The Impact Of American Pop Culture On My Life by Rick London c2016

I can remember what was probably my first, or one of my first record players (turntables), and playing my favorite records all the way back to age 5, though I had it several years before that, and I remember playing it, the details are not as clear.

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It was a brown standalone on a metal table about the size of a night table with one big gold and brown speaker mounted in the front.

I continuously played Elvis’ “Return To Sender”, “Honeycomb”, “Purple People Eater” any Alvin And The Chipmunks song and several others.  I didn’t often dance around the room or get a hairbrush and sing in the mirror as so many kids did, but watched the records continuously spin (as so many with Asperger’s/Autistics tend to do.  I watched in fascination for hours.

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I spent a great deal of time listening very closely to the singers and guitarists and wondering just how they “came to be”.  Some records I played all day.  When I taught myself to play the guitar in my teens, I could play a number of those songs (and later the Beatles, Stones etc.), of course nowhere as well, but I could not read music either.  I’d played the records so many times, to keep my mind occupied.

Of course many know I had un-diagnosed autism, lived segregated from my family in an attic; so had plenty of time to listen to music and grew to love it.

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Autism is a difficult condition to describe to others not familiar with it as it is a developmental condition. It is not a disease. It is not “a bad thing”, it is simply a different type of wiring with which science and education is just evolving to understand.

I was later blessed to have and play some beautiful guitars made by Martin (D28 and D35) and a Mossman, which was dual-backed and sounded every bit as good as my Martins but it was apparently a small indie firm which went under.   I now play the beautiful Crafter my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London gave me as a gift several years back.  It’s a long but fun story how she came to choose that gift and I’ll tell it one day if you’ve not heard it.

crafter

As I grew into an adult, (as many Asperger’s are prone to do), I found a topic I liked and stuck with it.  Asperger’s often don’t care if the topic is a pragmatic shrewd moneymaker or not, and my choice of “American Culture” was most definitely not.  I spent nothing less than a fortune buying music, celebrity, rock and roll, and you name it memorabilia.

My favorite was music, including rock and roll, especially from my various eras; mainly the 60s, but also the 70s-the 90s.

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From age seven until age twenty-one or so, I guess I lived for, or to be like, the Beatles, The Stones, The Animals, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin and a host of other (mostly British Invasion Groups).  Later of course David Bowie and Al Stewart.  Ironically, it was the British Invasion that seemed to influence America with the most impact.

Upon hearing interviews with many of them however, it was (mostly) the Mississsippi blues and rock artists such as BB King, Muddy Waters, Jerry Lee Lewis and the usual suspects that made them tremble at the knees.  Nashville’s Roy Orbison was also at the to of their list; not to mention Tupelo’s Elvis.   Life is funny that way.

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The type things I wanted to collect did not exist; that is cartoons or caricatures of the famous musicians and sometimes actors featured and engineered onto gifts and tees.

I first came up with the idea of “Panel Hollywood” and created about 200 of them (cartoons only).  I sent each one to the actual celeb, business or rock star and asked for feedback or a review. Only a very few were resistant and/or threatened to sue, but the majority were tickled pink I was “keeping their name alive”.

Some of the most appreciative were the Roy Orbison Family, Mayo Hospital, Bo Derek and several others.  It was quite a surprise.

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So I got to work on creating fun memorabilia to keep all their fans happy.  Roy O.’s widow Barbara, who sadly died several years ago, used our cartoon of his as their annual Christmas Card and it is now featured in the Roy Orbison Archives.  Mayo Clinic features two of them on their library wall.

animal collection lion sleeps mug

To see some of the gift ideas I designed, please visit my “Celebrity Shop” at CafePress and first click on “Music And Musicians” and then try “Celebrities And Other Famous People”.  Throughout the store there are well-known American icons that are enjoyable and make fun memorable gifts.  They are also considered collectibles; and since they are affordable, continue to rise in price the moment they are purchased.

At the end of the day (a term I never use), I’d decided I wanted to be a “culture collector” like Andy Warhol; so I’d be sort of like an “Andy Warhol Lite”.   I never got even close to that elevation. However I do own some authentic Campbell’s Tomato Soups in the can for guests.  Lee and I don’t touch (or illustrate them).

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, designer and cartoonist. He is best known for the launching of Google #1 ranked Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts, Londons Times.  He is married to nature/ wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London.  They are active in environmental, animal and Autistic causes.  Rick’s entire humor gift shop can be seen at Cafepress.

 

 

 

 

 

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Old Codgers Like Me by Rick London

Had a beautiful hike early this morning with my favorite hiking buddy, my beloved wife, Lee.  It was overcast and we felt certain it might rain so we decided on one of the shorter trail.  It was rather cool which made it nice.  One problem though. We didn’t realize today must be “National Don’t Wear A Shirt Even If You’re A Bit Pudgy Like Rick Day” so we had a little trouble keeping our trail mix down.

One old shirtless codger did seem to score.  We let him pass us and pretended to view birds in the distance (which weren’t there) but he still attempted to get our, well Lee’s attention to no avail.

He found his mate up ahead about a ¼ of a mile and they traveled the rest of the trail together.  We immediately smelled the scent of deer musk and didn’t know if it was the happy new couple or a real deer which we see more often than “Shirtless Senior Dating”.

It may sound funny, but it is a bit horrifying.  I say not judgmentally as I have mirrors in my home and they scream “Wear a shirt outside Rick…You’re no longer 25).  I guess not everyone has such mirrors.  But it means someone(s) hooked up, and, all sarcasm aside, that can be a good thing.

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FYI, hiking shirtless in the warm or hot summer at any age is socially acceptable as it is not yelling, “Look at me, I’m available”.  It’s hot outside and people don’t want to be uncomfortable.  But hiking shirtless in weather like this truly compromises the immune system.

Lee and I took a few photos of the beautiful leaves changing and that was fun.  We picked up our bottled water and came home.

I promised myself I was going to write on my book, design some gifts, write a blog or two and maybe some cartoons. This time I did all of the above, with my shirt on, and that was a good thing.  Oh and I took a nap.  When I was younger I never used to take naps.

I think that is one of the wonderful things about getting older.  One can take a mid-afternoon nap with nobody asking, “Do you not feel good”?  or “Can I get something for you?”   They expect it.  After all I’m an old codger….with a shirt.  And I just hiked.  I deserved a nap.  And got it.

