Ah, Kentucky. The home of horses, bluegrass, rolling foothills and majestic mountains. Oh, it’s also home to stuff like this:
Good morning everyone. I’m heading to the spine clinic today, in order to get some shots in the lower spine. I just got my insurance back, so I’m conducting the BTTFH summer tour of getting to know all my health providers again. Next up on the tour is my primary care provider to investigate why I’m always dizzy and off balance. After that, it’s a visit with my gastroenterologist to try to figure out these pesky stomach pains. Sounds like a fun summer, no?
Have a great week! :)
So, these things happened this week:
In light of the horrendous shootings in Charleston, people are finally waking up and realizing that the icons of Confederacy that litter the southern states may be, in fact, symbols of hate and racism. Not only are Confederate flags coming down: There are movements to remove statues of Confederate stalwarts of Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest as well.
The Supreme Court once again ruled in favor of the ACA.
Same Sex Marriage is now Federally protected! Way to go SCOTUS! Well, five of you anyway. Justices Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, and Alito can go sit in the corner.
As a liberal who leans very far to the left, I’m very excited about these decisions. However, I can’t help but have this niggling feeling that we the people are getting treated to some more bread and circus in order to steer us away from the fact that there are still quite a few issues that are hiding in plain sight.
First, while the nationwide condemning of Confederate hate symbols is an important step. In fact, my FB page is currently plastered with posts that I’ve shared that call for its ban. However, though the flag may disappear, it’s still just low hanging fruit in the battle against hate crimes. We still have racism. We still have homophobia and misogyny. Oh, and we still have unfettered access to guns, which brings me to my next point.
We need federal gun control. There is nothing in the Second Amendment that says we can’t have gun control. I don’t know about you, but I don’t sleep so well at night knowing that in most states, any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy just about any gun imaginable with little effort. I do believe in the Second Amendment, but I also believe that it should be easier for a same sex couple to obtain a marriage license than it should be for a white supremacist whack job to obtain a gun. Our country persists in leading the world in mass shooting events, yet we do very little about it.
Speaking of things we do little about, how about paying women in the work place what they’re worth? Women still make about two thirds of what men make. This is a travesty. It’s also the tip of the iceberg when it comes to women’s issues. Our government only wants to dictate how you use your uterus. It seemingly has very little interest in protecting you. You may have come a long way baby, but the brothers patriarchy and misogyny are still blocking your path to equality.
What else is going on? For starters, scientists have declared that we are officially in our sixth mass extinction event. The exception to the last five is that this time, we are the cause. We are still wrecking our environment, all species are suffering because of it, and we’re still doing very little about it. At the rate we’re going, the only thing that’s going to be able to survive on this planet are cockroaches and Rick Perry.
Next up, the Pentagon has issued its latest War Manual. Yes folks, that is its actual name. In this manual is wording that targets journalist: The clause states that journalist may now be classified as “unprivileged belligerents”, the same class in which terrorist groups such as Al- Qaeda is classified. In other words, if you’re a war time reporter, and the military doesn’t care for what you say, you could end up dead or in Gitmo. Lovely.
In addition there is also that wealth gap and class warfare thing that seems to get worse by the day.
So are we being placated? Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of important historical shit that went down this week. What took place shouldn’t be overlooked. However, part of me still thinks that the powers that be underestimate us. I would bet that there are more than a few rich men on Capitol Hill who think that we’re going to be satisfied with same sex marriage and soon to come legalized weed. They think we’re going to stop thinking about gun control and hate crimes. They think that we’re going to forget that our planet is dying because of us. They think we’re going to forget that big brother is indeed watching us. They think that we’re going to forget that anyone who isn’t a rich white male is currently being treated in unfair and unjust manner.
We the people can’t be satisfied. We can’t settle for a few victories, and ignore the rest. We cannot, and must not relent.
I like what’s happening, but I will not be placated. I expect more, and hopefully, so do you.
Let’s leave the bread and circus to the Romans.
Recently, my partner and I went on a week long vacation to Mexico. We spent a mostly enjoyable week lounging on the beaches of the Maya Riviera, at an all inclusive resort. On Tuesday of that week, we went on a ten hour excursion that included touring the Maya ruins Coba, a visit to an authentic Maya village, and swimming in a cenote, one of the thousands of fresh water sink holes that exist through out the country. Frankly, though the ruins were really cool, it was a long and troubling death march that neither my partner nor I were prepared for. The most troubling part to me was the visit to the Maya village.
When we first learned of the Maya village, we were both thinking that it was a public site, much like Cherokee Village in North Carolina. We thought that we would be taken to a place where Mayan history was to be re-enacted by people of Maya ancestry. We didn’t expect the harsh reality that we actually encountered.
What we were taken to instead was an actual Maya neighborhood that existed in a small, impoverished rural town outside of Coba. What we witnessed was no re-enactment: what we saw was actual Mayan families scratching out a living by allowing strangers into their one room huts, living on tips and the money that they made from crafts. Both my wife and I felt like intruders. It was more disturbing than cultural exchange.
Although the families seemed perfectly happy where they were, I couldn’t help but feel sad. I can’t help but think that they are not choosing to live the lives of their ancestors, but instead playing with the hand that they were dealt. They opened their doors to us, they shared their food with us, and they danced for us. Their Shaman even performed a religious ritual for us. I should have felt honored, but instead I just felt like a dirty, ugly American intruder. The whole experience was just disturbing.
