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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

National Women's Day


I forgot today was National Women's Day. I got on Facebook this morning and saw a couple articles about it and against my better judgment, read a few comments. Of course the comments started with, "get a job." or, "they should be fired for being unreliable." or, "I'm a woman and I went to work today and I pay my own bills. You should too."

So many assumptions being made in these comments. Just so many. But the underlying sentiment seems to be, "your cause isn't valid." or "you don't represent me as a woman." and/or, "I'm strong and you aren't." or maybe, "I'm behaving and you're not."

After the women's march in January, I heard a lot of similar comments. The most common complaint I heard was, "Please tell me what rights women don't already have." Some women even posed this question to me assuming I would agree. But you get the distinct impression that they don't actually want to hear what you have to say. I get the impression that many people of both genders think, "you can vote, you can work, you can own property, that's enough. Be happy with what you have and be quiet."

Meanwhile, the other headline I saw this morning was titled, "Devos employee likes to 'shake' his wife." His comment seems to have been made in passing - meaning it was so casual to him it didn't cross his mind he shouldn't say it:


Does he really shake his wife? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, the language is damaging and dangerous. But oops, I shouldn't complain about that because women have enough.

Ignore the statistics about violence against women and young girls. Ignore the rape statistics. Ignore the lack of funding for rape kits. Ignore the messages in the media women read and hear all the time making us feel less-than. Ignore all the challenges women face because um, helllloooo we can vote now! Also, did you hear that some women littered at a rally? INVALID! (Not that I'm ok with littering.)

I relate it to something I hear other white people say sometimes about black people. Because I am white too, these things are sometimes said around me with the assumption that I will be on board. Things like, "Black people need to get over it. Slavery ended a long time ago." Or, "If black people don't want to get arrested/shot, maybe they should behave."

My blood boils. And I speak up.

I'm not black and I could never pretend to know the challenges African-Americans face. But when they tell me they face challenges I wouldn't understand, I listen. And I believe them. I don't think, "slavery is over. Jim Crow laws are over. Most states have integrated proms now. Get over it. We're all equal now. You're just looking for something to complain about."

Am I saying we all have to agree with each other? No. But I wish we would listen better. And maybe not immediately speak out against each other. Maybe try to understand, try to find the parts we agree with, try to build bridges, try to feel more love instead of hate.

Or at least not make hate and anger our first reaction.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Fighting back

What if this was Trump's plan all along? What if he and his team just said, "Let's make the first three weeks absolute chaos? Just everything that can go wrong, will? After awhile people will get so tired of it, we'll be able to do whatever we want. They won't have the will to care anymore?"

That's obviously flawed logic on my part. It would mean 1) planning ahead and 2) that they aren't already doing whatever they want with no regard for laws. I mean.... it's exhausting. It feels like there's at least three terrible things per day that this administration does.

Well, I'm not going to stop fighting. Just last night, I lay in bed with my mind swirling from the day's events. So I made some extremely controversial artwork on my phone to show how annoyed I am. Hopefully blogger won't censor these works of art:




I sent all these to my sisters last night. In response I got one "ha" and the other sister never responded. I can only assume because her mind was blown and she was speechless.

I laughed much harder than a grown woman should then went to bed.

Trump 0, me 1.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Wall

I've been all fight these days. Push me even a little bit and I don't hold back on my distaste for how things are going with the new president.

I am trying to find more humor to balance the rage anger news, so here's something I saw today that made me laugh. Enjoy!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Week 2

I gotta hand it to the Trump presidency for teaching me some bits of history this week that I never heard about. For one thing, great news! Frederick Douglass is still alive!

"Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice." -Trump

I assume he's just as proud of Harriet Tubman for not giving up her seat on the bus.

Also, there was a horrible incident called the Bowling Green Massacre that I can only assume we've never heard of because the liberal media chose not to cover it!

