November 11, 2016

Tuesday night and Wednesday, I just felt sick to my stomach. Despair splitting my heart open and filling up my gut. Today I am so angry. So fucking angry.

The are 1000 thoughts running through my brain, but before I spill a few of them out onto the page, I wanted to get to some links first:

White Won

The Audacity of Hopelessness

Election 2016 and the Collapse of Journalistic Standards

Two NBA Coaches Call a Foul on Trump’s Power Play

Radical Pragmatism (from the Bush years)

Here, in no particular order, are some of my thoughts.


To elected Democrats – obstruct. Filibuster. Filibuster. Filibuster. Get your talking points together. Support Obama appointing Merrick Garland to the supreme court. Remind the public of outstanding lawsuits against Trump. Call for an investigation of his abuse of women. Call for an investigation into his ties to the KKK. Call for the designation of the KKK as a terrorist group. Remind the public of the more 500 lies he told on the campaign trail.

Also: Don’t go to the inauguration. Don’t go to the White House. Don’t have a meeting with him, unless his ass will come to Senate or House and then the agenda is resist, resist, resist.


To my people: Love is resistance.


To the silicon power people, you are not seceding. You are staying right here. If you have a bunch of money to fund a campaign: Fund a fucking campaign to do away with the Electoral College. Set up life time funding for the ACLU or Planned Parenthood. Fund Black Lives Matter and National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Fund services for trans and queer youth. Fund the free press. You get the idea. Do something that matters with your precious elite power and all the money you’ve made off commodifying our social lives and need for work. You are nothing without us, so fucking do something real for us.


To all the people that couldn’t be bothered to vote. What the fuck, man! There is no magic candidate that is going to fix everything. Not Obama. Not Bernie. Not Nader. Not Lincoln. Not Kennedy. No one.  So what. Our job as citizens is to hold our leaders feet to the fire. Make them do the right thing. Sometimes, like FDR, make them do great things. If you’re all boohoo, they are both fucked up, let me tell you that the lesser of two evils is really fucking less evil. And Trump is troll and bully with the heart of despot and soul of a dictator.

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this shit is insane

December 16, 2012

I turned off the news sometime before the election and have not turned it back on since. So I learned about the recent mass shootings, here in Portland and then in Connecticut, through friends or people talking at work. In the past, with tragic events like these, I have been glued to the radio or the TV, in a manner that has  almost always ended up making me feel a little gross — like I was on the verge of crossing some line between “witnessing” and understanding the tragedy and potentially gawking. I went online today to read, for the first time, about the Connecticut shooting. I read a list of the victims names. I’m not sure  I need much more from the news media than that.

Does it really take shooting six years olds for this country to tackle gun control? Jesus. Seriously. Jesus. Christ. At least 88 people have died this year in mass shootings and everybody was somebody’s someone – a sibling, a parent, a best friend, a favorite colleague, a room mate, a spouse or a partner, someone’s teacher or student or coach or neighbor or favorite or cherished whoever that they looked forward to seeing or talking to every day or every week or month. And all of them are gone now. And that’s just people being killed in mass shootings. In 2010, over 8000 people were murdered by firearms.  Those people were somebodys’ someones too. And they gone forever too.

It is amazing to me how in this country, civil liberties have been eroded over the last 11 years, and how as a citizenry we’ve gone along with the erosion. So now we’re up to our eyeballs with scary bullshit, like surveillance and wire tapping and detention and national ids and government secrecy, etc. Just gave away the store for so called  “national security.” But back the fuck off of “personal security,” right?! Because in this country you cannot touch the right to have a fucking assault weapon. Maybe this is weak line of reasoning and it’s flawed thinking to compare the two things, but I can’t help but thinking that there’s some thread there about our collective unconscious or conscious.

Oh, and after we talk gun control, maybe we can talk mental health services.


election day 2012

November 6, 2012

It is impossible imagining going to bed tonight with a different president than Obama. I refuse to do it. And maybe I should have posted this earlier, but I didn’t so here it is today. Tony Kushner talking about politics, circa 2003, but the message is just as pertinent:

“Caroline” (his play on civil rights) illustrates one of the ultimate cases in which American democracy achieved something great. I don’t see how anyone can read that history and then turn their back on the system — how anyone can think it’s not important who our justices are, who the president is, who’s in Congress.

These things, these ideas, these decisions, these elections really do transform people’s lives. We’re seeing it now, every day: For gay people, the overturning of the sodomy laws is immensely significant. It’s why I think politics is so extraordinary.

Listen, here’s the thing about politics: It’s not an expression of your moral purity and your ethics and your probity and your fond dreams of some utopian future. Progressive people constantly fail to get this.

