Category Archives: politics

Color Me Grey — A Lament

This lament was written to the prompt of a black and white photo depicting a waterfall with rowboat suspended as if weightless at its base.

Color me grey. Remove gravity. Add rushing water, but make it still. Strip the leaves off spring trees and tell them to rustle. Pick the ants off fists of peony-buds so that the flush of pink stays tightly balled inside. Put one paddle in my row boat instead of two. Hide all partners. Put sky in the water. Remove sky from above the horizon. Dangle untruths like earrings on beauty queens. That old saying, “If you piss on my foot and tell me it’s raining, it ain’t raining,” comes to mind. Gravity might have governed once. Now we float above institutions and look down and wonder how they ever worked.

We ready ourselves to row and row hard, really put our backs into it, only to discover that there is only one oar. The old push to get out the vote is so cute anymore. The sticker on your lapel not a badge of much if your vote can so readily be thrown out. Men on the national stage are pledging to do just that and they’re not laughed at or removed with a cane.

One Texan speaks up and makes good trouble. He’s not even shouting. The armed men on stage point and holler with a Klan-like vicious unity. Get out! Get out! Get out! A Texan in a blue oxford shirt surrounded by arms raised, cameras filming the moment of infamy. Theirs, not his. Get out! Get out! Get out!

The water of time keeps falling over the ledge. So there is gravity — just not in America — where up is down and down is up and nothing rushes anywhere except violence. DNA of grieving parents required to ID some of the ten-year-old bodies. What does that tell you?

It almost sounds like armed officers escorted the shooter inside. You’re not “containing” anything if the perpetrator is locked in a room with an entire classroom of kids.

Why won’t shadows behave anymore, as in calling evil evil and not publishing a nuanced view of evil’s view of good. The Fourth Estate. Give me a break. Get in your boat and row. With one oar, you’ll go in circles, illuminate nothing, perpetuate everything.

The sidewalk rolls up in protest. A press conference of lies. Parents demonized instead of the supposed good guys with guns called out for their cowardice.

Beer bellies hemmed by holsters. Angry men raise their arms and point. Get out! Get out! Get out! as if demanding answers was the problem and not a room full of dead fourth graders and their teachers.

Enough. Enough.

I hear the children playing at the near elementary school the day after and wonder, Have they been told, and if so, how, in what words, with what omissions, and with what false assurances of safety.

How the mind splits. It happened to them. It having happened to them means it can’t happen to me. Nice try. The Boulder shoppers gunned down at one son’s regular grocery store. A man shot in front of my brother’s Glendale pharmacy, the flowers lining the sidewalk in ineffectual witness.

What did their parent tell their elementary-school-aged children when I can’t even tell the story to myself?

Joy Harjo and Ted Lasso — what?

We are still America.
We know the rumors of our demise.
We spit them out.
They die soon. 
U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo

I gave this Harjo quote to my writing friends on Tuesday as a prompt. Below is my response. If you haven’t watched Ted Lasso, perhaps don’t bother because it’s a lot about that show. Also, if you haven’t finished Season TWO — warning! There are spoilers!

*   *   *

“To face a crowd,” she instructs, “lift your arms while breathing in.” She demonstrates. “Make yourself big!” The statuesque club-owner talking to the littlest of the coaches. When he tries, he finds the technique useless. He cannot make himself bigger. Instead, he spits at the mirror. Somehow, that works. Spit, plus an e, equals spite, we soon learn.

All the happy transformations and  mini-redemptions, which are sometimes big redemptions, somehow are lost on Nate the Great, the littlest coach. He turns into Nate the Snape. It doesn’t matter that his burning resentments are misplaced — clearly father-induced — they flare into betrayal anyway. He digs himself into a hole so deep that no rope ladder of apology can help him exit.

But we know, we wise viewers, that our hero, head coach Lasso, previously portrayed as being able to bridge every chasm with folksy stories, genuine humility, and a radical capacity to apologize, doesn’t try very hard at the critical moment with Nate, now does he?

And, pshaw, when the final scene of Season Two shows Nate formerly the Great on the sidelines of the nemesis team, we know the failure was a gimmick and it disappoints as gimmicks always do.

Nevertheless, we look to Lasso, a man of the moment, somehow. If only there were stories appealing enough, humility genuine enough, and apologies transformative enough to bridge the flaming chasm that divides America. I don’t think there are. We’re at Stage Nine or Ten on the way to tyranny, the stage where truth no longer matters. Post truth is pre-fascism. It comes after the stage of simplistically and hatefully vilifying the other. Lock her Up! Build the Wall! As one pundit put it, we’re not debating the efficacy of vaccines or masks, we’re debating whether truth matters or not.

So before trying to spit out the notion that we are in free-fall decline, I must first spit on epic, destructive stupidity. SPIT. Yes, it’s the racism, stupid, but it’s also the stupidity, stupid! I must spit on greedy corporatism infecting governance. SPIT. On lying. And more lying. I mean Satan-level lying. SPIT. And on stupidity again — willful stupidity, as in I did my own research on Facebook, and corrupt stupidity as in a climate-crisis denier opining in Congress, ain’t it better for agriculture if it’s warm? Yuck. Yuck. SPIT.

The rumors of our demise are so well-founded, how do I spit them away?