Here is a great clip from Seth Meyers summarizing some of the gaffs this week:



I've seen some Republican friends get really, really mad on FB this week. They hate the articles criticizing Trump. They want people to get over it and "be nice" again. I'm not sure what that means. I've seen some people be very, very mean but I'm not sure they're referring to that or just people not disagreeing. They even say, "stop posting - no one cares about your opinion!" (Which is definitely a nice thing to say.) I don't know. I can't stop and I won't stop. If I do stop, it means something is seriously wrong with me and you should call 911.

I don't think posting anything on FB or here or Twitter is going to change anyone's mind. I don't think that's why I share articles. I think I share them because I'm just so outraged, I can't not share them. But people can do what they want with their own FB. I don't care. I don't like to set arbitrary rules for other people to follow. That's also why I don't care if you listen to Christmas music in October or consider "glamping" camping. You do you. As long as it's not hurting anyone else.

If you're feeling absolutely overwhelmed, I thought I'd share some of my favorite tweets from this week. People are funny and laughing is better than crying.

Can't wait to see what week three holds...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Balance

The other day someone asked me how I'm doing besides politics. I had to think really hard. Besides politics? Uh.... who am I besides politics now? A week and a half ago, I was a whole person who had interests and slept well. Now I'm just in a constant state of worry.


Sunday evening I was looking for a way to relax and take my mind off things. I thought maybe I'd watch tv or Netflix for awhile. The first thing I browsed that looked good was "The People VS OJ Simpson." I decided that wouldn't be the best way to decompress so I instead started a movie about the Japanese tsunami. About three seconds into that, I remembered that I was trying to find some peace for my mind so I turned it off and read a book. The Girl on the Train - which was 100% not relaxing to read (but it was pretty good).

I'm not doing very well with self-care but I know I need to work on it. Here's a little brain storm:
  • Baths - (these are supposed to be relaxing, right? I'm not sure I buy it but I might try)
  • Naps
  • More humor, less fighting
  • Read books that don't fill me with anxiety (my friend suggested a book about ants - her dad's favorite book. That or War and Peace.)
  • Get a boyfriend (in brainstorming, there are no wrong answers)
  • Get a dog
  • Wait, I'm stuck on get a dog.... Should I?
  •  
  •  

I'm open to other ideas. Besides worrying about the state of the world, I'm pretty busy with work and school and trying to survive a sunless winter.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm just a real delight to be around right now. But I want to go from this:


and this:



To this:



 I feel better already.

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Button

A friend of mine who is a bit older than me told me this morning that she hasn't seen this kind of political climate since Vietnam. And even then, she said, this is different.

I know people are just beside themselves on social media for a number of reasons. Some are mad that other people are against a man they support. Others are just so upset by the terrible news, they wish they could find a break from it. They want Facebook to go back to puppies, meal pictures, and memes. I felt that way about a week ago. Now I don't. (Though I still watch any and all videos of dogs doing funny stuff.) Now I feel compelled to stay involved. The news is awful, but I can't get complacent.

Try not to get too stressed out about my battery life in this screenshot.


It's not just Trump who scares me. It's Steven Bannon, an alt-right conspiracy theorist who now has way too much power. If you're not sure who he is, google him and prepare to be terrified. Bannon, Trump, Ryan, Conway, Pence - - you just know their first year at Hogwarts, the sorting hat yelled SLYTHERIN before it even hit their heads.  

I'm scared that these people are in charge. I've been thinking a lot about a story I heard a couple years ago on of my favorite podcasts, Radiolab. The episode was called Buttons, Not Buttons. They covered a variety of unrelated stories having to do with buttons. But the one that really shook me was the story about a man named Roger Fisher, and in this case the "button" was the nuclear code button.* Fisher was a Harvard law professor who specialized in negotiation and conflict management. He also worked as an adviser for real political conflicts such as the Middle East conflict. Having served in WWII and seeing many of his friends killed in war, he was interested in how to avoid war, which leads me to my point. Fisher had a radical idea for how a US president might avoid nuclear war. And this idea blew my mind:
My suggestion was quite simple: Put that needed code number in a little capsule, and then implant that capsule right next to the heart of a volunteer. The volunteer would carry with him a big, heavy butcher knife as he accompanied the President. If ever the President wanted to fire nuclear weapons, the only way he could do so would be for him first, with his own hands, to kill one human being. The President says, “George, I’m sorry but tens of millions must die.” He has to look at someone and realize what death is—what an innocent death is. Blood on the White House carpet. It’s reality brought home.
When I suggested this to friends in the Pentagon they said, “My God, that’s terrible. Having to kill someone would distort the President’s judgment. He might never push the button.“
— Roger Fisher, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 1981[10]
As they said on Radiolab,"the strongest objection is it might work."

