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The Black Barbie

People of color are telling us the system is not fair, not equal. Women are telling you they are being made into objects to be acted on, not treated equally. If you haven’t seen the system work that way, great! Here’s the catch, you aren’t the only person in the room. Someone else in the room is telling you why their experience is different, a lot of someone elses voices are echoing. That doesn’t mean your voice isn’t. Your voice has always been the default, but there are other stations on the radio. If you are so sure we live in a post-racial society, that women are truly equal, give your space loving 3yr old son a Black Barbie doll for Christmas. 

Astronaut Barbie. Hero to all! She’s amazing at math, she earned her PhD when she was 25, studied hard, worked hard, a great leader. She out ran and out flew every other candidate. She has a minor in electrical engineering. 

Wait? You don’t want to do that? Why wouldn’t he be thrilled to have her? Go pick her up at the toy store. Just start there. Lift that box, look at the price of the Barbie, read the box. Look into her eyes. Just a toy, but for a moment, imagine buying her, wrapping the gift up and putting her under the Christmas tree. Imagine your son opening the package. How does he react? Has he learned yet that “Oh, you got the black Barbie?” “I’m sorry sweetie, you can change her in at the counter for the real Barbie” 

You don’t have to wait until someone tells you that equality is a myth. Look into your heart. Listen to your family, the people who loved you and wanted everything good for you growing up. Look into the disappointment displayed when you get a Happy Meal with the wrong color toy. That right there, is inside us. We’ve always known that other people were… other… less than. Racism isn’t out there. It’s inside. Look at it, embrace it. It isn’t pretty and it hurts, but recognize the meat you grew up on and reject it. We don’t have to be that way. We don’t have to be “better”.  No humans worth is increased when any others is decreased. It doesn’t work that way. 

And when we can get to the point it doesn’t matter what color or gender Barbie is, when it doesn’t matter what a rich white boy gets for Christmas, maybe then we’ll be one step closer. 

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At the station (pt 1 yr2)

“What time was it even in Wales? (2:13am pst – 9:13am wales)are there different time zones in Wales is it even big enough to have time zones. He has been planning this trip he told me forever, just one of those things “see the old country” I guess, I don’t know… this is just not the kind of thing I could have imagined. I just wanted to show Pops he could rely on me. And now…?” The pressure was building again, have you ever tried to hold back tears with a broken nose? Let me tell you this, it’s just not fair, the more it hurts the more you want to cry the more you want to cry the more it hurts, but there is a fear of even bigger pain then if you do start to cry…. and of course that feeds into the whole cycle too. 

Seeing the tears Mr Smith started wiggling in his seat. I could empathize I didn’t do well with crying I couldn’t fix either. Still at the time… just coming out of the fog again, it was hard to spare time for sympathy. I was the one who Pops trusted, I was the one so sure nothing would go wrong because it never had, nothing had ever gone wrong, in all our years of running a repair shop we’d never had a fire, a chemical burn, maybe a trip or two to the ER but we never had anything like this happen. Oh sure you hear about disasters, you see broken people sifting through the ruins of broken homes and think how terrible big disasters are. I broke as I pictured him standing there in what must be ash by now. I don’t know… did the second floor even burn, maybe they’d gotten to it in time, maybe there was something to salvage. Some family pictures or something.

