Month: May 2019
Hi again. Sorry. I am sorry. I am posting too much. I am sorry.
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A Discovery of Sugar Cookies
Now, I’ll try not to wander over a thou words. Promises promises.
I realized my last two posts boil down to EXPECTATIONS. Yes, television is a frivolous wasteland for brain-dead zombies who are just about the most asleep of the non-woke sorts ever. That’s why I wuv it. Cutesy and sad. I rock!
I settle in for the new series, heavily advertised. A Discovery of Witches.
Something dark, creamy, decadent, lots o’fun, I hope with all the hope that yet clings to the inner tunnels of my decaying soul.
Ah. Discovery of Witches. Apparently, it’s three books. The dreaded and dreary trilogy! Not that all trilogies are that, of course. Some are even famous. Real famous. I’ve never heard of this one, I admit it here. So. I don’t know this story. I have no idea where it’s headed. All Souls? Souls for All? Equal but Separate Souls?
I settle in to enjoy me some witches and vampires. Cause I like witches and vampires. And ghosts. And zombies. And assorted other monsters and psycho killers and creatures that populate your basic horror movie to your basic high fantasy expanses.
And that first episode. Some smartie historical gal has POWERS and there’s this MYSTERIOUS VAMPIRE DUDE who lurks around testing blood. Diana [I have to keep checking what her name is!] checks out a book! From the restricted section of Hogwarts! Sorry, no, that’s…nope. Cambat? Tower of Loins? Oxballs? Eh. I’m clearly resisting the SPELL of this show.
Had to. Had to.
Now, the vampire dude, named Bill, nope, it’s Edward…er, Matthew, LURKS around Dingus, er, Diana a lot. Oh shoo, is her name Sookie? Isabel?? Diana, like Wonder Woman!
He’s rich? There’s ropes and whips…er. No. Uh. I’m not sure what the plot is here. Other than witches and vampires HATE each other. There’s demons but am not sure what they can do or why they exist in this particular witchvamp-verse.
Oh, there’s a council. Where the three groups decide stuff. A sort of secret cabal of supernatural politicians.
There’s the older witch guy who was on…wait for it…Game of Thrones. He’s also nasty in this show. But I’d rather watch him and the dark-haired interesting witch woman from Finland than Dingus and Matt. I felt more chemistry between those two than Vanilla and Safe But Dangerously Smoldering Cuddle God. The Gentle Monster Who Can Kill You But Won’t, He Promises. [Bill of True Blood. Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Edward Cullen from Twilight. Angel from Buffy. Etc!]
Ah, there it is! The central heroine is a bland blond nothing to me. [She’s a sugar cookie!] Another Earnest Serious Humorless Flat Glass of Stale Water. She also falls in love LIKE THAT with vampire dude. I do mean LUV, TROOO LUV.
[Is that scene from the Princess Bride echoing in your head right now? Yeah. Exactly!]
They are attractive folks and they bump uglies. Usually with a fireplace and candles nearby. Yet, their love is FORBIDDEN. Cause it’s a LAW.
That Dingus knows nothing about cause she’s been sheltered from witch stuff. By her lesbian aunt and lesbian aunt’s partner. [Who killed the dead parents?? Ah, plot, there is one.]
Diana seems to be some sort of super-concentrated uberwitch. Hence why blood being tested. Parallels to True Blood and Sookie’s fey blood. Oh gosh. My attention wanders…when was the last time I vacuumed?
Matt’s ma is one of my fave actresses from Rome and elsewhere. Love her! She’s tall, cool, gorgeous and veddy British. She can also make whatever nonsense they pay her to say sound fabulous. I loved her in Under the Tuscan Sun…which has to be the ultimate girly girl movie ever made in the history of ever. A two hour movie on renovating an old Tuscan villa. With Sandra Oh and Rory Gilmore’s dad in it. Where was I?
Matt’s ma is some upercrust French lady with an estate and she eats guts and blood. None of the vampires seem affected by sunlight but I might have been napping during most of D ofW’s scenes. It’s beautifully shot, there’s that going for it.
I saw somewhere that D of W is Twilight for adults. Oh dear…now I can’t unmarry that from my views on this show. Now I see our Bland Vanilla heroine as Bella allowed to grow up and have to be rescued all the time. By her vampire paramour who runs down deer to eat. As Vampire Dude ran down a stag, as did Eddy Cullen. Oh damn it. Parallels. My weird “hate Twilight but have to watch Twilight” obsession-compulsion disorder is circling back to chomp at me. Ouch. Ouch!
Bella, er, Dingus, er…what is her name? does begin to try and explore her powers so she can rescue her little self 20% of the time instead of none of the time. Maybe she’s a Dark Phoenix-like witch…her powers are so awful and destructive it was just safer to suppress them. Is that where this is headed? Yes, I did just reference the X-Men.
Yes, I will attempt to get through the finale but I doubt I’ll watch another season. I feel like we’ve been down this overly explored road. True Blood, Twilight, Fifty Shades, ugh all the others I can’t recall right now.
To sum up!
Can’t wait to watch Carson choosing wines for the King and Queen of England on Downton.
GOT limped to a close. I think they chopped off all but the left arm kind of limping.
Discovery of Witches doesn’t seem to be my Bloody Mary.
964 word count or so. Promises kept.
