I thought I’d end August with some SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION.
The Ilkley Playhouse, in the UK, is doing an evening of my short works. If you’re near that area, hey, go see em! I’m sorta…not anywhere near the UK. My evil powers do not extend to Apparating where I want to or the reverse of that.
The following is from their website–
Sept 6-8, 2018.
Whalegirl and other short plays
by Ann Wuehler
Ann Whuler’s[Wuehler!] powerful and perceptive work touches every open nerve of human existence, displaying a true depth of understanding. The issues covered by these seven plays include the desperation of loneliness, casual relationships and forbidden love, parental guilt, personal failure, dehumanisation and flight from an unsatisfactory reality. Yet in her inimitable gritty style the author still finds empathy, compassion and wry humour. Disturbing and entertaining in equal measure.
Whalegirl: An intriguing play in which a man grieving for the death of his daughter from anorexia encounters an obese girl on a beach.
The Care and Feeding of Baby Birds: A dramatic monologue in which a young woman nurses abandoned fledglings while ruminating on her unsuccessful life.
Frog Loves Christy: A duologue in which two half-sisters discuss their future.
The Mating Season of Flying Monkeys: A comic piece in which two elderly sisters argue about love.
Doll Cargo: A powerful drama about human trafficking.
Cinnamon Rainbow: A comedy about a hopeless burglar who tries to rob a lonely woman.
Traces of memory: A dark drama about two women running away to escape their pasts.
It’s rather sobering how the people around you get revealed. How that top layer of niceness and decency just go away. And you see the rotting bones beneath, the strips of moldering flesh.
You notice you’re talking to ghosts, who cling to things they know with all their might and mistake the screeches of a selfish idiot for truth, beauty and the American way.
He speaks for us. He’s saying what we’re saying.
Um, wow, I hope not. Have you actually listened to that thing speak/shout at the multiple rallies?
This isn’t strangers around me saying that. I’m a lone island in a sea of blank-eyed eidolons.
I grew up around these desperate little spirits, who can’t understand that their wages going down, and everything else going up isn’t because of welfare queens taking advantage of the system.
Well, it sort of is. Those welfare queens run giant companies like GE and Exxon and Bank of America.
The welfare queens, usually portrayed as a black woman or an immigrant-colored sort of gal, that my relatives and others are told to hate, holds some sort of legendary status right up there with Bigfoot, Nessie and the Abominable Snowman.
Everyone knows about them, but nobody’s actually seen one. There’s the tales about so and so in line at the grocery store. This woman, with a fancy phone, fancy clothes, blah, is buying steak and lobster with food stamps. The details! The more details piled on, the more people lap it up! She’s got her hair done, she’s got fancy salon-looking nails! She’s wearing clothes!
How dare this food-stamp mama WEAR CLOTHES?
Outrage, outrage, get your outrage here! We need to cut those programs…! Yeah. Yep.
It’s on par with an urban legend.
Except. People repeat it and repeat it, like an urban legend. Going back, fact checking that, boring!
Welfare queens milking the system, sexy as hell. And the fault of the left who wants to give all your hard-working money to gang members, those welfare taker milkers of the system, slutty single women who want abortions every other weekend and…yeah.
I can hear Fox News from the other room. Hyde Amendment, ever heard of it? You have to wait five years to apply for any sort of assistance in America if you immigrated here legally or…ugh.
I hear the loud, very angry hectoring that makes up the bulk of Fox News programming. Hannity to Laura Ingraham, screaming how Pumpkincunt is a savior of the American Way of Life while Obama and Hillary and the Left want to turn everyone into scary words scary words. It’s not the words at this point, it’s the tone that people respond to. That’s what I get from just hearing that shit from another room. That comforting outrage that pours into the ears like oil squeezed from snakes. I get a sick, hot feeling and a need to FACT CHECK EVERYTHING around me, then a need to take one of those showers you take after exposure to anything nuclear. I’m contaminated. I’ve been exposed to radiation.
I’m in a terrible place right now. Mentally, physically, the whole kit and kaboodle.
I walked out to get the mail. A beautiful day. Cooler than it has been. Clear skies, that smoky haze pushed out a bit. My thoughts full of what am I hanging on for. What. What am I hanging on for. There’s no reason for this.
It’s just this passing clot of darkness amid, should I make some biscuits, is my pumpkin ripe, I need to find a play for such and such. There’s even some fancy name for always having suicidal thoughts. Being always on that cliff. Looking into the abyss. Wondering. How soon. How soon.
My relatives, over on Facebook, posted a meme. Here, you can see it, too. Or curse me, wash your eyeballs with bleach and go get drunk with bikers. Or acrobats, hey, I will not judge you.
