Sorry I’ve been off the blog beat since 12.9.19. Sadly, I’ve been grieving the loss of my dear friend, client and film subject the incomparable inventor/scientist Dr. Patrick Flanagan.
Losing Pat is like losing a brother for me. Blessedly, I’ve had visits from his amazing spirit I will write of soon here that have helped me cope. You see, my issue is that within the past decade I have had too many losses; I’ve lost my best friend in LA Bradley Quick, a father, a stepfather, a sweet pal from my days in Malibu, a dear but troubled brother and a beloved uncle. And now Pat. Sigh.
So I hope you’ll excuse me that I’ve been lost from blogging to you dear reader for a time. I’ve been losing myself following the Impeachment, hoping to see some glimmer of justice for this bully that has stolen America’s soul.
But watching the farce that is the Senate Impeachment Trial has not helped quell my pain as America has lost its series of check and balances. Indeed, the farce trial has only been useful in making it crystal clear how far our Republican Party has fallen from grace.
As an independent I’ve voted Republican as often as I’ve voted Democratic. In fact, the Republican Party is the only party I have ever registered to be part of back in my real estate mogul days of late 20th Century. I used to appreciate the GOP’s ideal of smaller government and therefore lower taxes which they once stood proudly for with an evangelical flair.
And while the Donald did not get the impeachment pardon yesterday he wanted in time for bragging rights at the Super Bowl tomorrow, he did get the Republicans to unite to protect him in agreeing not to call new witnesses or offer evidence. These creepy politicians’ nerve in destroying America’s systems of checks and balances despite polls showing that 75% of Americans want a fair trail is beyond astounding and one of the saddest times of my long life.
OHOM TO THE RESCUE
Last night I licked my psychic wounds watching the amazing musical WEST SIDE STORY last night. Half way through my movie as a meditation night by the flicker of the fireplace, my guide Ohom whispers in my mind:
“Time to let go, Ken. Donald John Trump has served his spiritual purpose of drawing out America’s deep flaws and is now superfluous.”
“But we haven’t had the final vote, Ohom,” I complain, feeling guilty for getting so wrapped up in a political show that I know is run by the oligarchs and corporate banksters who truly own our government.
Ohom (which stands for (Open Heart Open Mind) says tells me, “The American the people must WILL the birth of the new and better world into full reality. How you do this begins in your own bright hearts not Donald Trump’s dark heart. As leaders of the free world the American people must:
1. Let go of all racist behaviors and have love for all. This means full restitution for the Native Americans and African Americans. A restoration of your country as the land of opportunity for all genders, races and creeds will then be achievable.
2. Americans must speak and seek truth and integrity in all things. Lies and cheating have no place in a world of peace.
3. Your billionaires and the 1% must pay their fair share. Only then can you as a people let go of greed and make an end to the lie of poverty.
4. You must end your meddling in the affairs of other sovereign lands like we ETs do with other worlds such as yours. You have evolved to the point where war is obsolete and you must turn our talents and energy to peaceful endeavors.
5. Last, and most importantly, before you travel to other worlds you must learn to take good care of this beautiful world and all life upon it. You must all make an effort to leave a smaller footprint, recycle and implement solar and wind power. Only then can you make this world the paradise you’ve all dreamed of.”
Ohom’s sage advice washes over me like a cleansing slave to the pain of the fake Impeachment trial. I close my eyes and picture the rope of negative energy that ties me to Trump pulling at my hands. The tug of terror to this idiotic old man with his fingertips on the nuclear arsenal is strong.
“Leave Trump behind. Ken. You have important work to do reaching the North Pole in 2020 to complete the work you did in 2012 in Antarctica. Let go.” Ohom’s voice echoes in my mind.
I feel the rightness of Ohom’s words and finally let go of the energy ropes leading to DC and Trump. Ones I’ve been clinging to since his election. The relief of disconnecting from Trump and the DC energy is instantaneous.
“Let’s anchor this letting go of the old, Ken.”
Ohom leads me to the puja my wife Elizabeth has made in the center of our house. Graciously, My consciousness stands aside as Ohom, my higher self located in another dimension, steps forward into my body and I become the observer.
Using my body, Ohom picks up the small globe of his ice world of Nektar. A world where technology has involved into a blissful new life form that resides in the 13th dimension in the Orion star system and places it on the floor in front of the puja. The replica of the planet Nektar quickly begins to feed energy to the earth’s core.
High above the pristine skies of Sedona, the rings of the DreamShield, one circling the earth north and south, the other east to west, are frozen in place. More energy is needed to reactivate them! Ohom calls upon the ancient energies of 5 million years ago when Sedona Arizona was part of Antarctica. Nearby, Thunder Mountain rumbles to life, shimmering with white light in the January darkness. A jagged band of white energy races from Thunder Mountain to the Nektar globe in the center of our home.
An artillery shell shaped of blue light morphs from the globe of Nektar. More of the sacred sites in the Sedona area stir to life, Cathedral Rock, Airport Mesa, Bell Rock. Soon Sedona is a humming maze of jagged white lines of energy that dive through model of Nektar to the earth’s core.
The artillery shaped shell blasts the roof clean off our house and hurtles into space exploding upon the frozen DreamShield in blaze of blue light. With mighty groan of on metal on metal, sounding like the horn of Gabriel, the rings of the DreamShield I first witnessed in 2010 begin to turn. Slow at first the spinning speeds up geometrically to reform the powerful planetary DreamShield. It is only then I realize I have truly let go of all outcome in the Trump impeachment.
