Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Ironically, I should be studying Earth Science, not writing this...

Ironically, I should be studying Earth Science, not writing this...

Someone offers an opinion or states their belief in a thing, out loud.
Then, it is open.

Then it is an open thought. It is, in a sense, a palpable thing that is now in my presence. And I choose my reaction. How do I respond? Often I'll ask what led to the belief or why the opinion is held.

This is nothing new. And yet, it is. Being "entitled" to hold and express our opinions is an American ideal we were born into in a way that Americans one hundred years ago or more were not. In a way that Americans only eighty years ago, were not.

Sometimes it's difficult to maneuver through all the different conversations that take place every day without realizing, at some point during the dialogue, that it is impossible to continue because the person you are speaking to isn't living in the same reality you are living in.

Not only is the person living a different story in a different book, it's an entirely different set of encyclopedias and dictionaries.

Two things. Two things I hadn't thought about in a long time because they no longer exist in my reality. Blessing myself in order to protect myself, and believing that actions are sins.

Last week after some satirical (but not mean-spirited) remarks between co-workers about a customer, one of them said "quick, bless yourself." And I said "Oh, blessing yourself for protection. I had forgotten about that."

I had forgotten that gesture being performed, and I'd especially forgotten it being performed as a gesture to ward off punishment.

That simple command made me realize that the reality I live in is not the same reality that the other person lives in.

Likewise, today, discussing gender preference and marriage with someone, I realized that we did not share the same reality and that there was no point in continuing the conversation.

Although she opened. She opened enough to tell but not enough to listen.
She opened long enough to say but not to hear. She closed back up.

She closed up when she said, in all sincerity, with all the heart she thought she was disclosing as being open, that she couldn't judge "their sin" (speaking of same-gender relationships) as being any worse than anyone else's. Her exact words were "Who's to say that their sin is any worse than mine when I call someone a bitch? It's not for me to judge." She really believed she was taking the high and righteous road. She really believed she was being "forgiving of sin."

It stopped me in my tracks.

It stopped me because not only do I believe that "being gay" is not a sin -- it reminded me that I haven't thought about the word sin in a long time. And I wondered: why? How did I forget that word and how did I forget that people still believe in it as if it is something that exists, but exists separate from them? As if it exists like a parasite (which scientists kind of believe, but they call it insanity, not sin -- and that's another topic, let's stay here for now). As if actions were parasites that have somehow attached themselves to us and if we just pray hard enough, long enough, strong enough, loud enough, often enough, if we just pray to our god the "sin" will be washed away, we'll be cleansed of the parasite.

I realized today that sin hasn't existed in my world for quite some time now.

It is not a sin to call someone a bitch.
It is not a sin to murder someone, it is murder. It is mean and heartless and savage, maybe, but it is an action. It is enacted. It is not a sin -- a something from beyond that can be removed by some greater power not us.

And it is certainly not a "sin" to "be gay."

The fact that this person could even equate someone's choice of whom to love/hang out with/sleep with etc. with the notion of sin -- stealing, for instance -- makes me sick.

And it is, in a way, a little frightening: So many people, so many people pointing toward an open pit of fire that I just don't see. Not a metaphorical fire. It's like standing next to someone who swears there's an ocean in front of you when all you can see are mountains or miles of desert.

When I heard the word "sin" it felt ancient.

Here where I am, there are only humans, doing. There aren't any angels guiding. There are people with consciences who are willing to sacrifice their own needs for the needs of others. There aren't any spirits listening to me and I am not going to be punished in some life after this life. My choices are mine, limited by my universe and what it contains.

But there is another universe. It is contained in my universe, or mine is contained in that one but they are not one in the same. I hope they are not one in the same. How can it be that our world is one, but our ideals divide it? How can it be that it is one but our words undo that reality?

In her universe there will be another world after she is finished with this one.
In her world there is sin and there is forgiveness and she is told what to believe sin is.
When someone asks something she's never considered you can see fear enter her eyes as they widen but just as quickly they narrow and you know the thought only entered half-way. You see it was dismissed. You see her dismiss it and you hear her close the entire conversation because in her world there is a god who intends that we abide by certain rules. In her world there is a god who intends.

