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Written By: Rashon Leyf

First of all, let me say how honored I feel that our city’s mayor, George Jennifer, wished me to write the second portion of this acknowledgement of Blamesville. And let me also quickly say something which F. John Surells didn’t say in the first installment, i.e., Blamesville is not “the city”! It’s not the place where, over many years now, unexplainable and sometimes frightening occurrences have taken place. No, Blamesville is a symbolic city. It’s a place that’s home to both wrongdoers and wrongly accused doers of imagined crimes. But more importantly, it’s also the residence of those people who like to tell nasty stories about others, whether or not those stories are true.
But Blamesville does share one very significant trait with all other cities except one, and that one of course is my home city – the city. And that trait is that residents of Blamesville, as everywhere else, except you know where, are living (whether they know it or not, and about ninety nine percent of the time they don’t know it) bound by the restrictive societal rules laid down by what we in our city term “the status-quo”.
And now, knowing that, don’t expect me to follow any particular guidelines of literary etiquette in this piece! I’m free! And yes, although it may sound boastful to say this; today, at this point in my life, I’m as close to being absolutely free as any human probably has ever been – and God how significant that is to me – being a man of color!
Yet, in my life, I’ve often experienced a phenomenon in which my current mental focus has been upon one certain topic while I’ve wished, or sometimes even needed it to be upon another. Nonetheless, rest assured, I’ll say whatever I feel needs to be said here, be it anywhere from controversial to mundane, or optimistic to starkly negative. And, I won’t feel abidingly glad or sad no matter the reaction my words may accrue from the populace in general.
But when I read F. John Surells’ account of life in Blamesville, I was anxious then to likewise disclose my own observations concerning that figurative city of accusation. Yet, I was also reminded then of how easily one’s mind can stray when one contemplates such a place of sorrow. And one’s thoughts are always searching then – when such an area of disgrace is then the main focus of one’s mental study. And I’m sure my version of Blamesville’s relevance won’t be as insightful, or even as well-written as John’s, but hopefully whoever reads it will find it worthwhile.
Blamesville must be some sort of symbolic prison. It must be where, in their minds, all those who’ve received either warranted or unwarranted fault for various actions either committed or not committed, have gone to pine in their disenchantment with how all of life is unfolding for them at that time.
And Blamesville is, simply, a place of blame. And in its symbolic state, it’s home to not only the blamed, but the blamers as well. There, all gossipers and other mortals who know how to live so much better than we can exercise a free reign as they verbally denigrate us for our supposed errant lifestyles. But as I said, one’s thoughts can easily stray when one contemplates Blamesville. And sometimes, what might be termed “repercussions of blame” may come to one’s mind there.
Thus, today I’m thinking about how over the centuries so many mortals have striven to thwart all that could, and probably would have been of value to human advancement. And I’m wondering, shouldn’t we often consider how simply fortunate we are to be living upon planet Earth today – at this current time, when at least it’s free of the tyranny it knew in the first half of the 1940’s? Yes, but so many have sacrificed so much for us! And I fear to think of where we’d be today had the Axis won World War Two.
But some of my allies, who also despise blamers, wish me to lay the fault of mankind’s current condition directly at the feet of Eve and Adam. Yet, that begs me to ask what the original goal of humanity was, or was supposed to have been. Was it to have lived without sin forever upon the Earth? And had humanity remained sinless, would not each individual human then have lived upon the Earth in such a fashion as all sinless otherworldly beings now exist in heaven?
Well, although sin is now rampant upon Planet Earth, much time is still ours here for honest reflection. And so often we have chances here to affect significant changes, but fail to act upon them. And when we fail thus, I fear we then create ill-advised deviations from God’s plan. Thus, I’m thinking it was precisely to help us act when our action was necessary, that the divisions of mankind were first recognized. So, let’s say a prayer today for those delineations of humanity.