Ohom says, “The old world has ended and a new era has begun. Realize in this moment that each human being possess unique time space coordinates. And now I must return to my space time. I leave you and Ken to close our visit out via this blog. Please share”
Ok, I added the please share thing. Wow, this blog evolved over weeks of painful incubation. Hope you liked reading it as much I liked writing it.
It’s a good sign it came to full vision powered by the sad senate vote that has outraged many of we who truly love America, not just for what it was but will become.
Wrapping up, I hope you can too let go of Trump too. Look instead for leadership to people like Greta Thurnberg. She certainly has truly emerged a voice for a generation that does not have the luxury of time to waste that we Booomers did. Forgive we OK Boomers. We were lied to by the corporations seeking to evade blame for their destruction of our world. In any case we do not have time to waste on hand wringing about Trump or his lost Tea Party Republicans. Hoping Bernie makes it all the way in 2020!
The Making of TRUMP BETTER THAN ABE? by Ken Sheetz
Fall of 2009, nine months before my spirit awakening in Italy in 2010, I was inspired to create a web series about the ghost of President Abraham Lincoln advising the newly minted President Obama. Having secured the talents of Lincoln actor Tom Katsis, a dead ringer for Abe in manner and spirit, scripts flew off my fingers.
Pre-awakening-wise, I vainly believed the writing was so easy in Abe’s voice because of my 10 years of Hollywood screenwriting experience. But after my awakening I would, strange as it sounds, understand I was perhaps (who can really say?) not creating but channeling Abe’s real thoughts from beyond.
YouTube has gone downhill for indie producers like myself. Without boring you with the details, the long and short of it is my Lincoln YouTube channel, along with nine other of my YouTube channels, blessed with over 5 million views of my work and thousands of fans, are sadly going to be deleted to combat a lack of customer service in answering countless emails form me helping me regain access to channels I no longer have access via email. Why? It’s not my fault that the email accounts linked to got hacked and cannot be password reset.
All I need is a simply password reset but no. So frustrating. My name is on every video and I cannot get human customer service. Requesting closing these channels feels like losing nine kids to me.
But after consulting with social media lawyer Ian Corzine about the new FTC compliance requirement coming January 1st I realize I have no option but to consolidate my Youtube activity from 11 highly specialized channels down to two channels. These are BuzzBroz built for promotion, both third party and direct, and the more cosmic CoolestMeditationEver. These two channels, one monetized, the other commercial free due due, you guessed it, YouTube betrayal of small content creators, have over 24 million views between them.
As I began the somber work of pulling copies of the 2009 Lincoln videos down for preservation in advanced of my January 2020 channel consolidation, I excitedly noticed that most of what Abe talked to Obama about as problems in 2009 are still painfully relevant ten years later in our troubled nation.
At the same time this past week, when my YouTube consolidation work began, the Republican Party released a new poll saying 53% of Republicans surveyed believe Trump is a better president than Lincoln! Now, if you think this is all very self-serving of the GOP given Trump will soon be impeached by Congress, unless something mighty unforeseen occurs, you’re not alone. Abe and I feel this way too.
I feel in my heart of heart’s that Abe’s restless spirit wants me to use this moment in time – not to challenge the Republican Trump vs Abe survey, a joke compared to Lincoln’s greatness in saving this nation vs Trump’s dividing it – but to allow Abe’s great spirit to sound off on the same primary issue he reached out to Obama and the American people about in 2009, namely unbridled corporate power.
I hope you enjoy how I was able to edit the old 2009 material into something new and fresh as today’s headlines by adding some new takes from Tom to bring you TRUMP BETTER THAN ABE? Please share it if you like it because it’s the only way Abe’s new wisdom will see the light of day in this new era of a corporatized YouTube.
It’s a sad thing that YouTube, where the blessings of income producing channels that have supported my film work for decade, no longer favors independent content creators like me. Indeed, Youtube has totally sold out and surrendered to big corporate content creators. Fortunately, my wife Elizabeth and I got ahead of this ugly trend 18 months ago when we created CoolestTechEver.com. So head on over and grab cool tech from geniuses like Patrick Flanagan. Jonathan Goldman, Blushield EMF protection and iPyramids. Your purchases support our meditations, blog and films. Thanks!
(Rather hear an audio version of this blog? Link bottom of post.)
Happy evening of 11/11/19. I hope you will enjoy this somewhat humorous quantum meditational look ahead two days into one possible timeline. One that many not happen exactly as I write about here, but one that may paradoxically happen precisely in this way somewhere in the infinite multi-verse or later in this universe than I imagine here.
Before we get started with this quantum meditation, if you’re one of my dear friends, family or fans who I still love even though we strongly disagree on Trump — and I am glad you still love me too as it gives me hope we’re going to get through all this mess — please feel to leave your own fantasy timeline in the comments. I promise not to erase them no matter how much I respectfully disagree.
Reverse this meditation if you are time traveling backwards to the space-time coordinates of earth’s galactic position on the morning of November 13th. Let’s begin. Take a deep breath. Imagine you’re watching the Monday night sky full of stars. The stars’ movement to the west begins to accelerate. Take another deep breath. In your minds’ eye see the sun rise and streak to set in the west. Now the stars appear again and streak west so fast they are lines of white on sky, flowing behind the rapidly rising and setting moon.
