Saturday, June 24, 2017

Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and me (or my decidedly potty-mouthed opinion anyway)

I've been hearing quite a bit from all over the spectrum, but mostly from liberal, feminist, reliable types, both male and female, that we need to oust Nancy Pelosi from leadership, because the guy she whooped ass on in the last leadership election says so.  Or it's because another guy couldn't steal a seat in GEORGIA, that has been reliably red for the last 40 years.  Or because she's old.  Or because the GOP hates her and that's why they vote for their candidates in elections.  Or lots of variations on these themes.  I'm not saying that everyone who is falling for these lines of reasoning are doing so because of ingrained misogyny in our culture, but I am saying the logical inconstancies in the arguments point to some sips of some pretty strong Kool-Aid. (It also points to the political illiteracy of not understanding how Majority and Minority Leaders are voted upon, which unless you are in Congress does not include you having a say in.)

Here are my answers in broad categories:

A. She is a failed leader.  (this one falls under, oh a Jewish guy couldn't win a red seat in GA, quelle surprise)
My answer - under her Majority leadership, while she was able to introduce and shepherd through legislation we passed the ACA, Lily Ledbetter and Marriage Equality.  Three huge pieces of legislation that fundamentally changed the lives of every American for the better. There are lots more but those are my top three.  If that is is failure, please sir, can I have some more.  Anyone want to stake their firm claim that Georgia Republicans, trying to hold a seat they've held for decades, in a race seen as a referendum on the November elections, would have just stayed home in this race if only someone else was House Minority Leader? Under her Minority leadership we've lost four safe red House seats in special elections. BFD.

B. She is just too old and we need new blood in the leadership.
My answer - if you are not also calling for the ouster of Chuck Schumer, STFU. Leadership is given to the old guard in virtually every organized structure on our planet, specifically because they have the experience to get things done.

C. She has been so successfully demonized by the right that she is a liability because she makes their base vote.
My answer - (after are you fucking kidding me? we should reward them for their marketing by getting rid of the people they hate?) Did you also call for the ouster of Obama before the 2012 election?  Because they were pretty successful at demonizing him.  I think they literally depicted him as a DEMON!  And yes, their base does vote, no matter what, even if they put forth Donald J. Fucking Trump for a candidate, their base shows up and votes.  It is on us to make ours vote. (Not just Pelosi, all of us.)

D.  In two separate on-line conversations, on two different threads, with two different solid, reliable, (I'll even say well-meaning) leftie men, I was told that the elections were proof that the American people just aren't ready for women in these kind of roles, and so really the only thing we can do to win is stop putting women into them until the RIGHT (emphasis mine) can no longer keep women out of such roles.
My answer - fuck the fuck off.

(and the Clinton version of all of this is the reactions to the story that Obama could have screamed louder and more forcefully exposed Russian interference into our elections, and the collective shrug that "nobody is perfect."  With which I agree. But which is also more than a little galling after story after story about Clinton's "imperfect campaign and "imperfect political style."  The hand-wringing over how she was "flawed." Of course she fucking was.  As was every one else who ever ran for anything, ever.)

These women, Pelosi and Clinton) were born into a time where the only way for a woman to have access to power was by marrying it. So they did that, and more, gaining power on their own and being vilified for it, they pushed through ceiling after ceiling for us.  They are our Moseses, able to see the Promised Land but not allowed to touch it.  And our answer is "what have you done for me lately?"  Not mine.  No fucking way.  I will hold them up on the highest chair and say thank you while I throw roses at their feet.  Nancy Pelosi will leave as Minority Leader when she fucking feels like it, or when she loses an election of her own - which she fucking hasn't yet.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Anita Pallenberg is Dead

I have been trying to write this one all day.  It just still doesn't seem real. Last night, a dear friend from childhood sent me a Facebook message.  "Just heard Anita Pallenberg has died.  Are you OK?"

She was checking if I was OK, because not only was the late Ms. Pallenberg the Rolling Stones' muse, she was mine too.  And more.  In prep school, as a shy, geeky girl with giant front teeth, I found a girl who looked like me, but had power.  And as an adopted kid, she became my fantasy bio-mom.  She was my dead rock star guardian angel's one true love.  Surely we had to be related.  And surely I'd be recognized as something special someday, and rescued from my humdrum life.  In my novel I refer to her as Circe.  And that is something I fiercely longed to be.  She walked into a room and people noticed.  I wanted to know what that was like. She had power.  I wanted to know what that was like.  She was an actress and a model and a muse.  I wanted to know what that was like.  She was someone who walked through the world as if her desires were paramount. I could not even imagine what that would be like. She could be cruel, or kind, depending on her whim.  No one else seemed to matter.  Just whatever she wanted.  At 15, she was everything I aspired to be.

We have lost so many famous people over the last couple years, and of course demographically that will continue, but this one hurts me like no other.  I know for  other people the loss of other stars cuts deeper, but this one truly pains me.

This is her

this is me at 15 attempting to look like her

At one point during one of those celebrity doppelgänger games, I put up her picture as my Facebook profile picture, and even all those years after prep school later, I have to admit it made me happy people didn't know it wasn't a picture of me. I no longer wanted anything resembling a rock and roll life, but it was nice to hear people thought I looked like I could have one if I did want it.

RIP dear lady and thank you for getting me through the worst throes of adolescence.

this tribute by Keith is beautiful

and this by Marianne Faithfull

and these pictures