Coffee and Jazz on a Southern Summer Morning

Hello my friends, Brandon King here with another rambling session on this Monday morning.

So I’m attempting to perform an experiment and, as my friends, I’d like you to come with me. The experiment is simple as it is fascinating. Hell, if you’d like to join in the conversation, you’re more than welcome to. The more the merrier, as they say.

Every morning, I would like to sit at this laptop and write my thoughts for the day. Here’s the catch, I want them to be unfiltered and all too true.

This will be a challenge of some sorts because, as we can all admit, we edit what we say on a regular basis. For the most part, there aren’t too many people that simply vomit what they think anymore. Not saying that’s a good thing; it’s just a fact. The fact of the matter is that I don’t want to do that anymore.

There comes a point that something can become so edited in the world that it almost becomes unrecognizable from the original. Like a bad face lift or a back-handed compliment.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Shouldn’t people be honest all the time?”

You’re absolutely right. This idea also belongs in the same reality that we all agree and racism has ended, sexism has been done for some time and Republicans and Democrats meet in the street to praise freedom from and by government.

See what I mean?

Truth be told, we all want to be truthful all  the time. But think about this: When was the last time you told a white lie to someone? How long has it been since you’ve lied to yourself about something you knew to be true all along?

Believe me, it happens more often than you’d care to mention.

Yet, here I stand. Well more like sit down at this desk and write. Hence the coffee and the 1930’s jazz playing in the background. These words, these thoughts are all the first things that come to mind and all I want is just to be as real as real can be.

As I wrote that, I couldn’t help but have my old professor’s voice in my head. “If I’ve taught you people nothing, it’s this: First drafts are crap.” Professor Lippert would stand with his hands on his hips and preach this on almost a bi-weekly basis. Listen, the guy has some merits to that phrase.

But here’s where I disagree.

I think there’s something to be said about a first draft. It’s an unfiltered, unrefined product of the human intellect. A product of willful creativity. There’s something innately beautiful about that.

Don’t get me wrong, we all want something to be perfect to the best that it can be. However, let me propose a different perspective. Think about it like this: all the greatest people understood the rules and broke them all.

William Shakespeare did it with almost all of his plays.

Ernest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger did it with their writing styles.

Leonardo da Vinci did with his scientific and medical practices.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak did it with technological advances.

So why can’t you? Why can’t we do the same by being different?

If you’ve read any book from the past 100 years, you’ll understand an old phrase that’s been said since you were young. You know, the one that a disgruntled employee along with a mother of 3 kids all say in unison.

“Just the same shit, different day.” This saying always gets me.

If you get the same shit, different day, I’d change something. Call me old fashioned, shit never had a good taste to it.

See? Society has been dealing with the same problems just in different variations since we evolved from apes. Truly, the epitome of the shit-to-day ratio.

There’s got to be something to life that we simply aren’t understanding. Does it have to do with the masses or the individual?

I think the thing that gets me about people as a whole is that we all will pit each other against one another about issues that can be solved by logic. And, in the next breath, we all unite under issues that don’t matter.

Let me provide an example of what’s going on right now.

You have a government fighting about health care and whether it should be under what Obama’s administration had created or should it be taken away for something else. When, in all reality, healthcare shouldn’t be an issue that is backed by money.

Healthcare isn’t a capitalist gain. Healthcare is a human rights issue.

The government is locked in disagreement because one is backed by a red R and the other is backed by a blue D.

While all this going on, last night, I received three texts over the separation of actor Chris Pratt and actress Anna Faris. Not to mention the news reports all across the media boards about it. The nation unified in this sense of mourning over this charismatic couple.

No, I’m not saying that the ending of the marriage isn’t sad. What I’m saying is that, no offense, there’s more pressing issues at hand.

I have a theory as to why we do this. Perhaps it has to deal with our willingness to deal with what’s in front of us. Thankfully, we’re all wired different from the get-go. Some of us want to tackle what’s in front of us head-on while some want to let it linger until the right time. Hell, there’s some people that won’t touch it at all.

Can we say, as a society, that we’re an evolving society if we’ve dealt with the same issues that we’ve always dealt with? I mean, we have made progress towards battling things like homophobia, racism and sexism but they aren’t gone entirely.

Will they ever? Who knows. I’ve said it before that it will never be eliminated but I think I’m wrong. Maybe it won’t be in your lifetime or mine but I have faith in people to see the absurdity in it all.

Have you ever thought of what the future might think of us in hindsight? Like when we laugh at people who thought that race-mixing was a sin against God? Or when we’re confused as to why a radical man in Germany could blame all the wrongs of the world on one race of people?

Who knows, maybe they’ll think of us a naive and narrow-minded too. Unless we further progress and further change.

Thank you for reading, my friends. See you tomorrow bright and early  in the morning.

Until next time,

Brandon King

An Open Letter to President Trump

To President Trump,

 

My name is Brandon Tyler King and I’m a 23 year old college student that lives in Yukon, Oklahoma. I sit at my desk writing this letter battling every single urge to stop writing what I believe. Truth be told, I’ve written and rewritten this letter to you multiple times without the courage to back up the meanings behind it.

