Author Archives: gordonglantz

Gray Christmas

sad_christmas_by_melody368

Gray Christmas

What we need is a gray Christmas
We got too much of black and white
Too much focus on how we’re different
Not enough on wrong and right

What we need is a gray Christmas
Might just keep you from those blues
No worries on sounding irreverent
Play this straight without the booze

Don’t matter how, if or when you pray
Even gray comes in many shades
Think you are wealthy, but you’re poor
Stand up for peace the other 3-6-4

What we need is a gray Christmas
Just forget about green and red
Give in and give us a lasting present
Give with your heart and your head

What we need is a gray Christmas

Honorable Mention

American Songwriter Magazine November/December 2018 Lyric Contest

Facebook Shows Our True Face

Dan May

By DAN MAY

Baffling!

Okay, so it seems that the latest Facebook scam is where you get a private message from one of your friends and it begins like this:

“Hi…I actually got another friend request from you yesterday…”

It’s supposed to make you think YOUR site has been cloned, when in actuality it is the person who SENT the message whose site has been compromised. What’s confusing about it, among other things, is their page has NOT been cloned, but commandeered, because the previous messages in the message thread are ACTUAL past messages from your friend. And if you search their name, only one of them comes up, where if they had been cloned, there would be multiple sites with their picture and name.

Confused?

So am I.

So, what’s the point of this scam? I’m not sure, but it seems to be designed to create mistrust in the whole system. Because if someone can commandeer our site and start sending out private messages to our friends WITHOUT actually cloning our site, then the foundation of privacy has been destroyed. And as I’m typing this message, I just got another of the exact same message from another friend.

They’re dropping like flies.

So, is the objective of the people behind this scam to tell us that now we can’t trust anything we see on Facebook, even when it comes from our ACTUAL friends? That everything is under suspicion, everything is under scrutiny and we have to be careful what we say and what we do? And that no one, but no one is really our friend online? That it’s all a facade designed to take our attention away from the REAL world and REAL human beings? Is that the objective? Because if it is, I think they’ve wasted their time.

Because in our hearts, we already knew that.

 

West Virginia Plays The Fool

WVA2

By GORDON GLANTZ

GORDONVILLE — Good thing I’m not a good Catholic – or Catholic at all.

I would have spent a lot of time confessing to the sin of taunting and teasing, with the only excuse being that they asked for it.

I didn’t make life hard for the kid with a physical disability or the kid with thick glasses or the one with acne.

They couldn’t help it, and I really tried to look past that stuff.

I was also aware of my own vulnerabilities. I had fuzzy hair that grow to the cloud instead of down to my shoulders like Roger Daltrey. I had some serious buck-ass teeth. And the occasional zit would rear its ugly head at the worst times.

We are all not perfect.

If I had been a state, it would have been an insignificant one – like one of the Dakotas (which should be combined anyway, but that’s another story).

Good for hockey, and not much else.

Who would have been open to my teasing?

West Virginia comes to mind.

Why? Because West Virginia – at second to the bottom in life expectancy — brings a lot of its troubles on itself.

It asks — practically begs — to be teased.

It’s not like it didn’t try to improve its lot in life – the equivalent of seeking tutoring – but going for JFK in 1960 and Bill Clinton in both 1992 and 1996.

You could argue that its self-made mattress on the floor would not full of bed bugs was not made any better by going for the Democrat winner, but you could also argue that it had the right instincts to continue its own momentum by going for Democratic losers in 1968 (Hubert Humphrey), 1980 (Jimmy Carter) and Michael Dukakis (1988).

Those guys didn’t win, and neither did West Virginia under Republican regimes rolling back what the Democrats tried to do.

Instead, by waffling back and forth, it finds itself where it is now – in an embarrassing scenario of fading into oblivion while worshipping at the altar of the current president it helped to elect with 68 percent of the vote in the most recent presidential election.

They most recently cheered him on like blind loyalists a high school pep rally crossed with a bible revival while he spoke of “falling in love” with fellow loon Kim Jong-un.

Maybe they saw a messiah in this bronze idol, and maybe you can’t blame them at the time – especially since their Democratic choice in the primary season, Bernie Sanders, wasn’t on the ballot (and Hillary Clinton had bad-mouthed coal mining beyond repair).