I know her. She’s a good person. Like, deep down nice. Funny, tough, one of those women who stand by their man sorta woman. She’s a throwback country song, sung by George Jones, with Mo Bamby singing backup. A bright spot during the family Christmas Hell-Eves.
And yet…that meme. Does she believe that? Is there some part of her that goes, some tiny still voice in the center of her head, that goes…I’ve been fooled.
She’s got a medically fragile kid. She’s on all sorts of assistance to help that kid, to keep him alive. Medical bills that way, ouch!
To pay for those massive tax cuts, the regime that holds all three branches of the American government will go after everything she depends on. Those programs to help kids in that manner already cut to the bone or going away.
This will be blamed on immigrants clogging the welfare system…or lazy Millennials who don’t know the value of working or people with arts degrees or Hillary. Or avocado toast. Or Starbucks coffee runs. Or. Or anything but pointing out the hoary old there’s always money for anything military, none for social programs.
Oh sorry. Anything military contractor. As veterans getting help when they come back from the never-ending war/s, pfft. We’ve never taken care of our veterans, why start now?
It’s all the Democrats fault, of course, that veterans blah dee blah.
They’re into BIG GOVERNMENT and red tape! It’s not us nice Republicans who love family, the military, guns and Jesus and tiny tiny government! Wheee! Sorry, veterans. If only the demoncrats would work with President Orange Jesus, everything would magically just become magical!! Unicorns in every cooking pot!
We’re the party of Lincoln! We must all tighten our belts, some must tighten their belts so much they get cut in two and die under a bridge having frozen to death. But that’s the fault of Nancy Pelosi. Nothing is ever our fault, we’re the party of Lincoln!
Doesn’t…doesn’t she know this? Doesn’t that compute? Hasn’t she been paying attention at all?
No, she hasn’t. It seems my entire family turned into members of some sort of weird cult. I’ve never fit in with my family but this is…so much worse. I feel afraid. For me. For them. For all of us. I can’t forgive that they embrace that thing. They can’t forgive that I don’t. I don’t want to talk to them or be around them.
They don’t seem like my family anymore.
I think that’s the worse thing that has happened to this country, well…not even close, but still. Dividing friends, family into hostile camps dedicated to erasing the other.
Maybe this is a tiny taste of those pre-Civil War years. People divided so sharply that there was no reasonableness left. No logic, no reason. Just hasty words, slogans, propaganda and shouting. Promising things would be done to protect their side. Swords rattled. Before they really got rattled for four years.
Fuck, we’re still fighting that damn war to this day. It never ended. 1861-?. The South will Rise Again! Um, does that mean we’re gonna have to wear hoops skirts and own slaves and shout that cotton is king? Holy barfballs, ‘murikkka!
How long do you ignore this cult brouhaha from the ‘other side’?
When you remember a snowy Christmas Eve night– that hulking MAGA hat wearing sort used to be a tiny tot in a blue knitted stocking cap, delighted over all the Christmas wonderfulness.
When you remember your dad coming to get you after you flipped your truck but didn’t die or even get hurt that much. When…yep. How much do you have to give up to live with yourself a bit?
Because you can’t put the “nice” faces back on the rotting ghost visages.
You can’t unring the bells, that one is very true. You can’t unsee. You can’t unhear.
I don’t have any answers.
Others have cut all ties with their Trumpkin relatives and friends.
Others have given up on anything political, thrown up their hands with a ‘Can’t we all just get along’ darty-eyed look.
Others don’t discuss politics or religion with family or friends. I guess they talk about the weather or traffic. Or old Bewitched episodes. Who didn’t love Serena? Uncle Arthur! Dr. Bombay, what a hoot! Derwood!
And how, after all this is over and it will be, one way or another, how do you reconcile or reconnect? Or just find those you cut loose to point at them and laugh?
America will either right itself, ha ha, or it won’t.
We might very well find ourselves with an actual dictatorship in place.
And people writing careful puff pieces on the “right” people who had faith in Apricot Hellbeast and Sunny Jesus, and never wavered in faith for either. Because writing anything else. Mm. We’re already kinda there at that point. The lying media. Fake news. Enemy of the people. Yeah, we’re there. Fun!
We might find America will shake this off, with a lesson learned.
HA HA HA HA HA.
America flunks history every damn time. We have those Etch-A-Sketch memories. We in America are always AMAZED AND HORRIFIED at the latest wave of racism or awfulness.
