ABRAXAS: Miss Grundy Returns: Malarky In The Church

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I, Abraxas the Decent, did enter the Church of the Good Shepherd in the area of Brooklyn where I lived and where “domiciled” (never, ever “lived there”) the erratic and eccentric Louis the Louse and the equally narcissistic AND eccentric, Miss Grundy. No one knew her first name. In fact, it was a closely guarded secret, but some speculated based on rumors that it was either “Gwendolyn” or “Penelope” and that the neighborhood gossip did not approve of “her sainted mother” giving her these “non-saint names” at birth. This Sunday morning, she was dressed in her “Sunday clothes” – black dress down to her ankles (she would call that a “frock”), with long sleeves down to her wrists. She had on a white 1920s had with a face lace and held a white handbag (pocketbook she called it). “Well, well God bles’ mih eyesight! Abraxas boy where yuh been? Wha’ yuh doin’ here?” Miss Grundy asked in rapid fire.

“Christening…here to be the godfather to Cislyn’s baby girl….you know Cislyn?” I, Abraxas the Sane, replied. “Know Cislyn? I know she since she knee high! Now she take woman on sheself and making baby! Jesus Lord is wha’ dis world coming to?” Miss Grundy started, and I know that I was in for a bumpy ride. “Well, she is 21 years old you know…”A young lady…” I stammered. “So, you think that 21-year-old young girls should start friggin’ all over de place? Dat is how yuh does get chile! An’ den dem young ram goat does just go away and leave she mining baby while he go galavantin’ and breed some other girl…Yuh don’t know that Abraxas? Is what happen to you? You born big?” Miss Grundy said blowing spit bombs all over my face.

“Good morning, Miss Grundy! How are you? Looking as sprucious and delicious as ever! You must tell me what you are doing!” said a squat Black man clutching a Bible under his left armpit. “Well thank you…I just serving the Good Looord every day is all Brother Jonas,” Miss Grundy said with a buck-toothed smile. “That’s good! That’s good…catch you later,” Brother Jonas said with a smile on his rotund face. As Miss Grundy waved him a cherry goodbye…her face changed, and she told me in an angry whisper: “That man is a ole raunchy billy goat! I hear he scratch inside Sister Faith hand last week Sunday in de vestry of all places! And I does see he watching meh backside every time. I tell you Abraxas that man is a panty-hound! But you never hear that from me!” Miss Grundy said.

“Well, I really must get inside…sit with my cousin before the service…” I, Abraxas the Scared said trying to move inside of the church. “It still early….no rush. Yuh want to go and sit next to that old crone Dixy to hear how she have she one chile in some university and how she doing well and how she is a brain and looking to become a “gooood doctor?” I tell you that woman is ah braggart! She could boast! I only telling you that. Keep it for yuhself and doh tell nobody,” Miss Grundy said poking her finger in my chest for emphasis.

“You hear about that jailbird, good-for-nothing Chester Bristol who just leave jail and walking around the neighborhood as if he is some celebrity? Abraxas, I tell you this: lock up your valuables! That boy tiefing wind! You remember how dey catch he in a fowl run when he was jes’ 12 years old? That boy tiefing since he small and he mother behaving like people discriminating against him! I hear she want to open a restaurant wid him…I wish she good luck wid dat! He might tief she too! I tell you Abraxas dat woman bounce she head reaaaal hard!” Miss Grundy chuckled.

“Look inside…on de left in front…yuh see dat women? The one in the pink flowered dress and she hair tie up in a bun? Dat is Joan Pilgrim and I have it on good grounds that she have bun in de oven – if yuh get my meaning. Abraxas, do I have to spell out EVERYTHING for you? Man! She in de family way…she makin’ baby… is that ole vagabond Nelson from Crown Heights, he is Miss Boxer boy-chile, de hop-an-drop one wid de funny foot, who breed she. So ah buy so ah sell…But keep dat to yourself Abraxas because you doh hear that from me! And look how she playing nice woman and smiling a lot! And going an lie down wid ah gutter snipe!” Miss Grundy said in a low voice.

“Well, I must be off…can’t keep the baby waiting you know!” I, Abraxas the Sane, said moving off only to be blocked by Miss Grundy’s ample size. “Before you go I jus’ remember something that I have to tell you. You see that Brother Jonas? I still have him in mih mind. Is he who block me from joining de choir last year. This man go an tell them how I can’t sing. You hear me sing already Abraxas…don’ lie, tell me the truth…I can’t sing?” Miss Grundy asked. The truth is that Brother Jonas was right: Miss Grundy could not sing for her supper – even if what she did could ever be called singing. She usually sat in the front row facing the choir. So, when the choir sang: “Then sings my soul…Miss Grundy: “Then sings my sooooul (seconds after the choir finished). The choir: “My savior Lord to thee, how great thou art…” Miss Grundy: “How GREAAAAT THOU AAAART, how great thou AAAAART…” the choir: “How great thou art…” Miss Grundy: “HOW GRRRRREAAAT THOUUU AAAARRRRRRT! “ – seconds after the choir finished the hymn.

