I Hate Cats!

Cats looking mean as fuckSome people like and even love cats, which of course, is why many of them own the damn things as pets. I unapologetically hate* cats! I’m glad Nature has blessed (not cursed) me to be allergic to those accursed creatures. However, even were I not allergic to cats (a medical professional diagnosis made way back in my 20’s) I would never own a cat nor want to be around them. I simply do not like nor do I trust cats. (Didn’t I just say I hate them?)

Because I consider cats to be self-centered/selfish-as-fuck creatures, I doubt they could ever be continuously and unconditionally loyal to and tolerant of humans. Now, I didn’t need the embedded video below to show or prove any of that to me. I’ve witnessed for years the kind of cat behavior shown in the video.

I’ve had sex with people who owned a cat or two (sometimes there’d be three) in their home. Let me tell you; it’s certainly something I’d prefer not to ever do again.

AN ANECDOTE:  
I recall one occasion of how annoyed I got with the damn felines jumping all over the bed and being near me and my [sex] partner while I was busy “laying pipe” (i.e. fucking, having sex). UGH! On two other separate occasions, just the cat dander in the living and bed rooms of each of those cat-owning partners caused me to have sneezing fits. And on yet a fourth occasion, I suffered constant itching as I laid in bed after sex. I remember scratching my entire naked body from my bald head to my feet. I wasn’t aware until a few moments later that my [sex] partner not only owned one cat but two – and would always allow them to sit or play on the bed. Anyway, the itching got so bad that I immediately jumped out of that bed, took a long cold shower, and went home. I was still itching – and sneezing – all the way home, followed by other symptoms of allergy/hay fever such as watery and sore eyes and runny nose.

Shower (GIF-1)The moment I got in the door of my apartment, I immediately stripped naked. It was a summer evening so all I had on that day were a t-shirt, pair of shorts, and flip-flops which I kicked in the corner of the foyer. I ran to my bathroom, hopped in the shower, and turn on the cold water. I just stood there under the cold stream of water, propping myself up against the shower wall. That cold water immediately relieved the itching. As I began to feel better from those itching symptoms, I warmed the water just a bit and began my normal soap cleansing. When I got done with showering, I took some allergy meds, made some hot tea, grabbed a box of tissues, and chilled in my recliner until I fell asleep. It took me two days to see significant recovery from that allergy. It was that bad.

Having experiences like that in the anecdote means that I will not knowingly date nor continue to date someone who owns a cat(s). It’s either me or the cat(s). No feline creature and I can ever be in the same room or home for very long, and certainly not in the bed where I’m having sex. Fuck cats!

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*A DISCLAIMER: My feelings about cats does not in any way whatsoever imply nor does it remotely suggest that I would ever harm or see harm done to a cat. Most cats are domesticated creatures. I respect their right to live except in those particular situations where they would pose a life-threatening danger either to myself or to someone else. It’s how I feel about dogs for which I have a great love.

A FINAL NOTE: It should be evident that this article – like many others published on Real Time, is one of personally expressed opinion and personal experience  mine. As such, I’d appreciate it if all the cat owners/lovers reading this article would kindly spare me their harsh criticisms. I’m aware that some readers who own and/or love cats might find the article (and video) “inaccurate” and/or offensive or even “insensitive”. Such personal thinking and sensitivities do not concern me and certainly have no influence on Real Time. Having said that, readers are advised that I will delete or will not publish any comment which I feel is or may be harshly negative. Readers who want to harshly criticize this article should do so on their blog and/or on their social media page. 

– RobFather X

Funerals and Memorial Services

A_Franklin funeral program book coverI was asked whether I watched or had recorded to watch later, some or all of the broadcast of Aretha Franklin’s funeral (held Friday, August 31, 2018). Here’s my response to that question.

No; I did not watch it, nor had I any intention of watching coverage of Aretha Franklin’s funeral. However, I did see a few very short video clips of her funeral as it was part of the local news here in Michigan (many of the Saginaw, Michigan area newspapers, and TV news and radio news stations were present at that funeral to cover it) and the ABC television network’s national evening news. I’m sure that networks like BET for example, and several internet websites will have various video clips of Aretha Franklin’s funeral. That content is sure to be available online if someday I’m ready or am willing to see and hear it.

