Susan Slotnick: The Summer of 2015

Susan Slotnick

Susan Slotnick

  1. A clown car driven by a fool. It will be remembered that for one ridiculous moment in the summer of 2015 an absurd embarrassment, a racist idiot, with absolutely no foreign policy experience, knowledge of government, or sense of decorum destroyed my long-cherished notion that it’s the people in power who are stupid not the American citizenry. Uh-uh. He is leading in the “polls!” This chauvinistic sexist pig referred to Megyn Kelly having her period when he said, “She had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever.” Trump will be remembered for making the most sick perverse public comment made by a so-called “politician” about a woman ever. What a distinction! So you guys who are flocking to his rock concert sans music, have mothers, daughters, sisters and wives. If someone publicly humiliated your daughter like that, would you vote for him?
  2. Cuba. I have a picture of my father, Jack Meltzer, circa 1932 standing on a street in Havana with, of course, a cigar hanging from his turned-up lips. He would have been glad to know that we dropped a grudge held for 55 years with one of our closest neighbors; an ancient holdover from the Cold War finally gone. A snippet of good news among the bad.
  3. John Russell Houser was added to the list of lunatics who murder innocent people. A maniac, along with the other mental case James Holmes; the two of them opening fire in a movie theater. How this act can be understood to serve the ultra-conservative, anti-immigration Tea Party agenda (to which he was a member) should be posed to the “Let’s make the country safer by arming everyone” enthusiasts.

A retort I read somewhere, can’t remember where, probably blocked it out, offered this absurd illogic, “If everyone in the theater had a gun, maybe the crazies would be killed by the sane people carrying loaded guns everywhere just in case.”

  1. Bill Cosby. The media should write a “thank you” note to Bill for supplying so many ratings worthy-salacious details for the public to chew on. But at least Cosby supplied a short reprieve from the usual news fare like this headline, “Why did so many famous couples split up this summer?” Important question … let me ponder … I think it was the heat. The Cosby debacle is old news. I knew about him through rumors 40 years ago. He’s a sick twisted man. He could have been and should have been stopped decades ago. Where would he have been were he not a celebrity with the money to pay off those woman or the power to further their careers.
  2. The Refugee Crisis. A Syrian toddler, someone’s cherished baby, lies face-down dead on a Turkish beach after the boat in which his family was attempting to flee in capsized.

Families strewn about lying on floors in a Hungarian train station, children sleeping unprotected on sidewalks are among the more than 19 million (19,000,000) forced to flee their home countries because of war, persecution and oppression. Everyday an estimated 42,500 more join them, with no let up in sight. Who will take them? Many rich countries that could help have in place anti-refugee policies. Just like the anti-immigration movement here, some European countries are fearful of the effects of immigration, jobs for nationals being lost, the financial burdens incurred by providing for the refugees, and some countries are concerned about preserving national identity — to me an ugly notion that reminds me first of Nazi Germany and secondly of countries, including ours, that refused to take in Jews liberated from the concentration camps. History never seems to be the great teacher promised to us as young innocents in high school social studies class. At this critical moment in history when more people than ever need help, wealthy countries are as reluctant to help them as ever — putting millions of human beings in peril.

  1. The Pope. I love him. Not since Pope John XXIII said in 1961, “Throw open the windows of the church and let the spirit of fresh air blow through!” has there been a Pontiff so courageously progressive on so many issues of social justice. This profundity attributed to him appeared on my Facebook news feed, “It is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. In a way the traditional notion of God is outdated. One can be spiritual and not religious. It is not necessary to go to church or to give money. For many nature can be the church. Some of the best people in history did not believe in God, while some of the worse deeds were done in his name.” As I type this quote, my eyes moisten. Why? In the summer of 2015, words of tolerance, inclusion, compassion and love were spoken by this man amidst a sea of nonsense, mean-spiritedness, ignorance and global strife. There is a concept in mystical Judaism called in Hebrew Tzadikim Nistarim loosely translated, “The hidden righteous ones.” Thirty-six people, supposedly unknown, whose wisdom and goodness holds the world together for the rest of us. At all times there are 36 of these people in the world, and were it not for them, all of them, if even one of them was missing, the world would come to an end. I suspect the pontiff might be one of them.