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Celebrating MLK Day the Hallmark Way

January 21, 2019

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Let’s be clear. I love me some Dr. King. I wish we did a lot more than pay lip service to him once a year. I wish we lived and breathed his words and deeds. I wish he’d rise from the dead and smack that MAGA hat off Kanye West’s head. We’d be a much better country and people if he’d been allowed to live or if we had the courage of his convictions.

There are a lot of ways you can honor Dr. King’s memory. Chief among them is to get on the Twitters, Facebooks and Instagrams and post his photo and/or a quote to show you are woke. If you lean to the right, be sure to include a comment about how he was a Republican and would totally want a border wall.

If like me, your company considers this a paid holiday or you’re a furloughed federal employee, you can opt to stay in your PJs and hunker down on the couch and watch Hallmark’s Winterfest Movie Countdown! Nothing says “day of service to humanity” like binge-watching romance movies.

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I’m pretty sure I just heard my woke friends groan. Certainly, there are better ways to spend the holiday. Well sure. Except all the national parks and monuments that honor MLK are closed thanks to Donny’s shutdown. There are no branded MLK Day Holiday sales where I can show how patriotic I am by buying a mattress or a car in his memory. Hell, there’s not even a Hallmark card to honor his legacy.
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I’m pretty sure the groaning I hear is not only because I choose to do something so riddled with middle-class white privilege with my day off, but also because, well, Hallmark Channel. Yes, I should be ashamed of myself for any number of reasons, but watching this kind of television is the least among them. The Hallmark Channel is one of my favorites because it is white noise in its purest form. Everything is perfectly formulaic. I don’t have to care about any of the characters or the plot. I can walk in and out of the movie at any time without having to pause my DVR because I know what is going to happen and I won’t be lost if I wander in mid-movie. Better than a cheap carnival clairvoyant I can predict the future from the opening credits. Even the Poor Bastard has learned the formula. (Okay, yeah. I should be ashamed of having broken his spirit in this way.)

And they are so true to life. We all know that real relationships are built on a solid foundation of truths shared over copious amounts of hot chocolate, not drunken bourbon-fueled confessions. Sadness and regret can be wiped away in a single chaste kiss. Financial worries can be solved or an entire town can be saved with a simple whimsical poorly executed business idea. Every woman owns at least one ball gown perfect for that special gala event she’s hosting with less than a week to prepare.

And the best news of all…there are so many unmarried princes running around Europe looking for American brides in the throngs of tourists in their kingdoms. I always thought that there were 7 monarchies in Europe, but apparently, there were 11 others like Landora, Calpernia, Monstsauri, St. Ives, and Voldavia where everyone has egregiously fake posh English accents and queens are notoriously uptight snobs. Of course, they can easily be won over by showing her that you don’t have a Cinderella Complex, you’re an independent woman who just wants to love her son and help the poor disenfranchised children of her kingdom.

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Every girl dreams of marrying her prince, you’re lying if you say otherwise. I had my eye on Prince Edward of England back in the day. And, as Meghan Markle has proved, it’s still viable to believe that, even for an American commoner, someday your prince may actually show up. In these bleak days of Trumpian America, we all want a dashing foreign prince to come save us. Or even rule us.

So, judge me. Question my taste, my commitment to ending racism in this country, my life choices. Sure, I could spend Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in service of others, but that would mean showering. And besides, I’ve got an Amazon Prime shipment coming for which I have to sign. Priorities people. Cheezits.

 

Existential First World Problems Of A Worried Girl

November 10, 2018

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Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Me? I’m Facebooking. It’s the middle of the night and television news is sparse. So it’s time for rampant speculation and misinformation. Because it is comforting. I’m culling through threads in my junior high school Facebook group. Looking at photos and clicking links to fire maps. The whole day has been spent with the local news playing in the background. The Poor Bastard and I drank wine while watching the local news team stand around burning structures speculating on where the fire will go next. It’s exhausting, compelling, and I need more Advil and Pepcid.

I’m safe. All the people I know are safe. Their animals are safe. They are in evacuation centers, the homes of friends and family, or in the case of my mother, ensconced in a Motel 6 near the airport. The important stuff, survival, is taken care of. It’s the other questions that remain unanswered. “Is my house still standing?” “Did my business survive?” “Fuck. I think I left without my favorite sweater. I hope it survives.”

