This ad for a politician just made me weep like a baby.
Goodness. I feel kind of like a bastard because 2016 has had some serious high points for me. It’s been a dumpster fire of a year, don’t get me wrong… but I had more good than many. I feel pretty good about where 2016 is ending on a variety of levels.
I would say that my marriage needed the strain it experienced this year. I think we both learned a number of things we weren’t really on our way to learning. We decided to have more kids. We decided to stop waiting on M/s stuff. (That’s going. And going pretty well so far… we are going slow.)
Things with the kids are…. well… I’d say that I couldn’t expect better. In pretty much every way I feel like things are going better as a parent than I expected they would. I thought we would have way more problems. Our relationships are pretty good and improving. We are getting better with every year at talking to one another about what we need. They are really excited about the prospect of more kids.
The house remodel… is absolutely driving me bonkers. But every person who walks into my bathroom gasps. It is worth it. Just keep plugging along. Art. Moar Art. I guess at this moment that I have somewhere between 100 and 200 hours of painting ahead of me between now and the finish line. Fuck.
I’m a painter. It’s a thing I do. I do a lot of it. I’m an artist. How will this play into my future?
No clue yet.
We watched Rogue One today. It… it’s a heavy movie. I feel kinda stunned. I think this is the only Star Wars movie I’ve ever really liked. Of course I like the hit-you-in-the-head one.
I’ve said for a long time that I suspect I will live to see some kind of revolution. Then we elected Trump. You know what?
The next four years need to be full of active resistance. The next four years need to involve making concrete actions in the direction of living in the kind of world I want to live in.
It’s kind of funny that I started out vehemently hating the idea of the American Dream. When I studied it in college and grad school I felt so much anger. I did not think it was attainable for me or anyone like me.
Then I arrived.
Holy shit. How do I share this shit.
How can more people have this kind of safety and security? What can I do to help other people have more access to education and choices and medical care?
Revolutions are made by the people who show up. What does showing up mean? It means different things to every person because you can’t make a revolution out of people who are exactly the same. That’s how you create an empire. By wanting people to be all the same so you can use them interchangeably as spokes on a wheel.
I don’t want a well mechanized empire.
I know what that means.
Even if I would be considered one of the “winners”… no. No. No. No. No.
Fuck that. No. But when and where are different levels of aggression worth countering with other levels of aggression?
How do you have a revolution without having a war? How many people have to die to call it a war?
How do we even know what a war means anymore?
There were 10,000 casualties of the war with Kuwait. In the last one hundred years, how many black people has the US government killed when they weren’t doing a damn thing wrong?
What is a war?
I spent my childhood reading books about the Resistance in WWII.
I need to spend a lot more time thinking about what I’m going to do with my life. I know what i want to do with my life in the very long-term. But what am I going to do while I’m growing up? What will I do to shape the person I need to be someday?
Fuck. This will be a lot of work.
Lots of people do lots of things to shape history. Where do I want to stand?
I don’t know about you but I live with this permanent Sword of Damocles hanging over my head. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough for Noah. I’m not good enough to live in a nice, safe home. I’m not good enough to be loved. I’m not good enough to deserve to live. I’m not good enough to _____________. Fill in the blank how you please and I’ve probably thought it.
I learned something interesting from Occupy. I didn’t have to be good enough. I had to be there. I had to be there with thousands of other people and we shut down the port of Oakland. Was that long-term impactful? It depends on who you ask. There were consequences to an awful lot of people. Did it change politics as usual? No. But Mayor Jean Quan sure didn’t last long. Did it fix the problems with the police? Ha. Ha. Ha. No.
My neighborhood is different than it was before Occupy. Why? Because more people talk to each other. I’ve had a bunch of neighbors tell me that they hadn’t spoken to anyone in our neighborhood ever before I started introducing them around and now they talk on a regular basis. They used to walk past each other and not even nod. They needed someone to do an introduction and explain why they should be friendly. Now they are.
I was deeply inspired by Occupy. I watched the protests with love in my heart and amazement that so many humans came together in one place to say, “How things are happening is wrong.”
We need to show up like this with the current problems. Trump and his transition team are seriously talking about putting Muslim people on a list. This isn’t ok. This isn’t a little ok. Haven’t we learned from our history? It was wrong when we put Japanese people in internment camps. It was wrong when we herded up Native Americans and put them on reservations. Wrong wrong fucking wrong.
We just can’t do this again. No. We have to fight against this. All of us. Each of us who feel too small and too insignificant and too unimportant to be able to help. We need to show up. We need to protest. We need to write letters and call our congress critters. I think I should follow up with letters and calls to my state and local government officials too though I have not done so yet. I should do that this week.
We have to show that we are never going to commit that particular set of evils again. We need to stop breaking our population down into subgroups and then punishing them for sins they have not committed. It was not the fault of Japanese Americans that we went to war with Japan. It is not the fault of Muslim Americans that we fight wars with Muslim countries.
It’s just bullshit. It’s not ok. Not unless we round up every god damn white man because those mother fuckers are dangerous.
Do you know what I am good enough to do? I am good enough to say that these people matter. They matter to my community, my country, and my world whether or not they ever have a conversation with me or touch my life. It isn’t about me. They don’t have to be my friend to be ok and accepted. They just have to exist.
I’m good enough to believe that and act on it and try to make it so people in my community have increased safety.
If I do not work towards the people in my community having this kind of safety, maybe I am not really much good for much else. If I do not work to help those who are currently suffering… maybe I can’t be good. Maybe I have to earn it. Maybe I’ll never do enough to earn it but I have to stay on this treadmill trying until I collapse and die and then I’ll be good enough to deserve a great memorial at my death services.
Krissy was a bad ass motherfucker. All of you remember that. At my funeral. That’s what you say.
Life is complicated and big and we all have so very much to do. But this action is important. This is about our future. This is about the collective soul of our country. What kind of people are we?
White people elected a frightening white supremacist to the White House. Shit. We suck.
I strongly suspect that was possible because of the large scale disenfranchisement of citizens. Half of all citizens aren’t allowed to vote. That’s fucked up. We have just continued our racist paradigm straight on from slavery.
This is one of those times. This is when you stand up. If you hear someone express hate towards a less powerful group, take a god damn risk. It’s important. The god damn president is a scary man who really wants to hurt a lot of people. It will take a full scale resistance from every part of the nation to overcome the force of the tidal wave he wants to create.
It doesn’t matter if we are tired and hurting. We have to fight this or the children of people who are not white Christians will pay and pay and pay. It’s horse shit. It’s time for this country to change its tune. We have always been an evil nation but we could be better.
If we fight. Get involved in your local government. Get involved in your community. Talk to people. Build connections. Find a way to have impact on peoples lives. Don’t know what to do? Start by reading this.
Occupy the space you are in. Take up room. Make the world you want to live in. Or President Trump will make the world he wants to see.
We woke up in hell.
I’ve been a kinky motherfucker all of my life. I officially entered the bdsm community at 18, but I was doing kinky stuff before then. I’ve been giving oral sex for 31 years. I’ve been having PIV (penis in vagina intercourse) by choice for 22 years. This summer marks 16 years of my life in the bdsm community. In two more years I will have been in the bdsm community (to some degree or another) for half of my life. I feel very confident saying that being a pervert is part of my identity. Part of my identity I’m thoroughly comfortable with.
But things shift over time. The kind of pervert I am changes. The kinds of things I like has drifted considerably, especially since having kids.
In all these 16 years I have resolutely shied away from pursuing any kind of ongoing interaction where I was to be Dominant. That’s been a line for me. I like being toppy. I’m sadistic as fuck. But I’m not a Dominant. Nope, that’s not me.
I’m a serious control freak and I manage a lot of that by being the submissive/bottom/slave because then I’m the one who does the vast majority of the work and it goes how I prefer. I date lazy tops. Perfect.
But my life has changed a lot. I feel like I have changed.
There are a lot of people and situations in my life where I could railroad people and control the shit out of them. I’m home schooling my kids. I could micromanage the fuck out of them. I could require them to be submissive to me. Legally I have the right. Yesterday I read this post that reminded me of why I really don’t want my children to be submissive to me in any way.
I don’t know about you, but I fall into being a bully real easy. I have to be careful not to control people inappropriately. I have big opinions and big feelings and people who aren’t rock solid in themselves like being influenced. I could be a serious problem for a lot of people.
I try so hard to not be that. I keep my boundaries fiercely. I don’t boss people beyond very specific, small, limited places where I ask for consent. “Hey we want to organize this event, can I boss people around to get things done quickly?” At this stage of my life 9/10 times when I ask that people gratefully say, “Oh please do.” I’m good at figuring out a plan. I’m good at bossing people.
But I’m scared of it. I avoid it. I don’t seek it out in an ongoing way. I do not want a job where I have that kind of control over people. I am not stable enough. I am not kind enough. I make such bad assumptions.
I act without thinking and I hurt people when I do too much of that.
It isn’t safe nor appropriate for me to be too bossy with any of my friends or family members.
But lately I want to boss. I want to control. I want to have influence in an ongoing control-tastic way.
I got this email from my friend. The one I topped the other night. The one I’ve been thinking about a lot for a while now. The one who likes the really super intense play that I like.
I’m thinking about him way more than is good for my overall balance of life. Holy shit. What do I want from him?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So much. So little. Such specificity. I don’t want to try to meet all his needs. I want to negotiate a very small slice of his soul and control the ever loving shit out of that. As I hurt him really badly.
Anyone who tells me they really want to see me come up from biting them with blood dripping down from my mouth?
Shit. We need to get tested.
Cause I can’t draw blood until we have both been recently tested. I have kids. I have to care. I have too many friends who have contracted Hep C.
Cause if you have been dreaming for years about having me hurt you like that and I have been dreaming for years about hurting you like that and my husband doesn’t mind and your partner thinks it is hotter than the sun?
I have worked very hard to cram all of the “me” that is a pervert into a very small box that I keep in the closet. I take it down for very rare special occasions when my kids are far away and kept safe with someone I trust completely.
I know that many people in the community are ok with somewhat fuzzy boundaries with their children. I am not comfortable with that. I need boundaries between them and my sex life constructed with steel beams and concrete reinforcement. This is a no-information/no-fly zone kiddos. Nope.
No, I won’t swing in the house with the kids.
Not because I’m judging you. Because I’m trying to deal with the body and brain I have. I’m trying to deal with the highly traumatized DNA sequence I passed down.
