Category: Commentary

“There will be a time when we must choose between what is right and what is easy”

-Albus Dumbledore

A lot of people are really excited for 2016 to be over. They think the year is the problem. I am sorry to say they will be disappointed. Please understand that bad things will happen to you in 2017 too.

Bad things will always happen.

The only choice you have in this matter is what you will do about it.

Will you turn your misfortune into a positive force through art or work or truth-telling?

Will you look around and try to prevent this from happening to someone else? To support those of use for whom it has also happened?

Will you hide? Deny? Lie?

Whatever side of the political spectrum you are on, President Trump will test this country. American political corruption is no longer implied. It is explicit and it is blatant.

What do you believe in?
What do you stand for?
What will you do to protect it?

I’m not asking for any great sacrifice here. I just want you to know who you are. It’s the only way to save us. For each of us to decided what we stand for and to stand for it. Now, next month, next quarter; when things are good and when they are bad. What are you for? Be that now. Your country needs you to be that now.

Drinking Hate for Breakfast: A Liberal Welcomes President Trump

So that happened. 

And my timelines are filled with good, smart, strong people utterly shocked that their country hates them. That in 2016 a candidate can come to power on a bigotry ticket and win. I feel the same combination of intense jealousy, pity, and grief that I do when bad things happen to people who’s parents loved them. 

It’s true, America hates you.

So many of us have known this our whole lives. We learned it in the way police spoke to our parents, the way our parents spoke back to them. In the way our teachers spoke and allowed other classmates to speak to us and treat us and the way our parents dealt with that as well. I have been told to keep my head down my whole life. To keep my voice down. To never look angry. 

For one reason or another; my race, my poverty, my unwillingness to play the feminine submissive has been a threat to the good people of this country. That applies to you too. If nobody told you until this day that your country hates you because they fear you, I’m sorry it’s shocking, it’s time to own that reality. 

As the novelist Attica Luck said in an interview this morning “I’m not crushed. I’m awake to what my country is telling me.” 

If President Trump wakes you up to the racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and white supremacist agenda in America, then I welcome him. 

Things are going to happen that will diminish this day in your memory. For better or for worse. Whatever you do, don’t let it get so small in your personal history that you don’t remember how it felt to wake up blasted with the weight of half America’s explicit hatred. Don’t fight this feeling. Let it in. 

When you know you are hated, you are freed from the expectation that you will make compromises to avoid what is already true. So America hates you. What will you do about it?

Drink it up. Let it inform your actions. Don’t hide. Don’t tiptoe around bigot feelings, don’t sit next to your racist Uncle at Thanksgiving, don’t brush it off when men dismiss you, don’t assume that people of color in confrontation with the police are safe. Don’t waste this feeling. This opportunity. 

Use that hatred to fuel your offense. Lay seige to those who would have us dissappear from our own country. Who would tag us and curtail our rights in our “free” country. Who would institutionalize and outright murder every threat to themselves: from queers to people of color to people who get abortions. 

The shades have fallen away this morning and I am ready for the fight to come. What about you?

How To Be A Liberal When There Is No God

I feel like I’ve been inundated with images of racist, classist victories. One scroll through my timeline and I see police in riot gear hitting DAPL protestors with sticks, white supremacist terrorists The Bundy Gang going free with no consequences, police at Portland City Hall pushing protestors down the stairs, hitting them with fists and batons and pepper spraying them, and for some reason a video of a 2015 arrest in which a officer kicks Hector Medina-Pena in the face, breaking his jaw while he was clearly on all fours on the ground in a prone position.

Writer and educator Annie Lamott posted an extremely nice thing for people who believe in God, but for the rest of us, “have faith” is just a little too much to ask in a world that already asks so much of us to begin with.

The first thing to do when injustice has us down is to make sure we don’t perpetuate that shitty behavior in our own lives. We have to take care of ourselves. When you’re feeling defeated, angry, tired, you’re no good to anyone. Turn off the computer, put the phone in a drawer and do something you have control over. Set the parameters of your activity so that success is assured. Then stop and do something else. This last bit I am very bad at, but this post isn’t about me.

The second thing is to embrace the gray areas. A black and white world may be easy in the moment, but it’s not the truth. When you look closely, you see that there are peaks and valleys, even in the most straightforward racist bullshit. We are not the heroes fighting a great enemy. We are the heroes fighting the heroes, both fighting a great enemy. Live in the paradox.

