A Freebird’s Quesarrito

From our very own Zach Ricks.  Please follow him at his Mad Poet Blog.

WARNING: POLITICAL DISCUSSION AHEAD. WORSE, POLITICAL DISCUSSION FROM A CONSERVATIVE VIEWPOINT. ALSO, A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF MY FAVORITE BURRITO. If such is not your cup of tea, then please feel free to take a look at the ongoing GSG NaNo Gaiden podcast (today’s episode from Philip “NorvalJoe” Carroll is particularly good.) Or pick up a copy of “Battlehymn” or “The Sinner’s Trail” in the store. Kids Love ‘Em!

Okay – you still here? Have a seat, grab a mug, and settle in. This is going to take some time to work through.

This should probably start with an admission of my own mistakes. Prior to the election, I was convinced that we are a center-right country, and that the country was waking up. Increased deficit spending, no budget out of the Federal Government in years, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Solyndra, Quantitative Easing, The Chevy Volt… I had thought that people would recognize the dire straits that we’ve been in for the last four years – more. I started recognizing trouble maybe five years ago. The Patriot Act had no sunset clause. Increasing violence on our southern border. The jailing of our own border guards.

I thought that the country was waking up. I thought the country by and large reflected my own values. And I was wrong.

No, I was worse than wrong. I was horribly, fantastically, cataclysmically wrong. Fundamentally mistaken. I was a fool. Hopelessly naive. I volunteered, I made calls, and I thought that if I was doing this, that others must be even more motivated and more pumped up, and I was looking forward to an upcoming stinging rebuke at the ballot box. I couldn’t have been more wrong. And there is no excuse for that.

Tuesday wasn’t a setback. Tuesday was an x-ray. And if you happen to be someone who’s right of center, who believes that government governs best which governs least, who believes in personal responsibility as well as accountability for those at the “top”, then I’ve got to tell you, it looks like we are no longer the majority. Not in any meaningful way.

Which changes my plans a little.

Yesterday, I HAD planned on drowning my sorrows in a Freebirds Quesarrito. For those of you who aren’t within reasonable distance of a Freebirds, let me break this down for you.

First, you take your choice of tortilla. Flour (white or wheat), spinach, or my own personal favorite, cayenne. Now, normally, you take this and put it on a warmer and off you go to beans and whatnot. Not here, my friend. We are rolling Quesarrito-style. And for a very reasonable fee, the local Freebirds will take a handful of cheese (mixed or monterrey jack), spread it over one half of the tortilla, fold it over, and stick THAT in the warmer, toasting the tortilla and melting the cheese. Once it comes off, your Burrito Engineer (my term not theirs) will then UNFOLD the quesadilla and add your burrito selections to THAT. Cilantro Lime Rice Black Beans STEAK!!! (and if you’re really feeling the need for a bit of comfort food / solace to the soul) BACON!!! Roasted Veggies – onions and bell peppers Roasted Garlic! Salsa, tomatoes, or pico de gallo! (PICO!) Your choice of sauce! (Habañero, and plenty of it) Diced jalapeños! Roasted Corn! Sour Cream!

Wrap that sucker up, encase it in not one but two layers of aluminum foil, and add a Mountain Dew. Enjoy.

That was my plan at about 10:00 AM yesterday, when I got a note in my e-mail asking if I’d be interested in attending a special episode of a certain conservative pundit’s show which tapes in Dallas. Space was limited. I told my wife that it was crazy to think about heading up there for that. To which she said “what’s crazy about that?” “I’m not doing that.” “Why not?”

And less than thirty minutes later I was in the car and on my way. I’d e-mailed, saying I was willing to participate, but I didn’t have confirmation, and wouldn’t until closer to show time. What I did know was that if I wasn’t already in the car and moving, I wasn’t going to make it in time. So, somewhere between Waco and West, Texas (home of my family’s favorite kolache bakery – have you noticed a distinct interest in food here? I think I need to talk to someone about that), I got the confirmation and arrived at the studio with ten minutes to spare.

Now, what happened at the show was what happened at the show. I’m not going to talk about that. The important things that happened there happened off-camera. At the end of the taping, as we were leaving, one of the other attendees asked about something she’d heard the Republican nominee say about marketing America to the world. That people wanted to come here, but they didn’t know why. Her question was, why aren’t we marketing America to Americans?

And everyone at that point starts to talk about education. And that’s almost right. I’d use another word for it.

It’s not education. It’s evangelism. It’s not marketing. It’s missionary work. It’s telling a story about who we are and how we came to be this wonderful country full of opportunity and freedom. It’s explaining the values that we hold dear and why “we hold these truths to be self-evident”.

