Friday, Nov 22, 2019
 
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Friday, Nov 22, 2019
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Speakeasy Speed Test

Cost of the
War in Iraq
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Eye to eye
by Beau Burriola - SGN Foreign Correspondent

"Did you hear about that new dollar coin?" my mom asked. "They took off the 'In God We Trust.' I don't believe in that. I ain't gonna have nothin' to do with that coin."

Silence.

More often than I am ever going to be comfortable with, my mom says things I will never really understand or agree with, so I just listen and remind myself we are family. She has loads of random statements describing thrice-forwarded e-mails about the war or some injustice being done to the flag or soldiers that seems like a transparent ploy to me. I no longer feel the need to argue, for example, that 'In God We Trust' doesn't mean the end of the existence as we know it. Instead, I just listen in wonder at how we can be so different.

"It just won't work," my uncle Danny said, pushing his point home about why Gay people could never be allowed to be in the military. "How would the showers work? No, that just can't be done."

Silence.

All the time, when I'm talking to Uncle Danny, I try to just tune out and think of something else and remind myself we are family. I've argued a lifetime worth of reasons why anyone who would be willing to die for a country that doesn't accept them exhibits more patriotism than those who claim to own it, and the right to exclude people from it, but it hasn't changed a thing. In the same way Uncle Danny looks at Mexicans, Jews, or anyone that doesn't look, drink, and bark like he does, he'll never change his opinion on how Gay people in a military shower "just won't work." So, instead, I just listen and wonder at how we can be so different.

"I hope the primary goes on for a long time," my sister, Jamie, commented with a grin. "Then more stuff will come out about the Demo-CRAT Party."

Silence.

These days, when my sister says things I've heard from conservative talking heads like Rush Limbaugh, I just listen and remind myself we are family. Sometimes, when I can find something neutral enough to say in conversations like these, I'll bring them up; but most of the time I try not to rise to the bait, to enter a dialogue that results in a million web searches of ideological research tanks for evidence that supports arguments already decided. We all have our beliefs and we find information to justify them for ourselves. So, instead, I just listen in wonder at how we can be so different.

Although we never see eye to eye, although sometimes the random and unexpected ideological phrases come out like projectile vomit, I just keep my head down and count to ten and remind myself that my family see the world differently than I do.

"I just don't know what this country iscoming to," my mom said, still on about the coins.

Then again, maybe we do see eye to eye on some things.

"I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out." - David Sedaris

Beau Burriola is a Queer writer slowly (and sometimes wincingly) growing into the family man role. beaubrent@gmail.com
visit Beau at www.beaubrent.com

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