Richard e Hill - a Writer's Journal

Members Only (Then and Now) - Q & A

Selected opinions from a seeking mind

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Members Only (Then and Now)

“Members Only”, the sign prominently displayed near tavern egresses in hometown Chicago ethnic conclaves seemed to scream defiantly at potential intruders. To become a member required solely kindred affiliation as liquor laws were selectively, graft driven enforced. With neighborhoods transitioning, the signs reflecting the verities of economics changed to “Everybody Welcome” or belligerent, bigotry legacy infused “Closed, Thanks for Your Patronage”. “Members Only” was an attitude and much more than a sign during the bourgeoning Civil Rights Movement. This credo which permeated economic and social institutions, to some extent still exists nationally and internationally. “Members Only” outwardly seems as innocent as “No Girls Allowed” on the clubhouse entrance in the fictional movie comedy shorts featuring child movie stars. Though far from innocent, when challenged and taken behind the curtain of society’s replay booth for further review are frequently, almost routinely overturned.

Ethnic barriers still remain though disintegrating with a slowly tumbling --court case, election, treaty, and defiant smirk erased-- descent into history’s closed cold case file. As a sports loving nation the changes are visible with every coin toss, cry of “Play Ball”, opening tip, and trophy celebration. The gunshots now heard are from starter pistols. In the wake of meeting the challenges of felling barriers, there are collateral damages. These are often manifested in dysfunctional personal relations and addictions morphing into afflictions; been there and done that, thank you. Golf is among the last of the sports institutions still practicing members only. The enigmatic Tiger Woods incurred problems while tearing down the barriers of the sport. Nouveaux riche billionaire Woods has sufficient legal, financial, therapeutic and public relations methodologies at his disposition to combat his current fall from grace. Smoke screening of this private matter has been adroitly used by CBS TV and David Letterman in their biased, jointly and severally egregious actions and inactions. Meanwhile the works from the mega million dollars educational, cultural, and sports foundation that Woods has built goes unnoticed and unreported as a schadenfreude, instant messenger public “l o l” and tweets away into mind numbing, tabloid and computer frenzy.

Despite the 24/7 connectivity in this new millennium, real communication is scarce. I don’t consider the acronyms and avatars of texting as true communication. In the messaging venue everything is quickly forwarded to supposedly kindred associates sans analysis, leaving accuracy to reside in the same orphanage as truth. If you have multiple eMail addresses, you are likely to receive the same forwarded missive from the same party multiple times (business and personal eMail notwithstanding). Emergencies are not subjectively disseminated nor within a “Members Only” clique. You don’t have to be a Mayan scientist to predict that eventually, arbitrary misuse of messaging will clutter the circuits to such an extent that an emergency or a disaster will be unnecessarily exacerbated.

Let’s move toward a better managed digerati “Members Only” society before it’s too late.  



We Get Mail     Q  & A

Q-A. How do you feel about tweeting?

A-A Fine, if you are a bird. There is NO ONE that I wish to know everything about at every moment of the day. I believe ¨tweeting” is ruining effective communication. When eMail was the principle means of automated communication; grammar, spelling, and sentence structure improved generally. Now when you receive an eMail, there are multiple errors, some impacting the clarity of the point being addressed. Hardly anyone researches missives being forwarded; receive it, browse it, “l o l” or “o m g” it, and pass it on as quickly as possible is the rule.


Q-B I receive over 200 eMails a week, yours was the only original eMail I received, and the rest were forwarded jokes, rumors, and SPAM. THANKS, even on the occasions that I don’t fully agree with you, you say things so poetically beautiful; I am almost compelled to agree.

A-B Thank You. Everyone does not possess exceptional communication acuity. Some of the jokes and forwarded missives are just a means of “staying in touch” and should be appreciated as such. Potential hoaxes and rumors should be researched before forwarding however.


Q-C I enjoy your commentaries. So does some of my eMailers because your commentaries are often copied and transmitted as their own. I received one of your (slightly modified) commentaries 4 times, each from a different person.

A-C When you are passing intellectual property (i.e. poetry) as your own, copyrights are being infringed and legal and/or civil redress is imminent. Several legal actions re: my works are pending.


Q-D. ----terminally single, and successfully managing Depression while resisting the inevitable sentence of senescence.

----Wishful dreams are classic novels; read initially because you had to, and read again because you need to, or most often placed upon dusty bookshelves with other memorabilia.

MAN that is beautiful, you have the BEST website I have seen! I bet you write or have written some “effective” love letters.

A-D Thanks, I do not recall EVER writing a love letter. I have written some “topical” or reflective poetry.



