Saturday, December 31, 2016

That's Right, I'm Resoluting, My Bitches!

Happy New Years!



There's one house in my neighborhood that had a Trump/Pence sign.  It's also the one house in my neighborhood where the shades are always drawn.  I think this is a pretty apt metaphor for Trumplethinskin and his supporters: folks so afraid of the outside world that they choose to sit in the dark.  But the man they voted for and believe in so passionately is just an empty suit who doesn't hear any words except "Dang! The Donald Is So Sessy!" This is what he hears when you say "I had a bagel for breakfast" or "Build That Wall!" This is all he ever hears. But the forces acting behind him are eager to divest us all of our social security and our healthcare.  They're gearing up to throw dollars at the oligarchy and deprive our children and grandchildren of a habitable environment.  They're ready to put a SCOTUS in place that will not only rob women of autonomy of our bodies, but will also insure that rapacious corporate interests can carry on untrammeled for a generation, so the CEO of Wal-Mart can buy and sell a whole state (a good one! not one of those ones where no one lives) while Wal-Mart's shelves are stocked by 80 year old grampas who can't afford to retire.

Tump voters made a bad choice.  And one of my resolutions this year is to never stop letting them know.  This is not because I am eager to be right (good golly to the holy FSM I hope I'm wrong).  But it's because the American right doesn't get to keep screwing things up and blaming the American left.  You made this bed that we all have to lie in and I'm not studying on being humble and claiming equal culpability for these short sheets.  I was dumb enough to think he'd never win, but you were dumb enough to vote for him, which means I'm dumb but also I'm less dumb.  And as part of less-dumb America (the majority of America, not for nothing) we need to make sure we are all grown up enough to identify dumb when we see it.  I am resolute.

I am actually a resolving kind of lady.  I am allatime resolving.  I resolve just about every Sunday night to Do Better and Be Better.  I don't think this is a terrible thing.  The primary exercise of life should be to Do Better and Be Better. Here are some of the ones I made for 2017:

Be Involved
- I'm marching on 1/21 to let Trump and his supporters know that we're not going to "get over it."  I am stunned, actually stunned, by the number of people who believe like faith that this dubious electoral college victory to the most powerful post in the world is like a football game where nothing counts beyond winner and loser. What is wrong with these people?  Can this be diagnosed? Is it just general dumbassery or has something gotten into the water where they live? To quote Joe Biden: this is a big fucking deal and, no, I'm not going to sit back and say "wait 'til next year."  Trump has made his intentions amply clear and I plan to take him at his word and loudly object.

- I'm not going to stop calling my Senator and Congresswoman.  We should all be doing this at least three times a week.  Make your voice heard.  Bug those staffers.  It matters.

Volunteer
- I've signed up to tutor an immigrant on the Citizenship exam.  I'm actually super stoked about this and I start on Tuesday.  There's no better resistance to the xenophobia that put Trump in place than helping to welcome new Americans to this IMMIGRANT nation. Every time someone is an a-hole to an accented-American their dead great-granny up in heaven weeps on account of how someone was a likewise jerkwad to her back in 1923 and she never thought her own progeny would be so mean (note: as an Atheist-American, I don't actually believe in an afterlife, so treat this as a metaphor but be nice to an immigrant on account of how you don't want to make your ghostly great-granny cry)

Be Kind

Here's the late, great Kurt Vonnegut in meme form:


Yes.  Even to Trumpeters.  I plan to make a solid attempt to be kind to everyone.  If you want to get in front of me in traffic and you have a Trump sticker on I will probably let you (note: only if you've turned on your blinker. I am a blinker-absolutist.  Non-blinker-users get no traffic allowances from me no matter what your politics are).  I think we can call out bullshit where we see it without being assholes about it.  And I plan to.

Stay Mad
Oh boy, I'm mad and I plan on living in it. I know that when they go low, I'm supposed to go high.  And that's part of this whole "be kind" thing.  But that doesn't mean we shouldn't stay mad.  Mad gets things done.  Mad moves nations. You can be loving and angry. Martin Luthor King Jr was mad at racism.  Jane Addams was angry at injustice.  Injustice and cruelty should make us angry and our anger should inspire us to action.  I'm planning to stay mad.  The anger staunches despair.  Don't let anyone tell you to stop being mad.

Cook
I'm a bad cook and so I eat bad food.  I don't think I will ever be a good cook.  But I plan to be a less bad cook and cook some meals so I can eat less bad food.  I may even blog my cooking attempts because, you know, it can't be all politics all the time.

It's almost 2017.  Let's all try to Do Better and to Be Better.  And to get rid of Donald Fucking Trump - because he is the worst part of 2016 which is really saying something since 2016 is when we lost Princess Leia (who we JUST got back, dammit) and Prince.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

All I Want for Christmas is to Stay Here in My White, Hot Rage

Other people have written about this better than I will.  I like this piece from Kara Brown. I like this one by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie even more (by the way, have you read Americanah?  It's so good).  But, I'm just gonna take my own amateurish stab at it and tell you why I am not going to reach out to Trump supporters because I could not find a way to be less interested in reaching out to a Trump fan if I had a Trump map and a Trump compass (fun fact: the Trump compass points straight to the flaming pits of hell and then breaks).

One of my beloved cousins, who is so smart and so cool, told me that I couldn't just call 62m Trump voters racist.  And, I get that.  I really do. I get how it could seem unhelpful.

Except ... of course, I can call 62m Trump voters racist.  I'm pretty happy to call a solid 60% of the country racist.

I count myself among that 60%. I am not immune from feeling a shiver of fear when a black male walks in my direction on the street.  And I hate that.  I hate that I have that feeling. And I find myself constantly fighting the racist inclinations that have been bred into me as a white American through 240 years of white supremacy.  I think and hope that I am winning this battle against my own racism.  But I'm not optimistic enough to expect anything less than a lifelong fight.

Until we acknowledge that racism is built into the fiber of this nation and stop thinking that racism only comes in white hoods and burning crosses, we're never going to get better.  The first step to solving a problem and all that...

Remember during the first debate when Hillary was asked if she thought police had an implicit bias and she said "we all have an implicit bias."  Jesus, to think how close we came to having another grown-up in the White House.  It's just devastating.

But we didn't get a grown-up.  We got President Pussygrabber, who racism put into the White House.  And as such, we white folks need to focus on the people who will suffer the most from this devastating presidency.

And that's not white people.

People are scared of Trumplethinskin's presidency.  I'm scared.  But I'm not as scared as the Mexican kid who's afraid that her parents are going to be deported (by the way, it doesn't matter to that kid if her parents are here legally or not: she's picked up on the tone.  She knows what they mean).  Black men are scared that they're going to be harassed by law enforcement with impunity (here's a fun thought experiment: imagine a rich white dude getting stopped and frisked).  Black mothers are afraid that their sons will keep being killed and no one will care.  Women of all colors are afraid of forced pregnancies, of sexual assault becoming even more normalized. LGBTQ Americans are scared of being forced back into the closet.  Muslim Americans are terrified of being put on a registry and then...

And that's where our focus as Progressives and Liberals should be: the people directly and explicitly threatened by President Orange Julius Caesar. The only message I've got for poor rural, whites who voted for Trump is "Hey, you may want to google Paul Ryan Medicare or Paul Ryan Social Security."  That's all the energy I have for them.

And look, I don't wish evil on poor, white Trump voters. I want them to have jobs and healthcare and decent public education.  I want them to be able to retire at a reasonable age instead of spending their golden years stocking shelves at the Super Walmart that drove their hardware store out of business.  As a matter of fact, that's why I vote Democrat!

