blank-eyed eidolons

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Wheat field being harvested. Eastern Oregon. 

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.

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This doesn’t appear to be a joke or hoax

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.

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Apricot Hellbeast’s speech in West Virginia. Actual excerpt. 

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.

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.

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At the Western Idaho Fair, Boise, Idaho. This is the Republican Party these days? 

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!!

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People believe this. Actual real people believe this. 
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Why mother fact-checking, CNN? Why? What’s the fucking point now? 

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.

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Mississippi Wind Chime

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Adam Driver and John David Washington in Spike Lee’s BlackkKlansman

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.

Susan.

Some things you can’t unlearn.

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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!

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Topher Grace as David Duke

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. 

 

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from Wikipedia. The lynching of Laura Nelson. May 1911.

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.

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The movie.

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.

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Every man I am related to has that shirt. Not even kidding.

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…!

Except.

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!

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Jasper Pakkonen as Felix Kendrickson. This could be from my family Christmas Eve gala.

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.

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Harry Belafonte telling a story about America.

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.

Vietnam.

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!]

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from the Mercury News

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.

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I don’t know the artist for this. All I could find was Hangman’s Tree but it did come up for a search for Mississippi wind chimes.

AUGUST. HOT. FART NOISES.

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Light-hearted summer moments with Jake, Molly and Clyde, the big Newfie, who is now, ah, over the Rainbow Bridge

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.

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from Pandora’s Boxx. No, not this version of Jesus. Is it me or did the artist put a bit of Tom Cruise in that face? 

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!

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from geograph.uk. Small bridge over river Dulais. 

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.

But anyway!

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.

That stitch!

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.

Sigh!

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!!

Okay!

Movies.

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.

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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.

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Tee hee. My mother, who was a nurse, worked in a Catholic hospital back in the day. She was told to carry a spoon…not even kidding. Not even a little. 

Starved Out

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I am doing some research for a possible novel project. I have tons of other novels to work on. So here I am, looking into Baker County history, reading about slugs and sights and scopes for deer, and soaking in some Oregon Trail history.

I found this little tidbit. About a woman who was homesteading back in the 1920’s, in Central Oregon. Alone. Alice Day Pratt. In the Crooked River Valley area.

One remarkable woman who homesteaded a small ranch alone in the Crooked River Valley finally “starved out” in 1929 and went back east to live with her relatives. Alice Day Pratt wrote in her memoirs: “I gave away my chickens to friends who had helped me in many a tight place. These friends…were to care for…my ponies, which were to run…as long as they lived. I blessed the fact that horses were so over-abundant that they were unencumbered with a mortgage.”” https://oregonhistoryproject.org/narratives/central-oregon-adaptation-and-compromise-in-an-arid-landscape/pre-industrial-period-1870-1910/ranches/#.W1P8tNSEAsY

“And in September of 1911, she and her dog boarded a train bound for Oregon.” Alice Day Pratt and the Homestead Dream
by Molly Gloss, author of The Jump-Off Creek

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Forgotten Oregon, by Melissa Whitney, photographer.

Now, this is not what my novel would center on. At all.

I wrote a blistering little rant to a friend of mine about the Hammonds and the Bundy fuckery at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and she was like, hey, novel here, write this up. And I was like, oooh, a break from zombies and sex fiends, yay!

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from Oregon Live. Look at that sign!

Except, damn.

A spinster [Alice’s words, not mine] deciding to coolly study where to go, and then settling on Oregon, looking at what land is available and what to do with it. From pamphlets. A woman who worked in the Alabama coal mines as a teacher.

And just now, I had a THOUGHT.

What if I contrasted this Alice character against my composite renderings of real life fucknuts jerking off to how they love them some Constantitooooshan and freeedumb.

I need to tone down my sarcasm, yes. Yes, I do. I need to have sympathy and empathy for the Fucktoads and the Shitbirds with Big Gunz. Uh huh. They never get heard and Free Speech and eagles. Lots of eagles.

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Notice that doesn’t look like the typical Hollywood depiction of a cowboy…

I just keep going back to Alice giving away her chickens. Smiling. I see her smiling as she does this.

Trying to be brave, or actually brave and clear-sighted to the realities of what she had to do. Ready to face whatever came next as she headed back East to live with relatives. After being her own woman for years.

