The B!%@# Wants the Narrative To Be Right

For years there has been an annual event called, “Take Your Daughter to Work.”  This event, as I understand it, was created as a way to encourage young girls to dream beyond the former confines of the role of housewife.  By going to work with their parents, daughters were to learn that their roles were not limited.  They could choose to be anything and it would be accepted.  The possibilities were only limited by one’s own choices and through motivation they could go on to be anything.

To me this concept is natural.  As a woman who grew up with a divorced mother and a pretty much worthless father, I am used to seeing a woman who gets out there and does what needs to be done.  The idea of a woman being limited to a set role or place in society simply because she was born with a vagina seems completely and utterly ridiculous.  I see a woman as a human being and as a human being she should be afforded every single opportunity available to men.

Yet for some the concept of equal treatment and access is foreign and even offensive.  To them there is a natural order to things and they see men as superior and women as subordinate.  They work tirelessly to find ways to maintain their caveman view of the world.  There are the small yet insidious things that happen every day that are designed to maintain the false superiority of the male.

For years a woman’s worth has frequently been assessed by her appearance and her willingness to maintain the status quo.  Women who sought to go beyond the roles that were being dictated to them were referred to as bitchy, bossy, pushy, uppity, or any of a million vile terms you could dream up.  How many times over the last 3 decades have we seen Hillary Clinton degraded because of her looks, her drive, and her forceful personality?

Don’t get me wrong, we have made strides forward.  But recent events have demonstrated that there is also a powerful snap back in action.  How else can you explain the election of a man who openly degrades women?  This man has repeatedly made horrible statements about women based on their appearance and his own base desires.  Yet they were deemed acceptable.  A section of the population declared that such behaviors were worthy of the office of the president.  Through their votes they once again stated that women were to be subordinate, that it was accepted, even embraced treatment.

Oddly, I began this post today to meander my way around to the entire Ivanka G20 thing. There have been many people who have made comments about her not being qualified to be at the table.  Reality is that she has a Bachelors degree in business from Wharton Business school and years of experience working for the Tangerine.  None of which necessarily qualifies or disqualifies her from taking a seat at the table.

As photos of her filling in for her father at the meeting started to make their way across the internet it seemed that the snarky comments abounded.  Many of them were, of course, delivered with their usual anti-female flair.  They were coated in degradation and venom many of which seemed targeted toward her taking a place at the table as “daddy’s little girl.”  Hell even the cropping of the photos seemed to be feeding into the whole “daddy’s little girl at the big table” narrative.  A narrative that is completely ridiculous and does not help either females or the United States.

With all of that being said, I do not believe she had any place at that table.  I don’t believe she has any business working in the White House and I sure as hell do not believe that either her or her husband should be negotiating anything for this country.  But I want to make sure that we keep the focus on the legitimate reasons.  This is not about genitalia. This is about a person taking a seat at the table who shouldn’t have been there in the first place, a person who has few qualifications and is ill-prepared.

The Tangerine has taken this whole Take Your Children to Work thing to the extreme.  He has absolutely no political experience beyond campaigning.  Upon taking office he surrounded himself (see most of his inner circle) with a number of people with no political experience.  These people are supposed to advise him and in some instances they are to act on behalf of the United States.  His daughter has been included as one of his top advisers and she, like her father, has zero political experience.

Listen, I don’t care that she was a model.  I don’t care that her fame is built on three things: modeling, sitting next to the guy who said “you’re fired,” and her last name.  She is an intelligent woman with a business degree and has worked many years in the family business.  But that still doesn’t qualify her to be an adviser to the White House.

If she were in a position on a city council I wouldn’t blink an eye, at least she would be starting out and learning the processes involved in politics.  But sitting her at that G20 table is like taking a driver of any gender with a fresh off the printer learner’s permit and handing them the keys to a McLaren P1 LM ($3.7 million dollar car) and saying, “don’t scratch the paint.”  You just don’t do that shit.

 

 

 

The B!%@# is Not Dead, Just…

For those few who may have wondered…no I am not dead or done or any of the other number of things that would cause me to stop writing indefinitely.  I love to write.  It has always been an outlet for me and over the years it has taken many forms, from the obscure to the sarcastic bitch, I have written.