America has never been this bad. Yeah, um, yeah it has. I’m outraged and horrified, this is unprecedented! Ten years ago, then five years before that and then…
It will all get blamed on the Democrats. All this now going on, when it’s over, will get that patina of Right Wing Blame It On The Democrats. People will fall for it, the same people now who think Hil Clinton is running a pedo international child sex slave operation out of a New Jersey pizza parlor. [See QAnon crap]
Or think that Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya to outer space lizard lords. Who then rigged the elections, twice, to ruin America so that Pumpkincunt had to save it…
to make amerikkka grate again and put amerikkka firstest. cause obummer fucked us for eight years and trump had sex like a boss with porn stars. he wasn’t prezident when he fucked them porn stars and cohen a big jew baby lied about all that, trump didnt no abut that money. he sed so i beleeve him. the russans helped killery not trump has anyone investigated the dnc?? lock her up!! crooked killery who had all those people killed but nobody went after her she’s a real witch kill that cunt we should kill her shes evil. baby killer killery. obama probably brought in those mexicans. maybe we should send the national guard to CHICAGO. fire muller it’s a witch hunt! clean coal! MAGA!!
That’s what I hear. That’s what I hear. That’s what I read.
And worse. And funnier. And far more jaw-droppingly WTF. With bad spelling and monstrous trembling outrage and jumbled conspiracy theories galore, oh my.
I dread any meeting with relatives right now. I don’t want them watching me as they speak about…whatever they heard on Hannity or the Five. I feel any love I bear them get a little bit less each time. Each time. Until they’re just strangers to me. And if it came down to it…I’d be very ready for the Nu Civil War. And that goes a little deeper than some cheap tears and a hasty blog post.
I took a trip. To Meridian, Idaho. Why, you might suddenly ask yourself. To go see a movie. Why??
Ah, because BlackkKlansman was not playing in a town near me. Mama Mia 2, sure! Spike Lee film, no. That’s fine. You gotta show movies that will turn a profit, I get it.
I’m totally a capitalist. I have that word as my tramp stamp.
I found the place, with about ten minutes or so to spare. The directions from MapQuest were shitty. Why didn’t it just send me to Millennial Avenue, as the Majestic is RIGHT THERE. Why send me to this barely marked street, then give me WRONG TURNS? I swear to Baby Jesus and Satan’s Nipple Piercings the MapQuest site thought, hey, let’s do something funny to the hermit girl.
Great big nice place. Comfy red seats that reclined. Great!
About three people at that first showing. Wheee! Saw some very earnest trailers and learned Sigourney Weaver’s first name is Susan.
Some things you can’t unlearn.
So. Briefly, the story– a rookie cop, in Colorado Springs, CO, infiltrates the local branch of the KKK, or the Organization, run nationally at that time by, wait for it, David Duke. Ron Stallworth sees an actual ad in the local paper and calls the number, setting up a meeting with the local good ole boys. Problem! Ron is black.
And the Klan, yeah, is against any skin color but European. So Ron gets another cop– Darth Vader’s grandson, no less– to pretend to be him. He even uses his “white boy” voice on the phone, because yep, you can tell a black person from a real American just by listening to em butcher the King’s English. Jive talk, ya’ll. Hijinks ensue!
We get to watch Flip or Philip, who’s Jewish, hang around these good ole boys and good ole gals. Oh yes, the Klan doesn’t exactly like Judaism, either. Or immigrants!
The KKK does seem quite a boy-heavy operation in the seventies. The women folk pretty much bring in the platters of spray cheese and saltine bites. Then speak with real hope that they, too, will be able to yell rape during a protest or march…sort of exaggerating there, but not really. That’s the impression I got from those shiny Klan gals. The women libbers were going hot and heavy during this time period, that seemed absent from the Klan Barbies. Kind of like now…mm.
Something that stuck out, to me, was the contrast between Kendrickson’s wife [Ashley Atkinson] and Patrice Dumas [Laura Harrier]. The good wife versus the liberated, gonna change the world firebrand. Because we still have that to this day. Who is considered a good woman and who’s not. The sexism, mm.
The ones who act like ladies and the rest of em, eh, boys, dudes, mens of all kinds? We never seem to shed that one. Ever. Okay!
Watching Flip flip that holocaust denier [Kendrickson] with hey, the Holocaust was awesome sauce, amen. Uncomfortable barely manages to cuddle that moment. Oh yes, the N word got thrown around, whee. And all the other words we pretend don’t exist anymore and that no one says them. Whee.
There’s of course some violence planned, some good ole cross-burnin’, not wearing the hoods in public. The Klan remade for modern times! The same turd gilded over with shit glitter. Way to go, Mr. Duke.