If their hearts were in the right place then, their heads need to follow now.

If not, they are living up to their stereotypes of imbeciles in overalls.

If not, I have no choice but to pull their chair out from under them when they go to sit down or stick that handy “kick me hard” sign on their ass in the hallway.

Turns out, the wool has been pulled over the eyes of the state that ranks 43rd in poverty and 45th in education.

If this state had a collective brain, the cheers should be turning to jeers, as several news reports – you know from the purportedly evil “Jew-run” mainstream media – reveal that things are getting worse under the current regime.

Last year, for example, West Virginia’s poverty rate went up (that’s not a good thing) to 19.1 percent from 17.9, making it just one of four such states.

What makes it ironic was that the president went to West Virginia with the plan to boast about his accomplishments that, along with his love affair with a leader who allegedly doesn’t defecate, are economic.

He proclaimed that he pound his chest about how he “turned West Virginia around.”

I guess he figured, after getting laughed at in the more astute UN, that he would find a more willing audience in West Virginia.

And he did – meaning some just cause for placing some pre-chewed bumble gum in its hair – in Social Studies class.

When liberals such as I like to point out conservatives – about 98-99 percent of them – who don’t vote in their own best interests, West Virginia is Exhibit A.

The nation is bitterly divided along all kinds of lines, and yet West Virginia finds itself in a vicious cycle serving as cannon fodder for a president while life gets worse there.

How so? Its workers – cashiers, retail clerks, service people – are the fastest growing in the state. It points to an upward arrow in employment rates – despite factors like inconsistent hours — but a downward spiral in the poverty rate.

Want the type of numbers that never get cited at these presidential pep rallies? A soup kitchen in Charleston, W.Va. served 9,700 meals in January. Come August, try 10,800.

“There’s a direct correlation between the hopelessness and the lack of jobs,” Director Tara Martinez was quoted as saying. “The jobs that are available are minimum wage and part time — they don’t have benefits. When you have that, coupled with the hopelessness of, ‘How do I get out of this cycle?’ and having to go to a soup pantry, it’s like a hamster wheel.”

And there is the elephant in the room – and the only social issue for which the president has shown any concern – that being the opioid crisis.

The brother of an addict, the president claims sensitivity to this, but has yet to make any really connection at the core of the issue. He remains too much of a single-issue president – almost a savant – with that issue being economic indicators indicating he is the “best ever.”

But poverty in places like West Virginia goes hand in hand with its ongoing battle with the opioid crisis woven into its culture as much as coal mining used to be.

Maybe I should take more pity on West Virginia. After all, it is in the hook of that wonderful John Denver song and all, but I can’t get past its infatuation with the president and the reasons it exists.

Consider that West Virginia is:

-Around 95 percent white. That, in and of itself, is not a crime. But we all know what base was played to during the election after eight years of Barack Obama allegedly holding the country hostage from itself.

-On the education thing, just 21 percent of the state’s residents between 25 and 64 have college degrees. Again, not a crime. However, whether you have a 4.0 in school or a 2.0, you learn critical thinking skills that make less gullible to con men and hucksters. Don’t think for a second that the president doesn’t keep biting into this like a KFC chicken thigh. This sad fact also puts West Virginians way behind the curve, in terms of joining their bronze idols alleged recovery that is weighted heavily toward those with any sort of degree beyond high school.

-Beginning this month, as the president exited from after chest-pounding routine, the state’s indigent face the burden of new work requirements for food stamps that will only mean longer lines with those in MAGA hats outside soup kitchens like the one run by Martinez in Charleston.

“It’s frightening and I’m worried and I’m doing everything I can to make sure our doors are still open,” she said, noting that she expects demand for meals to rise by 30 percent. “It’s going to be a lot of fundraising and pleading.”

And while I would have never mocked anyone getting a free lunch in my school daze or yore, I would have to mock them for not knowing enough to realize that they are placing their faith in a scam artist.

Don’t Look Away

Dipshits1

By GORDON GLANTZ

GORDONVILLE — Tonight, one of the networks is airing a show about some former white nationalist type who has since reformed himself.

I think it’s going to be on MSNBC, but it could be CNN. I don’t know and I really don’t care.
It’s the not first time, and it won’t be the last, that someone tries to make the rest of us feel comforted and weepy-eyed about one rare case with a positive outcome.