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Now I’m awake, laying on the carpet watching the game munching on kale chips.  If someone saw me now, they’d have a difficult time keeping their food down.  Glad Lee already ate.  🙂

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Rick London is an author, cartoonist and designer. He is best known for launching Google’s #1 offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times Cartoons.  He is married to nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) of Hike Our Planet.

 

 

 

Important Films And Books On Narcissism (NPD Disorder And Scapegoating) by Rick London (Chapter 4)

Since posting 3 chapters of my book on my autism and being scapegoated, I’ve been deluged with questions. And that’s a good thing.

Snow White - Disney 1937

Snow White – Disney 1937

Some people are not sure, most feel fairly certain they are not on the autism or Asperger’s spectrum; a few feel they may and are getting tested. If planning to get evaluated, please make sure to “vet” the professional who does so. Not every psychologist or psychiatrist is trained in that area expertise.  Mine has chaired the Arkansas Autism State Board for 35 years and is well-versed in the topic.  Yours does not have to have that kind of qualifications, but it should be someone who is well-versed in, not just autism/Asperger’s but various disabilities and truly knows the topic “inside-out”,  and is not likely to make errors. You don’t want a wrong diagnosis.  You’ve gotten this far.

That is good too. I’m starting the book as “a novice”. No, not a novice at being scapegoated or having autism…have had that all my life (for 60 years). But I only discovered both through the help of some very experienced professionals; I could never have figured that out on my own; though I was able to finally put all the pieces together with the help of some very insightful professionals with over 100 years experience in this area of work. So I’m a novice at “knowing the issue at hand”.  For 60 years I knew something was not quite right, I simply didn’t know what.

Keep in mind struggling with the autism was/is challenging enough.  But add the struggle of a narcissist/scapegoating family who had, while abusing their community powers, also recruited other “flying monkeys” to march to their “hate Rick” campaign, the odds were pretty much stacked against me.   But now I have a chance to live my life, and live it well.  The point I’m making is that I am not unique.  Most disabled persons (born disabled) but rather than diagnosed and treated, are hidden away, abused and/or neglected, have a similar unique challenge.  They eventually have to decide to come to terms with what has happened to them, is happening now, and will continue to happen.  I was, and in some cases still am, punished by those who were supposed to love and help me, simply for having a congenital condition of which I inherited, and over which I had/have no control.  That condition is sad and quite a challenge.  Those who were/are abusive are, I’ve learned, much sicker, and much more cruel than I’ll ever be.

The fact that suddenly I have had a “eureka moment” does not change anything on the outside.  The family and the part of the community they have recruited are ill.  Very ill according to numerous top professionals.  They won’t be getting well anytime soon, if ever and their “We must hate Rick for our own self-esteem” will probably go with them to their graves. It is a much a part of them as breathing oxygen. It is their oxygen in many cases and has been all (of my life). I shouldn’t expect any support from them.  Is that painful?  Of course, but now I am getting support from healthy places, and I realize they will die ill and bitter.  That is what hurts.  The good news is the replacements.  Those who lost the chance to share my love, and there are many (former relatives, friends, etc. are actually the ones who have lost an opportunity).  No, I’m not anything particularly special or great, but I am strong.  Very strong.  None of them could have survived what I have. Not one single one of them. I could have taught them a bit about strength, about character, and about things they’ll most likely never know. Their loss.

People I once looked up to and trusted, never were trustworthy, and never will be, and as my doctors have suggested, in many cases it is best to ignore them, they don’t deserve the honor of my presence, and only address them (or let the government address them) if they continue to try any bullying or abuse (whether directly or through a third-party “flying monkey”.)    Still, I remain very optimistic simply based on the internal changes I have seen, as well as the external ones, that is, suddenly the type of healthy and loving people in my life, of whom I never felt I would have access. And they love, respect and support me back.  To me, that is success. Others may define success however they wish.

Arthur: The Film

Arthur: The Film

So there are plenty of questions of which I don’t have the answers (at this point) though I plan to study it for the rest of my life and learn as much as possible and I promise to share any and all pertinent information that may be helpful. Nobody, under any circumstances should endure scapegoating, and to scapegoat a disabled person is absolutely indefensible and repulsive  facilitated only by the most nefarious characters among us. Funny thing. The Brother’s Grimm in the early 1800’s had great insight on scapegoating and/or NPD (narcissism personality disorder).

If you’ve only seen Sleeping Beauty as a child, I strongly suggest to have an adult look at it.  No story I’ve seen explains the narcissist/scapegoating process like this story. It goes further into only those dynamics but “community/power/money” dynamics as well. Nobody wanted to “get on the bad side of the evil queen”.  After all, they could be her next scapegoat.  She “won by intimidation” (or almost did), but failed only because there was someone honest in the kingdom who could not kill Sleeping Beauty.  A lot of it is corny (it was written for kids), but it was also clearly written for adults.

Snow White is wonderful too with a similar theme to help both children and families of NPD disorder and scapegoating.  Of course Cindarella is also the epitome of the scapegoat child.

There is a tremendous moral to that story; how important it is to sometimes if not often “go against the tide”.  What one might be hearing is only rumors.  Not to put ones dog in a fight that doesn’t belong there.  How envy and hate can be omnipotent in some very sick people (as the queen was) and it happens in our towns, cities and communities all the time.  The other moral is “how one man fights the tide” and wins.  It’s an important story. Disney brought it back for a reason in 1937.  He knew the importance of something that he knew was epidemic if not pandemic.  He wanted the public to know.  And it became one of the biggest box office hits of all time.

If your esteem is down from being scapegoated, here’s the good news. You should pat yourself on the back for having survived. It is the narcissists and flying monkeys among us, who used our good name, who should hang their head in shame.  And if they continue doing it, and you are disabled, it will be worse for them than hanging their head in shame.  I’ll mention the disability webinar later in this blog.  Whether you have autism or any other disability, and you’ve been scapegoated (and/or still are), there’s some good news for you, and some bad news for the perpetrators.

Most of their children’s literature covered such topics. They deemed it important to write it in a format that both parents (reading to their children) and children could understand it, and, if their family dynamics were already in the middle of narcissistic parentel destruction, they could recognize it and get help. The Brothers Grimm knew only a few would, but even if it were only a few, consider the amount of suffering that would be avoided.