Why does sex with Noah behind a closed door feel fine as long as we are quiet? Because I’m really thrilled that my kids think that sex is a natural part of growing up and finding a partner. I’m ok with modeling that.
I can’t model promiscuity. Not given my background.
You know what? My kids have flat told me they don’t want me to date. They know that we have friends who date outside their marriage. They don’t care about what other families do. They told me flat out that they don’t want to give up more time with me.
They are little for such a short time. I’ve already been a pervert for so long. I have already been a slut for so long. Those things will still be there when my children no longer want me like this. I have one shot in this lifetime to nail the kind of parenting relationship I want to have and that means giving my children far more than I want to give. It means giving up things I want really badly for a while.
Life is always about choices.
Noah could tolerate a lot more promiscuity and boundary pushing and dysfunction. But then I’d be teaching it to my kids.
It isn’t that I think that modeling dating is inherently wrong. I truly don’t. Other people have very different lives.
I think I don’t know how to model long term stable relationships. I like picking up strangers and fucking them once or twice and moving on.
I don’t want to model what I like.
Even if I don’t want to stop liking it. I just don’t want to like it in front of them.
This feels so complicated. I don’t like being in the closet. I don’t like feeling like a liar. I don’t like feeling like I am being anything other than 100% brutally honest.
You know what? I am with my kids. I still have boundaries. They sometimes ask probing questions about my history or my experiences and I will either say something matter of fact like, “Yes I dated lots of people before I got married because I wanted to figure out what things were important to me” or “That’s something private that I will not discuss with you during your childhood. You need to grow up without having that information in your brain. You can find it out later.”
So I’m not… lying… but I only answer selectively.
Part of how I have kept these divisions is “I did a lot of stuff in the past I’m not doing now and I have no shame about any of it” and “Right now I’m doing the mom thing.”
But the “mom thing” isn’t all of who I am. Even the (incredibly hot) sex I have with Noah feels like part of the mom thing and…
It isn’t all of who I am.
I’ve gone through a lot of evolution of perception of self. Especially with regards to the word whore. (Small disclaimer in case anyone is new: I’m not talking about sex work. I’m talking about personal associations from formative abuse. Specifically I have to figure out how to get my brain to work around shit my father did. It’s complicated. I’m not knocking anyone or any careers.)
I’m going to need some way to refer to this person I’m playing with. I will need a code name. I’m not ready to make one up yet so this is awkward. I have blanket permission to write about him, but he values his privacy.
For a long time I genuinely saw myself as a kind of sacred whore. I had sex with a lot of people, many of whom… weren’t getting a lot of other play. I feel like there is a lot of emotional healing that comes through sexual intimacy and you can absolutely experience that with strangers. There is a validation and affirmation that doesn’t exist in other kinds of connections in my experience. But it only happens with a highly, highly experienced partner who knows how to read intricate body signals and ask the right questions.
I’m really good at it. I’m told. By an exceptionally long list of people. So I have to believe it is true.
This person I’m playing with likes a lot of degradation with his submission. He wants to be called a whore and I get that. There isn’t a lot I find hotter during sex than having someone grind into me and call me a whore… so I get it. Better if I’m being hurt while they are calling me a whore and fucking me. I’ll usually come right there.
I’m having big feelings about degrading him. He asked me a lot of specific, leading questions leading to his desire to be degraded. Oh my.
I want control so badly right now. I want to be able to boss someone around a lot. I want to really play with someone’s mind. I want to headfuck someone until I can tell them that down is up and up is down.
I know how.
I’ve taken lots of classes. I’ve practiced with lots of people who are considered experts. I trained for this.
But I’ve never actually gone and done it. I’ve always been terrified of this. I don’t have the right. I was a Wiccan too early in life. What you put out there comes back to you times three. Be very careful what you wish for and make happen in your life.
I want to crawl into someone’s head and change parts of how he feels about himself. Not in bad ways. I don’t want to hurt him. I want to… tweak him. Because it’s hot. Because controlling people is so fucking hot.
I don’t want to hurt his life. I don’t want to interrupt his relationship with his partner or his kids or his job or his other play partners or…
I just want this. This piece of control. That I can’t explain yet. I don’t know what it is I want so god damn badly right now.
Thinking about the fact that he has to wait for a letter in response to his email because I feel like making him wait …. I’m going to masturbate quite a few times today. This is hotter than fuck.
(Yes I have appropriate boundaries around it. Don’t worry, I can come quick. I only need like three minutes of privacy.)
The email he wrote me is earth shatteringly hot and I can’t quite quantify why. The depth of longing. The number of years this longing has been sustained for.
I met him when I was 19. He likes to say that I had him from, “And who the hell are you?” Apparently that was the first thing I said to him and he was done.
I feel like this is a bad rom com justification for intense longing wearing people down.
In this moment I all of a sudden understand one of my friends much better. She has a marriage in which they do not discuss politics because they are on opposite sides of the fence. This man and I… have very differing views. We are going to need a hard and fast rule that if one of us notices that we want to have an argument because it is veering near politics we will need a Shiny Change Of Topic. Because…. I know his views. I know his views about a lot of things don’t align with mine for very complicated and diverse reasons.
He isn’t someone I could have married and had kids with for a laundry list of reasons. Guess what? That role in my life is filled and I’m fucking thrilled with how it is going.
But there is this stuff that I really fucking like to do that I can’t do with my husband because holy shit is he not interested.
Noah’s ok with some biting and scratching because it indicates enthusiasm and he likes that. But he is not a masochist and he has decided limits and he gets mad if they are crossed. It isn’t hot.
He has offered, over the years, to do some bottoming if I feel like I just absolutely have to do it and I just… can’t hit him. Not like that. He doesn’t like it. I topped him once because he wanted to feel what it was like to go through a hook pull and he needed help from endorphins and it sucked for him.
I can’t ever do that to him again.
But I really really really like hurting people and it is much easier to control that impulse on a regular basis if I have occasional times when I get to feel like, “Yes, This Is The Right Time And Space”. It is easier to understand what boundaries feel like when you get to have lots of them in different places at different times for different reasons.
I’m horrified by the idea of putting mild pornography in front of an unknown vanilla audience. But I will take all my clothes off in a room full of strangers, crook my finger at a person I don’t know and proceed to fuck right there. I will go to Folsom Street Faire and tie up any person who wants to get tied up because I know I am safe and competent and I won’t hurt them and they will get to have a sensual experience.
Some time ago one of my children was being friendly with a random other child while we were waiting in line somewhere. The kids were going to have to just stand there for an hour or more. After a few minutes of Eldest Child trying the mother looked at me and said, “Your children have no boundaries, do they?”
What a global statement. We are friendly in a way that is highly unusual outside of California. We are enculturated to being part of a place that treats everyone warmly and like we could be best friends and we just don’t know it yet.
This is where we have always lived. This is how we know how to be. It isn’t that we have no boundaries. I’m wary about going into peoples houses. The kids have a lot of boundaries around going into secured spaces with people they don’t know. They are only allowed to be taken in the cars of very specific people and we have passwords around that.
No boundaries, holy fuck.
We like to pass the time in line by being friendly. Some of those random chats have turned into beautiful friendships. You know what? On the road trip we stopped in Michigan to visit with a man I met in a grocery store. Because he was wearing a pervy t-shirt and I needed to ask him to join the Mountain View Perverts Society. (We weren’t a real thing, but there was a shocking density of pervert households in a small area; we knew each other.) At worst it usually means standing in line is less tedious.
No boundaries. Jeeez.
You know what? My husband neither wanted nor asked for sexual fidelity when he married me. Nor did I.
I said I would be faithful to our relationship. That doesn’t mean anything about who I fuck or beat. If I am faithful to what Noah wants from me… You know what? I’m better able to be present with Noah if I have other needs met by other people. It means I spend less time being frustrated with him that he completely fails to be a queer masochist. I mean, what the ever loving fuck did I do wrong in this life to end up married to a hetero top?
But you have to take the hand you are dealt. He wanted me. He wanted to do the kids and home schooling thing. He has been up for everything I want to do in life. He isn’t someone who has as much strong direction as me. He’s thrilled to have someone with a stronger rudder around.
But I can’t control him. I don’t boss him. And I can’t hit him.
I have someone I like, someone I love even, walking into my life and telling me that they want me to hurt them as much and as deeply and as harshly as I want to because they think I deserve to have that release in this lifetime.
Holy fucking shit. God that’s hot.
What do I mean when I say I don’t want to date? Because clearly that means something to me. I think it means: if my children have already known you as the kind of person who comes to one big party a year and maybe one dinner a year… that’s probably where it is going to stay. I don’t take much time away from my kids. I need a lot of alone time and that dominates the time I take away from my kids. If I start seeing someone else on my own time frequently… it would cut into how present I can be with my kids and that’s not ok. But I want to see him so much.
And I’m making him wait for letters before we negotiate more. Oh, he’s probably reading this. But that’s different, you know? There are a lot of things I’m not saying here. A lot of things that are going to be private negotiations and may not ever be written about because I’m not 100% sure I want my kids to be able to find that in the archive.
I want to do some pretty fucking evil things.
And he really wants to let me.
Why is that so bad?
I don’t know.
I’m having a hard time talking myself out of it. I don’t want to talk myself out of it. I want to ………
Yes, when we played last weekend it was not anywhere near what we’ve talked about so far. Yes it was sexier. Yes it was more gentle. I was trying to not squick the vanillas, ok?!
God. This scene is going to be so hot I should sell tickets.
Hey, maybe it would be a way to get enough money to pay to rent a play space during a time when my babysitter is actually free… Ha.
No pictures though. He has privacy concerns.
Yes. I want to take you. Yes. I want to take you.
God the sex is complicated. I think…
I think that is going to have to be part of what makes this so fucking hot. I think my pussy won’t be involved. I’ve never had a stone relationship before. I have never before in my whole slutty life been interested in having a stone relationship. I don’t know what the fuck this means.
It isn’t that I think I won’t have sex with people other than Noah. He kinda holy-crap enjoyed the swinger thing and… yeah I can do that.
It isn’t “what I want” in the same way. But it is close enough and fun enough and sure.
I want to use you and use you and use you and fuck with your head and build you up and help you feel a whole lot more cocky about how wonderful you are with everything you have to offer. I just want this tiny piece of it. But I’ll talk a lot about how much I enjoy all the other parts of you. I want you to be whole.
