Saturday, December 28, 2013



I was busy on Christmas Eve, writing the third installment of the Mandela Effect when the missus and I got into a discussion about the commercialization of the “Holiday”. So I thought I’d take a break and note a few things about it. See, she spent pretty well all her life in the retail business, workin’ every Christmas Eve an’ Boxing Day, so she don’t have too healthy an outlook on the event. Well who would, strappin’ on all them fancy clothes an’ smilin’ for all them grouchy customers whose credit cards are more or less maxed out an’ they still gotta drive home in impossible traffic if they ever get through the checkout.

So I’m listenin’ to the news this mornin’ an’ they’re talkin’ about the stores losin’ millions o’ dollars this year ‘cause o’ the dang busted inclement weather down east. The airlines are gonna feel the hurt over the dang busted inclement weather down east too. It seems that it was the weather that stole Christmas, not the Grinch.

Well now, just hold ‘er a minute there Newt! Just what in the H E Double hockey sticks are we celebratin’ here anyways? Listen, I was always under the impression that if it’s somebody’s birthday celebration an’ you’re invited to the party, you’re supposed to bring ‘em a gift. I was sayin’ that on the day he was born, Jesus got some gold, some myrrh, an’ some frankincense. That was over two thousand years ago and he ain’t got diddly squat since. Oh, except for thirty years or so later, he got some nails an’ a cross, but otherwise – nothin’, nada.

So how did this all get turned around? How is it that on this special day we get all the gifts that the retailers have stuffed down our throats an’ there’s nothin left over for Jesus? Okay, okay, I know he’s dead in the normal sense. But accordin’ to the scriptures, he ain’t dead at all. Chapter an’ verse has been written about his resurrection an’ all that. You can read all about it right there in the New Testament an’ draw yer own conclusions. Watching Christmas mass bein’ celebrated last night in a multi gazillion dollar cathedral with the cardinals an’ deacons an’ priests all in their finery seemed to me to be a little over the top too. I found myself wonderin’ what the people in attendance were thinkin’ with all this pageantry. The one bright light in the whole business is that the new pope is a man of the people an’ he already shows signs of bringing his church to the people rather than the other way around. Just when you get totally cynical ‘bout how the world is goin’ to hell in a hand basket, a new hope springs up. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Mandela Effect Part II

The Mandela Effect – Part II

If only Mandela had been able to live another ninety-five years, South Africa and the world would be in better shape. If ever there was a time one would wish for a spirit power to descend upon the earth, it would be now. There is a resurgence of all that Mandela stood for throughout the land, and yet it is waning as people say “What will we do now that he is gone?”

And they wait for another giant to come along to rescue them from themselves. If anything improves as a result of Mandela’s life, it will only be marginal at best. People have a natural tendency to follow the leader and when the leader is gone, they look for a new one. It's one of the flaws of human nature. It's what natural leaders count on to keep them at the head of the pack. Perhaps the people may be right to do so. After all, that’s roughly how Mandela rose from the ashes of Africa to govern over the nation. Perhaps there is another Mandela somewhere in Africa to do the same. And so they wait.

Should no one emerge to take up the reins, there are enough people in abject poverty to begin a groundswell for change. We know the government is corrupt and it is busy entrenching itself in much the same manner as Mugabe has done. They shouldn’t be too complacent though because it is in recent memory that Mandela and the ANC, at its wit’s end, took the help from Cuba and armed itself. When the whites saw their white brothers lying dead in the street much as had been the case for their black counterparts up until then, they did the math and there was a sudden big move to end apartheid.

Things are a bit different now. The color lines are now somewhat blurred. You don’t have the advantage of color differences so much anymore to make it easy to see who’s doing what, but don’t you believe for one minute the people don’t know who in the government is corrupt and who is stealing from them. And don’t you believe for one minute that there aren’t countries out there that would help them in their cause either.

There seems to be a lull in South African society right now in deference to Mandela. But it almost seems like the calm before the storm. I am very much afraid that unless the government and all the NGO’s begin to move in the direction that Mandela has set out for them, there will be a storm unlike anything that South Africa has seen before. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’. 



Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Mandela Effect

The Mandela Effect Part I


Even in death, Mandela lifts our hearts and our spirits in hope and determination to take up the mantel he cast off while he now sleeps. The air around the world is charged with his indomitable spirit. It’s as though he has gripped our minds and our spirits to infuse them with his philosophies. It’s perhaps a final call to arms in the battle between right and wrong.

