Low Point Marker

Low Point Marker

I am not super fond of blogging a whole bunch of personal pathos and existential fucktwattery.  I have a personal daily journal for that. Yet, this will be the second time that I have done that in less than a dozen blog entries. Go figure.  “Dahling I don’t want to talk about myself, buuuuutttt…..”

That said, today was the apex of a set of years that have sucked so spectacularly, so dazzlingly – that I felt I had to mark this day.  Unless I wake up in Calcutta, reincarnated as a garbage picker, I am pretty sure I have reached absolute zero.  I can’t go any further down, so I want to acknowledge this peak moment of entropic elasticity before I begin kinetic reversal or whatever the tits it is called when you bungee all the way to the bottom, linger for a second at the lowest you can go, and then fly back up to the top.

I should take pictures. Because I won’t be seeing this Mariana Trench of life-fail ever again.

 

Caucuses: How Do They Work, Yo?

Caucuses:  How Do They Work, Yo?

I probably should have found out more about this BEFORE the last buttload of caucuses happened.  Because I am goddamned confused about the process.  So I watched someone from Nevada explain a bunch of things about how caucuses work.  I am still like, wait…wut.  But here goes:  Caucuses are not actual “go to the ballot booth and throw your vote for whoever floats your boat”.  Caucuses are meetings of party members. They are done at weird, sweat-lodge like meetings in people’s living rooms, in gyms, and maybe at the backyard cookout.  Then hard-core activist party members yell at each other and try to get persuade each other to vote for their guy/gal.  Typically someone whom they are typically profoundly passionate about.  Caucuses take hours and hours, so most normal people don’t want to participate, except the most hard-core and activist.  So, in a caucus, the crunchy vegan white people with dreadlocks and who eat “activated” cashews show up for the left, and the gun-totin’ open carry, uterus-patrolling wingnuts show up for the right.   Everyone in between stays home to watch season finales and season premiers, like Real Americans™.

But here is the crazy piece.  Many states, like Nevada – caucus more than once.  You go to the caucus on caucus night and vote by secret ballot after being yelled at by party enthusiasts.  Then you go home to your county and maybe vote AGAIN by secret ballot – maybe after being yelled at again by some more party enthusiasts.  There are all sorts of ways that this can get cocked up along the way.  It is wildly undemocratic.  I don’t think you could get less small d democratic unless you made all balloting happen on the waning moon – in a forest of willows, involving goat poop and the blood of a virgin.

So, The Hillz Had a Really Nice Night on Tuesday

So, The Hillz Had a Really Nice Night on Tuesday

But, if you watched the teevee news, you would get the impression that she did just well enough to stay in the game.  The poor dear.  The story is that Sanders has her on the ropes, and Tuesday night’s massacre (and it was a full, five-state massacre) was a mere bump in the road for the Good Senator from Vermont.  Winning ALL five primaries just barely got her by.  Also, the boys of the press think she needs to smile more and speak in a much more aesthetically pleasing tone.  Kaisich, a noted dick, won ONE primary for the Republican side, and got hours of fawning congratulations from the entire news establishment.

Secretary Clinton is prepared for all of this.  But it still kind of disgusts me. You are offending 51 percent of your viewers, news-peens.  Even women who are not crazy about Hillary Clinton and fully support Sanders are not going to love your Failboat of Sexism.  Pull it together, boys.

But I Am Too Busy With Life Stuff to Keep Up With My Democracy! Your Excuses Are Bullshit, America (You Lazy Whores)

But I Am Too Busy With Life Stuff to Keep Up With My Democracy!  Your Excuses Are Bullshit, America (You Lazy Whores)

I am always banging on about how people need to get off of their asses and participate in our democracy. Not just wait for someone to say pretty, interesting things and wave their magic wand of prosperity. Democracy is hard work. It requires constant vigilance. If you fall asleep at the wheel, you don’t get to be shocked that when you wake up, Daddy Warbucks is driving the car.  


I was talking to my cousin, who is a very smart guy whom I love to pieces. But he was making the usual excuses about Americans not having time to deal with current events and things going on in the public sphere. Well, listen. My parents both worked multiple jobs, were raising kids, and even taking college courses a for a great deal of my childhood. But they never, ever, ever made excuses for not keeping abreast of what was going on, going to school board meetings, city council meetings, participating in county, state, and national elections. They just did it. They were busier than you will ever be, you lazy assholes. And there were a lot of people just like them – mostly people of color. They weren’t rolled out the red carpet and spoon-fed delicious morsels of information and then hand-carried into the polling precincts. Hell, they weren’t even welcome into polling precincts at all.


But YOU now say that because you had a long day at work, and you had to go get the kids from daycare, and you had to wait in line at Publix to get a box of chicken for dinner, and traffic sucked – that you just don’t have time to read the newspapers or open up the informational pamphlet to see what those ballot measure thingies are. This is what people mean by privilege.


YOU are the most powerful member of the United States Government. YOU. But when you got too busy to do your job, the corporatists, the war-mongers, and the flat-out idiots happily filled the vacuum. But you are pissed that they are doing a shitty job. But at the same time, you are not interested in resuming your duties. So, you are looking to hire someone who will do it for you, the way you want it to be done. You want one person to do the job that a billion voting adults should be doing. Naturally, the only people crazy enough to step up to that plate are an egomaniacal fascist and an equally egotistical and deluded socialist. The one person who is saying that the only way forward is if we make some BIG changes and BIG sacrifices is seen as a corporatist shill and a liar. How DARE she!