However, the time for doubt has passed.

So here I am on attempt five writing this letter in hopes that it reaches your desk and, in some capacity or another, you read and listen to what I have to say.

This all stemmed from your Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she decided to read a letter from a 9 year old child nicknamed Pickles to fill the time of the press meeting. I felt as though that it was pretty genius of an attempt to appeal to the children of the nation riding on the opinions of their parents. Truth be told, it might have worked better if your entire office wasn’t surrounded by scandals. But you inspired me, Mr. President. If Pickles might have some time for you, perhaps so can I.

Contrary to what you might be thinking, I am not here to tell you about all the things you’ve done wrong. I’m not here to ridicule, mock or shout in anger about the things that your administration has done.

That being said, I’m not here to congratulate and celebrate either.

Something that I learned a while ago was that to love something, you should be able to criticize and question it. I’m here as a regular commoner to a notably accomplished man to express my regards to the country that I love so much.

THE STATE OF THE GOVERNMENT

Being 23 years old, I realize that my words might not be held with the same weight of a more experienced adult. That’s fine by me. In all honesty, it just means that every word, every sentence will have to mean something. No matter what happens when all is done, I will be heard.

I learned early in my childhood that the lessons of history are things that need to be learned. What’s the point in recreating the same mistakes that people before us did? One thing that only few leaders in our history have ever come to realize is that the government is only as strong as the people that it governs.

Living in this country my entire life, I have seen some of the brighter days and I have seen the faces of terror that makes Americans shiver even now. Never once have I been disappointed in my country until the beginnings of the campaign season in 2016. Now, allow me to express that the entire fault doesn’t fall on you. People on both sides of the aisle are to blame for it all. Let me explain that each of you on Capitol Hill have forgotten the people in which you represent.

During the campaign, I grew to be hateful of the choices that the American people to choose from. You, Clinton, Cruz, it didn’t matter. It was all different shades of shady connection. To your credit, I can understand why the American people elected you over your opponent. The citizens have become so desperate for change from the bureaucracy of government that they were willing to turn anywhere instead of the circle that we’d been driving in since memory could remember. You threw the people’s flag on your shoulders and claimed to be the straight-shooting, deal-making leader from the pack instead from the elite.

Perhaps you still think of yourself in this way. That’s the funny thing about looking at yourself in the mirror: we often see the person that we believe ourselves to be instead of what the truth is.

Over the 191 days that you’ve been in office, along with the campaign season, you’ve accomplished something that maybe you’ve always wanted. You have our attention but I’m not convinced that this is the best thing.

To start, let’s travel back to the campaign and go to now. Something that I’ve noticed is that you often revel in those days even as you’re in office. There’s no denying that you and your team have an uncanny ability to control the eyes of the media. It’s how you created this craze for yourself that worries me for this country.

We’ve been so dependent on drama. Without it, it fades into the back pages of anything newsworthy. It goes to an element of narcissism in government that any news must be good news. This mindset is paired with the idea that the will of the people only lives on one of the political aisle. Whether you sport a red R or a blue D, you must admit that this is cancerous.

One thing that the American people can rely on is the consistent media coverage of your administration. The dishonest media that you’ve decided to make the public enemy of the people is something that I don’t believe that the government has anticipated. If anyone on Capital Hill were to take a close look at the document that our entire civilization has held as gospel, perhaps they could learn something.

To quote Thomas Jefferson and our forefathers,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -First Amendment 

To make an enemy of the media is to make an enemy of the people.

I can understand your frustrations of what people often refer to as the liberal media. It’s the same problem that many of us face on a regular basis. Who are we to trust with our news? Even then, will it be skewed in some way? I’ve taken the approach of reading and watching every news station to decipher what the real news might be. Inevitably, humans are biased and it often comes down to personal belief every now and then. But you refer to the media as fake news and dishonest media even during times of honest journalism.

I find it odd that only now is it called “fake news” when the spotlight is on you. Maybe you could have wished to have the same spotlight on President Obama’s birth certificate or Mrs. Clinton’s emails.

But I digress.

It’s as though each half of the government has a large paintbrush. While one side paints the canvas white, the other will color it black. Each side will claim to have the answer and argue when the other disagrees. What they cannot seem to understand that the answers lie in the drips of grey paint that drip to the floor of Congress. Life was never made by the blacks and whites but by the muddy, unclear aspects of grey.

The problems of the United States goes further than your office. It’s been an issue that’s been riding on the shoulders of those who live in this nation. Partisan politics will be the death of democracy. By the time we realize that all of our problems could have been solved by listening to the other side and finding a compromise, it might be too late.

Mr. Trump, you have the opportunity to start this change. Will you take the chance?

The State of President Trump

The American people elected an outsider to clean up the swamp of government and to right the wrongs done by previous administrations. There is no doubt that each presidency has had its faults. Then again, when has there ever been a flawless presidency? People strove for change and change is what they received.

It’s not until the times that we live in that I think people are beginning to see what we have done.

Allow me to explain, Mr. Trump.