But if we focus our fight on the minority people who are living through this noxious cloud of visceral hate, if we push our political will towards them, we'll be OK.  We'll be better than OK.  Remember almost 3m more people voted for Hillary.  We won and we need to politic like we did.

Two more things: this is a white people fight.  We have been sitting around too long waiting for the Magical Negro to come around and make us better and then forgive us.  We have been putting the burden of fixing racism and for forgiving white people on black people for too long.  No more.

Second, never forget, my fellow Progressives: plenty of white people who aren't suffering from economic insecurity voted for that walking Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  This guy doesn't have any economic insecurity.  Neither does this lady.  They just know They're Supposed to Get More. And you know what?  Fuck those people.  I'm sick of them.  And I'm ready to be louder and angrier than they are.







Saturday, November 12, 2016

Calling My Own Damn Self Out

So yesterday I wrote a post in which I complained about being called a "liberal elite" because I live in a city.  I made it seem that urban people are a lot better at not being racist than suburban/exurban/rural people.  And while I do think that it's easier to quell white panic in the face of black or brown people when you live among them, still...

See, I live in Chicago, which is a city in which over 600 people have been murdered this year already, the vast majority of whom were black men and boys. Much of white Chicago has convinced itself that these deaths are just an unavoidable consequence of life in some parts of the city.  But we all know the truth: if white men and boys were dying at rates like that, we'd give a shit.  We'd demand that law enforcement and the political powers that be do something about it.  We wouldn't just shrug our shoulders and sigh.

Donald Trump and his cartoon henchman, Rudy Giuliani, claim "they're killing each other" and that the only cure is to empower law enforcement to routinely harass black men and boys for crimes like walking down the street or having a public conversation. But imagine, my fellow white people, how we'd respond to that kind of humiliation.  We get angry when the cashier at McDonald's is insufficiently pleased to wait on us.

I grossly underestimated white resentment and white panic in America.  But I no longer will. This is what put Donald Trump in the White House.  And while we white people bear the blame for this, it's black and brown people who'll shoulder the burden.

We have to be better. All of us white people need to be better.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

One Day of a Social Media Drought

So, yesterday, I couldn't hardly muster the strength to do anything but bury my head under the blankets and watch Gilmore Girls.  (Thank you Gilmore Girls.  Thank you, Netflix.) Unfortunately, though, I couldn't stay under the covers all day, because I signed up to sell pizzas for a fundraiser at Laney's school.  I was there for a couple of hours and found myself feeling a little hungry (selling pizza coupons will do that) so I asked some of the kids there if they wanted me to get something for them to eat.  One of these kids was a 14 yr old transgender Mexican-American boy who is just goddamn delightful.  When I said to him, "Are you hungry," he didn't palaver about. He just said, "Yeah.  Let's go to Sonic."  I just love people who say, "Hey, let's go to Sonic" instead of "I dunno.. what do you want", don't you?  And then this kid jumped in the front seat and had a whole conversation with me about the election while we were driving to Sonic.

Lookit: I want to live in a place that is a home for transgender Mexican-American kids.  As a matter of fact, I demand it.

I returned to the internet today to see what the rest of the world was saying and feeling and have emerged somewhat energized and with an action plan. But first a categorical and then a qualitative objection to some of the things flying around out there.

Categorical objection: To the holier-than-thou left, do not claim that there wasn't real passion behind Hillary Rodham Clinton. And stop claiming she only won because she was the choice of the DNC.  She won because more people voted for her.  Because more people liked her and wanted to be president.  For millions of Americans she was the candidate of choice.  We were not "voting with our vaginas" (an expression, by the way, that needs to be taken out behind the shed, shot, and die a merciful death ).  Millions of Americans Were With Her.  Millions of Americans Are With Her.

I look forward to the modern musical masterpiece that Lin Manuel Miranda and Sarah Bareilles will one day write about how America treated Hillary Clinton.  It was shoddy and shitty and she deserved so much better. Her strength and grace are awe-inspiring.  She is my hero.

Qualitative Objection: Speaking of Lin Manuel Miranda, every time I read the words "liberal elite" in some thinkpiece I thought of the part in "Meet Me Inside" when Hamilton threatens, "Call me son one more time!" I was all "Call me an elite one more time!"  It's similar, you know, because when Washington calls Hamilton "Son," he's not being dismissive and is really trying to teach him something. And I know all those "liberal elite" thinkpieces are trying to tell me something.  But it's still runs up against something that I believe real passionately in and it pisses me off.  To wit: I don't live in my blue bubble of urban life because I'm hitting the symphony and then discussing those boorish Trump supporters over caviar and toast points.  I live here because it is vitally important to me that I don't live and, especially, don't raise my daughter in some racially, socioeconomically same-y environment. I don't want to live in a place surrounded by a bunch of white people where racism is only understood as some abstract evil.  I want to send my daughter out into the world where she understands that people who look different than her are people; not ideas, not cautionary tales.  Just people. And that is not elitist.

On the other hand, yeah, it's true: I've culled my Facebook feed down to likeminded people.  I'm going to keep it that way, though.  I maintain that no one's mind has ever been changed on Facebook.  Ever.

But I do think I need to change in real ways.  So here's my post-Trump action plan:

1. Beginning this month, we're sending $100/month to the ACLU.  This is enough money that it will hurt a little to give it. And I think we should all be giving enough money that it hurts a little.  I've picked the ACLU because despite the kind of horny passion the GOP claim for the Constitution, they're gonna beat it up real bad in service to their corporate overlords and we need some good lawyers defending it.  The ACLU has those.

2. I'm going to start volunteering some number of hours a month a group that helps immigrants. This push/pull between groups coming in and the "Screw you/I've got mine" folks that have been here a while is just how it is in a nation of immigrants (which we are, to our great benefit).  But I can't imagine how terrified immigrants are right now. I'm going to start helping.

3. I will not politely tolerate any quietly racist shit anymore.  If I see something, I'll say something. And the thing is, this doesn't have to result in a screaming pie fight.  When Auntie Alice says something about "those people," just point out that what she's said sounds racist. Don't say "Wow, Aunt Alice, you're a gross racist!" Instead say, "Alice, I think what you've said sounds a little racist.  Can you clarify since I know you didn't mean it that way?" No one wants to be a racist (well, some people do, but we're just going to have to leave them there in that basket of deplorables).  But we can tell our small-town, exurban, suburban friends what we've witnessed living in our "elite" cities.  We can teach them that BLM is not just whining or making stuff up.  We can make them understand that our white skin protects us in a way that is unfair and un-American.  This is what morality demands.

4. I'm going to get ready for 2018 election and support Democratic candidates in battleground districts.  And I'm not going to let anyone forget, for a hot minute, than the 2018 election is just as important as the 2016 one.

5.  Finally, I'm not going to sink into despair, I'm going to keep my sense of humor and I'm going to re-dedicate myself to being less of an asshole.  Pretty much my guiding ethos is "don't be an asshole." I think I tend to succeed reasonably well in most areas except one: I drive like an asshole.  I get irrationally angry at people who don't go right away when the light turns green, or drive too slowly down city streets.  But, you know what?  With Asshole-America running the show right now, we all need to curb our asshole instincts. So, in response to President Trump, I'm going to be nicer when I drive.  Isn't that a small thing? But small things add up.  I really believe it.