I want you to be a whole you. I think I can feed part of you.
I think you have already given me something.
I’m sleeping a lot better.
I told the woo Dr I need a month off from these supplements. I need to figure out how my body is doing after what we have been doing.
A lot of my pain issues are improving. I can feel that most of my current ache is because of current unfamiliar strenuous labor. My hands are getting wrecked. I really ought not be typing.
But I can’t say all of these things to Noah. And I need him to know that I’m thinking them. Because I need to be as absolutely transparent with Noah as I can be and in most of our lives… we just can’t talk about this stuff.
I don’t want to “date” in the next ten years. I want my kids and Noah to take up pretty much all of my time. I need that safety. I need it. I don’t know how much time I can carve away from that in order to come out with the relationship I want to have with my kids.
Don’t worry, I’m going to launch these puppies. Then I’ll have more, ahem free time. But a lot of that will go to Noah as his reward for supporting me and providing for me so well for so long.
I don’t know what is left.
I kinda want to find out.
I feel so alive.
Doesn’t it ever strike you as strange that a country founded on genocide and theft of land now wants to say, “We don’t like it when people come here to steal our land.”
That is, quite literally the American why. Why are you complaining?
They are just trying to be good Americans. Isn’t that what you want people to be?
This is an essay I’ve been thinking about since I taught high school. When I was a high school teacher, most of my focus was teaching American literature. I always found this ironic because with the noticeable exceptions of Mark Twain and Langston Hughes and Edith Wharton (who isn’t taught in high schools) I don’t really like most American authors.
But when you teach high school it doesn’t matter who you like or who inspires you to be a better person, it matters who the district has decided is Important.
What is the American Dream? I have had a lot of time to lecture on this topic, so my opinions are pretty firm.
I believe the American Dream is the idea that anyone can come here from anywhere and have an equal chance at improving the status of their family. They can do better. Their children can do better than them.
I believe this system must be designed with a veil of ignorance. If you do not have any foreknowledge of who your parents will be, what can we do to design a system that actually creates equal opportunities for people?
It means not concentrating the wealth of schooling in wealthy white neighborhoods with children who are already several rungs up the ladder.
I believe that the American Dream means being able to look at my children, see that I am clearly providing enough that they will do better than me, then assessing my life and figuring out what I should pass off to other peoples children as fast as possible.
We all must rise together or we will fall.
White Supremacy is a real problem. It’s killing black people. It’s killing white people. It’s killing people of every color. It really needs to go.
Why? Because none of us are inherently superior. We just aren’t. We are all messed up, mixed up people. Even the people who are way better than me are still messed up. Why? Because we are not able to see how we impact the people around us. Because we are not able to perceive the power we genuinely have.
People under and over rate themselves constantly to the detriment of the entire planet.
How do we learn to accurately perceive ourselves then? How do we learn to see the power we have to do both good and evil while not perceiving ourselves as better than we are?
I love you. I don’t know the road yet. But I want to walk it with you.
Masculinity So Fragile. That’s a phrase I’m seeing all over the internet lately.
These terms: masculinity so fragile, white supremacy, privilege… they all enrage people. “How dare you say I have it better than I have it.”
Sweetheart. I’m not trying to say you have it good. I’m trying to say this system is hurting everyone. You included. You are being held to standards of masculinity that hurt you; that deny you the ability to be a real person instead of a caricature of a “man”. You are being taught that you have to be in “charge” or you are less than. You are being taught that you are better than other people which means you don’t understand how inter-related and inter-dependent you are with those people.
We are all being hurt.
The American Dream was once that everyone could have a house and a white picket fence and a dog and 2.5 kids.
That dream needs to die. We can’t sustain that. It’s not going to be possible for everyone. That dream mandates segregation, marginalization, and oppression. Because there is no way of getting every one to that level and we have to create gated communities to keep out the “undesireables” also known as people who were not fortunate enough to be born inside the gate.
That’s the difference between most of the people inside and outside the gate. Where they were born. (Ok, yes there would be one or two people who worked their way up.) No one has really done an in-depth character analysis on every member of the gated community to decide if they “need” protection or not.
The American Dream has to change. Or we are going to implode.
I’m not saying that all income inequality has to be banished. I literally don’t think that is possible.
But we can decide that there is a minimum basic floor of acceptable living conditions for citizens. We are truly at a place in history where we can. We just have to decide to do it. We just have to have enough of us agree on the new definition of the American Dream.
Give Your Money To Women so they can better rear their children so we can all have a country worth living in. You are going to get old. You are going to need to depend on a safety net created by the current children. IF YOU DON’T INVEST IN THEM YOU ARE STUPID AND YOU DESERVE WHAT YOU GET.
My friend Pam invests in the children in her family and in the children of her friends. She doesn’t have her own children (life is complicated) but she puts so much effort into people that she’s going to be loved until the day she dies. There will be people who will come visit her and help fill her time. Because she constantly, consciously invests in the people around her. It will pay back.
I want enlightened self interest. I want an America where we all want all of us to do better.
That means choosing to give your extra money as investments back in your community. It means choosing to see the people around you as more important to invest in than the stock market. It means looking at people and deciding the value in life comes from building connections.
Those connections have saved me and saved me and saved me.
I love you and I want to build this country together. Let’s build a new American Dream.
We kinda have a problem in our country. We have major racial segregation and stratification.
That’s a big problem.
In my opinion, if you want to think you are a good person… you have to believe that black lives matter as much as the lives of your children. If you don’t think that then…. yeah. You aren’t that good of a person.
Because the children born of my body (or yours) are exactly as important as the lives of children born to non-white mothers. And that is why we must scream from the top of our lungs that Black Lives Matter. (Yes, I know that other minority races are killed at rates that need looking into. We need to go after the police.)
Because that is just how it works. There is no superiority hierarchy. There is no reason to believe that being white is better than being any other race. If you think that people are more deserving of a good education if their parents can pay more money, either through private school tuition or through higher taxes in a “better” school district, you aren’t that good of a person and you need to work on that.
This shit really is that basic.
“Higher property taxes mean better schools” but then later you say that black people earn less money as adults because they are lazy.
Bullshit. They earn less money because people like you, with money, are selfish about it. That fucking sucks.
If we want to have a country where everyone has genuinely equal opportunity to succeed you have to start with the basic premise that the schools in Compton, Detroit, or East Palo Alto should be as good as Beverly Hills High, Hunter in New York, or Los Gatos High School.
Or you aren’t that good of a person. You should work on that.
I’m not saying I hate you for having biases towards your kids/clan. I’m saying you need to work on that. It’s a character flaw. I have tons. I know how much it sucks when they are pointed out to you.
Nevertheless… get busy working on that. I love you. You can do better. We can do better.
We, as white people, make up more than 70% of the country. If we don’t get our heads out of our asses we are going to be on the wrong fucking side of history.
While I’m at it: police violence. Why in the motherfucking hell did a black woman get vaginally searched on the side of the road for marijuana?! Her name is Charnesia Corley. She deserves better from her government. She deserves to get the same therapy for the rest of her life paid for by her government that I got because I was a victim of a violent crime that was sent to court. She was raped by a police officer. On the side of the road. Let me motherfucking tell you. Having someone you do not know, like, trust, or want to be intimate with shove their fingers into your vagina is rape.
Over marijuana. Which is rapidly being legalized around the country.
This situation is insane. This is absolutely around the bend terrorism.
This has to change.
If you aren’t willing to make some noise about this needing to change… then you aren’t being a very good person.
I hear folks regularly try to justify the police killing citizens because “They have a dangerous job.” LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVE DANGEROUS JOBS. THEY DON’T GET TO SHOOT PEOPLE WITH IMPUNITY WHEN THEY GET SCARED.
What a ridiculous, nonsensical, mean-spirited justification. No, not mean-spirited. It is evil.
Yeah. If you defend the American police institution… you are on the wrong side of history. Look into that. The police kill 25 citizens for every 1 of them that die. That means you are ok with your government executing people when they feel scared.
Really? You believe it is ok for government officials who are sworn to serve and protect to execute people when they feel scared?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
We have to change this. Seriously.
I’ve been thinking… it would be interesting to go through our financial records. Sometime in the next year before our 10th anniversary it would be interesting to see what we each started with, compare it to Noah’s salary, look at investments, look at the gains and losses for businesses tried and failed…
Who is responsible for which? Noah makes a pretty astronomical salary… but our investment portfolio is growing at a prodigious rate. Some of that is stuff he owned pre-me. Not all of it.
What have I done in the last ten years? Sometimes I have a hard time believing that I have done much.
Ok… even I know that sounds stupid.
I have a hard time being a dependent. I know I “get” 50% of his salary. But what have our separate investment choices resulted in? At this point we can figure out data to see who is actually better at those sorts of decisions so we can assign more of that work in the correct direction to maximize for growth.
I’ve been talking to a lot of womyn about independence and I’ve been listening to a lot of very intelligent women who want me to get my money for my labor.
What has been my cut?
I think I’m going to do that. Oh dear. Another Fucking Project.
And y’all just know I’ll tell you all about it.
The trip is going well. I am so gosh darned tired I feel like I might slip into a puddle and never solidify into a solid being again.
I had a hard time with Noah’s aunts. They grew up in particular times and places and they believe what they believe. Unfortunately for them there is a whole bunch of evidence proving that their beliefs suck.
I am highly dysregulated. I am having a hard time calming down. Too many conversations about poverty and homelessness and race. I really don’t respect the opinions they have.
One aunt spent a long time telling me about how much she enjoys reading the journals of settlers and colonials. They only killed people when they had no choice.
Uhm… go read something written by the folks that the settlers barely avoided killing. You will hear a very different story.
No. The white assholes who showed up on this continent because they were being chased out of their European homes did not kill Native Americans because the Natives were trying to persecute the white people. No. No. No. No.
We are interlopers here. We do not get to claim that our existence here is just about our basic survival. We are stealing in order to survive.
Depending on how you look at it, all humans have been thieves since the beginning. We steal from plants and animals in order to survive. That’s complicated. It’s a hard ethical conundrum. Vegetarians believe that by not eating flesh that you are fine for how you are stealing. Vegans think it must be even more strict and milk and eggs are also over the line.
But no one ever objects to stealing from the artichokes or carrots or cauliflower. We’ve decided they can’t matter.
But that’s kind of funny.