First, let’s salute both true and real artists. True artists show mankind truthful works of art. Yet remember, art is most truthful when it reveals life as it really is. And remember also, such revelation may be achieved through symbolism as well as physical creation. But real artists are the mortals who, outside the very literal circles of art, perform all the commonplace tasks of everyday life so well. And, let’s pray for the students of the highway. Masters from above, help them! Help them find the proper roadway upon which you intend them to travel during their temporal existences. And God, please keep the “status-quo” within your watchful gaze. Please stymie it from preventing necessary changes; but also help it retain all parts of societal life which should remain as they are today.
And, now that we’ve asked our petitions, perhaps we would do well to acquire, along with a concern for the proliferation of firearms, a serious fear of what occurs when mortals try to alter their basic core realities of being. If they were born a certain sex, then isn’t that the sex they were intended to remain? And, while I just asked for your prayers for the “status-quo” in the last paragraph, I fear that in the next one I’ll be commenting about how it propagandizes.
Yes, it’s probably because of my indoctrination by the “status-quo” that today I find I can’t be as concerned as I should be about all that’s been done for me by others. Yet, I do feel sorry for those who are suffering in Blamesville. And I wish I could at least verbally contradict those who are always so concerned that not everyone is living life as forthrightly as they are.
But usually when I find myself being rebuked especially harshly by the blamers, I find I can stand up to them! And that occurs because my mind always senses the evil contained in their false perceptions. And, as John stated in Part One of this discourse, any day is a day in which one may try to change, or at least acknowledge that changes occur.
But who knows what really fueled life as it was in bygone years? I suppose only those figuratively living in the past live with the realities of yesterday still. And, I imagine they may have some expanded insight concerning all that was, is, and probably will be. But I don’t envy them. It appears to me they’re unfortunately existing in a mental zone where all they comprehend will afford them no assistance in regard to their eventual dispatch to either one or the other of the realms of eternity.
And thus, I’d advise you to exercise impartiality as you learn of any supposedly real truths. And I’d admonish you thus, because to “learn of” something automatically leads one to assume or believe repercussions tied to that something’s accepted truthfulness; but what if that something isn’t truthful?
And I’ve always believed that closely associated with the belief of falsehoods, is the phenomenon in which certain mortals tell other mortals to live in a certain fashion, while they themselves live contrary to that form of conduct. And, yes, how rightly that criticism has fallen upon the so-called “Joneses” and those who follow them!
Well, I’m sorry Mr. and Mrs. Jones! I failed you. I took some chances in my life and tried to accomplish something which might have had a lasting effect, or which might have lived on after I died. But you were right of course! I should have just completed my education, perhaps gone into the military for two or three years, got married to a woman from the “status-quo”, had two or three children, avoided divorce, got a middle-class job, and kept my mouth shut until I died. But I guess there always have to be a few no-goods or non-conformists who just won’t remain in line.
Well, that’s how it is I guess! Yet, I can still remember someone from the “status-quo” exhorting me to be a man. And he went on to say then that “Once the actualities of the outside world become evident to you, you’ll be glad then that you only caught a cigarette while the teacher wasn’t looking, and also that you always kept your shirt tucked inside your trousers, and that you never let your hair grow longer than Mr. X’s.” And then he continued with more words of wisdom. “Basic guidelines and morals – they’re what we want. And when it comes to what’s important in life, by God we know that it’s not rocking the boat – so to speak”!
But you know, eventually the admonishments of the “status-quo” leave my thoughts. And just now I’m thinking that tomorrow it may be quiet and sunny here. Oh, but now my thoughts have turned to Blamesville! And now I’m wondering if tomorrow those in peril there will experience the meager sense of peace capable of being experienced there.
And sometimes I wonder if it would matter if we were living back in antiquity, or indeed back in the Middle Ages. It seems that’s where the “status-quo” would have us exist. And I’m certain that despite their destitution, tomorrow many of the residents of Blamesville will thank God for his goodness. And, in quiet rooms there, some will be allowed to experience memories from long ago – coming back to them. And then they’ll remember that amidst great negativity they struggle on for sanity, order, peace, and love.

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