She would be smiling and looking around as if she had just won a major recital prize ignoring the sniggers, angry frowns and looks, and children giggling as others shot her some very angry glances. That woman was a walking basket case! Just then a bell rang and the organ started to play signaling the start of the service. “Lordy Abraxas you should be ashamed of yourself! Its all your fault keeping me talking and talking when I should be praising the Lord…jes’ look! Dem ole church mice done gone and take all the good seats, and I have to sit near Jessica Gomes who jus like to belch and belch and blaming it all de time on “de gas, GAS IS KILLIN’ ME!” But I don’t like to gossip…” Miss Grundy said leaving me standing there with my mouth opened. “Abraxas close yuh mouth! yuh go catch flies boy,” Miss Grundy said in a parting shot.

THINGS THAT BOTHER ME

The Normalization of Ignorance and Lying

The other day a pastor got robbed in church. The thieves took his expensive jewelry and left the erstwhile pastor to wonder if he was targeted. Then the man went on a publicity campaign with a full-court press and enough people scratching their heads and wondering WTF. That bothered me. Amazingly, some Black and Brown people decided that this was a time for prayer and saw signs of the end-times for our priestly victim. Then bad weather hit the Caribbean and Mother Nature licked up some homes in Grenada. The very next day people were mouthing off about how God was telling the country something (nobody can say EXACTLY WHAT) and concluded that there was need to pray.

Now what bothers me is that fact that in an enlightened age people could be so gullible and, well, stupid. Ignorance is now a badge of honor, critical thinking is outmoded, and stupidity reigns supreme. Some criminals hijacked the jewelry of a religious parasite, living high-on-the-hog and people feel sorry for his guy whose congregation wallows in poverty, scraping to make ends meet, while giving their hard-earned cash to a guy PROMISING rewards in a place “flowing with mink and honey” that they never saw or heard anyone say they saw.

Me? I’m lactose intolerant so this whitish bovine secretion – the food for baby cows – just ain’t my cup of tea or the vomit of an insect that wants to sting me for just passing by its house. I’m a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. How come religious people always take the fun out of EVERYTHING? Then there is the constant, unrelenting praying and praying and praying for EVERYTHING. Has anybody every got something, anything, from this constant begging, whining, complaining, griping and crying? Hurricane kills 200? Pray! Earthquake destroys 20 homes? Pray! You daughter gets raped by a human scumbag? Forgive and pray! This really, really bothers me!

National days of prayer, prayer meetings, prayer circles, pray for the sick (they need a bloody doctor guys!), need a job pray! A husband? Pray! Make God punish that so-and-so for cheating on me? Pray! I tell you God must be dreading every Sunday – on is day of rest no less – when the whining, griping, begging and complaining reaches fever pitch! It bothers me that this is just another form of escapism – running away from mundane reality.  It’s also ignorant, irresponsible and stupid to ignore the reality of your existence – can’t pay rent, buy food or send your kids to college – to pray for change in your human conditions and circumstances. That bothers me a whole lot.

We have normalized ignorance and lying to a degree that such practices are expected and common place. Priests, politicians, company executives, customer service reps, teachers and ordinary Joe Blow routinely lie – each and every day. One former United States president told over 3,000 lies or made false or misleading statements in his first 100 days in office! And nobody cared. That still bothers me. Now people say: “It’s no big deal politicians lie but everybody does it.” Then came the REALLY, REALLY BIG LIE. Former President Donald Trump claimed he won the 2020 presidential elections and that it was stolen from him. Millions of Americans TODAY, YES, IN 2022, STILL BELIEVE THIS BIG LIE. This should bother everyone as it bothers me.

Thing is that the bigger the lie and the more you repeat it is the more people, gullible ignorant people, will believe it. In fact, these politicians and others who use lying as a technique bank on the collective sheeplike ignorance of sections of the American masses to perpetuate their fraud and fakery. Sadly, people are stupid, and they believe these lies even when confronted with proof and evidence. Hello ignorance! Up is down and down is up, there are alternative facts and universes. Nothing is as it seems and never, ever believe what you see! That, my fine-feathered friend bothers me – bigly!

Moreover, why all this bothers me is that I’m yet to see a homeless priest or pastor. But I see hundreds of poor, hopeless and destitute people every day. I never see megachurch leaders like Creflo Dollar and T.D. Jakes caring for the poor, vulnerable, desperate and hungry that collectively send millions of their dollars to them each month, in a soup kitchen. They prey, no pun intended, on the weak, the ignorant and the hopeless. That bothers me – every day. I never see Bill Gates or Elon Musk praying for God to change things. Or Mark Zuckerberg giving away some of his billions to the needy women (and men) who populate his Facebook platform. Nope.  As they say you must learn to “pick sense from nonsense.” It’s one of the reasons why Black people are poor. That bothers me.