Original Sleeping Beauty ~ Brothers Grimm

Original Sleeping Beauty ~ Brothers Grimm

Fast forward several centuries. A novice filmmaker named Walt Disney also considered that topic high on the list of important educational topics. One of his first films “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs” (1937) was based on the same Brothers Grimm book and covered the topic of NPD disorder and in a way that both the layman, the child and the parents could understand it. Knowing most NPD families are in total denial (for a lifetime),

Disney also knew this important message may only help but a few suffering families. But to him, a few was a lot better than none. It meant lifetimes of avoiding needless suffering (of children who later became adults). Here is a list of other popular films from Arthur to Wall Street to A Streetcar Named Desire…that all dealt with NPD disorder and scapegoating.   Another one, highly recommended but not listed on Wiki is “Gaslight” which won numerous awards.  It is creepy though and very difficult to watch, but clearly explains some of the “crazy-making” in more extreme narcissistic/scapegoating cases.

I recommend to rent these films on Netflix or Amazon for a few dollars. They can much more clearly explain scapegoating and NPD disorder than I can. As I stated, as I write this blog I am still new at “knowing” this is my story.

Film: Basic Instinct

Film: Basic Instinct

Where does the autism fit in? That’s complicated in that the autistic child (and later adult) already has developmental issues. When parents, siblings and the community scapegoat that autistic child, it can be lethal. Fortunately for me, God was apparently looking after me. I wanted to improve. I longed to improve my life. And I kept my faith. If I can do that, anyone can.

If you suspect NPD disorder occurred in your family, chances are there are still “Flying Monkeys” in your stratosphere. There are now ways (legally if need be) to keep them at bay. I strongly suggest a webinar by the Autistic Network. By clicking the image below that says “IPMG” you can register for free.  It is important, and will educate you on your rights, and make your life a lot easier.  I’m looking very forward to it as is my beloved wife Lee.

Click To Register For July 17th Webinar For Free

Click To Register For July 17th Webinar For Free

And though this webinar is targeted toward persons with autism and/or Asperger’s, it will be helpful to anyone with a disability. One of the main focuses is going to be knowing your rights (and what to expect from the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) which is part of the Department Of Justice. They are not only interested in your disabilities, but your rights if anyone (whether they be family, friends, strangers, groups, lawyers, you name it, they want to know) if you are being injured,  stalked, or harmed in any way by anyone(s).

Magnolia: The Film

Magnolia: The Film

If you were raised with an un-diagnosed congenital disability, chances are very good you were scapegoated, still are, and there are “flying monkeys” in your life. Groups like this offer you resources and protection.  You only deserve the best. You’ve seen the parts of life that nobody should have to see.  It’s your turn to enjoy your life with no sociopathic “flying monkeys” interrupting in yet more attempts to hurt you via censor, fiscally, or whatever other dirty trick they have up their sleeve on any given day, and believe me they do have dirty tricks up their sleeves, always. They are sick and it doesn’t go away unless they come out of denial and get real professional help. Sadly, the majority don’t.  They are convinced they are well. Very well.

As for you….. Don’t just “Want it”, “Demand It”.  You deserve the best. You always did. And now it really is your turn.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is actively involved in autism/Asperger’s, animals, nature and children’s causes.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts which he launched in 1997 from an abandoned tin shed in rural Mississippi.

The Story Behind Brookus Brotherus Cactus by Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons (Rick London)

A little bit behind this cartoons:  See below it…………..

I was fortunate to have neighbors growing up whose parents had retail businesses.  So when I went away to college and needed jobs, I didn’t always have to wait tables, though I often did.  More often than not I found myself working in mens fashion in large department stores in Dallas or later in Washington, D.C. (when I was in between jobs).

One thing I didn’t expect after leaving my tiny little burg of my birth, was the seriousness in which people took their retail merchandise.  The proper mens shirt/tie combination was closer to a deity than “an outfit”.

Others looked at some of the more elaborate brands as if they were created in a lab by Einstein, Hawking or even Al Gore.

I don’t mean to sound haughty or erudite (and of course anyone who uses the word “erudite” obviously is; but I digress.

My point I want to make is, I was in my early twenties.  I liked nice clothes, but I didn’t see a big mystique in something that was made with polyester and/or cotton and a needle and thread.  Correct me if I’m wrong but things happening at NASA aroused my curiosity more so than things happening at Neiman’s.

I spent most of my days after school, or on days I didn’t have classes at Richland College at a downtown Dallas store called Saenger-Harris, which competed with Neiman Marcus, and I think is now defunct, but it was very nice.  But not NASA.

However, it was a Saenger-Harris that I learned about color and how to match ties and shirts and pants and even sports coats or putting them together for displays in suits and how to “pick up the colors and make them shine” in that display window.

I would crack a bit of a smile if I “did it right” as I knew that put my name on the list of possibly getting a raise (if I did it often enough).  Others (and I’m not making this up) would actually applause, as if the mannequin was a live actor who had just won an Emmy.

Needless to say, I did not end up working in a physical retail store in my adulthood (except on rare occasions when I needed jobs between media and/or writing jobs) which much closer matched my skills (what few I had).

Ironically, I actually am in retail (to a certain degree) though I don’t work with the public. I actually design clothes and gifts, using my imagines and/or concepts that are digitally designed onto clothing, mugs, etc and sold through online retailers.

And again ironically, much of what I learned 40 years ago, is useful today in dealing with wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers who sale my licensed goods.

I’ve come full circle and in many ways I am, again that 20 year old kid, wondering just how I was going to “conquer the world”, something I never quite fully did, but I’ve had a really fun time trying.

Though “Brookus Brotherus Cactus” is now about 15 years old, it remains a very popular gift and tee item for collectors or gift givers.  If you want to see how it looks on one of my items…..

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Recalculating – Fighting Rebellion To Grow Up by Rick London

I used to write “the story behind the cartoon” and some friends seemed to enjoy it. I got busy doing other things, and never found time for it.

About a year ago I wrote a cartoon that (I had a feeling) not many would “get”, and I don’t say that condescendingly. I would not have gotten it if someone else had written it.

I realized after publishing it on my website, unless someone knew me growing up, they might not have a clue.  Even my wife Lee, who I’d not met until adulthood sort of scratched her head.

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Every now and then someone looks at it, and moves on to another less complicated one.