When I began this blog I was in a state of complete and utter shock.  I could not understand how it was possible for the people in this country to show support for the Tangerine and his disgusting ideals.  How could anyone value that?  What redeeming qualities could there possibly be in the venom he spewed?  As someone who has the unfortunate situation of living in an area that is teeming with those individuals, I found myself in need of somewhere, anywhere, to stand and scream.  This blog was and is my place.

All of this leads to the next most obvious question.  If it was and still is my place, why have I not been writing?  Truth…I am overwhelmed.  It seems that there is not a moment without something that makes my head and heart hurt.  I find that there is no time to breath, even the slightest gasp of air seems forced and hard to come by in today’s climate.

So what have I done instead?  Loved my daughter, played video games, worked on other projects, and hoped that at some point there would be a moment…just one moment where I wouldn’t feel the urge to scream at people on the street for the pile of shit that we find ourselves currently wading through.  While I have found much to smile about in my time, I still come back to this place.  This realization that while I may be overwhelmed I have to continue to pick my battles.  I have to continue to put it out there. This B!%@# is not done.

So with all of that said, let us look at today’s battle.  What in the hell is going on in the state of Missouri?  Since when did it become a cesspool of backwards morons?  Of course, I am talking about the actions taken recently by the government officials.  But if you think about it, what in the hell were people thinking when they elected these douche bags?

For years the Repugs have held this whole less government stance and they have sold it in all its polished turd form to a broad swath of voters in the state of Missouri.  You can hear people talking about the need to reduce taxes and get rid of the “entitlements.”  They stand around spewing the rhetoric.  “Why should I have to pay for someone else’s… (insert item of your choice here)?”  And while these voters have been spouting off the party lyrics, they seemed to have missed a note or two.  They have missed the fact that Repugs have turned into the party of small government…when it benefits our benefactors.

Why do I make this claim?  Case in point…the minimum wage increase in St. Louis.  A while back the city of St. Louis decided that they would increase their minimum wage to better reflect their “big city” status and ensure that those who live in that city can actually afford to do things like eat.  The city put this in place and then were promptly sued by businesses who did not want to meet that new minimum.

After the suit made its way through the court system it was finally allowed to take effect. Not wanting to fail their benefactors (read that as big businesses who pay for their shit), the representatives in the Missouri Senate decided to write a bill stating that no city in Missouri can pass a law to raise the minimum wage above the state level.  It was then signed into law by the Greitens (who admittedly I normally refer to as the Cretin).

What is my point with this little story?  Well hear me out…if they are for small government, how is this law following that supposed mantra?  For years I have heard the party line from people about how it’s important for locals to take care of their own.  The statement over and over again is that government should be localized and that people in a community should be able to ensure that their people have what they need.  Yet, when it comes to a city recognizing a need to increase the wage for those who reside there…the repugs shout NO and strip that community of the right to see to their own needs.

Let’s be real here.  The repugs are not really about “small government.”  They are about government that benefits businesses.  They support a government that tells people who to worship, what to do with their bodies (especially if they are women), and who to “hate.”  While I recognize that many of these representatives do believe the shit that they shovel, I have also come to know that many of them have no real interest beyond their front porch and their wallet.

 

The B!%@# is Getting Sick of Nostalgia

This evening I flipped through the results of my local school board election and found myself shaking my head in complete and utter disdain.  A candidate who really has no respect for the local schools had found himself elected to the school board.  He is your typical white repugnant middle class backwards thinker who has nostalgia clouding his vision and he wants to carry the school district in the wrong direction.  The direction of the past…

During his published interviews he had gone on about the three local private religious schools, holding them up as a paragon of things done right (no his name is not DeVos). He had rambled on about needing to return to the old ways of doing things and had criticized the forward direction that the local schools had been moving.  When I had read his interviews I had found my heart sinking… as it was again another reminder of why I have come to feel a strong disdain for the area in which I live.

Sadly this election was just another flashing beacon, reminding me of how utterly lost the Midwest and southern region has become.  It seems to be so entirely fixated on stepping back in time toward a period that was good for no one (except maybe middle-aged white dudes).  People have this silly fantasy built up in their heads of the past and they want to drag the world back there with them.   Here, in this little pocket of the world is just another example of the grand problem that led to the election of the repugnant Tangerine.