1929. Right before American turned into a dusty graveyard of American dreams. Right before the horrors of what Hitler was doing began to drift out of Europe. Right before yet another giant world-wide war would hit.

I read this or that, and have written a paragraph or two on the maybe novel itself. The basic tale. The sides, the politics. I had begun with the two men shooting deer illegally. Which is where I went, hey, what gun would you use and…research time!

Ask one of my gun nuts relatives? That feels like cheating and I’d get weird looks as I wrote down this or that…as trying to remember barrels, bullet or slug size, make and model, years…ugh.

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from Pinterest. See what I mean?

People can rattle that info off like people do with superhero stats. Story lines, alternative universe stories, worlds created; deaths, rebirths, villains, children of superheroes, evolution of superheroes and name changes, color of their bowel movements…

And then I considered, maybe the story needs to be told from the female POV.

That seemed to click-a-clack with me.

Those good Christian wives who go along, who pray real hard their husbands shoot them a big gubbermint liberal commie BLM meddler coming for their freeeedumbs…whoops.

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from North-Whitney pnw photoblog. This is up around Sumpter, Oregon/Baker County or it looks so. Lots of old homestead places to take pics of in Oregon.

Slipped into total snark mode! I promise. I’ll write like a sedate adult who drinks weak cups of tea. I won’t do that at all. But it sounds nice, right?

I am steeped in this culture, after all, of the Mythical West. I was born and bred here, as they say. I have sagebrush in my blood and a twinkle of Snake River in my eye. That sounds rather gross and painful but oh well.

I, after all, have set many a tale and play here on home ground. In the Owyhees, in John Day, in Idaho City, in Ontario and Vale and La Grande.

I have an entire novel, Cue the Violins, set in a mythical small Oregon town on the far side of John Day, called Smithhouse. Based on Mitchell, Oregon. No monsters, just people in it. Some of whom are a bit monstrous. Does that count?

I set an entire superfun zombie novel in Boise. Boise! Yeah, you don’t get a zombie vibe from that agri-business town, home of J.R. Simplot. Oh, sorry, the guy who invented Ore-Ida…

I remember my grandmother talking about Boise.

It used to be a cow town, full of farmers trading their stuff. Something like that. She had real disdain for it. Boise used to be nothing much and it’s still nothing much, was her general dismissal of it.

And back to that woman giving away her chickens, making sure her ponies got taken care of. With that rather shiver-giving phrase used to describe her time in Oregon–starved out. 

It’s a soothing balm. It’s a story arc. Beginning, middle, end!

Bright-eyed hope and optimism, years of hard work, have to give up and go away to perhaps start over again. That’s the real story of the settling of the West. You try, you get clobbered, you have to give up. Or you die before you can throw your hands up and head back to softer places with civilization and understood norms.

That’s the far more honest take on settlers and homesteaders and miners…even the toughest got their asses handed to them, no matter the jaunty cowboy hat and the can-do spirit. No matter how many bears they fight or how many libtards they “own” on Twitter…whoops, sarcasm alert.

So, I might need to incorporate a lone woman homesteader figure in contrast with the Drapers. That’s my current placeholder name for my cowboy outlaw numpties, on par with Claude Dallas. If you have no idea who that is…go look him up. He was considered a hero. Yep.

I also read some of the history of the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM.

If you’re from the west in the US, you know instantly what that is.

There was a brief mention that the native tribes in Oregon, Washington State and Idaho didn’t get treated so nicely. And then a hasty drop the subject and move on to the glossy sentences about settlers and miners.

Yeah, taking ancestral lands and gifting that to the white people [called Euro-Americans]…mm.

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from Chief Joseph days, celebrating a Nez Perce man who took on the US govt. and nearly won. Nearly won.

There’s also, and I learned that not that long ago, a tale of a massacre in Hells Canyon.

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Thirty or more Chinese miners were slaughtered for the gold they’d gathered…and the men responsible didn’t get punished and in fact, established a town or two and become super-respectable. They finally got a monument put up to this…and it’s a half hour documentary if you want to check it out.

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The memorial placed to commemorate the massacre, the Oregon Encyclopedia.  

