nero fiddled while Rome burned, but who set the fire?

Summer of our Discontent

There once was an emperor named Nero

Who fiddled and called himself  Hero,

His people complained,

They held Nero to blame,

But Nero set fire to their peepholes.


As paratrump (who knows who they really were) forces stormed into Portland, Oregon this month, I have been horrified by the pictures of peaceful protesters being picked up on the city streets by unidentified individuals dressed in camouflage carrying automatic weapons, whisked away in unmarked cars by these individuals, taken to unknown destinations in these unmarked cars. An invasion of an American city perpetrated by an American president who devotes himself to distinctly “unamerican” activities.

As we collectively mourned the loss of civil rights icon John Lewis this past week, we were reminded the struggle for justice and fair treatment continues. As I watched Portland ignite in flames last week, I thought of the emperor Nero’s alleged response to the fires that burned in ancient Rome. Fiddling away. Actually fiddling.

But for the rest of the story, I discovered that perhaps Nero did more than fiddle. Some theories emerged afterwards that Nero was responsible for the fires. Sound familiar? I wonder if Portland would be in flames if paratrump troops hadn’t been sent to that city.

While fires burn in some of our nation’s cities, the Covid-19 pandemic rages with a greater vengeance in many of the places we call home across the entire country.

This is without question another summer of our discontent.

Stay safe, stay sane and please stay tuned.




About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, politics, racism, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to nero fiddled while Rome burned, but who set the fire?

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    “. . . plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”

    “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

    ~ Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

    I’m so angry. So angry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Must be 99 days now? How much more damage can he do in the time he has left?

    Liked by 1 person

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