Game of Sighs
Game of Thrones. Oh sigh. Sorry, this gets long in the old tooth. But it’s fairly superficial. So. Yay?
It felt like the writers just went how many fans can we piss off. It felt like sabotage of their entire carefully crafted show.
I’ll try not to include spoilers but if you’re not a fan or have never seen a GOT episode, well.
I didn’t get about to watching Breaking Bad until well after it had aired its last ep. Same with Mad Men.
I didn’t start watching Buffy [stop it, stop giggling, I still love that show.] until the end of season two. I had no idea what was going on, but…HOLY HELL THIS IS GREAT AND SAD AND MUST WATCH RELIGIOUSLY FROM NOW ON.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend!! I missed the first season but IT’S ONE OF MY FAVE SHOWS EVER EVER EVER. Musical numbers, West Covina, characters so well crafted it seems a shame nobody watched this…!
GOT. The great giant BATTLE between good and evil seemed rushed. That’s a polite word for it. True, we can’t spend bazillions of episodes on the one side getting ready to face some snow zombies but still. Oh wait…yes, we can. We spent eight fucking seasons doing that. Winter is coming!
Also, Jon’s resurrection? Was for? To get rid of the Crazy Mother of the Broken Chains? Cause…that seems not plausible on part of story or writing or characters. It seems a hit job on Dany, most of all.
We watched her not be insane for eight seasons, after all. We watched her learn to master herself, to listen to others, to trust herself and her instincts to help people.
Yes, she did go on the occasional murder sprees. But they were, like, totally called for. [Yes, I am justifying, Yes, I am. Am I ashamed of that? Not even a little.]
Before this, when a city or whatever surrendered, they were not then slaughtered in a wholesale and ghastly fashion. What she did to King’s Landing seems so totally out of character.
The bells ringing meant the city had surrendered. That it was over. Soldiers put down their weapons. And then, Dracarys! Fire! Destruction! Death death death! After the surrender. Um? Was there a bonus promised for use of dragon in this episode?
I’d have been fine with her fate if…if it had been set up far better than it was. Oh my goodness, that would have been one for the actual ages. To watch this girl of good intentions turn into the very thing she claims to hate…and we get to go on that journey with her instead of our jaws dropping in outrage at the sudden out of seemingly nowhere shifts someone put into play to…what, for what purpose?
What if Dany could have been…well. Too late now! What’s done is done, cannot be undone, to quote yet another lady treated to abrupt character assassinations. That lady from that Scottish play, sleepwalking with a candle.
Also, the backbone of GOT has always been Tyrion Lannister. I want to give a salute to Peter Dinklage for that. Salute, sir!
That said, when he had to make that speech about Bran. To, sigh, name Bran, contender for king of it all…fuck. Just no. No. Nope.
We went through eight seasons of Jon Snow acting kingly, with the Mom of Flying Lizards conquering everything she could and then some…only to have both shunted aside like smelly tampons so that Bran, the creepy raven supervillain whatever, could…win it all? Who even claimed he wanted nothing to do with being Lord of Winterfell or….mm.
Also, Gendry is an actual heir to the Iron Throne. And Jon is a Targaryen. A legitimate one. All of that build up? For? Um? Bran to be…king? Um?
Now, I get, as a writer, subverting expectations. I get that one. You build toward something, then smash that but…what direction you head has to be EARNED. It has to make some sort of logical sense within the world you created. You can’t play actual tricks with your audience because your audience is smart. They trusted you to tell a good story. They trusted in your structure. To betray that trust out of spite or hubris or arrogance…um, just don’t. To me, also, this seemed a bunch of writers not trusting where this story wanted to go. The organic flow seems off. Yeah, I went there!
GOT turned out not to be a good story. That’s my biggest chunk of gristly fatty beef here. I expected better. I got a rushed, flat, improbable set of discordant jarring leftovers thrown together and nuked in a half-working microwave.
The reunion between Ghost and Jon was second only to Sansa being named Queen of the North. Arya sailing off for parts unknown? Sweet! The Starks won but it seems the rest of us watching, waiting, hoping, despairing, cheering, sobbing…lost.
Also, women can’t do power? Does that mean Sansa will go mad, too, and have to be put down by Bran’s armies? Is that the next Game of Thrones book? A Song of Mad Sisters Who Should Smile More?
Oh and Tyrion finding Jaimie and Cersei…!
Sorry, a truck full of cut up onions must have invisibly driven by.
Now, a major or minor show ending its run is always cause for gritting the teeth, hoping for the best. Hoping it’s not terrible or flat or a host of other expectations that are so seldom met.
Battlestar Galatica, anyone?
The mixed reaction to Mad Men’s finale?
Seinfeld? Roseanne’s series finale! Then, the reboot, which is now canceled…mmm.
Big Bang Theory just ended, and that was actually quite a lovely send off. Well done there.
But. Game of Sighs indeed. For once. They should have given the fans what they wanted. Not a happy ending but a better ending than that. The Jon and Ghost reunion, yes. Well done. Thanks.
I also want to give a nod to one of my other fave characters. The Hound. That dour, gruff, and yes, very flawed character. Well played, with a dry humor. I also want a Hound and Tormund buddy comedy…oh. Can’t have that now. Sigh. The Hound’s end, eh. I was…maybe I need to watch it again.
