Thomas Lawrence Toscano
Time Of Great Opportunity
I purposely didn’t write a blog on Inauguration Day, nor yesterday, for I could tell that there was just too much to think about. Too much to take in. Too much to look at, in short - TOO MANY SHINY THINGS! Everyone having their thrills talking about mittens, or the Poet, or the outfits and their designers, or which Bibles were used by whom and why, or the singing. Which people loved this rendition, or that singer, or Amazing Grace. And, then a headline I saw - Garth Brooks thanks Lady Gaga’s hair and make up team: “They Saved A Cowboy”.
People were almost giddy. BTW, when I make my references, I’m not simply speaking of people around me here in VT, but also the media. Mostly radio, NPR, some internet, but, very little. I saw nothing. I’ve still not truly examined a picture of our new First Lady and her blue outfit since so many had such high accolades for her taste and demeanor. Then, of course, there were the political speeches, Pres. Biden’s was moving and Vice President Harris’ seemed short, yet eloquent. And of course, whom everyone is claiming “stole the show” Amanda, the youth poet laureate. Didn’t know there was such a title. Not a problem, I’m quite isolated and rather out of touch. But, not when it comes to art and performance. I’ve spent my life performing music, words, creating music, texts, libretti, writing poetry, reciting mine and the poetry of others, etc, etc, etc. Which means, I have a question for you all. One that is not fake news, or alt news, or a lie. But, a fact.
DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY INCREDIBLY TALENTED YOUNG PEOPLE THERE ARE IN THIS COUNTRY?
NO! You don’t. And, why is that - well, because our government, - our society, doesn’t care.
How do I know our society doesn’t care. Well - it’s simple. Our country/society does what it wants to do.
IF it wants to go to war it makes up a reason - WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION anyone?
IF it wants to give a tax cut to the rich - it does it.
IF it wants to host the Olympics - it dies, and it’s irrelevant how many people must be displaced in order for it to do so.
IF it wants to take over a city because there are administrative problems, (I don’t remember all the details) and virtually take over that local government, subsequently making the decision to change the drinking water from Detroit to the Flint River and poison, children and adults alike, ruining many lives for ever - IT DOES IT!
Does anyone take responsibility? NOPE - don’t have to. Why? Can’t say. Perhaps you know.
So, when it comes to art - first of all, America, in terms of support, is ridiculously low on the list of countries which support their artists.
Secondly, (and I know I’ve written this before), are we a christian country? Well that’s all we here, God this and God that. And, In God We Trust and what does God say?
Galations 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
And, do we sow art? Nah - we sow destruction, weapons, killing, stealing and controlling natural resources, (Oil is not the only one). And, let’s see - how has our year been? More people dead than in World War II.
That’s why you have no idea how many extraordinarily talented young people live in America. I was very surprised at the outburst of emotion that dear Amanda received. Yes, her poem was very powerful and well done. As if it was a one in a million. There are many more than 1 in a 1,000,000. How do I know? Well, that would mean that if America’s population is 350,000,000 people then there are ONLY 350 very talented young people. Again, there are many more than that.
Now - speaking of numbers - 400,000 people ARE DEAD!
The former I.I.C Idiot in Chief, stated approximately one year ago that the virus would be nothing. Only a few people will get it. No reason to do X, or Y, or Z.
Then, of course, true professionals such as Anthony Faucci warned and insisted that this was going to be something very different. He haphazardly began to react, whenever he was forced into taking action. However, since our death toll grew to 400,000 and beyond, obviously he didn’t do too well. No surprise to me - I’ve known who he is for well over 40 years.
So, what does it mean that there are 400,000 people dead? Well, I know what it means to me but, what does it mean to you?
Have any of your relatives died? If yes, you’ll certainly know the pain of loss. And, my heart goes out to you. For these days, you can’t see loved ones before they die. They just have to die alone. I have an uncle who is dying. Thank GOD his wife, my Aunt told her children. The HELL with COVID come home! And, so they are, he is at home, he has hospice care there with him. And, my cousins visit, carefully, but, they visit. Most of you cannot have such luxury. I cannot visit him either.
One year into this and that’s the progress we’ve made. People get to die alone, people are buried in mass graves, tents are set up to house the overflow because hospitals simply cannot cope. AND, it’s not over yet.
Now tell me. Honestly, look at the reality - if you can - and I know one person in particular who cannot - IS THIS TRULY THE BEHAVIOR OF THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD?
Not as far as I’m concerned. For the longest of times I’ve understood that America is not the greatest country in the world It may have been the most powerful in military terms, it may have been the most powerful in economic terms, but it certainly is not the greatest country in the world AND THIS PAST YEAR PROVES IT!
TOO MANY of the stingy, the greedy, the power hungry continue to lie and cheat, one of their favorite lies is socialism. They is it as a pejorative. What is truly socialism? HUMANISM!!! Taking care of your fellow man. Acting with kindness and charity. Having support mechanism’s supporting your people, not imprisoning them, or enslaving them with economic impossibilities. That’s our current state.
After all this, Is there Great potential - Absolutely. Greatness achieved and to be relied upon. No.
