Friday, August 18, 2017

I AM IN A BAD MOOD . . .

And you do not want to deal with a Junebug in a bad mood, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When Donald Trump was elected, I was shocked. I didn't turn on the news until late in the afternoon on that fateful day. I looked at the available returns and polls and knew: She will win the popular vote, but he will win the electoral college.

For the next two weeks, I cried every day. But I was also in denial. I told myself and my friends, It's going to be all right. Somehow it will be okay. We'll be fine.

Then I looked at the glass in my hand and realized it was half-empty. I accepted reality.

Now we've had a tragic clash in Charlottesville, with bad people on both sides, according to the president. But why did people who don't even live in Charlottesville gather there to hold their White Nationalist shindig? The side with the Tiki torches may have had a permit to gather, but they didn't have a permit to incite violence. With a group like that, however, a gathering amounts to inciting violence. That's what these good ole' boys are all about, and Charlottesville was not prepared to deal with their numbers.

As each day passes since that event, I haven't learned to feel calm and at peace about it. I haven't said, This too shall pass. I haven't let it go and moved on.

Rather, as I learn more about what occurred from people who were actually there, my anger grows. I'm beyond being able to say, Let's find something to laugh about.

Favorite Young Man and I watched quite a bit of news on Saturday and Sunday. He expressed surprise that such a thing would happen in Charlottesville, a liberal university town.

I told him that Charlottesville has long been a town divided (no doubt town officials disagree with me), and, thus, ripe for the picking by the KKK, Aryan Nation, alt-right––whatever they call themselves, "they" are those who come in hatred.

I went on to explain to Favorite Young Man that white descendants of Thomas Jefferson wouldn't consider allowing the black descendants of Thomas Jefferson to join their organization until the black descendants took DNA tests to prove their lineage, and even then the descendants of the Jefferson-Hemmings union were invited to attend the white descendants' meetings as guests, not as full-fledged members. This occurred in spite of the fact that historians began writing about the children of Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemmings, in the 1970s. This occurred in spite of the long-known "open secret" in Charlottesville that if one saw a light-skinned black person with red hair, then that person was likely to be a Jefferson family member. This occurred in spite of the knowledge that Sally Hemmings and her siblings were of mixed race and were half-siblings to Jefferson's wife. Hemmings' children were of mostly European descent. But one drop of so-called black blood? They're not the real thing, apparently.

I doubt if the white descendants ever had to take DNA tests to prove their status.

This refusal to acknowledge ALL of Jefferson's direct descendants is an emblem of the division in Charlottesville, a town that is predominantly white. And Southern.

Sadly, my theory about the town has been confirmed by some articles I've read and by comments from citizens of Charlottesville. One African-American woman stated that the master in Monticello had been looking down on them in the town for far too long. That doesn't mean we should knock down Monticello and disavow Thomas Jefferson as one of the founders of our country, but it does mean we need to recognize his role in the misery that was slavery. It does mean we need to recognize his second family.

We can acknowledge the grief and the mistakes of slavery in museums. We do not need statues of Confederate leaders in parks and city centers. To ask "where will it stop?" and suggest that statues of George Washington will be pulled down next is to demonstrate one's ignorance. Yes, George Washington owned slaves, but he wasn't a traitor to his country who suggested that the Union of States be divided.

I also heard someone say on television that having a statue of Robert E. Lee certainly wasn't as bad as having a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Aren't they all traitors to the Union?

Plus, until a few years ago, my own city had a Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. It took many years to remove the name of the man who founded the KKK. Now, let's change the names of all schools named after Confederate leaders. We don't need Jefferson Davis High School any more than we need Robert E. Lee High School. Let's name our schools after peacemakers and heroes, not losers.

Yes, I am one angry Junebug, and I don't picture myself getting over it anytime soon.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


public domain photo

"Let us reject any among us who seek to reopen old wounds and to rekindle old hatreds. They stand in the way of a seeking nation. Let us now join reason to faith and action to experience, to transform our unity of interest into a unity of purpose. For the hour and the day and the time are here to achieve progress without strife, to achieve change without hatred—not without difference of opinion, but without the deep and abiding divisions which scar the union for generations."

Friday, August 11, 2017

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: A FINAL EVENING ON LAKE JUNEBUG

Gentle Readers . .  and Maxwell,

I first published A FINAL EVENING ON LAKE JUNEBUG on October 6, 2014. It's had 232 page views, but it won't complain if more people look at it. I think it's a good time to read it again, or read it for the first time, because Lake Junebug overflows from daily thunderstorms.