I’ll end there. Others have picked this carcass thoroughly, for hours at a time, usually dressed up in GOT garb. With the minute attention to detail of a detective after a serial killer! Goodbye, murdery rapey lots of boobies and some cool ass dragons show!
Oh. There’s a prequel? Better Call Saul turned out pretty good. Young Sheldon is far better than it has a right to be. So…maybe? Maybe they’ll remember what made the first three or four seasons of GOT soar like a baby dragon?
Downton Game of Witches
I mashed some titles together. I feel so clever.
I actually have three different posts here, I decided. Instead of one mashed together mess, I know! I’ll do a three-parter! Woot woot!
Game of Sighs.
A Discovery of Sugar Cookies.
Mash seems to be my fave word today! Also, if I wish to go off on a rage-rant that has nothing to do with anything…well. I won’t.
My despair over DC has reached coma-inducing levels. Which is what THEY want. They. Tiny “victories” constantly overshadowed by actual bad shit done out in the open.
I need a gallon of pudding. Ever had that pudding that’s canned? By the gallon? Yeah, that stuff.
Shall we briefly revisit our favorite Upstairs/Downstairs knockoff??
Just watched the Downton Abbey teaser-trailer.
When-is-this-on?? Hold the sherry! This is an actual movie. It won’t be on Masterpiece? What the…? Oh polite eye roll and sniff of suppressed annoyance! Excuse to leave house, though…!
A ROYAL VISIT??!! What wine will they serve the queen?? Which queen is this?? Must remember to look up what queen that is. Will not remember. Sigh!
I am so there for Downton Abbey the Movie. I know. It’s a snobby exercise in snobbiness. Yep. Don’t care!
Lady Mary with that really cute short haircut! Will she and Edith have their sisterly rows or have they declared a sort of sisterly armistice? Oh hey, is that the same actor who plays Vampire Dude in A Discovery of Sugar Cookies? Is Lady Mary’s second hubbie VAMPIRE DUDE? Mind. Blown. Blown. BOOM. Just checked and yes, it is. Matthew Goode. Wait. His name in real life is Matthew, too? Hold it together, brain.
Back to squee central.
What is Thomas up to??!! Are Anna and Bates SUFFERING AWAY AS PER USUAL?
Mr. Carson walking up toward Downton Abbey!
I need a scone!
Yesterday. I now have the Beatles song moaning in my head. BRB. Okay!
I spent a rainy Sunday trying to save a young rabbit. I didn’t succeed. They spray the weeds around here. Wildlife eats the weeds. Wildlife gets poisoned and die. There is no actual concern for wildlife where I’m from. Farm community, they could give a shit about the local bunnies dying in slow degrees from the weed poisoners. This young silver-brown rabbit lived in the discarded irrigation pipes on the other side of the fence. It got trapped in the privet hedge by two of the three dogs on Saturday or so. Time seems very flompy lately. Flompy—where time seems random, disjointed and not seemingly connected to reality.
The two dogs trying to get to this young bunny got distracted, ran off barking at something, so the bunny was able to hop out from the hedge, and hop slowly away. It’s out in the open, mind you. There’s dogs, hawks, all sorts of DANGER. There are two hawks nesting away just down the road who patrol the three fields, the ditchbank, our yard, the road. I actually caught them mating one day in the old locust tree. Hubba hubba!
Yes, I am a sad sad sad little creature these days.
It’s been RAINING. Actual rain. For days. Yesterday, one of those rainy Sundays where it seems time gets super-flompy.
Brigit has been outside, in the rain, a long time. Our yard is fenced. I go out to check on her, she won’t jingle her way to the door. She wears a collar with her info dangling from it. She sounds like one of those cat bell collars, you can hear her arriving or going. Tinkle tinkle! She’s worrying something on the ground. I think it’s a bit of plastic or something she dug up. Ah…no. It’s the young silver bunny. I pick it up [bad sign right there] but cannot find anything wrong with it. The dog didn’t rip off a limb or chew it up. No blood, no broken bones, I notice that it does have diarrhea. Which triggers the ‘they sprayed for weeds the other day’ ding ding ding inner bells. The rabbit doesn’t seem lively at all, very lethargic. But. The rabbit is also cold and wet and just been the victim of Brigit’s unkind use of it as a chew toy. So maybe shock and fear? Maybe it’s just playing possum [sort of and it’s a rabbit] until I either finish it off or it find a moment to get away.
I take the poor little thing inside. I put it on a heating pad, wrapped in an old towel, inside a container so that if it does turn all lively I won’t have to rip the house apart trying to find it. As there has been a rabbit loose in the house. Years ago. The dogs, and we’ve always had dogs, must have brought it in. It lived behind the dryer for two days before I found it. My mother, yet alive then, kept hearing things. So by then it was starving, scared and it just died. A very young rabbit, eyes just opened young. So I remember how fragile wild rabbits are. I remembered that yesterday as well. And that other time I tried to save a wild very young rabbit.
So! Success I thought. After a couple hours, the bunny had perked up. It was moving about, no longer huddled up in a frozen ball of misery. The rain had stopped a bit. I hesitated at putting it back outside. Cold wet drizzly day, maybe I should wait until Monday, let it suffer captivity until then.