I understand that every culture is different, that people must do what they have to in order to scratch out a living. I am in no way condemning how these people live, nor what they do to make a living. It is their way of life, and it is not up to me to judge. They could be perfectly happy for all I know. It just saddens me that a proud race of people who dominated the Yucatan Peninsula centuries ago now depend on tips and craft money to buy clothes and food.
I’m glad I met them, but again, I felt like a complete interloper.
First, all three of my followers have probably been wondering where I’ve been. I’ve been around, but I haven’t been writing – at all. For those of you who have been following my blog for any time at all, you know that I like to write angry. The truth of the matter is that I haven’t been angry for a long time. I can’t explain why: There has been plenty to infuriate me. There just hasn’t been enough to motivate me to write. Well now, I’m pissed. In fact, one week after the mid-term elections, I’m mega pissed. With several seats in the House, Senate, and Gubernatorial offices coming up for grabs, the Democrats had a golden opportunity to take back the country. That didn’t happen. In fact, the Democrats lost the Senate, as well as many Gubernatorial elections, and it was our own fault. I’m infuriated.
Why was this mid-term such a Conservative blood bath? Liberals have been eye balling this election for a few years now. It was the end all – be all of mid terms. The GOP/ Tea Party was supposedly on the way out. The people had ostensibly enough of their elitist, racist shenanigans. The country seemed to be steering back to the center at the very least, and even a little to the left. It was a huge chance to drive back the crazy. One word comes to mind to describe this election: Apathy. This election had the lowest voter turnout in decades. Seemingly, most of these non-voters are Democrats, and I have an idea why.
Back in 2000, Al Gore “lost” the Presidential election to George Bush. Yes we can debate that he actually won, that he was fucked out of office by a corrupt voting process in Florida, and an even more corrupt Supreme Court. However, Gore could have won by a land slide. If that is, he hadn’t chosen to disassociate himself from out going President Bill Clinton, who was one of the most popular Presidents of all time. He distanced himself from Clinton, and in turn lost the liberal momentum that Clinton had fostered. The Democratic turn out was low, and Gore lost the election. Much the same happened this election: Candidates chose to disassociate from Obama, and in turn failed to generate the energy needed to draw a large turn out. The GOP in turn, attacked any and all associations with Obama, and generated a huge conservative turn out at the polls. Game over, the Republicans are now in full control.
For example, here in Kentucky, there was a heated campaign with Allison Grimes challenging Mitch McConnell for his long held Senatorial seat. If there was any time to get rid of this Koch sucker, it was now. However, while McConnell went on a huge smear campaign against Obama and his policies, Grimes back pedaled on her liberal associations, even going so far as to not even admitting that she voted for Obama. She made herself out to be a moderate Republican. The race was over a half hour after the polls closed. Grimes was out, McConnell was back in. The Democratic voters, not enthused nor energized the way they had been during Obama’s two campaigns, couldn’t be bothered to come out and vote.
Shame on the Democrats for their defensive lackadaisical campaigns. Go on the aggressive, and things may have turned out differently last Tuesday. Push to get out the vote, and many of us may not be worried, no terrified of where this country is headed. Align yourself with Obama, one of the best Presidents we’ve ever had, and you might have found yourself either re-elected, or elected for the first time. Shame on you. You had a chance and you all failed- miserably.
Shame on the voters for not voting. This was our chance to enact change. Come out to vote, and the Tea Baggers may have been struck their final death blow. Now, they’re stronger than ever. Don’t even think about bitching about what’s about to come: Ya’ll brought it on yourselves. I voted, I did my civic duty. Christ, my partner who was experiencing the perfect storm of chronic health related issues, came out in her wheel chair to vote. I’m proud of her. The rest of us? Not so much. The country was finally ready to set things right, to halt the landslide of the extreme right invasion. All we had to do was vote. We had one job, and we failed horribly.
This my friends, is why I’m so pissed.
Quick, name three artists who have had a top forty hit in every decade since 1980. Give up? It’s Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Weird Al Yankovic. Yes, you read it correctly: Weird. Al. Yankovic. His latest album, (Do we still call them albums?) Mandatory Fun is the first comedy album to debut at #1 since the Kennedy administration. I thought I would share this video parodying Lourde’s song Royals, because it’s sympatico with my blog. Also: It’s funny as hell :)
Without further adieu, I share with you Weird Al’s Foil.
Originally posted on Capricious Lestrange:
I imagine childbirth to be another memory hidden away in an avalanche of ruined messages somewhere along the synaptic highway of my dementia, the red and squalling life lost with it. Her tiny body wrinkled, covered in hair as a tiny caterpillar, legs and arms aflutter with their first taste of cold freedom, her terror shrill and demanding from purple lips; PUT ME BACK. She is wise in this demand, enfant terrible. I’d put her back too, save her from the despair of life we all must know; the trade off for our existence. I realize too late I do not have the strength to save her. The only way to save her is for her to not exist. In causing myself the greatest joy, I have caused her the susceptibility of existence. I love her already though, loved her years before she even came into existence, and I…
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