For every one guy who de-clowns himself enough to start rid himself of tattoos with enemy flags (SS symbols, swastikas, Confederate flags, etc,) gets himself out, countless more clowns go into the hate machine.

A recent study came out, meant to coincide with today’s latest example of the drain getting more swamped, estimate that 24 million Americans hold alt-right beliefs. They are estimating low.

A whole lot more than that “wanted their country back” after Barack Obama was elected (not even sworn it), and a whole lot more than that call him “Obummer” to be cute and clever and call him the “worst president ever” with zero details to back that statement up.

Those may not qualify as alt-right beliefs by those taking the study, but they do in my book (the only book that matters, at least to me).

It’s a scary trend, and one we need to confront. I confront it every day on Facebook, trying to engage the MAGA crowd in logical debate, and bits and pieces of deeper hatred come oozing out like saliva on a rabid animal.

Maybe not enough to meet the standard of the survey that cut the number off at 24 million, but enough to tell me that there are more out there ripe to be plucked like the low-hanging fruit that they are.

Every time I earn a check mate in these “debates,” I get called a troll. My response is that if you don’t want anyone to disagree with you, don’t make a public post. I know I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and I invite debate.

They do, too, trust. It’s all meant to incite and inflame and agitate, but they don’t like being called out on it in a logical manner. Any fact check, even from non-partisan entities, are meet with “fake news” trump card (and that is the only time you will see me use the word trump, as I refer to him exclusively as David Dennison, and you will note “trump” was not capitalized).

Then it inevitably morphs into me being called a libtard and/or a snowflake. Sometimes I’m told to go move to Denmark (not a bad idea, actually) or challenged to meet in person for some sort of dual in the public square (one such situation in Florida actually resulted in a shooting).

With the one year anniversary of Charlottesville – and the death of Heather Heyer, which has somehow been reduced to a footnote – upon us, that topic came up. A woman flat-out told me that it all started because Antifa was violent with “patriots” carrying the flag.

When I explained that the flags they were carrying were actually enemy flags, she said they were … paid actors.

You can’t argue with stupid – as much as I try.

The reality, according to another survey, is that most of these white hate clowns fall into predictable categories – poor, unemployed and uneducated (no wonder that most are also divorced).

That is pretty much the demographic – along with some Russian bots and the Electoral College – that helped sway the 2016 election.

There was a lot of coded hate speech used to make this fools feel empowered, and the results made them feel legitimate enough to stage Charlottesville under the nonsensical guise of protesting the removal of a statue of a traitor, Robert E. Lee.

Just because the clown of all clowns in the White House dances around the subject and won’t confront it, let alone denounce it, doesn’t mean we need to lower ourselves to that level and wear blindfolds.

On this the anniversary of the national tragedy — perhaps the largest in my daughter’s lifetime (born in 2007) -that was Charlottesville (a place we took her on vacation a few summers ago), take whiff of what is going to happen today in DC and let the stink sink in.

It’s more nauseating to me, as an American still waiting to still our potential for greatness fulfilled, than NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem (a common source of battle with daily deplorable sparring partners, even though I would personally never not stand for the anthem – even if should be “This Land Is Your Land”).

So go ahead. You can watch tonight’s show focused on one guy, all while dabbing your eyes with tissues, but the real time to watch is today.

That’s when you need to cry for we’ve devolved into, which something far from great.

 

Our Five: Rare Birds with Wings

Sullivan

By GORDON GLANTZ

GORDONVILLE — It happens every August.

Eagles fans – even in the afterglow of the ultimate prize – are ready for some football, even if it comes in the form of a messy version of the real thing that is preseason.

Excitement often turns to disappointment, as starters – and even familiar names further down the depth chart – don’t get much meaningful playing time.

But before you threw up your hands during Thursday’s preseason opener (7 p.m.) against the Steelers and send your bowl of pretzel sticks tumbling to the floor, wondering who these guys are up on your TV screens, take it from this guy that all is not lost.

In the midst of the madness and chaos, where yellow penalty flags go flying by like beach chairs in a tornado, there are some players in Eagle green who are not just dressed up for Halloween.