I instead, taking the entire container out with me so as not to touch the bunny or stress it out further by handling it, let it loose near the privet hedge. As it seemed to live nearby. I read that releasing wild animals willy nilly can just get them killed. As there’s territories marked out. Or they…yeah. Good intentions kill a lot of the time, especially wild animals. Sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a crapshoot. The bunny seemed very perky. It ran off under the hedge.
Two hours or so later. The dogs whine to go outside. In the rain. They make a beeline for the hedge because our Lab is a hunting dog. She remembers where she caught scent of SOMETHING or caught SOMETHING. The young dog is, in Eastern Oregon slang, a cow dog. She’s smart. She watches the two Labs and learns. Sneaky little blighter. So Brigit and Molly keep wanting out to go after whatever’s in that hedge. Which I know is that young distressed rabbit. They just know it’s smelly and they want it. Or maybe they know it’s a rabbit. Or a bigger version of a mouse.
I find young bunny huddled at the far end of the line of struggling hedges. It’s waterlogged, and just lets me pick it up. Bad sign indeed. There’s also diarrhea. A few feeble protest kicks, then it huddles in my hands. I take it back inside, turn the heating pad back on, try to get a bit of water down it, then just cover the container and wait to see what happens. This time Lord Frith called one of His own home.
It shuddered, kicked, laid on its side. Just stopped breathing.
Why do I keep trying to save anything? Because I feel it’s the right thing to do. That’s my moral backbone. An actual set of morals I can’t seem to discard, no matter how indifferent those around me are. I will dig worms for baby birds. I will make sure the heat isn’t too high under a sick rabbit. I will…Perhaps I am trying to atone for being me. I don’t know.
And to end on a good note—
Thump! Crash. Bang! What just hit the side of the house? Out the window I look. Nothing. So I go outside. A blackbird is divebombing Brigit who’s after something in the wild rose bush tangle. I call off the dog, when I notice, yes, a young bird being pursued by enthusiastic novice hunter, Brigit. I manage to pick it up, it’s fine and it manages to fly from my hands and back under the wild rose bushes as mama bird squawks threats at me from atop the house. I make Brigit go back in the house and hopefully, the little bird family will be okay for now. There are no cats about but there is that twosome of hawks just down the way. I read that if the young bird is feathered out yet still young enough, the parents will still feed it as it hops about on the ground. Fledglings? There’s stages. AS there is in most things. I’m a wise old owl this morn.
So a bit of grimness, a bit of a rescue that actually, for now, has worked out. I’m glad there’s enough cover in the yard [which does not get sprayed with killer chemicals] to shield the local wildlings.
I was going to try and take apart my utter disappointment in Game of Thrones. But everyone’s doing that right now so let me utterly change directions on my dying bunny tale with if you are not watching or have never watched Call the Midwife, do so. Especially as it’s so timely with the illegal abortion stories it presents, as well as how we are still as ignorant about women and their bodies as we were back in the 60’s. I have tried to like a Discovery of Witches but…I am just cold toward it. She fell in luv in about five seconds. There’s plots abrewin’. That’s all I get from that. The vampire guy seems cute? Eh.
Don’t even worry. I’ll do a rant-take down of my television viewing habits. Don’t even worry, darlings. As always, thank you for reading and hey, I have books for sale. I also have plays you can produce or use if so inclined or in need. Don’t ask me to care for rabbits, I am 0 for 2 right now. I do better with birds. What the hell is Eurovision and what is going on in Iceland to produce that?? Geez! I also watch John Oliver’s show…
It’s a rainy day. A rare rainy day here in Eastern Oregon. The dogs will go stir crazy over the moon INSANE being cooped up but it’s raining, babies.
No, you’ll melt. Go take a nap!
Here’s a 150 word micro mini super-tiny bit I wrote for something something or other. I rather like how it turned out even if nobody else did. You get a word prompt. It has to appear somewhere in your effort. I think the word was ‘bloom’.
Bloom hated her name. She had a tattoo of the devil on her arm to remind her she was not some flower or houseplant. Be nice, her nice mother counseled without an ounce of pity. One day, as stories often start, Bloom noticed a tree. A little plum tree with white-petaled glories full of drunken bees having orgies and feasts. Her fingers ran along the back of a bee, but it melted away to the next blossom’s well. I wish to be the bee, not the flower, Bloom decided. She cut off her princess long hair, she wandered the world looking for herself. On her deathbed, she held out her hand. Bring me a plum tree full of drunken bees. I want to start this all over again. Her fingers ran over the air. I wrote my name in the skin of this world. I wrote my name.
Offred and the Mother of Dragons
Warning. It’s about to get real female in here.
So. Game of Thrones. It spent eight seasons teasing us about women gaining power and wielding it as good as any dime store cowboy doing meth and saying cool things about life and love. Can you feel the sarcastic rage waves about to hit the quivering shores? Mmm.
Now lately, in GOT, in the last span of episodes, we get a sudden mad queen. Mad in the sense that Dany [Daenyrus Targaryon] has gone coo coo for coco puffs. Mad as a hatter. Cray cray. Loco in the head area. This is why we watched for eight fucking seasons? To watch Dany lose her marbles when everything she’s worked for doesn’t quite turn out as she wanted it to…? Um? The loss of two of her dragons didn’t really seem to slow her forward momentum down. She’s…uh. Women with power! THEY CAN’T HANDLE IT. That’s the message we’re left with? Really? Really???