Throughout history many groups of human beings have decided that other groups of human beings don’t matter in similar ways. Sometimes we make these evaluations based on race. Sometimes based on economic privilege. Sometimes based on work choices. If you look around the planet, folks feel free to shit on sex workers in almost every country that exists. Even though sex work is one of the most universal, oldest professions that exists. We still want to punish any individual who engages in it.
One of the aunts spent a lot of time telling me that she hated the Occupiers and she thinks folks who are homeless are just lazy and they need to get a job.
I told her, are you aware that it takes two or more full time jobs to afford rent, not including utilities or food or a car in most states for people who work minimum wage? You bought your property in 1981 with help. No, other people can’t do what you did. It is really awful for you to think that people who can’t do what you did are lazy. How dare you.
You bought a property for fairly cheap. You had help for 20 years of your mortgage. How dare you say that other people who can’t do what you did are lazy.
This is not about lazy.
Are you aware that the largest race riot in our American history was white people who were jealous that black people were doing too well? But we’ve had a lot of race riots. Mostly they erupt because white people are persecuting non-whites. It is bullshit.
I don’t deal well with people who are incapable of seeing the layers of privilege that built their lives. We are all made up of support and relationships with people. Unfortunately there are major demographics who have traditionally not received support. And they are currently struggling much more significantly than demographics that have traditionally received more support.
I want to equalize that. We can’t go back and fix everything bad that has ever happened. I don’t want to. That’s not the point of life. But we can make it so the people who are alive right now have more access to ways to better their lives.
We don’t have to punish people for being disadvantaged. We don’t have to punish people for being icki and poor and not what we want to look at. We can choose compassion. We can choose to help people just because they exist and they should exist.
I want you to exist. Even when I don’t like you. Even if I want to shout at you because your opinions are just flat terrible. You do worthy things. Even if those things don’t benefit me in any way shape or form. Not everything is about me.
Not everyone has to benefit me in order to be worthy.
I’m getting better at defending the intensity of my opinions without having to scream at people and tell them how much I hate them for having the opinions they have. I’m glad for that. I am modeling better behavior for my children. I am teaching them to be fierce, but not mean.
I’m trying. I’m trying to model what I think should exist. Have strong opinions. They matter. They help. They are important. But try to express them in a way that will educate instead of alienate.
I really suck at that.
Last night was so awesome. Dad and I got stoned together and I unloaded on him. He’s not an emotional guy. He doesn’t really want to hear about feelings. Ha ha mother fucker. You adopt me and you get what you get. If you want to be my Dad you get to find out what I’m like. And that means listening to an hour or so of emotional unloading every other year or so. Suck it, buddy. Just cope. You can manage.
He did. He’s wonderful to me. I listened to what was going on with his life. He is struggling more than I am. That’s… kind of weird to me. He’s supposed to be the stable grown up. Only now I’m the stable grown up. How the fuck did that happen?
He’s had a hard time since his wife died. Things have been rocky. It makes sense. That has been seven years now. His business failed and that was really hard financially and emotionally. He likes his current job, but it doesn’t pay that much and he has a lot of bills. Complicated. He’s really depressed.
He expresses admiration for my obsessive saving. Which is awkward. I appreciate his positive feedback on my skills but it is uncomfortable too. I don’t think I should be doing better than other people. That is not my self-perception. If I do something well, emotionally, I want it to be because any one can do it and it isn’t very hard. That isn’t true any more though. I’m good at a lot of things that most people suck at. I am an incredibly skilled person.
That’s hard to accept sometimes. I don’t ever get to use the excuse that I just can’t any more. I can find a way. That’s daunting. Overwhelming. Too much pressure. I don’t want to be able to find a way. I want to have the excuse that I don’t have to.
But I’m exceptionally competent. If I don’t do something it is probably because I choose not to and not because I can’t. That’s…
Shit. I’m out of excuses. I like excuses.
Talking to Dad is intense on a variety of levels. As the years go by I am increasingly willing to share my opinion on what I see. “You are selfish in a short sighted way. If we could get your selfishness to see the long-view then I think your romantic life would improve.” He is strangely willing to listen to me now whereas ten years ago he snorted and said what the hell do I know.
Now he’s had two marriages go badly and mine is doing well and he’s willing to listen.
He spent a lot of time questioning whether I was on the road trip because my marriage is rocky. He had a really hard time believing that Noah would be ok with this kind of separation unless we were on the verge of divorce.
Nope, we are very happy together. Lots of sex. Lots of good conversation. We really enjoy one another’s company. But I’m a traveler and he’s not. He loves me anyway just like I love him for being a home body. We are ok with supporting one another through divergent experiences. We don’t have to do everything together. It’s ok if we are different.
It is part of why I am so very happy to be married to Noah. He doesn’t want a Mrs. Noah Gibbs who is there to facilitate his life. He wants to be partnered with Krissy Gibbs. Who is bad ass and does cool things.
He’s bummed when people think I’m cool because he married me. He thinks that is missing the point of me. I am not cool because he sticks his dick in me. I’m cool so he wants to stick his dick in me. People should get the order right.
I really like Noah. I am ridiculously happy to be married to someone who trusts me and who works as hard as he works. I like hard workers. I like people who pick goals and then put their head down and accomplish them come hell or high water. I really like Noah. He inspires me. He also taunts me and I want to punch him for it. But I don’t because we do not have that kind of relationship.
Noah causes me to think really hard about my ever expanding repertoire of skills. He isn’t ok with me minimizing my abilities. He says, “Nope. You don’t get to think you are incompetent any more. You probably never were but you don’t get to think it now.”
I cannot express what knowing him has meant to me. He believes in me. He believes in me the way other people believe in G-d. He thinks I can just do things. So I can.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen to the world if everyone had someone who believed in them as much as Noah believes in me. It would be a really incredible planet. I wish I could see that planet.
I want to be part of a world where people build one another up instead of tearing each other down. That was the hard part of dealing with the aunts. I didn’t want to tear them down in the process of educating them and that is hard. Tearing people down is so much easier than building them up.
How do you teach people to see that they are privileged because they grew up with a highly educated parent who had the ability to teach them a variety of skills that other people never know exists? How do you teach people to see that they are lucky and blessed because they got to have abusive help for a period of time?
Some people get no help at all. Not even packaged with abuse. No one wants to help them from the get-go.
Can we get over this idea that people need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps? That’s a crock of shit. The people who survive and who do well are people who have neighbors who show up to help. Not people who do it alone.
I’ve tried doing it alone and I’ve tried finding a network of support. Finding the network is horrifyingly hard. It is emotionally draining and hurtful. There are hundreds of false starts. It feels hopeless most of the time. But then you notice that this time when you fell down someone was there to grab your elbow and keep you from landing on the concrete.
I believe in the MonkeySphere. I believe my connections to human beings are the reason I am alive. Mostly through Shanna and Calli and Noah, but my friends are important. My friends matter so much.
If I weren’t at Dad’s house I wouldn’t be able to see the extent of how much he loves me and would do if I needed it. He’s never going to be able to provide financial support–he might need it in the future. But he has been emotional support for almost 16 years. He has supported me through many different changes in my life. He adapts with me as I change radically and he really wishes he didn’t have to.
I see you. I appreciate you.
Looks like my kids are going to be his grandkid experience. His bio-kids are respectively one and two years younger than me. His son is only going to have children if there is a catastrophic accident and he’s considering pre meditative surgery. Just to be safe. Dad’s bio-daughter is 30 and doesn’t have a partner. Her mom would like her to have kids but she isn’t real interested in single parenting and things aren’t lining up.
It is weird seeing that I am creating a place for myself. I am in the middle of generations. I help interpret going up and going down. I really appreciate that I get to spend so much of my life teaching people how to get along. Kids and adults. That probably isn’t how other people see how I spend my time… but it is how I see what I’m doing. I give other adults a lot of feedback. I try to do it in ways that won’t cause them to turn around and yell at me to back off (I’m pretty deft) but I’m a bossy motherfucker. I’m going to volunteer my view whether you like it or not.
And there are people who keep me around even though I’m highly obnoxious. My life is great.
Last night I told Dad that I feel very safe unloading on him at this point because I know that he likes having me around. He laughed and asked why I am so sure. I said, “I’ve watched you for a lot of years. When you are done with people you get mean. Your jokes are more and more cutting. You point out their flaws more frequently and with more venom. It is hard to watch when you are doing it to people I like. It is part of why I don’t spend more time with you. I don’t want to wear out my welcome. You have never treated me that way and I want to continue this trend.”
He got quiet and thoughtful. After a while he nodded and said, “You are right. I do like you a lot. I’m not sick of you.” He didn’t say that much more about it. He’s not the sort.
I’m sitting in Dad’s back yard resting. I’m thinking about doing some weeding. He’s been really sad and just isn’t keeping up with the house and yard. I cleaned his pipes this morning. If you are going to pollute your lungs, at least don’t do it through an inch of tar, come on.
I’ll clean the kitchen after lunch and before I make dinner. Boy it needs it. I’ll probably clean the bathroom tomorrow because there is mildew starting. This house is more than twice the size of my house, I can see why he is having a hard time keeping up. He used to be able to pay help and now he can’t. I think he should down size but it’s complicated.
Everything is complicated.
Maybe the girls and I will come out here and weed his beds and run over to a nursery. We can put a handful of low-maintenance veggies in so he continues to feel loved after we leave. It is weird how plants do that. I don’t understand it, but I’m starting to see it and exploit the loop hole. Yay for exploitable techniques.
Holy moly we’ve been seeing great yards. Aunt Cookie and my friend W have gorgeous yards. These ladies are accomplished. It was a real treat to visit and see the results of their hard work. I feel so inspired. I need to touch some dirt. I need to put in more plants. The planet needs more plants.
Maybe I can ask him if one of his beds can be a wild flower seed mix for birds and butterflies. So when the flowers come up he can think of us.
We love you and we want you to be here.
I love pot. Today I’m not driving so I’m heavily medicated. Right in this moment I feel like if the biggest burdens in my life are dealing with some classist, racist, mostly decent people… I can work with that. I like educating people. I will learn how to talk about these topics. It is very important to me that people like them learn why they are wrong. I understand that they will be more likely to listen to someone they perceive as being like them. They see me as being like them.
They are wrong as fuck, but that’s ok.
It’s an exploitable loop hole. No, I’m not like you. But I know how to ape some of your class markers and I have learned to do so out of self-preservation. I have learned how to make people like you stop hitting me. I’m not like you.
