(I can write this, since I carry an Irish passport, courtesy of my grandmother, along with my beloved American passport)
Stephen K. Bannon runs our country, pushing the buttons of the distracted oaf who is technically the president.
Trump shows what is under his personal rock when he refers to Jon Stewart as “Jonathan Leibowitz” (the comedian’s original name) after a TV gig.
Guess Trump forgets he was passing as Swedish as long as he could, neglecting his family origins as Drumpf.
Behind him is Bannon, pulling the strings, telling him how to keep Muslims out of the country.
I looked it up.
Bannon means “white” or “fair” – in the complexion sense, you may be sure.
As an Irish passport holder, I can say, some of Trump’s closest advisors are named Flynn and Kelly and Bannon.
It was not that long ago that “real” Americans considered people from Ireland the unwashed, the others, the threat.
The Flynns and Kellys and Bannons were not considered good enough to haul trash or dig graves for “real” Americans, who had, of course, killed and dislodged as many original Americans as they could.
There is reasonable debate about how many Irish ever encountered signs that said NINA -- No Irish Need Apply. But ongoing research proves it was there, in some windows, some newspapers, many hearts.
The Irish persevered, and a descendent of Fitzgeralds and Kennedys became president.
Now another president talks about a “ban” of Muslims, a registry of Muslims. He backtracks, but we know.
In a dangerous world, the U.S. was already vetting people from dicey parts of the world. But with his tiny attention span, the new president tries to stop legal residents of the U.S. from coming home. Doctors. Scholars. Husbands. Wives.
He is unashamed. He knows no history. Knows only fragments of things that flutter in front of his eyes. Knows only what Bannon tells him.
It’s easy to spot the sneer on Bannon’s face. We want this guy advising our shallow president?
More and More, I Talk to the Dead--Margaret Renkl
NASHVILLE — After my mother died so suddenly — laughing at a rerun of “JAG” at 10 p.m., dying of a hemorrhagic stroke by dawn — I dreamed about her night after night. In every dream she was willfully, outrageously alive, unaware of the grief her death had caused. In every dream relief poured through me like a flash flood. Oh, thank God!
Then I would wake into keening grief all over again.
Years earlier, when my father learned he had advanced esophageal cancer, his doctor told him he had perhaps six months to live. He lived far longer than that, though I never thought of it as “living” once I learned how little time he really had. For six months my father was dying, and then he kept dying for two years more. I was still working and raising a family, but running beneath the thin soil of my own life was a river of death. My father’s dying governed my days.
After he died, I wept and kept weeping, but I rarely dreamed about my father the way I would dream about my mother nearly a decade later. Even in the midst of calamitous grief, I understood the difference: My father’s long illness had given me time to work death into the daily patterns of my life. My mother’s sudden death had obliterated any illusion that daily patterns are trustworthy.
Years have passed now, and it’s the ordinariness of grief itself that governs my days. The very air around me thrums with absence. I grieve the beloved high-school teacher I lost the summer after graduation and the beloved college professor who was my friend for more than two decades. I grieve the father I lost nearly 20 years ago and the father-in-law I lost during the pandemic. I grieve the great-grandmother who died my junior year of college and the grandmother who lived until I was deep into my 40s.
Some of those I grieve are people I didn’t even know. How can John Prine be gone? I hear his haunting last song, “I Remember Everything,” and I still can’t quite believe that John Prine is gone.
Jan. 30, 2023