Cersei, this bad ass ice cold plotter/schemer mastermind queen lady…sobbing and afraid and wanting hugs? From the man she’d sent Bronn to kill not two episodes earlier or so?? Uh? Who the fuck is writing this shit?? Why are you writing this shit? Is it to ruin a show so many fans loved, adored, followed no matter what and loved loved loved?? Because of the complex characters moving through complex storylines that amazed, delighted, horrified and entertained for EIGHT FUCKING SEASONS? Was the end game goal here to…?
We have the male characters standing around looking on in male wonder at the female characters acting…like women are expected to act when handed any sort of power or destiny that normally goes to some male. The women implode. They go crazy. They lose their shit. They can’t handle it. They…mmm. Hillary was too old. She was sick all the time. She’ll have melt downs in the Oval Office. [Because we gals are just so emotional]
Jon Snow [whatever legitimate male heir to everything Dany thought was hers but oh no, let’s bring in the boring bland guy who can swing a sword and most importantly, can swing a dick around. Why be coy now?] looks on and everyone starts to think, hey. Jon should be king because he’s stable and nice and has a penis. Penis-holders make the best rulers because they don’t have emotions or vaginas.
Am I being a wee bit silly or caustically bitter? Eh.
Let’s move on to the Offred portion of my actual feminist ranty rant, shall we?
Offred, in case you were wondering, is the main character in Margaret Atwood’s now infamous work called the…HANDMAID’S TALE. She is played by Elizabeth Moss, of Mad Men fame. Moss has now played two rather iconic feminist roles—that of Peggy who went from secretary of Don Draper, to Peggy Olson, ad writing wunderkind. Quite a giant arc for Peggy, if you’ve not seen Mad Men. [What are you waiting for?? Jon Hamm. 60’s sexism. Go and get it, tiger.]
The other iconic and rather timely role Moss plays is that of Offred. She is a handmaid, which means…she’s a breeder for her country. A forced breeding bit of livestock. She lives in the house of a commander and his omg horrorshow of a wife, where on Offred’s fertile days she gets to lay between the legs of the wife, who watches, ahem…as her own husband attempts to fertilize the handmaid with his holy seed. Those scenes are just about unwatchable. You’re watching a woman endure a state-sanctioned rape. Offred or Of-Fred, because the handmaid’s don’t have their own names…lays there holding hands with the wife as hubby gets it on down below in one of the more twisted parodies of…duty. A woman’s only duty is to bear a child or children. If she can’t do that, she works in the house or she indoctrinates the next wave of handmaids or she might even be ‘lucky’ enough to be a wife.
Some sort of disease attacked fertility rates. Hardly anyone was having babies. Or the babies died.
So! Why am I meandering in Handmaid’s Tale territory? Ah. Been paying attention lately? To some of the states in the US of A? Like Ohio? Or Georgia? Alabama? What’s that? Fetal heartbeat bills galore. None of them are constitutionally valid but…this is a giant frenzied push to get a case before, wait for it, the now-conservative heavy Supreme Court. With the very rabid pro-life nutfuck Brett Kavakunt on there now for life. Life. As long as he wishes to remain unless somehow he gets impeached and removed.
All because people couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Clinton. Because. Um. We’d be at war now and her emails and she’s too emotional and yet she’s cold and mean and…um. Sigh. And the DNC. And she took corporate money. And. Sigh.
She actually knows what a tariff is. She can find Syria on a map. She’s overly qualified for POTUS but hey. She’d have probably broken a hip and died of the vapors a month after being elected. Cause, women. Weak! She’d have torched King’s Landing, er, DC.
Where was I? Abortions. Yep. Here we go. If you don’t like abortions? Don’t get one. There. Solved it. Done! Over! World peace, let’s do this!
Yeah, it really is that simple. Stop legislating women like we’re cattle. We’re not cows or horses or pigs or goats or sheep or…livestock like the Bible says or society says or…yeah. We’re humans. Complex, messy, contradictory, blah blah blah. Why does that even have to be said at all?? Why do women constantly have to defend their own fucking humanity and autonomy even in the supposed land of the free and the home of the brave? When does that fight get over and done with? Cause it’s exhausting.
My mother died of cancer-related causes. I took her to the emergency room because she was bleeding uncontrollably, soaking through towels. Menstrual blood. She had not had a period since her thirties. This was in her fifties. They had to perform a D and C to get it stopped. Now, under draconian anti-woman laws…they might have had to let her keep bleeding or face 99 years in prison.[ Oregon has no laws that go after abortion in any way. I think we’re the only state left that hasn’t tried to end or restrict abortion rights]
My mother, a nurse, brought up in an era where women didn’t talk about ‘that stuff’ had her life shortened considerably. She thought her period ending when she was thirty eight or so was normal. I thought she’d had a hysterectomy. Nope. She also had a stillbirth. She nearly died giving birth to me. My brother was a c-section. She had a rather troubling reproductive history yet…she, a nurse, didn’t monitor herself because. Because women are taught our parts are icky or our pain, bleeding, symptoms are to be ignored or endured. We’re not taken seriously about our women’s curses. The woman’s curse. One of the names applied. As if being female drew some actual magical condemnation down from heaven itself.