The system isn’t about ideals. The country doesn’t elect great leaders. It elects fucked-up people who for reasons of ego want to run the world. Then the citizenry makes them become great. FDR was a plutocrat. In a certain sense he wasn’t so different from George W. Bush, and he could have easily been Herbert Hoover, Part II. But he was a smart man, and the working class of America told him that he had to be the person who saved this country. It happened with Lyndon Johnson, too, and it could have happened with Bill Clinton, but we were so relieved after 12 years of Reagan and Bush that we sat back and carped.

I think what one has to do is to ask oneself, “Do you want to have agency in your own time?” If you really believe that it’s your place to leave the world a better place than it was when you arrived, then how do you get the power? In this country, the most powerful country on earth, you get it by voting the right people into power. There are means of getting the power out of the hands of the very rich and the very wicked.

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like a heat wave (like how it sounds in that song by martha and the vandellas)

August 17, 2012

Holy moly it’s hot. And I’m not complaining, because I have been craving a heat wave, which is maybe both selfish and thoughtless, considering the drought and extreme temps in big chunks of the rest of the country.

Does the weather out here make me  meteorologically privileged? If so it seems like a temporary state, given the relentless nature of Portland springs (which last at least 5 months) and the fact that I was wearing a wool sweater a little more than a month ago. During so much of the year, I dream of this kind of crazy summer heat weather. Day dream about it, to be more specific. I’ll be riding my bike wearing gloves and a rain jacket and a headband over my ears, and I’ll fantasize about the impossibility of riding my bike wearing just a t-shirt and shorts. Every year it seems unreal that it ever happened — that it was this hot, that I slept under only a thin sheet, that I put a fan in the window, that I watered my garden wearing my boxers, that I didn’t have to always carry rain gear and extra ear warmers in my pannier. And last year it kinda didn’t happen. It got warm, but there wasn’t an actual heat wave. I think the same is true of the summer before. But I get desperate for it.

I think I talk about the weather much more than I did when I lived in Indiana. I said something to a friend a couple weeks ago about being bummed when we were having all this overcast grey bullshit and he said “you do know we live in a rain forest.” I think he meant it as a be here now statement, and I am open to that reminder. But he’s also from Alaska and he will probably never long for midwest summer heat or small country roads or little clumps of trees or all the things I’ve gone on and on about over the last several years. Sometimes when I talk about the weather I am talking about something else deeper or more poignant but I don’t want to appear vulnerable or silly or expose whatever is going on the inside, so I go on about rain or cloudy skies or sunshine. I want to meet someone named Sunshine so I can say her name over and over and trick myself into feeling better when all it does it spit and rain.

I listened to Bill McKibben last night.  I was driving some where, which made me feel kinda jerkish given it was McKibben talking, and it was getting near dusk and it was really beautiful out and he was talking about the end of the world as we know it, more or less.. And part of me wanted to turn him off, not because I don’t believe him, but because I really wish it weren’t true, i.e. global warming and impending catastrophe; plus I have a strong ass streak of avoidance. Also, it was so beautiful out and thinking that this beauty won’t exist anymore was absolutely-please make it impossible-heartbreaking. It made me think that turning back global warming is like fighting human nature, not just because its hard to get people to change and big oil has more money than God and politics are corrupt and China and India are buying our coal and we’re always trying to figure out how to add more lanes to our highways and we fly every where and there’s whole herds of people chanting “drill, baby, drill.” Not just because of all that and all the other variations of things like that, that are causing the world to irreversibly heat up, but because global warming is pretty much like death and us humans aren’t so good at dealing with death. We have an intellectual understanding of it, at best, or at least that’s true for the vast majority of people, and even with an intellectual understanding, it’s still pretty abstract and something that happens in the future. Death, and the finality and changeableness of it, doesn’t seem to really sink in until we are actually dying or dead. Even as we are drowning it’s unbelievable that we will actually drown; so even as the globe warms up, it’s unreal that it will actually get fried. Sometimes I think the problem with common naysayers (common meaning folks who aren’t big oil or auto lobbyists or work for big oil or the auto industry or similar kinds of people) is that that they have a much deeper streak avoidance that I do and they are just super entrenched in the unreality that we can kill the planet.

All this to say I don’t know to love this heat wave and not feel sad about what all these hot temperatures mean.

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a strange kind of sandman

November 3, 2011

Last night I had a dream about Herman Cain. In my dream Herman looked different than he does in any of the photos I’ve seen, but it was still him, and I knew it was him the same the way I once knew in a dream I had in high school that this guy in bad drag, who looked like Anthony Hopkins in The Birds, was my grandfather.