The officer who broke Hector Medina-Pena’s jaw believed he was apprehending a man who had just robbed a strip club and threatened the clerk with a gun, a crime Hector confessed to in May. Does committing a robbery justify a police officer breaking your jaw while you crouch on the pavement unarmed? Only a fascist would think that. Which is the problem. We’re not just fighting against the racist system that sets up white men who kick unarmed men of color in the face to be heroes, we’re fighting against a population who really believe fascism is the answer. Whether they know that or not, the eye for an eye set are frothing at the mouth for fascism.

Which is why we should closely examine the little voice that says that maybe that police officer could use a kick in the face to balance the scales. Maybe if he knew what it was like to feel his jaw fracture while laying prone on the ground as the literal boot of the oppressor crashes down onto his head, perhaps he would neglect to take such joy in future assaults? It’s important to look at our own relationship with fascist fantasies as they apply to our worldview and not just for the opposition.

Finally, we look to history. It feels bad now, but didn’t it feel bad when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on Kent State Students, murdering four peaceful protestors? Didn’t it feel hopeless when MLK was assassinated? Medgar Evers, Ruben Salazar, Malcom X? You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea. You can acquit a terrorist gang, but you can’t erase the footage of them bragging and laughing as they deface Paiute artifacts. You can hit peaceful protestors with sticks, hell you can shoot them, and they have before, but the wheels of progress keep turning.

The definition of liberalism is that we push the boundaries of tradition. What passed for liberal thought 20 years ago is regressive today. This is a fight we will not win. At best, we might live to become the conservative scourge we so revile. Now doesn’t that make you feel better?

Stop Telling People to Call Their Parents.

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I found this on a blog post called “How Not to Be a Garbage Human” and there’s no way I’m linking to that trash. Also it was a promoted post and I can’t find it again.

There’s also a podcast I used to listen to where the host told people to call their mom at the end of he show, but that’s recently changed to “call your person” so it sounds like other people wrote the email I was to tired to write, so thanks guys.

It’s fucking mean to tell people to call their parents. And not just people like me who have an estranged relationship with one or more of them. Parents also die, get Alzheimers, sink into depression and on and on.

Basically, its a garbage human move to assume everybody is like you and has access to parents.

How to be a #NastyWoman

Tell people about yourself. Specifically how great you are.

Fashion don’t? More like Fashion don’t give a fuck what you shitlords think.

Fuck. However you like. With whomever you like.

Call out rapists and their rape-apologist bros.

Don’t ask. Tell.

Get shit done.

Be unapologetically, blissfully ugly.

Speak truth to power. And liars.

Say no when you mean no.

And yes when you mean yes.

Always #BossBitch. #BossBitch always.

Reject trans-exclusionary feminism

Reject white racist feminism

Don’t back down. No matter what they call you.

Republicans Only Care About Women They Own

For everybody asking why the Republican party only speaks out against Trump when he denigrates white women, I have the answer. 

These conservatives are only  appalled at Trump’s presumptions over something they think they have ownership over: white womanhood. The sacred white mother has been a political haven for despicable racists and sexists since Sojourner Truth and it still is today. That’s why they’ll fall on their swords now rather than let anybody see behind the curtain of their chivalry. The hand of protection these bastards extend to their precious wives and mothers is a cage called the patriarchy. 

And if it’s not, where is their conviction when it comes to reproductive health, sex ed, equal pay, processing rape kits, electing women to public office, lesbian and transgender rights, and on and on for literally millennia. If the only thing you jump to defend is a white woman’s vagina and who gets to “grab” it, the reason is because you have first grabbing rights and you’re mad somebody tried to take it. Stop lying misogynist  shitlords.

Trump Dildo

Hey bros. Cool new thing.

It’s called Trump Dildo and you should get onto it dudes.

Regular Trump is boring.

Also he is lame.

Lame.
Lame.

 

Trump Dildo is cool.

Cool.
Cool.

Also he’s a dildo. Post Trump Dildo for coolness, Internet friend.

The Logical, Educated Argument for Replacing Every Picture of Donald Trump with this Dildo in Trump Hair

This is Donald Trump
This is Donald Trump

This is for all y’all Democrats because I know you love this cerebral wordy college shit.