It's not the end of the world.  But it's bad. It's really bad.  I think our daughters have lost autonomy over their bodies (except in these blue bubbles).  I think immigrants are going to be abused.  I think our economy is going to tank.  I think Rudy Giuliani is going to institute his stop and frisk hellscape (remember white people, if you see something, say something).  But the worse America gets, the better Americans have to be. So let's all be better.  Work, and give and be kind.  

Friday, October 28, 2016

Princesses

First things first:



GO YOU CUBS!!!  GO YOU CUBS!!!!!  GO YOU GODDAMN WONDERFUL CUBS!!!!!!

OK, now that we've gotten that out of the way, I've got something to say about this thing I keep seeing on my Facebook. 

Last year, when Supergirl started airing on the CW, I thought that would be a show that Laney and I could watch.  But during the (charming) pilot, Laney kept rolling her eyes and saying "Why does she have to wear a skirt?"  And I'd say, "Maybe she likes to wear a skirt?"

The wearing of a skirt, you see, is not an inherently political act.

Supergirl isn't sexualized.  She isn't fetishized.  She has agency and intelligence.  Her skirt does not impede her heroism. But somehow her skirt made her suspect. Somehow my feminist daughter picked up the belief that Girl Stuff Iz Bad.  We had a talk about it.  The seeds are planted. But, goddammit, you guys: feminism doesn't mean rejecting femininity.

Which brings me to this facacta thing that I have seen on my Facebook roughly eleventy million times over the last couple of days:


Oh my god, you guys! Are we really at the point where we're gonna tell our daughters that it's better to be Batman (note: MAN) than it is to be a Princess? I get that the gist is supposed to be that this girl is an independent free-thinker.  But the "Batman"-ness of it cannot be ignored!  The fact remains that this meme asks us to celebrate the girl who aspires to a Man.

(And god, the worst man! Batman has been a tiresome, gravelly-voiced, self-important sack of no-fun ever since Michael Keaton hung up his cowl. Latter day Batman sux.  Bring it.) 

The girl who likes cosmetics and clothes is not doing Girl wrong.  The girl who likes superheroes and sports isn't doing Girl right.  There's no right or wrong way to Girl. Girls just are.

Femininity and masculinity are, on the other hand, constructs; things we choose to dress ourselves up in.  And the thing that's been historically and culturally associated with the ladieez isn't suspect for having been so.

There's not a damn thing wrong with a girl (or a boy) who likes a sparkly dress and tiaras!  Tiaras are fucking fabulous!  I wish I were wearing one right goddamn now.  

There's not a damn thing wrong with a girl (or a boy) who wants to rock the cape and a cowl (although, you might want to expose her to some better superheroes because, as been previously stated: Batman sux).

Now that's been said, LET'S GET SOME RUNS!!!

 








Monday, October 10, 2016

In Gratitude for Donald Trump

I bet you're thinking I'm going to write some sarcastically grateful post about how Donald Trump is practically handing this election to Hillary, whom I've backed since the salad days of 2015. Nope.  This goddamn thing could still turn on a dime so I'm keeping my cart firmly behind my horse.

This is something else.

When Isis (the Egyptian god, not the terrorist ratfuckers) tricked Ra into giving up his real name, she had complete control over him and was able to put her own son on the throne. When the Miller's daughter learned Rumplestiltskin's true name, she got to keep her child and her husband and all her wealth.  In Scandinavian myth, there are evil male water spirits who lure women and children into their lakes and drown them. They are only defeated when called by their true name.

And Donald Trump [consults Jezebel's handy Donald Trump naming guide,} that roiling cheez whiz mass, has given us his True Name, and the True Name of so many like him.

Pussygrabber (n): An old, unattractive, likely white man, whose entrenched male privilege causes him to seek pleasure by dominating women via inappropriate sexual advances.

That friend of your dad's who ran his eyes up and down your 15 year old body as he commented on how much you've grown? Pussygrabber.

That man you're waiting on at the restaurant who wants to hold your hand as he tells you he'll take real good care of you?  Pussygrabber.

The guy on the train who grabs your pussy?  Well, that one's a little on the nose.

Donald Trump, you narcissistic bowl of rotten gazpacho, you've given us such a gift!

The next time you walk into a crowd of guys and they're looking at you and laughing but they won't tell you why? You can make your eyes go big and say, "Oh, I didn't know you guys were all pussygrabbers!  I thought it was just Brody!"

Oh, Donald Trump, you sculpture your three-year-old made out of soggy ground-up goldfish snacks, by naming it, you've taken away so much of its power!

Pussygrabbers, through the years, have been sure they're members of a rare and privileged group; they've thought that all women wanted them and all men wanted to be them. But that name makes it a little harder to be smug, doesn't it?

Pussygrabber is not "male, chauvinist pig," which is what we called pussygrabbers back in the day.  That phrase was ladylike, easy to scoff at and claim feminine hypersensitivity in the face of.  But pussygrabber is happy to make you feel uncomfortable.  Pussygrabber means we know exactly who you are.

The emperor has no clothes and his name is Pussygrabber.  And come November:





Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Menses and the Modern Gal

I know I've written about this before... but you know that episode of The Cosby Show where Rudy gets her first period and has "Woman's Day" with Clair?  Remember?  Rudy came home with her sweatshirt tied around her waist and then her Mom took her for ice cream and they watched Gone With the Wind at Rudy's behest (weird choice, Rudy, that movie is sooooper racist).  I planned at that moment in 1986 that if I ever had a daughter, I'd do the same (minus the racist movie).

But when it happened in real life, I found myself leaning away from Clair's lesson (and not just because all things Cosby are a little suspect) and leaning into my own: it became important for me to tell my daughter that periods make you strong.

Once a month, for years and years, girls and women go out into the world feeling not quite like ourselves.  We'll likely be in some degree of physical discomfort, if not outright pain.  Our emotional balance is a little off-keel.  And no one, outside of maybe your immediate family, will accept this as an excuse for not performing as per usual.   You're gonna have to go to that class, or sit in the meeting, or finish that project, or fly that plane, or swim in that Olympic meet, no matter how you're feeling because it can't be an excuse.  It can't be an excuse because it makes men uncomfortable. It can't be an excuse because it pisses other women off when you try to make it one.

This is a way in which women are inherently stronger than men.  Monthly we just deal with it and men have no idea how heavy that burden can be.

Donald Trump would take to his 2000 thread count sheets at the top of Trump Tower with a hot water bottle and a fucking binky, whining through that weird butthole mouth of his if he'd ever had to deal with the mildest of periods because Donald Trump is the weakest, tenderest set of dangling old man balls the world has ever seen.  He can take nothing.  He is insubstantial.

His veneer of machismo is so thin, so obvious a cover for a massive, trembly core of male fragility.

And yet the media obsesses over Hillary Clinton's health. They excuse Donald Trump any weakness (mental or physical) and accept his claims of power and mightiness because he's rich and has a penis (I assume.  Ew). But strong women don't fit neatly into our western narrative, which is just historically fucking lousy with "don't worry your pretty little head over it."  Somehow, as a society, we've decided we have to expose Hillary's weakness because women are weak.  QED.

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia.  She doesn't have consumption.  She doesn't have fucking pleurisy.  She has an illness treatable with fluids and a couple of days rest.  But because she is not allowed any sign of physical weakness, she tried to power through it and after 90 minutes in a 80+ degree weather, in a suit over Kevlar, she got woozy and the whole world said "SEE LOOK THERE!  WEAK LADY IS WEAK!"

Had Donald Trump gotten a case of the sniffles he'd be snuggled up in his aforementioned 2000 threadcount sheets, tweeting.