The past is the past for a reason.  It is over and done and it cannot be returned to.  Yet people have a horrible habit of romanticizing what they look back upon.  All the while they demonize or degrade the present.  It’s not a new situation.  You see it in movies going back forever… the older generation always trying to hold onto the past and complaining about kids today.  The music is too loud, TV is too this, movies are too that.

Every single generation has a habit of wanting things to be the same for the next as it was for them.  It’s as if the changes somehow lessen the value of history in their minds. They hold onto they way things were as if it were some shining example…and as they hold on to the past they seek to drag the future backwards.  Holding it back… slowing progress…their way of doing things was the right way and the present or the future is getting it wrong.

I suppose it’s a way of keeping themselves relevant.  If things don’t change and things stay as we remembered them to be, then we are still part of it.  Change is scary and in their minds it’s easier to drag their heels and slow the steady progress.  They won’t have to change if they settle in and hold out.

It has always seemed odd to me that so many people want to move through their lives looking backwards.  It would seem that you would walk into a whole lot of poles if your entire life is spent gazing at the rear view.  Yet, they are determined to fix their gaze backwards.  All the while allowing the cloudy, romantic haze of reminiscence to paint in the blurry corners of the picture.

Sure you can look back to the way they used to do things in schools and you can decide that you want to drag your children back to the past.  It’s an odd argument really…I mean, what’s the point of teaching your children to live in a world that won’t exist when they are adults?  Even today there are so many jobs that did not exist when I was in high school.  Many of the people who have found themselves moving into those jobs have had to seek retraining and further education in order to work in those fields.  Yet, there are people who jump up and down screaming that they want things to go back to how it ‘used’ to be.  But even the past did not prepare people for what is today… so why on Earth would you want to hinder your children by demanding they learn in ways that didn’t even prepare us to meet the needs of the present?

The reality of the world though is that it will always change.  There is no choice but to move forward.  You can try to drag humanity backwards, but it will always find a way to course correct.  Unfortunately most of those course corrections end up being rather harsh and their is an awful lot of whiplash in the process.

 

The B!%@# Doesn’t Want to Stop Noticing

There are days when I really believe that the Repugnants plan and try to push the sane people of this country over the edge.  They have been running a full-on desensitizing campaign and truth be told I worry that people will eventually just be lost and used to it.  It’s like that person who walks for miles with a rock in the bottom of their shoe.  As they begin their journey it hurts…and they try desperately to remove what is causing them pain.  Then as they find that their efforts produce no results they begin to shift the way they walk.  Their put more pressure on one side of their foot and do their best to avoid that which is causing their agony.  All the while a callous is building and they eventually become less likely to notice the rock.

This seems to me, to be a danger we face as time passes with this group of repugnants occupying congress and the White House.  And to top everything off, there has been a quiet movement going on in the background, almost undetected.  A group of repugnants have been needling away, meticulously working to get enough states under their control to amend the constitution.  Let that sink in… they, the people who have historically put profit over people and have done everything in their power to turn the clock back 50 years…those people want to alter the constitution.

As I sit here thinking about it, it sends a chill along my spine.  I find myself in a very bad place lately as I flip through the news each day.  Every day has me feeling more despondent about the future of this country.  I see it careening down a path that I truly cannot support and it makes me feel like curling up in my recliner and crying.  Why is it that people are allowing this to happen?

Recently while reading through a few blogs on the internet, I came across a post by an individual succinctly titled, “Don’t like it here… get out.”  They went on to say that we are in control of our own lives and that if we hate the place we are in we should change it.  You know, I wish I could fully agree with that person.  I would love to have the ability to pick up and move my daughter and myself out of the red state I am stuck in and head back to California where I grew up.  But I am not able to, I am what you would call the typical “lower middle class” single mother.  I have no savings to speak of, a house that I could not sell for near what I paid for it, and no way to just pick up and go.  Any move I make, will have to be at the end of a long drawn out process… all the while leaving me more and more depressed with the state of the world.

