Sunday, March 10, 2013


A DRUMHEAD is defined as a court-martial held in the field to hear urgent charges that have been committed in action.  The term is said to originate from the use of a drumhead as an improvised writing table.  The term mostly has connotations of summary justice, with an implied lack of judicial impartiality.

My squinny, skinny definition:  A decision made in haste.

For example, LOOKISM, according to psychologists and everyone else, we tend to judge people by their physical appearance.  As a heterosexual male, I’m thinking of the 36-24-36 Marilyn Monroe type.  As for me (I’ve stated before) I am tall and dark and handsome.  These are simple drumheads.

Another example of hasty judgments we make are the result of THREADISM, judging people by the clothes they wear.  I do this all the time.  People who wear home team hockey jerseys to the game, I think, look geeky.  (This same judgment is not meant for football fans.)  As a busker, cap-a-pie I’m usually bareheaded, white long-sleeve shirted, blue-jeaned with working boots.  I don’t like sloppy people and I don’t like scruffy unpolished shoes.

JOBISM is another drumhead decision made by a lot of people.  When I used to be a high school English teacher there seemed to be a certain prestige about my job status.  As a university professor, I do know that non-university people think I am smarter than the average bear. 

LOOKISM, THREADISM, and JOBISM are all simple examples of drumhead decisions, quick judgments so to speak. Such drumhead decisions abound.  

Drumhead decisions in schools make the news on a regular basis.
  • In 1964, David Corky Woods of Vanguard, Saskatchewan is expelled from school for sporting a Beatles haircut.

  • A five year old kindergartner was suspended from Mount Carmel Area Elementary School in Pennsylvania after suggesting she and a classmate shoot each other with bubbles.  According to the municipal school authorities, this bubble suggestion was a terrorist threat (ABC News).

  • An autistic 16 year old teen was arrested in St. Mary’s Ohio for pouring sugar (not drugs) into a candy wrapper, then tried to sell it as a sugar rush (WRG TV).

  • A 12 year old New York student was hauled out of school in handcuffs for doodling on her desk.

  • A six year old Cub Scout, Zachary Christie, was sentenced to 45 days in reform school after bringing a Swiss Army knife to school. (These are the knives that can turn into a fork and spoon and whatever else one needs on a camping trip.

  • A 13 year old boy in Manassas, Virginia was suspended and sent to drug rehabilitation for accepting a Certs breath mint from a classmate.

And, of course, we’ve climbed aboard the bully band-wagon, and are now inundated with a zillion victims and a disproportionate number of bullies.

And if you’re gay and want to demonstrate your gayness at a graduation ceremony, well …  good luck with that!

Up in Canada, la belle province has an overzealous language police force.  Louse Marchand, head of the Office quebecois de la langue francais, has just resigned – How do you spell PASTA (in French)?

And the beat goes on; the beat goes on (Sonny & Cher).  See my blog entry January 27th, 2013 … BADGES? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING BADGES:  THE PROPOSED NEW SLOGAN FOR THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION (NRA)]. 

When it comes to preventing gun-related violence, there continues to be a calling for measures aimed at preventing those with mental illnesses from owning firearms.  The National Rifle Association has mercilessly chosen the mentally ill as its quarry.  Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the self-aggrandized NRA, continues to lobby American politicians and purblind lawmakers for an active mental illness database.  And there is the same rabid happening in Canada.  

People, listen up …

FACT:  Less than 5% of violent crimes are committed by people diagnosed with a mental illness.
FACT:  More than 95% of violent crimes are committed by people NOT with a mental illness.
FACT:  The strongest predictors of violent crimes:
            Those people with a past history of violence
            Those people with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol
Those people who have been disenfranchised because of their socioeconomic environment     (i.e., poverty)

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a bully-pulpit organization that has decided to make those people who are mentally ill the scapegoat of its lunacy.  This drumhead justice is now apparent in the federal policies of both the United States and in Canada.  Gun control aimed at those with a mental illness has even been embraced by politicians who are typically not extreme right-wingers – I’m thinking they do so as a political gesture to show themselves to be part of the solution, no matter how arrogant and stupid and bad the policy may be.

A drum, a drum!
Macbeth doth come (Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 3).
When Macbeth first happens upon the three witches his coming is announced through the sound of a drum beat.

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes (Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 1).
Near the end of the play, the beat of a drum is not necessary to announce him, for he is so evil the witches can now feel his presence.

In the fictional Macbeth, the depiction of evil begins in a cavern setting with a boiling cauldron, three witches, and some far away drum beats. 

In real life, the depiction of evil is a school shooting in a white middle-class neighborhood – suffice (enough) to prick the thumbs of the delusional drumheads in America and Canada.   


Early Saturday afternoon I was busking near the Good Earth coffee shop in downtown Regina. 
With a big smile and seemingly friendly nature, a middle-age cadge wearing a ball cap and brown leather jacket approached me.

Hey, man, I’m a good guy.  I just got out of jail and need money for some bottled water.

Sorry, I replied, I’ve just got my debit card and some seed change in my guitar case.

You make me feel like I’m racist you f&^%in’ sonofab*&%@!, he retorted.


Check and click on my latest novel, The Creek, when you scroll down the right side of this blog header!

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