A unique feature in this post is the appearance of the late, handsome Harper––a smooth collie/malinois mix. Harper plays two roles. First, he is the "wildlife." The he returns as the suave, dignified guest, Monsieur Malinois. Exactly the kind of dude you meet during a vacation on Lake Junebug.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug, proprietor



Many of you have written posts about the arrival of autumn. It's still warm here in Northern Florida, but it's pleasant. The humidity is tolerable. While the weather is nice, I recommend you take one last vacation for the year. You need an evening on Lake Junebug.

My prices are low (however much I owe the IRS so about $4,000 and that can be a group rate if you want to bring some pals or the whole family). It's rained a great deal lately so the lake is full. Notice the trees reflected in the beautiful clear water:



Architecture buffs will enjoy attractions such as the steps that lead down to the lake:



Look at the beautiful vegetation right next to the lake:



You'll feel as if you're visiting the Galapagos. Wildlife surrounds Lake Junebug:



Monsieur Malinois, I presume? You meet the elite when you vacation on Lake Junebug:



The dining area, where our chef prepares gourmet meals on the grill:


Another lovely view of the deluxe amenities:



The fence guarantees privacy should you want to indulge in a little skinny dipping:



I haven't set up the hammock yet, but it's a hammock for two. Romance guaranteed. If you bring the kids, they can sleep on the deck itself. They'll be thrilled by this outdoor adventure.

Be sure to book your trip soon. If you wait too long, the party will be over.



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY . . .

AND DON'T COME BACK SOME OTHER DAY, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

With a thunderstorm nearly every day, Lake Junebug is quite full. I would suggest that you make your reservations for the Lake Junebug Resort, but it doesn't stop raining long enough to do anything.

I was out gallivanting around this afternoon when today's storm started. Going from a store to my car, I got soaked. I looked as if I had taken a shower with my clothes on.

Before yesterday's storm, it was somewhat dry just long enough for Franklin to roll in the muck in the backyard. His new name is Stinky.



According to the forecast, the weather system that's with us now is supposed to hang around and get worse by the weekend. I don't know how it can get worse, but anything is possible.

Lappie is fine now. She has no complaints about the duct tape holding her together.

I continue to apply for jobs, so I'm not blogging regularly. Previous interest from employers resulted in an interview for a job that I could have done in my sleep. Of course, I didn't get it.

The search continues.


Infinities of love,

A Soaked Janie Junebug


Lake Junebug looks a lot like this photo that I took after Hurricane Matthew visited us last year:


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

After a scan, I think Lappie is herself again--except that one corner of her case will be held in place by duct tape.

It's going to take me a while to catch up on everything.

Thanks to all of you who offered sympathy and advice.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

OH DEAR OH DEAR OH DEAR

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My laptop is home, but she is wounded and not working properly.

I should not have taken her to a repair store without talking to Willy Dunne Wooters first. He had a good experience with this chain of stores, but the place he used is in a different location. The store closer to my home is run by children. They might be self-described nerds, but they are not very responsible nerds.

They want $200 to repair her. Don't tell Lappie that I said this, but she's not worth it. She only cost about $400 in the first place.

Therefore, I'm not spending $200 on her. Yes, I can duct tape her together (it's the bottom case that came apart in one corner), but she'll have to be replaced at some point.

And she is not the same sweet Lappie I took to the store run by child nerds. Ads pop up on her all the time. Notices pop up that say Google is tracking my searches. I know I had some kind of blocker on her, but I can't remember what I did before to make her my darling Lappie.

Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear.

I bet one of you will remind me how to make her into my Lappie again, or Willy Dunne Wooters will help.

I'm not thinking clearly after my terrible experience with the little boy nerds.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, July 28, 2017

SORRY, NO CEPHALOPOD COFFEEHOUSE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I apologize because I haven't done my Cephalopod Coffeehouse post about my favorite book that I read this month.

My beloved friend Laptop has cracked apart on the bottom left side. I hope she doesn't have to be replaced!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, July 27, 2017

THE REAL DESMOND DOSS: AMERICAN HERO

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Yesterday I reviewed the movie Hacksaw Ridge. I promised that today would be about the real Desmond Doss, who is played by Andrew Garfield.

Andrew Garfield


Desmond Doss
Spoiler Alert: If you are interested in viewing Hacksaw Ridge, then you might not want to read this post.

First, I thank those of you who set me straight on the length of men's hair during military service in World War II. The buzz cut required of future generations was not yet de rigueur.

While Desmond Doss was alive, he wouldn't allow a movie to be made about his exploits because he said it would be a typical Hollywood movie. Plus, he was a humble man. However, he did participate in the creation of a documentary called The Conscientious Objector (2004) before he died in 2006. I would like to see this film, but it's not available on Netflix or Amazon Prime. It can be purchased on Amazon. The DVD is a manufacture-on-demand item that costs $2.47. It's classified as an "add-on" that ships for free if included with a $25 purchase.

