Deleting Haters From One’s Group Is Not Always Easy, But Always Necessary

     I live a simple life.  It is what I would call a good life.  I’m not extremely wealthy; nor do I live in a mansion, but I live in a beautiful part of the world, with the woman whom I love, Lee Hiller-London.     

      I have a few digital design, computer, and marketing skills, which makes it easy for me to choose a place I want to live.  Thanks to the Internet combined with those basic skills, I can fairly easily make a living from my living room as can Lee after developing her photos from her hike.  She knows the importance of me hiking several times a week with her as I bring along with my one of my professors told me to call “my genius pad”. Nature has a way of bringing out the genius in the most mundane of all of us.  I remember telling him, “But I’m not a genius. What is the use of carrying the pad? “He responded, “You will be when you jot down the fleeting idea on paper that 99.9% continue to let fleet until they forget it by the time they got home.

     This theory has proven itself over and over again; no I don’t consider myself a genius by any means but I clearly see why the brightest of the bright keep a pen and pad always within reach wherever they are.  

     This week was a very bad week.  No, it wasn’t because I forgot my “genius pad” or couldn’t think up anything funny that would make it as a cartoon, it was people. Personality conflict. 

     I will start with facebook “friend #1. Let’s just call him FBF#1 for now. I rarely talk to him, but I always got along with him growing up. He seemed friendly and occasionally visited one of my more popular facebook groups about growing up southern.   I occasionally like to kid around; just to see if people are awake and paying attention. I found an old movie marquee with Dorothy, Toto and one of the flying monkey-monsters and said, “You guys want believe this but I just discovered a new film on Netflix called “Wizard Of Oz”. It has cool special effects, flying monkeys, a wizard who speaks from behind a curtain, a tornado scene and all kinds of cool stuff. I think it’s going to be a hit.  Most of my friends had this or that funny sarcastic thing to say except for one. 

     FBF#1 was someone I’d known in real life, but not that well…fortunately.  He added, “Oh, and look at the monkey. It looks just like Obama and I didn’t know he was acting too”. 

     I didn’t take the post down immediately nor did I take his racial slur down. He is allegedly a respected man around my hometown, and I wanted people to see who he really was. 

     A few days later he sent me a private message telling me I was so wrong that…ready…..”Some of his best friends are black” (I kid you not); do people still fall for that old faux line?  Worse yet, do people still use it? I guess so. But it gets better.  When the event happened, his icon photo was that of a bright red Indianapolis 500 racecar.  When he wrote me the private message to basically “go straight to hell” (not his exact working but I got the picture”, he had taken off the Indie 500 racecar and found a picture of himself in an office with a black man’s arm around him.  Big buds.  So, within 48 hours, he was able to find that photo to prove his point (thinking I didn’t remember what he had up) and change it to prove me a liar. 

    Sadly, he is not savvy in the least about facebook and bullying. He is more so now.  I not only took a screenshot of what he actually said, and what I actually said, and kept one copy and sent one copy to facebook security.  They are now monitoring his every move. Last I saw he started a group exactly like mine (so he is as original as he is IQ-challenged). I hope he gets 5 times the membership I have. Then he’ll get to have to play arbitrator and see what it’s like when a conflict occurs. And there will be many in his group. He offers no rules or terms of service.  If he goes with what his philosophy is, racism is okay, as long as it is comparing a U.S. President he doesn’t like to a monkey.  He’s in for the time of his life.

     He told me in his private facebook mail to me that I called him a racist, bigot etc.  Problem is I have the actual screenshot which is considered CYBER-DNA proof; and he is lying; so he’s probably lying to others as well.  Good thing he is nobody of any significance. I get the feeling the people who run in his circle would be better off thinking I’m a liar and no good SOB.  All is better that way. They stay out of my way and I stay out of theirs.  But if it ever came to a head. Facebook security thanked me the screenshot; and if he ever causes trouble with it, he’s up against them, not me.  Good luck big bad guy.                            

    More irony is, I couldn’t care less if he doesn’t like Obama.  He can even say so I a tactful way but not attack the candidate as that is not allowed in our group. The same is true of Romney. No personal attacks against people period, politicians or not.  It has worked very well for me. With over 900 members, we’ve only had to ask 7 to leave in a year’s time.

    So I finally caught my breath and that was over.  We live in volatile sensitive times and I realize some people are ill (compulsion is an illness) and they cannot help themselves when posting such filth. I compare it to pornography and in many ways it is. The reaction of the creator of it is meant to do the same thing.  And I don’t allow pornographers in my tweet stream.