Take another deep cleaning breath, in through your nose and out your mouth.
Congrats. You’ve just time traveled in your mind, breaking the speed of light, to the fateful first day of the Trump Impeachment hearings.
11/13/19, 6:30 AM AZ Time (Written 2 Days Ahead of Actual Date)
I awaken as the first sunbeams light up the autumn leaves to the west out our bedroom windows in gorgeous Sedona. Not yet married 2 months, my love Elizabeth and I are still on our blissful honeymoon. At 67 years of age I have never been happier in my long life.
My beautiful bride has a delightful ritual of snuggling to start each day. But today I separate from Elizabeth’s well toned arms and silently slip from bed.
I am as excited as a six-year old on Christmas morn because it’s Wednesday November 13th, the first day of the public Trump Impeachment hearings. I feel a twinge of regret leaving our love nest, but I know Elizabeth finds Trumpy stuff a YUGE time waste. She worked in Special Forces during her 17 years of military service to America and she feels quite sad about the low grade civil war we seem to be mired in.
Our little rescue dog Lincoln snores beside Elizabeth, keeping her company as I make my escape. Throwing on my trusty warm robe I close the door softly behind me and turn on the kitchen light.
Wow. Today’s the first live Impeachment hearing since I was in college during Watergate.
7AM is too early for popcorn while I devour the hearings. So I drop a frozen waffle in the toaster just as Elizabeth steps from the bedroom, pulling her white bathrobe around her lovely figure. Love is delightfully distracting. Rubbing the sleep from her beautiful blue green eyes Elizabeth says half asleep, “Why’d you leave bed without hugs, Ken?”
Lincoln hops against my plaid PJs as I say, trying not to sound like a guilty little boy, “Trump’s impeachment hearings start in –”
“Ken, I thought you said you weren’t going to watch the live hearings,” says Elizabeth playfully poking me in my all too Trump-like belly. I welcome Elizabeth’s gentle scolding because she’s suffered through my serious Trump news addiction for 4 years now, sharing a small home office.
Elizabeth takes me into a forgiving hug. She’s without a doubt one of the greatest huggers on earth. She looks deep into my eyes and says,”I’ll make tea. Get the circus going.”
I flashback to the Trump inauguration Elizabeth and I attended with the support of our fans. Our mission: Hold a space of love and hope in the feisty red-capped crowd for Trump’s first and hopefully only term in office. It was a hard thing for me because I’ve not been a fan of Trump’s brash style and the harsh way he treats people who serve him since the 1980s.
Unfortunately, the Ukraine scandal has fired my Trump news addiction back up again. I worry that watching the hearings this morning — and the inevitable cycle of Trump’s feisty blowback — might be harmful to the peaceful energies of my idyllic life here in Sedona.
Little Lincoln pokes me with his paws again. begging for his forgotten breakfast. This snaps me out of yet another of my Trump spells. I pop open the refrigerator and pull out his dog food. I multi-task finishing my waffle, dropping Lincoln’s food in his green plastic bowl to the floor with a familiar little clatter and hurry to the living room.
“Tea’s almost ready” says Elizabeth cheerfully from the open kitchen as I fumble through the hollow book that holds our TV’s remote controls.
I surf to channel 53, CNN here in Sedona where Anderson Cooper is talking without sound. The CNN title card reads:
Trump Impeachment Hearings Canceled
“What the fuck?!” I shout so loudly Elizabeth drops her tea pot spilling to the counter.
“What?!” Elizabeth shouts as she rips off some paper towel. and quickly starts a cleanup.
“I don’t know. Somehow Trump has gotten his impeachment hearings canceled!”
Elizabeth races to the couch, “Where’s the volume?”
Diving to look under the couch on the floor I say, looking at dust bunnies, “Not here.”
I hear Anderson Cooper’s excited voice boom from the sound system that Elizabeth has obviously found first. Anderson says:
“… you just watched Chairman Adam Schiff announce the unbelievable: President Trump has stolen the thunder from today’s live Impeachment hearings in announcing he will resign the presidency of the United States of America, effective noon Eastern time on this historic November 13th 2019.”
Elizabeth and I leap to our feet and dance and scream for joy! Lincoln runs for his safety zone in our bedroom closet. I sweep Elizabeth into the pose of the famous New York kiss of the sailor and the young woman at the end of World War Two.
Can this really be happening (or happen in two days)? Yes, on several timelines Trump resigns just as Nixon did. But not to avoid the shame, the man has none, but by shrewdly accepting the certainty that the Impeachment of Congress could go either way amid eroding public support. So Trump wisely cuts the deal of his life to be pardoned along with all his family and businesses in return for his resignation.
About noon DC time Elizabeth and I stop working on shipping product for CoolestTechEver.com (shameless plug) to watch TV again. Trump shouts over the noise of the presidential chopper. His face beet red from the shouting, Trump goes on for what seems agonizingly forever. He rambles in a rally-like diatribe against the Deep State, Crooked Hilary and Obama, who he still says was born in Kenya, and more and more. Trump rails on:
“..in anyone’s book, even in Shifty Schiff’s, my Ukraine call was totally perfect! Perfect! Perfect! Perfect! Truth is I only resign today because Mark Burnett and I have reached a deal for me to star in our new reality show THE WHITE HOUSE APPRENTICE, airing Monday 7PM Eastern on NBC. Filming starts right now!”