The information coming out of my hometown is sparse. We’re taking to social media for clues. We’re reading Twitter feeds and following conversation threads on Facebook. Asking each other for updates. “Hey, anyone know if my parent’s place is still there?” Information is coming in fast, furious, and conflicted. “I heard the whole neighborhood is gone!” “Nah, you’re okay. It totally skipped that part of town, but remember the old Smith place? That’s rubble.” “Check the fire department’s Twitter.” “Anyone know what area is being evacuated now?” “Has anyone seen my parents? Cell service is shit and I can’t get a hold of them.”

We’re all using references for places that aren’t modernly relevant to help identify locations. It’s been 20 years since the Smith’s lived anywhere near that house, but calling it “the old Smith place” gives us a universal geographic landmark to work with. We don’t remember street addresses, just who lived where. That’s how you do geography as kids. That’s how you pull it up in the catalog of memory. We’re referencing the old names for businesses that have long changed hands. We’re calling the high school by its former name. We’re struggling to hold on to an identity for a town that has changed over the years and now will never be the same.

For many of us it’s been years since we lived there. Years even since we’ve last visited. But we’re all tense and grieving. We’re grieving not just for the loss of property. Not just for the displacement of people we know and love, or the displacement of total strangers. We’re grieving for the loss of our personal histories. Total first world problems to be sure. Greater crises have befallen man over the eons. But right now, this is the thing we’re focused on.

My hometown is an enclave for the wealthy, for movie stars and normal people. The storybook land of Hollywood and California dreams. Many people have their own mental and emotional stakes in what happens to this small coastal town, even if they’ve never set foot in it. People from all over the world are reaching out and asking about my home. They are, of course, worried about me and my family. But they are also experiencing their own sense of loss. This town is the place of legend and fable, and in some ways belongs to them as well.

For me, I’m waiting on news, not only to whether or not several of my family members have homes, cars, or favorite sweaters to return to. But also, to find out if the last vestiges of my childhood are still standing. The places that formed my sense of place – my notion of “home” have been slowly disappearing. The structures I have called home over the years have all been sold and re-developed into tract home developments or McMansions. Making it harder to identify my memories. When I drive by I’m often puzzled. It takes a minute to situate myself and grab on to the threads of memory. “There used to be a garden there where I played.” “Remember the dilapidated shack where we used to solve mysteries?” “That, over there, that’s where I lost my virginity.”

Those changes and losses were for the sake of “progress” and the inevitable change of times. Homes get sold. People move on. It’s LA, we tear shit down for the fuck of it. Tonight is different. This is not progress. It’s wholesale destruction. Not just of property, but of memory and identity. The fate of what we’ve always known, the familiar, the comforting, is at the mercy of the wind.

We’re all safe, sure. And that’s what’s important. We’re just unmoored.

I Offend; Therefore I am

October 27, 2017

Every so often I am reminded that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. That I am an acquired taste. That I offend. You’ll not be surprised to know that the number of fucks I give about this is nil. Zero. Zilch. None.

I am not here to tell you what you want to hear. I am not here to provide you with a safe space because you’re too precious to hear what I have to say, or how I say it. I am too old to be told that my behaviour or language is not ladylike. I’m over 50 and no longer have to answer to my great-grandmother’s Victorian rules of etiquette, or my cotillion teacher’s rules for the deportment of young ladies. I don’t cross my legs at the ankles, I don’t keep my opinions to myself, and I don’t curb my tongue.

I am outspoken and brash. I will respond to most situations, even the bleakest, with snark. I use profanity. Effusively. I like the word “fuck” very much. I will use it when, where, and how I want. I will say it in front of your children and will not put money in the swear jar. Frankly you should tip me for teaching your offspring proper English in an era where they are learning to use emojis instead of words, and that it’s rude to complete a sentence in a text with a period. Fuck that.

I give the finger. I give it for all kinds of reasons and for no reason at all. If you want to take my photo you’re agreeing to me flipping you off as it is rare that I will pose for one where I’m not. Not even my own wedding photos.

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I don’t know “my place” and I won’t be put in it by anyone. I’m a grown ass adult with a lifetime of experiences, ideas and opinions. I will not change to make you feel better. The issues you may have with me are yours, not mine, and you will need to find a way to come to terms with them. So, if I’m not your cup of tea, don’t drink me.