The story behind this cartoon that I titled “Recalculating” is more of a self-serving lump of nothing than anything with a moral or lesson.  (Not that cartoons have to have morals or lessons).

Growing up, I was what one might call rebellious; but only symbolically.  Yes, I went through some of the same things that others did, but my parents always had that “invisible leash” and I knew it.

So my rebellion manifested into hair down to the shoulders, bell bottom jeans, black lights and posters, smoking pot (and inhaling) etc.

I had no idea why that was my what my life had become, or even why it seemed attractive.  I imagine peer pressure had a great deal to do with it, and that was that.  I have to admit, at age 15 or 16 or so, shocking ones parents (in the late 60s-early 70s brought great pleasure to a “rebel without a clue” like me.

In my twenties (at some point) I realized I was going to have to learn to make a living.   I was terrible at real estate (which was the family business), due to undiagnosed and misdiagnosed learning disorders, most of which were not even addressed until my 40s.

I learned that I could write, which was odd (given that I’d not read an entire book cover to cover until I was 28 (“Being There” by Jerzy Kazinsky). I later met Jerzy and got some “insider information” into the book and film.   That was fun.

In my 30s I lucked into a cushy Washington, D.C.  job and the world was rapidly going from 60s (hippie) to 80s yuppie, and I had to make a choice.  Suddenly I was editor-in chief at a major radio network.  I hesitantly chose yuppie as “that was the Washington way”, but never really gave up my 60s rebelliousness.  I kept it in the back of my mind as I got up and made it to work early in the morning and left late in the afternoon.  I jogged later and played Trivial Pursuit with my morphing yuppie neighbors on Capitol Hill.

I later opened a bus tour business that did well and sold it.  I moved to California, mainly because I was burning out from the speed-of-light “Washington ways”. I figured L.A. would help me “chill” and get back to my hippie roots.  That’s what I figured.  I had failed at many more businesses and projects than those that succeeded.

By then there was no looking back.  The days of “hippiedom” were gone, even in L.A.  I had a friend who owned a car lot and he talked me into going to the auction with him and made a bid for a used Mercedes in very good shape, at the price I used to buy my junker muscle cars in high school.  It was official. I was a yuppie, but still with the resentment of having to be one, as I’d invested so much into that long hair and so many nice tie-dyed shirts.  Sniff.

The years went by, and suddenly my home in the burbs was swallowed by the Northridge Earthquake.

I realized at that moment I had made “so many plans” and the universe had other plans for me.  If there is a God (and I believe there is) He must have been watching out, as the life I live now, is quite nice, I couldn’t have dreamed it, frankly….but it is nothing like “what I planned”.  It’s healthy.  I love my wife, Lee.  We have similar interests.  And like any couple, we don’t agree on every topic but that’s okay.

We both decided to get healthy (rather than give into being sickly, which would have been an easier route, we decided to expose ourselves to healthy things, people,  get to know nature, and love life just as it is.  That’s not easy (in the start) when one has been “chasing some unknown” for many years, but it makes a lot of sense now.

And every single screeching on of breaks, from as far back as I can remember in my life, and restarting, was nothing more than “Recalculating”; just like the robot-woman in our GPS.

Hence my best explanation for this cartoon…..”Recalculating”.

Overcoming Obstacles….At Age 3…& Later by Rick London

At what age do adults realize that not every other adult has the same childhood memories that you or I do? 

mat ar good grief 2

     I was talking to my favorite Aunt Jane on the phone the other day as I do almost weekly, and she was telling me about my cousin, her grandson at age five, and all the whacky shenanigans.  He will be starting 1st grade a bit late due to some hyperactivity issues, which I’m sure I had as a toddler, along with a zillion other non-diagnosed, or misdiagnosed childhood issues.

     I chuckled when Jane told me how Max (my little cousin age 5 said) to her, “The doctor is a good one but he can be so irritating”. 

      I reminded her that (and I remember this), when I was age 3-4, living in a small white frame house on S. 28th Ave which later became AAA Ambulance Service behind the Ms. Highway Patrol building in Hattiesburg, Ms…yes the same Hattiesburg that recently was hit by a monster tornado and is the real birthplace of Rock & Roll (according to Rolling Stone Magazine).

      I had a girlfriend, also age 3 named Sharmain Sharp.  I pronounced all my “S’s” as an “H”.  Not only that, but my favorite thing in the world to do was “Sit on the sofa with Sharmain Sharp”; so of course it came out, “Mommy Daddy, I’d like to hit on the hofa with Harmaine Harp”.  Within a few days I was off to one of my many speech therapy sessions in Jackson, Ms. (Hattiesburg didn’t have one then). 

     As soon as they fixed that ailment, another one cropped up, then another, and another.  There were so many (I clearly remember now), my parents must have decided on “acceptance”.   There were no more doctors for childhood disorders.  I was fortunate enough to bring several of them into adulthood with me; some that are quite cute as a toddler, and particularly scary as an adult.  Oh well. 

     As I was describing this to my Aunt Jane, for sure she had heard about it or remembered it, nada.  She laughed as if it was the first time she’d heard of it, and perhaps it was. I should not be so self-absorbed.  As well as I know Jane, and I know her well, I only know a few of her childhood tales.  But I thought everyone knew of my speech impediment and Sharmain….and the sofa.   

mar waldo finds self

      One of my most visible ones to me, was a vertical form of dyslexia that I pointed out to the special dyslexia school in Washington, D.C. who noticed it immediately.  At the time, I was working on a story as a producer for the show “Entertainment Tonight”, and Cher and Tom Cruise were visiting to talk to the kids. Both actors had dyslexia and overcame it. 

      I never completed an entire book until I was 29 years old. I remember buying it at Winn Dixie…”Being There” by Jerzy Kosinski.  Oddly, I would later meet him in NYC.  I explained the story to him and he seem pleased.  It turned out to be one of my favorite films as well.

      Though I already was keenly aware of the disability, when I returned home to Ms. I decided to be tested at their lab.  They found no signs of any reading disorder. I thanked them and left…and struggled with the disorder for another two decades; though much less so than I had as a child. The school in Washington taught me to be patient, take a breath and wait for the words to return. Also, if not too difficult, to hide all but one line with a piece of paper or cardboard. I tried that awhile and it was helpful.