“Hail to the Chief” plays as Trump high fives his loyal staffers who line the White House lawn leading to the presidential chopper. Head held high, former President Trump proudly strides up to President Pence and bear hugs him off the ground. Trump is already miked for reality TV and so we hear:
“Thanks for the pardon, pard! They’ll be after your sweet ass next, Mikey.” says Trump with a winner’s grin.
“I know, Don. I know. Mother and I are ready to do battle.” says President Pence as Trump walks away, not listening.
Clown to the last, Trump hurries up the little set of stairs, pieces of toilet paper stuck to both his shoes. Trump hams up the Nixon farewell pose as a gag to the laughter from many; but not Jared and Ivanka, whose plans for world domination have been crushed by ex-president Donald J. Trump.
Qanon tweets on 11/14.19 that the toilet paper bit was an intentional insult to the left-wing media to kiss his ass.
We now return you to your present timeline.
Which timeline are you actually on? Trump’s outrageous resignation visualized here? Trump’s rise to become the most outrageous dictator in our blue world’s history? Trump as a humbled man who mends his ways and becomes a surprisingly great president? Somewhere in between? Stay positive imaging please. Imagine no Trump starts World War 3 timelines please. You are far more powerful than you know.
Well, we’ll all know more about what this timeline you’re reading this blog holds on Wednesday. Good night, my fellow meditation fans.
My dear mother Georgiana turned 91 yesterday. And so I began meditating on the amazing change she’s seen so far as it relates to the changes we will be seeing in the next 91 years and setting intentions in the quantum field for a bright future.
Born in the roaring twenties she’s lived through the Great Depression. What might the next recession or depression look like and what can we do to prepare for it?
She lived through World War ll, and many other American wars from Korea to today. Today the Middle East is more unstable than ever. A black hole for politicians. Witness Syria news of the day and the US abandoning our ally the Kurds.
She’s contributed to the world population quadrupling in her lifetime with three boys of her own. Where’s overpopulation heading?
Countless inventions have made her life easier and advances in modern medicine have given her great odds of living past 100. But are we heading for a TERMINATOR like future with our outsized military budgets and technology?
She’s seen the pollution of our planet wax and wane and wax again. Sadly, she has lived long enough to see the oceans begin to die and global warming threaten all life.
My mom has thrived and survived under 16 presidents from Coolidge to Trump, who BTW she considers our worst president ever. And considering she lived through Hoover’s Great Depression that’s saying a lot. Are we heading for a Civil War as the Dems seek to oust Trump before he can use foreign powers to influence our elections?
Music has gone from the Charleston to rap. The Hippies became the Yuppies. And the Millennials emerged. Guessing where music is going is impossible. But I certainly like to see an end to corporatized music.
She has seen the rise and fall of the American middle-class, the outbreak of AIDs, the rise of gay rights, mass genocide, the legalization of Marijuana in her home state and the epidemic of opioids. Are we likely to see the integration of technology and biology?
But in all this change and more, despite the loss of so many loved ones, my sweet if unpredictable little brother Fred included and pictured below with me an Mom, she has remained a rock and a loving mother, grandmother and now great-grandmother.
Happy birthday to my mother, Georgiana. And here’s to the next 91 years.
What a sad and strange week in American history. Our country is reeling from the revelations of the Whistleblower complaint, one our DOJ sought to keep from we the American public, about Donald Trump’s self serving conversation with the leader of the Ukraine.
It is both familiar yet odd at the same time that Trump is raging over why so many of us are appalled that a sitting president would withhold military aide to leverage a foreign leader to dig up dirt on political opponent Joe Biden. Appalled enough for Impeachment proceedings to begin despite the knowledge the Dems will not likely win their case for Trump’s removal from office in a Senate ruled by a majority that serves the American oligarchy over the American people.
Familiar because ever since America became a nuclear power under Truman our presidents have been imposing undo influence upon the rest of the nations of this world.
Odd because our power has never been applied for personal political gain in this overt way before by a president.
Sad too because Trump and his cronies are so deeply abusive of the power they wield that they cannot seem to see how wicked and twisted they have become.
I wrote on Facebook today and I’ll say it again on the blog today, if not for you than as advice for myself:
It’s hard to escape the Trump impeachment hearings right and left drumbeats on the web. It’s big news of course. Be educated about it then sit back and let the people we elected sort this mess out.
Watching too much the right and left media’s feeding frenzy is not healthy. There’s really nothing we as citizens can do except vote come 2020 except call our representatives to tell them where we stand.
So meditate, hike, bike, love, enjoy life and be glad you’re not a politician.
It’s happening right before our eyes and it ain’t pretty. Our president has come to loggerheads with the weather. Hurricane Dorian to be specific.
Like some kind of modern day Don Quixote, our Don is locked in a twitter snit over a freaking weather map. He, or someone in his employ, modified a weather map with a sharpie to include Alabama as being in danger from hurricane Dorian.
Note the hand-drawn sharpie extension of the hurricane’s range into Alabama. Thus birthing a new Twitter trend #SharpieGate and endless humorous attacks on the president’s manipulation of reality.