     As if that incident was not enough to raise my blood pressure (remember we are trying to keep it down); after 2 major heart attacks and my only arteries working on stents, that kind of behavior especially cannot be tolerated.  In fact, my cardiologist says block it immediately.  Do not get caught up in others neurosis, sociopathic, or psychotic behavior.

     Then two days later I was blind-sided by another one. This time it was a librarian friend from many years ago; about 20 years to be precise.  I welcomed her to facebook when I saw she’d just shown up and invited her to my Southern Group. I then left and went about my business of designing or promoting as I often do. 

      I usually check in every hour or so but something told me to do so earlier.  People were posting their favorite childhood shows as we often do, but there was one problem.  This university educated librarian who has worked with children for years, listed her very favorite as “Amos And Andy”.  Though I understood the post, I did not understand the “no follow up. Let me explain.

     Most of u were about three years old when that show was produced, and most of us found it funny. Of course we did not have a clue what “black face” meant; and that the show was specifically created to use white men and woman to depict African-American men and women to make them seem to have a lower IQ.  

    So she could have easily said, (and felt like I did); when I was 3 I loved Amos And Andy, but of course I was too young and immature to understand that the producers were utilizing the media to further their agenda of insidious (close to Machiavellian racism), and if I had known better at the time, chances are very slim I would have watched it.  I can surely understand why it was taken off the air and removed from syndication and most if not all the law suits against it were lost (by the producers of the show).

     The librarian didn’t understand I was trying to help her I did not say a word in public. I took it private; to her facebook message box.  So she would know I had no intention of embarrassing her but I had to let her know the rules (TOS) which she’d not read.  Of course she really wouldn’t have had to read the rules to know if that was right or wrong.  She’d been to college and worked with kids for several decades. 

     Her answer was, “Then Rick, you might as well fight to keep people from talking about the Bill Cosby Show, Fat Albert, Sanford & Son.  She really didn’t get it.  She thought I was giving her a hard time and that my beef was with childhood favorites that had black characters. 

     My problem was with white racists who produced the shows in a manner that made them funny, hard to hate (the characters were likeable); I l enjoyed the whole cast of Amos And Andy, but I was 3 years old for goodness sake. I am 57 now and the librarian is nearly that age.  Does she think the same now as she did when she was 3? I so, of course therapy is in order and soon.  

      I am not the man I was even ten years ago, and hope I never go back to who he was; he had a few good qualities but he did not live up to the ideals I had set for myself.  And I sure as hell hope that ten years from now, I am still the man I am today.  If I haven’t changed, someone just take me and stick needles in my eyes.  I like a lot of my qualities.  But I am not even close to the type of man I hope I am becoming. 

      But I must have learned and made some positive changes since I was three.  For instance, I know without a doubt, that Amos And Andy (and any black face show) was created for a dual purpose. One was to entertain (and it often did that quite well) and the other was to subtly keep us in a vicious cycle of hating a race of good people, without even knowing why; to think we were better than them, again,   for not even knowing why. 

      My hopes were to give the librarian another chance.  I knew her to be a better person than what she was presenting herself to be.  I’ve worked in major network TV. I know exactly how those slants and spins are done with “agenda shows” and though black face is no longer used, socio-political issues that were barely mentioned a decade ago; are so today. And sometimes that is a good thing. If it gets a message across such as explaining the U.S. Constitution in easy terms, I’m all for it.  Some have a very hard time with it and get it mixed up with their early Sunday School teachings.

     Sometimes the two parallel, and sometimes they are diametrically opposed. Our personal religions and faiths are for us, not for the world.  And the USA is loaded with persons of all kinds of faiths (and many with no faiths at all).  Everyone in this great country deserves equal rights, no matter what they believe, or not (believe).  That is the main item on the “menu” of the U.S. Constitution that makes it so much different than the Constitutions of so many other countries. There are websites now in which you can read the Constitutions of the world; in fact; type in “Constitutions of the world” into Google and it may surprise you to see how very much all our Constitutions are; except for a few little subtleties which make America great.  That one about equal rights for all is one of “the biggies” and unless it flies; we might as well be living in Syria or the former Iraq or Libya.  I wish I were kidding, but any scholarly sociologist or other expert can easily back me up on it.