I was weeping again, a full ugly cry would have brought me to the floor with pain but I could definitely feel the waterworks seeping under pressure. That thought though, something about the family pictures. It had only ever been me and pops, why was I worried about that? The realization came to me just about as Mr Smith was headed for the door to get backup (or presumably another box of tissues as I’d demolished the one he tried to push over to me) I blinked at him, The woman who visited, the one who’d punched me. She had a family picture, of Pops Family, wife, kids… if that was still at the house maybe there would be something I could save. Maybe she dropped it and it burned in the fire too though. Ok. Breathe. Just enough of a cry to get back some composure. Breathe in, breathe out. I looked sheepishly at agent Mr Smith and nodded. “I’m better now, thank you for bearing with me, just promise you won’t ask if I’m ok and I’ll manage to keep a lid on it until later” He smiled back “Oh I get it, I can only imagine how it must feel, just take your time. Now you said Pops called you at 2 in the morning, why so early? Is that when he usually calls?”  I shrugged “I don’t know about usually, he’s only just left a week ago, gods what day is this? Thursday now? He flew out last Saturday and called when he landed then again each day from the hotel lobby about 7pm their time, maybe noonish here, I’m usually at lunch about then, check up on projects, It’s weird, working together we don’t chat much, so I feel like I’ve been getting to talk to him more since he’s been in Wales. He keeps going on about this or that bit of coast line and the mountains and the pervasive damp, like it wasn’t just the same here, but for some reason he’s just almost… chipper if that’s right, to be miserable and cheerful about it all at once. He was headed out to Rhyl, I think. He was going to call at 12 but it was busy today… I don’t think I noticed he missed a call, just was wiped out, crashed late and bam 2am!” I must have looked confused because Mr Smith prompted me. “What did he have to say, at 2am?” I tried to be clever because I was quite certain that if I told Mr Smith what he said Pops would have a lot to answer for when he got back. I mean, there is no way in the 7 hells he’d have done anything to the shop but the urgency in his voice and the warning to get out of there, that wouldn’t look good any way you looked at it. ” You mean before or after I started yelling at him for waking me up at 2AM?” Mr Smith chuckled. My temper wasn’t a secret, and usually didn’t exist after I’d had proper sleep and coffee but George had a way of talking and there was this one time he drunk dialed me that I knew the moment I’d ended with “and your shiny red ass too!” I would never live down in this town. “Ok fair enough Effie, what did he say After you were done berating him?” “It’s a  bit blurry there, sir” I said truthfully enough. “That was when this “woman” knocked on the door”  “and the air quotes are for?”  “Well, she hit me!” “Who was she?” “I have literally no idea… she had a picture of Pops though, with his family it looked like. I never knew them, but they all seemed so happy.. ” “Can you describe her? What she was wearing… what she looked like?”

Ugh

It has been a damned year it has, I’ve updated old poetry and worked on about 8,000 words into a story, this year, if I can pull 42,000 more out of my brain I’ll have my first novel. Do I think I’ll be a writer someday? Only in so much as anyone who writes with total lack of commitment can be. *insert sardonic grin here* Oh for the days of deviantart and livejournal the quick responces and feedback. I’m a whore for praise. It is my ambrosia, and in search of that I’ll drag, kicking and screaming, every damnable last word of the 42,000 out of my brain, BITCHES IT’S NANOWRIMO!!!

Guardians Covenant

Out there, messages linger, ghosts of forgotten transmissions drifting through space, sometimes they mean something, sometimes they are just small bits like “This is Ripley, last surviving member of the Nostromo, signing off”

(highly paraphrased from the book adaptation of Alien 3)

To say I was really getting excited about a new movie in my franchise is to belabor something quintessentially obvious if you know me. If you know me not, substitute some series or particular thing you love and think of new content, a new part of that world being explored, why and how did the events that led to your favorite story line come to be? Imagine they gave you the budget, the choice director? Imagine all the shiny things you thought it could be?

Now imagine going to see that world, to be immersed in a an expansive other world, to completely sublimate yourself for a few hours away from the real world to dive into something that MEANS something to you.

Now, as you are watching it, as you are hopefully yet skeptically giving it a little slack on the leash.. ok.. maybe a little more… ok.. this feels weird… but maybe.. no they aren’t going anywhere with that point… maybe this is where we get back to plot… nope? ok.. umm little more slack… little more… and the leash slips away… somehow you are left looking at your hands and wondering just how much rabid weasel crack they had to do to create this shitshow.

Alien: Classic horror/suspense/sci-fi elements that not only were internally consistent but set the stage for a pretty epic arc, it was about a first encounter, procedure, life, loss, corporate greed, betrayal, and survival. How do you survive against something so completely Alien.

Aliens: Action/sci-fi second chances(Ripleys, Newts, asshole Gormans) unanticipated consequences, growth, corporate greed, people first, redemption for synthetic persons

Alien 3: Action/sci-fi horror, ass end of the verse, with the refuse of humanity, still surviving, corporate greed, humans first, last chance and lost chance, the circle is complete, Ripley is lost, but refuses to let her loss lead to further loss. Swan dive into molten metal

Alien resurrection:

 

 

Stories

Words and connections and bridges and metaphors and similies, like a stew. It only starts to be amazing when the heat gets going. Put a character under pressure, under a low simmer for too long, Find a way to make the situatin really cook, what they are made of, character, elements, story, all starts to melt away, fat, bone, broth, the blend and change becoming not what they were but something, some marvelous thing that is more than it’s components. Stories become more than a line, more than a feeling, they become the part of and inspire us to become more of them. Welcome to the Guardians of the Frikkin Galaxy indeed. 