I’m never going to stop being a fierce person. I believe it is necessary. But I want to learn how to temper it when I choose. I want it to be more under control. I want it to be a tool in my tool box and not the defining explanation of what I’m like. I believe that being capable of violence is necessary for self preservation. I’m going to get better at being lethal and learn how to stop the bullshit posturing.
I don’t need to win the dick contests. Even though mine is bigger.
I don’t like what I win. How is being the biggest dick a good thing?
Well, it’s a good thing when I can get men to back the fuck off of being bossy and/or controlling but quick. There has to be another way.
What is the path? Who knows. I’m just walking.
Yeah, Wendy is right. I was muddling together two topics in the last really big post. There are two separate issues: the interplay between a husband/wife (I’m being hetero/cis-centric here) and the interplay between men and women in terms of compensation for their labor on the open market. I’m muddying them and that makes it hard to follow. It, err made sense in my head. (This is why I don’t write for publication.)
Hispanic and Indigenous and Black women are kept in poverty through systematic means. I’m not saying that a specific person is to blame. I’m saying that we have a systemic problem where we do not value people as we should. This is a problem.
What should be done about it? That’s fucking complicated. But as long as Hispanic women are making 53% of what white men make we have a problem.
Noah thinks we need to have more of a plan before we shake things up. I can see why he thinks that. He lives in a very carefully ordered world. He makes specific products for specific markets and he needs those people to want to be invested in his ideas/plans.
I see that. Makes sense. He is doing a particular thing, namely trying to be successful in the current capitalist system.
I don’t see a way for this system to ever be fair. No, I don’t know what the alternatives are. I don’t know what we should do to solve all of the problems. But we need to stop acting like a significant portion of the globe deserves to be kept beneath the feet of white people.
White supremacy has simply got to fucking end. We are not better. If you look at the history of white people we are not nice people. We are not more pure. We are not more kind. We are not more worthy. We are just people.
For a very long time in this country we have had a system set up to make things work out best for white men. When things didn’t go well for the white men they would kill whoever was in their way.
Yes, yes there are murderers in every single race. I get it. I know. But would you like me to break down the ratio of prisoners in our country by race? White people do more than our share. We are disproportionately represented in the population and we pay for our crimes the least often.
Not. Fucking. Ok.
Why do I think the Silk Road guy should go to jail? Because how many millions of Black men are in jail because they sold drugs. He is not fucking more worthy of a light sentence. Do I think that all the Black men deserve their sentences? Good grief no.
But we are where we are. Unless you want to turn around and release millions of Black men fuck you and your sympathy for a rich white dude.
It would not be physically possible for me to have less sympathy.
Which brings me back to violence. And revenge, I suppose.
I’m ok with shouting at people. That’s the difference for me. Shouting is raised volume. Yelling is raised inflection and not necessarily about volume. (In my little head.) I’ve spent the last week reading a book about abusive men. Raising your voice is one of those questionable things.
I know people who are just about appalled by the volume of my voice on a regular basis. Many of those people are ok hitting their kids.
I find that… remarkable. Why do people tell me to hit my kids all the damn time? They tell me it isn’t ok to yell. I should hit the kid instead.
We live on different planets. My kids don’t flinch when I shout at them. Ok, occasionally… but not usually. We are loud all the time. It’s our normal. They don’t hear a shout and flinch like they know they are in trouble.
Frankly the kids flinch more when I lower my voice and say something with intensity. They don’t mind volume. They mind me sounding scary.
I sounded scary/mean earlier today. Shanna is obsessed with Minecraft to the point where she is becoming quite the little self absorbed asshole about it. No one is allowed to talk about anything else in her presence or she will talk louder to drown out your conversation. I’m done with this shit.
I kind of growled at her that it isn’t ok. You are not the only person in the room. You can stop acting like your thoughts are the only important thoughts in the world. I was harsher when I specifically said that she has to stop talking over her sister. I tolerate it a lot when she does it to me, but she’s really effectively silencing Calli and that’s just not fucking ok.
You don’t get to drown out your sister. That’s not acceptable.
I’m walking a fine line here with my kids. I want them to be able to shout people down to participate in conversations when that is necessary and sometimes it is in life. I also really need them to support one another. As time goes on… I notice that I expect Shanna to have a maturity she just doesn’t have yet. She doesn’t understand why it is a problem to never let Calli talk.
I stopped growling. We kept talking. We agreed that I am going to start saying, “Topic” when she needs to change the topic from her perseverating. I told her that if she ignores me saying that tactfully I’m going to be sending her to her room. That will be awkward on the road trip. Uhm… I don’t know how the fuck that will work. We’ll see!
I’m going to physically prevent you from treating your sister badly. It is my job. I need to build both of you up. I need you both to learn that you are worthy of speaking and being listened to. Not just one of you. We are not going to have the golden oldest child here. Fuck that noise.
I told Shanna that this is a conversational skill that many adults still struggle with. I told her I struggle with learning how to keep the conversation interesting to other people.
I asked her how she would feel if every time she wanted to talk about Minecraft I started loudly talking about the book I am reading. Even though no one else in the room has read it or cares. I could talk all day long really loudly. Her eyes went big. “I wouldn’t like that very much.”
Yeah kid, that’s how I fucking feel about Minecraft. I figured out how to set up an account and establish a LAN connection. What Do You Expect Of Me?!
(I drop the “fuckings” when I’m talking to Shanna. Well… like 95% of them.)
I told Shanna that it is my job as her mom to give her feedback on her behavior so she can learn how to be respectful of other people. That process will not be comfortable for either of us and sometimes I’m going to be too harsh. I’m sorry.
She hugged my hand and said, “You mean well.”
We talk a lot about mistakes. You can’t learn without making mistakes. I tell her there are little mistakes, medium mistakes and BIG mistakes. BIG mistakes are usually the kind of thing that will risk your life. Let’s not do those. Medium mistakes might involve a trip to the hospital or a lengthy amount of cleaning/repairing to fix… but you’ll recover. (I told her about stealing my mom’s car. That’s a medium mistake.) And we talk about little mistakes.
Talking over everyone is a little mistake. If you don’t make it… you won’t learn what happens.
You have to make as many little mistakes as you can. It builds your character. Being perfect is useless.
I make lots of little mistakes. It’s just how life goes. It is part of why I can answer so many random questions people have. I’ve made a lot of mistakes.
Raping the boy in kindergarden… I hesitate to call it a medium mistake. But no one died. If big mistakes are limited to things that cause death… that means committing rape is a medium level offense.
I have big feelings about that. Does that mean my dad raping most of his kids was just a medium mistake? Whoa.
Some of my friends, because they love me, want me to not feel permanently ashamed of committing rape when I was 5. They tell me that a 5 year old can’t be held permanently accountable. It’s different when it is an adult.
I believe that it is a difference of degree and not kind. I’m still a rapist even if I am not actively dangerous to anyone right now. There are rapists who are still an active threat and they have to be managed differently than me. I’m not scary in the same way. I think that is why folks want me to put it behind me.
Yeah, that’s what Josh Duggar tried to do. I don’t respect it from him and I wouldn’t respect it from me. I need to know what I am capable of and watch myself carefully for the rest of my life. I am a violent person.
It is hard for me that all of the literature about dealing with abusive men makes it sound like women are so rarely abusive as to be not worth addressing. That’s not fair. Women like me exist. We are a different problem but a problem nonetheless. And nobody wants to address us. No one. We don’t exist.
Which means that men believe that women are incapable of violence. Ha. Ha. Ha. Oh yes we are.
But then again… folks seem to believe that the only men capable of violence are Black men. Or maybe “scary looking” (left to the judgment of the viewer) guys are dangerous. Not “nice looking boys”. Oh you naive fuckers.
The innocent looking ones are often the most dangerous.
I think about violence a lot. I think about police brutality. I think about the fact that white men with heavy weapons were allowed to surround a Mosque and the police stood there and thought that was fine. But if folks are peacefully protesting a murder they will be put under curfew, arrested for going to work, and beaten.
I think that violence is a feminist issue. But holy shit I don’t know what to do about it. Do you ask the tiger how to become less violent? Not so much. We put violent people into our police force and then wonder why they behave like animals. We picked them based on that trait.
Honestly I’m not sure a whole country can become more equal. There will always be a hierarchy. But maybe the spread can narrow?
My kind friends are letting me hang out in their house for a few days as an escape from my life. It’s an adventure! They have a security system and in their opinion, in their neighborhood, it is incredibly important that it be turned on all the time. This is weird. I don’t always lock my house when I leave to run errands. I know all my neighbors. I’m just not real scared of what will happen to my house; but when in Rome do as the Romans do.
And they have lots of rescue kitties. You have to be very careful going in and out, which is very different from my swinging-open-door policy. I’m being careful. I want to be respectful of this kind offer.
This will not be like yelling at Rebecca’s dad. No sirree.
He was a total asshat. But I still shouldn’t have yelled at him while I was a guest in house.
Monetization. That’s been a big topic in my extended world lately. I hear about it a lot because I know a lot of people who want to start businesses. I live in an entrepreneur hot spot. This is partially because I live in the Silicon Valley and folks come here to do tech startups.
But I know independent operators of a lot of businesses. Acupuncture, massage, construction, book keeping, landscaping, providing day care…
Aren’t these all businesses? Don’t these things all count? Well, not if you listen to venture capitalists. The only businesses that “count” are the kind that will provide shareholder value. Mostly I know folks who want to provide a living for themselves and their immediate families. Mostly I don’t know very many people who want to “disrupt” society in order to make a lot of money. A few, not many. That’s a neurotic focus if you ask me.
Do you know the biggest difference I notice between people who have made a lot of money and people who don’t? The people who make a lot of money tend to start out feeling like they are worth a lot and they are pushy and aggressive about money from day one.
Doesn’t matter if you are a landscaper, a graphic artist, software designer or massage therapist. If you believe that you are good and people need to pay you a lot of money to interact with someone who is so good… you make more money.
Whatever you do, be good at it and require that people acknowledge how good you are.
That gets complicated in helping professions. The best day cares are not the most expensive–not really. The most expensive usually have complicated programs and materials but those things aren’t what cause children to learn quickly. Feeling loved, seen, and like it is safe to make mistakes–that’s what spurs massive learning. Often the people who are the best don’t know how to appropriately value themselves and they are ridiculously cheap.
