Listen and Learn
(click on the link above before getting to the second part of this blog entry… )
If you watch TRMS (The Rachel Maddow Show) on a regular basis, like we do (without fail every weeknight at 9 pm on MSNBC), you’ll know this already. But if you don’t, and you are wondering what all the hoopla is these days about her and her show and the incredible adoration that has been heaped upon this television anchorperson of late… then click on the link above and see for yourself. I believe this was from last night, 24 May 2017 because, like I said, we watch it every night.
The fact that “we” watch it every night has little to do with me, either. If we had gone along as we’d been going along all these last 31 years of our married life, with my husband being a right-leaning political person and me being more of a wack-o lefty… you probably could never have convinced him to sit and watch a full hour of Rachel Maddow on telly every weeknight, like we do now.
I had been a fan of hers but not THAT big of a fan that I’d give up my bedtime of going up at 9 p.m. to my cosy bed. But now I do – now WE do. Our whole evening is geared around waiting and then watching, listening, and learning what Rachel has to say about the world events of the day. It’s that important to us. Both of us.
Back a ways, during the presidential campaign from hell, as we just went thru last year, I wanted him to see a Rachel show and he just waved it away saying he couldn’t STAND her and the way she delivered her monologue on her show. I said, but dear! She’s so good, just watch ONCE and you will see what I mean… he didn’t understand.
Then one night for some un-remembered reason now, we both watched Rachel just when things were heating up and it was becoming apparent that the Dumpster was on his way to becoming the Repub. candidate for Prez.
Rachel has an interesting way of telling a story. She usually goes a good 20 minutes, from 9 pm til 9:20 at least, without a commercial break. Which is odd enough. But it allows her to develop, in her own inimitable way, her story so that the average viewer can fully appreciate the meaning of it all and not just sit there, eyes glazed over, and not really soaking it in. She drills home the important points, sometimes describing them three times in a row, in different words, so we will “get it.” And we do.
After that first night when we watched Rachel together… the next night, Paul said “What time does Rachel come on?” (Huh?)
He was not going to miss her — ever again! And he/we haven’t missed her again. On the odd night that she is not there, we are crushed! Fill-ins just don’t cut it. It has to be Rachel or no one.
Waiting over the long two days of the weekend is torture for us. Mondays roll around and we are both chomping at the bit for 9 pm to roll around again.
I would never have predicted this in a million years. I also would never have predicted that my right-leaning, conservative, always a Republican previously husband would change to “Independent” and then, last year, vote for Bernie Sanders in the primary! But he did. If you know Paul, you can sort of understand why it’s so amazing.
This is getting too long and I haven’t begun the main thing I came here to say!
Rachel Maddow Video
Once you’ve watched the little video above, especially the portion with former CIA Director Brennan telling about how the Russians recruit Americans to do their dirty work for them, you will have the background for my little story here. So please watch it first, and then read on.
Back in 1972 or 73, I can’t remember which year, my first (ex) husband and I were living in Bloomington, Indiana. Bill was a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, with a specialty in Soviet Foreign Policy. Never having had the advantage of going to college before that time, I had just enrolled in Indiana University, majoring in history, after having worked for a full year as a medical transcriptionist in the Bloomington Hospital Radiology Dept. Hey, someone had to support us!
It was lovely. For the first time in my young adult life, since the age of 18, I did not have to work a full-time job. I got a small Student Loan, and I also had a part-time work-study program where I would go into the office of one of the departments each morning for 2 hours and do typing… for very small pay. Bill had a scholarship as well as student loans, and with this small amount of money, we barely managed to make ends meet there in Bloomington. We lived on campus in married student housing. We had a cat and didn’t learn until we’d moved out there that cats were not allowed in our high-rise apartment building, but we kept “Bruno” with us, anyway. We hid him. One day when the campus police came by to do a routine but unannounced apartment inspection (to weed out the filthy dirty tenants who were unsavory types), they got us for having a cat! They gave us 2 weeks to either get rid of Bruno or to move out.
We went down to the student place and pleaded with them… he’s been our cat for a few years now and we couldn’t think of getting rid of him! How inhuman could they be?
But they won. He had to go – or we had to go. No moving them.
So we moved out to the Indiana countryside, about 5 miles away from the University, to a cute little town-house neighborhood where the rents were downright affordable. Bruno, Bill and I.
Then one day it happened. We were approached.
I don’t really remember if he was from the phone company or where… but a young man, around our ages, (24/25), came to our door when we were both home studying and came into our home. When he was done with whatever he said he was doing there, he stopped to chat with me (Bill was upstairs but was listening to the whole thing hidden away in the hall upstairs). This guy was telling me about a cat he’d had that had recently died from cancer (our previous cat had died from leukemia at 1 year of age!) so we had that in common. Then he started mentioning a few names of men he knew on campus and they happened to be some of Bill’s professors and one, in particular, was his Ph.D. Advisor. Wow!
Then he got talking about someone on TV, I think it was Marvin Kalb but not 100% sure… and Bill had somewhat known him, as well, from our time in Washington, D.C. (where he graduated from U. of Maryland the year before this). This guy in our home was hitting all the bases with us.
Then he asked us if we ever thought about visiting “an island to the south of the U.S.” – he couldn’t quite remember the name of it… and since I wasn’t really in the know back then, I couldn’t help him. (Bill, on the other hand, upstairs and eavesdropping, knew exactly what “island to the south of us” he was talking about. But he remained silent for a little while more. He was talking up this great little island, how we’d probably fit right in with the people who lived there… and he went on and on about all of this, with me, like a dunce, just lapping it all up.
Finally, Bill had had enough, and down he came and told this guy to just go… get out of our house! I thought he was just being rude… and finally he convinced the guy to get out. Then he told me why. The guy was trying to recruit us to become spies or something like that… just as John Brennan talked about in the video above… and he’d done his homework! They knew all kinds of things about us… mentioned people we knew… HIS cat had had cancer (yeah, right!) and there were many other things, too.
I asked what island he was talking about, and Bill said “Cuba, of course!” He was recruiting us.
I was quite shaken by this. But because Bill was so adamant that he leave us alone… he did… we failed his test of good specimens for “The Cause” I guess. Scratch them off the list. Move on to more unsuspecting suckers.
So that’s my story and how we escaped becoming just some more statistics in the never-ending world of political high espionage and intrigue.
And the reason I tell this story here is that what John Brennan said was so true and I can attest to it because it happened to me once, way back in time, in what seems like another lifetime.
So if you don’t already do it, and you want to learn more about what’s really going on in this topsy-turvy political world we live in, tune in to The Rachel Maddow Show every weeknight at 9 pm EST on MSBNC. It’s a whole education and it’s free! (except for the exorbitant cable fees they charge now-a-days.)
Bex & Co.
(Our little townhouse outside Bloomington, IN (the one with the black trim around the door) where all this intrigue took place, just inside that door! )
(above, me around the time this all took place)