hobbits choice

Scraps and bits and all I am,

Confetti Kaleidoscope

listen, LISTEN, in symbols spoken trite

Twinkies of thought, cream filled confections

perfection in design, I Am

that icing, and sometimes steak

meat and raw and sprinkles

all within

Here’s my Fiction And my Truth

They were always the same for me.

hallelujah …

I heard that there’s a secret chord that David played and it pleased the lord

one step, next step all on their own path

I walk a lonely road, the only road that I have ever known

one step, next step prevail upon momentum

and I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad

one step, next step catch a breathe

time can bring you down, time can bend your knees

one step, next step trembling path

full of broken thoughts I cannot repair

one step, next step and know

for what it’s worth it was worth all the while

 

 

She

She entered in, late night pixels and poems

screen words and shared sympathy

curvaceous vocabulary tested me

honeyed tongue my muse

an ephemeral lover

of song and thought, pain played its part

loss and lost and losing

mind and matter shifting

aether maelstrom

then on her shores I fell

for a while

the best breast pillow

love lingered, languished and lived again

alive, again

her heart mired, trapped, then freed

her wings, trembling shook and flexed

strength of brother within

brought her without

and off again

to love again

to inspire again

all the while

She is

was

and always will be

She

 

It’s been a while between words…

Ok. Need a breath, need a break, but also need to devote time to the Resistance.

It’s been one hell of an emotional week and so many things are happening I’m literally feeling frazzled and distracted. It’s like I’ve been stuck in WalMart for the last year and just want to get out. That’s how it feels and I’ve just come on board with this fight.

I’ll have to admit the first time I got shook enough to go to a protest march, it wasn’t for Sandy Hook, it wasn’t for Black Lives, the LGBTQ crowd, it wasn’t for the Water Protectors our First Americans. It wasn’t for Immigrants, our next Americans. It was for the Women’s March.

I really want to think of myself as a good person. I work hard. I struggle. But…

My field is sexist in that 3/4 of men and women have a strong preference for a female therapist.  The idea that a politician can tell me what I can and can’t do with my body terrifies me as it is strongly intertwined with the fact that no matter how far we’ve come there is still a unshakable belief that a woman can’t be trusted to make choices for herself. Sexism is a tangible thing that I have felt. I understand it. I feel like I can fight it. I get it.

This, in a nutshell, is privilege. I didn’t have to worry because they came for those “thugs” and “fags” and “dirty Mexicans” and those “Muslims” I was against it, but.. to be honest… I never marched for them. When my own family used terms like that it made me cringe like when I’d hear my grandpa say “Nigger”. But, I never spoke up, or when I did and got a look I’d back down. Gods, it’s something you know is wrong but, why fuss? I mean old people will just be prejudiced and that’s the way it is right? Except those words, those hateful ideas that separate us and put all our problems onto a group, any other group than ourselves, those are what lead to the current administration and it’s fraught ideals that somehow there is someone else to blame.

We are to blame. For poverty. For racial divides. For suicides. For annexations and liberties taken by our government that to this day, January of fucking 2017 still disadvantage our Native population. At least if you start out disadvantaged you don’t go corporate to fuck your neighbor over for a percentage. We understand working for large corporations that there is a bottom line. Meet the bottom line and you get the breadcrumbs. We’ve felt so safe with our middle class breadcrumbs. If we look around at other problems we might have to get involved we might have to speak up.

Looking at a coloring book in the local Barnes and Noble because it caught my eye. It said Women of Power. I thought about all the times as a woman I’ve held my tongue to avoid conflict. To avoid being shrugged off again, dismissed again. I thought to Speak Up … that is a God-damned super power. To Speak Up and say NO. This isn’t right.

“Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right.
This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — “No, YOU move.”
J. Michael Straczynski, Civil War: The Amazing Spider-Man

This isn’t the country I’ve been raised to believe existed. Astronaut Barbie promised me the Moon. Sesame Street taught me that neighbors from different countries were to be friends and that we’d share what we know and do and they’d share what they know and do and it’d be pretty awesome. Hamilton (the musical) promises hope and if we can think our way out, write our way out. We can still be great. We can be what the forefathers imagined.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp

OMG, If you have the brain right now, go read this too. I want to go dig up Georges corpse and cuddle with it. What a brain.