Call me Trump-fixated in this ongoing series of Meditations On Trump that will be book one day, but as a political film satirist of 25 years in my other life with PBS creds, I could not resist making a Sharpiegate meme myself. This electric-doodle of mine mocks his idea to nuke Hurricane Dorian. What Colbert said in his monologue on the topic would be like creating a radioactive hurricane, a “Chernobyl on jet skis.”
Backtracking, #Sharpiegate was born of Trump’s pathetic and ridiculously predictable response to heavy criticism he took for tweeting this gem:
Then twenty minutes later NWS (National Weather Service) Birmingham tweeted:
None of this had to happen. It’s a tar baby birtherd from Trump’s super-sized ego that makes him utterly incapable of admitting he is wrong about anything. Anything, including climate change and the weather in general.
Now, many in the media are saying #Sharpiegate is a sign decline of our president and that we need to use the 25th amendment to take him down as being mentally unfit for office. But I was in DC to wish him well, despite all my misgivings, at his inauguration with my love Elizabeth and…
.. the day after the inauguration the crowds at Women’s March the next day far exceeded his. This drove Trump’s ego into a fury. Trump then famously started his term’s first press conference directing the obsequious Sean Spicer to deny reality, angrily claiming Trump’s was the biggest inauguration crowd in history. This despite photographs to the contrary. Sadly, the #SharpieGate thing is sadly nothing new.
So what’s at the root of all Trump’s persistent denial of reality? Three letters.
Yep. Trump is suffering from an outsized out of control “YUGE” ego.
Meditation teaches us the ego is like an elephant that will sit on your house unless you put it on a starvation diet. Only the soul must steer us on the river of life, because only the soul can see life objectively. And when you mediate you make the ego, sometimes called the monkey mind, take a backseat to your soul.
So while the world marvels and worries in terror about a Trump losing his grasp on reality, relax and realize it’s all fear based reporting out there. The media, as always, just wants to sell you anti-depressants and booze.
Gaia, the universe, God, whatever you want to call it is simply using Trump to teach us how petty and downright stupid the ego is. It’s a valuable lesson for an American society that fosters beating out your fellow man to have more material possessions and dominion over other people.
My advice? Forget Trump and go within to manage your own ego. Here’s some great mediation music to do it with. Aho.
I first learned the potent force of positive thinking — a skill set that paid my college tuition and as an adult allowed to me to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for everything from building skyscrapers to making movies — quite by accident back in 1971.
Here’s some 70s music to enjoy while you read this personal tale that will eventually wind it’s way to my thoughts on how our current president is breaking the laws of positive thinking laid out by Norman Vincent Peale in his groundbreaking book THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING.
It’s the fall of 1971. As the autumn leaves sparkle in the sunset I am worrying how I am going to make tuition for the second semester. Back in high school I only got average grades except for English and Art, and barely squeaked by in anything math related. So Art college is all I can get accepted into. Layton School of Art & Design to be precise. Conveniently, Layton is only about a mile’s walk from the new home my parents bought in ’69 on the banks of the Milwaukee River.
But after almost flunking out in my freshman year, in part because working night jobs to make tuition leaves me no time to study, this year’s grades and finances are looking no better. I am a nervous wreck, because if don’t stay in college it’s straight to Vietnam for my sorry ass, stuck with a lousy #15 draft lottery number.
Born 17 months after me, my kid brother Fred lucks out and pulls a draft # 265 in the lottery. He promptly drops out of college and starts apprenticing in the trades as a welder, our dad’s lucrative job. But for draft #15 me, it’s a matter of survival I keep my butt in college. A lot of us Boomers have Uncle Sam’s terrible war with Vietnam to thank for being the first in their families to graduate college.
One Tuesday night, fed up with cleaning bed pans at a local nursing home on the graveyard shift — the latest in a succession of lousy night jobs like bottle inspector at a Pepsi plant, pizza chef, window display artist, and more I’ve chosen to forget — I’m pouting in my parent’s beat up recliner that faces the Milwaukee river.
I’m still cooling off from a bad phone argument with my girlfriend from South Milwaukee. She’s away attending the University of Wisconsin Madison to learn to be a physical therapist. Her help correcting spelling and grammar on my term papers is raising my grades, but it’s a helluva lot to ask of her when she has her own schoolwork. I don’t blame my straight A student lover for listening to her mother that maybe she should dump me. Our relationship, like everything these Nixonian days, hangs by a thread.
Desperate to make tuition, I decide to put up with the inevitable mind numbing grief of hitting Dad up again for a small loan, but he’s been gone a week. I ask Mom, sitting mesmerized by a cartoon black bear paddling a canoe in a Hamm’s Beer commercial, where Daddy dearest might be. She shrugs and says in a hoarse whisper. “Off on another of his damned benders.”
Anxiously, flipping through the Help Wanted ads in the Milwaukee Journal I spot a winner: “PART-TIME WEEKEND DISPLAY WORK, EARN UP TO $1500 A MONTH. I hop from the easy chair, revealing a cigarette burn my Dad left behind after passing out in the middle of his third six pack, and dash for the phone. I dial, my fingers so shaky I’m barely able to spin my family’s dirty yellow rotary wall phone. Dad’s a mechanic plus a welder and his grime coats everything in the house in a thin black film.
A man with a buttery voice answers my desperate call. I blurt out my experience doing window display work at Des Forges Book Store on Wisconsin Avenue. The soothingly confident voice on the grimy phone tells me, “Come on in for an interview Thursday night, Ken.”
