commentary / Meandering / Politics

Meandering Monday about the Manners of Emily Litella

I have fond memories of Emily Litella, one of Gilda Radner’s characters from the original class of Saturday Night Live. The lady would get on the news report giving a concerned citizen’s report on some issue that she was concerned about. She would berate parents for protesting “violins on television” (instead of violence), or complain about the “busting of school children” (bussing) all over the country, or an “eagle rights amendment” (equal). Emily Litella had passion about what she believed (yes, passion is a good thing), because she wanted the world to be a better place. She would misunderstand something she had heard (like the examples I listed) and go on a tirade about it, until the anchor on the news report would tell her that she had misunderstood, and what the REAL topic had been.

There she was – in a position where she could have chosen to become defensive and go into denial in an effort to avoid humiliation, and instead she would take it in stride, face the camera, and end with a very pleasant “Oh. I’m sorry. Never mind!”

There was always an either stated or implied acknowledgement that she had made a mistake, and moved on.

In these contentious times, all of us could use some Emily Litella. Recently, President Trump was speaking of the murderous MS-13 gang and referred to them as “animals.” Now, it didn’t help that various members of the opposition chose to misrepresent it as a reference to ALL immigrants, and that narrative was served when the media chose to cut the twelve seconds that made it clear MS-13 was the object of his “insult” (sorry – from what I’ve seen of MS-13’s behavior, it’s animals who should be insulted by the comparison.) But what is truly sad is the number of people I have seen who reacted as though Trump was insulting all immigrants, and when it was made plain that he was targeting terroristic gang members, rather than admit to being wrong, these people went into all sorts of contortions to continue ridiculing what Trump had said, including defending MS-13 as though they were being mistreated worse than the people they have tortured and killed.

That’s right – rather than get past their mistake, they’ve doubled down. This type of irrational stubbornness and lack of intellectual honesty has made it impossible to have a civil discussion of our differences and come to some semblance of agreement – even if it is only to agree to disagree.

It would be nice, sometimes, if we could all have a little more of that “Oh. I’m sorry. Never mind!”

Just saying…


So, my June 8th release is still up in the air. “Breathing is Overrated” is back in the stable again and has seniority (that means it was written earlier, and it’s been out to as many markets as anything else), but there’s one more market I’d like to try it in before I ePublish (it may be irrational, but the fact that “Breathing is Overrated” won me a Writers of the Future Honorable Mention makes me hopeful that another market might bite.) I’m waiting to see what else is going to return to the stable.


CollectionTheLast3CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent publication The Last Three ‘Things I Could Get Out of My Mind’  – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri


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