Read that link for curse of women if you want your hair curled and your eyebrows to fly off your face. This wasn’t written hundreds of years ago. Tell me again there’s no war on women. Go ahead. I fucking dare you.
It was discovered she had cancer. A year after that she was dead.
And it was me who had to make a decision about how much longer to keep her on life support.
This is why I am paying attention, lots of it, to this recent [since the 70’s until now, but recently it’s been ramped up to a billion zillion] anti-abortion craze sweeping my country. Because it’s dangerous. It’s going to get women killed. Not just desperate pregnant women seeking any means legal or illegal to not be pregnant any more but people in general cut off from low-cost clinics that screen for things like cancer or STI’s or diseases like HIV or Hep C or…mm. Because Planned Parenthood provides low-cost health care for reproductive needs, such as cancer screenings, pap smears, breast exams, neonatal care and testing, etc. Yes, PP helps pregnant women get the neonatal care they need that normally is priced far out of range of a lot of people. Such as the twenty week testing for problems or monitoring the health of the body around that growing baby. Such as high blood pressure. America’s maternal death rate is climbing. Going up.
American women in a lot of places will now or are already like Offred. No choices at all. They will have to rebel in ways that won’t get them jailed or killed outright. This is a democracy? This is a modern industrialized country? The laws are being made by men who have the vaguest knowledge, if any knowledge, of women’s bodies. None of them are OB/GYN sorts, that I know of. None of them seem to know what birth control is or the types available. Everything causes abortion seems to be their hot take. The new laws about to hit this summer seem to think women should not only not have abortions but have to pay out of pocket for any slight reproductive care or health concerns. Cutting off insurance coverage seems to make these law makers giddy as drunken rats.
Cutting off insurance coverage of things like ectopic pregnancy care. Some Ohio lawmaker said you can transplant that ectopic pregnancy baby to the woman’s womb and presto bango, another child saved from the horrors of the liberal gay agenda. Um, doctors and nurses weighed in with: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. As that is just not possible or feasible. Ectopic pregnancies threaten the life of the mother and if not taken care of, will kill her. So this Ohio idiot, who’s writing laws against abortion the same way you might write a shopping list, doesn’t seem to even understand what birth control is, either. I’m not smart enough, was his actual reply when asked about what was actually in his bill. Mm.
So, you experience an ectopic pregnancy in Ohio, you’re not only potentially facing an end of your life but possibly a bankruptcy when you can’t pay the medical bills. That’s if you can find a hospital that will give you the care you actually need. As many hospitals are owned by the Catholic church which is notoriously ‘let that bitch die’ about women and their lower half.
You might have to sell your house or go be a stripper to pay off medical expenses. Stripper or mom seems to be the only real careers left anymore for American women. So, hey, on ectopic pregnancies and other female ‘down there’ medical emergencies– two options, ladies in Ohio and lots of others places. Have that time bomb explode in your lower half and you bleed to death or face the ER with a handful of credit cards you hope still have some money on them.
Oh and also? Birth control is also being crowded out or banned or people [men mostly] make damn sure insurance companies will not cover it.
Yeah, there’s no fucking war on women?? LOL. Conservatives love women! Love em!
There’s also the exceptions for rape or incest thrown like an awful bone into these anti-women anti-reality bills. Women have to qualify to get the care they want. They have to already be traumatized and punished, have that advertised all over, face it again, again, again to…have any say in their own care. They have to arrive shamed and humiliated and battered. They have to have run a gauntlet to win the ‘abortion for you but not that slutty whore over there’, um, prize. And it’s not a given that because you were raped or were a victim of incest that you will win that abortion prize. You really have to have SUFFERED to win enough approval from a panel of strangers deciding your case. Police reports filed, perhaps. Trauma must be VISIBLE and tangible enough to warrant others to make this decision for you, my little cow, my darling ewe, my patient little mare.
Because small government. Or something something. Where the government won’t cover anything after-born children or families might need or can’t get access to otherwise…but will force a woman to carry her pregnancy no matter what. Unless she’s been a victim of some sort, then hey, ‘compassion’. However…
Even that one goes away in some places. No exceptions made. None. An eleven year old girl raped and made pregnant…can’t get an abortion because ‘pro-life’ and “Jesus” and some couple can adopt that baby. God allowed that rape so that baby could…
This is when my head actually explodes with how fucking cruel and predatory that is. Rape victims as young as eleven forced to bear offspring for the state so the state can make money selling that baby to affluent childless couples. All while saying this is God’s will and we love babies and…ugh. As potential adopters have to be well enough off to prove they can care for a child. And it doesn’t guarantee that child won’t be abused or neglected. The horror stories here are legion. Adoption isn’t the rainbow connection to Jesus himself or whatever the current thinking that way is. It’s a good thing, yes, but…fraught with things called humans. Who are notoriously faulty when it comes to raising children. Ever wonder why 100% of Western Lit deals with family issues?? Yeah.
It seems the women get left out of this entirely. Little girls, in some cases. An eleven year old is a little girl.
Everyone gets consulted and listened to except women. [ Or hey, medical professionals that deal with reproduction of humans in any way, from conception to birth] If the women, when there are women included in anti-abortion orgies, agree with the men about how no one should ever have an abortion, then hey, she still doesn’t seem to count in this fight at all. Notice that? I do.