      Then about 2 years ago my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London had an idea.  It was getting near my birthday and she knew my love of the “arts and letters”.  She had a theory that a Kindle Fire might solve the problem as the letters are large and not attached to paper on glass with a gray background. She was buying one for herself and decided it might help me.

     She was right on target.  I have read more books in less than two years on the Kindle Fire than probably (added up) all the books I’ve read in my lifetime.  More importantly, in most cases, I understood the text.  I’m not saying this will work for everyone, and there are still times the dyslexia returns but only briefly, and I get through the book. I remain a slow reader but I love the reading and learning process. 

     I was able to return to college at age 47 and study (mostly online) getting help from colleagues (who knew my situation and cared) and taught me a great deal about business and the Internet. 

feb psquid credits

    At that time my cartoons, Londons Times, were still a hobby.  I was only doing something to bide my time after a major heart attack until my life (sad to say) would be over.

    Little did I know within a year I’d start launching stores with my licensed cartoon images, and start designing giftware and clothing that had nothing to do with cartooning. 

     Life is funny that way.  What was the proper combination to make it all happen?  I don’t believe this is a one-size-fits-all-world and nearly everyone I know has learned to live their dream differently

      For me, it was a mix of a little faith, meeting the woman of my dreams (Lee) who believes in me, finding people smarter than me to work with me to make things happen, hard consistent/persistent work even when one does not feel like it, and taking time  away from it to play.

      Lee and I play by hiking in our National Forest and taking photographs.  That is not for everyone but I do believe that Nature offers a type healing that can’t be found in too many (if any) other places. 

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 Rick London is a writer/cartoonist and designer.  He founded Londons Times Cartoons in an abandoned tin shed in Hattiesburg in 1997 which has become Google’s #1 ranked Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts since 2005.  He is married to popular nature photographer Lee Hiller-London who runs the popular nature blog Hike Our Planet. 

 

 

 

 

It’s Just Another Day by Rick London

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     It’s just another day.   When I awakened that McCartney’s tune “Another Day” came in and out of my mind…though for the life of me, I couldn’t remember all the words.  So I looked them up. Don’t you love The Internet?

     Every day she takes a morning bath, she wets her hair

 Wraps a towel around her as she’s heading for the bedroom chair

 It’s just another day….

     I got out of bed, kissed my wife, and brushed my teeth (maybe I should brush my teeth first in the future), and asked myself, “Why did that particular album have such an impact), and, now that I’m 58, how far have I come since that time?

     I was 15 years old (1970) when the album was released.  I was still wearing out my fifth copy of the White Album which had only been released a year prior to that.   Imagine how prolific the Fab 4 had been.  Imagine.  And now McCartney was flying (nearly) solo with Wings (including his late wife Linda). 

    I grabbed some clean sweats (my latest haute’ couture) and headed toward the fridge only to notice I was out of SILK organic soy milk which has become my latest daily breakfast (along with organic coffee du Kroger’s own “Simple Truth” brand) .   These are not product placement posts, friends, I promise. I doubt those folks even know I have a blog much less even who I am.

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     So, I hopped in the car and headed out to Kroger to get some more SILK and ended up finding another $62.75 worth of stuff we needed (after my Kroger card discount), purchased it and headed back home.   By then, Lee had already drunk her daily green tea breakfast and was on her second digital design for her gift line, and I’d not created anything for my own.  My mind was on one thing and one thing only.  Liquid soy protein milk.  Have I lost it?  Nahhhh. I’d never had it to lose.  

      After my “fix”, I headed for the computer to check my  email, only to find I could not send or receive any.   Only an error message that looked like my computer had been breached by the Chinese, taken to the pawn shop, and sold for $50.   I knew what it meant.  My feeble webmail was full and I had to empty it which took about 20 minutes out of my day.   I thought once I was an entrepreneur, people would run to my side to tackle such chores like that but nooooooooooo.  So I emptied the email box while Lee was making our delicious morning fruit/veggie smoothie.  Ever since she started making them over a year ago, she always asks me if I want one. I have never once refused. 

     So I look up at the news as my email slowly empties to see the talking heads tell me my country is going out of business.  My first thought is, “Is the cost of living in Tahiti high” but then remember I love where I live and nix that thought immediately and know, having worked in news, that things are never as bad as reported.  If news were reported as a “neutral static event” not many ads would be sold.

       I sit down to digitally design some products but nothing comes to me, so I write this blog instead. It’s just another day…….

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Rick London is a writer, cartoonist and designer.  He founded Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts in 1997 which has been Google #1 ranked since 2005 and Bing #1 ranked since 2008.  He is married to popular wildlife/nature photographer Lee Hiller-London who runs the nature blog HikeOurPlanet.com.  You can follow them both on Twitter @RickLondon & @LeeHillerLondon. 

Where Do I Live? In The Here & Now…Sort Of….By Rick London

         Sometimes people ask me where I live and I tell them I live “in the now”.  Of course that is not totally true because when things get rough, even given years of excellent therapy, I find myself living in the “then”.   Generally cold weather and overcast skies will send me scurrying to the “then”; not unlike snowbirds from Canada settling in southern Florida for the winter, yearning for the “good old days”.

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      But given my life, and all its ups and downs as a writer, I can honestly say most of my time is spent living in the now.  And it’s not because I am better than anyone else, or even understand the way the world works better than anyone else.  I don’t.  I just happen to like who I am.  I like that I know how to stand up for whom I am (healthy boundaries).  I don’t tell lies to people, not even “little white lies” so that they’ll feel better. I’m not perfect. I’ve chopped down some cherry trees (and didn’t admit it), but I strive to be honest.  Sometimes that hurts people’s feelings, but in the long run, most tend to appreciate constructive criticism. And sometimes I’m wrong.

      Every now and then a new writer or cartoonist will send me a portfolio of his or her work.  And that is not because I am a master of what I do, but that I’ve been doing it for over a decade and am published and licensed in numerous places, and generally that is the goal of most writers and/or cartoonists.  If one has willfully entered this “trade” with the idea of retiring to a home in Malibu, might I suggest a career in plumbing or medicine. 

     I have made it a point to always give an honest assessment of what someone has showed me.  If it has potential (in my mind), I let them know as soon as possible. If it is dismal, I let them know that (in a tactful manner) that I don’t believe it has commercial value.

