Before You Go

Dear Kevin,

When you were little you didn’t like when we over explained things to you. You were an extremely curious kid. (You still are.) Like a detective you’d ask a lot of questions to get at the truth, or at least your understanding of it. But once your curiosity had been satisfied, you wanted us to stop talking. You had no patience for anything that sounded preachy. When you sensed a lecture or sermon coming on, you’d interrupt and say, “I don’t want to know. And I don’t want you to tell me.” So please forgive us for writing this letter of unsolicited advice.

What follows are things we have come to believe and value about life and the human experience. Much of it we learned from you, by being your dads. All of the sentiments expressed below have been said or written by others, and with more eloquence than us. And our thoughts are repetitive, disjointed, and scattered. One passage may contradict another—sometimes in the same sentence—but that’s life: a complicated, repetitive, disjointed, random, beautiful mess. The route is seldom a direct express.

The tone below veers into commencement speech territory, including generalizations and nauseating clichés commonly heard at graduations. But since neither of us are likely to ever deliver a graduation commencement speech, this is our attempt at passing on what we’d like to believe is wisdom, all of which you are free to ignore. (Skip past the dotted lines if “you don’t want us to tell you.”)

So from us to you, in no particular order, here goes.

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Blow Out the Candles

Before the phone rings and my parents cackle-sing “Happy Birthday” into my ear then ask me what kind of cake or pastry I want for my birthday dessert, I wish to address our dear leader and make some birthday wishes of my own.

Dear leader,

It is an honor and privilege to turn another year older under your noble reign. May you transfer so much wealth from the poor to the rich that Putin needs to build more Russian banks to hold all the money. May the sick without healthcare not die on the sidewalks in front of your towers. May Mar-a-Lago always rise above sea level. May you detain and deport many Mexican rapists. May facts remain as elusive as your tax returns. May you find the 3 million people who voted illegally. May your faithful followers, especially the Sean Calamity Shamity asslickers, forever defend your cons, lies, vulgarity, indecency, bullying, and cruelty while whining about how victimized they are by liberals. May they always believe fake news and never wake up to the truth. May your every tee shot be a hole-in-one.

And most of all, when your time comes, may God show you more mercy and grace than you did for his children.

The phone’s ringing.

So, dear leader, as you blow out the candles on the planet, let us eat cannoli cake.

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Just the Facts

Dear media,

Where were you in 2015 and 2016 have you been the last 30+ years?

Congratulations! You successfully enabled a man who now declares war on you.

And you deserve it.

You have no one but yourselves to blame for your eroded credibility. For far too long, you have chased sensationalism, the ratings dollar, and portrayed the news as entertainment. So you get what you deserve. It’s tempting to jump on the Trump administration’s media-bashing bandwagon, but we need you now more than ever. You are the only check left on a complete fascist and Orwellian takeover of America and democracy. Your rights—unlike women, LGBT, black, immigrant, voting, and many other rights—are enshrined in, and protected by, the Constitution, because, have no doubt, the current administration would strip you of those rights in a rushin’ Russian heartbeat. This is what they plan to do to me, my husband, son, sister, mother, and fellow marginalized brothers and sisters. So count yourselves lucky.

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Pay No Attention To That Man In Front Of The Curtain

Dear media,
It’s clear Trump is the shiny object you can’t help gawking at. In fact, you wet yourselves over his every tick and tweet. Grow up. Trump is the distraction. Ignore him. The real show, and the laws and policies that will affect our lives more, will take place behind the scenes. Shine the spotlight there. On Bannon. On Miller. On Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and anyone else using Trump as a blinding shield. Resist Trump’s temptations to lure you back in. Ignore him. He hates you anyway. He has called you disgusting and corrupt. The enemy of the people. And the more attention you give him, the more you prove him correct. Covering him for ratings is disgusting. Covering him to make a buck is corrupt. So stop. Ignore him. This will drive him crazy. You must focus your attention on the players in Congress. Please, please, please, just ignore Trump. He deserves nothing more than your total disregard and neglect.
Bigly.

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