Then the ending, which marries what was going on THEN to what’s going on NOW. Boom!
Cinematography, it had that, a lot. I had to love that bright red VW Beetle tootling about town. Dang. The plaid and vests and guns against the Colorado vistas. My my.
I liked it.
That’s my in-depth, went to college and everything take on it. Was it on the nose, in your face, not trying to be subtle? Well. Yep, yep, it was.
And it worked.
If you can totally ignore the crap around you, you might say this movie was a bit too much or too broadly painted. If you can ignore the rather obvious rise of white nationalism in America and elsewhere, you’re probably at Mama Mia, we made a sequel! or watching reruns of Bonanza.
The racists were not presented as balanced or that deep. Cartoonish. Stereotypes. Except, eh. Well…!
I grew up to talk like that. I heard it a lot.
People don’t talk like that guy in the movie, I hear. And then I just laugh.
Yeah, people talk like that, people are talking like that right now, this minute. The string of words for people not white or Christian. The desperate frothing about taking back our country. The rabid weasel screeching about them people, them people. Build the wall! America First! Shithole countries. Actual Nazis are running for political offices in America. Nazis. Real ones.
Fuck a duck. Come on!
This happened near the ending of BlackkKlansman.
A story about a lynching, a real one, interposed with Duke, played by that guy from That Seventies Show. Who should probably get some sort of acting award, because he NAILED IT. That’s my professional writer take, uh huh.
Eerie, gut-wrenching, hands clenched moment. The hoarse tired voice of the storyteller [Harry Belafonte], the smooth reasonable speech about hating and killing people not of your race or creed [Topher Grace].
The back and forth between the two speakers. Taut, quiet film scene.
Breath being held to hear the two better kinda movie moment.
Remember that speech of Quint’s in Jaws? Yeah.
I was a kid when all that was going on with the fall out of the Civil Rights movement. The seventies where America started to lose her sparkle as the GREATEST THING SINCE JESUS.
The sixties gave us protests and love ins and freedom rides.
Seventies–Nixon bruising, quite badly, the “sacredness” of the office of the President of the United States. We can’t trust the president anymore. Watergate. Deep Throat. Washington Post. Oh. My.
The end of good wages and the advent of insurance companies taking over health care. Thanks, Nixon!
I’m not a kid now. We have our own updated version of FatNixon, our own kneejerks to people losing their rights. Get over it, snowflakes. Lock Her Up! Make America Great Again. Drain the swamp. Free speech, libtards! Clean coal! The intolerant left. Witch hunt. There is no Russian collusion. Dogs. Animals.
We have those standing up for some stuff and things, in some cases silently kneeling. Which has set off a shitstorm of retread-ish screeches about hating the flag, the military and America itself. [Get a haircut, hippie!]
That same ole Klan shit now called Alt Right with fucking David Duke still here, still making those soft reasonable speeches about hating everyone not white or a Christian. Richard Spenser doesn’t have Duke’s charisma, ouch.
I think Spike Lee hit this one out of the park and hit the rotting side of the moon with it. I also picked up a new, horrible bit of slang. Mississippi wind chime. Guess what that stands for.
I wrote the following for some poetry challenge. It’s short. And ties into Alice in Oregonlandia, which is my SEQUEL to HOUSE ON CLARK BOULEVARD.
If the devil’s in America, she’s female. And she drives around in Detroit rolling iron.
BIG SHINY CAR
The devil she rides in a big shiny car up and down the roads outside my town. She don’t stop for nothing and she smiles as she drives with the windows far far down, her familiar riding shotgun, that old tommy cat grinning at the wind a’catching souls in his teeth. The devil she rides in a big shiny car and God don’t seem to care at all.
What month is this in this ghastly interminable hellbeastly span of years masquerading as a span of days? Oh. August.
It seems time has thudded to a damn standstill. And yet speeds along. I know. How original am moi? Not at all.
I’ll answer myself as no one comments or spews invectives at me in the social media time out I seem to be in. Or maybe I haven’t pledged myself enough to Satan or given enough lip service to AmmoJesus.
We only have two options for worship here in ‘murica. Sort of only sorta kidding about that. You’re either with Jesus and the angels or you’re a godless Satan worshiping hate America commie traitor who hates babies. Yep.
Oh, so for those at home breathlessly reading along, I wrote a poem. That’s all.
It included the words ‘motherlumping’ and ‘scorpion’ and ‘Mamerigaga’.
I wrote it with great and furious anger.
I had fun writing a poem in great and furious anger. It drained my fury and anger.