But here is the truth: Nothing is going to happen until you get off of your lazy fucking asses and stop making excuses and pointing fingers at why this happened. Get your ass up, look in the mirror, accept that you dropped the ball, and then get out there and start working on this thing. Until you do this, you will keep chipping away and giving away your democracy until it is all gone.

The Details are Actually Very Important – The Devil Dwelleth Therein

The Details are Actually Very Important – The Devil Dwelleth Therein

I am liberal.  I love liberals. I love socialist liberals.
That said, I am also a pragmatist.  I am skeptical of ideas that are, on their face, awesome – but not particularly well-thought out.  The road of good intentions is littered with the detritus of great ideas that were implemented with hope, great intentions, faerie dust, and a profound wish for the details to work themselves out.  The weight of these grand ideas is typically borne by the poor and people of color. The people pushing these ideas get to write reflective books about what went wrong and do Ted Talks about what the next steps should be.  But they are still wealthy, safe and completely free of the consequences of their grand ideas.
The People with Great Intentions never asked a black person what they wanted most when they implemented desegregation of schools. They never considered that maybe equal funding and care of predominantly black public schools was what we wanted most.  Diversity is important, but it is not as important as decent salaries; up-to-date books and materials; and clean, structurally sound, safe, and comfortable buildings are for learning.  They thought busing someone an hour across town to be around white people would make everything okay and the details would work themselves out.  The parity in funding would follow, like magic.
The People with Great Intentions did not ask black people if they would like to have a program similar to the one created by the FHA for poor-but-upwardly mobile whites.  Would you also like an affordable place to live while you save for a house out in the suburbs or a nice brownstone in the city?  Would you like also like low-interest, federally guaranteed loans as you are just as financially stable as your white counterparts?  Nope.  They just said, “Well, this is much better than the crappy sharecropping shacks or tenements they used to deal with.  We are awesome, pat us on the back now.” They did not anticipate the pathologies endemic to concentrated poverty and lack of mobility that are created by such a Bright Idea. Or maybe they did, but the details and bugs would work themselves out, right?
There are countless American stories of revolutions and revolutionary ideas that have been conceived and implemented by wealthy, well-educated, and well-intentioned white people, and then paid for on the backs of people of color and other marginalized groups.

Not Even Trying to Change Fuckall About My Demonstratively Affectionate Self

Not Even Trying to Change Fuckall About My Demonstratively Affectionate Self

In all of my romantic relationships as well as my most important familial relationships, I am nearly always the person to be overtly affectionate. I am always the first one (and often the only one) to make concessions. I am always the first person to apologize and make amends – really thinking about the shitty thing I did and resolving to fix it and go forth, offending no more. I am the one to call and say, “I love you and I just wanted to hear your voice.” or “I can’t wait to see you.” or “I really miss you.” I was talking to the man I love mostest in the world last night. We have been doing this on and off long distance thingie for a long time. He is completely the opposite of me. He thinks that that kind of stuff is annoying. Though he really likes being reminded that he is loved, missed, and that he is really important in someone’s life. He is uncomfortable doing the same. I realized, out of the blue, that I don’t need him to change. I don’t need to adjust myself to be less affectionate to him. I don’t need my family members that I once considered closer than anyone in the world to me to change because they just are not as interested in being around me as I am around them. They are not as interested in just hanging out and basking in my company as I am in doing the same. No one has to change a damn thing.

But I do not have to have these people in my little treasure box anymore. It does not need to be extreme. I love Prince Notthatcharming. I love my immediate family. But I have a lot of great people in my life who actually are like me and don’t mind calling just to say that they miss me right back and maybe we should get together for coffee. They are not waiting for me to do that which they are afraid or just not interested in doing.

Prince Notthatcharming is my ex now. He really wanted me to ask if we should try once again to make it work. I am always the one who takes the hint and then initiates that conversation. But you know, I just didn’t take the bait this time. But I did tell him what a pleasure it was talking to him, and what a joy he is. He was his usual gruff-but-pleased. Then I ended the call.

I have not wrung my hands worrying about whether a family member that I once held dearer than anyone in my entire world is still ticked off at me or maybe doesn’t approve of me right now. We had a disagreement, I swept the glass off of my side of the street by apologizing and telling them how much I love them and value them. Then I was all done.

I don’t have to throw things I love away just because I realize they are never going to do what I want them to do. But I can take them out of my Curio of Most Treasured things and sit them somewhere else on the shelf. Now I can move on to filling the Treasure Box with new things that love me back, in ways that make me feel happy and treasured too.

Also, too: I really hate that bottomless pit of self-indulgence and wankery, Thought Catalogue. But writer Chelsea Fagan has a great article on loving people who want to be affirmed, but are not interested in affirming you back. I don’t agree that they simply don’t love you back. Often, they do. They just either can’t or won’t give you back what they expect you to give them. She is right, they don’t owe you shit. But you don’t owe them shit either. So they are just going to have to find someone OTHER than you to do the one-sided affection thingie.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/chelsea-fagan/2013/02/when-they-dont-love-you-back/