Now, I did not know Aretha Franklin on any personal or professional level. I was – and still am, simply a lifelong fan of her work. I respected the late Queen of Soul and her music career. Aretha was not just a fellow Black American; she was an outstanding and talented individual, and a strong, independent woman. Had the opportunity to meet her presented itself, I would have been quite honored! I loved and still love most of Aretha’s music – much of which I’ve listened to since my childhood. However, as I’ve said, I did not watch the televised coverage of her funeral. In fact, I chose not to watch it. You see, I hate funerals and memorial services and will try to avoid going to such organized ceremonies which honor the dead. And since I do not like going to funerals or to memorial services (and I’m sure many other people don’t like going to them either, yet they still choose to go out of some obligation), I’d be damned if I was ever going to watch such a ceremony – not even one held for Aretha Franklin – on television.
(From this point forward, the following may offend some readers.)

_Funerals, memorial services1As far as I’m concerned, funeral and memorial services are not for the deceased but instead are for much of the vanity, egotistical and/or religious feelings, and sensitivities of the people who are living. Many people who want to have a funeral or memorial service for some loved or admired and respected person, only want that ceremony so that they can attend said ceremony, be seen there, and perhaps – if so allowed, to even speak at the service ceremony about the deceased. I suppose that’s okay, but some people only want to use the solemn ceremony for very selfish means.

I feel some funerals and memorial services are nothing more than a human ego sideshow for some of the [living] attendees – which would include some nefarious family members with an agenda, as well as so-called “friends” and/or frenemies of the deceased (a frenemy is a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry); persons who might use the occasion to either deceive themselves and/or someone else with displays of sympathy and mourning as they perform the pointless yet often meaningless acts of “paying their respects” to a…. dead person. The “respect” those persons call themselves paying should have been paid when the deceased person was alive; a time when signs of respect from other living people would have been appreciated. I know that I’d certainly appreciate people showering me with lots of love, affection, tears, and favorable comments about my character, and give me sweet flowers while I’m still alive and still mentally aware to see, hear, sense, and enjoy all of it!

Being non-religious and thereby non-superstitious, I do not believe that any spirit or ghost of a dead person travels to another place of existence nor believes that person’s spirit or ghost returns to visit the living (much less returns in time to attend their own funeral or memorial service). Furthermore, I seriously doubt the dead is capable of having any interest in displays of so-called “respect” [post-death] and would be even less interested in any organized ceremony which the living has put together to honor their death. Now, whether there are a few or there are several people who are actively involved in the funeral or memorial service preparation, some or many members of the family and close friends of the deceased might feel or might be made to feel or believe that the spirit or ghost of the deceased is able to give a damn about things like funeral preparations; Supposed spirit, ghost of the deceased1that the spirit/ghost of the deceased is present and watching to see whether they were going to have a nice, extravagant  funeral or simply a small, awful or perhaps a shitty funeral or memorial service. Playing with the ignorant yet religious or superstitious assumptions that the spirit or ghost of the deceased might linger around after the body has died or that it may return to monitor funeral or memorial service arrangements and implementation held in their honor, I challenge anyone to tell me exactly what, if anything, could the spirit/ghost of the deceased do about such things, particularly of said spirit/ghost isn’t pleased with the funeral or memorial service arrangements or with certain aspects of that ceremony.

It’s little wonder then why funeral and memorial service planners and directors make such big money. Death is big business! It’s quite easy to play upon the grief, stress, frustrations, confusion, and internal turmoil of a grieving family. Casket styles 4 saleSuch a family – often out of some guilt and/or perhaps because of their religious views, silly superstitions, or a family “curse” or fear, might succumb to all the funeral or memorial service preparation hype. I’m talking about the kind of hype that’s offered (perhaps pushed) by or added onto their grief-influenced decision-making by many supposedly sensitive and caring professional funeral and memorial services planners and directors; some of whom never miss a moment to remind the grieving family – particularly the person(s) who will be paying for the funeral or memorial service, that a particular ceremony amenity may be best for that husband, wife, mother, brother, sister, partner or friend of the deceasedIt’s not as though the “dearly departed” could either approve or disapprove with the funeral or memorial service arrangements.