Michael Moore has said he believes only satire can bring Trump down. So far,  Democrat offerings in that regard tend to be smug, overly-analytical and rely heavily on irony. A concept most of us only pretend to understand in order to justify the crippling student loan debt we acquired at 18 and will likely carry with us into retirement. We could have purchased a farmhouse in Missouri, but who wants to live in a fly-over state, am I right?*

Very few people fail to understand the concept of a dildo. It’s fake beef. A plastic, orangey substitute for what you really need. It has no pulse, no soul, and sometimes the dog finds it under your pillow and chews it’s sad helpless head off. It’s literally filler.

Thus, the humble dick joke. Uniter of wo(men). We already know from His inability to take a simple finger-mocking that Trump is fundamentally insecure, particularly about the size of his no-doubt underperforming penis. What better way to bring us all together behind this ineffectual tool than to ensure that a vote for Trump is explicitly a vote for Dildo.

Are you, Trump supporter, afraid of change? Are you angry that your elected officials don’t seem to work with you at all? Look on this Trump Dildo and despair. Don’t be swayed by Trump’s empty promises. Don’t forsake the real world for 5-speeds of artifice claiming to make your cunt America great again. Don’t be fooled by the technological marvel of his carefully sculpted dome, I implore you. Do you think that Trump validates your race fear (also known as racism)? Do you believe that he will keep you safe from those unpatriotic fucks who would import illegal immigrants at the same speed at which they export your jobs? I have terrible news for you. Donald Trump’s word is his bond in the same way that this cold, plastic buggerclaw  is your God damned boyfriend, do you get me?

Therefore we must draw back the curtain on this fool, my collegiate fellows and Dildo Trump is the way. Please cease this senseless overestimation of our quarry. The Trump voter will only appreciate our thesis in dick form. Go forth and propagate this image. For democracy. For America.

*This kind of shitty cultural elitism is why were losing to the human dildo, Trump, by the way.

Important reminder about the Hillary/Trump fight

We are too busy fighting over who is the Hitler (race-bating Trump or election-fixing Hilary). We are missing the fact that this is (hopefully) the culmination of a racist agenda, not of whites against the rest of us, but of the super rich against the American people; using the only leverage that is more powerful that money: culture. You see, super rich people tell the racial majority in this country that it is not their (the middle class) fault they can’t buy all the things that are marketed to them. It’s their (minority groups) fault. Those minority groups are taking white jobs and pushing good white Christians (as opposed to bad Muslims and other heathens of color) out of a market they are entitled to dominate. This is done to hide the fact that the true fault belongs to union busting thugs (like Trump) and their ineffectual career politician lap dogs (like Hillary) who keep the rif raf down by removing options and pitting the common people against each other, not as part of a vast conspiracy, but because it’s good business. 

In a world where business can (legally) only measure success in terms of money and not economic or social value, this becomes best practice. 

It’s true that we have to vote for one of these animals. I think anybody reading this would agree with me that Hillary is the least Hitler of the two. I mean, only one of these freaks is advocating to make minorities carry special ID and it’s not her. 

To the Young, Oppressed American, Whomever You May Be

There’s a universal truth that nobody wants to look at, despite the fact that it is probably the most pervasive reality on earth.

Some parents hate their children.

Sadder still, some parents love their children but have no way to protect them, from themselves, from the abuser, from the cold and uncaring consequences of their own failures.

So we have nowhere to seek solace. In a world that also hates us for reasons of its own, there is no hiding. And it’s unfortunate, but I need you to buck up. Because, out of the 7.125 billion lost, sad, and abused bastards on this slowly dying space turd, you happen to have the extreme luck to be born one of the 318.9 million Americans. This could also apply to any one of the 35.16 million Canadians, 64.1 million United Kingdom residents, 23.13 million Australians, and so on… but this is America, so suck it other countries.

You have options available to you that other people can only dream of. And you probably don’t even know what they are. Because why would anyone tell you when it’s in the majority of their best interest to keep you small, afraid and ineffectual.

I had the benefit of some great teachers when I was younger, and I’m going to compile those lessons here for you. Read them, but know that they’re only my experience of what worked. If you only internalize one sentence in this entire blog post, it should be the next one. You have options. Just because someone says you have to do something doesn’t mean you do. Just because you don’t know anybody who’s ever accomplished the things you want doesn’t mean you can’t.