 The good news is that creativity, the arts, writing etc. can all be learned. And better more advanced instructors can help one advance rapidly.  I was fortunate to have a mom (starting early in my life) who was quite astute in the arts and letters. I later found mentors, some of whom were the best in the humor writing and cartooning business, and even later, upon returning to college, some of the best professors in the business of teaching college courses.  So I really have no excuse not to be able to produce and produce often and be creative often. And still, I sometimes miss the mark.

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      There is a certain generosity about the arts and letters which at first glance goes unnoticed.  But given that the purveyor of this creative mass is put into a fully focused form, and manifested into some kind of medium meant to share with others, not knowing if the creator is going to make one penny or not, but gives totally of oneself, sharing one’s inner soul (yes even in humor), it is a pure act of giving.  There of course are times when the creation becomes a “commercial success”. To me, it is still a sharing situation.  There are plenty of ways to make an easier living (than sharing one’s soul with the world), but the artist, writer, painter, musician etc. is willing to “give what it takes”.

     My wife Lee Hiller-London started climbing and hiking the mountains of Arkansas in early November 2009.    She owned a small digital camera which was more for personal use than commercial, so she knew the chances may be slim of any kind of commercial success, but she had found a new dimension of herself by hiking, taking photos and documenting what she saw.  She became a photo-poet.

      In spite of a lot of obstacles, a new form of commerce began taking place on the Internet called “digital design” in which one transfers one’s art, photography, text etc. onto clothing, gifts, cards and other collectibles.  I had been working in digital art since 2005.  It did not take her long to pick up the craft and she was off to the races.

      In time, she was able to buy a high-end professional camera and her brand, “Lee Hiller Designs” began to flourish.  Within 3-4 years, she had taken tens of thousands of photos and hiked hundreds of miles in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas.

     Though I now have inherited her old camera (and enjoy taking nature and wildlife pictures a great deal), it is not my major muse.  I still enjoy writing offbeat cartoons which I use for my Londons Times Cartoons.  I find great inspiration in the forest, often using animals, trees and other living things as the theme of the cartoon.  I jot down ideas while hiking and develop them when I get home from the adventure.   When my head is clear of all cobwebs (after a hike), which it generally is, I can create with the best of them.  If I’ve been closed up at home for several days (which happens) due to weather or some other reason, I am lucky to be able to spell my name correctly.

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      Writing, painting, drawing, music, etc. does not have to be for celebrity, money, or fame.  In fact, it is more often done for personal achievement than audience feedback.  For the first few years I was in cartooning and humor writing, it was only as a hobby, and I was curious how far I could take it before anyone even noticed I was doing it.  I never expected to get published much less my own line of products.  I don’t think my wife Lee did either (she’s actually a much better artist than me).

      Yet, I can remember a ½ lifetime ago, around age 28, moving to New York, haunting the comedy clubs trying out my newly written material, bothering scouts from Letterman and then Johnny Carson etc.  Fame was the key. I felt I would not be happy unless I made my appearances and “knocked ‘em dead” on those shows.  Yet the more I pushed to get what I wanted, the more the universe pushed back to tell me it was not what I was getting. 

     In retrospect, all that is part of growing up.  At age 44, when I decided to settle on cartooning, and later product engineering and designing, it was for me. I truly thought the pursuit of any kind of acknowledgement from my peers or the public was over.  The great irony is that that is when it started. 

     I began Londons Times in 1997.  By September 2001, my team and I had created about 3000+ mostly color cartoons.  I’d also written hundreds of e-zine articles and songs.  And then came a major heart attack.  My cardiologist suggested I let go of anything that was stressful.  By then, cartooning and writing had become stressful, mainly because I’d gotten so involved in it, I never learned to smell the roses.  If I was succeeding, that is, as a business, I would have never known it.  I was just too busy doing it.

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      So I stopped and returned to college; something I’d not done in several decades.  I figured going to college online would be a breeze. After all, nobody looking over my shoulder, go at my own pace, etc. Not so. It was more difficult than any state college I’d attending (and I’d attended my share of them).  All work was state-of-the-art as the courses had been modeled from MIT.  I was out of my league and I knew it.  All assessments were proctored by the local school system.  Though it had to be the most difficult learning experience ever, it was also the most pragmatic. Nearly everything learned there came into play at one time or another when I finally decided to start back at cartooning again.

     By 2005, I had completed about 8 credits out of 20 to graduate.  Then a serious illness struck and I needed surgery.  It took me several months to recover and I was able to finish 3 more credits before an even more serious illness hit and put me on the sidelines.   The school was patient and would have let me continue (even at my slow pace) but being online, at the time, they were heavily monitored by the NEA, and I was on grants, loans and scholarships. 

They asked me to send them my medical records which I did, and they went to bat for me but it was not enough.  So I was unable to finish which broke my heart for a good while.  Then in the middle of my work the thought hit me, two of the most successful people on my school advisory board, Bill Gates and Michael Dell never finished college.  Not that I’m in their league but the fact is they didn’t.  There was no reason I should quit trying in my work just because academia didn’t work out.  So I carried on.

Please don’t get me wrong. I enjoy making money as much as the next fellow.  But as I was getting to know myself along the way, I learned a valuable lesson.  Money, for the sake of just money, that is, working at any job or career just because it pays well, even if I abhor it, is a loser’s game. The funny part is, one learns that lesson after the first paycheck.

“Well that wasn’t enough money. I’ll work harder and make some more”.  Then comes the next paycheck. “Oh, I see I’m going to have to double down on the work, and really pull in the dough.” And that cycle never ends. Ever.  One can be making millions if not billions, and still that dark cloud is hanging overhead. It’s a race for money and nothing else.  One’s moral compass can easily get knocked out of kilter. 

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One gets so busy making money and keeping up with the Jones’, he/she forgets the importance of helping those closest to him/her like brothers, sisters, mothers, close friends etc.  So they distance themselves and go on highly visible missions to Haiti or Central America to prove their charitable worth.  And the world is watching them because they know.

 It is truly no way to live; and I didn’t want to go to my grave that way, and I was surely headed in that direction.  I was blessed to get out of that vicious cycle.  “Show-off charity” is disturbing at best, especially for the giver, as he/she knows he doesn’t have the guts or courage to give to those who need it most in his/her own family, community, etc.

 I’m not saying that going to other countries and supplying blankets, food and other relief is not a wonderful thing, it is.  But if it is a substitute for helping those you love, or once loved, it is a travesty that borders on being criminal.

