In Public With John & Joan Q.

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I had quite an interesting day yesterday. Many of my fans and listeners have asked me repeatedly if I have time to have a “life”(referencing the amount of hours I research, read and study for the show) . In order to prove it I sent out some photographs of my “life” and yesterday was invited out for “fun times” in public with some friends. I decided to take them up on it.

Understand as host of the Meria Heller Show,
webcasting into my fourth year, I get asked all the time from Publicists, Publishers, Journalists and more what the political climate is in Republican Arizona. Some think my response is because of the “circles” I travel in. Make no mistake, I don’t travel in political circles at all on my “spare” time. When I reply that I haven’t met one person in Arizona that favors Bush, people think I’m making it up. When I tell people that more people are aware of the truth of what is going on, they find that hard to believe as well. Well, take a little journey with “Meria the Party Going Babe” (after hours) and check out how things seem to always be set up for me to be working twenty four seven. It was quite the day out in public with John Q and Joan Q Public……..

My good friend Lenny was coming into town with his band traveling through Arizona to a job in Yuma and asked me to join them for lunch. I finished up my show, and booked it downtown to an Italian restaurant in the City district of Phoenix. Along with a dead ringer Elvis impersonator, we were nine for lunch. My friend Lenny sat next to me, and to my surprise four of us were from Brooklyn, New York. I imagine I am only there to have a pleasant lunch with an old friend and his group. I don’t know the moment it started, but the news started being discussed. Ah, the fire began to grow and I was asked a few questions. Before you knew it we were discussing the stolen election, the Wag the Dog of 9/11, the setup and foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor and other hot topics. One of the men got pretty angry and said “how do you know that’s TRUTH?” I said “how do you know it isn’t?” He was very angered by my talk of foreknowledge even though I quoted Mr. Kean’s remark on the investigation of 9/11 and the reluctance of the White House to give him information. He then figured the best thing to say was “I was in Vietnam”. I said “really?”. Well, were you there under the Phoenix Program? (thanks to Doug Valentine and his awesome book, same title). He said “I don’t know what I was there fighting under but I was in Vietnam”. I said then find out what the Phoenix Program was and you’ll find out the real reason you were in Vietnam. I had spoken “conspiracy” –” Gore Vidal’s word for “unspeakable truth”. After he calmed down, I said “Look, I was raised in Brooklyn. I was raised around the Mob. I know how things work and don’t work and I want answers. I wasn’t raised to shut up and do as I’m told”. We knew and wanted to know the score of everything that went down in the neighborhood and our world. I still do. That –” he could relate to. So much for just an innocent lunch I thought. He seemed calmer after that, and I had a sense he wouldn’t forget that conversation anytime soon.

Another good friend of mine, Ray, asked me to go out and have some fun. He was invited to a Halloween Party and a Fashion Show after that. It sounded like fun, so I put on a new orange sweater, black slacks, a spider pin and I was ready to go have some fun. This time we were going into snooty, hoi poloi, super expensive, super white Downtown Scottsdale. Just a few miles from where I had lunch, but another planet altogether. The party was held at a beauty salon/gallery. Yuppie City. I don’t remember seeing a black face in the crowd, but that’s not unusual for the area. I was determined to be a “fly on the wall” drink some Marguerita’s and just have some fun. Yeah, like that could happen. What happened at this innocent, far from wild Halloween people may shock you, but don’t stop reading……