Slow Your Roll

February 20, 2017

Bitch, please. If y’all are gonna survive you need to slow your roll.

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Sweet Mother of Cheezits, anyone else exhausted yet? Cabinet nominations, travel bans, Russian spies, imaginary terrorist attacks ,and campaign rallies… CAMPAIGN RALLIES? We’re one month in and I’ve already blown my annual bourbon budget. People, please, slow your roll.

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Since day one of what may well be the Last American Presidency both sides of the aisle have been on the offensive. The left has been taking offense to everything. The right has been demanding supplication, and the media has been trying to keep it all straight in the face of accusations of being “fake news.”  It’s fucking exhausting to be everyone.

Basic fact is that no matter what side of the chasm you’re on, you’re not gonna make it through the first 4 years of the rest of America’s life, if you don’t slow your roll. This isn’t high school kids, you can’t get off and go again, better than…

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#imwithbitch

February 7, 2017

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It’s time to speak up. See something, say something.

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A Platform of Common Sense and Common Courtesy

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Tonight Imma Angry White Girl

January 31, 2017

I have never been so ashamed of my race, my fellow citizens, or my country’s leadership than I am tonight. I don’t normally spend a lot of my time worrying about race and ethnicity. I’m not gonna be some lying PC liberal who tells you I don’t see colour, but honest to God I just don’t tend to give a shit about it. But tonight, I’m one angry white girl, and I’m angry at the racist fuckmuppets that are dismantling this country in the name of “nationalism.” Shit by any other name smells just as bad. This is racism in its purest form.

I was waiting in line at Target this afternoon and casually giving the other patrons the once over. Scoping out who was buying what – harshly judging the woman who bought the new Chocolate Strawberry Oreos because that’s just not right – and it dawned on me that I was the only white person in sight. I can imagine that this would have inflamed or horrified an Alt-Right white girl, but it actually made me smile. I listened to people speaking a couple of different languages,  and I thought to myself “This is what America really looks like. This is what MY America looks like.”  My America is open, welcoming, and inclusive. It may not be perfect, but until today I’d take it over most places on the planet. Today not so much.

I’m about as purebred white American girl as you can get.  Not quite the Heir of Slytherin pureblood, but I’ve got a pedigree that would make a white supremacist ejaculate prematurely. My people came over on the Mayflower. They were white, Christian, and carried diseases. My ancestors fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.  My people have been here for nearly 400 years. They built the foundation, government and industries that make up the history of this country. Sure, they weren’t perfect. They owned slaves. They treated Native Americans like vermin. Not gonna lie and make them sound flawless. We can’t take a time machine back and fix their wrongs. But, what they did do is come here as immigrants, work their asses off and build the foundations of a country that has in the intervening centuries been defined by philosophical, cultural and ethnic diversity. This was, and always has been, a country of opportunity for people from all over the world. I think, despite their inherent flaws and the prejudices of their times, our Founding Fathers would actually be pretty fucking proud of the way this country has turned out. Until today.

Today a snotty entitled greedy child took another stab at defiling the Constitution – a document and set of guiding principles that thousands of men and women died to see come to fruition and thousands more have fought to defend. The laws of this country, the checks and balances of our government’s design, aren’t and shouldn’t be treated like quaint notions that don’t apply because a white nationalist and a guy with a bad hair piece are running the Executive Branch.  The Constitution of the United States of America isn’t a fucking substitute for toilet paper for the bathroom of the West Wing.

You cannot ethnically cleanse America. You cannot, as the Alt-Right kids like to suggest, send everyone back from where they came from.  You cannot send all the African-Americans back to Africa.  You cannot send all the Asian Americans back to Asia. You cannot send all the Muslim Americans back. The White Wonderland they envision isn’t even remotely feasible without bombing ALL OF US back to the mother-fucking stone age. This is not how you “make America great again.”  This is how you make a mockery of our history, embarrass us in front of the world, and end up getting more Americans killed.

This is how you make America ashamed again.

 

 

 

Presidential Grudge Fuck

January 28, 2017

A grudge fuck is really the only way I can describe how this past week has felt. Every morning has brought more news out of the White House that makes me feel an overwhelming sense of dread and shame. I’m ashamed of my country’s leadership and of my fellow Americans.