So, here I am “training myself” not to worry about what “will happen then”.  What will be will be. Que sara sara.  Whatever.

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So it’s Friday. Tonight Lee and I will be shutting down the pc’s for several hours and enjoying Shabbat which we observe each Friday at sundown.  We’ll do our Torah study in the morning and at sundown tomorrow, catch up on work and other silly stuff that are obligations which exist so we can keep the lights on and gas in the cars.

Then, like all mature adult couples, Lee has rented two episodes of “Portlandia” for us to watch tomorrow night and she’ll make some fun organic gmo-free dish with sesame seeds and such in place of that evil Orville Reddenbacher gmo-heavy oversized Chernobyl popcorn.  And all those years we thought he was our kindly grandfather figure.  He’s simply the kindest face in a huge corporation that blows up its corn to 3 times its normal size using GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) compliments of Monsanto. And corporations are not people, my friend…and neither is popcorn.

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Rick London is a freelance writer, designer, songwriter and nature-lover. He launched London’s Times Offbeat Cartoons And Funny Gifts which have been Google & Bing #1 ranked for 7 years.  His stores such as Rick London Gifts offers funny tees, mousepads, mugs & other funny collectibles at reasonable prices.  He is married to popular nature wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London and they live and hike in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas to commune with Nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

A Summary Of My Adult Life & Lifestyle by Rick London

       I was strolling through Kroger’s several days ago and noticed that it’s organic, vegan, non-gmo section has grown to about 25% of the store and that made me happy (and sad). I’ll explain that in a moment.  As I’ve mentioned numerous times, my beloved wife Lee has been a positive influence on me in that I am on a vegan diet and a great deal of it is raw.  The way I feel now, compared to the way I felt prior to two heart attacks is day and night.

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      So how could I have feelings of sadness that veganism and organics have become so mainstream.  It goes way back to my twenties when I discovered herbs. No, not the kind they are legalizing in Washington and Colorado (though, yes I discovered those too and I did inhale and I’m not apologetic about it), but a woman I knew, a minister’s wife, had terminal cancer and the medical community sent her home to die.  She’d come from an old country town where folklore medicine was still popular.  She started taking chaparral tea by the box load.  Within a year the doctors declared her cancer-free.

      And though the story is only testimonial and there is no science behind it, it had a great impact. She outlived most of her doctors.  There was no Internet.  It was in the mid-1970s and I was selling real estate for my family business which I found extremely boring and unimportant. There were plenty of Realtors in the world who loved it. Why did that industry need me?  So I walked away and opened a health food store after spending months in the library studying herbs, vitamins etc. 

     Even though nearly everything I learned was incorrect, and I even got “educated” with more information by vitamin and herb salespersons after I opened my shop, there was a great placebo effect, and it did motivate me to eat better, healthier foods. 

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     And even though I was running marathons, taking karate and moving up the ranks and improving my lifestyle, there was still a price to pay for owning such a business in a narrow-minded thinking town in 1978.  Isolation, misunderstanding (or being misunderstood) lies, rumor, innuendo, casted aspersions and you name it.

     “Why won’t Rick come to dinner anymore? Is he that conceited? Is he okay? He’s gotten into all that weird witchcraft herbal stuff”.  That was the public sentiment.

     Still, I carried on for three years until I just couldn’t afford to keep the doors open any longer.  The store (The Sesame Seed) was directly across the street from the local university and 90% of my business came from the school.  It was not enough. It broke my heart to close it.  It became a part of whom I was.

     Time went by.  I ended up living in Miami, NYC, and Washington, D.C.  And though I visited health food stores and bought vitamins and herbs and such, I noticed others (and myself) not getting healthier, but not getting sicker.  We were living, but we weren’t thriving.  However, our peers, for the most part were getting sicker, and some sadly were dying. I worked in major media and the stress was usually a boiler pot.  More often than not most grabbed a hot dog from a street vendor and came back into the studio or ran over to Congress or whatever to gather the “B-Roll” for the satellite feed going to a Senator or Congressperson’s local news station. 

Kenny Rogers Cartoon

By Londons Times Cartoons C2011 http://www.LondonsTimes.us

      Fast forward 15 years. I had lived in L.A. and studied screenwriting, and my mom became ill and I returned to my home of Hattiesburg, Ms.  After she died, I settled in my favorite small town paradise, Hot Springs, Ar. 

      This is where my soon-to-be wife Lee Hiller-London eventually moved from Oregon, and she was already on her way to an exercise (hiking) and better foods program. After moving here she soon became a vegetarian.  I followed her footsteps within a year, and then she became a vegan.  She got to the point where she could hike 3-4 mountains at a time and barely breathe hard.  She was getting in shape so fast I couldn’t help but be curious.  But could I eat organic vegan food?  Could I make the goal of it being “mostly raw foods?  I made that my goal too.

      Within a year after Lee did so, so did I.  Suddenly I went from staying home most the time except to go to the grocery or M.D. to hiking 2-3 times a week anywhere from 2-5 miles each times.  Our mountains are steep, so it is not anything like walking 2-5 miles.  It is a real aerobic working similar to long-distance running.

      I also learned (doing my own research on the Internet) that vitamin pills are useless.  They are heated and that renders anything that was once valuable for the body useless.  I discovered a brand that was “flash-glanced”, which is very close to raw and retains a good bit of the live enzymes etc.   But even those were not perfect.  Lee discovered a brand called “Vitamin Code” that are totally raw and totally organic and 99.9% vegan (it has sheep lanolin for the vitamin D but they do not kill or injure the sheep to obtain it).   So I order “Wiser Men’s 50+ Vitamin Code” on Amazon each month.

      I also learned that herbal capsules or pills are also useless. Most have zero medicinal properties and those that do are so minimal one might as well not take them.  Organic (and hopefully wild crafted) herbal tinctures are the key.  And no herb works very well without taking it with extremely hot cayenne tincture. 

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      The heat in cayenne tincture is measured in scoville units.  The hottest organic cayenne tincture I’ve found is 100,000 H.U. (heat units).  I have purchased 200,000 h.u. but it is not organic. I mix the organic cayenne tincture in with about 12 other organic herbs including one herb that is not organic, but it really doesn’t need to be as it grows on trees in the Peruvian rainforest. It is called Samento which is a form of cat’s claw, but it is toa-free cat’s claw.  It is by far the most potent immune system herb on the planet leaving others like ginseng, Echinacea etc. in the dust.  Herbalist consider cayenne tincture “the taxi herb” because it “knows” where the diseased or inflamed spot is, and carries other medicinal herbs in the mix to it to “do their magic”.  Cayenne tincture has “magic properties” of its own, including preventing heart attacks and strokes, and reduce inflammation, blood pressure, etc. 