So, I have bits and pieces of actual Oregon history, a tale of people who look like they stepped out of a John Wayne cowboy movie so people ignored everything they actually did…and a pardon by a corrupt orange king wannabe to give his base some red meat and himself some praise and back-pats.

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Who just gave the raving militia sorts that populate the west a green light. Those anti-gov sorts who rave about their rights and Obama coming for their guns…yep.

Oh, you thought Oregon was nice and full of hippies or something?? Honey! That’s PORTLAND. The rest of Oregon is…mm

Starved out. Giving away her chickens.

Maybe there really is a Great American Novel in me. It’s how to weave the many strands and make a giant wall hanging out of them.

Oh. The Substation Fire pretty much destroyed the Dalles and Sherman County and…it’s bad. The West is on fire. And I’m mixing and matching fragments and pieces of history, myth, tales and bullshit.

Nice to meet ya, Miss Pratt.

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From up around Lookout Mountain. Those are bullet holes in an old sign. Welcome to Oregon.

Manifesto!

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from the MacMillan dictionary

Now, I had a big long rant on the mangled orange hellbeast’s ACTUAL FUCKING TREASON that played across a stunned world stage for all to witness. Where hellbeast and Pootie held hands and skipped as they assured each other that no, the Russians had absolutely not interfered in America’s election process.

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Where even Fox News had dissenters on hellbeast! I know!! Hell got a tiny frost for a bit but it will wear off and things will continue as before, don’t even worry, darlings.

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I don’t know who made this but as a fan of Game of Thrones, I snickered a lot and then stopped snickering…yeah.

And the GOP expressed mild irritation over this…and they will fall in line as well, with Pencie actually proclaiming what a success that Helsinki Treason Summit/NATO blitzkreig was and that hellbeast…here, read it yourself.

Our @POTUS is now on his way home from a historic trip to Europe. And the truth is, over the last week, the world saw once again that President Trump stands without apology as the leader of the free world. Mike Pence

After you’re done vomiting…!!!

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My pet eggplant. Isn’t she pretty??

MANIFESTO TIME!

Let’s see.

Number one– I vow to speak up. I don’t need to explain this, right?

Number two— I’m drawing a blank. Oh, get a real job? Redo my resume? Oooh. That would involve…mmm.

Let’s see what’s available in my area. Let’s vow to do that.

Fuck this massive crushing chronic depression and my inability to be around other people for extended periods of time WITHOUT LOSING MY MARBLES.

No, really. I do. I go off the edge into Crazy as a Loon territory, I snarl and cry and shake and panic.

So. Customer service? No. Check out clerk? No. Oooh, waitress? Uh, no. Aide for group homes?

I’ve done that, I do have experience but budgets for those are long gone, and those jobs that used to be advertised all the time…seem to not exist anymore.

School aide? Those seem gone, too. [Kids don’t seem to trigger me as fast as grown ups do.] I could do the night shift at a group home. I’ve done that before.

What, use my degrees and teach? Yeah.

I either don’t have enough experience or am applying in the wrong area, as no one seems to think a playwright would have read Twain or Dickens or Toni Morrison. Or could discuss literary works with a class at college level or something.

Mm. I thought it was just me being a total loser not being able to land a gigantically fantastic, highly paid, totally no work at all involved, teaching gig at some college or university…nope.

Which doesn’t make me feel better as almost everyone I know is working at insurance companies or driving an ambulance while writing or acting or directing on the side…sigh. It’s not just me is no longer the giant comfort it used to be. Not that it ever was. [I know. Be positive and that will magically fix FUCKING EVERYTHING. I know!]

Number three-– I vow to write more. Novels, plays, etc.

No, nix that.

I have a pile of stuff and crap already.

Pretty up the stuff and crap to professional-looking levels [no typos and titles pages, hello.] and get  those sent out.

Which I have not been doing lately as I’m waiting for America to end and kinda concluded there’s no sense sending off Maybelle or excerpts from my cannibal bikers versus the old ladies novel if I have to try and make it to the Canadian border with only some beef jerky and a half-quart of dirty river water to sustain me.

Yes, I do see that future happening. Yes, I do.

Number four— I vow to get outside more. Oh wait.

It’s a thousand degrees here and there’s wildfires all over.

Okay, stand by my mini garden and admire it as I get a sunburn in that five minutes. Coo over my dill plant. Squee over my Greek oregano. Weep gently over how well my squash are producing. Water as needed. Tell the mini garden what a good boy it is, which confuses the dogs. Score!