I sent off my barely coherent scream against avocado toast to that monthly poetry challenge I AM STILL DOING. Because it’s good practice, and it helps foment me into a BETTER WRITER.
Or so I tell myself. Don’t we all tell ourselves happy lies so we don’t spatter our pretty brains on the ugly walls wherever we live? Or perhaps we live under a bridge and have to walk to the library to use the internet.
So some other form of suicide will have to do for welfare moochers and societal losers. Starvation and disease and freezing to death are free, moochers!
Wow, that took a dark little turn.
Ah, so. I squibbled out a VASTLY POPULAR post about fires. I believe that’s the one before this one. Let me check, brb.
Yep. The fires still burn. It’s awful. It’s getting smoky. It’s HOT. But it is summer.
Thank you, Queen Obvious!
You’re welcome, sarcastic voice in my head!
Some snow would be nice. A nice couple days of constant rain would be nice here in Eastern Oregon.
I do mean the entire area. From Ontario all the way to Bend. Awash with rainy rain!
No wind, no lightning, just rain. The wet stuff we’ve heard tell of in tall tales. As you can, literally, walk between the rain drops here when it does piss down a bit. I’ve gone outside, when it rains here, and not gotten a drop on me. Sorta, kinda…kidding. Sorta.
I’m working on Starved Out, which, for right now, is set in the mythical world of government-hating extremists. As in they have a mythical view of themselves as freedom fighters and the rest of us see them as scary fuckheads.
I am telling it from the POV of the women, as men have enough stories under their column, frankly.
And when I tried to just write it…I stalled right out of the gate, trying to put the two men who started a fire and started an actual insurrection against the gubbermint front and center.
I’d also read a blip about this woman homesteader who Starved Out right at the start of the Great Depression. And of course the Massacre at Hells Canyon, I wanted that to make an appearance in my Great American Novel that No One Will Read Until I Am Well Dead and Rotting Under A Local Bridge.
So far, it’s a tripod. Rosie, the wife of Butch, the son, and Vickie, the wife of Merle, the dad. And Gladys, who had to pull up stakes and head back to the big city when drought and ruin faced her in sagebrush country.
I was, at first trying to be super-accurate and capture everything about the Hammonds and all that.
And then went, yeah, it will be fun to get sued. Fun! I’m not writing a non-fiction account, after all. I can fudge things, smear things, compose composite characters to protect the guilty and insane.
So, in the hot afternoons, I attempt a few paragraphs. It’s slow going. I need to dive in and let her buck, as they say around here.
Because we have rodeos and horses, and people actually go and get up on wild horses or other wild livestock, and…uh huh.
Why not write in the cool of the morning, dear? I hear some of you mutter that in nice, polite tones.
That tone you get when someone rattles on about some project of theirs that you could give two shits in a shot glass about.
Where your eyes glaze over as the person prattles about how they tracked down that one knitting stitch only used in Medieval stockings in Ireland by cloistered nuns who occasionally took fits because they thought the devil visited them at night.
Ah, well. I’ve been writing on ‘other stuff’.
Junk crap that I need to clear from my smoke-filled head so I can do the ‘real’ writing later in the day while not looking for gainful employment. Oh.
I did vow to at least go look at Craigslist and DesperateFuckers.org.
One last bit before I go find some pictures to place at random among these sickly paragraphs of LIKE ME I WRITE LIKE ME.
Shit howdy. I had a thought but…gone, baby, gone. Oh!!
Now, I wanna go see Mama Mia 2, I heard it’s great fun. I wanna see that damn Spy thing with the two women, because that looks like a lotta fun. I also want to see Spike Lee’s Blackk Klansman because that looks like angry fun.
I find I want to watch movies that are light, fluffy and might contain dance numbers with colorful outfits.
I find I have no head or heart for sitting through a Serious Drama. I find many others share this right now in ‘murica. We want our entertainment fluffy as wobbly kittens and our real life to resemble some dystopian novel that doesn’t get that happy ending. Whee.
I want Christmas movies all year round right now, the Hallmark ones. Where there’s barely any real problems, people are shiny clean and look made of glitter and sugar cookies, and the villains and obstacles are easily overcome in the last five minutes.
Give that crap some Oscars! Emmys? Yeah, Emmys, as it’s television. Sorry.
That level of sugary goo erases the gritty reality show playing on every screen and device world-wide. Where people seems made of rattlesnake poison and toxic sludge and the villains win every single fucking time.
And the heroes mumble and then there’s tweets from ten years ago with jokes and…ugh.
What the hell was this post? Mostly just fart noises, I think.
Ah, you were wondering where the ‘fart’ came in. Glad to help out, darlings.