Saturday, December 8, 2018

Fear and loathing

You got no friends tonight
Except your poison
Except your poison
Now all the lights are gone
Reach for your poison
Reach for your poison

~~ "Poison" by Generation X

I really hate it that the current resident (AKA Individual 1) of the Oval Office occupies so much of my headspace. Even when I'm not focusing on the news—and yesterday was a big effin' day, my friends—I find myself pondering things like, "Why do I hate him so much?" 

I don't like to toss the word 'hate' around and I don't do it easily. There is too much of that in the world already and I don't like participating in any of it. I'm a happy person who doesn't like to hate on anybody...unless they really, really deserve it. 

And make no mistake about it, I think Individual 1 deserves it. I detest pretty much everything about him. I find him a loathsome worm, incapable of the self-reflection necessary to be an empathetic or kind person. He is everything I hate in a person: full of himself, willfully ignorant, a liar, a stone cold jerk...I could go on and on, but you get the idea. 

But as I pondered all of this, I thought about WHY all those things bother me. It occurred to me today that it's because he reminds me way too much of so many of the toxic people I've had in my life throughout the years. Whether it was exes or people I encountered over the years in the workplace or elsewhere, Individual 1 embodies all the qualities that caused me so much grief, anger, and heartache. 

The victimhood and the victim-shaming; the narcissism and the sexism; the ego, the ignorance, the lying, the sheer ugliness that lurks deep inside. The guy who decided that he was the head of the household and I had to defer to him. The guy who was seeing numerous women all the time he was seeing me. The guy who got pissed off at me for not wearing a dress and heels around the house when I got home from working at the lab. The boss who blatantly lied about things, like saying, "I never said that" when every single goddamn person in the small lab heard him say it. The coworker who went around telling everyone exactly what he wanted to do to me and then denied it when I confronted him. The doctor who sexually harassed me. The guys who trash-talked about me to anyone who would listen when I had the audacity to break up with them. The people who lied and manipulated and took advantage and who never, EVER took the blame for anything and never had the self-awareness to even think that they might bear some culpability in things.

It's all there. All wrapped up into one big fat bloated orange blob.

He's like a bad acid flashback to all the worst times in my life. A flushback, if you will. 

It's no wonder I loathe him. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


She's so cold cold cold
Like an ice cream cone

~~ "She's So Cold" by The Rolling Stones

It was interesting to watch President Bush the Elder's funeral today. I know how it feels to lose a father so I could sympathize with how the family was feeling. 

But what really fascinated me was the body language of the Presidents' Club sitting in the front row. 

Before the service started, the Obamas and the Clintons were chatting and laughing, with the Carters occasionally exchanging some pleasantries with them. Their expressions were calm, happy, even smiling, despite the somber occasion. (No judgment meant by that. Most funerals I've attended end up with some laughter along with the tears. That's a healthy thing.) 

Then the current "president" and his wife arrived. The Missus exchanged handshakes or greetings with them all, but the Mister shook hands with the Obamas and then...sat down. Bill looked at him, possibly a little nonplussed to not be greeted, and the Carters didn't seem to care. Hillary? She looked straight ahead, not acknowledging his presence whatsoever. 

DAMN, girl. 

After that, all the friendly chitchat stopped. The Obamas and Clintons, talking so animatedly before, sat stone-faced as they all waited for the service to start. It was quite a transformation. 

I don't blame them a bit. If some A-hole was telling people that I wasn't born in the United States or ginning up a crowd to chant about throwing me in jail, I'd be pissed off, too. The milk of human kindness only goes so far. 

It's common knowledge that Individual 1 has a deep-seated need to be accepted by the so-called 'elites.' The people in New York and Washington and Hollywood and all over the world who have power and influence. Despite his money (the quantities of which are highly suspect), he has never been fully accepted. People took his donations but held their nose. Why? Because he is, at heart, a dumbass. In loftier terms, he is a vulgarian who has no concept of class or grace. 

He tries, he really does. He thinks that a gilded penthouse (or a gold toilet) somehow makes him 'classy.' The sad, sad truth is that people have always recognized him for what he is: a buffoon and a blowhard who doesn't have a clue. If he weren't such a buffoon, I might almost feel sorry for him. He wants so badly to be accepted, but because of his own boorish behavior, he never will be. 

But I don't feel sorry for him one little bit. He is a vile person who delights in insulting and demeaning others. When you treat people that way, it will cause people to treat you with disdain and even contempt. And you will deserve every bit of it. 

For a brief moment today, I wondered if the eulogies might make him reflect on how respectable people behave and cause him to indulge in a bit of rare self-reflection and maybe even cause him to change his behavior a bit. Then I realized that was silly. This moron is 72-years-old and he will never, ever change. This shtick has worked for him all these years, but he's never had to be accountable to Congress or to someone like Robert Mueller. 

I think he is about to learn what it means to be accountable for his actions. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Living on a thin line

Now another century nearly gone
What are we gonna leave for the young?
What we couldn't do, what we wouldn't do
It's a crime, but does it matter?
Does it matter much, does it matter much to you?
Does it ever really matter?
Yes, it really, really matters
Living on a thin line
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?

~~ "Living on a Thin Line" by The Kinks

Hey, long time, no see! 

There have been many times when I've felt like writing but just didn't seem to have it in me. It seems that much of my energy lately is devoted to just trying to hang in there as I watch everything go to shit around me. 

Not personally, not at all. Ken and I are hanging tough and dealing with what we need to deal with. I have a great family that I can always count on if I need to bend their ear and vice versa. We have supportive friends, too, and I don't feel personally worried. 

But as for our country, OHMICOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIEEEEE! 

An exaggeration, yes. My greatest feelings of despair stem from realizing that we have lost our standing as a moral beacon in the world. And yeah, yeah, I get it...we are NOT always all that moral. We've done some shitty things over the centuries. But didn't we use to stand for something? Didn't we use to have that ideal that said that you could be whatever you wanted to be if you worked hard? Didn't we use to be the place that people wanted to come to because they knew that they would have a chance to make a better life for themselves and for their families?

Didn't our country develop its unique culture and strength through diversity and the input of immigrants? My own family came over from Germany in the late 1700s and began farming on land that my ancestors got because of early service to this country. Both of my parents' families were dirt poor when my folks were growing up during the Depression and I know that there are plenty of us whose families faced the same or similar hardships. So why are some of these same people looking down on those who want to come here to try to do better for their families? Didn't they all have the same motivation?

I love my country, I really do. Yes, we have made and continue to make mistakes (understatement of the year), but the past couple of years have left me ashamed and apologizing to my friends in other countries. "I'm so sorry," I say. "I apologize for what is going on right now," I say. 

I am sick of apologizing. I want to be proud of my country again. I want to be able to say "I'm an American" without immediately apologizing and saying that I do not support this so-called president and I do not condone his actions. Ken and I try to be good ambassadors for our city, our state, and our country, so how about if this so-called president makes an attempt to do the same? Can he please stop embarrassing us on the international stage?

I try not to feel despair...or at least I try not to dwell on it. I try to keep in mind that the arc bends slowly and that sometimes it's two steps forward and one step back. At the same time, I absolutely reject the politics of hate and I condemn every single person that embraces hatred and divisiveness. I have no time for your crap and I am going to call you out every time I see it. I may not have the "best words" but I've got some good ones and I know how to use them. 

We really are living on the edge right now, pals. Don't you feel it? 

It's up to each one of us to decide which side we are going to be on.