      But let me explain the sad feeling.  Part of it was being ostracized by the medical community (mostly) back in the 70s.  Later I found myself in circles that didn’t have any interest, so I received zero support in trying to watch my health.  I worked on a time watch and deadlines were daily. Fast foods were tailor-made for people with my lifestyle.  These days, I’m older and hopefully wiser and probably could have pulled it off (even in the fast-paced world of world market media). 

      The other day I read a story about Thomas Jefferson who was very much against slavery and wrote many papers on it (while he was a slaveholder) and obviously even more than that with one of his slaves. 

     As much as I admired, and still admire Jefferson, I wondered how he could ever have done something that cruel and hypocritical such as holding a slave.  I decided to research.  All the papers in the world that he wrote against slavery did not make any changes in anyone’s minds. 

       He tried for years.  One can only surmise that he finally came to the conclusion that “If you can’t beat them join them”. 

        Though his dilemma was much larger and more famous than my lifestyle issues could ever be, they surely felt similar.  I had tried and finally given up.  His challenge of abolition of slavery was much larger than my challenge of abolition of putting bad things in my mouth.   I’d lived other people’s lifestyles around me, letting them be the arbitrator of how I lived, instead of being a good leader and at least giving it a harder try to reverse the negative habits in my friends (and me).

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By Londons Times Cartoons c2011 http://www.LondonsTimes.us

       Easier said than done.

      However, if one is alone, or even better has a good friend and/or life mate (and in my case both; my wife Lee) who agrees wholeheartedly with nature, fresh air, vegan foods, organic herbs etc. etc. it makes it so easy. And there’s no reason to give up, especially watching both of us get healthier and feeling healthier. 

       It takes what it takes. 

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Rick London is a writer, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer. He founded Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts in 1997 which have been #1 Google ranked since 2005 and Bing’s #1 ranked since 2008.  Follow Rick on Twitter @RickLondon or his cartoons @LTCartoons.   He is married to popular nature and wildlife photographer and blogger Lee Hiller who has HikeOurPlanet.com.  You can follow Lee @LeeHillerLondon.  Together they enjoy nature and hike often at their home in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas.

Hey GOP: It’s The Message, Stupid (Not The Delivery)

  As you know, many (REAL) Republicans voted for President Obama.  When asked what went wrong, most Tea Partiers are saying “It wasn’t the message, it was the way it was delivered”.  Let me give you a subtle hint…..WRONG!  What you were offering was not even close to Conservative. It would have been the biggest government in the history of the world.

  Privatization of important government functions ala Herbert Hoover which led us straight into the great depression.  Sending immigrants born and raised here to their parents homeland?   Virtually legalizing rape so you can criminalize abortion?  Feeling the adrenaline run of old white men sending young men overseas to die for whatever reason?  Policing everyone’s bedroom to make sure they were behaving? (I imagine behaving means “anything but what our own Republican Patreaus does”). Making certain gays did not get equal rights to the rest of us.   You get an A+ on delivery.   We heard everything perfectly.   The message was what killed you. It was/is dismal.   Do you have any idea how big a government that is?  Even an inkling?  And how horrendous it would make our country in all the rest of the world’s eyes?  A government like that is like “Stalinism on Steroids”; so much larger and every bit as evil as Stalin’s Soviet Union its uncanny.   And you think it was the way the message was delivered.

 Might want to get back to Karl and Grover on that one. They led you astray with that too; not to mention taking all your money with guarantees of a grand victory.  You’re not mad at me. If you have any sense at all you’re mad at them and the fringe right of your “party”.  THEY brought you down. Not Obama, not me, not anyone but them.   Look within when something is that very wrong.  It can be fixed, but anger is a luxury you can’t afford (unless it is directed properly and released) so you can move on from it. 

The people have spoken.  We do not want America to go back to the dark ages.    We do not like abortion, but we also are educated enough to know that the pro-life movement is so archaic, it causes millions of more abortions than it prevents.    They have become the party of “More Abortions And Dangerous Ones”. The pro-choice movement has become the party of less abortions, much less,  in medical environments and prevention using contraceptives, education, and family planning.

We don’t want your message.  Rewrite it, edit it,  sugar coat it, make it even seem sane (if that is possible).  We don’t want it.  If its good for you. Live it.  Exchange those values in your religious institution. You are not converting us or anyone else via government. That is a theocracy, and that is why we have gone to war for years……to fight theocracies due to how evil they are.  In just religion, these ideas are benign and fine.  They are for you. They are not for  you to impose upon us, any more than I would impose my beliefs upon you.  Make sense?   And I am a strong believer in G-d and I have much faith.  But if you don’t that is fine with me.  In fact I demand it.  Be you, because that’s all you can be.  If you start being me, then you’ve lost you. 

America wants Planned Parenthood as it saves lives.    We don’t want a theocracy.  Really.  If the die-hard Tea Partyers want a theocracy, find a place and form one and “Theoc away to your heart’s content”.  We’ve seen your little power game and have no interests.   America is a melting pot of all races, creeds, religions etc and before long,  all of us will have equal rights (in spite of you). 

You can join us (far right) but you have got to learn to behave.   You don’t set the rules.  America does.  And lately, you’ve proven you do not want to play by America’s rules (the Constitution).  If they bother you that much, I bet anything we could talk an airline into offering free one way tickets to ANYWHERE you’d like to go.  Because if you try this again, (Block & Blame: What your Congresspersons did to Obama),  you will see your party so voted out, you will try to remember the name of it.  Really.  Don’t get mad at me. I’m just listening to the word on the street and passing the word.    Now lets go be Americans or lets bid each other farewell.

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Rick London is a writer, cartoonist and designer living in the Ouachata Mountains of Arkansas. He founded Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times Cartoons & Gifts and several other mainstream online shops like Rick London Designs featuring wisdom quotes gifts and cartoon sites that feature famous people in his cartoons. He is married to nature/wildlife photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London of the Lee Hiller Designs Brand.