Many years ago, I promised myself to never again attend or participate in a person’s funeral or memorial service unless it was under one or all of the following three conditions:

  • the funeral or memorial service was for someone whom I knew personally; someone whose airspace I had shared a number of times and/or for whom there had long been a mutual sense of love, respect, and admiration;
  • the funeral or memorial service was part of my job as a [then] military man or, if the deceased was an honorably discharged veteran – Burial at sea_USS PELELIU (USNavy)1-rzand fellow veterans were needed to volunteer to assist in the ceremony either as ushers, processional drivers, or pallbearers; or to assist with other ceremonial details such as serving as a member of the honor guard at the deceased veteran’s burial site which might either be at a cemetery or at sea.
    [S/N: During my service in the U.S. Navy, I had the distinct honor to participate in every function just mentioned for a number of U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps deceased veterans whose bodies were to be buried in either a cemetery or at sea, or whose ashes were to be scattered at sea.];
  • the funeral or memorial service was for a fellow and respected member of the fraternal order of Freemasons (of which I am a member), and that Masonic brother either was or had at some point of his service as a Mason, been a member of either my Masonic lodge or at some other Masonic lodge.

Once again it bears repeating: funerals and memorial services are for the livingThe dead…. that cold, lifeless human body that is being prepped for public display (aka a “wake”) has no say in the matter; unless of course the deceased had previously stated in a will or in some other legal or certified document, the desired details of their funeral or memorial service. Such documents may have instructions indicating the wishes of the deceased regarding things like: organ and tissue donation/dissemination, funeral or memorial service arrangements – including who is allowed/not allowed to attend said service/ceremony, and body burial or disposition (e.g., cremation) details. Often a member of the family – usually a spouse, an immediate relative, a parent of the deceased, someone with power of attorney (POA) for the deceased, or a personal or family attorney for the deceased, would be aware of such final instructions. Either that person or someone else who is recognized as the head of the family or the designated representative of the family will usually see to it that the wishes of the deceased, if any, are carried out. That person often works in concert or with the cooperation of the rest of the family to see that proper and desired funeral or memorial service arrangements for the deceased are carefully and properly planned and implemented.

In the United States, funerals and memorial services are considered private citizen type affairs; having only minor to no interference by the local and state governments other than of course, the laws in which all medical personnel, coroners, funeral and memorial service planners and directors must follow. Memorial services1However, if for some reason the deceased had no living spouse, no relatives, or anyone legally authorized to act in his or her stead for post-death affairs (e.g. like the aforementioned organ and tissue donation/dissemination, funeral or memorial service arrangements, and body burial or disposition details, etc.), or if the deceased had no legal representation in such matters, nor any legal document indicating their post-death wishes, then the local and/or state government steps in and does whatever standing ordinance and/or state law requires in such matters.

I have been to my share of funerals and/or memorial services over the past thirty years to have been disappointed and sometimes appalled by some of the hypocrisy demonstrated by some of the people who attended the funeral or the memorial service of persons I personally knew and had loved and respected. Those experiences and perceptions helped shape my opinion and attitude about funerals and memorial services. I have little reason yet to change how I feel.

– RobFather X

Carolyn Franklin: Someone You May Not Know

Carolyn Franklin-1

NOTE: The article here inspired me to write the article you are about to read.

I had long known of Aretha Franklin’s younger sister Carolyn Franklin (May 13, 1944 – April 25, 1988). Carolyn herself was a singer and a songwriter and had both written for and sang backup on several of older sister Aretha’s songs. What I did not know was that Carolyn was very likely “family” (a LGBT code word meaning that one is gay or self-identifies as being of a non-heterosexual orientation in the LGBT+ community). Read this article link and this article link then continue reading my article. Perhaps you’ll see why the information about Carolyn has significance.

You see, this article about Carolyn Franklin was posted on Facebook shortly after Aretha Franklin’s death on August 16, 2018. Along with the countless number of postings on multiple social media networks that were made about Aretha, there were several naysayers on those networks who felt that talking about Aretha’s late sister Carolyn – and making particular mention of her sexual orientation – especially so soon after Aretha’s death, was inappropriate and insensitive. Unlike some of the people on social media who had negatively commented on the article, I saw nothing wrong with the article author writing and sharing that tidbit of information about Carolyn Franklin nor with that author making mention of her non-heterosexual orientation. It’s simply something I’m sure many people did not know and perhaps would appreciate knowing. Still, regardless of any appreciation factor, why hide the alleged fact that Carolyn was or may have been lesbian? While Carolyn Franklin possibly being lesbian is not now nor should it ever be an issue in and of itself, that information either does or may have particular significance for those of us who are not only fans of the late Aretha Franklin but who also happened to be either non-heterosexual or heterosexual allies of the LGBT+ community; we who realize the sad yet unfortunate fact that we live in a country and a world where there are still many people who have bigoted and senselessly personal, socially negative and/or religiously negative attitudes against people who are non-heterosexual and/or about non-heterosexuality itself.