POLITICAL ANALYSIS

How Democrats Can Win The Mid-Term Elections

An Analysis By Michael Derek Roberts

Political Campaign Strategist

If you told me that Democrats would have had a chance to win the upcoming mid-term elections this November, back in May or June, I would have called you nutsoid. The party in power started off with great political capital after the debacle of Republican Donald Trump, and the mental and political fatigue that he visited on the American populace. And as high inflation set in, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic helped to aggravate difficult socio-economic conditions, high gas and food prices looked certain to doom Democrats chances. After all, the conventional political wisdom is that the party in power that controls all three branches of government generally is the loser in the mid-term elections.

But that’s normal, conventional wisdom and we are in less than normal times. Of course, Republicans smugly started counting the seats that they would win on their fingers, salivating at the prospect of overturning all of Joe Biden’s work, and bringing back a more toxic version of Trump 2.0. And onto to 2024, maybe with Florida’s Ron DeSantis leading the fascist make over of American democracy. Democrats were on the ropes and taking what former President Barack Obama called a political “shellacking.”

Then Uvalde happened and the gun thing became, well, a political thing. And the clumsy, ham-handed way that t

he Republicans in Congress AND Texas handled it was simply mind-blowing in its scope and stupidity. They argued offered little sympathy to the parents of the over 20 children who were brutally murdered, instead braying about the Second Amendment and how guns do not kill. They could find very few words of consolation to the suffering families and came over as heartless, insensitive and plain dumb.

Of course, the Republican Party has long rejected the issues of governing and policymaking. Objectionism and obstructionism is now the Modus Operandi of the party as it continues to be shaped and transformed by the most banal aspects and sections of Trumpism. Gone is the party that saw compromise and disagreements as part of American politics. That’s replaced by a cabal of people subservient to an extremist base that now controls what’s left of the party. Racism, xenophobia and violence as policy has replaced dialogue and principle. The GOP is only hearing the sound of its own voice in the echo chambers of Fox 5 News and One American News (OAN)

The horrible tragedy of Uvalde and the senseless murder of little children gave the Democrats a new lease of life. President Joe Biden’s visit was in stark contrast to Texas Governor Greg Abbot who came over as uncaring, insensitive and inhuman. And even though the Democratic Party’s messaging on this tragedy was a bit muted for my taste, this incident did make the Republicans look bad and forced independents to take a second look at the Democratic Party.

Next up was the overturning of Roe v Wade.Long a dream of the most conservative sections of Right-wing Christian Nationalism, the packing of the Supreme Court by Donald Trump with judges to expressly overturn this “settled law” also was a gift to the Democratic Party. I believe that this one incident helped to drive and galvanize undecided independents and more liberal progressive voters – especially urban women – into the Democratic Party’s camp. Nobody would have thought that the screw up by the Democratic Party in declaring the COVID-19 Pandemic over by July 4, and the other missteps by the Biden Administration were recoverable.  Roe V Wade also exposed the lies of these Ultra-Conservative judges now with lifetime appointments to the SCOTUS when they told the Senate that this was “settled law” and they would not overturn it because of “precedent.”

And then there was the January 6 House Committee investigation. Today, Republicans up and down the ballot just want that thing to go away. It’s a daily reminder to the American people of the depths and levels of extremity that the Republican Party has sunk to. All of a sudden, the Republican lead in the generic ballot that was looking good in April and May now seems a big uncertain challenge. The party’s glee and condescending triumphalism has all but dried up and now replaced by cautious optimism,  and genuine fear that this could be indeed an extraordinary year when Democrats can buck conventional political wisdom.

But this is by no means a done deal. Democrats MUST play hard ball, stop the pussyfooting, and go for the political jugular. The party must fine-tune and target its messaging and rein in the two Democratic senators in Republican clothing. It is unconscionable when two senators from the party in power continue to highjack and obstruct the president’s signature historic and forward-looking plan.

President Joe Biden has its faults, and I sure as hell do not agree with some of his issues and policies least of all his know-towing to the Military Industrial Complex and arming up the Ukraine instead of pushing for peace. I also take issue with his seeking confrontation with China by rejecting genuine dialogue and cooperation in favor of Trumplike belligerence and provocation. But I am a huge fan and supporter of his Build Back Better Plan. I think it’s the Marshall Plan of the American 21st century. It would be a burning shame if two boneheaded opportunistic senators by their grandstanding and infantile behavior deny this president his place in history.

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