I holler for joy startling Mom. When I explain my thrill about the interview she says dryly, “Kenneth,” as she always does when lecturing me, “There’s no part-time job on earth that pays $1500 a month to do display work. It’s a scam, hon. Don’t go.”
I not so politely remind my Mom, “Well, I am over 18 now and I’ll decide what jobs to check out. That is unless you and Dad want to help me make tuition.” Desperation makes me sound whiny. Chastened, Mom returns to watching BEWITCHED in silence.
It seems like forever until Thursday night. As the big interview approaches all I can think of is, “Mom’s right. How the hell can I earn $1500 a month just doing part-time display work on weekends? I’m an idiot.”
The day before the interview my, lovable half the time and hateful the other half, father returns to home base. Thankfully he’s backed off beating mom on his frequent reinsertions into our lives. He’s stopped taking his self-hatred on out on Mom ever since I tossed his drunk abusive ass down the basement stairs a few months ago. I’m both ashamed and amazed I’m still alive after getting away with that angry stunt. A shrink will later explain my father was happy he forced me to sink to his level and confirm his claims I am a bad son.
Dad pops a Pabst Blue Ribbon and chortles, “Your ma tells me about this dumb ass interview you’ve set yourself up for. Ha. This how you think you’re going to make tuition? Get real. You’re on your own, Kenny boy, and I hope you flunk out. Maybe the Army can make man of you.” I storm out of the elegant north shore house that my blue-collar house poor family is over their heads owning.
His stinging words echoing in my head, I listen to my dad, except in the reverse. His disdain for the job is a huge endorsement for me. A challenge. I shout to the stars, “Fuck you, old man!”
Damn, I’m such a punk to think a man in his 40s is old.
Thursday comes at last. The glass entrance door emblazoned with gold letter reads: RAINBOW GREAT LAKES DIVISION. I am stoked. This feels like it’s the real deal, even though when I turn a corner I am taken down a set of grungy narrow stairs to the basement.
I open a flimsy hollow-core door labeled reception. My heart sinks to my shoes at the sight of a dozen other young people jammed into the dingy room built for 6 people max. I take a seat next to a kid my age and whisper, “Any idea what this job’s about?”
He shrugs and whispers back, “Fuck if I know.”
I wisecrack, “$1500 a month on weekends? Hey, maybe they’re looking for male strippers.” I get nervous laughs from the gang of applicants, but I wonder in my fevered brain, “Am I willing to turn male stripper to stay out of Vietnam?”
Before I can answer, “Hell yes!” a roguishly handsome blonde haired man, not much older than we anxious job candidates, spins into the room. Dressed in a cheap looking plaid suit, the toothy dude wisecracks, “Any of you gents wanna to learn how you can make $1500 a month or even more working part-time follow me.” He herds our bewildered clan into a crummy classroom adorned in fake wood paneling, and I grow ever more anxious.
The man in the plaid polyester suit vigorously writes his name on the chalkboard, like a teacher on crack:
Now Tom asks for our first names and rapidly jots them all on the chalkboard one at a time with intense stares that seem to be some kind of memorization thing. When my turn comes I’m tempted to give a fake name but decide, “What the heck do I have to lose?” and answer, “Ken.”
Tom tells us with broad smile that never leaves his mustached puss, which does not make him look older, “Hi. I’m Tom Deere, Branch manager for Glendale’s Wisconsin Rainbow office. I’m 24 and I make seventy grand a year. More on that later. For now there’s some questionnaires for you guys to fill out before we get rollin’.”
After hearing the fantastic five figure income Tom makes, we’re all ears.
As Tom hands out questionnaires he coyly adds, “Don’t answer the last question until I give the OK.”
The questions are super easy to answer, written at 6th grade level, but give no indication whatsoever of what the hell this job is. I eye the door ready to bolt, thinking, “This dork makes 70K a year? Right. For once Dad and Mom are right. I’m outta here.”
Seeming to read my mind Tom pats me on the shoulder and says, “Relax. You’re gonna love this, Ken.” The shock Tom remembers my first name feels kinda magical and his warm hand on my shoulder quells some of my anxiety. I settle into the cheap folding chair.
A gruff Italian guy in a dried-blood-colored leather jacket slinks into the room through a half opened door. Now my overactive imagination starts to concoct a Mafia story of us all being candidates for stripper hit men when Tom speaks up, “Everybody meet Antony. — Tony, tell the guys how much you cleared working part time for Rainbow this month.”
Tony’s grimace shows he’s not loving the idea of sharing. “Tony?” says Tom, asserting some will Tony’s way.
Tony bows his head a little. After a brief internal struggle, he finally fesses up in a barely audible mutter, “Almost two K.”
“Thanks, Tony. You know, guys, Antony was a Milwaukee public bus driver before he started raking in the dough. Wanna hear how he did it and how you can make big bucks too?”
Tom cups a hand to his ear and about half of us all quickly say, “Yeah.”
Tom shouts, “Can’t hear you!”
Now we all shout back, “YEAH!” in unison. The group energy changes. We’re all in the palm of Tom’s hands. Soft hands I can see have never seen hard labor. I look at the fresh scar from a serious wound on my left index finger, a lifelong souvenir of my bottle inspecting night job at the Pepsi plant.