Also notice that no one seems to ask actual doctors about any of this. Or nurses. Or midwives. Or anyone medically connected to reproductive care who actually knows what they’re talking about. We don’t hear these voices. We hear the liberals are letting mothers kill babies after they are born. They deliver the baby, then decide with the doctor whether it lives or dies.
No, really. That was amplified at Trump rallies. This is the latest pearl-clutch conservative vote Pavlovian bell go-getter. THEY ARE CHOPPING UP LIVE BABIES SO VOTE TO MAGA. I wish I was kidding about that. I wish. I wish that was part of some weird political comedy starring James Franco and Emma Thompson, coming to a theatre near you this summer. It’s…not.
Doctors and nurses stepped up, just went, nope. Nope, that is not happening. That’s a crime. That’s murder. We do everything we can, even if that baby is dying, to save its life or ensure the comfort of an infant before it passes.
Palliative care. That’s when a child is born with massive problems or is stillborn or in some way isn’t going to make it. That’s when parents might, yes, have to make that ghastly decision about life support and how much more to do or try. I’ve been there, with my own mother. I can imagine a tiny bit of what those parents are facing. It’s so gut-wrenchingly awful. I understand the need to keep the machines hooked up, I get that one. I understand the decision to stop the machines. I get why someone would say that’s enough, let it end. I get that, oh boy, do I get that one.
We need to stop, as a society, as a world, in treating women like they don’t own their own bodies. That women need to be policed and guarded against their own impulses. That women are no more than pets or livestock. Or disposable. That women are more than mad queens or always stuck in some emotional immaturity that never allows them to be…like men. That we are more than our fertility or lack thereof. How do we go about this resetting of truly ancient beliefs seemingly mired and engrained in the bedrock of civilization itself?
You write women characters that reflect that. You draw attention to laws that turn women into property of the state. You march. You talk. You get those pre-Roe V. Wade stories heard—even though the current crop of Jesus freaks don’t care if women die from illegal botched abortions; cruelty and punishment of women is the point of the pro-forced birther movement. Yeah, I fucking said it.
You keep pointing out this or that even when tired or laughed at. Or ridiculed. Or threatened with rape or death or both.
You give more credence to women’s voices in this particular issue than men who don’t even seem to know what girls are, let alone how their fiddly bits work or don’t work.
And you don’t turn the Mother of Dragons into Crazy Cat Lady on a Murder Bender. You don’t take Cersei Don’t Ever Cross Me Lannister and turn her into Weepy Emotional Typical Woman LOL. You don’t betray Sansa’s magnificent arc from spoiled child to actual leader with…ugh. Only Arya sorta survived the total sabotage of female characters on GOT?? Or will she be marrying on the last episode and…fuck me running.
I’ll draw all this to a close with hope. Offred fought back. She found ways to end her servitude. She discovered lights in her total darkness. This, too, shall pass…until the next time the perfect storm of authoritarian fuckery meets religious zealots who turn their ignorant eyes on the womenfolk around them. And the time after that. And after that! Aren’t we tired of being Under His Eye, my fellow humans?
Wow. An actual feminist rant. Go me.
When Hope Was High
…and life worth living. I have that famous or infamous song going through my head relentlessly lately. I Dreamed a Dream. It’s about the most downer of all the downer songs available for those so inclined. Les Miserables is also a miniseries over on Masterpiece Theatre, with Dominic West. Pretty good, is my hot take on that.
I notice the sheer misery of people in both the stage play and the Masterpiece Theater production. I notice the decadent, opulent excess of those in charge. Then I remember that the French Revolution exploded out of those conditions. If you even glance at history, you notice revolutions and rebellions explode out of such conditions. Where the people have nothing and those in charge get too greedy. That’s pretty simplistic. There’s nuances. Economic charts. Philosophies that involve multi-syllable words and compound clauses.
But it boils down to: poor people with nothing murder too-rich people who think four castles is not enough. When that gap between the have and have-nots is the width of our universe. Really super big, in silly words.
I’ve noticed something. In myself. In others. Lack of hope that this current regime will face any sort of consequences or ending of their current steady rise to absolute power.
Subpoenas are actively being ignored. By William Barr. Trump tells people called in for questions by committees not to go or to refuse outright. This is done in the open. The Democrats hem and haw. They splutter in OUTRAGE. They threaten legal action, such as fines or even jail. And…nothing happens. Testimonies don’t get testified. There’s letters written, with stern warnings that those who are now, officially, above the law, just laugh at.
You start gulping. Because you’ve been shouting at the people you helped elect with a vote or even canvassing for…to FUCKING STOP TALKING AND ACT. As those threats of maybe we’ll impose fines and maybe some jail time for refusing a subpoena from Congress…start to seem like a bad joke told by a four year old with snot and jam smeared all over their face.
You listen to the badly garbled ‘knock knock who dere’ a hundred times over without the rest of it. Over and over. Over and over. Over and over. Until it’s just noise. And the snot and jam smeared kiddo relentlessly repeats that knock knock who’s dere. Over and over. Until that kid finds a new phrase to relentlessly repeat.
No impeachment beginning for OBVIOUS FUCKING CRIMES? Out in the open shit that’s been out in the open for years now?
Are you…what the…are you FUCKING KIDDING WITH THIS POLITE WAIT UNTIL THE MAGICAL UNICORN ELECTION CYCLE THAT WILL SAVE US ALL bullshit?