Magic not saliva might be required. A national exorcism. Starting with the Former Liar in Chief followed by Fox News, which leads me to note, by the way, that the step on the road to tyranny about the state taking over the levers of the press would not be required on our path to damnation, not as long as idiots like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham drip nightly poison to huge adoring crowds.

We are still America. Still riven by race. Still tainted by the original sins of genocide and slavery. Our exceptionalism always dwelt in pools of blood and now it also depends on the masses being ignorant. George Carlin knew as much decades ago when he joked, they WANT you to be uneducated.

List of the vilified: intelligence, climate science, disease science, science, science, science, eloquence, the separation of church and state, women, women, women, especially women in positions of power.

Therefore, I can only spit on the rumors of our demise as a supreme act of faith.

An act of faith.
An act of faith.

If only Paul Bunyan could come back as Ted Lasso and stomp from state to state applying his special brand of seeing the other, meeting the other, transforming the other. Not, certainly not, Mitt Romney in the signature cardigan and a plastered-on mustache which, by the way made him look more like Hitler than the humble coach, kneeling in a sickening gimmick, making an offering to the flourescent-pink-garbed Sinema.

SHE’s spitting on America.

Can I spit back before exorcizing the sense of inevitable demise of our Republic?

An act of faith. Into the ground my weary disdain, my frothy pessimism. Pattoowie.

 

new recording 16

Recording, if it works, gawd I’m a dolt — is four minutes forty six seconds.

Shit show

I’ve written about the week, written about it some more, including one long rant, but haven’t had the energy to bring anything here. Maybe this weekend? Maybe not. There have been so many comments made and registered out there.

A new fox.

I might be locating a little ambition to sew garments. Step one: adjust dress dummy to my measurements. I think draping might be the way to go for me since following directions is not my strong suit.

Tried to turn purple-shirt star into a robe and failed miserably.

There are still possibilities.

It’s creepy how well Instagram understands my taste. These showed up this week and I love them both.

Finished the Noah’s Ark quilt (talked about on Instagram last week). Just need to deliver it to my neighbor now, who has a grandson named Noah. Another friend is about to become a grandmother. Her daughter was one of the most talented creators I worked with back when I taught fiber arts to elementary school kids, so I want the crib quilt for her baby to be nice. Blues have been requested.

Also finished the above. Are you sensing a trend? FINISHING! I’m whittling down a pile of nearly finished pieces. The one above is in my Etsy shop (clothcompany).

Lastly, for my own reference, I’m inserting a few screen shots.

Stay rested everyone. Stay hydrated. Connect with loved ones.

Thanks for all the encouraging comments about a gas fireplace! It might be operable as soon as tomorrow.

Indivisible phone call — voices of reason

So who’s going to Pride?
I am! Yes, can’t wait.
It’s the 50th.
Who’s driving? Taking the T? Is it noon — 12:45?

There’s this dedication in Medford. To mark the graves of the enslaved. Going there instead.

Did you see Gillette’s trans shaving ad? So great! So great!

Did you see Kushner — disgusting. Axios? Australian interviewer. Three times saying about birtherism, “I didn’t have anything to do with that.” Wouldn’t say it was racist.

CNBC: Trump baby blimp

London?  The baby in diapers blimp! McCain hat projected on building.
The Brits know how to protest! Feed him to the corgis.

He fell asleep during Queen’s remarks.
This long twitter thread on dementia. Quite advanced. Slurring, body twitches, wide-legged walk.Can progress rapidly. Only question is: what KIND of dementia?

Would we know the difference?

I called my rep: ‘take a stand on impeachment.’
What IS his stand on impeachment?
He says everything’s on the table. Like Pelosi.

Back and forth.

Argument against impeachment

  • what might happen in 2020.

Arguments for impeachment

  • political speculation has been wrong;
  • his base is already fired up (and what about the Dem base, BTW);
  • polls based on static view are bound to change after weeks of televised hearings (look what 9 minutes of Mueller did) (or is this Pollyanna-ish — after all he’s already an unindicted co-conspirator);
  • failure by the Senate to convict will be taken as a triumph, yes, but so will the failure to impeach. At least a trial in the Senate would put every Senator who votes with trump on the record.
  • It’s about the long game. If democracy collapses, it won’t matter that impeachment failed and if democracy survives, the record will damn trump-enablers eventually.

And then this:

“If you think the president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors and you move toward impeachment, that’s constitutional. If you think he’s committed impeachable offenses and you don’t hold impeachment hearings, THAT’s political.”

Why did Pelosi say, “Do you want me to send Elijah Cummings home?” WOULD the other investigations have to end?

What makes us think a ‘turbo-charged impeachment subpoena’ will fare better than a regular one, especially since the White House is now defying COURT ORDERS (Flynn disclosure ruling). Holy Christ!

He’ll start a war. That’s his fallback.

“If you think impeachment is political, then so is upholding the 14th Amendment.”

Ending on a high note? Today’s New York Times OpEd by David Brooks (gag), yeah, but his views are evolving. “The Coming GOP Apocalypse.”

“The generation gap is even more powerful when it comes to Republicans. To put it bluntly, young adults hate them.”

“The difference is ideological. According to Pew, 57 percent of millennials call themselves consistently liberal or mostly liberal. Only 12 percent call themselves consistently conservative or mostly conservative. This is the most important statistic in American politics right now.”

Well, this would’ve been more evident by now if it weren’t for gerrymandering.

What happened to our high note?

The court’s ruling on the census case soon.