Saturday, August 29, 2015

Do you know Jessica?

Do you know Jessica?  I just love her so much!!

Back in the year 1999, I was working as a technical writer for a British company in the middle of America and Jessica was hired as the office manager and I realized in short form that she was amazing.

I sat at my desk in a cube farm and she sat up front at the reception desk.  She was the Pam to my Jim.   I'd wander over to reception and we'd crack wise and ponder her love life and meander through conversations about life, the universe and everything (Jessica will get your Douglas Adams references).  She made the long days a lot shorter by dint of being funny and sweet and smart and giving me someone to talk to when the days felt too long, as office days often do.

Once she walked through the halls of the office and belched right out loud and made me snort laugh from my desk.  All those Brits looked at us like we were so weird.  We didn't mind.

Sigh. She left me and headed off on adventures - she acted in shows (a thing at which she excels) and fell in love, got married, had a couple of super cute babies, started working in a glammy ad agency, got promoted, and bought a fab house.

So much life has happened to both of us since 1999!  The jobs and the romances (well, for her - it's just been me and Don the whole time) and the moves and them babies.  All the doubts and fears and successes and stories.  All the times one of us has said to the other, "Dude, I have got to tell you something!"  Or "OMG, have you read this?"  Or "Sigh, I feel..."

I'm so glad to have Jessica as my friend.
And now we Skype all day every day and now she makes long, overwhelming days seem short and manageable by making me laugh and listening to me bitch and cluing me into things like Ole Miss Dorm rooms on Pinterest.  If you click that link, there's a real danger that the preciousness and privilege might blind you.  If you feel compelled, I recommend you have a friend on hand to have a similar Skype chat with:

I hope you have a friend like that.  It's pretty awesome.

Jessica, to reiterate: you are warm and funny and smart and sweet and so so beautiful.  You're a great friend, a great mother, an all around great motherfucking person. I am goddamn lucky I get to be your friend.  You are KILLING at this being alive thing.

Welcome to #hotforty, the coolest damn club in town.  I hope your whole day feels just like this:

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Gentle Segue from Megyn Kelly to Progressive Problems

Sigh.  Megyn.  You are exhausting.  I have to keep hitting the Escape key every time I type your name because Autocorrect really believes it should be MEGAN, a position with which I concur.  But this is petty; spell your name however you want to.  Women get judged way too harshly for shit like that.  People are all "Brandi? With an i?  Bimbo."  Whereas men are free to walk around being called "Geoff"or "Kristoffer" or "Jaxon" with complete impunity (unless, of course, they're black men).  I'm with you, Megyn, I don't like gendered double-standards.

But here's the thing, Megyn, your outrage and empathy begin and end exactly as far as your own experience and no further.  And that, my ersatz feminist friend, is a problem.  It is a problem with your whole damn network and almost every damn right-winger I know.

Let me put it this way: if someone trips you, it is neither surprising nor courageous to take a stand against being tripped. If, on the other hand, a huge chunk of Americans are tripped daily and ask that they stop being tripped, you show up on the Fox Network and go all "If you don't want to get tripped, stop walking down the street, dumbass."

Megyn Kelly dedicated 45 segments to hammer on about the New Black Panther Party which was just, like, two guy who didn't even do anything.  Megyn Kelly is a really smart woman who pretends she doesn't understand what's wrong with "#alllivesmatter."  A 14 year old girl in a bikini is tackled and pinned to the ground by a grown-ass cop and Megyn Kelly wants to make sure you know that this child "was no saint."  Megan Kelly thinks it's important that your kids know that Jesus and Santa are white because little black and brown kids need to recognize that if they want something, they're only going to get it when a white person gives it to them, up to and including, I suppose, eternal salvation.

Let's not make a hero of Megyn Kelly.  Megyn Kelly is a Fox company woman.

Hillary, for the love of the FSM, stop.

That said, my fellow white progressives, before we are fully free to excoriate Megyn, we had oughta  clean up own house.  It's a little dirty now. For example: #blacklivesmatter interrupted a couple of Bernie Sanders events and white progressives committed the greatest white people problem there is and got all wearily mad because, goddammit, we always know best for everyone.  Jesus and Santa were white, right?  Wait...

Look, I get it.  I like Bernie Sanders.  I like Bernie Sanders a whole lot.  I think Bernie Sanders would be the best president for all Americans.  I think his point that black Americans suffer more for economic disparity than all other groups is fair.  Except that's not it, right?  If you're black, it doesn't really matter how gainfully employed you are.  Your life is riskier.  No matter what.

And progressives and liberals need to bear that in mind.  White feminists like me need to bear that in mind. And we all need to stop getting our feelings hurt when #blacklivesmatter activists fail to be fawning and grateful.  Got to clean that house.

#BlackLivesMatter interrupted Bernie Sanders a couple of times.  Bernie Sanders, who really is a good progressive, listened instead of getting all butthurt.  He hired a young, black racial justice activist as his national press secretary and, working with her, put together a racial justice platform.  In other words, #blacklivesmatter engaged in some really successful activism.  They weren't just peeing in progressive cornflakes.

Also, not for nothing, remember this: when we condescend to successful activists, it makes us look kinda dumb.