I’ve been slowly working on my massage therapist for years. Sweetie, if you are booked more than six months in advance and you feel like you are drowning under the weight of people who want your time… raise your rates. (He does every so often. It’s wonderful for him.) Clearly what you have to offer is worth a lot of money.
He doesn’t want to raise his rates much because he cares about helping people and he doesn’t want to become a commodity that only rich people can afford. I hear that. I respect that. It’s going to kill him.
I think about this in terms of me showing up to clean my friend’s houses. I have promised myself that I will never again pick up a project-friendship. If someone needs me to come clean their house they need to pay me. At this stage of my life it is doing damage to my body that I have to pay doctors to fix. That means I need to be paid in exchange for the labor. I can’t just carry it any more. Not because I don’t care about people, but because there is a cost to me in doing the work. If I have to pay a cost… I can’t give it to you for free.
I am mercenary with my kids in this way. Everything I do for you has a cost to me. How am I going to pay it? The good thing is, mostly from the kids… I need love and attention. They have tons of that to spare.
The other day I asked Shanna if she wanted to go on a date after her dentist appointment. She told me no, she’d rather come home and spend time with her dad because he is her favorite parent.
I told her that even if her dad is her favorite parent… it’s rude and inconsiderate to tell me she doesn’t want to spend time with me because she only likes him. I told her that I work for her benefit every.single.day. and these dates are a way for us to pay attention to one another and enjoy one another’s company without having to do work right.now. I told her that I need dates to feel loved and it hurts my feelings very much that she thinks that talking to me for an hour is so horrible.
She looked shocked. She said talking to me isn’t horrible and she’s sorry she hurt my feelings. We had a nice date together.
We all work a lot. Housework, gardening, learning activities, the kids are learning computer skills… It’s work. We focus on our own things for a lot of the day. We work near one another rather than with each other for a lot of time. I need to feel like I’m worth paying attention to. Time spent is my big thing. People making time to come talk to me… that’s my structural support for life. I don’t need to be the center of attention all the time. (I would combust.) But I need dates.
A woman I follow on Twitter named Lauren Chief Elk is a First Nations activist. For the past few days she has been writing quite a bit about how wives should get a pay cheque the same way husbands get a pay cheque. We are doing work that is equally as needed and essential for our families. Why are we expected to do so without compensation? It’s crap.
If a man fixing a car is worth paying… why isn’t a woman taking care of children? If a man making a video game is worth paying… why isn’t a woman who is at home doing his fucking laundry?
Short answer: you are only worth paying if you demand that people pay you. This is why people are rarely paid for the work they do for family. The attitude is that you owe your family this work and you don’t deserve any compensation. You can pour out the whole of your life into your family and you deserve nothing back. You “didn’t do anything”. But if someone makes a video game! Oh! That’s deserving of reward!
I don’t like my culture very much.
Even if raising your children well means that you are ensuring that you are promoting the general good of your country. Better that you be an absent parent allowing the state to raise your kids for you in centers. That will lead to healthy people. Uhm, not.
I really and truly don’t believe that mothers are uniquely suited to raising children. I think fathers are also fully equipped once you get past breast feeding. I think aunts and uncles are competent. I think adult cousins are fully capable. Grandparents are fucking amazing. I envy some of the families in my neighborhood with the super-involved grandparents.
You can’t pay someone to care. When your child is taken care of by family members… mostly the child is personally cared about more than if the same child were with strangers. But at the same time, you can’t force your family to go and get the education necessary so they can handle a lot of the situations that come up with kids.
It is so complicated.
Many families are not capable of providing the care their children need. Does that mean the child is better off with the state? I’m not convinced.
The simple truth is, there will always be children who fall through the cracks and receive no appropriate care or love during childhood. It’s going to happen. Forever. We can’t legislate that away. We can’t create programs that solve every problem.
But part of the solution involves women learning to think that their work is worthy of compensation. I say it as “women” but there are lots of men in this category. I don’t think this is a chick thing.
The problem with thinking about monetization is it quickly gets into “What is beneath me to do so I should pay someone lower on the ladder to do it for me”. This is why I don’t pay people to clean my house. I am not so fucking good I can’t scrub a toilet.
But the thing is… I will never have the time to do the things I want to do if I’m constantly trying to keep up with this ever-growing lists of things I “should” do for myself. Like scrubbing my toilet or washing my clothes.
I would not feel like I was less of a person if I went back to cleaning houses for a living. That’s honorable work to me. Why do I object so much to paying someone else to do it for me? It’s a weird conundrum. I really do mind.
There is a lady in my neighborhood. She’s a hair older than me. She has more kids. She has a job. Her husband has a job. With both of them working as many hours as they can manage they barely make ends meet. A few times I’ve been at her house and watched her frantically cleaning. I feel guilty for not helping but she won’t hear of it. I’d cheerfully stand there and do the dishes while we chat. She’s so tired.
Even though it is not currently a financial consideration… I’m not sure she would be willing to let someone clean her house even if she could afford it. She will do it. It is her work. Even though she has a job. I think she’s a bit nutty. If I were working 50+ hours a week plus raising a whole bunch of kids… I hope I’d be more ok with letting other people take on some of my tasks.
But probably not. I’m stupid.
(Not saying she is. Saying I am.)
Pride is a funny thing. Wanting to get paid for your labor. Wanting to do it for yourself combine in these funny ways that result in mostly just the sociopaths being paid well. They are the only people with the chutzpah to demand a lot of compensation. They are the ones who believe they don’t owe anyone anything and if folks want something from them… pay for it.
And then the rest of the non-sociopaths stand near the sociopaths with charming smiles and hope that they get tossed enough scraps to live on. This isn’t going so well. Look at how wealth distribution is happening in our country. We are in trouble if we don’t stop letting the sociopaths have all the wealth.
In contrast, another friend has found a house cleaner and someone to do her laundry and all of a sudden her life is much better. I fully support her taking these steps. Basically…. she hired multiple out-sourced people to be her substitute wife. I get why people need a wife. “Wife” should be a job.
I believe with all my heart and soul that a minimum basic income for all citizens is the only way forward to economic prosperity and healthy lives for as many citizens as possible. I believe that as long as wealth concentration happens at the top, you poison the community. People see no point in working as hard when they are only working for the betterment of people who are already stepping on their necks.
People need to learn how to have their own worth and value appreciated. I wish that monetization were not part of this but it is. If we had another proxy for talking about why peoples time matters I’d use it but we don’t. For now, all we have is money to talk about the relative merit of someone’s work.
For example: I believe that picking up garbage from the street for 8 hours a day is a job that should provide someone with a living wage. We need people to do this. We have done so much ecological damage with garbage. I don’t think that job is worthless, I think it is very important. I can see why it is hard to get a company to pay someone to do this work… it doesn’t increase the bottom line for the company.
But as a society we all benefit. If people were paid enough to survive and live like human beings with dignity… would more people spend their time this way? If they did not feel downtrodden and abused?
When people feel good about themselves they have more energy. Their mental state is better. They want to work. Humans aren’t that idle of a species. We like moving around and doing stuff. I believe that if people were not brought low by the strain of poverty and mental illness… people would be more productive. Just because they can.
If someone is freed from the strain of earning a meager survival income… what could that person make to improve their life and the lives of people around them? We are at the point where we have the wealth to do this. If we just made the choice.
If we just chose to see people as people. Black people and white people and red people and yellow people and brown people. There are not more “worthy” people in the white race–what a crock of shit. There are more people who have experienced privilege in the last generation or so and as a result many white people have higher educations and they have fewer of the downsides of poverty.
Let’s equalize the playing field. I think everyone would be shocked in a generation. At the very least all the eugenics-leaning fuckwads would be disproven. White people aren’t better. They are just given more help and that allows them to accomplish things that aren’t available to people who lack the support.
As a white person who lacked most of the support of my compatriots… I see the difference between what I had and what the other whites had. I can see how what I had was still structurally easier than being black. The police told me that they wouldn’t ruin a nice boy’s life over me, but they didn’t throw me in jail for being a nuisance. They let me “slide” on my childish mistakes. That doesn’t happen if you aren’t white. You must be perfect from birth.
No one is perfect. You learn more from fucking up than you do from getting things right. This whole set up is horrifying.
If making mistakes is the way to learn and we have structurally created a system where black people are not allowed to make a mistake or they are punished for the rest of their lives… we can’t say that we have any ability to judge the “worth” of various races. We have not seen an actual demonstration of worth without active harm in centuries. When black people do incredible things a white person is there five minutes later trying to burn it down. Often out of spite and jealousy.
We have a lot of negative history to pay for in this country. Sweeping it under the rug won’t help anyone. Yes I believe we owe all African Americans reparations for slavery. Yes I fucking do.
First and foremost: we need to disarm the police. Clearly they are not big boys and girls and they cannot handle toys as powerful as they currently possess.
Noah argues with me. He thinks we need to have a fully formed plan before we start changing things. I think he believes that because he is a white man on the top of the pecking order.
I understand that burning everything down could result in me or my kids becoming casualties of the revolution. Do I want that to happen? No. But I would consider it morally acceptable to balance how things have historically gone. I will make choices that minimize our personal risk only to a limited degree. I’m more interested in steps that help other people. I’m just… not as focused on me.
I’ve been at the bottom and I’ve been at the top. I’m not too worried about staying at the top. I hope I never have to steal food again. It’s a lot of why I grow so much. I am not willing to shove someone else down so I can appear higher.
I was that stepped on person. I can’t and won’t do it to anyone else. Not on purpose. Not willfully. No. No. No. No.
If my government wants me to believe that it is serious about serving the needs of citizens I need to see a few specific steps: disarm the police. Take rape seriously and go through the backlog of rape kits. Release all non-violent offenders from prison. Shut down every for-profit-prison in the country. Revamp our immigration laws so that they are more fair and equitable. Restore funding for abortion providers.
I would believe that my government cared about me if they took those steps.
Shanna tells me frequently that she thinks I should be a politician. Unfortunately honey, there are too many thousands of naked pictures of me out there. That ship has sailed.
We had a lively discussion I think. I certainly didn’t agree with everything said. Ha.
Prop 30: No one was completely thrilled about the wording of this prop because it doesn’t guarantee that the money will go to schools. However if you are serious about supporting school funding, voting yes for this is probably worth doing. If you strenuously object to tax hikes then I guess you’ll vote no.