Don’t get me wrong, California is not some golden escape door and the world is not going to be suddenly better there, but at least I won’t feel like I am trapped in a state that is swiftly going down the repugnant shitter.  This state is caught in a nose dive fully powered by the “good Christians” who state that the answer to everything is “Jesus” all the while declaring… well I don’t think I should have to pay for… insert their selfish diatribe here.  Frankly I have lost all respect for anyone who calls themselves a Christian and voted for the Tangerine.  Their piss poor justification of why they voted for a pathological liar doesn’t stand on its own feet.

You know what gets me the most right now… the repugs KNOW how to exploit people.  They have figured out how to push the self-centered button on the middle class white dude and his family.  Each cut to programs for the poor is prefaced with a statement about how it isn’t fair for this person or that person to have to pay for another.  What fries my ass about that… this is humanity… we are meant to be there for each other.  We are supposed to be helping each other along the way and standing together as a civilization.  Instead people are buying into the whole me, me, me verses that are being sung by the repugnant choir.  They are looking around at their stuff and crying about the imagined thief who will take a few dollars out of their pockets.

We live in a world where people readily post on Facebook their latest need to add a home theater or some other random piece of garbage to their already overdone trophy house.  We live in a world where people want to feel superior to others and they do it by bragging about their latest toys and how they have managed to figure out ways to avoid paying taxes because they write it all off as a “business expense.”  After all, a $500,000 home should be a business expense and they should be able to spend their money exactly how they want…and avoid paying taxes because well…they are above all that.  Shakes my head… people have really developed into some self-centered shits.

Don’t get me wrong… I know there are a lot of good people out there.  I know that humanity is not lost.  There were more people in this country who voted for Hillary than for the Tangerine. There are more people who actually care and who want to lift others up than there are those who want to tear them down.  But for one moment stop and think… if I am feeling this way after just two months of that shitty Tangerine holding office… what is going to happen as it drags on and on?  Is he going to simply become the rock in the shoe that we learn to walk around?  Are we going to become so desensitized to things that eventually we just don’t notice Sighs…I sincerely hope not.

 

The B!%@# Understands That People Want Control

We all have a desire to have control of our world.  It’s a very unnerving feeling to discover we have lost domain over our own existence.  People will go to great lengths to feel like they have something that resembles control over what is happening in their lives.  And when they are unable to exercise personal oversight, they will willingly dictate to others what is to happen in their lives.  It is that need for self-jurisdiction that often opens the door to the manipulation by the repugnants.

Over the last eight years the message repeatedly thrown out by the repugnants and their ilk have been about loss of personal authority.  While our society has actually been improving and becoming more accepting of differences, the repugnants have been declaring the sky is falling.  Through all of this they have been standing on their soap boxes and screaming that they government was coming for individual liberty.  They carefully fed the lies until many who voted could no longer separate fact from fantasy.

These men and women focused on a part of our society that we rarely like to acknowledge. A part that we generally sweep under the carpet as we discuss personal choice.  The part that we all know exists, yet we do not wish to see, selfishness.  When one is raised on the ideals of personal liberty and choice it is all too easy to fall into the trap of self-centered and fixated behaviors.  It is that trap that was so carefully laid out over the course of multiple years.  It is that world in which we find ourselves standing today.

Most people would like to think of themselves as good people.  Many people actions demonstrate that they are willing to put the needs of others before their own.  There are mothers all around the world who go hungry in order to ensure that their children have something in their stomach.  There are people who forgo much in order to meet even the most basic needs of others.  These people are actually quite rare in our world.  Most of the time they act without notice or recognition.  They make changes in the lives of others simply because they wish to do so.

How I wish I could say that we live in a world that is predominately populated by this type of person.  But the simple truth is, we do not.  We instead live in a world where selfishness runs rampant and it is that part of our society which is being manipulated and utilized to create a world that many of us will be ashamed to say we had any part in building.

