Sunday, February 18, 2018

It's the Guns

by Madeleine Kando

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy, Bloody Valentine’s Day

by Madeleine Kando

Did you get roses for Valentine’s day? A card? Chocolates? I was going to order those ’12 long-stemmed roses’, advertised ad nauseam on NPR, but then I asked myself: who is this Valentine guy anyway? What gives him the right to mind-control an entire population to go out and spend their hard earned money on others? ** There should be a law against saints telling us what to do, I reasoned.

So I went digging and I came across several articles on The Dark Origins Of Valentine's Day. Let me warn you, it ain’t pretty. And quite convoluted.

There are two theories on the origin of this supposedly lovey-dovey celebration; one cruel and bloody, the other salacious and sex-driven.

The first connection is to the ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia, in honor of the fertility god Lupercus. During this pagan ritual from February 13 to 15, a group of priests called Luperci, sacrificed a goat (the symbol for virility) and a dog (not sure why), sliced strips of skin from these victims and ran around naked, whipping young women who willingly lined up for a beating. They believed that being beaten by naked men would make them fertile. This ‘naked guys running amok frenzy’ was followed by a blind-date lottery where names of young girls were put in a large urn, followed by activities better not described here in detail. Read more...

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Diktator Trump

I have come to a conclusion:

Well-meaning as they may be, the good folks at MSNBC, the NY Times, etc (Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Don Lemon, etc) and their guest pundits don’t get it: they keep wondering when the Republicans (e.g. Paul Ryan) will finally develop a conscience and divorce Trump. They still think that firing Mueller is a “red line,” that this would result in a constitutional crisis, etc.

Most Americans, no matter how well-meaning they may be,  have difficulty being sufficiently pessimistic, regardless of how bleak a situation is. This is an admirable quality, of course. However, sometimes, Americans' positive thinking needs to be tempered by some old-fashioned (European?) doom.

Today, many Americans still have difficulty realizing that the country is moving towards dictatorship. They do not understand the genesis and history of dictatorships, because they have been fortunate not to ever have EXPERIENCED dictatorship.  My own  perspective is darker.   Whether this is because I am a European or due to my personal disposition doesn't matter. Read more...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Looking for my Muse

by Madeleine Kando

My muse has disappeared. She left without explaining why or when she would return. She used to work overtime for long stretches, you see, to the point where I took her for granted and never even considered giving her anything in return. Maybe she realized that she was being played for a sucker and decided to teach me a lesson.

I confess to all the times that she whispered in my ear while I was in the shower or cooking dinner, but it wasn’t ‘convenient’ for me to pick up the little muselings she dropped in my lap and take the time to put them on paper. Muselings don’t stick around unless you catch them in the act, you know.

I confess to all the times I was cheating on her by watching a third rate movie on T.V. instead of spending quality time with her. Who can blame her, sitting there in the corner of my darkened living room, staring at me staring at the boob tube, wondering what she was doing there, wasting her time on me.

She must have found someone more deserving of her gifts by now. Muses are so in demand these days, what with all those Indie writers who think they can ride the gravy train without an ounce of creativity. My muse is probably cheating on me with some other undeserving schmuck, who thinks he can use her as a ghostwriter. Read more...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hail Columbia

by Madeleine Kando

What is more representative of the American ‘soul’ than the love of liberty? After all, the desire to be free of British rule is the reason America exists. So it is not surprising that America’s quest for independence, required a symbol that would represent this love of freedom.

Although a mere eagle or a mythical phoenix would have done the basic job, the new Colonies realized that they needed a more inspiring symbol to do justice to this entirely new endeavor.

They turned to the practice that was en vogue in Europe at the time. Nations and even entire continents were represented by female figures. France had its Marianne, England had Britania and Germany had Germania. Why not depict America with an equally inspiring lady?

This practice dates back to the Romans, who revered certain values, known as Virtues. They had a slew of Goddesses to whom they attributed these virtues, which they in turn tried to live up to and put up as examples for the ‘domus’ (the common people). Some of those Virtues were Hope (Spes), Justice (Justicia), Piety (Pietas), Courage (Virtus) and especially Libertas, the Goddess of Freedom.

The Colonies were in great need of an image that would represent this virgin, unspoiled country. An image that would create a national identity different from the former mother country. They turned to the Roman Goddess Libertas for inspiration and it was Chief Justice Samuel Sewall of the Massachusetts Bay Colony who, in 1697 suggested that America’s Colonies be called Columbina, a feminization of Christopher Columbus. Thus Lady Columbia was borne. Read more...

Monday, January 8, 2018

Grandmother in Training

by Madeleine Kando

My friend Karen is a grandmother. She insisted on being there during her grandson’s delivery, but for some reason, her daughter said it would be better if she spent the $3000 airfare on a vacation with her husband in Hawaii instead. ‘But I can give such useful advice’, Karen said. After all, she had been through it three times! Ok, so maybe her daughter was right. In Karen’s days, not even husbands were allowed in the delivery room.

She was a bit disappointed, she told me, when her daughter didn’t take her advice on naming her grandson. ‘What kind of name is Redmond’, she said. ‘His hair isn’t red’. But no matter how sensible her suggestion was, to name her grandson Gregory (after her own father), it fell on deaf ears.

Since Gregory’s (I mean Redmond’s) birth, Karen likes to pay her daughter surprise visits, and give her the opportunity to spend quality time together. But last time her daughter got upset and said that Karen should call first to ask if it was convenient to just show up like that. ‘Well, what’s more important; grandma’s visit or their precious schedule’, Karen told her. Read more...

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Happy Holidays!

from Madeleine and Tom Kando

We would like to take this holiday season’s opportunity to once again sincerely thank you for the trust you have shown us throughout the year.

May the joy of Christmas bring you hope for a new year without future Trumps, Brexits, ransomware cyberattacks, additional withdrawals from climate agreements, category 5 hurricanes, mass shootings, Spanish style   secessions, surprise recognitions of foreign capitals,  California fires or threats of  nuclear Armageddons.

From the whole 2 person team at European/American Blog (notice the meticulous use of the non-sexist word ‘person’), we wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! leave comment here Read more...