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, designer and cartoonist.  He founded Londons Times Cartoons in 1997 in an abandoned tin Ms. warehouse. It has been Google’s #1 offbeat Cartoon since 2005 and Bing’s #1 since 2008.  They both also have his funny gifts ranked at #1.  He is married to his love and best friend, nature photographer Lee Hiller London.  who runs the very popular blog HikeOurPlanet.com.  Both enjoy hiking and photographic their beloved Ouachita Mountains at Hot Springs National Park.

 

“Bain” (Parody Song by Rick London c2012) Sung To David Bowie’s “Fame”

Bain, it’s the bain of Mitt’s existence,

Bain, thinks that experience will take America the distance,

Bain, like on Twitter sheeple follow,

Bain, you can’t have depth you must be shallow,
  Bain, where its custom to blame Obama,
    Bain!
Fiscal Shame, what you like is in the limo Bain, money made for Swiss accounting.
Bain, fires lower level management like there’s no tomorrow.
Bain, where Irish Setters are traveling salesmen,  
Bane

Bain co-brands with you & you’re down the drain.  Bain saved the auto industry with just a dollar,
Mitt Romney said…a spokesman for…Bane Bane Bane Bane Bane Bane….
Could it be the best, could it be? Bain corporate welfare all for free,
Is Ann really Mitt’s babe,

Ann looks at Mitt as if he’s manna from heaven or some such place…

Is she a babe for his campaign or  just a 9-5 slave?

Could it be he could be president of these United States?

Really, really?
Or just sit in some backwoods café eating cheesy grits?
Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain
Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain
Is it any wonder you’re an etch a sketch fool?
School, bully are you, haircut for him,
Mitt, Did you know the Cold War’s over?

Bain
Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain

Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain, Bain
Bain, Bain, Bain
Such a shame,
We know you’re game,
(whispered)
  Hating the gays, yet feeling so gay

Mitt, Did you see American Beauty,

Sir as President, civil rights for all is your duty,

Silly “pranks” that erode people’s rights…well

Mitt, give it up…. all you are is an SNL skit.

                                                           

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Rick London is a songwriter, author, cartoonist and designer.   He is an avid hiker and animal/nature lover and hikes often with his nature/wildlife photographer wife @LeeHillerLondon of HikeOurPlanet. London founded LTCartoons.com and gifts which have been Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons since 2005 and Bing’s #1 ranked since 2005.  He owns numerous other shops too bearing his licensed images such as funny tees and funny gifts shop RickLondonGifts.com.

 

Romney Almost Cut My Hair (Song Parody by Rick London cs2012) Sung To CSN “Almost Cut My Hair”

Romney almost cut my hair,
It only happened ‘cause I was gay,
Didn’t seem like I belonged,
At Cranbrook School…..it was clearly foul play,
If he hadn’t I would have wondered why,
I was a bit effeminate & he a Bogart-type guy,
But Mitt ran on testosterone so his bullying must be done.

I should have fried his hateful bigoted ass,
This man is so beyond bizarre,
I think he has chronic paranoia,
With posthumous baptisms from afar,
His lies are are such a thin veneer,
Wouldn’t buy what he had even if egay was the auctioneer,
He must owe taxes to someone…..

He wants to cut the fat and run the country like an entrepreneur,
He went to the south for cheesy grits & instead got sunny weather;
Romney will never live down the gaffe,
But will separate “We The People from the Thief Of Staff?

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Rick London is a songwriter, author, cartoonist and designer.  In 1997 he launched Londons Times Cartoons  which have been Google’s #1 ranked Offbeat Cartoons on the Internet since 2005.  He also has numerous funny gifts shops which Google and Bing also rank #1 such as Rick London Gifts.  His main cartoon site has lured over 7.8 million visitors and his inventory of products is over 1/4 million and is sold at such venues as Sears, Amazon and many others. He and his nature photography wife Lee HillerLondon with  live and work in the Ouichata Mountains of Arkansas and are active in animal, children and environmental causes.

Insert Alert Fully Computerized Medical Alert System by Rick London

      Like most, I remember in 2007 how saddened I was by the Va. Tech shootings. I had remembered watching the news, and that the police had been confused as to exactly where it was occurring.  I was (back in college) as a nontraditional adult student at age 50 and recovering from a heart attack.

      Fortunately, a friend was there at the time (during my heart attack) who drove me to the hospital. I wondered what would have happened otherwise. Given those major events, and my new knowledge of basic software design, I invented a fully-automated computerized med-alert system that is worn as a watch or other jewelry. 