Hillary is a BAMF.  She is tough as hell.  She is a 68 year old woman who made a career for herself at a time when the world was viciously hostile to women having careers in the law.  She has birthed a child (which is way harder than laying your gross seed, Trump).  She has stood up to 30 years of focused attack by a press more interested in gossip than news. She's been accused of sneaky lesbianism; been called "castrating" (FYI, gentlemen, when you refer to a woman who is not Lorena Bobbitt as "castrating," that says more about you than her).  She's had her character assassinated by political enemies and lazy reporters.  And she spent 30+ years bleeding out of her wherever once a month without ever letting that get in the way of her life because that's what women do.  

Hillary Clinton is a tough broad. She has a brilliant policy mind.  She is a kind and decent person. She will be a great president.

Get on board.  And quit pretending that bombastic, trembling, gelatinous male fragility incarnate even deserves to be in the same room as her.  

He doesn't.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lessons Gleaned from Dick Van Dyke

I know.  These are dark days  Parlous times.  We have a guy with a real (if slim) chance to become President who is such a huge racist that it almost... almost...obscures what a vile misogynist he is.  Fortunately, the hateful motherfucker umbrella is a big one and there's room to offend just about every class of people under it.

I swear I came up with that hateful umbrella metaphor all on my own, but when I did a Google images search for a funny gif to go with it, this turned up:


There is no new idea under the sun.

Except maybe this one.  I present to you that as shitty as things seem now, they are, in fact better than they have ever been before here in these United States of America. And for evidence, I'm going to tell you about an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show that I recently saw, called "The Lady, The Tiger, and the Lawyer."

The premise of this episode: a suave, handsome single man named (IIRC) Ted moves in next door to the Petrie's charming New Rochelle manse.  Laura decides she needs to set him up with someone because you know how women are!  Women be matchmaking!   But when Rob suggests perpetually single lovelorn Sally Rogers as a potential match, Laura demurs.  Sally is a little too... too... you know?  She thinks her single cousin, Donna, is a better choice.

Rob and Laura engage in marital hijinks (not that kind!  Babies still came via stork in 1965) and decide that the Superior Matchmaker component of the ongoing game, Marriage, has begun.  Dinners for Handsome Ted are arranged for the next two nights.

First Ted and Donna hit it off swimmingly.  They like all the same things, one of which is rocks (I don't know).  Rob is ready to throw in the Sally Rogers-shaped towel, but Laura insists he go through with it for the Honor of the Competition.  Whaddya know, Ted and Sally hit it off just as well.  Ted gets Sally.  He thinks she's hilarious. (She is hilarious, but maybe a little exhausting, right?  Same with Buddy.  Maybe just once stop with the jokes?  Just a little?).  The question of who is currently winning Marriage remains undecided.

By night three, Ted hasn't called either "girl" and Laura and Rob are just all kinds of twitterpated about this because Marriage demands a winner! As Rob and Laura begin to work through their scheme database to come up with  good way to find out which "girl" Ted has chosen, Ted knocks on the door!  

Ted wants to explain to Rob and Laura (noteworthily: not Donna or Sally) why he isn't going to call either "girl".

Are you guys ready for this?  Are you?


Turns our Ted's under psychiatric care and is only allowed to see a "girl" once. Because, you see, he's been married three or four times before and he has this problem.  He has a terrible temper and this unfortunate habit of hitting his wives.

Hilarious, right?  


It all worked out and neither Rob nor Laura lose Marriage, because it's all  down to Ted's little wife-beating habit!


Now, look, I know what you're thinking. I'm being a ridiculous anachronistic strident feminist killjoy because it was a different time.


But that's just my point.  


The endless navel-gazing of the Internet and social media in particular can be exhausting.  The constant interrogation of humor for sexism, racism, classism, etc may seem to suck the joy out of comedy. Donald Trump is VERY opposed to political correctness.  But there's no such thing as "political correctness."  We've just taken away asshole carte blanche from white, straight cis-men.  And this makes us better. It makes the world bigger and more open and funnier.

So when you find yourself descending into Trumpian despair, ask yourself this: if I could live at any point in history, but with no control over gender,  race,  able-bodiedness, or sexual orientation, when would you live? The answer is either now or GTFO.   
  
(The Dick Van Dyke Show was still pretty good, y'all.  And I love Laura's capri pants.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Seriously, You Guys, Where is the Damn Carrot Peeler?

I always return from vacation cheerfully replete with good intentions.  You know how it is - you're all refreshed and relaxed and also you've just spent several days eating and drinking to vast excess?  (Right? That's not just me, right?) So I went to the store to buy some healthy food because a woman cannot survive on alcohol, sugar and fried foods alone.  I shopped with the full intention to embrace virtue, you know, gastronomically.

In the immediate present, though, I find myself sitting here in front of my laptop with a damn cut on my damn right wrist which I got scavenging through my damn kitchen drawers looking for the damn carrot peeler and I cannot, dammit, find it anywhere! Where is the carrot peeler, you guys?  Where did I put it?


I do not believe it is possible to become a woman who will put the carrot peeler back where it belongs. I know this because I wrote this exact same damn blogpost two years ago about tweezers rather than carrot peelers.

One of my post-holiday good intentions was to try and write more.  I had some plans to bloggily sort through my complicated feelings about the demise of Gawker.  I had a post in mind about how I think that while Donald Trump is an absolute joke he still may manage to foment terrorism from within the Crazy Motherfucker rank and file (Not all Donald Trump fans are Crazy Motherfuckers - but, man, a whooooole lot of them are and I am kinda low-key worried about the Crazy Motherfucker surfeit in America these days). I had a bloggy idea about familial competition (within my little family, we are weirdly competitive about who's getting the best cell service).  I had ideas is what I'm saying.

But they've been buried underneath a mountain of frustration because I cannot find the goddamn carrot peeler and I have no one to cast this annoyance unto but my own damn self.


Seriously, though, do you guys know where my damn carrot peeler is?  And if you do not know this (and why would you) can you recommend some sort of blog or something?  Not to learn how to be more organized (I will never be more organized), but with some advice on how to accept that it is OK to be a little disorganized and that, as it is possible to get a new carrot peeler for under $5, I should just, Jesus, you know, relax about it a little?  Because I remain all goddammity.


Sigh. I'm just going to have a beer and some cheese or something.




Friday, July 22, 2016

A Quick Hillary Anecdote

Back in 2008 I hated Hillary Clinton.  I couldn't understand how anyone could like her when Barack Obama was an option.  I still love Barack Obama.  I can't regret my vote, but I think now that I was pretty unfair to Hillary Clinton.

Here's a quick late-night anecdote about Hillary.  To be fair, this is only based on my recollections and were it not after 11:00 pm, I'd probably do a little more work to dig up the clips.  But it's late, I'm old, and I'm confident my recollections here are correct.

During the '08 democratic primary, Jon Stewart ran a little clip about how the two democratic candidates managed the grueling process of campaigning for president.  Barack Obama said that he stayed sharp by working out every morning and playing basketball.  He was young and sharp and ready to take all comers.  Hillary answered the same question by saying "hot sauce."

I thought, "God, she's so lame!" which was the response intended by The Daily Show producers.

Up here in 2016, Hillary was being interviewed on a black radio program and was asked about something she kept in her purse all the time and she said "hot sauce.'  The interviewers weren't having it and asked if she were pandering.  Hillary joked "is it working?"

I ask you: do you really think Hillary knew that Beyonce had recently taken the world by storm with "hot sauce in my bag. Swag."  Really?  The 68 yr old lady was hip enough to know current Beyonce lyrics?

