Maraca Media-John O'Mara

Freelance copywriter and blogger, shakin' and rockin' it

Tag: trump

A change has come!

My last name is O’Mara. It’s an Irish name and back in the ’70s my father, Joe, received something in the mail addressed to “Joseph Omar.”

A few days ago, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women to be elected to the United States Congress.

To paraphrase a song by the great Sam Cooke, a change HAS come.

Cooke’s civil rights anthem was more in line with Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games. A protest against treatment of American Americans at the hands of racist police departments.

I’m not sure if Cooke could have predicted that a refugee from Somalia would become the house representative from Minnesota.

But the face of North American politics is changing. Darker skinned. LGBT (Jared Polis is openly gay and was elected Governor of Colorado). Representing a diverse with a capital D constituency.

Canada’s Minister of National Defence is Harjit Sajjan. Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and decorated for his service in Afghanistan.

And born in India.

Our Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is Ahmed Hussen, who fled Mogadishu after the civil war in his native Somalia.

As a Canadian, I take great pride in having those men guiding and protecting our wonderful nation. We are in great hands,

And, getting back to the women.

I’ve been a Macleans subscriber for many years and that magazine has been labelled as conservative…but they feature a column by one of my favourite writers, Tabatha Southey, who has attacked Trump with great wit and insightful commentary.

Anyhow….

They paid tribute to Canada’s Foreign Minister with this cover story…

Chrystia Freeland has been a frequent guest on Real Time with Bill Maher. Love that show.

And back to Sam Cooke.

“There been times when I think I couldn’t last for long,

But now I think I’m able to carry on.

It’s been a long time coming. But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.”

Michael Moore said this last week on Late Night with Seth Myers:

“If I could just speak to my fellow angry white American guys who are semi-uneducated like me — ‘dudes, give it up.’ We’ve been running the show for 10,000 years. It’s like we’ve had a long run as men running everything. … Why don’t we just take a break? Let the majority gender run the show. What are you scared of?’”

And this son of “Omar” is going to follow my very distant relative (hey, we could be) Ilhan Omar on social media because I feel Ilhan, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Chrystia and Rashida are leading us to a more humane and peaceful coexistence on this planet.

It’s their time, and it’s about time.

A Change is gonna come

I have thousands of songs in my Rock and Roll Riot library but the one that affects me the most, even when I listen to the (pre-recorded) airings is Sam Cooke’s stirring civil rights anthem, A Change is Gonna Come.

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Cooke wrote it in 1963 after he and his band members were turned away at a whites-only motel in Louisiana. The African American singer was also inspired by Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

I am a proud Canadian. Aside from the climate (why couldn’t they have divided North America down the middle instead of top and bottom?), and with all due respect to my American neighbours, I live in the greatest country in the world.

But….

I am also a citizen of the world. Sounds pretentious and maybe it is, but is a Canadian or American life more important than a German, Japanese, British or (you know this is coming) Syrian life?

No.

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To steal and adapt a line from American President Steve Bannon, Canada first? No, we are great because we welcome immigrants and always have done so. They made us great.

And yes, Bannon isn’t officially the president. Can’t recall the guy’s name but his daughter is hot. But Steve-o seems to be playing a major role in making America white again.

It used to be that left versus right, liberal/conservative or democrat/republican was a matter of politely disagreeing with the other side.

Today, amplified by social media, it’s I’m right, you’re wrong, fuck you.

I have voted liberal or NDP all my life but I also read the National Post and subscribe to MacLean’s magazine, both regarded as conservative. If they criticize Trudeau I am more than willing to read till the end.

Not just the headlines. On Facebook it’s “OMG, I can’t believe it!’

Of course you can’t. You haven’t read it, and know nothing beyond the clickbait likely created by someone who has never interviewed anyone and has zero credentials and limited knowledge.

But repost the nutjob rants and conspiracy theories. I’ll keep blocking them, even if it gives me carpal tunnel syndrome.

Sometimes the legitimate right wing media  are right. And correct. You’d have to be a total twit to swallow everything your party or leader of choice said or believed. You’d be a Stepford wife.

President Bannon has made the media the enemy. So have mind-controlled robots Spicer and Conway because they have been told to do so.

And yet…

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‘How many deaths will it take til he knows that too many have died? The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.”

Online subscriptions to The Washington Post, The New York Times and many other newspapers have shot up dramatically because, despite what Jack Nicholson’s character in A Few Good Man said, we can handle the truth.

We want the truth. We want facts. We want answers and accountability.

Without the much-maligned mainstream media Tricky Dick would have remained in office and who knows how many more alter boys would have been abused by priests (rent or download “Spotlight) had it not been for the Boston Globe and its investigative reporters?

In one of my favourite movies, “Inherit the Wind,” Gene Kelly’s E.K. Hornbeck (based on legendary journalist H.L. Mencken) says the media’s job is to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.

That summation is truer today than it has ever been.

And, in closing, lyrics from the great Sam Cooke.

“It’s been a long time comin’ but I know, a change gonna come, oh yes it will.”

 

 

 

Human beings, not colour

“In those days racial segregation was a big thing. Lubbock was a very conservative town. When his daddy saw who his son had brought home he woudn’t let me in…I’ll bet they washed them dishes I ate off of about twenty times after we’d gone.”

img_0076The dinner guest that night was Little Richard. His hosts were Buddy Holly and his family.

As a way of promoting my Facebook fan page I joined a couple of ‘like, ladder” sites. They’ll like your page if you like theirs.  Fine. But tonight…

Someone posted a racist comment about Michelle Obama.