I’m skipping so much. The hours up and back listening to Tolkien’s The Two Towers. The phone conversation with my Dad. The insights I had in the car – insights that fill me with hope, and also with not a small amount of fear and awe. The struggle in my own mind as to whether we are, in fact, fighting The Long Defeat. Holding George Washington’s own copy of Don Quixote in my hands, and also being handed a Wiliam Tyndale bible that was in the British Museum as a relic years before the Declaration of Independence was written. I’m skipping a lot.

It’s hard to accept, but my home country has suddenly become enemy territory. And don’t get me wrong – it’s been hostile to my viewpoint, to my values, to my religion, to things that I hold sacred that go beyond what building I happen to spend a lot of time in on Sundays. But until Tuesday night, I didn’t realize how different I was from other people. I didn’t understand my role, and what I was supposed to do. I have never felt that those who didn’t agree with me were enemies. But apparently, that’s how they view and describe me.

So be it. Sometimes you have to wear the black hat. And so I shall OWN this black hat. And I will make it look good.

And it’s not my first time in the mission field. I’ve been here before.

Before yesterday, I didn’t realize that I was at war. Not by my choice, but in the words of one of my favorite Futurama episodes, “War were declared.” It’s not a war of bullets (thank goodness). It’s a war of ideas. And it’s one I’m picking up my keyboard and fighting. It’s one I’ll be fighting in my neighborhood with the people who should be closest to me – the ones I have, to my shame, not taken the time to sit down with and get to know. It’s one I’ll be fighting with my congregation – with people who I should and will be serving. It’s one I’ll be fighting in my city, and in my county, and wherever I am. This is it.

Yesterday was enlightening. It was eye-opening. And I have hope, though that’s not quite the right word either.

Today I have conviction. Today, I have a black hat.

And a Freebird’s Quesarrito. Because I’m not starting this revolution on an empty stomach.

WARNING: POLITICAL DISCUSSION AHEAD. WORSE, POLITICAL DISCUSSION FROM A CONSERVATIVE VIEWPOINT. ALSO, A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF MY FAVORITE BURRITO. If such is not your cup of tea, then please feel free to take a look at the ongoing GSG NaNo Gaiden podcast (today’s episode from Philip “NorvalJoe” Carroll is particularly good.) Or pick up a copy of “Battlehymn” or “The Sinner’s Trail” in the store. Kids Love ‘Em!

Okay – you still here? Have a seat, grab a mug, and settle in. This is going to take some time to work through.

This should probably start with an admission of my own mistakes. Prior to the election, I was convinced that we are a center-right country, and that the country was waking up. Increased deficit spending, no budget out of the Federal Government in years, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Solyndra, Quantitative Easing, The Chevy Volt… I had thought that people would recognize the dire straits that we’ve been in for the last four years – more. I started recognizing trouble maybe five years ago. The Patriot Act had no sunset clause. Increasing violence on our southern border. The jailing of our own border guards.

I thought that the country was waking up. I thought the country by and large reflected my own values. And I was wrong.

No, I was worse than wrong. I was horribly, fantastically, cataclysmically wrong. Fundamentally mistaken. I was a fool. Hopelessly naive. I volunteered, I made calls, and I thought that if I was doing this, that others must be even more motivated and more pumped up, and I was looking forward to an upcoming stinging rebuke at the ballot box. I couldn’t have been more wrong. And there is no excuse for that.

Tuesday wasn’t a setback. Tuesday was an x-ray. And if you happen to be someone who’s right of center, who believes that government governs best which governs least, who believes in personal responsibility as well as accountability for those at the “top”, then I’ve got to tell you, it looks like we are no longer the majority. Not in any meaningful way.

Which changes my plans a little.

Yesterday, I HAD planned on drowning my sorrows in a Freebirds Quesarrito. For those of you who aren’t within reasonable distance of a Freebirds, let me break this down for you.

First, you take your choice of tortilla. Flour (white or wheat), spinach, or my own personal favorite, cayenne. Now, normally, you take this and put it on a warmer and off you go to beans and whatnot. Not here, my friend. We are rolling Quesarrito-style. And for a very reasonable fee, the local Freebirds will take a handful of cheese (mixed or monterrey jack), spread it over one half of the tortilla, fold it over, and stick THAT in the warmer, toasting the tortilla and melting the cheese. Once it comes off, your Burrito Engineer (my term not theirs) will then UNFOLD the quesadilla and add your burrito selections to THAT. Cilantro Lime Rice Black Beans STEAK!!! (and if you’re really feeling the need for a bit of comfort food / solace to the soul) BACON!!! Roasted Veggies – onions and bell peppers Roasted Garlic! Salsa, tomatoes, or pico de gallo! (PICO!) Your choice of sauce! (Habañero, and plenty of it) Diced jalapeños! Roasted Corn! Sour Cream!