The most moving part of Hacksaw Ridge for me was the end: it includes footage of the real Desmond, his brother Hal, and some of his army comrades. Thus, I'm especially interested in the documentary.

Now, here's some information about The Real Desmond v. The Movie Desmond.

Movie Desmond [MD] insists on enlisting.
Real Desmond [RD] was drafted in 1942.

MD finishes training and heads straight to Okinawa for his initial experience as a medic during battle.
RD shipped out to Guam, then Leyte in the Philippines, and then to Okinawa.

MD nearly shoots his father while saving his mother when his father almost shoots her.
RD's mother broke up a fight between her husband and his brother and asked RD to hide the gun his father used to threaten his brother. RD vowed it would be the last time he touched a gun.

MD's father is an abusive drunk.
RD's father drank, but not to excess. He was not abusive.

MD first sees the woman he will marry when she's working as a nurse.
RD met Dorothy at church. She did not become a nurse until after the war. She did so then because RD was disabled and she needed to help support their family.

MD misses his wedding because he's put in a cell to await court martial.
RD--didn't happen.

MD is pulled out of bed and attacked by the men in his company.
Although RD was harassed, no such beating occurred.

MD is nearly court-martialed.
RD was threatened with court-martial by one officer, but another officer told the first that he had to respect RD's status.

MD's father shows up in his uniform from WWI to ask his former commanding officer to prevent MD's court martial.
RD's father called a church War Commission when RD was denied leave. RD was then given a pass so he could see his brother before he shipped out with the Navy.

MD treats Japanese soldiers and lowers them over the side of a cliff in the same way that he rescues Americans.
RD was told by the other men in his company that they would shoot him if he treated a Japanese soldier. 

All of the action in the movie appears to take place during a few days. The real Desmond Doss went through far more than is depicted. In fact, Mel Gibson said that he didn't show everything that happened to Desmond because people would not believe it:

"Mel Gibson stated there were aspects of this event that were true but that he couldn't include in the film because he felt people wouldn't believe they were true: Doss stepped on a grenade to save his buddies and was hit by shrapnel, but as he was being carried away by medics he saw another soldier hurt; since Doss himself was a medic he jumped off his stretcher and treated that soldier and told the medics to take care of other wounded soldiers; he then crawled back to safety while being shot at by enemy snipers."

By the time Doss reached Okinawa, he had already been awarded two bronze stars for bravery. Later, Harry Truman awarded Doss the Medal of Honor. He was the first conscientious objector to be so honored (Alvin York also received the Medal of Honor, but he carried a weapon and for a time denied that he had been a conscientious objector). 

No one is sure how many men Doss saved at Okinawa by lowering them over the escarpment. The unassuming Doss thought it was fifty. Others placed it at 100. The official number became seventy-five as a compromise, but Doss also treated numerous other men.

Desmond Doss returned to the United States as a severely disabled man because of his wounds and because he had contracted tuberculosis before his discharge from the military in 1946. He lost a lung and five ribs to this scourge and spent most of six years in hospitals. He was given an overdose of antibiotics that caused him to lose his hearing for twelve years. He then received a cochlear implant and regained his hearing.

He was married to his beloved Dorothy until her death in 1991. They had one child, Desmond T. Doss, Jr. 

My point about the movie is that the real life of Desmond Doss was more than enough to make a great movie. Gibson didn't need to embroider the tale and turn Doss into a Christ-figure. I can't imagine that Doss would have liked that. He did not want to have a typical Hollywood movie made about him. And Gibson thought that people wouldn't believe the extent of Doss's bravery? I believe the truth. Real, living heroes are not stock characters. They are not clich├ęs. They are complex human beings who deserve to have their stories told without the distractions of unnecessary changes.

"Mel Gibson said that the battle scenes were influenced by nightmares he had during his childhood, when his father Hutton Gibson, a WW2 veteran who served in Guadalcanal in the Pacific theatre, described the horrors he witnessed as bedtime stories."

The horrors witnessed by Mel Gibson's father––NOT the horrors witnessed by Desmond Doss. Keep it real, Mel.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sources: History vs. Hollywood, Internet Movie Database, Desmond Doss



President Truman presents Desmond Doss with the Medal of Honor.
Photo courtesy Desmond Doss Council
An aging Desmond Doss
Photo courtesy Desmond Doss Council



Note: Most of the actors in the movie, including a number of the American soldiers, are played by Australian actors. Gibson cast the Australians to attain Australian tax incentives for the making of the movie