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Good boy! What a good boy you are! Who’s a good boy?? YOU ARE!

Number five— I vow to be a better friend to the friends I still have.

I might be a near-hermit that makes that guy from the Misanthrope look friendly but I can still be a better friend. Or a better person or something. I just rolled my eyes so obviously, I either need to improve or just scrap this one.

Number six— I vow not to slap people on the left who get hung up on single issues and then refuse to vote or vote a third party or do a protest I’m not gonna vote at all number.

One of those slaps that’s actually a roundhouse that lands them in the ER, where they can’t pay their bills so that is all passed on to everyone else in ‘murica because fuck socialized medicine, it’s got the word ‘socialist’ in it. And that’s, like, bad, m’kay.

If it has a D by the name, you vote for it.

That tactic wins elections for the Republicans, as they vote for the R, regardless if that R is an actual Nazi screaming we need to round up the Jews and fire up the ovens, like, yesterday. Yes, there are actual Nazi-esque sorts running here in America for public office. Right Wing voters vote en masse no matter how stinky the candidate/s might be. They are well trained to do so. That’s how that works. Nobody notices that but me???[ Roy fucking Moore barely lost. Barely! Get it now, you idealistic fucktwats?]

Do I have to give up cussing? No? Thanks!

Number freaking seven— I must give up my Yahoo Answers persona. Did you expect something profound here?? Come on!

It’s an addiction at this point. I could be polishing my rough writing into smooth torpedoes of success and fame but no…I’m answering why atheists eat babies and if evolution is true, why are there still monkeys ‘questions’.

No, not kidding.

If you splash an atheist with holy water, will it cure them? That is an actual question there…see? You want to sneak over there and answer that one yourself.

I must wean myself from that rabbit’s hole of whackadoodles, religious nuts, atheist snarlers and those wide-eyed deer just caught in the too-bright headlights.

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I’ll end there.

Seven is more than enough for a Manifesto.

I didn’t vow to destroy the present government with an elaborate scheme of poison sugar cookies and fembots, so there’s that, at least. I know people who could build a fembot–I have friends who build robotics with high school students for competitions.

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from the World Transformed.

I bet a fembot or gynoid, would be no problem for those whiz kids. I can bake sugar cookies and…wow, I’m there.

I’m ready to…yeah. Holy guacamole.

Interesting times indeed we live in.

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Almost night, the moon casting a spooky spell over the spooky old locust tree…just the right touch for a manifesto post

 

Potpourri of the Befuddled

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I don’t know what to write anymore.

When the real world produces much scarier, crazier asshattery than any combo of words I or others can devise…you tend to wander off to youtube to watch puppy rescues and those top ten lists as to why Jupiter Ascending is the worst movie ever penned. Or the best.

Depends on which top ten listings of attributes and qualities you dig up, accidentally, while searching for Benedict Cumberbatch porn. Not that I do that. Or know anyone who does that. I just heard other people do that.

And.

That wild baby bunny has died.

It was more than likely my mucking something up or it nibbled something bad for it when I put it in the outside cage as it was almost ready to be released…I managed to bring it back once but could not repeat that success.

It was laid out on its side, cold and not moving, having spasms now and then. I warmed it up, I got some milk down it, it actually sat up, had its head up, seemed to be recovering from whatever had plagued it…and then it died. Just turned its head a bit, spasmed, and then died. I watched the last little breath. The sides went in and did not come back up.

I waited.

I waited.

Nothing.

I buried it. I feel a real loss that something in my clumsy care passed onward into whatever awaits or does not await. It had a personality, a feistiness. It explored the little box I had it in. It froze just like the adult rabbits do, hoping I could not see it. It responded to noises and huddled in its collection of pulled apart cotton balls, that tiny tail the only thing visible at times.

It remained wild, except when sick. Then it didn’t care if I handled it. I knew it was better when it didn’t want me near it. I felt a success that this wild creature wanted no part of me, that it would survive and go have a short life out in the fields.

As I know the fate of rabbits, yes, I do, in a world full of hawks, coyotes, dogs, cats and badgers. And humans.

