:00PM to 7:15PM   Meeting begins:  7:30PM

*Coffee, water, and sodas provided. Please bring a snack or treat to share…Greatly Appreciated!

                                      BRING A FRIEND, GUESTS MOST WELCOME!

**PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE!

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Links of Interest

Supervisor of Elections, Broward County, Fl.: www.browardsoe.org

Palm Beach County, Fl. Election Info: www.pbcelections.org

Miami Dade County, Fl. Election Info: www.miamidade.gov/elections

Information and Registration for CPAC 2012 (Thurs., February 9, 2012 – Sat., February 11, 2012, in Washington, D.C.: http://CPAC2012.conservative.org/

2012-Primary-Debate-Schedule: http://resourcelibrary.patriotactionnetwork.com/2012-primary-debate-schedule/

Are Human Rights the Same as Natural Rights: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/12/19/are-human-rights-the-same-as-natural-rights/

Videos/Find Out Where the Candidates Stand: http://endingspending.com/onthetrail/

New Year’s Resolutions for Conservatives: http://links.heritage.org/hostedemail/email.htm?CID=10759226015&ch=35414ED961CE5033D7ED1F6826557AB6&h=76926a13130db8e829d2ab3f60707844&ei=WC83Pj8zN

Prof. Walter E Williams – Economics of Liberty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUL152yGVGI

December Imprimis: The Unity and Beauty of the Declaration and the Constitution: http://paracom.paramountcommunication.com/hostedemail/email.htm?CID=10775512808&ch=369E9CCC3972F9A1FC4A083BE5AAD670&h=b3b6dcf0a14ca8bd5c39f55c78ae4748&ei=sxmfpN8Nw

2012 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire: http://www.judicialwatch.org/2012-presidential-candidate-questionnaire/

Conservatives-Remain-Largest-Ideological group: http://www.gallup.com/poll/152021/Conservatives-Remain-Largest-Ideological-Group.aspx?utm_source=add+this&utm_medium=addthis.com&utm_campaign=sharing#.Tw-8jg9CAY8.facebook

Hillsdale College: “Markets, Government, and the Common Good”: http://paracom.paramountcommunication.com/hostedemail/email.htm?CID=10848232289&ch=739C3A86C9397D7752A3C3A4073DF27B&h=f4fd5af9d01a2fc13583f45edf767327&ei=W9kVls8rN

A Video History of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution: http://www.floridapoliticalpress.com/2012/01/13/the-14th-amendment-of-the-u-s-constitution-a-history-video/

Documentary Promo of “Runaway Slave, the Movie: http://www.runawayslavemovie.com/site/

Broward Tea Party Contact Info:

Go to: www.TheBrowardTeaParty.com for links to our Facebook, Twitter, FreedomConnector, and LibertyLinked group sites and to see our local advertisers. If you would like to advertise your business on our website, mailto:lee@thebrowardteaparty.com. “We support those who support us!”

To sign-up to receive news, blog, and event updates via Word Press Email: www.thebrowardteaparty.wordpress.com. Scroll down the right-hand column to the Follow Blog via Email sign-up.

To unsubscribe, please let us know by sending a note to: mailto:info@thebrowardteaparty.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

                                                                                                            

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Eyes Wide Open”, Blog by Kristin Matheny- #2 “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” 1/1/2012

“Eyes Wide Open” by Kristin Matheny

“My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys”

 1/1/2012 

My all-time favorite television show is “The Twilight Zone”, and one of my all-time favorite episodes is kind of a ‘hidden gem’, as it’s not as well-known as some of the other, more famous episodes.  The hidden gem of an episode that I’m referring to is titled “I Am the Night- Color Me Black”. I remember seeing it as a kid, but I guess it holds more meaning for me now that I’m an adult.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the episode, I’ll give you a brief synopsis. A man named Jagger is wrongfully convicted of murder, even though most of the people in his small, nameless town (presumably somewhere in the Midwest) know that he killed an intolerant bigot in utter self-defense. He’s sentenced to a hanging, and the townspeople, who salivate at the thought of morbidly watching this poor innocent fellow meet his Maker at the end of a noose, cheer on the death. Even the sheriff looks on in disgust, knowing that his moral objections to the hanging mean nothing in light of a town full of immoral lunatics who more closely resemble Ancient Roman gladiator match attendees than quaint, rural citizens.

Anyway, on the morning of the hanging, the whole town awakes to complete, pitch black skies. Everything is dark, the sun never rises. As the minutes and hours tick by, there is no sign of light. The radio and newspapers report that the town is the only place in the whole world that remains a “dark spot”. Either way, the hanging ultimately occurs, and a pastor (who happens to be a black man, very symbolic for a TV episode from 1964) tells the townspeople, who stand in awe of Jagger’s lifeless body dangling from a rope, that it’s no wonder they’re plunged into darkness, that they’ve managed to “kill the sunshine” in effect with this gross display of immorality and wrongdoing. Then, the town becomes even darker (if that’s possible) and the radio reports that other towns around the world are experiencing similar “dark spots” on that day- Dallas, Birmingham, Berlin, North Vietnam.