They’ve come for my friends, blamed my friends and by extension me. I’ve heard that since history class in 5th grade and it’s what it feels like now. Guess what though? Those that have been in this fight, they came out and marched because they’ve been in this, skin in the game, literally, just waiting for the rest of the world to acknowledge the issues. BLM, Native Americans, Immigrants, they marched with Women, who make up parts of all these segments, but whole movements came out for us, we pushed back. Across the world a message was heard. Lest any forget, We are here, We MATTER, We Care! They came for them first and they are holding on by a thread, waiting for reinforcements. Let us be even half as strong as they have been in this battle. Let us listen, let us learn and let us be un-afraid to SPEAK UP ever again.

 

Women of Power

I need a hero. I’ve been thinking about the rise of the super hero movies and how great it feels to see some of my heros on the big screen. Thor I’ve always had a soft spot for, and Thunderstrike came out just as I was in High School and loved having a more mortal kind of hero to admire. The Maxx even if he wasn’t really the hero of the story, he was .. symbolic. He Meant Something. Mattered. Struggled. A hero was never perfection for me, and the closer they got to being human, the more entangled the path of Hero became, the more it meant to try. A hero isn’t a hero just because they were the strongest, fastest or bravest. A hero was the one who got back up after everything they’d been through and looked the problem in the eye and “planted themselves like a tree by the river of truth and said. No. You Move.”

She texted in the middle of a work day. Mind you she doesn’t say much. It might take you years to know if she was serious or just that dryly sarcastic. There is a march coming up in Chicago. Chicago is full of people you might have noticed. Also going there involves being in a car or train for several hours with people. Still, she doesn’t do things like this. It means a lot. It means a lot because speaking up and saying something isn’t something good girls do.

I’m a girl. Woman. Person with female genitalia probably because of double dipping on that good old X chromosome. What does that mean? What is has meant is to me is that there are always certain expectations the culture I grew up in has in regards to my role in that culture. How and when I should marry, or how and when I should have children, how and what I should wear, who I should talk to, what kind of work I pursue.

I’ve grown up pretty insulated from the worst of it, pretty liberal urban areas when I was a kid. I thought we were a post-sex, post-race kind of society, where I could grow up to be an astronaut if I wanted (Thank you Sally) I could do anything, but man that boy really likes you, isn’t that sweet! You might grow up and marry him someday and have kids of your own and wouldn’t that be great?

Over time you learn that you’ll be who you damn well please and that you don’t actually have to do anything anyone expects you to. You’ll get friends with all kinds of different experiences and read more and learn more. Sure if you want to hold your own door open that’s fine. Except when it isn’t, except if you have an idea in a conversation and say anything people will smile and keep talking then someone else will state the same idea and all of a sudden it’s great! Tom that was a really terrific idea! Except to this day you’re still regulated on what you can wear and how that influences criminal behavior. Except that down to your very internal reproductive system you are told what you can and can’t do with your own body.

Saying what is on your mind is god-damned super power. I passed the Marvel *TM Women of Power! Coloring book in the Barnes and Noble and had the thought that this is perhaps what it is about. Women saying …well… anything. To some degree I’ve been afraid of saying what I really think for fear of sounding like one of “THOSE” women, the ones who take themselves too seriously, who are too sensitive, who are just women, trying to speak their mind. When I think about it, sometimes, just speaking your mind IS a god-damned super power. Not being afraid, and making it so that those behind you don’t have to keep fighting up this hill. Till all assumptions are blown away by actually meeting and getting involved with people and caring about ALL of them as people. As individuals who have the rights to their own bodies, to be treated as equal citizens.

We are so damn close, in moments you can almost forget that you aren’t one of the boys.  You might think that you can be taken seriously as an individual. Then you get in a serious situation and you realize there is a different way you are treated based completely upon assumptions of your gender. No matter how much respect you think you have earned, no matter how much you’ve worked with someone, there is something very deep in our culture that just others the ever living crap out of you. We can do better, I read it in comics, I see it in movies, grand old stories that inspire us. We can be better. We can change assumptions and start treating people like, well people.

Testicles are amazing, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying “Down with men!” I’m saying “DOWN WITH THE IDEA THAT THERE IS A DEFAULT!” “UP WITH THE IDEA OF JUSTICE AND LIBERTY FOR ALL!” To those that are even more marginalized, I will always strive for understanding and discussion and inclusion for all. I am privileged and though I fear for my body becoming something the state can legislate, I promise to not turn a blind eye and to keep working to bridge the gap. To fight the ideas that systemically regulating us into some kind of default power structure is ok. I don’t know where to begin but speaking/writing is something I can do, so I will do as I can. Please always feel free to call me on bullshit and or have honest discussions looking for solutions as a people.

I bought the comic book. I’m marching in Chicago. I’m going to speak my mind, not with out fear, but in spite of it.