The Pandumbic


“If you laugh with somebody,
then you share something.”
Trevor Noah


Trevor Noah

When the Coronavirus pandemic began, all the late-night shows such as The Tonight Show, The Late, Late Show and even Stephen Colbert began broadcasting their shows from home, usually their significant other filming their host husbands.

There was one show I had not watched before and that was  The Daily Show with host Trevor Noah. However, that changed when I began watching Trevor along with the other daily YouTube late night shows.

If you’re not familiar with Trevor Noah, he’s a 36-year old South African comedian, political commentator, writer and television host of The Daily Show. Born in Johannesburg, he began his career in 2002 as a comedian, presenter, and actor in South Africa. After coming to America in 2011, he became the first South African comedian to appear on The Tonight Show in the summer of 2013. As his popularity grew and Trevor became a recurring contributor on The Daily Show, he replaced Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show September 28, 2015.

I was a fan of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show but I must admit I stopped watching after he retired. I didn’t even give Trevor Noah a chance to show his talent. I now regret I did that, after becoming a diehard fan of Trevor.

After a few months of watching him on the Daily Show, I read his 2016 book, Born A Crime. He writes about growing up in South Africa, a child of interracial parents and apartheid South Africa. Trevor was kept mostly indoors in his youth by his mother, for fear that at any moment the government could take him away from her because of his interracial status. In South Africa before 1985, it was a crime to have interracial marriages as well as have an interracial child, hence the title of the book, Born a Crime. Against all odds, this smart, handsome, talented young comedian has made his way to the top. In my opinion, Born a Crime should be required reading for all young people.

If you don’t have cable, you can watch him on YouTube. Here’s a recent segment of  The Daily Social Distancing Show from July 22, 2020 he calls, The Pandumbic:

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I Must Mourn

“I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us.
I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary!
Your high independence only reveals
the immeasurable distance between us.”
Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass – February 1818 to February 20, 1895


Every year, Americans rejoice and celebrate Independence Day with great fanfare. Amidst colorful parades, flag hoisting ceremonies, and barbecue parties. On this day  Americans remember the suffering their forefathers endured to win them precious freedom.

For most of this country, this past 4th of July was less red, white and blue than normal. No parades, no concerts, no block parties or friendly barbecues but there was plenty of fireworks.

Shooting off any kind of fireworks is illegal in my neighborhood. You wouldn’t know that if you happen to be living or visiting here lately. The booms and hisses that start at sundown and go well into 3:00 am have been a nightly fixture since Memorial Day.

For the first time in decades, the 4th of July fireworks show was cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Redondo Beach has always had the traditional 4th of July fireworks display over the ocean for thousands to come and see for free. The show would begin at 9:00 pm and last for almost 45 minutes of spectacular fireworks ending in the explosive grand finale. Often when the show ended, the thousands of spectators would leave quietly and with very little trash left behind. If there were any stragglers left on the beach setting off small fireworks, you would see police peacefully and immediately put an end to these illegal activities.

There were no police to be found this 4th of July. There’s a war going on in this country right now not just with the Coronavirus but with all of its people.

A recent Gallup poll found that American Pride has hit a new low and few are proud of our political system. I don’t think I needed a poll to tell me this. It’s loud and clear. I hear the frustration every night, all night long.

It sounds to me, people are sick and tired of not working, lockdown, social distancing, not being heard, and most importantly lack of freedom.

We take for granted things we have had all our life. Take for granted people we know and love: Our good fortune and health: Our freedom. But, when we lose people we love, lose our health and good fortune what do we really have left? We have our freedoms of choice, speech, and the right to pursue our dreams. Most importantly, we have our freedom to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

On this 2020 Independence Day we must be reminded that not all Americans have enjoyed freedom since 1776. We must be reminded that there are still Americans, because of no fault of their own, have not been allowed to be truly free in their own country because of the color of their skin. They have not been free to pursue what all of us should have the freedom to do.

On July 5, 1852 Frederick Douglass gave a keynote address at an Independence Day event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. Frederick Douglass escaped slavery in 1838 and fled North. He became a leader in the fight to abolish slavery entirely.  Douglass was a powerful orator giving lectures on abolition. His speech that day was a scathing speech in which Douglass stated, “I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. For what to the slave is the 4th of July?  You may rejoice, I must mourn.”