I don't think so - she does like hot sauce for a wake up.  She said so in 2008. And the "is it working" was a dumb joke. All her jokes should come from writers. Hillary is much better at doing a job than she is in running for one.  You know who'd agree with that assessment?  Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But this is how it is for Hillary.  Whatever she says is interpreted in its most nefarious light because, obvy, it's Hillary who's just "LIAR (FART NOISE) PANDER BEAR ASSHOLE LIAR WALL STREET LIAR POOP!"

I gave Hillary a little money tonight which is probably more meaningful than this dumb blogpost.  But, as one of her supporters (and there are lots and lots of us, no matter what Michael Moore and all those Berners on Twitter would have you believe) that she's still standing after that such a long history where everything she says and does is interpreted in the narrowest, least generous way possible, we are reminded us of how tough and resilient she is.

This is the person I want running the ship: someone who can take a punch without losing focus. She is, to use a phrase from the last decade, a goddamn BAMF.  And if you're still sitting there, so intractably attached to your idea of who she is that you're willing to throw your vote to a candidate who is no more than an orange meatsack of ego and misplaced rage, then I just don't even know what to say to you.

Except this blogpost and more like them.  I'm trying to convince you.  Don't risk an apocalypse.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Some Thoughts and Some Gene Wilder (I miss him)

So, what had happened was I chimed in on a pro-Jill Stein post and (figuratively) pooped on it and then was roundly scolded.  To be fair, my scolding was probably called for.  I'm not super into the dank memes, but I've always felt appropriately judged by this one:


This is a true statement - I don't actually have to tell people that I think they're wrong.  It's obnoxious. So I'll stop posting on people's Jill Stein posts. Instead, I shall take to my blog.

To wit: I can't with Jill Stein.  I just cannot.  The more people tell me why they hate HRC, the more convinced I become that to her haters she is what they've decided she is more than she is what she is (that was a deep statement.  I am a deep person).  In various exchanges on social media, I have been assured that HRC is a war criminal and that she is corrupt and soon to be indicted any day now. She is not a war criminal and people have got to stop throwing that term around so liberally. Furthermore, the Republican party has dedicated their considerable resources for over 25 years now, with laser-like focus, to indict or charge her in some way.  They've been unsuccessful because she is fundamentally honest.  Hillary Clinton listens to people and adapts and changes when she is convinced to do so. She is brilliant and she is open-minded. She has changed positions, just as we all have.  The fact that she does not remain entrenched, eternally convinced of her own correctitude, is a feature not a bug.  Hillary Clinton is good at working with people.  She is good at getting shit done.

But even more that that  - even if you think I'm fundamentally wrong and that a vote for Hillary Clinton is nothing more than a vote for a status quo that will make the rich richer and the poor poorer -  y'all, we have Done This Dance Before.

In the year 2000, I had many friends and colleagues who refused to vote for Al Gore because they were not, by god, going to play into this lesser-of-two-evils, neoliberal bullshit anymore!  And, yes, I know that there is a case to be made that the ensuing eight years were not the fault of the Nader voters, that the election was actually stolen (unlike, not for nothing, the 2016 democratic primary vote), and that Al Gore should have fought harder.

But the Nader voters didn't help.  Had they cast their votes for Al Gore, he would have won. Imagine now where we'd be now.  Imagine what the world would be like without Cheney's Excellent Adventures in Iraq.  Think of where we could be now if we hadn't lost eight years on Climate Change.  Think about that.

And now think about this: Donald Trump is so much worse than George W. Bush.  Even outside of his vile racism and vile misogyny, this is a man who is radically unconcerned with anything outside of his own enormous (yuge!) ego.  You would risk - and Jill Stein would have you risk - putting the nuclear codes into the tiny hands of Donald Trump.

Remember this?



Even if you think we're standing in an open grave (and I do not think this is a valid assessment of America), let's not invite the rain in on top.  Shit, let's not invite the ground to open up and swallow us into a sea of combovered effluvia and self-tanner.  Also nuclear winter.

Do you believe that you can maintain the purity of your vote and we'll still end up without President Trump?  Is that it?  If so, I have some friends over in Great Britain you might want to talk to.

If you think the democratic party is insufficiently liberal and you want a third party, then, for the love of god, work on this at the municipal and state level.  Look to your politically opposite (if, I'm just gonna say it, dispositionally similar) pals from the tea party.  They didn't get their political power by putting someone in the White House.  They got it by putting lots of someones in lots of city, state and congressional seats and now they're driving the clown car.

Do not, for the love of the entire Mel Brooks oeuvre, help to make Donald Trump our Commander-in-Chief.

This is, perhaps, an apt metaphor:


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Quick Herstorical Bloggity

Laney is unimpressed that a woman is on top of a major party ticket for the first time in American history. But she is 12 and has always lived in a world were girls could do anything boys could do. I'm glad about this.  I'm glad my little #socialjusticewarrior feels confident in her girlhood.

But for those of us a little longer in the tooth?  For those of us who've had our whole value assessed based on fuckability?

Those of us who've been talked down to, or over?  Who've been on the wrong end of impatient, irritated glances in meetings where you've said the least?  Who've been condescended to?  Well, actually-ed at?

Those of us who've been ordered to smile and then called "bitch" when we didn't do it fast enough?

Those of us who've been followed by men who did it because they knew it scared us?  Who yelled foul things at us from car windows and then drove away?

Those of us assumed less capable or competent based on bra-size?

Those of us called too fat, too ugly or too old to matter?  Those of us who've internalized that our worth begins and ends with the male gaze?

To see that boss-ass bitch.  That woman who's been on the end of more sexist invective than anyone?  That woman who's been smeared, and gossiped and lied about?  That woman who's outlasted a 30 year discrediting campaign - a campaign so successful there's a whole host of Americans who'd believe, without even bothering a cursory google,  that Hillary Clinton eats puppies for breakfast because she's been commanded to by the president of Wells Fargo?  That woman who's been called a murderer? Who's been made responsible for her husband's infidelity?  Who's been called shrill, and castrating and oldfatandugly?  That woman is not just still standing.  She's winning.

She won.

Damn, y'all. I hope you'll pardon the term but it feels gangsta. It feels amazing.

So if you're choking down vomit at the polls in November, I'm sorry for you.  But I'm going to be casting my ballot with tears of joy in my eye.  I'm going full on Leslie Knope.  You're my girl, Hillary.  And I cannot wait to vote for you in November.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Woman Card

On Friday, a friend of mine posted, sigh, a 35 minute clip of Bernie Sanders with the text "If he were a woman, you would be all in!  I know it!  LOL!"

I know he was just joshing.  I know it was just a joke.  But I suspect he was, as Al Franken used to say, "kidding on the square."  In other words, framing what he felt to be true as a joke to keep it light or to maintain pliable deniability.  And I, I'm sorry to say, lost my shit a little.  My reaction was a bit like:


When I really should have been aiming for:


But, I confess, after ... how long has this primary season been going on?  Since the dawn of time? It feels like since the dawn of time.  So, since the dawn of time, I've found myself growing increasingly frustrated when I, the female voter, and Hillary, the female candidate, are endlessly called upon to defend against gender bias; while the male voter and the male candidate are just, you know, default and unremarkable.

This is not to say that I think any of my Bernie friends are voting for Bernie because he's a man.  I know this because they're all super eager to tell me how much they love Elizabeth Warren.  But they do not seem interested in interrogating whether there's a gender bias in play at how Bernie is treated - if Bernie (or any male candidate) has a leg up simply because their gender card is just the "normal" one.

