Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

On Prejudice in America 2019…by Robert M. Katzman

On Prejudice, in America 2019
By Robert M. Katzman © July 21, 2019

Overall, my family, too, can be told go back to where we came from, except when you read where we came from, well, we’ll need a lot of planes flying in different places.

As far skin color, gee, well…, um, some white like doves, some as dark as the bark of an old oak, some ruddy red like a deep sunset, some olive colored, like me, I suppose, which frankly my very very “white” Norwegian/Danish wife thought was very attractive. Or she kissed that olive skin often enough over 42 years. I don’t think Joy ever saw color.

While she was alive, if someone made some stupid prejudiced remark about her grandchildren, or yours, that hidden Viking axe was never too far away from her to erupt into rage. If my Joyce were alive, she’d make a hellova president. Even dead, she’s way better than the sewer of hate we’re emersed in now.

Silence isn’t golden. That’s why all your brave and tough grandparents, came to America in he first place. Would they admire their grandchildren today?

My original post starts here:

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Hiroshi Hamasaki, and What He Meant to Me in 1969…by Robert M. Katzman

by Robert M. Katzman © August 2005

(Sometimes I get hired to read my stories in public in front of groups of people–a way of becoming known as a writer worth reading–and then hopefully selling some of my books. But I will never read this story in public. Never this one. Read it, it is very brief, and you will understand what happened 50 years ago this month. If Hiroshi were still among us today, I am imagining the terror he might be reliving…again).

Hiroshi Hamasaki, or “Frank”, as he told non-Japanese people to call him, came to my wooden newsstand in Hyde Park for the first time in fall, 1966. He was self-conscious about people stumbling over his unconventional actual name and long ago selected a name that would make strangers feel more at ease with him.

           At the more established, larger newsstand down the street from me, the irritable  news vender who owned it, a World War II veteran, had made an unfortunately vile reference to Frank’s ancestry, even though Frank’s family had lived in the United States for generations.

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Movies Worth Seeing…by Robert M. Katzman (Secret Movie Maven!)

by Robert M. Katzman (Secret Movie Maven)©️ Memorial Day, May 2019

I have been obsessed with the fantasy world of movies since I was a child who couldn’t escape a dangerous home. An alternative cinematic Universe seemed a safe harbor, if only for a brief time.

Sports were never an alternative. Hit a ball, catch a ball, get crushed while holding a ball, avoid being hit by a speeding ball–what is it with balls and aggression? 

Oh, wait. Not a good question.

While a lot of people revered Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig, I was a long time admirer of Roger Ebert, and even got to know him for a long while. He was the only person in my one year on Amazon who bought my first book.

I’ve made a list of a number of movies, various genres, but all involving human interaction of movies worth seeing more than once or twice. I won’t list the casts or directors because younger people won’t recognize the names, but also because an existing group of famed movie stars appearing together in a film can amount to nothing without a great script and director.

There are a number of Westerns, but they tend to tell detailed moments of intense relationships in isolated areas of America where mutual dependence is essential. The fact they are “Westerns” is not essential to the overall story.

There are qualities of friendship, empathy, grit, courage and determination that sew these varied films into a celluloid quilt, but a person’s perception of pleasure is partly base on what rescued them from pain, I believe. Emotion doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

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Learning To Work With Your Hands…by Robert M. Katzman

by Robert M. Katzman © May 20, 2019

Learning to work with your hands changes your worldview and increases your ability to take care of yourself and be more independent. It also helps make a person more compassionate to other people’s physical limitations, because so many are one injury away from unemployment.

To me, judging another’s worth by what they do for a living is a sin. But then, running a wooden newspaper stand as a teenager to allow me to pay for high school with privileged classmates will create feelings like that in a person. Seven of my 160 classmates ended up working for me, at one time, or another. 

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Someone is Always Deciding What America is “Ready” For…by Robert M. Katzman

by Robert M. Katzman ©March 21, 2019

A nice person I know, Jewish like me, posted a reflection that America may not be ready to elect a gay person to be president. 


The basic idea expressed was that South Bend, Indiana’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s time was not “now” no matter how qualified he may be. I am not neutral and admire him, so I wrote this:


(I know others may not agree with me, but speaking up is why people came here in the first place. You are legally entitled NOT to agree with me in America or anyone else, but in a civilized way)

This country wasn’t “ready” for the revolution in 1776, either, and a third of the colonists were against it. Many fled to Canada. I know that long before that date, the Native Americans weren’t ready for the English.

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September 1, 1939: Real History Matters…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Life & Death,Old Fart Wisdom,Politics,Social Policy and Justice — Bob at 4:59 am on Saturday, September 1, 2018
Real history matters.
Today, September 1,1939, when almost no one remains alive who experienced it in either battle or government, Germany invaded France and Poland and World War ll began. The Asian war began much earlier.
Most people likely have no idea which countries lost more than a million people. The answer may surprise you.
For those strange people who deny the Holocaust ever happened, well, the greatest number of people killed in the two wars were overwhelmingly Christian or Asian. Many thousands of Muslims from both Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia were also killed. They are included in the numbers above.
As you read the shocking numbers, it might help to remember that the civilians didn’t start the war.
When you vote for whomever you vote, it would be good to remember the consequences of who makes the decisions which can make wars begin.
Generally, the war’s leader’s children survived.
 
I found this list of 40 countries losses online, but in order of greatest number killed, those 11 countries were:

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