Wrap that sucker up, encase it in not one but two layers of aluminum foil, and add a Mountain Dew. Enjoy.

That was my plan at about 10:00 AM yesterday, when I got a note in my e-mail asking if I’d be interested in attending a special episode of a certain conservative pundit’s show which tapes in Dallas. Space was limited. I told my wife that it was crazy to think about heading up there for that. To which she said “what’s crazy about that?” “I’m not doing that.” “Why not?”

And less than thirty minutes later I was in the car and on my way. I’d e-mailed, saying I was willing to participate, but I didn’t have confirmation, and wouldn’t until closer to show time. What I did know was that if I wasn’t already in the car and moving, I wasn’t going to make it in time. So, somewhere between Waco and West, Texas (home of my family’s favorite kolache bakery – have you noticed a distinct interest in food here? I think I need to talk to someone about that), I got the confirmation and arrived at the studio with ten minutes to spare.

Now, what happened at the show was what happened at the show. I’m not going to talk about that. The important things that happened there happened off-camera. At the end of the taping, as we were leaving, one of the other attendees asked about something she’d heard the Republican nominee say about marketing America to the world. That people wanted to come here, but they didn’t know why. Her question was, why aren’t we marketing America to Americans?

And everyone at that point starts to talk about education. And that’s almost right. I’d use another word for it.

It’s not education. It’s evangelism. It’s not marketing. It’s missionary work. It’s telling a story about who we are and how we came to be this wonderful country full of opportunity and freedom. It’s explaining the values that we hold dear and why “we hold these truths to be self-evident”.

I’m skipping so much. The hours up and back listening to Tolkien’s The Two Towers. The phone conversation with my Dad. The insights I had in the car – insights that fill me with hope, and also with not a small amount of fear and awe. The struggle in my own mind as to whether we are, in fact, fighting The Long Defeat. Holding George Washington’s own copy of Don Quixote in my hands, and also being handed a Wiliam Tyndale bible that was in the British Museum as a relic years before the Declaration of Independence was written. I’m skipping a lot.

It’s hard to accept, but my home country has suddenly become enemy territory. And don’t get me wrong – it’s been hostile to my viewpoint, to my values, to my religion, to things that I hold sacred that go beyond what building I happen to spend a lot of time in on Sundays. But until Tuesday night, I didn’t realize how different I was from other people. I didn’t understand my role, and what I was supposed to do. I have never felt that those who didn’t agree with me were enemies. But apparently, that’s how they view and describe me.

So be it. Sometimes you have to wear the black hat. And so I shall OWN this black hat. And I will make it look good.

And it’s not my first time in the mission field. I’ve been here before.

Before yesterday, I didn’t realize that I was at war. Not by my choice, but in the words of one of my favorite Futurama episodes, “War were declared.” It’s not a war of bullets (thank goodness). It’s a war of ideas. And it’s one I’m picking up my keyboard and fighting. It’s one I’ll be fighting in my neighborhood with the people who should be closest to me – the ones I have, to my shame, not taken the time to sit down with and get to know. It’s one I’ll be fighting with my congregation – with people who I should and will be serving. It’s one I’ll be fighting in my city, and in my county, and wherever I am. This is it.

Yesterday was enlightening. It was eye-opening. And I have hope, though that’s not quite the right word either.

Today I have conviction. Today, I have a black hat.

And a Freebird’s Quesarrito. Because I’m not starting this revolution on an empty stomach.

2 Responses to “A Freebird’s Quesarrito”

  1. kenbrewer says:

    “—with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

    As much as I love you and the rest of our group, Zach, yours is not a declaration of war. What I just quoted, the Declaration of Independence, is. We do not have enough people with that kind of guts and martial skill anymore. As you point out, we have entered a new paradigm, and politics as usual is no longer an option. I don’t even pretend to have an answer.

  2. pax4pax says:

    People have to be won over to the “right” side one by one, heart by heart. That takes a lot of one-on-one work, and living fearlessly, because every other power to “win” people is on the other side — entertainment, education, and government. And those forces include a lot of people who fight for the other side because it means their life, their livelihood to them. God bless the effort.

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