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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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. 

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

 

 

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.

Because of course

My best connections are with fiction words that inspire when the wind gets wicked cold… The Walking Dead, with a glimpse of the value of life…. “it’s what about redirecting, evading, and actually caring about the welfare of your opponent. So you have to care about yourself. You have to believe your life is precious.  That all life is precious. You have to redirect those thoughts, the history that tells you otherwise. What we’ve done, we’ve done. We evade it by moving forward, with a code to never do it again, to make up for it, to still accept what we were, to accept everyone, to protect everyone, and in doing that protect yourself. To create peace.” Gods I can’t imagine it in plainer words. 

I didn’t invent the Post-it glue.

But I did attend the 20yr reunion. I did walk up to people that I was too scared to walk up to during High School and asked them to sign my yearbook. And you know what? They were pretty cool people. Kids, careers, fears, hopes, neurosis… we were, and are all, people in progress. I needed to reconnect to some sense of … well connectedness. This past couple of years has led to deep divisions in the poplulation and the only way I see past the depressive thoughts that lie down that road is to realize, we are all people.

Good, bad, mistakes, and successes, we are all people.  People that I spent a great deal hiding from because I shared no love of football or country music I felt .. different than. So instead of talking or reaching out, I hid.  I had convinced myself I couldn’t care less what people thought. That is a partial truth, because while I would never take an outside voice as my guiding voice, it mattered still to be … ok .. in the eyes of others, to not be so far outside, to restore a faith of sorts in the human-ness of us all. I would spend many more hours typing deep thoughts and trying to solve the worlds problems, but right now, I’m going to think of laughter and hugs, burning old assumptions, and really being ok with caring what people think. It doesn’t change who I am, but it is part of who I am, and that is good to face too.

All the things… 

So, for me, writing is therapeutic. A way to express. So the plan was, get the neat little keyboard for my note tab. Start here or there, little bits, share and revamp poetry, express or escape. So many things happen that I want to express and have been too tired to. I’ve been getting better about eating cleaner, that ties in because before cleaning things up, before starting with my “bulletproof coffee” kick .. I was pretty low… things just getting piled deeper and deeper. Finances, house cleaning, expressing myself to those I love. Just.. hard to connect because I was so .. well low.. not suicidal so there’s that. Just unable to get out of a general … discontent. No fault, nothing I shouldn’t be able to shake. But, there I was. I’m starting to feel better, just have to keep reminding myself that it’s one day at a time, and that I can’t fix everything for everybody, but do what I can, and not so much that I resent the energy it draws from me. I’ve had so many thoughts about funny things to write, moments here or there. Some wonderful new movies, I love movies, and how they connect us with symbols, oh gods and old books, and new 🙂 Revisiting the world of Lazarus and Dresden. Plopped into the beautiful and weird Saga. The Jungle Book! (2016) How sweetly sentimental. How delightful a remake, reimagining. The silky voices, trussst in meee. 🙂 Funny how a few notes of music can make smile like I’m 5 🙂 I blame my Papa Bear for that. My dad is Baloo, and will always be. So naturally I brought the new dvd home and at 38 managed a nice evening with my family. I saw the Killing Joke by myself, Ihave thoughts on the new season of Once Upon a Time (Hook Good!) Also, seriously not everything needs to be steampunk, though I appreciate the asthetic … Ok… no judging! Also, just charmed by Galavant. Star Trek Beyond, I still love the new actors, though the whole thing for me was just a reminder of a very young talent and a very old one that the world will never see again, so, bittersweet. The Martian, Holy crap how well acted and fun was that for being a movie that doesn’t really look all that interesting to start with. And now my remakes monologue. DAMMIT People. NO one owns a story, no one owns a vision. I give remakes a credit for honesty that some writers don’t bother to attempt as each story it’s only the dressings that change. I think there is something so important in that change though. Some niggly detail that allows a wonderful story to reach and touch an audience that the first may never have. Just because you don’t like the story doesn’t mean that somewhere that story isn’t changing a life and the only way something like that can touch you is if some part of it connects, grips, teases and tickles your mind. I don’t care how epic or amazingly “well written” your favorite book is, the truth is, if it doesn’t catch someone it doesn’t touch them. I’d rather see a world of bad writing that touches a thousand imaginations rather than a “critically acclaimed” tome that only 5 musty scholars give a good gorram about. Art, story, music, these things are alive and simply cannot be contained or owned. So love the remake, hate it, wait for it, it’ll be around again and maybe if you are lucky, one with be your perfect version.

So yeah. Words. G’night all 🙂