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New Fashion Normal

“A mask tells us more than a face.”
Oscar Wilde


New Fashion Normal

Marine Serre’s Paris Fashion Week Show

Wearing a mask during a pandemic has a long history behind it. A masks first known medical use dates back to the Middle Ages when the Bubonic plague killed almost half of Europe’s population.

The original mask looked similar to a bird with a long black beak. This mask did little to protect its wearer from the plague. The long beak of the mask contained fresh lavender to act as a barrier from the noxious vapors that was believed to spread the plague.

It wasn’t until 1910 when the Manchurian plague in China killed 60,000 people, did doctors learn the true benefits of the mask. Chinese doctor Wu Lien-teh proved that the Manchurian plague was spread by droplets person to person. Wu was also responsible for promoting the idea of quarantine and the wearing of cloth face masks to combat the plague.

The mask has come a long way not only from social acceptability, but technically. Originally, masks were made from cloth or surgical bandages. These original masks were not as good as today’s N95 mask. The N95 is molded not woven out of synthetic fibers that filters at least 95% of airborne particles.

It’s a mask that owes its design to legendary industrial designer, Sara Little Turnbull, who designed molded bra cups back in the 1960s. Yes, you heard me right fellow Blogaholics, a molded bra cup design inspired the coveted N95 mask we know today.

Today, the face mask is morphing once again from medical to fashion necessity and becoming the new fashion normal.

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Lying King

“It is harder to crack prejudice than an atom.”
Albert Einstein

Lying King


How apropos that Saturday evening, I happen to watch a Star Trek episode aired on January 10, 1969, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”. It has a culturally relevant plot, reflecting the conflicts of its era, touching upon social issues such as racism, the Vietnam War and the threat of nuclear annihilation. Some things never change in this country.

We are living in unprecedented times in the history of America. Not only because of the pandemic but because of our current President. We have a President that is morally bankrupt, blatantly lies, prejudice, hateful and is self-serving as well as unapathetic. We already knew these personally traits of Trump before he was elected.

Our founding fathers laid down the beginning rules and shapes of the American government. They started it all. They were intelligent men who used what they had to create a nation that has become big and powerful and influential in the world until now.

The United States may have been founded on the idea that all men are created equal, but during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, slaveholding was common among the statesmen who served as president. At least 12 chief executives, over a quarter of all our presidents, were slave owners during their lifetimes. Of these, eight held enslaved people while in office.

At this particular moment, the most-watched show in America is a seven-part documentary series on Netflix, Tiger King. This says a great deal about the people of this country.

I’m proud to say I have not watched Tiger King. What I’ve heard about this show is, there’s something undeniably Trumpian about Joe Exotic, a televised carnival sideshow. It’s said that there are similarities between Trump and Exotic, including the fact that both appear to be crazy, make everything about themselves, and they see conspiracy theories everywhere. Joe Exotic loves portraying himself as an expert in his field, when the truth is, he has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s just winging it. Which, uh, again, should feel very familiar.

As I watched the riots, looting and violence unfold on every news channel this weekend, I couldn’t help but think how sad that our society is mirroring Trump and how backward this country is going. Lack of respect for people and lack of empathy is destroying this country. This nation began with hate, prejudice and lack of empathy towards its Native people when Columbus arrived here in August of 1492. Most likely, our country will end without any end to rampant racism.

When it comes to racism, we have made little progress in the last 528 years. While we did abolish slavery and gave rights to women, we have done little to abolish racism. We did elect a black president for not only one but two terms. However, during Obama’s presidency, hatred and lies were spread by Trump and his minions about Obama and his questionable US citizenship. Trump recently spread lies about Obama and his responsibility for our current pandemic. Trump and his allies have added a new dimension to his deceptions, the conspiracy theory known as, Obamagate.

What new deceits and lies will we hear in the coming weeks after the George Floyd riots from this lying king?

Shine On

The Beach After Quarantine


“We have been endowed with just enough intelligence
to be able to see clearly just how utterly inadequate
that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.
If this humility could be imparted to everybody,
the world of human endeavors
would become more appealing.”
Albert Einstein

RB After Quarantine Lifted

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