Prop 31: How do you feel about corruption? Do you like it better on the city level or on the state level? That’s pretty much what this one is about. How is the money parceled out? If you vote yes you think that corruption should be kept to a city by city deal. If you vote no you are saying there is less waste in administering things on a state level. I will probably vote no.
Prop 32: I have a big stick up my _____ about unions. I’m not big on them. I feel personally offended by them having taken money out of my paycheque and used it how they wanted to without my consent. That said, this prop takes away power from people who traditionally have little power and does not restrict people who already have a surplus of power. I say vote no.
Prop 33: This will allow insurance companies to seriously penalize new drivers. Like that demographic needs more grief. I’m voting no.
Prop 34: This one is about the death penalty. I think most people vote their conscious on this kind of thing. There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides. I will be voting no. (That means I’m ok with people being killed. If you aren’t ok with people being killed vote yes.)
Prop 35: Horribly worded and overly broad one about human trafficking. It won’t help any persecuted populations and it will hurt a lot of fairly innocent people. Please vote no.
Prop 36: This one is about the three strikes law. Voting yes restores the intent of the law and potentially allows a lot of people out of prison who shouldn’t be there. I say vote yes.
Prop 37: Labeling for GMO foods. I’ve heard arguments on both sides. I want more information in my life so I’m voting yes. If you have blind faith in scientists vote no.
Prop 38: Another increase in taxes for schools. This is more direct and more helpful. I say vote yes. Just because my kids aren’t in the public system that doesn’t change my feelings that we should be funding it as much as possible.
Prop 39: Currently a lot of businesses get out of paying taxes here. This closes loopholes and will mean more tax money for the state. I say vote yes. The idea that people will just stop doing business here is hilarious.
Prop 40: I say vote yes because a no vote would mean a bunch of wasted money on redistricting we don’t need to spend.
Right now there are a ridiculous number of cops attacking Oscar Grant Plaza. I feel sick to my stomach. The beautiful people I have been getting to know gradually as I have the courage are going to get hurt today. I feel so sad. So disappointed in my country. How dare we treat people this way? I wonder how many peaceful protestors are going to be shot today?
I am so fucking embarrassed to be an American today. What a piece of shit country.
You want to know why I am so embarrassed? Because this is theatre. The Occupiers will be back. Mayor Quan is only wasting taxpayers money. They will just.come.back.
Ok, instead of being hand wavey, what would I do?
There have to be a short list of demands that are something that can be done by someone in power. They should be very simple to get a yes or no on it happening. For example:
I think that Occupy Wall Street should put forward a petition. President Obama should use the right of eminent domain to take ownership of all the empty “ghost” houses that are sitting empty all over the country. That housing should all move from being the property of the various banks and become Section 8 housing. If not Section 8, then those houses should be auctioned off immediately and the bank doesn’t get to quibble about price.
I think that every person who is in the top 1% should have to be publicly audited by more than one firm. If they have so much as not paid a parking ticket, throw the fuckers in jail. We are done catering to the rich.
I believe that there should be a one time only chance for people who are under water to refinance their home to something reasonable.
That’s three concrete demands. Obama and Congress could do any of those. It wouldn’t be popular. But if I were the charismatic leader in charge of this movement I would put forth those three demands. I would give a time limit in which to get them done. And then I would start large scale destruction of property. Because if this was my revolution, I wouldn’t sit on a side walk. I’m kind of violent like that.
Do you know why this isn’t my revolution? Because I see the direction we are going as being historically precedented. I don’t think there are enough people who are serious about the same goals. People aren’t pissed about fucked up housing prices, they are pissed that they don’t have the social mobility they want.
Right now our country is doing pretty shitty compared to the rest of the world, earlier in history we did a lot better. I think these things are fairly cyclical and there’s not much that can be changed about the downfall of an economic system. All the money being in the hands of a ridiculously small group of people while the vast swarms worked themselves to death is pretty much the historical norm in every place everywhere. Ok, not hunter gatherer tribes. Is it right? I’m still not sure I understand what that is even asking. Is it right that feudalism existed? Is it right that China had an absolute Emperor? I’m not sure “right” is the thing to worry about. I’m not sure what is.
Let me put this another way. It’s not about thinking that people deserve anything. It’s about the fact that I think the 99% has forgotten that they fucking outnumber the 1% and they are being stupid. No one is going to ensure that other people get what they deserve. People have to learn how to get it for themselves.
But I don’t really mean that we are all wild animals fending for ourselves. I take care of my kids. Not because they deserve it, but because I want to. I give them the things I want them to have. I want them to have a stable home. I want them to have good food. I want them to be happy and have fun things to play with. I get to give my kids the things I give them because of a ridiculous amount of privilege. I don’t think that my kids deserve any better than one else’s kids. But I can give them different things.
Do I think it should be equal across the board? No. I actually don’t. Do I think there should be a minimum standard for everyone? Yes and no. The realist in me believes that it will never happen. Because there is no should and there is no deserve. The idealist in me wants to try hard to build a world where some day everyone will have enough.
I don’t know if Occupy Wall Street is going to make the world better. It depends on a lot of factors. I think if anyone is smart the Mayor and the NYPD will STFU, try to facilitate this happening peacefully for as long as dumbasses want to live in tents. It’s going to snow soon. If the government just waits it will win. I think that things will only come to a head if the Mayor or some other high official get stupid and pull the trigger.
I think that the reality is that people don’t have a cohesive message. They don’t know what they are fighting for. If you aren’t fighting for something you don’t stand a chance. Down with tyranny means shit. You don’t fight to defeat the tyrant. You fight to god damn win your freedom. It’s about what you want. And you have to be willing to be very angry and make a lot of noise. Because change only happens when you make enough people uncomfortable.
I don’t see anyone (who is wealthy and currently in power) but Fox News feeling uncomfortable. And that means this is going to fail as a revolution.
Somehow I feel like the definition of white trash is very important to my personal lexicon. After all, it is my self-identity. What do I mean by it? I mean that I startle people. I mean that I experience sudden rage and lash out at people in socially unacceptable ways. I mean that many of the things I like are demonstrably low class.
Uncle Bob, when I was a little kid, would spit out the car window when we drove past the house where the black guy lived. That’s all I knew about “the black guy” who lived in the canyon. When I was in high school and I lived in Bakersfield I was accosted on the bus by a black girl who yelled at me that I was a racist because I was reading a book and giggling. I think the only reason she didn’t kick my ass is because my response to her yelling that I was a stupid bitch was to say, “Come on! You haven’t even met me. Normally it takes someone at least five minutes to decide I am a bitch.” Her boyfriend said I was alright and to leave me alone.
I don’t know why that story stays with me so much, but it does.
It’s hard to talk about different things from my childhood happening because I know the stories are confused in my head. I know they are confused because sometimes I know things happened when I was living in a certain house but I can’t remember when I lived there. I’m afraid of trying to take the pieces apart. I’m afraid of trying to make this a real narrative.
I’m afraid of remembering something wrong, writing it down, and being called a liar. I’m not lying. I’m just trying to remember things that happened a long time ago. I’m trying to string together why they are important. Why is my life worth reading about? It’s kind of weird as I look at my over crowded bookshelf and think most of them are not better writers than me. But they are published and I’m not. I think that’s the biggest difference.
I’m terrified of trying to publish. I’m terrified that I won’t have the drive to push it through. I can’t expect to be magically “discovered” and babied through the process. I will have to make it happen. I will have to shop around for an agent and a publishing house. It scares the pants off me. I am going to have to actually deal with being judged. I’m not so good at that part. I have to feel like this is really and truly honest to god worth doing.
It’s hubris. But I think people would… if not enjoy… then at least appreciate reading this story. I think that even though a lot of people will hate me and revile me and say nasty things about me… I think somewhere there is a young girl who will get out of an incestuous family because of me. Some day some girl is going to say, “You saved my life.”
That’s reason enough to do something hard and scary. One life is enough. Well, I’ve already saved mine. I suppose by that metric it’s enough. But it’s not. I want to be a hero. Ok, that made me smile. I do, I want to be a hero. I want to learn how to say just the right thing to make people know that no matter how bad you feel about yourself, there is hope.
I kind of hate Elizabeth Wurtzl. I think Prozac Nation was a horrible book about mental illness. I spent the entire book wanting to bitch slap her and tell her to stop whining about her cushy life. For the record, should Elizabeth Wurtzl ever come read this… I wouldn’t ever say that to you in real life. Pain is pain. But seriously dude you had an easier life than me and I’m allowed to be pissy in my blog about it. It’s not personal.
The reason it bothers me so much is because I have a hard time with pampered rich people who get to be depressed and non-functional. I’ve been depressed most of my life and I’ve been more functional than most people. Depression makes everything harder. It doesn’t make it impossible and it bugs the shit out of me when people say it does. Ok, maybe it does for you. I can’t know what it is like to be in other peoples heads. I know that I have not had the luxury of being non-functional while depressed. I’m too busy surviving. No, I wasn’t happy, but so what? Who the fuck was promised happiness or a good life? Not me.
When people talk about how we should have universal health care I laugh. It’s not nice of me, but I do. I feel like universal health care in this country is a pipe dream. We have too many people. Unless you, generic person who is espousing universal health care, want to go become a doctor and work pro bono for the rest of your life, how do you think that doctors should be paid for their time? How should medical equipment be paid for and acquired? Should everyone in America get to have million dollar surgeries when they get sick?
Money is finite and people die. I think that even if America managed to get the basics covered, I would be opposed to absolutely across the board health care coverage. I think we are all living too long. Honestly. I think that humans were meant to die a lot earlier than we do now and make room for new people. I don’t like most life saving operations.
My personal experiences with life saving operations gave me back Uncle Bob and Tommy. I’m not sure either were good uses of money. How do you say in the conversation about universal health care, “Actually the reason I oppose universal health care is I think they shouldn’t have brought my brother back to life so he could beat me and attempt to rape me for nine more years. The piece of shit should have been allowed to die when he was twelve and it was his fucking time.” How do you say that about your brother? How do you form a political opinion that endorses other people dying? Because I endorse my family and me dying in the same way. I’m ok with it. I’ve made my peace with death. It will happen when it happens. I don’t want to cause my death right now, but I don’t know that I would fight cancer.
Humans are meant to die. I can’t help but think that I’d rather die of whatever disease strikes me than miserable old age and being lonely. I only want to live to be 80 if a million people will light a candle for me. Otherwise, well, whenever it happens is ok. That’s life.
