Work at home Friday, and all kinds of stuff to do and I simply have to stay focused today and all weekend in order to get everything finished that I need to get finished this weekend. It’s been a strange week, overall; the way the week after I turn in the final version of a book always is. I’ve also not had much down time for quite some time without something weighing on me; I’ve written two books since around 12/15 and of course, losing Mom. (I always worry about mentioning that every time I do; but I’m not really sure how and what I am supposed to feel or behave in this situation, so am working my way through it, okay?) I also worked on a short story during that time–two, actually; one I abandoned and another I revised and overhauled–and of course, I write this every morning. Some days I even do two entries. There are any number of saved drafts, too; ones about things I find outrageous, disgusting and deplorable, but want to be able to write more concisely and insightfully on those topics, primarily because I’m usually a bit foggy every morning when I start writing these; and while the drafts get written when I think about the subject (it can be any time of day), I generally don’t have the time to finish those drafts the way I want. Sometimes I go back to them and think, you are a whiny little bitch, aren’t you? And being whiny doesn’t move hearts and minds, does it? If anything, it hardens them more.
But it’s been a hot minute since I went what some of my friends call “full-on Julia Sugarbaker.” Don’t think that there haven’t been times I’ve wanted to, but I simply didn’t have the time to make certain that everyone I was saying was correct and sourced properly and so figured it was better to do nothing than do something wrong. Almost every day something happens or I see something that makes me apoplectic with rage–whether its the unabashed and unashamed racism, misogyny, transphobia or homophobia I see with far greater regularity than I should, quite frankly; there’s no excuse in 2023 for not knowing better than that; you choose to be a bigoted piece of shit asshole–but I try to calm myself and walk away from the computer or sign out of the infected social medium I am using and go do something else. There were other reasons, too; my day job is dependent on federal funding, after all, and I was also heavily involved in a national non-profit for a very long time. And while I feel no shame nor disgrace nor embarrassment about my beliefs and values, there was always the possibility that there could be fallout for the day job or my volunteer work. So I dialed myself back a bit–not completely, that could never happen in a million years; who I am is so deeply engrained in me that I can’t ever totally stop myself from making pointed observations about bigotry, hypocrisy, stupidity, ignorance, and false prophets. I also try to combat my innate natural selfishness every day, without as much success as I would like.
What happened in Tennessee yesterday was a disgrace and reeked of the end of Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow. Oh, look, another Southern legislature violated their oaths of office and their vow to defend and uphold the Constitution by expelling two Black men who disagreed with them. (The white woman, of course, got to stay,) It’s disgusting, and highly indicative of a political party with no ideas, no ethics, and no morals. All they have is an addictive thirst for power and a Fascistic mentality, a disgust for the Constitution and every principle this country was founded upon, and a need to tear down anyone who isn’t a cisgender white male in order to maintain white supremacy. The great irony is they consider themselves to be a “christian” party, when everything they do is not in the least Christ-like. I guess I missed the part of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus beseeched everyone to give their money to the rich and powerful? To not help the poor and sick because their situation is their own fault?
Yeah, I missed that part, just like I missed the part where we should all give money to Joel Osteen the apostate, because he shouldn’t have to fly commercial. Let people starve and live under highway underpasses! Joel needs a plane! And if you send him money and pray hard enough, God will shower you with riches!
Um, isn’t the whole point of Christianity is that your reward comes in the afterlife?
But empathy and compassion have no apparent place in organized right-wing Christianity; they made a religion in their own image and it’s so hateful, disgusting, and abhorrent no one outside of Margaret Atwood could imagined its end game back in the 1980’s (and sadly, she was right). People today still don’t see the hypocrisy, the greed, and the amorality that many sects of Christianity have come to follow. How is Joel Osteen or any of his co-horts any different than the Renaissance popes? At least they patronized artists. (Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly is perhaps one of the best books about how the stupidity, venality, and short-sightedness of incredibly fail men leads to disaster, the section called “The Renaissance Popes Trigger The Protestant Reformation” is particularly apt.) Just as the billionaires of our time (Bezos, Musk, the Koch family, Zuckerberg, Gates) are nothing more than the modern versions of the Robber Barons of the so-called Gilded Age. It’s always the same thing, cycling over and over again with us as a society and culture refusing to learn the lessons the past is crying out for us to learn.
The truth, which my community has been screaming at the Democratic party, progressives, and liberals for decades, is that the far-Right is just as Fascist as Hitler and Mussolini and their end game much the same: do we really think they’ll stop at banning books and “don’t say gay” bills and erasing transpeople? Of course not. It never ends. They want to purge this country of anyone who doesn’t see the United States as a paradise for straight white men. Are there parallels between our modern times and oh, say the 1920’s and early 1930’s in Germany? There absolutely are; I started noticing this in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s; can we not forget that as recently as thirty years ago the Republican party was more than happy to let everyone infected with HIV just die? (Their reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t much different, really.) They thought it was a good thing–and laughed about it–that gay men were dying.
They haven’t changed in thirty years. If anything, they’ve gotten worse.
They impeached Bill Clinton for lying about a blow job; but will defend the high crimes of the Trump family to the death. They claimed Bill Clinton didn’t have the “moral character” to be president, but voted for a lying con-artist who is not only a narcissist but a sociopath, who went through wives and mistresses and rape victims like Tom Brady carving up a defense in the Super Bowl. It always amazes me that the so-called party of family values is also the party of child rape, divorce, and adultery. The same people screaming about “groomers” to scapegoat drag queens and transwomen are actually the party filled with child rapists and kiddie porn enthusiasts. (Dennis Hastert, anyone?)
So, yeah, I’m probably going to start talking about these things a bit more. I am now sixty-one and I am sick and tired of right-wing garbage and trash and the Christian dystopia they seem to want us all to live in; where they decide what is sin and what isn’t (they of course can do as they please), who we can love and how to live our lives, all the while screaming about their fucking freedoms. It’s always funny to me that the progressive idea of freedom is live and let live, while the right’s is you have to do what we say and we’ll decide what’s right and wrong for you.
Kind of like a Renaissance pope.
And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. Have a lovely Good Friday (I didn’t forget) and a nice Easter if that’s your jam; otherwise have a great day, okay?