Tudors, Good Shepherds, and Authentic Cheerleaders

I’ve made a mistake that I didn’t realize I was making until it was too late. I suppose that makes it a true mistake rather than fool judgment. I generally am not a conspiracy theorist, not because I think it’s based on untruths, but because I think a lot of it isn’t. So I just don’t go there.

A week or so ago I started watching the Tudors. I don’t watch much TV and watch almost everything in the rearview (Yes, Netflix, I accept payment for endorsements). I have a hard time with the misogyny, the castes, the disparity between social groups. But I can watch it in some suspended historic mindset and consider progress. I was tempering most of it pretty well until the scene in which Katherine of Aragon discovers that Henry has an illegitimate son, and her only response (in this fiction) is, ‘But is my daughter Mary still heir?’ Of course she isn’t. This is the problem to Catherine, not that Henry’s banging everything with knees or has no interest in her personally. It’s that her daughter will not be queen. Times have changed.

Or have they? Over the weekend I watched The Good Shepherd, in which the early days of the CIA are fictionalized, based on real accounts. Enter Yale’s Skull and Bones elite, of which in this depiction of the story (I don’t know what bits of it were factual and what weren’t) original creators of the CIA and other covert groups in government were members. Nah. There’s no modern caste system. A bunch of STOOPID rich white guys who really can’t stand or trust each other but will stick together til the end, because to do otherwise would get them killed, or worse, poor. Then there are their wives, who are groomed to husband hunt in the infest herds, and will endure any manner of indecency to retain wife and mother status. And again, everyone’s banging everybody.

Few people truly rise from obscurity to heights of great success or wealth, anywhere. That’s no historic truth or tired adage. It’s true, still. And now, when all I hear on a daily basis are stories of people who are nearing broke or poorer health because they have lost their jobs or health coverage, or homes… I realize how imperative it is that we do every little thing we can to bless all of our efforts to help each other. And in the publishing and writers’ circles I hear constant stories about MY career, MY rejections, MY project… I’m guilty of it, too.

The thing I see through this timeline is that it doesn’t really matter whether the overall infrastructure of economy or class changes, better or worse. It’s how we treat each other. It’s how we acknowledge that we’re still part of a community and it’s our obligation to know what that community is and how to serve it. And it’s our obligation to be authentic cheerleaders to each other to remember all of the little things we do that make a difference to ourselves, to others, for everyone.

For that I’d like to thank my authentic cheerleader. Have you thanked yours?

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