To see what I speak of and to understand the manipulation, one only has to look at the ACA.  With its introduction, many people in this country found themselves for the first time in their lives able to find health insurance.  While it may not have been the best insurance, many people found themselves able to see the doctor without having to wait until their conditions had degraded so much that their only choice was the emergency room.  Taxes did increase for some, others saw their premiums rise, and people were mandated to find some sort of program to cover their families.  Some people balked at the mandate and found that they didn’t like being told what to do.  But the most prevalent argument, the one uttered most often by those who opposed the ACA was, “why should I have to pay for someone else’s medical care?”

It was that statement upon which most of the arguments were built.  Why should you be responsible for others?  Why should you have to have increased rates to cover someone who can’t work?  Why does your pocketbook have to be lighter in order to ensure that someone you don’t know can go to the doctor?  People who openly had no issue exposing themselves as being just a tad bit self-centered would post these comments on forums and then would fight vehemently when they were called on it.  At least they are honest about their nature, there are many who are not.

As the ACA grew, another type of person emerged and this one was more insidious.  The zealot, the justifier, the excuse-maker or whatever label one would apply.  This person declared their willingness to help and to uplift, but only if their beliefs were affirmed. They stood on the street corners and shouted about their tax dollars being given to others who aren’t the right kind of people.  Why should they have to pay for the treatment of a drug addict?  Why should their tax dollars have to pay for birth control?  Can’t those women just keep their legs shut and follow the teachings of… insert some religious text here?  These pious and imperfect people excused their selfishness by hiding behind their “values and beliefs.”

These were and are the people that are the bread and butter of the repugnant movement. They are fed by the ideals of standing up for their beliefs, holding up those beliefs as a shield to deflect from reality.  They are indeed self-centered and they do not actually wish to help others.  They seek only to build for themselves. These people are the ones who so openly declare that they just can’t give money to the homeless because they might by a drink or they might be really some con-artist looking to steal their money.  They are the excuse makers who only help when their is something in it for them.

Don’t get me wrong, we all make choices based on our personal needs and the needs of those we love.  But we owe it to ourselves to at least be honest about our motives.  If we don’t want to help someone we need to openly admit that we just don’t want to help.  We don’t care and we don’t wish to hinder our own happiness for the sake of another.  While some may look down on you for it, at least you will have been honest.

 

The B!%@# Wants to Strike Too…

Tomorrow is the day without women and I wish I was able to take the day off and participate in something, anything that would be meaningful.  This is not an option for me however, as sadly, I live in a location where it would simply be seen as a “ditch” day, not a day with a purpose.  This attitude guts me.  The fact that people have made choices to step away from their normal routines to have their voice heard inspires me.  Yet for many they will find the response will be… “oh is that another one of those skip days.”

When the Day without Immigrants happened a few weeks back I heard those very words of disdain.  They fell readily from the lips of many as they discussed the day.  People who had no real skin in the game (i.e. – white middle class) were commenting on the motives of those who had chosen to act on that day.  The people who chose to stay home and to risk their livelihoods felt that it was important to follow that course of action.  Something in the world around them, demanded that they had to step up and show that they too are an important part of this country.  Immigrants make essential contributions each and every day and when they are not there, they are missed.

As immigrants throughout the country took the day and demonstrated, I found myself deeply moved by their choices.  Children did not go to school and adults did not go to work. On that day a woman whom I respect deeply was absent from work.  I knew why she was not present that day and I supported her decision. When she returned the following day, I made a point of telling her that I understood and backed her choice. She had been missed. But even as we spoke, she knew that many whom we work with did not support her choices and would not be willing to learn her reasons.

Tomorrow there will be women all over this country who do not arrive at work.  They will take the day and they will stand up for their beliefs.  I am sure there will be teenagers as well, who do not attend school out of allegiance to the ideas put forward by this movement.  The young are vocal in their ideals and despite those who wish to demean their convictions, many of those youth are extremely educated on the issues.  My own daughter reads stories from multiple sources and makes a conscious choice to stay informed.  Were she to ask tomorrow for the day, I would allow her to stay home as I would know that her choice was an educated one.

Sadly, there will be many who do not understand the actions of tomorrow.  They will make assumptions and cast aspersions without learning the why.  They will sneer and spit  because to learn the reasons would be an inconvenience, a task that is beyond their sphere of comfort.  To these people the day will simply be a temper tantrum, a “snowflake” having a meltdown.