(Letter re: Tiger Woods ---- another letter (to Public Radio) is on my WebSite Blog) ----- I have lost a lot of respect for comedy in general and you in particular with the biased treatment of Tiger Woods. Granted he was wrong, but what about David Letterman? His misconduct with female employees would be grounds for dismissal in most corporations. Did you hear the joke about Letterman, of course you didn't ---- there are none!



Q-E1 "BULLS EYE"! Richard you are on target again. What we witness was an old fashion lynching of an "uppity n------" by the media. They even went back to his high school days seeking affairs. It would be news if they discovered a young wealthy, virile, good looking, famous straight male, that had an affair with less than 13 women.


A-E1 Sometimes we, Blacks are our worst enemy, most anti-Woods mail comes from Blacks and I have not received ONE Letterman eMail ---- 13 affairs? That used to be a slow month


Q-E2 ---- I must say that you are on point, with an excellent commentary.

         ----I have not heard many Woods jokes since your letters.


A-E2 Thanks. I would love to believe my letters stopped the unjust Tiger Woods salvo, but I am sure it was the letters and calls from many viewers and listeners that caused the cessation


Q-E3 ---- Dick, Excellent appraisal [ie I agree with you!] of the corporate
cunning lingering on us [pun on oral intended]. Keep up the good work -
we all need to be reminded that there are people like you in the space
we occupy. Thank you [go raibh maith agut - "may you have good" or Thank you in the Irish tongue]


A-E3 Thank you. GREAT PUN "cunning lingering" ---- the corporate “heads”” are "masters in baiting" our minds






A-F ---- Despite the idiotic, bigoted utterances of Rev Pat Robertson, there are people of Faith with a tabula rasa for Haiti, thereby aiding in the renaissance of this once wealthy Black nation.  



Q-G --- I say Pray for the people of Haiti and the country!

(According to CNN) Their Government has misused funding for over 50 years, not giving it to the people that really need it.


A-G Corruption in Haiti is very old news. There has been some aid going to the people of Haiti thru the UN. Bill Clinton has a foundation that has done some positive work there as well. An economic reforestation program and several private business groups had been making progress before the quake. And there is more, but as far as misuse of funds not going to people in need, we need to look no further than New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.


When Haiti revolted against France and freed the slaves (1790-1803), it was not well received by the world in general and the US in particular. The USA still was openly practicing slavery and the French were our closest ally at that time. They can spin and rationalize anyway they wish, but bottom line, the World was not ready for and did not want an independent wealthy nation that was controlled by Blacks. The World had no problem with Haiti and freely traded with Haiti when the French were in control.


The USA is coming to the forefront with aid to Haiti; ABOUT TIME! The USA also backed the two coups in Haiti less than a score ago and was close to sending in the troops in an all out effort.



Q-H ---- Where are all those multi-racial Haitians you speak of? I just see dark skin Haitians on TV in the earthquake area.


A-H The lighter complexion inhabitants are mostly in the Northern tour boat area; there is still tourism in Haiti. This area was not impacted by the earthquake. There were daily bus tours (all day or overnight) from Puerto Plata Dominican Republic as well when I was last there. There were water sports activities and Voodoo re-enactments for entertainment. (Have seen some real “non-staged” Voodoo in South America and the Caribbean; not for the faint of heart!)



Q-I ---- This autumn is your time to struggle with anxiety and depression! Live happily!


A-I Since they legalized pot in sunny CA, I get a lot of eMails like this one ---- JUST SAY NO, DUDE!



Q-J ---- WHAT! China is the #1 beer market? What about my Germany, we invented the wonderful suds?


A-J I like the bubbly suds as well, but beer was invented in Egypt, a long time ago. Take heart though, although China leads in volume of beer consumed, the USA leads in dollars. Biggest consumers per capita? Czech Republic



Q-K How about your guy, Obama now? We have an expression in Texas, “All hat and no cattle”. How about a little direction?


A-K There are at least 535 reasons Barack Obama is not the blame for the economic and social messes we are in ---- 100 US Senators and 435 US House of Representatives. Under the bodies comprising our government, the Executive (President) enforces the laws of the Constitution and bills enacted by Congress (Legislative). How is this for direction? ---- put a pen in hand instead of a pointer, draft and develop some legislation and as far as directives; START NOW!


By the way, there is another guy down in Texas (who is currently unemployed) that did a lot of talking and a lot of shooting ---- look at the legacy he left.


(Neither of the George Bush’s were born in nor educated in Texas (FYI: Connecticut and Massachusetts were the birthplaces) yet they have that good old boy accent unlike the other, younger Bush in Florida; hmmmm!)



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