How long will this last? It’s hard to say but I don’t expect any residual effects on the government officials who attended the memorial service. Already Adrienne Clarkson was spouting off about neither Brian Mulroney nor Stephen Harper being asked to speak at the event. And then the antics of Barrack Obama didn’t contribute anything to the memorial either. Quite frankly, the whole business reminded me of what we see in Mafia style funerals where competing families get together to make new alliances and forge new underground deals.

To his credit, Mulroney has his personal friendship with Mandela that no one can take away from him and is satisfied with his memories of that. I and many others who have lost friends understand that clearly. It’s not something that the arbiters of governments would cotton on to. And the elegant wordsmith Steven Lewis doesn’t give a rip about any of the shenanigans at the memorial either. He went over to Mrs. Mandela directly and they had a quiet, meaningful conversation.

It’s like the two solitudes really, well perhaps three. While Desmond Tutu traveled to the memorial to speak to it, his house was broken into and he was robbed - again. Now the diminutive Tutu is as much a giant as Mandela ever was and certainly an iconic figure in South Africa as well as the rest of the world. He has certainly had a lot to do with the abolishment of apartheid as evidenced in his writings and the robbery is a shame upon the perpetrators and a dark canker on the character of South Africa.

Yet the general populous of South Africa as well as the rest of the world are thankful for the presence of Mandela, this moral giant in their/our midst for all these years and I shouldn’t be surprised that he has a positive effect on us all for years to come. He and others laid out the path to freedom and equality for everyone as you will see in part II of this series. The indigenous populations of the world would do well to pay attention. There is a way to achieve the Rainbow Society and it has been clearly illustrated. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

What's in a Birthday

What’s in a Birthday?

There was a whole bunch o’ birthday celebrations this past week. In fact there’s a whole bunch more comin’ up in the next month – not countin’ the big one. That got me to thinkin’ about how things revolve over the years an’ come back full circle.

Everybody remembers throwin’ a big party for the child’s first birthday, except for the kid that is. Grandmas an’ Grandpas show up with all kinds o’ gifts. The aunties an’ uncles pile in with presents for the baby who hasn’t got a clue as to what’s goin’ on an’ starts to bawl with all the noise. After the party is all over mom has to clean up the mess in the kitchen an’ dad has to find a place for all the useless toys he can’t play with himself. It’s been a great party for all the adults an’ the birthday child is sound asleep as though nothin’ happened.

By the time the kid gets into kindergarten things have changed somewhat. Now the brat knows he/she is getting’ presents. An’ the presents are different too. They’re actually meant for kids an’ so they have a whale of a time playin’ with ‘em to the point that when it’s all over the house is a total wreck. (Well it’s only once a year).

A few years go by an’ the kids are now placing their orders for the gifts they want. It’s credit card time. An’ the older they get, the bigger the credit card bill. You just want to hope it don’t interfere with Christmas. A while back one of my grandsons ordered an ATM an’ he wanted it full o’ money too. Well that’s how these things go. When you get into the teen years you just give ‘em gift cards an’ send ‘em off to the mall. That beats embarrassin’ them an’ you an’ lets ‘em get more or less what they been hankerin’ for anyways.

Slowly as time goes by an’ the brats get older you see the tide turnin’. The parties have moved to the bar an’ the gifts are a lot smaller an’ they’re in for a few years of hangovers before the whole thing gets borin’ an’ not all that much fun anymore. It all seems to fizzle out a bit, which may have somethin’ to do with the threat of agin’.

Fast forward a few years an’ you find the kids are now hostin’ birthday parties for their parents. Well it’s about time too. I don’t know if the old folks can’t remember their birthdays or just don’t want to know about them nomore. Well, tradition’s gotta continue so they invite some of the parents friends an’ relatives to come for lunch an’ conversation. That’s pretty well as much as the old geysers can handle anyways. An’ it’s gotta be between two an’ four p.m. cause most old folks need a noon-time nap before all that activity, an’ none of ‘em drive in the dark afterwards neither.

So the whole business ends up as it once began. It’s come full circle as it were. We still got the same players as when the kids were little. The only difference is that now the kids know what’s goin’ on and the old geysers haven’t got a clue. They just sit there an’ jabber away enjoyin’ thereselves an’ in the end a good time was had by all. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.