In mine, I and others have intentions and actions and reactions and emotions and rationalizations.

In my world there is only this world. It has a past and a present. It may have a future, I don't propose to know. I have now. The next instant might not even happen. My heart or head could burst. My lungs could decide to stop. I will, one day, fail. Without doubt.

Until then I intend to maneuver through. If I'm tactful I may survive the conversations. If I'm very very quiet I might avoid them, all together. But if I'm very very quiet I might also undo the work of those who made it possible for me to take part in open dialogue.

She may not mind not having one. She may even continue to put an end to discussions by stating that her god's rule is the ultimate rule, and she follows it, without question.

I don't.

I do, however, mind not having dialogue.

So this.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

From Roger Freedman of the Facebook group "1,000 Strong Against John McCain"

From Roger Freedman of the Facebook group "1,000,000 Strong Against John McCain":

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....(hope I'm not offending anyone)

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different.
* If you grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, you're a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack, you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

* If you name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

* If you graduate from Harvard law School, you are unstable.

* If you attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system, while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant , you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.

* If you're husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, *much* clearer now.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Response to a friend's post

on the Democrats and how we need to get tougher:

I'm not sure where I stand on how much of a hard-ass Barack needs to be to win this although my husband and I were talking about it last night and he totally agrees that because the Dems always take the high road, we lose, and we need to play as dirty as the Republicans do to win this.

I'm a silly idealist hippie who believes truth and justice will prevail -- but I guess the past eight years show how naive I really am. The above poster brings up a good point in the "We'd rather be right than win" but unfortunately AND fortunately that's what separates us from the more conservative Republicans who too often, it seems, look at politics as if it was a football game and my team vs. their team. Obama is trying to change that and Ray is right -- McCain's basically plagiarized everything Obama said in his acceptance speech.

Let me say in Obama's offense: maybe that "pig with lipstick" was scripted in and he has begun to play rough. Someone even suggested his saying "old fish wrapped in paper" was a reference to McCain.

Palin makes me want to vomit. She is everything I'm against.
I wondered if that ticket wins, should I just take a bottle of something (cyanide perhaps?) and end it all now?

But seriously - for all those who say Obama can't/won't? Please, be quiet. The universe hears you. Say out loud and often this instead: Barack will win. We will rise up together and he will win. I have waited my entire life for this change. Since the third grade when I was told not to tell my grandma that the boy I had a crush on was "colored" I've been waiting. Since the tenth grade when I was forbidden to see Danny. Since my 18th birthday when I was disowned for dating and later marrying Jay. No, I wasn't a white girl looking for attention. I had grown up with these people and never saw the division until I was told to. By then it was too late, I'd already decided I was the type of person who would always judge people based on their actions and deeds, not their intentions or the faces they put on or the skin or gender they were born into.

Here's my hope: that all the dems will rise up together, that the independents will, for once, help instead of hinder us (and maybe one day we can pay them back in deed/action by actually giving them a voice, as well the dems and repubs), that people will vote on issues rather than race/gender (although I DO understand both the need for women and for black men to break ceilings, believe me) and that finally -- and this may sound like an odd one -- but I hope that all those people who are husbands and wives or in relationships or who are sons and daughters and sisters and brothers -- all those people who feel like they can't vote for a black president based on skin color and social pressures from their immediate sources -- go ahead, shake your heads no, no, no....lie to everyone in your family if you have to...say you'll never vote Barama. But then, once inside that little curtain, go ahead. Say to yourself "They'll never know" and vote for who you know can lead this country. Have some courage. Ask: What if?

Oh, and how to reach those who don't care? That's always been the greatest challenge a teacher faces...

Who knows, maybe even this little bit we do, will help.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don't Let The Milk Floats Ride Your Mind

Don't Let the milk floats ride your mind...

A milk float in Liverpool city centre, June 2005

Don't Let The Milk Floats Ride Your Mind

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

As They Say, "Let The Games Begin"

Not One For The Kiddies

I just wanted to share a response to a good friend's satirical (?) blog in which he mentions not knowing who to vote for so maybe he should just vote on looks like we Americans are said to do :

I get what you're saying about duh uh
mericans voting for either the-beauty-pageant-queen-and-her-uncle-Ray ticket or the But-he's-so-well-spoken-all-the-white-women-want-to-secretly-fuck-him-and-your-uncle-Ray ticket (Not that they want to fuck your uncle Ray, mind you, or hers, for that matter).