Whenever I was a child, I constantly was bullied at school. Being called names and forced to do things that I wasn’t comfortable with was just part of my upbringing. My mouth shut remained shut through all of it, including to my parents, because I had felt that this was just how things were meant to be. It wouldn’t be until I grew out of my shell and educate myself that I realized that what was going on was wrong on all accounts.

This is no exception.

I think what was unsettling about watching your administration drive their way to victory through the elections was how eerily similar it was to my childhood. Calling your opponents childish games, saying radical things to gain attention and demoralizing anyone you disrespected…I knew that face all too well.

I’m not angry with you, Mr. Trump. How can I be angered by a man who is a product of the environment of the world that he grew up in? Born with a platinum spoon in your mouth a small inheritance of 14 million dollars, I understand where you were raised from. The needs of the every-man can seem foreign to you.

Something that I vowed to do is to speak the truth and I will when I tell you that there are plenty of members in my family that voted for you. No, I don’t think any less or more of them for it. However, either side has expressed that they aren’t being heard at all anyway. The only difference is that I’ve heard you loud and clear.

  • Calling Mexicans rapists and criminals
  • Making fun of a disabled reporter
  • Saying John McCain isn’t a war hero because he was a POW
  • Discrediting a Muslim American solider and his family
  • Calling on Russia to hack Hillary’s emails
  • Banning Muslims with a legalized travel ban
  • Criminalizing the press
  • Accusing Megyn Kelly of menstruating
  • Lying about crowd size of your inauguration.
  • Lying about meeting with Russians
  • Banning transsexual soldiers from serving in the military
  • Attempting to repeal the A.C.A without a reliable replacement

Does that sound about right?

I understand that I briefly went over some of the blemishes on your record but, don’t worry, it’s done now. I promised that earlier and I’m nothing but a man of my own word.

I could go into the logistics of your decisions and tell you how each of these moments during your presidential limelight were wrong. I could but what would be the point? Each media outlet, aside from what you subscribe to, has done this to death. What it comes down to is the American people and your willingness to look past yourself and realize that we ride on your decisions. Like it or not, you are the Commander-In-Chief. I respect only the office that you represent and that is far as my allegiance will go.

Society works by each member taking a step towards the future. Your administration, despite what the American people have protested, has taken steps back into the past. It’s not that I don’t understand why it’s happening. There’s not a doubt in my mind that you spent half your life doing what every single one of us have done and complain about the government and  talked about what we would do if we were in that position. The difference between you and I is that you went into the belly of the beast only to realize that you might be more destructive than the beast itself.

Mr. Trump, in the 1980’s and 90’s you were the undisputed king of New York and there wasn’t a person alive that didn’t respect you as a successful businessman. Your ego and your aspirations wouldn’t allow you to stop and you took a swing at the presidency. With the same tactics that you used to become successful in the first place, you made your way to the office.

Yet, you must be wondering why the people resent you so much.

Must it be the dishonest media? Could it be leakers that poke holes in your sinking ship? Possibly…but there is one person that you haven’t looked for: You.

And So We Rise 

You ran on the campaign promise to Make America Great Again and I believe, in some way, you will. However, I don’t think it will be with you at the helm.

The American people wanted someone who spoke their mind and I cannot say that I blame them. What they ended up electing was a man that was a product of a time long passed. To think, back in the 1950’s, you might have passed as a president to be looked back at with the fondness that only history can provide.

Unfortunately, we’re in the thick of it all. I can understand that you’re most likely feeling the pressures of the world that you didn’t quite understand surrounding you. In all fairness, most employees think about their current employer the same way. The way that says that, if only they could get there, they could do it better than he or she ever could.

Where it all comes down to is that the people of the government and you, Mr. President, have been out of touch with reality long enough that most motions in government lack any logical sense to the rest of us.

I won’t ask you to change who you are and I won’t plead with you to act more presidential. All I ask that you remind yourself that you represent the rest of us. Every time you do anything, ask yourself if this is the best interest of the people. If the answer is anything but an absolute yes, then reconsider.

The last thing I ask of you is to respect the people of the world. Just because it doesn’t align with everything you think, that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. Be open to criticism and be our leader for the people; not the leader for yourself.

By any chance that you decide to neglect what I have said or asked of you, I can understand. There are people that will never be okay with constructive criticism and that aligns with the tolerance that great people such Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Abigail Adams have always held throughout history. If this is the case and we’ve hit that point then may I propose one more option.

Resign the office of Presidency and allow someone who will act on behalf of the American people in their best interest.

Understand, Mr. Trump, that this nation is one of the most resilient places on Earth. Since our founding, we have trudged through the thick of hell and come out to live on the other side. We have risen and moved forward with each step in history. This is a concept that I would hope that you and the rest of the people are wanting to go to. I understand that the future can be a terrifying thing to embrace but progress was never easy. Remember that the American people will always rise to the occasion when it comes to it.

We rose in the American Revolution.

We rose in building a nation from nothing.

We rose in the Civil War and defeated slavery.

We rose from multiple deaths in office.

We rose by the means of many Civil Rights Movements.

We rose through the corruption of President Nixon and Watergate.

We rose through each war we’ve ever fought.

Mr. Trump, so too shall we rise above this.

 

Thank you for your time and God bless the United States of America,

Brandon King