Everyone was costumed by what I assume is what they wish they were: two Cleopatra’s, several hookers, a hippie, an ice cream man, monster masks and one awesome man dressed up as a Native American. There was good food, music, and a marguerita machine that churned out margueritas like a soft ice cream machine. It was FAR from heavily doused with alcohol……harmless enough for a totally harmless crowd. A few artists were sculpting live in front of the place, people sitting with their little drink cups in front, it was a beautiful cool night and rather subdued group. A friend of mine who recently moved here from Bosnia showed up with his wife. He was astounded by our “culture” and had lots of questions coming from his shock, and a lot of comparisons to “back home”. He had many questions, which I felt the answer was the same to. I told him the answer to “why do American woman dress up like hookers”; “why do white people sit on the curb and eat their dinner like dogs”; and “why would those same people curse out Mexicans doing the same thing a few blocks away” was the same. No matter what question he would ask observing us as most foreigners would, the answer would be the same: Americans are phucked up. The same women who dress up as Egyptians (everyone wants to be Cleo, no one wants to be a chambermaid in Egypt) are the same ones who have no problems with the U.S. killing that race in our wars right now. The men dressed up as “tough guys” are the same ones that need Viagra to be men. The racists who can eat in the street while thumbing their noses at the Mexican laborer eating in the street, are just that –” Racists. America is a country of racists. We had a few good laughs at it all. I love watching the world through others eyes. Then the whole party turned Orwellian as fascism came to pay a visit……..

I was sitting on a low concrete wall in front of the gallery, eating some pasta, and sipping a marguerita in a red plastic cup ( I hate plastic & paper utensils). Some people were milling about in front of the gallery conversing. Some were sitting with their little see through plastic drink cups at café type tables. Did I mention it was a beautiful cool, clear Arizona night? On the wild scale of partying, this party was a 2, far from 10. The people middle-aged, tame, inhibited white Scottsdalites. The music middle of the road, and not blasting. The set up is important to the story. Opposite from where I was sitting, with one foot on the curb, and one on the street, was the Native American costumed man. He wore beige buckskin pants and shirt, with fringe, his long dark hair flowing beautifully, his face with war paint. He was alone in that spot, and with all the tumult, for all intents and purposes so was I on the concrete wall.

Suddenly three policemen on bicycles wearing Bermuda shorts police uniforms and crash helmets (on bicycles for Gosh sakes) pull up on the curb like Elliot Ness looking for Bugsy Siegel. My first thought was that they were in costume for the party. Then I realized that in Scottsdale, cops actually ride bicycles. One of them pushes ahead of the “native American” who doesn’t move an inch and asks in a loud tone “who’s the owner of this place”. He’s told she’s not there, but would be back in 20 minutes. He starts yelling, as the other two cops (none of them look old enough to shave) push through and start joining the Ashcroft party brigade telling people to get inside immediately with their drinks. The lead cop says that all the bars would start serving outdoors if we continued to have our drinks outdoors (this was his justification?). I remarked to myself “hmmm….I don’t see any other bars or any bars on this street”. We were basically on a commercial street after business hours in a DEAD section of town. Yet, this little wind-up cop was throwing his weight around. EVERYONE made a made dash for the door and went inside almost resembling a crowd at a good soccer game in Europe. I was astounded. I didn’t budge, nor did my drink…..and lo and behold….neither did the Indian.

The panic that ensued from the Cleos, hookers, and tough guys was almost laughable, but not quite. FEAR made them all run away. FEAR kept them inside the building. FEAR made them say “get in here before you get ARRESTED”. At no point did any of these cops show badges. Nor, did anyone ask them for one. They had no “due cause”, no one asked; no complaint in hand, no one asked; and the worse thing, they said they’d be back and if anyone was outside drinking they wouldn’t get a fine, they would be ARRESTED. No one questioned them. No one came outside. I was still sitting there, feeling pretty invisible but felt the same lack of fear or flight that I usually do around authority figures. Maybe it’s that Brooklyn thing again….