I'm not saying I'm for or against this idea. But I've been thinking about it the last few days as I've thought about all the refugee children dying, starving, scared. Their parents beside themselves and hopeless. I've felt sick and disheartened. I wonder how someone could feel good about making this call - turning away these people who are desperate for help.



In the midst of all this I've also felt motivated to work harder, love harder, look for more opportunities to reach out to people in positive ways. I've been encouraged by the many, many people out fighting against these policies. I have to do more. Do I think posting a meme or a status update on Facebook is going to change anything? No. But am I going to stop? No. It's important to me to express these feelings.

I don't want to be angry all the time. But I also don't want to stop caring. This is all just too important.

*There really isn't a single button - it's more of a metaphor for making a call to go to war.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Resist


"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty."
-Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, January 26, 2017

El Generalissimo

So far, things have been much, much, much worse than I expected since Trump became president. I read an article last night on Slate titled, "Wednesday was the worst day yet," which listed all the terrible things Trump has been up to this week. (Click the link for more info.)

The White House website en espanol has been taken down. Thankfully, a spokesperson said it would be back up eventually, but you can't blame people for freaking out about this when Trump has come out so hard against Spanish-speakers. (Has anyone told him about Puerto Rico yet?)

Also, I'm just putting this out there for all the people who say, "your in America, learn English." I know that's the wrong "you're" but they almost always use the wrong your on their signs so I'm just being accurate.

Because I'm elderly, I sometimes google entire sentences

Today, to just kind of work some things out, I made a word bubble with just some of the words or feelings that have been on the forefront of my mind in the last six days or so. The word cloud makes it look cute instead of terrifying.



I could have kept going but each new word was just a synonym for a word already on there: terrified, scared, frightened, etc... I forgot some key ones such as the fact that Merriam-Webster and the National Parks Services are leading the resistance - who would have thought!? Well, them and Greenpeace:

I love this so much.
And what about this stupid meme I've been seeing?



This is just dumb (oh no --- I'm starting to talk like a third grader --- I'm following the example of the Cheeto!!). We don't want Trump to fail or "crash the plane." Resisting Trump isn't wanting the pilot to fail. What we are trying to do is to reach someone on the radio and shout, "Our pilot doesn't know how to fly! HELP!" or "He's flying us to a place we don't want to go!!!!" Either that or we're desperately trying to learn how to fly a plane ourselves so we don't crash. 

Oh and don't get me started on the people against the women's march. Who needs rights, amiright?


It's telling that George Orwell's book 1984 has been flying off the (Amazon) book shelves this week. And how disturbing is it that this is the quote resonating with us this week?

"The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." - George Orwell, 1984

The other quote from that book I've thought of a few times this week is this one: 

"The essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty." -1984

Will things get better? I don't want the plane to crash. But I do not trust our pilot.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I'm just so annoyed.

Facebook is terrible these days. People are SO combative and mean. But I guess I'm a snowflake for saying that?

I actually got into an argument with someone last night and to everything I said, he would post some stupid meme in response. Finally I said, "I can see this is going nowhere." And he said I obviously "got confused and had to give up." I mean... how do you argue with someone like that??? Got confused by what I was supposed to say to a meme??

So many of the statements I've seen are just so asinine and unrelated to the topics at hand. 

Then there's this post that I've seen going around from women who disagreed with the women's march on Saturday. It's fine if you don't agree with it - but why are you so threatened by it?

Today I wrote my responses next to the statements it made. Not every statement because some didn't warrant a response. Here are my responses if you want to see them.

I'm just so annoyed.

Sorry it's small (just click on it to make it bigger).