     I took it out into the marketplace and found a few investors and a software engineer firm.  I was able to speak the lingo via a former IBM software engineer who looked carefully at the powerpoint and saw immediately it could work, but would be pricey (and bulky).

     Each weekly report from the software engineer designing the prototype revealed that the cost just to build the prototype would be prohibitive, and even if I could succeed in raising enough funds to finish it, very few of the public would be able to afford it.

    My hopes were it would not just be for civilians, but for military as well. So many casualties happen in war when soldiers get lost or accidentally abandoned. The military would not be able to afford it either.

    At the time Bluetooth was not the most reliable software.  My IBM friend recommended a large chip (actually it was 3 chips that allowed 3 different softwares to speak to each other); and that chip made Insert Alert a bit heavy and very expensive.  Bluetooth may be more reliable today. I don’t know enough about it to make that statement for certain.  It might (or might not be the most economical).

Upload/Insert

    Eventually I abandoned the project.  Today on facebook a friend brought up the W. Va shooting and it reminded me of the time I tried to create the world’s first/only computerized medical alert product (one in which the wearer could be unconscious or even underwater); it auto-dialed 9-11 with exact location, the type of emergency, vital sign info and person’s name and address. It alsosends a  text his/her loved ones with similar info.

    Here is part of the power-point presentation that was on our website.  The site and corporation has dissolved, but if the right investors/venture capitalists see it and want to give it a shot, I am willing to start it back again.  Thanks.

 

 

 

                                           

                                                                                  

 

 

 

      

                

 

 

America The Divided by Rick London

      Those who know me well, know I don’t judge a person by his/her politics, religion, race or any other petty nonsense.  I try my best not to judge anyone but the times I miss the mark, I just judge on character. And that’s okay. It’s not perfect but it’s human.   I learn to not only tolerate but celebrate differences of opinion.

    If everyone believed, voted or acted like me, we’d live in a very boring world (and my wife thinks “probably a bit immature one too”) I’m sure.  Most my posts are intended to be humorous. Occasionally I will create something I see as “a truth”; and test it here. Sometimes it ruffles feathers and that’s a good thing. I never personally attack anyone who visits my page.  I invite social discourse, disagreements are fine and if they play by polite rules of conduct, I don’t care what their philosophy is.  They are welcome to stay and debate until they are out of breath if they are enjoying it.

       I do not post it to be YOUR truth, I post it to see if you recognize anything in it that rings true to you also. If you don’t, it does not anger me in the least. If you do, I smile a bit.  Today I posted what I saw on several Osama Bin Laden videos and “his vision for America” when he was alive.  It appears 9/11 but was step one in a series of steps to “divide America” so that it would “implode from within”.  It would (hopefully) cause huge financial burden. It did; bigger than he ever imagined as we almost immediately went to war; where he wasn’t…in Iraq.

     But his evil instincts were correct. GW Bush bought right into them as did so many of us (me included; so I was not preaching from a high horse). But I’ve seen, researched and know enough now to know what he wanted. To create a far left and far right; so far apart (especially fiscally), that America would be the Un-United States Of America.  I tried far left and far right and saw the never-ending battle of pushing the other side further into their corner, and they pushing me further into mine.

      Then it occurred to me “the middle is where the fence is”; and there is no mending fences unless one is brave enough to move to the middle (they can stay Republican or Democrat or Liberal or Conservative) but drop the knee-jerk extremism that Bin Laden so much prayed for (and even joked about in his cave interview with Peter Bergen); and many of his solo videos (and audios).  I will now always be a centrist who loves America (all of America). I will not judge on accidents of birth, status, or any other ridiculous notion.  America is a very special country. Don’t believe it? Just read the Constitution. Do you think I could do what I do in any other country?  Not even close.

       Our brilliant Constitution guarantees that I can, and (ask my wife Lee) some of the most powerful lawyers in the country have tried to make me stop (on more than one occasion): the same lawyers who have tried to make SNL stop, Mad Magazine, and other barometers that remind us if we are still living in a free nation (or not).  When they are gone,  so are we (at least a free America).  Most of us don’t think of satire or parody that way.  But The Fair Use Act speaks of its importance.