A person’s sexuality should never be the main or primary focus of who a person is, although it is an important if not significant part of who that person is. (I hope that makes sense.) In many ways, a person’s sexuality can often help develop, perhaps even help define a person’s character and personality. In short, I feel that a person’s sexuality/sexual orientation should no more be hidden or suppressed, nor should it ever be mocked or made shameful than any other aspect of a person’s nature and humanity.

I believe that had Carolyn Franklin lived during the last twenty to thirty years, she may have been a LGBT rights activist or spokesperson for LGBT civil rights causes and struggles for acceptance, equality, and of course, respect. Perhaps she was or had wanted to be such a person but, as of this writing, I am not aware of nor can I confirm that sort of information. Still, Carolyn’s alleged feelings for women are either expressed or implied in some of the songs she wrote. I also believe her older sister Aretha had openly respected and supported her gay sister whom she loved, just as she (Aretha) was known to have openly loved, supported, and treated with respect many other people – some of them famous like herself, regardless of their non-heterosexual orientation.

In summary, the article I’m discussing is simply about Carolyn Franklin, a deceased younger sibling of the late Aretha Franklin. Carolyn Franklin was someone who was important in Aretha’s life; a person who had made a name for herself as a song writer and recording artist, and who had contributed to Aretha’s fame, as well as to music history itself. Any biographical revelations about Carolyn Franklin should no more be ignored nor rejected from public awareness than the biographical histories of her sisters Aretha and Erma and their father, the late Reverend C.L. Franklin.

I disagree with those persons who choose or have chosen to take the article in negative form and/or who perceive it as being some kind of post-death ugly attack on Aretha Franklin’s fame and contributions to society, if not perhaps upon the late Aretha Franklin herself. It simply isn’t like that at all in my view. Anyone who knows and respects anything about Aretha’s family roots and life history would not read more into the article than what it is.

Click here to see and hear more biographical information on Carolyn Franklin and her sisters Aretha and Erma, in the Soul Facts video (on YouTube) or watch it below.

– RobFather

 

TRANSITIONS: Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin was born Aretha Louise Franklin on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. She grew up in Detroit Michigan. Aretha was known world-wide as the undisputed “Queen of Soul”. After a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Aretha Franklin transitioned Thursday, August 16, 2018, in her Detroit, Michigan home. She was 76.

Although Aretha and I have never met, my entire life was filled with listening to both her gospel and her secular music. As such, I came to love her voice, her singing style, and of course, her music.

Aretha Franklin-1 (RFX- edit)Aretha Franklin was indeed an icon, a legend, a musical genius, and a musical goddess, if you will. She was also a humanitarian – real person in terms of her character, her down-to-earth attitude, and her common touch with her community. Although Aretha will sorely and surely be missed by me and by millions of people the world over, her legacy will live on.

I am grateful and thankful for Aretha Franklin and for her countless yet selfless contributions to the entertainment and music industries, most especially to the [U.S.] Civil Rights movement, and to human society overall. I love you.

– RobFather

 

Aretha Franklin and the Reality of Life

Many people – and supposedly even Aretha Franklin herself, are/have been asking for prayers for her reportedly gravely ill health. The fact is, prayers do not work and will not work to change her situation. There is zero evidence of prayers ever being answered on the supernatural or so-called “divine” level. Only the science of medicine, Aretha’s physical ability to heal, and her own will power to live can ever have a hope of improved health. It is, has always been, and will always be the same as anyone else in any ill or poor health situation.

Aretha Franklin-5

As much as I may love and respect Aretha Franklin and much of her work, I only understand and can accept one fact that’s based on the reality of life: when it’s Aretha’s time to transition (i.e., die) it will simply happen. While some readers may consider my words to be “cruel and insensitive” (which isn’t at all my intent), it doesn’t change the truth of the matter; one which awaits us all someday.

– RobFather X