I’ve gone through this with baby birds. They seem to be doing well and then the next morning, they’re stiff and cold, beaks open. And I still check for life, I make sure. Sometimes young animals get chilled, sometimes just getting them warmed back up…Thank heavens for heating pads and hot water bottles.

Why do I try when…Because you have to. That’s all I know.

I have to at least try.

I have succeeded in keeping baby birds alive and then releasing them. I’ve helped with too-young kittens, feeding them and caring for them as they needed. My mother taught me how. And sometimes they live. And sometimes they die. So sayeth life and death.

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In a Thai cave, boys await to be rescued. That has been dominating the news. Because it focuses on things we can understand.

Children trapped. Cave filling with water. Brave people planning a rescue. Boys need to be taught to swim. A rescuer dies trying to help. Cave divers, from Scotland no less, who are the best in the world go to help. Boys start getting rescued…

We watch and sigh and cheer and cry, this is something we UNDERSTAND. This is something that makes sense.

When children get trapped, you go help them. When men get trapped down a mine, you go help them. Dramatic rescues remind us we’re all alike and yet all different and yet…that compassion magically goes away when applied to others who need help that don’t meet some public understanding of who deserves to be rescued and helped and who does not. 

I am glad those boys are getting out of that cave.

But I keep getting drawn back to ‘murica and now, the UK and Brexit and the shenanigans world-wide. As the very modern far right seems hellishly determined to repeat the fascists regimes of the 1930’s that led up to…an actual world war. Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco!

I’ve left names out, I just know it. And everyone seems to have a nuclear warhead tucked away these crazy ass days.

It’s interesting times indeed.

I can’t compete with that in a literary fashion.

I see people getting more upset over being impolite to fascist wannabes than the actual fascism attempting to rear its very ugly head in the heart of the land of the brave and the free. [No, not Canada.]

I blathered on about that in other posts, I won’t here because if I do, someone might complain I’m being mean to the skin-heads and assclown Jesus shouters or something. God forbid they feel a moment of discomfort or actual shame. God fucking forbid.

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Oh and someone or something crushed my tiny growing pumpkin.

I took a picture of it, imagining it grown into a lopsided ball of orangeness and bland pulp. A future jack-o-lantern. A future possible actual pie!

And then noticed it had been crushed.

Smashed.

Destroyed.

Ants trundled all over the little insides. Ants.

It felt like someone hit me in the solar plexus. That unable to breathe for a bit sensation.

Oh great, the crazy liberal barely read writer lady is lamenting a destroyed squash. Liberals, lol. Need a safe space, snowflake??

I always add very sarcastic comments in my head now to all my reactions, feelings, sensations and thoughts. It’s just how I roll these days. Or always. I have a chorus of Fuck Your Feelings sorts catcalling me from inside my head…should I admit that or pretend otherwise?

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from My Confined Space. Notice that date. 

So, I did finish a draft for Grumpy Odin and Sexy Jesus.

I rather like it. I need to go over and over it, get it a bit sleeker. Get its engine running smoothly and not at a choppy, too loud decibel that will have cops pulling me over and giving me literary tickets.

Sorry, ma’am, this novel is cobbled together with nonsense and duct tape.

This is not a safe novel to have on the literary highway. This is an accident that already happened. 

Yes, that is the amount of the fine and not the national debt rounded up into a tidy amount number!

Well then, you should have rewritten it and turned it into the next Harry Potter series.

Why don’t you give up writing and become a two-dollar a blow job whore in your home town’s park? Like everyone thinks you are already?

It’s not like your writing ‘career’ is all that and a bag of chips, snap!

Or hey, just write something good. Then we don’t have to pull you over like this! Have a good day!

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Elliot Stabler, SVU Law and Order, as played by Chris Meloni. This is not the literary cop I picture at all. I picture one of my relatives, dressed in those too-short Reno 911 shorts writing me a ticket for not immediately turning into JK Rowling…
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from TV Screener. Reno 911. Thomas Lennon as Jim Dangle. Now you see some of what I see in my head. Along with pumpkins, puppy rescues and those elevator doors in the Shining doing that slow, slow open and releasing that flood o’blood.

I should probably get rid of some of those voices in my head before the shitshow clown act that’s so far playing to the gullible and grungy alike, takes center stage in full costume under dazzling lights in full surround sound.