Put into context, it’s pretty obvious what the whole episode is an allegory of- and it’s familiar to most of us why Rod Serling, who wrote the episode himself, purposefully chose those sites and those symbols. I read in a “Twilight Zone” Watcher’s Guide that Rod Serling wrote the script as a personal reaction to the John F. Kennedy assassination, which was still very fresh in the minds of Americans in 1964. It’s poignant, and it’s heartfelt.

Now, I was not around in 1964- I was born 18 years later- but in 2011, I realize that the symbolism is as fresh and as powerful as it must have been for viewers back then.

What is being “hanged” nowadays by ravenous, salivating beasts isn’t John F. Kennedy. Racism, at least as it existed back then, has become a bittersweet page in history (though, like the Law of Matter, racism “can never be created, nor destroyed”…it just sort of ‘changes shape’). What happened in North Vietnam and Berlin has been forgotten by many (though, like racism, that also just kind of ‘changes shape’). Do you see where I’m going with this? Isn’t it obvious? Back in 1964, so much was changing, so quickly…some of it good, some of it bad. My parents talk about my grandparents saving up to buy homes in the suburbs, start businesses. My Dad tells me about how he spent afternoons watching John Wayne movies with his father, how he loved cowboys and old-time westerns.

Almost fifty years later, here we are in debt up to our eyeballs, with a President and a boatload of liberal politicians that cannot accept that the government was designed to be limited and scarce. These upholders of a “nanny state” feel that financial solvency for Americans can be achieved through loans, welfare checks, handouts…whatever. There is no more “saving up”, or “starting” of anything, at least not for them.

Both of my grandfathers are now gone- God rest their souls- but I can’t help but wonder what in the hell they’d think if they saw this.

What died at the end of a noose is not a president, or a civil rights leader, or decency even…it’s everything that came after. It’s everything that people like my grandparents held on to, only to have it buried along with them. It’s hard work, dedication, patience, toughness. It’s the “American Dream”.

I want to believe that it still exists. Does it? I have a one year-old son whose nursery and playroom I’ve plastered with the old covers of “western” comic book covers that I found on eBay. Cowboy stars of the 1940s and 1950s- Tom Mix, Will Rogers- they live in wooden frames on his walls. I watched “The Searchers” with him the other day, bouncing him on my lap like a mini cowboy atop a horse. He giggled and laughed, loving every minute. He recently had a “western rodeo” birthday bash. People always ask why I chose cowboys as his theme, rather than Elmo or zoo animals. I guess I’ve always had a thing for cowboys (queue the photos of Ronald Reagan riding around his California ranch with the white hat on)! Cowboys are just sort of my attempt to provide him with some kid-friendly frame of reference. Grit, morality, “good triumphing over evil”. The American Spirit lived in our romanticized notions of cowboys, and I can’t help but hope that it will, somehow, “rub off” on my boy. I try to teach him consequences, responsibility, motivation, persistence…as I know we all do, as Tea Partiers and as believers in this forgotten notion of the “American Dream” and what is required to achieve it.

We teach our kids these things because we know no one else will. They sure aren’t going to learn it at school (and this is coming from a veteran public school teacher). They aren’t going to learn it from their friends, or their friends’ parents…certainly not from “trusted media sources” (ha!). Do you ever feel like, as parents (or grandparents, or simply people who care about future generations) that we are “riding the range”, lonely and barren, looking for something we lost long ago? We try to embody that spirit- that DREAM- of America, the attainable only through perseverance and heart. I show up to Tea Party meetings feeling a little less alone, but I know that it’s not enough. Somewhere between “The Greatest Generation”, my parents’ generation, my generation, THIS generation…we got lost in the shuffle, silenced by angry, salivating townspeople (many of whom are, as we speak, in Washington…and in the White House), swinging nooses and cheering our deaths…and the death of our American Dream.

Like I said, I don’t see it, but I know it has to be there. I have FAITH that the American Dream, the story of success as it was told by my family before me (“The Dreams From MY Fathers”, Mr. Obama!) is hidden behind this disgusting wall of liberal lies, semi-Socialism, and easy-way-out fairness. It seems silly to teach a toddler to be a “buckaroo”, probably as silly as it seems to some of these lefties to teach our children things like accountability and patriotism. But it’s all I’ve got. It’s all he’s got. It’s hidden from view, but I just know that if I can get my son to realize his inner “cowboy”, if I can get him to honor success, and to become a God-fearing defender of his country and its original ideals, there is hope for our future.

I’d like to think that our American Dream is not hanging on a rope, but is staring death in the face with fearless conviction. Those psycho deathmongers just demand its demise, but it will not falter. It strides away in a white hat, as they stand aghast, as the rest of us cheer. We’ll never wake to a morning plunged into darkness.  The sun will rise, and will rise every morning.

It’ll take a few elections, a few exceptional patriots, some courage on our parts as grass roots organizers, but we can ensure a happy ending.

(Happy 2012, everyone. Our mission is clear…)

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