What I wonder tonight as I sit her contemplating tomorrow is rather simple.  When will it be enough?  At what point will these people, the one’s who discount every action as a temper fit, finally start to see.  What has to happen in this country for those people to finally realize that these choices are not made easily?  There are already people dying, there are already piles of hate festering throughout the country… what will it take for those who sneer to finally open their eyes and ears to the why?

The B!%@# is Hoping for “Unless”

Today was the birthday of the marvelous Theodor Geisel.  As a man who brought the world so many wonderful children’s books under the name Dr. Seuss, it is of course, one of those days that is frequently celebrated in schools across the country.  Children and teachers dress up as their favorite characters and the cafeterias serve green eggs and ham.  These events are not limited to schools as March 2nd is often a day for adults to share their childhood with the youth of today. Everywhere there are people reading to children and getting lost in the rhythm of Dr. Seuss.  Even Melania spent some time reading Oh the Places You’ll Go to a group of children at a New York City hospital.

My personal choice to read today was The Lorax. It has always been a favorite of mine and admittedly I would have read either of these books today.  These two books both have powerful messages.  The first addresses the need to dream and to reach for more in everything you do.  The second reminds people of the importance of looking after the world we live upon.

For anyone who has been watching the developments as they unfurl in the capital, I am sure you can guess where my mind went as I wove my way through the familiar cadence, the words popping from my lips in a steady beat.  The world of the Once-ler and the mess he created sprawled out on the pages before me, carrying my mind to the actions that seem to be happening in rapid succession in Washington.  The focus, as of late, is to deregulate the businesses.  Let them do whatever they want, however they want, because it should all be about profit.  Regulations designed to protect the environment are on the chopping block and we are all going to pay the price.

Recently there have been articles appearing all over the internet that claim to show pictures of what the United States looked like before we started to step up and take care of the environment.  While I am not sure of the legitimacy of all of the pictures that are included, I can attest to the fact that we were doing a lot of damage.  Businesses were dumping first and avoiding questions later.  Waste wasn’t processed and the pollution was immense.  Why else would a children’s author be inspired in 1971 to write a book about the destruction of the environment for the sake of profit?

As someone who was born at the start of the 70’s and grew up in Southern California, I remember all too well the appearance of the smog as it hung in the air on a hot summer day.  I remember when McD’s stopped using Styrofoam and moved toward paper based wrapping.   I also recall when recycling started to be more of an expectation instead of a nice idea.

At this very moment there is a man running the EPA who does not believe that it needs to exist.  He has a history of siding with businesses and helping them to skirt regulations as they try to maximize their profit.  This entire administration does not see value in leaving an inhabitable planet for the future as long as they can make a fortune today.

In a very short time the repugnants have shown that they are going to focus on maximizing the outcomes for businesses as they strive to get “biggered and biggered.”  I find myself wondering if they even have paused a moment to consider the impact their choices are going to have on the entirety of the planet?  The world is all interconnected.  There are no giant domes that keep what happens in the United States only in the U.S.  If we pollute the water we are messing with the entire planets limited resource.  When we add gases and chemicals to the air we are adding it to the air of everyone.  There is no closed system that shuts off from everyone else what we do here.

Of course, the response will be, from some, well they are doing it over in such and such country.  That argument didn’t work in kindergarten and it sure as hell doesn’t work here. We are supposed to be grown-ups who realize that our actions are all interconnected.  Nothing is done on this planet in isolation.  There is no one place on this planet that is more important than another, despite the ra-ra make us great rhetoric that is spewing from the mouths of those who are desperate.  Desperate to elevate themselves upon the backs of others and willing to do any old immoral thing to pull it off.

So today as I flipped through the pages of the very familiar book I started to think, what would my avoidance driven representative think of these simple rhymes?  Would he get the importance of a message near 50 years old?  With everything that is developing in the halls of congress, could they not stand a simple yet treasured refresher course on the concept of “unless?”

Tomorrow, an order I will place.  Five copies will be sent:  a representative, two senators, the EPA, and a President.  As they return to pages written in their youth, they will be perhaps guided to the truth.  Perhaps for just a moment they will see and decide to set the planet free.  Who knows what the outcome will be?