Here's just one, just one of the things I'd like to ask people to consider: If your 13 year old daughter gets violently raped (or your niece or sister or cousin) should she be denied the morning-after pill so that should she become impregnated as result of this horrendous act she will be forced to carry the baby full term and deliver it? EVEN if an ultrasound is done and it is determined that the baby is deformed? Sarah Palin would have the thirteen year old give birth to this baby. So then I guess my next question would be, is Sarah Palin going to make sure the rapist sends child support from prison? Or is she personally going to support every incest/rape-produced/deformed unwanted child that is born in America? Or are we? Does that mean the health care we've all been promised will incur the cost of caring for these deformed or unwanted fetuses that that the government will force women to carry to full-term? These are the things I care about. And why didn't her daughter use a condom? Duh. If not for the unwanted pregnancy then at the very least to prevent disease....and I don't mean this as a personal attack. I mean: what is the Alaskan school system allowed to teach concerning sex-ed? THESE are just some of the the things I want people to ask themselves. Then go vote.

Skin color. Gender. Who cares. Animal metaphors, whatever.
Liar. Thief. Truth-twister. Hypocrite.
Inspirational. Forward-looking. Hopeful. Revolutionary.
For me there's no question.

Besides, you know I dig black as as well as white, though I do prefer men. (In that "I want to fuck your uncle Ray way"). So for me Obama-Biden. Hmmm. That's a damn good fuck, I mean ticket!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Insignificant Synchronicities somehow still feel significant

Insignificant Synchronicities somehow still feel significant, although I can never determine specifically why. (Say 5x fast!)

Last night I found a few minutes to do something that had been in my mind-file for quite some time now. It was of little significance and for my own personal enjoyment: to look up a term used as a lyric in one of my favorite songs and finally maybe make sense of it. The phrase I researched, and could find only a slight amount of information on -- was "ghost horse." I did find what I was looking for, eventually.

This morning, when I got to work, the first thing I did was go to my "spot" out front where I do all my paperwork, computing, banking, etc. -- and there on top of the counter were two pieces of framed artwork that a friend brought by earlier, before I arrived. One of the pieces was a three-photo collection of what else? Ghost Horses.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Poetry Open Mic


Do Something

From Move On - You know whether or not you want to read this.

May I add? Can anyone say "Marie Osmond?" Beauty pageant queen? Five kids? Please.
It's like saying that after two years of running our humble corner restaurant I can take on every restaurant in Las Vegas AND Atlantic City...only...it's worse. Because she has access to bombs and armies. And decisions that involve YOU!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: PV
Date: Aug 31, 2008 6:21 PM

Dear MoveOn member, Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.
Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1

Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2

She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3

Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4

She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5

She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7
This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.
We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:

She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK

She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK

As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. —Karen L., Anchorage, AK

Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK

She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK

I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK

So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.
In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.
In the next few days, many Americans will be wondering what McCain's vice-presidential choice means. Please pass this information along to your friends and family.
Thanks for all you do.
–Ilyse, Noah, Justin, Karin and the rest of the team

1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Sarah_Palin
2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
http://www. moveon. org/r?r=17515&id=13661-1528778-FLomsQx&t=1
3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008
http://www. moveon. org/r?r=17736&id=13661-1528778-FLomsQx&t=2

4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
http://www. moveon. org/r?r=17737&id=13661-1528778-FLomsQx&t=3
5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
http://www. moveon. org/r?r=17517&id=13661-1528778-FLomsQx&t=4
6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
http://www. moveon. org/r?r=17518&id=13661-1528778-FLomsQx&t=5
"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
http://www. moveon. org/r?r=17519&id=13661-1528778-FLomsQx&t=6
"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008
http://www. moveon. org/r?r=17520&id=13661-1528778-FLomsQx&t=7
7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008
http://www. moveon. org/r?r=21119&id=13661-1528778-FLomsQx&t=8
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