So the entire planet can relive in collective wonderment and Lock Her Up fashion and Hold My Beer super-patriotism– the 1930’s and 40’s in vivid, re-enactment detail, with updated clothes, New Age slang and fabulous city-destroying weapons one can send off with a push of a button!

The parades alone, darlings!

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Not a parade, but an actual 4th of July fire we watched from the yard. It got handled pretty quickly by the local BLM and firefighters. Planes, helicopters, etc. Notice those bone dry hills covered with cheat grass. That’s the entire West right now, by the way…

Door Mats of the Damned

 

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from Gearbubble. Also, just taken off the shelves at Wal-Mart. Yep.

Fascism has come to America wrapped in cheeseburger wrappings and waving a MAGA hat.

People are cheering FOR FASCISM and those who would be king…because it upsets the liberals. As long as the liberals are upset, hey.

Hey, how bad can it get?  Overreact much?? LMFAO! They’re so emotional!  Let me call the wahbulance! Finally, a president who speaks his mind! Drain that swamp! Lock her up! Fake media! Losers! America is great again, get out if you can’t handle it, commies!  LOL, let me get a cup for all them tears. Fuck your feelings! Get over it, he won. GET OVER IT. 

No, really.

That’s the attitude of the ‘other side’, the so-labeled disenfranchised, economically anxious, nobody lets us talk yet we’re heard all the time and talk a lot all over the place, sorts. Middle America. Liberal tears taste so sweet. Snowflakes.

I’m tired. I feel tired all the time by this.

Fear lives in the center of me, a small tiny fear that this won’t turn out okay at all. That America won’t escape our turn toward fascism with a few bruises and maybe a bloodied nose. That we won’t rebound or shake this off or…yeah. Despair has come to nestle in so many of us lately. Actual real despair, like a moist blanket soaked in small pox we wrap about ourselves. 

Because I’ve sat through the history classes. I’ve watched the documentaries on Charlemagne to the Mai Lai Massacre. And beyond. I paid attention. I tried to articulate a bit. I grew silent and grew into a coward about speaking up.

Me, with my big loud voice, am now silent and meek and afraid, afraid, afraid to say anything. As combating that constant gleeful, purposeful deluge of wrong information, twisted facts, made up stats, outright lies, whataboutism, why are you so angry, blah blah blah…it just gets to you.

And you curl up, put your hand out, say, fine, I can’t do this. I can’t combat this, I’m bleeding to death from a million paper cuts. I’m watching my own family and friends embrace this shit with gleeful, maniacal grins. The same ones who screamed that Obama was coming for their guns, going to turn us all into Muslim commies and declare himself president for life. Uh huh. 

And I don’t see a lot of loud, belligerent, fighting back sorts right now.

They are few in number and treated like lepers and enemies and told to hush.  Maxine Waters, for one. Told to hush up and play nice by leading Democrats, instead of being backed up and supported…Tread carefully and don’t carry a stick at all seems to be the message. 

I see mumbling apologizers who whisper for courtesy and niceness against actual real-time, real-world, yes it’s fucking happening in America, totalitarianism.

I hear a lot of– don’t upset them, play nice, we go high if they go low. When has that ever worked with fascists, with those trying a coup, with those thrusting their version of hell on earth into a government’s skeleton? To place a coating of insanity, greed, death and corruption over those bones…all while waving a flag and holding rallies and pretending to be saints and angels.

Placate the very ones beating the hell out of you over and over, day after day, year after year. We must be civil in the face of bullies, assholes, the stripping of our rights, the stripping of everything that makes life a bit more bearable. We must say please and thank you and not call names. No bad language. We must be door mats, so we’re not labeled violent extremists, which we are anyway by Fox News and Breitbart and Alex Jones and…and just hope they’ll turn as nice as we are.

Or something.

As others have pointed out, that sounds a lot like abuse. You hope they won’t hit you today if you’re quiet enough or nice enough or cringing enough. And when they don’t hit you as hard, it feels like a victory, I guess. When you just have a split lip instead of a broken arm, hey, that’s great. That’ll show em.

I mean, this has been a hellish week. Our actual framework of what makes America America seems broken, shattered, torn into chunks to be sold to the highest bidders. To line the pockets of Cheetolini and his children and cronies. With no one allowed to say bad things about him or they get the fake media screech directed at them or…Hell seems far nicer than America right now. 