It won’t. It won’t. It won’t.
Oh look at that. Noise noise noise. What’s that? Take a poll, donate to X? Fuck off. I’m saving my pennies to go watch It 2—the Rise of Skywalker’s Cat.
Wouldn’t that be cool if they combined It with the latest Star Wars girl-powered explosion festival? Just me? I would love to watch a battle between Kylo and Pennywise. Sexy! Just me on that one? Light saber versus scary ass clown taunting about Kylo’s famous dad who was Indiana Jones. Ouch! Oh the carnage and drama of that!! They could then team up and finish the Resistance. Crucify whatever’s left of the Resistance then eat a lot of cake. Hell, have a cake-eating manly man festival of cake eating! As the Resistance’s scrappy fighters wiggle like worms on crosstrees behind them.
Because why not. Why not??!!
Wow, that got dark, awful and a bit raw. When hope was high and life worth living…
You start to realize. Maybe America is done like dinner.
No no no! This cannot be the end. Where’s the rousing American version of Do You Hear the People Sing?
Maybe the turning point is about to arrive. One way or another. When those arrayed against TraitorTrump [one of the hashtags over on the Twitter] get their spines in order and forget to play nice or keep their gloves so on they seem grown into the skin beneath.
When we get the scary left who don’t give a shit…which is the Gross Old Pervert’s worst nightmare…going after the criminal royal wannabes of the right with nothing held back.
Where they put the Gross Old Pervs on permanent defense. Where the lefties don’t take shit, they don’t back down, they pick fight after fight and just let the fur fly. No thought of oh the voters or oh what will Nancy in Iowa think. Just defend their country from becoming an actual banana republic run by people the Mafia would cringe over.
And where we, the people…wake the fuck up.
Where we, the people…act like We, the People. I’m not even sure what that is anymore. Everything is under attack so…watching decency, human rights, livable conditions, safety, the environment, all of it, all of it…just be flushed away down the giant money toilet that is TraitorTrump’s personal piggy bank [AKA the Not United States of ‘murikkka] is kinda feeling normal.
Just give him a chance. How bad can it be. Hillary is worse! But her emails! Lock her up! Democrats are the ones colluding with Russia. No collusion! Totally exonerated! Witch hunt! No do-overs for the Dems!
Because any actual action from anyone in any sort of power able to stand up to this shit…never happens and when it does, well. That gets derided, derailed and called nuts. By those on the left who are also in some sort of power or position to stand up to the Trump Toilet. Don’t rock the boat, play nice. Be patient. 2020 will save us.
When hope was high and life worth living…I dreamed that love would never die. I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
We all float down here.
Rosemary, Dill, Zukes, Punkins and Squarsh
If you live in the USA, sometimes you pronounce harmless vegetable names in weird ways. Punkin for pumpkin. Squarsh for squash. There! Title all cleared up.
If I ignore the political theatre of cruelty going on right now…like, super-hard…yeah. I’ll be just like everyone else! If I ignore it, it will ‘sort itself out’ and there’ll be rainbows and unicorn candidates of such startling purity and inspiring goodness that I’ll just have to not bother voting for them. Because they once owned a pug and pugs are overbred, with breathing and digestion problems. Strike, you’re out, unicorn.
Yes, the left really is that bad right now. Yep. Purity tests worse than anything given to young girls in conservative Christian households before a Purity ball where they prance about with daddy as a date. Gulp.
Ah, mini garden. So, spent about eleven bucks on plants. Got them in the ground. I am hoping Brigit, or Leatherface or Gremlin, doesn’t, uh, investigate them with her…rapid and powerful digging skills. Or her shiny young dog teeth. Even with tires to guard them, Brigit the Wonder Pup might just goofily decimate my hopes of zukes sprinkled with fresh dill. Is that even a thing? It is now!
I also transplanted some catnip, which is growing EVERYWHERE, to combat the weeds in the front rock garden. I bought a single clump of it years ago, when we still had cats here. I planted it in one spot. Now it’s…legion. Which is fine. It smells good. It’s a pretty plant. You can’t kill it with a nuke.
So, onward to writing.
My elderly computer went to a farm in upstate New York, so I have files on a zip drive. I was going through them. As you do. What’s this? I open a novel I started, a while ago. It’s got a pretty good solid start, over twenty thou words. No supernatural anything, just people being people. As they sometimes do even in my gothic mansion, cannibals in the attic, ghosts in the porridge sort of work. A title borrowed from Lifetime for Women. It’s About Love…gag me with a barbecue fork.
Oh hey, let’s work on this, something in my dormant little mind screams into the great void. Why? Who’s gonna read it, the void screams back, before farting thunderously and telling me I do look fat in those pants.
So a project of sorts.
I’m finding it hard to concentrate longer than five seconds at a time lately. Which is my problem, not yours.
The ground squirrels have moved into the bank. The mini garden, for now, seems well. It’s been one day. I have a project I am at least wanting to get back to. Maybe the inner tide has decided not to direct me toward sharp objects for a bit. Hurray!
Oh, before I sign off…I have two books. Two. Oregon Gothic and House on Clark Boulevard. I also have short plays available for production over on ten-minute-plays dot com
I promise neither book is a fragmented horrorscape of gardening news and despair over unicorn candidates not being unicorn enough. I promise!