Tom pulls a little machine out of a box. It’s about the size of beauty parlor’s hair dryer bonnet with a chrome dome. An air slot is mounted over a brass colored base. It all sits atop clear plexiglass basin filled with water. The damed thing looks like an astronaut from a B sci-fi movie.
Tom flicks the switch and a gentle breeze flows from the noisy gizmo, stirring the stagnant basement air. Pollution is a huge issue in 1971. Tom demonstrates this air cleaner is dubbed the Rainbow because it filters out particulates through water. I’m sold.
Tom draws a line down the center of the chalkboard. He labels one column SALARY and the other COMMISSION. On the salary side Tom writes “$500 a month”. On the other Tom takes his time to diagram how by selling 30 $399 Rainbow air cleaners a month we can make $1500 a month in commissions.
He casually adds, “It’s easy to sell Rainbows because we do all the hard work of making the appointments. You simply visit potential customers and display what this beauty can do. The Rainbow has been around since the 1930s. Stellar reputation. Gents, I promise you it sells itself.”
I wonder, “How the hell has a company I’ve never heard ’til now been selling air cleaners since the 1930s; way before air pollution was a thing?”
Then Tom adds pine scent to the water. I have a pitiful sense of smell, so the fragrance of this forest scent is magic. A memory of a happy family visit to Whispering Pines State Park, when I was two and Mom and Dad were still in love, warms my heart. My worries vanish in the piney fresh smelling air.
“Ok,” Tom instructs we eager applicants, “Time to fill out the last question. Write S if you wanna work for Rainbow on a monthly salary of $500. Or write C top have the chance to make 3 times that much on commission. Ah, but wait! Hold your pens. Almost forgot to show you why the Rainbow is even more of a synch to display.”
Tom takes the grill off the Rainbow, whips a hose out of the box, and proceeds to vacuum the cheap carpet. “That’s right. The Rainbow not only cleans your air… drum roll please… it cleans the carpet.” Tom displays away, and now I finally get this ain’t window display work! I almost say “Fuck!” out loud but manage to hold it all in with a giggle internally at my dense take on the help wanted ad for “display work” that brought me here.
“Now fill out the last question, S for salary, C for commission. Tony will grab your questionnaires on the way out the door. Night and thanks for coming, gents,” says Tom bowing out the door, not giving us a chance to ask questions.
My Bic pen hovers over the questionnaire. I’m pretty shy and I think, “Better $500 a month than nothing on commission.”
I am about to write S when Tony pipes up, “Guys, I ain’t never sold nothin’ before. But if a freakin’ bus-driver-dego-whop like me can sell 40 of these Rainbows a month and knock down a legit 2 K you can too. My advice? Check C for commission.”
Feeling a little nauseous, I check C. First to make the big decision I head for Tony at the door. As I hand him the questionnaire I ask, “When will I know if I got the job?”
“Mr. Deere will hit you up quick if you’re in. If you don’t hear nothin’ in the next 48 hours, well, you’re toast,” says Tony with a mischievous grin.
When I get home Mom barely notices me slip in. She’s glued to BONANZA on her new color TV.
Recently, after a terrible fight, one that ended up with a visit from the cops, cops who always let Dad off easy even after my Mom is left black and blue — a thing still going on today in domestic abuse cases all too often — I ask her, my voice ash, “Ma, why don’t you divorce Dad? He’s going to kill you or me if this shit goes on much longer.”
Her terse answer, “Can’t afford to leave your father. He’s a good provider.”
Mom spots me pouring a milk at the fridge and asks, “How’d the interview go, Kenny?”
The dirty yellow wall phone rings before I can answer her. I’ve just gotten home so I don’t expect it to be Tom Deere on the line when I say, “Hello?”
“Tom please. Ha. You make me feel like I’m fifty. Congrats! You got the job.”
I cover the receiver and holler for joy, “I got the job, Mom!”
“What kind of job?” says Mom dryly.
“Selling home air cleaners,” I quickly tell Mom, leaving out the vacuum cleaner part of the Rainbow out.
“Sales? You get a salary?” Mom asks, her mouth full of potato chips.
In an instant the risk I am taking sinks in. It’s sell or off to ‘Nam and good chance I’ll die or be fucked up like the students I meet coming back the States after a tour of duty. The poor vets remind me of zombies. I shake off my fear and get back to Tom on the phone, dodging Mom’s fateful question, “What’s next?”
“Come in Saturday 9AM for training.”
The training is surprisingly good. My shriveled self esteem begins to blossom. I’m clumsy at first but soon I’m stunned to discover that I’m a natural born salesman. Thanks to my mother’s well-off side of the family buying machines as I train, in a matter of weeks I am the #1 part time Rainbow salesmen in Glendale. A title I never give up. It’s my first win-win experience of my life as my many aunts and uncles all love their Rainbows. I learn the lesson to offer customers advice on the best products and let stuff from vacs to skyscrapers sell themselves.
Even my hard case father is begrudgingly proud of the fact I’m learning to be a good provider like him. Tuition becomes a breeze and I even have enough money left over to, I shit you not, own a classic Lincoln Continental on campus.