So let me answer the question as directly as possible: would I be so passionate about Hillary Clinton if she were a man?  No.  Because if she were a man, she wouldn't be Hillary Freaking Clinton.

The politician she is has been forged in a smithy of sexism for over 30 years.  The mountain of shit she's had to defend against has played a role in her becoming a politician I deeply admire.  It frustrates me so much that I'm supposed to believe that her female-ness doesn't matter.  Lookit: male/female isn't some facile binary that you can just wish away from significance.  The fact that she is a woman, a female politician, informs her in ways far weightier than symbolism. Stop asking me to ignore it.

Way back when in the campaign of 2008,  I was as passionate an anti-Clintite as anyone out there today.  I thought she was a corporate shill, power-mad, an entitled political elite. And I believed all of that because that's what people had been saying about her for pretty much my entire adult life.  But then I saw her sit through eleven hours of obstructionist, Republican, Benghazi nonsense-mongering.  And she was a goddamn rockstar. It was like a switch flipped for me and I decided to stop believing the 30 year long marketing campaign designed to discredit her and pay actual attention to who she is.

And who is she?  She is someone who is really good at politics.  She is temperamentally suited to the job.  She is a good, solid progressive.  She will Get Shit Done. If the past eight years of effective presidenting have taught me anything it's that inspirational speechifying makes for inspirational inspiring, but the sausage gets made the same way it always has.  And I mean since the dawn of this great nation: good politicians politick their way to change.  And if that seems dirty to you, I'd recommend you go check out this rather brilliant blogpost from my good pal, Paul.

I am passionate about Hillary Clinton - about the politician she is and what I believe she can do.  I believe she is a better candidate and will be a better president than Bernie Sanders.   And if one more person says "if she were a man..." my head will explode.  I'd say this would be one less vote for Hillary, but, I already voted for her and she's already won and she's going to be the person running against Donald Trump.  So, let's try to keep my head intact, shall we?  Stop trying to throw the "woman card" at me: there is no such thing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Nightmares

I had planned to write tonight about how everyone needs to stop sharing that video of John Cleese complaining about political correctness because straight white guys have just got got got got GOT to stop complaining about "political correctness."  It's not just that it's a poorly-defined term whose primary function is to provide cover for assholes (when I googled the video to make the above link, the first hits were from Fox and The Blaze... you do the math).  But, it's also that it's rich and ripe beyond reason to complain about something that you've literally never ever ever been on the other side of because you are straight and white and male and, therefore, de-fucking-fault.

Also, despite all the pearl clutching over "political correctness", the world is a much better place for comedy now that Eddie Murphy (whom I love) is no longer able to lean on a punch line that is literally only "you faggoty-ass faggot" and Andrew Dice Clay (whom I do not love) is no longer able to book an HBO special on the strength of how he edits nursery rhymes so that they're all about how women have no function beyond spunk receptacle.

And besides all that, for the love of Monty Python (which I do love so very much), surely a man as hilarious and brilliant and effortlessly witty as John Cleese is more than equal to the task of handling an over-sensitive college student. Right?

But then I worried that I would have to spend too much time explaining that despite my opinion on how John Cleese had really oughta shut it when it comes to complaining about political correctness, I love and adore him unconditionally and am almost afraid to even mention him because the looming specter of celebrities I love dying is starting to give me a complex.   But I do love John Cleese.  Here have a John Cleese gif:


I love John Cleese.  And also, I am tired.  I am so tired.  Which is why I just spent several paragraphs writing about how I wasn't going to write about something I'm writing about.  It's the fatigue, guys!  And I am fatigued because Freddy Kruger seems to have taken over a portion of my brain and is just fucking WRECKING my sleep cycle.  Every night around 2:00 am is all like this:


And then I can't get back to sleep.  I mean, there was the bolting out of bed in a fit of screams because I was sure there was a rat about to fall from my ceiling onto my bed on Saturday.  On Sunday,  I dreamed I was a man who was married to Madonna.  That's not not the nightmare.  Although:


Girl, put it away and dial it back because you are leaving a trail of tryhard all over that red carpet and you are a hero of mine from way back and also, please, don't die for at least another 30 years because I cannot take another one!

Anyway, on Sunday, I dreamt I was married to Madonna and I was a man and Madonna ended up slamming her head into a radiator on purpose and bashing in half of her face and then when I went over to stop her I ended up with a glass shard literally through my eye.

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT?

There was another one last night - I can't remember it because I'm still too tired from the other two nights. I just know that it was and that I was up in the wee small hours trying to remember that the world is a good and kind place and that sleep is a lovely release.

I am sick to death of whatever is yanking my subconscious from blissful REM sleep to remind me that life is fleeting and there is violence and also, here,  have a surreal and disturbing image or two to carry with you as you stumble into the bathroom because also you have to pee:


(If you find you are suffering from nightmares, maybe don't go searching for "surreal and disturbing gif" because OH MY GOD!!  That one up there is nowhere near the worst.  I'm not going to share the worst one because I love you all!  Not as much as I love John Cleese, but I do love you!)

I'm worried that I am talking myself into nightmares because not only do I suffer from whatever neurotic malady is giving me nightmares,  I also suffer from the uniquely American combo of Catholic guilt + Yankee Can Do-itiveness which means I believe everything is my fault and it would stop if I just tried a little harder.  So, when I go to bed at night I should be able to just convince myself to have pleasant dreams.

This is nonsense, but still I'm going to try it. Tonight I will attempt to lull myself into 8 hours of restive sleep by having something warm and herbal (shut up - I'm talking about tea) before bed and then watching an episode of Andy Griffith because then perhaps I'll dream of sitting on the porch in Mayberry, with a bellyful of Aunt Bee's pie and the dulcet tones of Sheriff Taylor strumming on his guitar which is so peaceful that I'll forget about the kind of horrible and restrictive underwear I'd, as a woman of Mayberry, be wearing. That old underwear is truly the stuff of nightmares.  Girdles and stays OH MY!

Maybe instead of being a woman in Mayberry, I'll dream I'm a man and then I'd only have to worry about obnoxious college students being politically correct.  I'm pretty sure I could sleep right through Threat Level Whatever Oh My God Get Over It.

Wish me luck!


Monday, May 2, 2016

When Laney Was...

When Laney was 2, she sat on my lap in a yellow glider in a lavender room and I read her stories and sang her songs.  I'd put my nose on the top of her head and nothing has ever smelled that good since.

When Laney was 6, I found her standing in the kitchen, weeping over some childhood tragedy.  I picked her up and she wrapped her legs around my waist and nestled her head in my neck and cried until she felt better.

When Laney was 9, she went to a new school and I sat in my car as she walked into the playground, among a hundred kids she didn't know.  I sat in the car and watched and cried and hoped so hard that someone would be her friend (someone was).

When Laney was 12, we drove home from school and she checked her phone to see what had happened in the virtual world that day. She said, more to herself than to me, "Someone just tried to trade me a stupid Pokemon for one of my good Pokemons." I didn't understand what that meant, but was feeling sort of silly, so I said, "I hope you told them they could fuck right off." And then we laughed and laughed.

Sometimes I wish Laney could still fit in my lap and that I could hug her woes and worries away.  But sometimes I'm glad that she's a big kid who laughs and laughs at a strategically-deployed f-bomb.  And both of those sometimes seem to be happening at the same time all the time.

Sorry that was so mushy.  I'm having some feels tonight.  Here's an Archer gif. When Laney is 16 (maybe 17) maybe we can enjoy Archer together.






Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Time's Arrow



I feel like I used to be better at time.  I used to have a little kid who required a lot of attention, which I happily gave.  Now I have a tween kid whom I rarely see because, I believe, she has some sort of inter-dimensional portal in her room that takes her to a land of magic and wonder - a place where there are no Trumps and wifi fucking everywhere.  I used to update my blog a couple of times a week and managed to find time to write a book.  Now I just hit this blog monthly or so when something big happens like Don turns 50 or I come up with some elaborately strained metaphor.  Once I found the time (and it was so much time) to learn how to play Moonlight Sonata on my cute little spinet.  Now I can barely be bothered to get to the end of a song on Spotify before I skip to the next one.

Is this a symptom of age?  I thought when we got older we were supposed to be better at this kind of stuff.  Actually, I thought we were supposed to be better at all the stuff except maybe metabolizing food. It turns out you retain amateur status well into mid-life.  What's up with that?

I believe I've written about this here before, but help me out: once I read this book about a town where everything was real nice and then out of nowhere these furtive strangers showed up. I can't remember the name of the story (which is what I'm hoping you'll help me out with), but I picture the strangers looking like the evil aliens from Star Trek TNG's Time's Arrow.  Here's a visual if you're not cool enough (that's right!  I said "cool enough") to know without one:



The furtive strangers made bargains with the townspeople.  They'd grant you one of your dearest wishes in exchange for a little of your time.  But you wouldn't remember making the deal.  Instead, all of the sudden you'd just have less time. But then you'd make another wish and then have less time.  And so everyone started rushing everywhere and no one knew why. And the nice little town was no longer a nice town. There was one hold-out, though.  One guy refused to make the deal and, instead, just slowly spent his days sweeping the streets, with all the time in the world.  Have you read this story?  And, if you have, what was it?  Also, did you wonder why the one hold-out didn't think of something better to do with all his ample time than sweep the damn street?  I mean Beethoven wrote a TON of stuff he could have taken the time to learn to play.  He could have read Ulysses.

I have no plans to spend what little time I have left after I've traded so much to the Time Bandits or whatever on Ulysses. I started it once.  I'm pretty sure Joyce is playing some kind of an elaborate practical joke.

(Was the story I'm thinking of Time Bandits?  That was a movie, right?  Did they steal time in that movie?  Was there a guy sweeping the streets, strangely pleased with his weird career choice?)

I suppose the secret is, as it is so often, to quit worrying about it so much.  Also: aggressive scheduling.  It's a bit hard to put those two things together.  Aggressive scheduling does not, generally, pair well with a laissez-faire attitude. But I'm confident I can figure it out.

After all, I'm the only one of you dummies smart enough to have sussed out that James Joyce was just fucking with us on that whole Ulysses thing.

Right?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Conversations Around the Bon House







Scene: MegBon is in the kitchen, tidying up while watching Archer.  DonBon wanders in to watch Archer or procrastinate before going to work out (column a... column b....)





MegBon (pauses TV): You know what's great about this modern world?
DonBon: What?
MegBon: When you're watching Archer and a guest actor's voice is so familiar and it's bugging you, but you just have to pull out your phone and you find out it's Keith David.  And Keith David is amazing.
DonBon: Keith David is Archer?
MegBon: No.  Keith David was Lana's father.  You may remember him from such films as They Live
DonBon: ??
MegBon: I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass.  And I'm all out of bubblegum
DonBon: I do remember him from coming into the health club when I worked there.
MegBon: Really?  Was he nice?  He seems nice.
DonBon: Yeah...
MegBon: Was he funny? I bet he was funny.
DonBon: What I remember is that he walked around the health club in a towel and flip flops
MegBon: ??
DonBon: Like he'd come into the bar wearing a towel and flip flops, sit down at the bar and say "I like this place.  Why don't they have places like this in L.A.?"
MegBon: Did you see his thing?
DonBon: I didn't look.  But I noticed that a lot of the women were looking at him and, like, nodding.
MegBon: So Keith David probably has a pretty nice penis.
DonBon:  Seems like it

The moral of this story is that the internet can tell you Keith David's roles, but you need DonBon to tell you what the health club ladies were thinking when confronted with Keith David's casual deshabille: 




Sunday, April 3, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me: The Quilt

On Don's last birthday we went to a Friday night showing of Deadpool, where we had a solid 20 years on just about everyone else in the theater. But it was cool. We're cool.  We had a good time and laughed at the jokes and got them all (I think).  At dinner afterwards, we were talking about the music in the movie and I said, "You know, everyone laughed when they played Careless Whisper, but we were the only ones there who had real memories attached to that song - so we got it more. Dammit."

Don then told me a story about dancing with a girl to that song at some long distant school dance, and trying to hide, er, just how much he was enjoying the dance with her.

We had some fun memories over old 80s songs.

So, I have this theory about aging... but first, let's be honest: In almost every way, aging sucks.  My back hurts, and my skin is no where near as fabulous as it used to be.  My neck is a little crepe-y (this is the thing I hate the most).  Everything makes me fat.  No one on TV is ever trying to sell me anything cool anymore.

On the other hand, I have all this past to wrap up around me.

Look: please forgive me now for what is fixing to be a super schlocky metaphor.  I hate schlock.  I am not sentimental. I hate schmaltzy facile bullshit that aims to soothe through oversimplification.  But maybe this isn't bullshitty and, fuck it, it's my birthday and I get to air out my secret shameful schlocky metaphor that I've been thinking on for a while.

So, here goes with the Quilt Theory (I mean it's so schlocky, the metaphor is built on QUILTS):  I sometimes find myself feeling like all the experiences I've had are like patches on a quilt and I've spent the past 47 years building up moments that are stitched up into a past that I can wrap up all around me and it's warming and wonderful.

When I hear Careless Whisper, I get to think "I was there!  I was there for that song, for that moment.  It's real."  This doesn't make the reference less funny in Deadpool - but it means I got to go to a place there that the young folks in the theater didn't.

I can hear songs, or see patterns, or feel something in the air that takes me back to some moment and rather than feel sad that it's over, I get to feel lucky that I got to be there.

I got to be there.  There is something soothing, maybe even a little miraculously so, about about having more past - I've got a bigger quilt.

So I don't feel bad about getting older since there are all these moments I've had and still more to come.  Although (full credit to the late, lamented Nora Ephron), I do feel bad about my neck.  But I have George Michael.  And it's not that we could have been so good together. We were!


Happy birthday to me!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Obama Derangement Syndrome in Full Force, Sigh, Again

Oh, man, I'm so tired!  I was all ready to pour myself a whiskey and get in bed and watch a little Good Wife (so so good) and then fall blissfully into sleep. But, like a damn fool,  I trawled through Facebook, read some comments I shouldn't have and ran right into a whole shitstorm of ginned up rightwing outrage because Barack Obama is not going to Nancy Reagan's funeral. And, you all know, I have a hard time sittin' here and letting people be wrong. Especially when Google is just right there!

I mean we just did this like two week's ago over Scalia's funeral, with Matt Drudge and the Breitbart flacks going into full tizzy because Obama was skipping this funeral to go golfing or because he was too busy giving free cell phones to welfare queens or something. And it didn't matter that lots of presidents have not gone to lots of Justice's funerals because if Obama is skipping it, it's because he's like a school in summer (is it OK to make Fat Albert references?  Did we discuss this in the last Liberal Bloggers meeting?)