I, as I do so often, believe it’s simple. The citizens of America for the most part have no idea what it means to participate in a Democracy. All they know is voting. And, sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. In a previous blog I wrote about the ridiculously difficult lives so many people have. Being run ragged simply to survive - with devalued currency and a rigged game in many respects, people are drowning. Don’t even get me started on Wall Street. Part of the reason our economic lives are so useless.
How many people have lost their pensions due to the economic scandals? And, what happened? Not much. But, have one mega corporation threaten failure and TOO BIG TO FAIL starts to be screamed through the media and streets as if it was Paul Revere warning us that the British are coming. Meanwhile, the corruption dances its merry way as the billionaires become more and more stuffed with cash. Is there a trillionaire yet? I don’t know but, there will be eventually.
Aren’t you glad I didn’t write for two days? I didn’t want to depress anyone.
And, frankly, there’s no reason to be depressed. Because THIS IS A TIME OF GREAT OPPORTUNITY. We’ve had others in the past - here are a few.
9/11 was a time of great opportunity when the world could have come together - NOPE. KILL, BOMB, LIE, SEIZE OTHER COUNTRIES RESOURCES, MISREPRESENT WHAT TRULY HAPPENED, etc. etc.
2008 was a great opportunity. What happened? New president, what did he do, well, he simply put back in power the same people who had caused the crash in the first place. You see - capitalism has it’s own cycle of failure. Look it up. Look at the record, how many economic crashes have their been. STUDY - LOOK IT UP!
Do you want to know how many treaties America has betrayed? JUST look it up. It’s all in the Library of Congress, it’s all written down in respected books, using the actual treaties and Congress’ own record as source material - it’s the official record and the records are clear.
Will this opportunity that I speak of fulfill it’s potential?
IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOU!
If there is an enormous ground swell of opinion: Phone calls, emails, writing to representatives, joining groups that have a humanitarian agenda, I’m sure you can come up with other examples. Things will change. For the first time perhaps in our history, you have had a front row seat to how quickly things can change. I can assure you that things would have been much different if January 6th had not happened. But, it did, and, things changed. Black Lives Matter Marches, things are changing, Statues coming down. People ARE waking up. We need more. This is what’s required NOW. Awareness and action. Time for the Legislative Branch to get to work. Yes, and what does the Legislative Branch need in order to produce what’s needed?
YOU - getting involved, learning from history, Roosevelt, Johnson, those two examples allow you to understand just what you and everyone you know need to do.
If you do not get involved and things quiet down, I can assure you not much will change in your favor.
Curiously enough, I am aware of a trajectory of change. Said change is already happening and will happen, no matter what. However, the lesson that we have to learn before much of this can manifest is WE MUST ENGAGE WITH GOVERNING. We must expect good work, perhaps even excellent work and when it is not delivered then it is required that you begin to turn up the temperature. DEMAND, DEMAND, DEMAND, that your representatives do their jobs. Call your radio shows, use facebook for your gain, not facebooks. There are many creative solutions my friends, it’s time to make it happen.
In closing, this is it for me. I do not see myself as a political commentator. My purpose here is to share my life stories and perhaps comment on the forest, the animals and other joys of life. Not politics. I abhor politics, for me, in America, it is one of the great four letter words. It destroys us, too often and we let it. And do be aware. I was not kidding when I wrote - IF ALL OF AMERICA IS NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE - NONE OF US CAN BE SECURE IN OUR RIGHT TO VOTE. Which means what - YOU have to be your brother’s - neighbor’s keeper. YOU have to see injustice and do something about it.
WHILE THERE is a LOCKDOWN YOU HAVE THE TIME. Don’t waste it. Black Lives Matter exploded on the scene because everyone was home watching. And, BAM, all these idle people took action. Again, do not waste this opportunity.
DO not wait, do not wait, DO—NOT—WAIT. Look around, pay attention, listen to trusted sources, and do make your voices heard. Not once, but always. THEN, and only THEN will America at least live up to what it says in one of our founding documents - Government, For the People and By The People.
Under that government, I can assure you - 400,000 people WOULD NOT BE DEAD TODAY.
IF you need something or someone to mistrust, then realize that the CORPORATIONS and MOST BILLIONAIRES are the problem. They influence and control the government. That’s the root of the problem. The only way to combat it - public opinion. The only thing corporations fear, is lack of sales. The only thing politicians fear is losing their jobs. Why? well, because, they’re such great jobs and the benefits, and the health care, etc. etc. treated like royalty, are you treated like royalty?
Surprisingly, in spite of it all there are wonderful experiences. Such as my two hip surgeries, due to wonderful and professional people. Not sure how much the Feds had to do with that. And, my coverage is medicare/medicaid. Not sure they cover everything with such excellence, but, in this state and at Rutland Hospital, I’m one of many who can attest to a wonderful outcome. So, yes, it’s possible.
However, do most have that experience? Just look at L.A. and decide for yourselves.
I wish you all a wonderful evening, week and month. May we all do our part to help the president make it happen.
As always, thank you all for being here with me today. Thomas