You need not re-watch the movie “Invincible” about the ultimate story of an undrafted free agent, Vince Papale, for inspiration. As recently as 2014, I picked an undrafted free agent – an undersized tight end from Florida named Trey Burton – out of the chorus and predicted he would be pegged for a solo. With the “Philly Special” – and a lot of other clutch catches and special teams efforts – in our heads, we know how that worked out. Burton has parlayed that success into greener pastures – literally and figuratively – as he signed with the Chicago Bears in the offseason to a contract that will made him the eighth highest paid tight end in the league.

Last year, as a public service, I provided a list of five players to watch in preseason. My only mistake – one that will not be repeated – was not doing it alphabetically, as Corey Clement would have been listed first instead of fourth (behind David Watford, Aaron Grymes and Joe Walker and in front of Randall Goforth).

A year later, Walker is still on the team as a backup middle linebacker after starting a handful a games last year. Goforth was released just before training camp began.

Clement, meanwhile, was a vital role player in the offense all season and saved his best for last, with four catches out of the backfield for 100 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

A good portion of the 53-man roster seems locked down with returnees, offseason signees and draft picks. Still, there a spots – even of the developmental variety on the practice squad – to be had.

Let’s take a look – in alphabetical look – at some candidates to catch your wandering August eye:

Josh Adams, RB: The Eagles have a crowded backfield picture, and the top three – Jay Ajayi, Clement and Darren Sproles – are roster locks who are likely to see much action. For what may be just one active roster spot behind them, there is a posse of Wendell Smallwood, Matt Jones and last year’s draft bust, Donnel Pumphrey. Adams, as an undrafted free agent (despite being considered a mid-round pick going into the annual cattle call), would seem to be fodder. However, the Bucks County native has some pedigree. He had a strong senior year at Notre Dame (1,430 yards to give him a fifth-best of 3,198 for his Irish career) and, at 6-foot-2, 213 pounds, strikes a noticeable pose. While he may have to wait it out a year on the practice squad, the Central Bucks South grad will get plenty of touches in the first two preseason games.

Rashard Davis, WR: After posting insane punt return numbers at FCS James Madison as a senior, the diminutive Davis (5-9, 175) was waiting tables in Charlottesville, Va. – right before the tragedy there – when the Eagles called after Sproles went down for the year. He was on and off the practice squad, but will get plenty of chances to field punts – and turn heads – while Sproles sits out the preseason. His time on the back end of the roster likely means Davis was schooled on the nuances of playing the slot, so he could make inroads as the fifth or sixth receiver there. A lot a guys – from last year’s fifth-round pick Shelton Gibson to converted quarterback Greg Ward Jr. to frequent Eagle Bryce Treggs – will be battling for one or two spots behind a locked in top four (Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Mike Wallace and Mack Hollins) and maybe another one or two on the practice squad. Don’t be surprised if the shortest guy is left standing.

Joe Ostman , DE: It is not an exaggeration to say that Ostman, despite not having projectable NFL athleticism, was one of the best defensive players in college football. Just last year, Ostman (6-3, 255) had 19½ tackles for a loss (45½ for his career) and 13 sacks (26 career). He was considered a Day 3 pick who might be best suited as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment. Here, with a wide-9 attack, he is a low-risk/high-reward longshot for the active roster at one of team’s deepest positions, but he will get a long look and could earn training time on the practice squad (and a second I-told-you-so mentioned here next year). Without much raw athletic ability, his high motor clearly runs on a lot of fuel, and Philly rightfully loves that as much as mustard on a soft pretzel.

Tre Sullivan, S: Even with Corey Graham back in the fold and Chris Maragos returning from injury, don’t be surprised if a safety you never heard of before lands on the final 53-man roster and another on the practice squad. Despite playing at Division III Shepherd, Sullivan was in camp last year, hit everything that moved and was promptly brought back for another chance to refine his game. Two other rookie free agent safeties – Jeremy Reaves and Stephen Roberts – are in the mix, but Sullivan may have an edge in his second camp.

Toby Weathersby, OT: Two guarantees. One, the media focus will be on seventh-round pick Jordan Mailata, who never played a snap of football before being drafted. Two, the more prepared player for right now will be Weathersby (6-4, 317), who played big-time college football at LSU. What that will mean when the final cuts come is hard to say, but if you look who is plowing holes for the likes of Adams to run through, it just might be No. 74.

This article originally appeared at phillyphanatics.com.