I really do get so awfully tired of the knee-jerk outrage that comes with Obama Derangement Syndrome. And no matter how tired I am, I'm just not gonna sit there and let people stew in their smug wrong wrong wrongitiness especially when Google is just right there!!! 

  • Betty Ford, funeral July 8, 2011 - Attended by Michelle Obama, but not Barack.
  • Pat Nixon, funeral June 26, 1993 - Was not attended by either Bill or Hillary Clinton
  • Ladybird Johnson, funeral July 14, 2007 - Attended by Barbara Bush, but not George.
  • Jackie Kennedy Onassis, funeral May 23, 1993 - Jackie got a presidential visit at her funeral.  Bill Clinton delivered her eulogy
  • Mamie Eisenhower, funeral around Nov 1, 1979 - Attended by Rosalyn Carter, but not Jimmy Carter. Also, for what it's worth, was not attended by either Nancy or Ronald Reagan who were both surely pretty aware that they were fixing to be the first couple.

I am reminded of a quip by Al Sharpton: If Barack Obama walked on water, they'd say "see I told you he couldn't swim."

Here's one from me: If Barack Obama cured cancer, the Romney-wing of the GOP would complain that he was taking away an income stream for oncologists.  The Trump wing of the GOP would complain that he didn't care about diabetes.

You are entitled to your opinion of Barack Obama.  If you're one of those people who are agog at how horrible his presidency has been,  you get to be.  I mean, I think you're spectacularly misguided in that opinion as he's done a helluva job presidentin' under extraordinarily difficult circumstances (and by that, you know, I mean an intransigent Republican congress that is full of actual crazy people). But "classless" is a weird thing to dislike about him.

As a matter of fact: if your beef with Barack Obama is that he's "classless," I'd recommend you take a good hard look at why you think that because, friend, from what I've seen most of the people calling Barack Obama "classless" have a real bad case of projection syndrome.





Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Gif-Less Political Bloggity

I would like to pretend that I am the gif whisperer and that as I compose these little bloggities, I consult a directory of neatly filed gifs and insert them accordingly.  But, really, the gif search is usually the most time-consuming part of any post.

There.  Have a little inside Shouting Down the Well baseball.  I am not a gif master.  I'm merely a pretender to the gif throne.  But even as a pretender, I can have strong feelings.  Gif is pronounced with a hard G like "gift" not a soft g like "giraffe." I don't care what anyone says.  Hard G.  Not soft.  Are we all in agreement?  No? You're wrong, I'm right.  And don't even get me started in dah-ta again.  DAY-ta.  Dammit.

And now I'm gonna tell you who I'm voting for and why. I was going to avoid writing about it for the whole season, but  I've been composing this bloggity within the dark recesses of my own damn brain for a while now and it's time to get it out since, you know, better out than in.

I like Bernie Sanders.  I like him a lot.  I think he's a good man and a skilled politician and has great ideas and if he happens to win the nomination, I will send him a check, put a Bernie sticker on the back of my car and vote for him gladly.

But I'm pulling the lever for Hillary and am doing so for the following two reasons.

Reason the First: She is Tenacious and Tough.

I've been following Hillary Clinton since 1991. In that time, she's been called a castrating bitch and a murderer.  She's been the star of a host of tabloid lesbian scandals. Remember Whitewater? How was Whitewater even a thing?  Whitewater was ridiculous!  Her hair, her wardrobe, her manner of walking and speaking, what she was like as a parent, as a wife - all these things have been viciously attacked and she is still standing.  She is Tubthumping.  What does Donald Trump have left to throw at her?  What does the establishment right have left to throw at her?  They've thrown it all at her and she's still standing.

I cannot tell you how much I admire that.  She's got ovaries of steel.  I want to hide under the bed when someone disagrees politely with me on a Facebook post!  

Reason the Second: Her Policy Proposals are Practical

I like Bernie's policy ideas a lot.  I would love to live in the Scandinavian paradise he so rightly advocates for.  Of course we can pay for the things he proposes. His policies make sound fiscal and moral sense.  But I also remember the Obamacare Death March of 2010. Do you?  Do you guys remember that?  How fucking crazy was that?  The sheer amount of political will it took just to get that limited, flawed plan in place?

Free college for all?  Single payer?  That's not going to happen with our gerrymandered, fractured, fucked up, broken congress. Sanders can explain why it's better, he can explain how to pay for it - what he can't explain is how to get it passed.  And again, I know he's a skilled pol - but this ain't about adding amendments to bills. This is a revolution.  And we could use one.  But if we're gonna revolt through the presidency, we're gonna need a whole new Congress to go along with it.

When it comes down to it, Hillary and Bernie are pretty close on the issues.  But Hillary wants to build on what's been done so far, and Bernie wants to start over and get something better. I'm betting that Hillary is more likely to get her plan done.

I sure would like some democratic socialism.  But the path towards that is not via the presidency.  It's via Congress.  We should get this fired up during mid-terms and the like. We should be GOTV in the boring elections.  Let's remember that in 2018.

Passionate Bernie Fan, I get it.  I like your guy a lot.  I thought long and hard about pulling the lever for him, but I have more confidence in Hillary.  I certainly won't think any less of you for sticking with your convictions and voting for the candidate who speaks to you, who you believe it.  And I would hope that all of us on the left would afford one another the same courtesy.  But if you can't, that's OK.  I was the same way about Hillary in 2008 as you are about her now, which makes it sort of amazing how much I like her now.  Must be an Obama-effect (fwiw, I continue to really like Obama too and wish I could just vote for him again).

One more thing, Passionate Bernie Fan, just one more thing: I want a woman president.  And if you poo poo that - if you say stupid shit like "having a uterus doesn't qualify you for the presidency" I'm gonna go full on Season 6 Willow - black eyes, spinning head, the whole nine yards.  It Matters.  It isn't why I'm voting for Hillary Clinton - but it is important.  And it pisses me off more than you can imagine when you dismiss it or claim you'd like a woman president but only the woman who isn't fucking running.  Urgh.  Stop doing that!

That is all.  I'm pulling the lever for Hillary.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

This is Not About Kanye

Look - you hate Kanye West.  I get it.  I enjoy him as an artist but it is no stretch for me to comprehend the haterade. Dude's an asshole. I get it.

But I cannot anymore with a certain anti-Kanye meme.  Shall we stroll through a meadow of tough guys together?

Chuck Norris, we know how you feel about President Obama.  Do you have any thoughts on Kanye West?


Clint Eastwood, you've made some really excellent movies and some questionable appearances at GOP Conventions.  What do you think of Kanye West?


Are you one of those guys from that show about the motorcycle gang with a Shakespearian scope?  I think you are.  I plan on watching your show soon!  Can you tell me what you think of Kanye West?


Excuse me, I don't mean to bother you while you're protecting our freedoms, but could you take a quick break and give me your thoughts on Kanye West?

 

Sigh.  

I've gathered up some of my best gal pals with some advice for men who giggle and hit "share" when they see that meme.  Gaga, what should these fellows do?


Rachel from Friends, would you like to say anything to the sharers of that meme?


Christina, do you have any final messages?



In a nutshell: when you want to insult someone by calling him a girl, you are not insulting him, you are insulting GIRLS!  You are saying that being a girl is a lame thing to be.  It's not funny.  It's not cool.  It's not badass.  It's sexist AF.

Stop doing that. 

Ron Swanson, sometimes the manly men struggle with accepting advice from ladies.  Could you brush off your mustachioed Y chromosome and give some advice to the nice man with an urge to share the "Kanye West? Never heard of her" meme?


That is all.