I think the only part of death that bothers me any more is knowing how devastating that will be for my family. I cry and smile at the same time thinking about it. Now there are people who would mourn. It wouldn’t be like Tommy’s memorial up in Redwood Estates. By the time he died he only had one friend outside our family because everyone else abandoned him. People aren’t nice to disabled kids. He was an asshole too, but people aren’t nice to those who are disabled.
I hear people talking about how things should be “fair”. To whom? Why? What the fuck makes you think that? What does that even mean? Does that mean everyone gets the bare minimum? Does that mean everyone gets what they want? I don’t know. I have an easier life than I’ve ever had. I just went out and bought a bed last night for the garage so we have a more comfortable place to have sex. That’s fucking spoiled. I don’t know how to reconcile my unwillingness to share with the fact that I’m very willing to share.
I’m ok with paying high taxes. I think we should. I like roads and fire fighters and schools. They should exist. I like being the one who can give my friends financial support when they need it. I feel kind of weird about the word charity but I give a ton of money away. Only occasionally to organizations. Mostly to individual people who need help. It feels related to me. If I am giving it to an individual person I know if I approve of how they are likely to use it. I do give or not give based on my judgment. I will admit that. It also depends on how close to my monkey sphere someone is. I can handle that.
It’s kind of hard having a different opinion than most of my friends. I feel like I should apologize. When people get all huffy about human rights I want to laugh. I think that I no longer have the same entitlement as my friends. I don’t believe I deserve good treatment. I like it. I want it. I don’t think it’s about deserve. Not really.
That said, if I win the lottery I am starting a domestic violence shelter. I do believe that people should help people. I feel weird about the government doing it.
Whenever people tell me that welfare fraud doesn’t exist I laugh and laugh. Bullshit. It depends on what you mean by “fraud”. Are there people who get welfare and buy drugs instead of food. Yup. My sister did. I’m tired of having my liberal, upper class friends talk about the poor as if they are some deserving group on the mist who should be cared for.
The poor are the people on the bus in your town you ignore. The poor are the people with ill behaved children in the store that you glare at. You think you are better than poor people. Well, a lot of people in my social group do. I am white trash because I am still fucking angry at all the rich people I hang out with. I resent them. I resent them for acting like I pass. It doesn’t matter how much money I have in the bank I will always feel like the dirty little girl you people walked by without meeting my eyes.
I am white trash because white trash take care of their own. Near as I can tell middle class values are shit. I have no respect for them. It involves a lot of “being polite” for the sake of not ruffling feathers and blending in. No thanks. I don’t blend in. Not once I open my mouth. These days not at all. I love my hair.
(Err, uhm, disclaimer: I don’t actually hate or resent my friends. I have emotional issues. I write about them because I’m trying to work through them not because I am trying to alienate people or say they suck. I don’t actually hang out with people I don’t like. I like my friends. But I have mixed feelings about some of the things they say and do unconsciously. That doesn’t make them bad.)
I am white trash because I can’t let the little classist and racist and feminist things go in conversation because I believe direct confrontation is preferable to being passive aggressive. And I’m ok with shouting. A lot.
I’m white trash because when I speak about myself in public people quickly dart their eyes away. They can’t look at me. Not always, not everyone. But the vast majority of people I meet. I haven’t met very many people in my life who can hear me talk out loud about incest and look me in the face without flinching. I’m sure I shouldn’t take that personally. But I do. Things that have happened to me mean that sometimes people can’t look at me without flinching away. I do that. I can control whether or not that happens. I can decide what to tell people. I can decide to pass and be nice and middle class and stop making people flinch.
Only I can’t. Because I’m white trash. Because I will always blurt things at uncomfortable times that make people flinch. Because I will always be just a bit dirtier and worse and more disgusting than everyone around me. Because who and what I am seems to be an affront to so.many.people. I am white trash because I think it is sporting to warn people that if I think they are a fucking asshole I just might tell them so. While I am visiting their house. In another state. I’m just kind of awesome that way. I don’t seem to be able to control my rage after a while. I have to say that my outbursts have gotten way more socially acceptable over the years. Yelling at Rebecca’s dad was really rude, but he deserved it. He was a twat.
Do you know why I blow up at people who are in authority? Because blowing up at people in authority saved my life. No. That’s not hyperbole. Think about my parents. Think about being brought into the world to parents who are ok with me being raped by every male member of my family. I was born fighting.
That is why I am white trash. Because I’m ok with that fight. Because I accept that fight as being just life. Because I don’t think I deserve anything better. Because I don’t really think anyone else does either and fuck you if you think you deserve better treatment. I did not god damn deserve being raped over and over and over. But it happened. I can’t let it end my life. I can’t sit around and whine about how not fair life is. If I had done that as a child I would have died. There is no fair. I did not deserve being raped.
How many times was I raped. I try not to think about it. I don’t think I’ve had a number in my head for it in a long time. Michael, Jeremy, I’m blanking on that guys name in high school. Memories are awesome. The guy that I met at Lauren’s house. The one I thought was safe. The guy from the coast guard. My dad with the gun. My dad all those other times I can’t count. That’s only five. That’s not so bad, right? Oh, and Paul. And countless times when I lay there and cried and didn’t bother saying no. That’s been a lot of people.
I don’t think that people understand that I take pride in being white trash. I take pride in my strength. It’s gotten me a long way. I will always disconcert people, I have no interest in being a different person. That’s the hard part. I don’t want to be anything other than who and what I am. But people tell me I should. I shouldn’t call myself trash. It’s not nice.
Uhh, piss off. Life isn’t nice. I can deal with that in the ways that work for me, thank you very much. Life isn’t nice and life isn’t fair. See, these are the things I don’t want to say in an actual conversation with a friend. When they tell me, “Oh don’t call yourself that” I have to bite a hole in my tongue to not respond with, “Who the fuck died and made you the fucking arbiter of what I should mother fucking call myself?!” It’s not very nice. And I try to be nice to my friends, mostly. But I feel these things. That’s why I call myself white trash. Because that is my emotional process around people telling me not to call myself white trash. I want to cuss them out and say I will do so if I please. And that’s why I’m white trash.
Hm. I’m not just trash. I’m not and I know it. I’m not garbage. But I am a specific cultural construction that I refer to as white trash. That’s a useful way to think of it. Gotta make breakfast.
I just had an interesting epiphany. I was reading up on the SEC and I realized… I’m not sure I agree with their mission. So my random spin on this: the SEC ensures that the stock market doesn’t devolve into the Wild West and there is fraud. But oh look! They totally failed! They have been participating in the fraud! So I think that to a large degree it might be better to get rid of it as a government office. The answer isn’t to try and change the fact that humans like to commit fraud. If there was not a government bureaucracy to solve this problem… it would be solved any way. This is something that would be pretty fucking easy to solve these days. The internet can solve this problem. I think that private groups would form to help fill this function. Yes, some people would get screwed. Dude. That already fucking happens. Why lie and say that it works?
I really think the SEC should be dismantled. I think that what records they have should be made available to the public. I think that private watch dog groups would go after this and build the cases against these companies. I think that if people stopped having the protection of government they would have to learn to be more self-reliant. We did not build this fucking country with the safety of a federal umbrella. I don’t think that people should be protected from fucking up. There. I said it.
Holy shit. I just went did the little Advocates quiz about where I am on the political spectrum. I’m not actually a libertarian anymore. I’m a liberal. According to this highly specific dogmatic non-nuanced simplistic internet quiz. And that makes me squirm. I’m an idiot. Really. I don’t think I know what I am. On one hand I could easily construct a politic agenda out of my lifestyle choices. It would be kind of funny for me to do so. I guess I feel like I am a realist? I don’t think that all government agencies should continue to exist. If we do not have enough money to do what we are doing… we need to change the equation somehow. Some agencies are broken. They were formed with nice intentions and all… but they were formed to solve problems we no longer have. It is not hard for people to make complaints now. I don’t know for sure how I believe it should be done though. That’s the rub. That’s what traps me in the current spot of indecision. I don’t like what we have. But I don’t like what we have.
People will get fired. Lots and lots of people will get fired. I think that people need to stop living alone. I think that people need to learn to live on a lot less money. I think we are going to have a very depressed economy. I think that people will have to feel desperate and scared. I think that there will have to be sad things that happen. I think that those cycles happen in all societies. There isn’t a way to have a perpetual growth curve. It can’t happen in nature. I don’t think that broken agencies being dismantled, or at least broken down into a bit that can be useful. If the SEC became some sort of informational or organizing force that worked with private groups, that I could see being useful. But they can’t be enforcement. They are enmeshed in the bad. They are the bad now. They have to be pruned from the tree. That is how this draining part of our government can be pruned back to make the overall system healthier.
And I feel like that makes me an elitist bastard. I feel like I am sitting pretty in my privilege. I married someone in an industry that is doing well, of course I feel smug–right? And that is true but it isn’t. I am pretty carefully preparing our lifestyle so that we can take a massive financial hit and be ok. However that happens with whatever vagaries of fate one can dream up. I am doing a really lot of long-term planning for all of my goals. I am doing everything I can in every way I can dream up to prepare for future problems. That last sentence would be easy to blow past. Yeah yeah, everyone does. I am really not living in the now.
I guess I feel like politics, government agencies, worrying about the emotional weight of “should be” true stuff is kind of oppressive and takes up too much time. Whether I like it or not eventually all societies go down hill. Our society looks like it is doing so to me. I really don’t have time emotionally to worry about fighting the treadmill back to try and slow it down. That isn’t my role in the story. Other people have that role. That is because of a lot of privilege, I suppose. But I genuinely believe that the agency was created to fill a role that no longer exists in society. Why is it evil to eliminate it or change it in such a way that it actually works? In the process a whole lot of people should be fired.
But I have this guilt because I think a whole bunch of people should be fired in a down economy. And I just deleted this really long, really convoluted paragraph in which I end by revealing my horror at the magnitude of the responsibility for any decision.
And this is why I’m hiding at home. I don’t feel I could deal with the weight of guilt involved with picking the wrong side at any point. Oh my god. I’m so glad that my opinion doesn’t mean anything. I’m a god damn peon. I mean nothing and it doesn’t matter what I think. I feel really guilty for that. I want to beat myself over the head with the fact that I am selfish and bad for not wanting to be more politically active about every topic under the sun. I don’t have time. I’m tired. I have babies who need me. And then I feel like I am letting down feminism. I can’t be bothered to be political. I have kids.
This is why I don’t read the fucking news.