When my friend came out I said loudly enough for people to hear, this is how fascism starts in America. This is how it happened in Germany. This is what FEAR instead of knowledge of your rights does. I was able to give quite an earful to several people now and one man said “I don’t know who this woman is, but she’s got some big balls and knows everything”. I decided to go ask the “Indian” why he didn’t move. As an artist, I wished I had a camera with me to photograph him in front of those very white, very young, very angry cops. He said he really didn’t know why not. I asked if he was Native American. He laughed and said “no, I’m Philippine”. I said “wow” that would be reason enough to get the crap kicked out of you in Scottsdale. Another gentlemen came over and started talking with us about what had happened. I told the “Indian” that for that few minutes he stood proudly for an entire beautiful race of people who were defiant in the face of their executioners who stole their country out from under them. It was such a powerful visual for me. Well, that was all that was needed for the new man to start talking politics with us. Mind you, NO ONE knew me there, nor knew of what I do for a living. He rambled on about the stolen election, the illegal wars, Bush being an idiot, etc., much to my pleasant surprise! We got involved in a huge political discussion with bystanders ears perking up. We discussed the fascism we had seen before our very eyes, the fear that people are conditioned by and the dangers posed by it all. It was exhilarating. Of course at that point I gave them cards and told them about my show. I made lots of new friends last night. Well, about this time my friend Ray told me it was time to go to the fashion show. Off we went for even more surprises.

The fashion show was by four young designers to raise money for a charity as well as kick off their fashion season. The crowd was entirely different. The age dropped by twenty years. Beautiful young people, stylishly put together, anxious to do something constructive on a Thursday night. The event was held in and outside a huge gallery at the Scottsdale Civic Center, only blocks from the earlier party. The runway was surrounded by a sea of youth. The music was good, the fashions pretty way out there, and the show was on. Ray got separated from me in the crowd, but I could see his head bobbing through. When a new male designer started his collection down the runway, I thought my ears were hearing “celestial music”. An anti Bush song started playing, with Bush’s own hateful words over the hip hop music as the model stalked the runway. Ray looked at me in disbelief, it by some wave of magic I had orchestrated the music and the youth. As I say all the time, our kids are ALRIGHT!!! It got warm inside, so I went outside for some air. I sat down next to two lovely young women, and complimented one on her shoes. I asked what language they were speaking to each other, and they told me they were from Romania. A few minutes later a young man joined us. He introduced himself and said he was from Brazil. He said he came here years ago for the “freedom” in America, and now he fears even speaking English if he goes back to Brazil to visit his family. He started telling me how bad America is viewed in the eyes of the world now, how dangerous Bush is, he was against the war, and couldn’t believe that we as a nation sat down for our election being stolen in 2000. What a conversation! Who would have thought it? Again, a great discussion was continued, while Ray who thinks the weirdest things happen when we’re together was astounded by what he was hearing. Needless to say, I gave them cards and I know I have some new listeners there. When America talks of other races as if they are separate from Americans, take a look at the different nationalities I met in one evening in a small section of America. The face of America has changed. The world has changed. All has changed except those in power who still think and fight antiquated war. All in all it was a pretty successful and interesting day and evening.

The point I’m making in this article is that there are MORE of us that are aware than our corporate owned media will tell us. The youth of this country is ALRIGHT, actually quite fabulous I may add. I have not met one single person who supports Bush in Arizona, a primarily Republican state. No one believes in this war. No one wants to fight this Halliburton war. No one wants their kids there either. In the face of fear and threats by a few “cops” boomers run and follow orders. Our children won’t. Our kids have turned out great despite the failings of our generation. They have their own minds, they BLESS the internet, and they are accomplishing great feats that we would have been too afraid to even try. I met with a young 28 yr old father this week. I asked him “what do you want”? His answer “freedom”. Freedom for myself, my family and the people of the world. Amazing. Lovely. Inspiring. To conclude this article, I want to borrow some lines from Al Crespo “Protest In the Land of Plenty” a recent guest: “There are those who chose to stand, while the majority chose to sit”. America needs to STAND and stand now. Stand for freedom and nothing less.

Patriots are alive and well all over the country, even in the most unlikely places and situations. They also come in all ages, colors and sizes. Never give up. Freedom can’t exist for any if it doesn’t exist for everyone.

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