The dream started out with me and Herman sitting face to face in a small office. It was like we were in a therapy session and I was the therapist. Except it wasn’t like any therapy session I’ve ever been part of. For one thing, the door was part way open. Anyway, I was confronting Herman about sexually harassing women and arguing with him about how he was always citing these inaccurate financial figures. I started yelling at him about how he was lying. I remember being really loud and pointing my finger at him and Herman trying to defend himself, but then just shaking his head at me. In the middle of my tirade I stopped myself. A good therapist wouldn’t yell at a client, I thought, and I then I just sat there, telling myself over over to just breath and listen. Herman got pissed at me anyway and got up and left.

Next thing you know I’m walking through this college campus that reminds me a lot of IU, and it’s sunny and there’s blue skies and people are walking around like they are trying to get somewhere. I’m looking for Herman. I head down this windy path and up ahead I see Herman’s body hanging from a rope, which is hanging from the limb of a tree. I think ‘oh my god’ Herman has killed himself, but as I approach, Herman releases the rope and jumps down. He kind of shrugs his shoulders at me and says something like ‘you can’t blame a guy for trying.’ I say something to Herman like ‘you like horses, don’t you Herman.’ I signal someone who’s standing off to the side, as though I’m on a set, and the person leads out to horse. Both horses are saddle up with these weird looking small saddles, kind like a jockey saddle that has enormous round wire stirrups.

Herman and I mount our horses start to down the path together. Herman is  laughing and kind of whooping a little and I’m feeling good to because I feel like I’ve made things better.  Herman start riding faster and but all of the sudden Herman’s horse is dressed up like a big Chinese paper dragon. His horse is jumping over things. Big, tall things like a tree.

I stop my horse to watch Herman. His horse is way up in the air, with its front legs extended forward and its back legs extended behind it, and it’s like the horse is flying and Herman is holding onto the reins with just one hand.  He’s flung his other arm up in the air. He’s laughing. It’s like he’s having the time of his life.  I remember thinking to myself, man, that horse can sure jump high.



could be i get t a full citizen after all

April 5, 2009

Maybe it will happen. Just maybe. And maybe the populace is more decent than the recent elections implied. Or maybe not. Ok, so it’s the courts or sometimes the legislatures, but that’s how folks in this country get their civil rights. That’s our tradition. And if Iowa can do it, maybe the rest of the country is not so far behind.

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we can’t keep going on like this

March 26, 2009

Riding home today, I was thinking today about how our economy doesn’t exist outside of our culture, and considering expansion, acquisition and achievement are pillars of the American way of life, I’m not surprised that things are collapsing the way they are. Because one can’t expand and acquire forever, which made me think of this Wendell Berry essay I read this past summer.

I keep thinking of all the talk about the great American values of freedom and justice, equality and democracy, especially in light this past historic presidential election, but it seems that since the 70’s we’ve been living on greed and consumption and entitlement. Unchecked. Unrestrained.

What if room for growth is not about spreading out and getting more, what if it’s about growing closer and getting the most out of what we already have.

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well put and probably not my last word on warren

December 22, 2008

Whether it’s “strategic” or not, whether it’s what our “leaders” think we should do or not, it’s pretty clear that real actual LGBT people are done with the closet. We’re seeing things in a new way. We’re no longer willing to settle for simply not getting beaten to death, for being able to live in our constricted safe zones without fear of baseball bats to the head and getting fired.


wintering and sad

December 20, 2008

More snow. Feels like home. Without the amenities of salt and snow trucks. I was out walking around for a while. Maybe I’ll go out again later and take some pictures.

I realized today that I am deeply sad about the Warren invitation. And in my exchange with Amos, I realized how I’ve tamped down my emotions to cope with the anger and sadness I’ve felt for a long, long time about what it’s like live life as a second class citizen. What’s it’s like to have spent all of my adulthood being considered less than. To always be in constant negotiation with the outside. Because legally, I am an outsider in the US and it is ok to discriminate against me and it is ok to publically deride me.

Obama is a strategic and shrewd politician. Including Warren is symbolic just like excluding Jeremiah Wright was symbolic. Warren has called homosexuality a sin. Compared it to incest and pedophilia. For me, this isn’t just about Warren’s opposition to gay marriage. It’s about chipping away at the humanity of all of us who are queer. Because when Warren uses that kind of language it’s dehumanizing. And if you can make me a little less human, then it’s a little easier to treat me me a little less than human.

I cried today thinking about it.  I’m tired.

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how about a hand mr. prez elect

December 19, 2008

I believe in reaching across the aisle. I believe in dialogue and common ground. I really do. I was close to a guy at work who prayed for my queer ass. But I’m not psyched about Rev. Warren giving the invocation. Why him? I just wanna say to Obama, hey didn’t gays give up enough supporting you even though you don’t support our right to full citizenship. C’mon give something back, dude. Reach out to the all the queers who worked their ass off to help get you where you are. Seriously. I’m tired. You know as well as I do, we’re not gonna wait forever.

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