My kid brother Fred seems to down on my selling to earn my way through college. A jealousy takes seed in his mind that contributes to killing him one day as he drowns his rage of never making big money in drugging and drinking. Fred never copes well with my entrepreneurial successes compared to his playing it safe as a master welder on salary plus overtime. Also, he never sought therapy to heal from Dad’s epic physical and mental abuse like I did. Hell, I had a fleet of therapist help me rise from the ashes when my $162 million skyscraper project ruined me and my marriage.
My offer to set my little brother Fred up in business, him welding sculptures I’d design fell on deaf ears. Sad. He was so talented. I really regret not pushing my Gemini brother to do that. He simply was not prepared for the Obama years when America’s jobs left for China. Being laid off finished him off.
Back to 1971. My girlfriend hates my Lincoln’s big sidewalls, but she loves our expensive dates. She will become my wife over the objections over her mother. And one day my ex-wife to her mother’s delight.
So weird my wife’s mom hated me one for not being a doctor, like she said it right to my shocked face. A constant thorn in my side, even my becoming Chicago’s #1 commercial real estate broker according to the Chicago Times 15 years later and making her baby rich, never earns my mother-in-law-from-hell’s respect.
As part of my Rainbow sales training I am given some wonderful books to read by Mr. Deere. All of which add to my successes in life, including the building of Oprah’s Harpo Studios and developing a $162 million dollar skyscraper. Sadly, I lost touch with Tom after I graduated college and no longer wanted to sell Rainbows. He took it kinda hard I left to be an interior architect. But the most amazing of these books is Norman Vincent Peale’s THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING.
By the way, later as I become the number one part-time sales person on the Great Lakes region for Rainbow, I learn from Tom the only question he ever checks is C. If an applicant is willing to work on commission. Applications checked S for salary are placed in the circular file.
TRUMP’S ABUSE OF THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
Now, I don’t know if Trump’s father was even half as abusive as my messed up drill sergeant dad, but it’s well known Trump’s father Fred was a hard-case father. So much so I think Fred Trump may have shattered Donald’s self worth. In fact, as junior shrink after so much therapy, I theorize the Don’s daddy issues made him the crazed narcissist we all either love or hate today.
As for me, it will be my “accidental” introduction to the power of positive thinking that serves to rescue me from the bone crushing barrage of mental negativity that my father subjected me to from birth. I remember reading these words at age 19 of Peale’s and feeling it a godsend, a life raft that saved me from a life depression and anxiety like my brother’s:
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
Note that I italicized humble but reasonable. Assuming Trump read the same book, a bit of stretch given his dislike for reading, and like me he learned how to rebuild his self worth from an abusive father through the power of positive thinking, it’s obvious Trump has either forgotten or intentionally ignored that self-belief has to be humble and reasonable.
Now, this might not sound like big deal, but without the restraints of being humble and reasonable in one’s confidence, positive thinking has a dark side. Indeed, without tempering, someone with the gift of charisma can literally become a confidence gamer or a con man, as Trump has.
My friends, there’s a simple reason conning people is illegal: It works all to well. So don’t be hard on a loved one or pal who has been taken in by Trump’s abuse of the power of positive thinking. You see, humans are conditioned by millions of years to trust our tribal leaders.
Especially, leaders who act with great confidence, as to having the greater welfare of the tribe at heart. Trump, unfortunately, is far from humble. To me he comes off as a compulsive liar. It’s sickness. I worked for one who shall remain anonymous as he’s as vindictive as Trump. “Buh-lieve me,” as Trump likes to say. Yep. These kind of mind fuckers lie for sport.
How disgustingly different the modern world that rewards lying leaders with wealth and fame is from the caveman days when the tribe stoned or hung bad leaders. Leaders today who are truthful are as rare as the 1 million endangered species Trump could give a shit about.
Lest you think Trump’s our first unethical leader, well, please read some history. To my heightened sensitivity as an abuse survivor, Obama, the drone president, the oil president, the surveillance president, was not much a more truthful a leader than the Cheet-oh Jesus as he being called, Trump. Nope. Pretty boy Barrack was just way smoother at his political con game. Still is. Though he has nothing on Bill Clinton for being a charming liar. Reagan? Don’t get me started. What a mess we’ve been in for decades.
Folks, and I am sure you know, Super liars are in charge of our world and it must change. Humanity can no longer function this way. We, the stable clan of geniuses who have created so many endangered species are now on our own endangered list. So thank your lucky stars the clumsy buffoonery of Trump has ruined lying for all future leaders. That’s where I see some hope.
The Amazon is on fire. The vast majority of scientists and his fellow G7 leaders are telling Trump that the environment is in crisis. But “the chosen one” prefers to proclaim that it’s all a Chinese hoax. He tells his followers to support fossil fuels, avoid solar power, avoid “cancer causing” wind power. He joyfully invites his loyal followers, a loyalty he does not deserve as he’s sticking it to most of them, to think positive as he proclaims global warming is liberal lie. “No biggie, so keep on gas guzzling, everyone!”
Trump’s irresponsible lack of humble leadership is a horror show on a scale never witnessed before in human history. And sadly it comes at a time when we can least afford it. The clock is running out fast on humanity’s ability to shirk off its responsibility to Gaia.
Take it from a man who worked his way through college selling Rainbows to stay out of a war he did not believe in, versus the one in DC who gamed the system with a fake story about bone spurs: We need a total reset in 2020 with young people taking the reigns from the old who cannot fully grasp that our very existence is at stake. Sorry Joe and Bernie/