Archive for June, 2012

Who Would You Deport?

I watched the PBS News Hour Friday.  The highlight of the day focused on Obama’s announcement of the change to the policy of deporting kids who, through no fault of their own, had been brought here illegally.

Cecilia Munoz, the White House official involved with immigration policy, was first up.  Although we all know that the policy change will undoubtedly enhance Obama’s standing with Latinos, Munoz refused to be drawn into that discussion.  Instead, she focused on the impact on the faceless 800,000 kids who consider the U.S. as their home but who are constantly under the threat of deportation.

Next up was Representative James Sensenbrenner.  The long-time Wisconsin congressman is perhaps best known for his comments last December about the size of Michelle Obama’s posterior.  His sveltness also put him in the running for leading the House majority in their efforts to make us healthier while retaining some measure of manly portliness.

Mr. Sensenbrenner was unapologetic for his support of the law regardless of the humanity of it.  Speaking with some authority on the subject he repeated his mantra of break the law, go to jail…or at least back to Mexico.  The threat of 800,000 kids unleashed on the labor market was a calamity equal to his own historic proportions.  Had he been able to extricate himself from his custom-made Barcalounger, I feel certain he would have placed the American flag where the sun don’t shine.

But I began to understand his position.  As Jim and every Tea Party patriot knows, even though these kids were shlepped here unwillingly by their felonious parents, they are a drag on our economy, a burden to our school system and a competitor for scarce jobs.  And, here’s where the flag flies, living here in violation of the law.  It was a tough argument and I went to bed filled with monumental uncertainty and huge remorse.

As is my custom, I awoke and descended upon my rowing machine.  Searching for some modicum of palatable TV entertainment, I stumbled on CNN and an interview with Heydi Mejia.  A cute Virginia teenager brought to this country at the age of 4, Heydi had just graduated with honors from Millowbrook High School.  Immigration officials had descended on her family in December turning her senior year into a countdown to deportation.  Some graduation present.

It’s Father’s Day as I write this blog.  I remember my father who entered this country in 1925 by lying about his age.   And my dear Aunt Dora who squeezed into the melting pot by faking a marriage to a U.S. citizen.  Who would I have been without them?  Surely there’s room for all the Heydis.

And, if we have to pick on someone to deport.  Well, I leave the choice in your hands.

Ojai Art Center Photo Show…a Fairy Story

Myrna asked me to write something wry and humorous about the Ojai Art Center Photo Show.  But first, here’s a fairy story.

There was this guy who hadn’t won a prize or honorable mention three shows running.  His spirits were down around his shoes when he entered two more soon-to-be-forgotten masterpieces in what was, in his mind, the 2012 version of Les Miserables.

As usual he participated in the hanging of the show and got more depressed as he carefully placed over fifty photos more wonderful than his on the Art Center walls.  He briefly considered hanging them somewhat askew to dampen their appeal to the viewers.  But he knew that Commander Conrad would be sure to spot and correct the sloppiness.  So why bother.  He finished his work, looked upon the magnificence that graced the walls, packed his bag, accepted the inevitable and went home.

For thirty-six hours, a period of low-level anxiety liberally mixed with creeping depression hovered over his head just like that of the forlorn character Joe Btfsplk in the Li’l Abner comic strip (you youngsters can Google it.) But he was determined that in spite of the upcoming fourth year rejection he would stride into the Art Center on the day of judgment, smile, congratulate the winners and keep his negative comments to himself.  All the while cursing the judges and wishing he had never submitted photos or had claimed that they had been eaten by the dog.

He entered the Art Center on Sunday.  Smiles abounded.  People were having a wonderful time. He tried his best to participate, ho, ho, ho.  Honorable mention tags floated before his eyes.  But not for his photos.  Sweet Nan came up to him and planted a kiss on his cheek.  “Aren’t you excited?”  His mind ran faster.  Why should he be excited?  Maybe if there had been a fire and destroyed the show.  But no, Myrna and the other kind ladies had created a beautiful banquet table, Ojai’s Yes Party Girls were doing wonders keeping things humming and not a charred photo could be seen.

Myrna ran up to him.  All bright and bubbly.  “See, I told you this was your year.  And about time.”

If you want to finish the story, you’ll just have to skip on down to the Art Center between now and July 4.  While you’re there, you can also decide which of the photos you want on your wall.  Be sure to take a close look at the nearly naked lovely lady looking into the mirror.  But better hurry.  Some other guy is bound to take her home.


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