Politics aside, I’m always reminded of the John McCain rally when an old white woman grabbed the microphone and accused Barack Obama of being an Arab.

“No, ma’am, ” McCain said. “He’s a decent family man and citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign’s about.”

The disagreements part, in terms of issues, seems to have gone out the window.

McCain looks like Abraham Lincoln compared to Ivanka Trump’s father. Then again, so does George W. Bush and how sad is that?

Living in a bubble

But, if there’s anything the recent U.S. election taught is that both sides live in their respective bubbles. The other side is the enemy. Liars. Posting endless links from nut jobs sites or Fox “News” (look up “oxymoron” and you’ll see their log0).

Oddly enough, despite being a liberally minded  fella (but not an official Lib supporter) my feed was not overrrun with posts from MSNBC. Though I like Rachel Maddow. She’s smarter than 90% of the pundits on either side, combined. And lesbian. So what? I’d have a beer with her anytime.

You know what? I consider myself a citizen of the world. Proud Canadian but I’ve donated to Red Cross relief efforts from New Orleans to Haiti.

IMHS

When I was a young lad growing up in Scarborough I remember sharing dinner with an East Indian family. We’re talking mid-70s. My dad, Joe O’Mara, worked in the insurance business and became friends with a co-worker named Joe Pereira.

I thought nothing of it at the time but I’m betting Dad’s other co-workers must have made derogatory comments, using words like Paki.

One of my school friends posted a class photo from Grade 7, Immacuate Heart of Mary, mid-’70s, and it reminded me of the girls I had crushes on (the Marcia Bradys of the day) but I’m always stuck by the beauty of  a classmate whose family came from Guyana, Kasslyn.

I’m sure I appreciated how attractive she was but my love map was set for blue-eyed blondes (still have a weakness for the latter).

LOOK AT THAT!

Fast forward to the mid-80s when I’d moved away from home but came back to spend Christmas with my folks, and we went to the Sunday mass at IHM. We were chatting in the parking lot with an old Iris couple when a car pulled up beside us.

Out stepped a 20-ish couple. A Caucasian female and a West Indian male.

“Would you look at that,” the old Irish fellow said. “A white woman and a black man….bastard!”

img_0077Jeers to you, Mister Tierney.

I’d like to think we’ve come a long way since then but the election of you know who, and our pandering, which way is the wind blowing and I’ll champion their causes MP make me wonder if we’ve made much progress.

But…like Buddy Holly, who saw a person (and an incredibly talented one at that) and not colour, I’m hopeful that the majority of people who voted against Trump’s and Leitch’s parties will rally, speak out and protest to ensure our countries celebrate and protect all citizens, no matter where they came from.

 

Good versus Evil

“There is laid in the very nature of carnal men, a foundation for the torments of hell. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire.”

While that probably could have been written about Donald J. Trump, it’s from a 1741 sermon by British Colonial theologian Jonathan Edwards, quoted at the beginning of a terrific Jerry Lee Lewis biography by Nick Tosches.

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It’s titled, appropriately enough, “Hellfire.”

The next quote comes from the Killer himself: “I’m draggin’ the audiences to hell with me.”

In 1956, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and his band got drunk on muscatel and cut what would become an underground classic, “I Put a Spell on You.”   Days later, Hawkins heard the tape of his screams, moans and gutteral sounds. Jay was convinced the producers had dubbed someone else’s vocals in and said it couldn’t possibility be him on the recording.

It was.

Jay had created a musical horror movie. And, from Tosches’s “Unsung Heroes of Rock and Roll,” Jay said….


“I didnt know what I had done…this record comes out and I’ve created a monster…I’d go to do my act at Rockland Palace and there’d be all these goddamn mothers with picket signs: We don’t want our daughters to look at Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. I mean, I’m some kind of bogeyman. I come out of coffins. Skulls, snakes, crawlin’ hands, fire and all that mess.”

The presidential race is good versus evil.

Hillary Clinton is a mother and grandmother and, politics aside, I sense she is very devoted to her family and nothing matters more than the future of Cheslea and her children.

The other guy?

Ummm…five children by three different wives. And quoted in regard to daughter Ivanka…..

“What a beauty, that one. If I wasnt’ happily married and, you know, her father…”

Join with me in saying, “Ewwwwww.”

Trump’s speeches are ripped from WWE scripts…perhaps not plagiarized like wife number three Milania’s “Oh, did Michelle Obama say something simliar?”…but very much like a pro wrestler.


Though he’s no Undertaker. The greatest villain-turned-hero in the history of the WWF/WWE. And hey, former pro wrestler Jesse “The Body”  Ventura did become governor of Minnesota.

In 2007, Trump wrestled  Rosie O’Donnell. Yes, read that again. Trump versus Rosie. Both were portrayed by actors in an encounter even the WWE regards as a huge mistake.

In real life, my money would be on Rosie. Did you see how well she threw a ball in “A League of Their Own?”

She’d pin The Donald in the first round.

And I’m hoping American voters will deliver a tombstone (The Undertaker’s finishing move) to send Trump back to whatever hell he came from, a doom and gloom world of fear…of foreigners, bordering countries and anything that isn’t Caucasian.

Despite Trump’s pledge to “Make American White (umm, Great) again,” if there’s one thing my American friends agree on, they live in the greatest country on earth. It’s already great.

And, to counter Trump’s fear mongering, I will end this with a quote from the man regarded as the third greatest US president, after Lincoln and Washington.

That would be Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

 

 

 

 

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