The tone and tenor of the first week of 45’s occupation of highest office in the land has been one of aggression and self-aggrandizement. Executive orders aimed at inflaming the liberal left, stripping millions of people of their healthcare, locking out of the country people who were legally admitted to this country and who contribute to our economy,  flipping off a neighbouring country, telling indigenous people that we don’t care if they are displaced or die so long as the entitled class can have more. Cabinet appointments that are paybacks for money donated whether they are actually to the benefit of the people they are appointed to serve.  And payback against the people who dared to have a different opinion from the current leadership. Just a dirty, nasty, lubeless grudge fuck.

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The rhetoric has been that of anger and loathing for the majority of people who make up this country – people who want to live their lives in peace, genuinely want to love their neighbour, feel safe, raise their children and rely on the notion that their government has their backs. Instead of sending out positive messages to the country that emphasize that we’re going to move forward together to make this country live up to it’s potential, we’ve had to listen to 45 keep measuring his dick. It’s not possible that everything about him and his presidency is “the greatest” or “the biggest” or always historic. Not every speech he gives is in the same class as the Gettysburg address. It’s just not feasible for that to happen. And the sycophants around him need to stop telling him that it is and stop telling the American people that they are too stupid or misguided to know the difference between truth and fiction. They aren’t making it better.

We want a president who speaks to all of us and for all us. Not one who panders to a specific demographic that represents a true minority in this country. We’re not all angry white people who think they are owed retribution and restitution for their state of existence. Most of us want a president who can, at least, pretend to understand what it’s like to be an “average American”. To understand when you can’t afford to make your house payment, pay the medical bills for your spouse’s cancer treatment, send your kids to college, afford bus fare to get to work at your minimum wage job, be a single parent who is trying to balance work and child rearing or just getting through the fucking day.

We want a president that recognizes that half of the country’s population are women and that women have all kinds of special healthcare needs that men do not. Men do not have to spread their legs and have a speculum shoved up their twat so it can be scraped to make sure they don’t have cancer. Men don’t have the discomfort and some times debilitating pain that comes with having your uterus rip it’s own lining out every month.  Men don’t bear the burden of birth control to make sure they don’t have an unwanted pregnancy ,or have to deal with the ramifications and side effects of birth control. Men don’t have their twats ripped at the seams forcing a child out of their bodies and into the world.  The most men find themselves worrying about for the bulk of their life is whether or not their dick can get hard at will. We have an president who thinks of women as objects whose pussies are up for grabs and isn’t ashamed to admit that.

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Delivering a bleak, dystopian Inaugural Address doesn’t speak to making America great or even better. It makes America sound like Escape from New York or The Purge. Listening to it I wanted to peek out my front door and make sure there weren’t gangs of armed lunatics marching down my street, cars on fire, and small children abandoned by dead parents in the “American Carnage” that seems to define our nation. He didn’t talk about real hope, real healing, being a country of inclusion rather than exclusion. About making life better for your fellow man. About admitting that we’re part of the global community. That the universe is bigger than his own prick. He made it sound like we were so fucked and on the verge of an imminent apocalypse  and only he could save us. One half expected him to rip open his shirt and expose his superhero Underoos with a giant T emblazoned across the front.

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But he’s not a super hero. He’s not even close to it. He’s a man who can’t stop congratulating himself on being so “tremendous”. He’s a man who can’t stop trying to convince us that he’s really the most popular guy who has ever lived. He’s a man who believes he knows everything about everything and can’t possibly be wrong or shortsighted – but who doesn’t actually possess any actual knowledge and eschews the advice and knowledge sharing of people whose education and experience inform them. He sounds just like the petulant child that is running North Korea, not like a well balanced, well meaning American president.

I keep hearing that “Trump won. Stop being a sore loser.” Like the role of every good American is to accept defeat and let the “winner” run roughshod over their lives. That’s not the way America was designed. Winning an election isn’t, and shouldn’t be, about conquering your own country – forcing the people to bow down to your will – while you rape and pillage to fill your own coffers or those of your generals. That’s pretty much the complete opposite of why this country was established. Knowing and understanding that this isn’t what America stands should compel every American to work to move America forward constructively. Not destructively. Not in anger. Not in hate. And not without lube.