Handle yourself. Go to the nearest mirror and look into it. You are the parent now. Your parents can’t feed you, can’t keep you safe, but someone has to and you’re the only one here. This is where being an American is the best thing you have going for you. We are surrounded by wealth and you don’t need that much to survive. Start cleaning houses, mowing lawns, sell fucking oranges by the side of the freeway. Get an income stream that is independent of anybody else. Don’t get a job you need a ride to get to, don’t use parental connections, make something entirely yours. Live off this money. Whenever possible, hide a bag with a change of clothes, as many underwear as you can spare and some food that doesn’t parish. This is your bug out bag, and you may need it someday. Figure out how to escape your room when you’ve been locked in it. If the violence is escalating, don’t go home. It won’t get better, it will only ever get worse. If they say it will get better, that’s a lie and it will only ever get worse.

Some people want you to die. Whoever you are, this statement is true. They may be close or far away, known or unknown, but they wish you were dead and they will take steps to starve you out of this life. Decide if you will fight or if you will die. I recommend fight because dying will take so much longer and be so much more horrible than you think. Even more horrible than it is now, even more horrible than the worst days in the fight. If you will fight, fight. Do not let them tell you where to go, what to say, or how to act. Do not let them tell you what your options are. We already covered this, but they are lying. Figure out what game they’re playing, learn all the rules to it and beat the pants off them. Find the loophole, get what you need on a technicality if you have to. This isn’t semantics, it’s survival.

Lie. Whenever possible, lie to people who show an inability to hear your truth. They want you to lie to them. That’s why they change the subject when you start to talk about what’s really going on, that’s why they minimize the impact of what you’re telling them. They want you to tell them you’re fine. Say you are and move on. This is not an ally, this is a roadblock to your ability to thrive.

The truth is a powerful weapon. Use it to your advantage. Unleash it only when it stands to do the most damage to the oppressor and the least to you. This usually means when you’re free and clear of the situation and safely out of their control. Alternately, it can be deployed if you’re backed into a corner as a last resort.

There’s safety in numbers. The poet Jenny Zhang has said “I’m not going to accept the mentorship of people who don’t see me, don’t know me, and don’t understand me.” Conversely, if you have someone who’s in the shit with you, who knows from experience exactly what it feels like to be hated and cast out by your own parents, they may be an ally. If they are trustworthy (if they say they’re going to be somewhere and they show up, they don’t make promises they can’t keep) trust them with a small thing (will you keep this dollar for me until the end of the day, for example) and see what happens. If they can be trusted, you may have found somebody who can watch your back. Don’t get comfortable, though. Circumstances change and allies can become enemies over time.

Beware of caretakers. Some people will think it’s romantic to be friends with you. You are a waif, a scoundrel who’s own parents have cast them out. It’s like a cartoon they watched in their safe house with their good parents while you were hiding in a closet or a bush or any other kind of cover you could find to keep them off you. I’m not saying not to be friends with normal people. Normal people are the reason I graduated from high school. But you have to know that you need more than they can provide. If you try to rely on normal people, they will begin to resent you. After all, it’s not their fault you’re like this. If a normal person offers you something too eagerly, especially if they’re an adult: beware. People always want something in return. You are broke, young and you have no resources. They will probably want to fuck you, and they’ll probably imply that raping you is justified because you accepted whatever gift or assistance they offered initially. This is why it’s so important to handle your own shit. If you don’t owe anybody anything, they can’t collect in the form of your ass.

Find a sanctuary. This could be any place where you feel protected, where people won’t turn you in to child services, where hours or maybe even days can be spent in safety and relative comfort. Make sure that no one controls access to this space. The public library, for example is public space and therefore no one can be banned from the library. Sanctuary can also mean a cultural association like a church or a youth group. If you’re going to find sanctuary in youth-oriented space, be careful. Rules designed to protect normal children can also be used to make you vulnerable and dependent on services that either can’t be relied on, or come with too high a price (see previous paragraph). The good news is that anybody who tells you you have to follow their rules in order to be happy is lying to you. Always remember that you have options.

And finally…

Forget about all of this. If this works, you’re going to wake up one day in a glorious future. A future you built yourself, a future where you are safe and you don’t owe anything to anybody. You must become a soldier who hones his skills, praying for a time when they are no longer needed. Your dis-empowered youth is only a hurricane, terrible but brief in the scope of your life. Giving this shit up will be almost as bad as learning it in the first place, but it’ll be worth it. Tell yourself that this is likely where your parents stopped trying if you need motivation to press on. Don’t be like them. Don’t fuck this up.