        I don’t care for whom you vote. That’s your business. I would never go to your page and tell you how very wrong you are if you named a candidate for whom I did not care.  I would hope you would be mature enough to share the same respect.  However, I don’t necessarily want you to vote for my candidate.   He might not be for you.  Yours might not be for me. Never try to bully me into voting for yours; you can be assured I will give the same respect.  All I ask of you is to consider what Osama Bin Laden’s biggst dream for us was. A divided America.  And so far, he’s getting his way.  Let’s get less extreme in our views, whether left or right; otherwise,  Mitt Romney is right; his death is really no big deal to be celebrated…..his dream lives on.  Finally, Thank God for our U.S. Military; and we are particularly thinking of the US Navy Team 6 who took out the most evil man on the planet, the man who killed so many of our innocents and did a very successful job of dividing our nation. Now its our job to fix our nation.  We can never ever let him have his way, even in death…especially in death.  There is a tendency to kill the messenger.

       I encourage you to watch his videos on YouTube and you will see what I mean.  It’s not me you’re angry at. You are as angry at him as I am; as he created the environment to make a far left and far right exist, fight each other to the point where they each was/is the target enemy whether it is black, white, gay, straight, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Bhuddist, Wiccan, Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative and any other label people use to justify their differences.  

     The bottom line is that we’ve been taught over the years by well-meaninged teachers, parents, ministers, tv talking heads etc. that those who believed, voted, acted etc. different than us “were the enemy”. Nothing could be further than the truth.  But changing that is easier said than done.  We’ve been indoctrinated to believe that; and, it is not the case. 

      It may (as psychologists call it for many of us) take behavior modification.  That could mean therapy. It might mean simply changing your mind. It may take research.  It will take what it takes, but let’s do what it takes, so that Bin Laden does not get his way. 

     I have gotten to the point where I know that the person who votes differently than me is not my enemy.  The person who has a different faith or belief or philosophy than me is not my enemy. I know that a person who competes with me doing the same kind of business is not my enemy.  The irritable irrational weird uncle or relative is not my enemy.  Al Queida is my enemy because I am an American, like you, and they want to kill me, and you.  Those other people simply may be irritated at me, or you and that’s fine.  There’s a big difference.  Work on yourself as I am working on myself. I continue to head toward the center because that is where the fence that needs mending is.  And together, left, right, liberal, conservative, gay, straight, black, white, etc etc etc. working TOGETHER in a democracy that our Constitution provides is unbeatable.  In fact, even in “this imperfect union” if we begin to mend the fences that Al Queida almost successfully severed, that is perfect enough for me. It will be a process and there will be bumps.  I am okay with that.

     Nobody has to change what they are, in fact please don’t change what/who you are. That is sacred and to be cherished.  You are one of God’s children. But in some ways for America to work again, we may all have to change how we think and act; and not as dramatically as one thinks. Simply recognizing extremism from the far left and far right as it comes our way, and not fight back, simply let them know that sanity exists in the middle. In fact, those in the middle who accept everyone (and they have every right to stay left or right if they do not want to be part of the solution) and we can accept that. Not everyone is going to be a part of the solution. Life is not perfect nor do we live in a perfect world. But I truly believe there are enough good people out there who are sick of what we have seen over the past decade or so, the extremes (who are out for themselves, not the betterment or future of America) and its okay if they don’t to participate in the rebuilding of America.  What is important is that we do.

      Let’s no longer justify our differences by labeling each other and/or demonizing another human being who thinks or believes different than you or me as Bin Laden so desperately wanted and came so close with his evil but clever manipulative power to make happen.  Lets celebrate our same-nesses on this one year anniversary of our brave Navy Seals turning him into a rancid piece of sushi.  Goodbye to bad garbage. It’s time for America to heal.  Be a part of the solution, and I’ll do my best to do the same.  Thanks all….and I mean ALL. You are our neighbors and friends. And that’s enough for us.

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Rick London is a freelance writer, songwriter, designer, and cartoonist who lives and loves America and lives in the glorious Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas with his wife nature photographer Lee Hiller-London.  They are both active in environmental, animal, children and veteran causes.  Rick founded Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons in 1997 and Google’s number one offbeat cartoon gifts in 2006. His wife runs the popular nature wildlife blog HikeOurPlanet.com and LeeHillerDesigns.com. London recently launched his cartoons on funny hoodies at his PlanetHoodie.com shop. Follow them on Twitter @RickLondon & @LeeHillerLondon  Rick London’s facebook fan page is http://www.Facebook.Com/LTCartoons.