Satan doesn’t seem that bad right now. I truly do think that. We never did get Satan’s side of the story, after all. Republican Jesus seems to be  a horrific monster, no thanks. Just no thanks and I’ll reserve my spot in hell right now if that’s salvation. 

Pregnancy crisis centers can lie to women. The Muslim travel ban is now permanent. Unions got gutted, bigly. Bang bang bang. The Supreme Court, our actual bastion against the very regime already in power in the White House…has failed us. With a justice set to step down, Justice Anthony Kennedy, stepping down suddenly under suspicious circumstances...it could be rigged for decades, for generations. If we have decades or generations left in us. There might go same-sex marriage rights. There would go Roe v. Wade. There might go civil rights,  a revisit of Brown V. Board of Education might be looming…

Maybe people will vote.

That’s the big hope everything is pinned on. There’s a giant vote in November. The problem is people in America don’t vote for elections, we all know this. Well, the liberal side doesn’t vote, the other side shows up in droves.

This has been hashed out, fried in a pan, put in a bowl, taken out the next day and microwaved.

The Blue Wave is coming! 

I’ll believe that when Cheetolini is impeached. Until then, I’m a wee bit skeptical. As the liberals seem utterly set on voting only for perfect angel candidates that mirror whatever their pet cause is. Instead of holding their nose and voting for anything with a D by its name…you know, that shit that wins elections or something. That shit the basic average Republican voter does because– Anything but a Democrat– is their actual belief and creed. They’ve been trained and taught and conditioned very well. 

Pointing that out gets one labeled a snowflake who’s been conditioned by Hollywood elites and indoctrinated by the public school system.

We’re not the ones who are acting like zombie cult members under an orange Jim Jones, you are! Oh I love the taste of libtard tears in the morning!

And then I read poems.

Langston Hughes, Let America be America Again.

And stories of days like this, where it’s just so utterly dark and everyone felt like giving up. Gettysburg. Paris. Pearl Harbor. No Man’s Land. McCarthyism. Vietnam. Korea. The Great Depression. The AIDS crisis in the Eighties, the…ugh.

The long slow slog to get some Americans the same rights as other Americans. And how people stayed to fight, as steady as boulders in a river trying to wash them away.

How people made light and kept walking forward.

With the knowledge that if they didn’t, that awful tide would drown everyone they loved in it. With the knowledge that that awful tide, whatever shape it might take or be, can be sent back out.

To wait for a time when it will be…invited back to wreak what horrors it can. Again. Again. Again.

This same pattern. Again and again.

Evil rising, the light rising to meet it, evil rising, the light rising to meet it.

And we never learn.

We never learn a fucking thing.

Which has me tired and yet oddly hopeful. Maybe this time it won’t take too many years to send that tide back out to sullenly plan its next inland surge.

But I must speak and fight and push back as much as I can. Because we’re all drowning. And it’s getting hard to breathe.

And those drinking the tears of others always seem miserably parched and miserably bitter about it.

And maybe the time after that, the time will get even shorter to wise up and send that tide back out before it can do any real lasting harm. Until we finally learn and can take steps, before we drown in oceans composed of our own blood, shit and tears.

Not just those we label our enemies or the other…but everyone gets to drown, we’re all equal at last as we drown together.

Don’t people know that?

Don’t you know you won’t be safe? Don’t you know all of this will come for you as well? That you won’t escape it? That eventually you’ll have to look history itself in the eye and explain yourself? I went along because it upset the liberals. Is that really your excuse here? For realsies?? 

Don’t you know…there will be consequences?

Being civil isn’t the answer to fascism. Because they will use it against you. As is being done now. I think I want to have ‘radical’ written in my obituary. She was a radical and she spoke out.

I want that, now. She spoke out.

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I don’t know who made this but thanks. 

Silence has seemed the safe, pretty blanket, the easy choice. And now I will pay for that. And try to speak as best I can.

As the suffragettes kept onward. As those freeing the Jews kept working. As those who ran the Underground Railroad kept going. As those who. As those who crumpled a bit in the utter-seeming darkness, who then searched for light, even starlight or a light within.

To keep going. To keep going.

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Henry Cadbury
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Rabbi Stephen Wise