Thursday, November 19, 2015

This started as a tweet

When republicans say "Make America great again," they are implying that America is not, presently, great. Like those low points during, say World War II when we imprisoned our fellow citizens in concentration camps because they were of Japanese descent, or when we were persecuting fellow citizens for their political beliefs in the 1940's and 50's. What is their evidence for America's current lack of greatness?

I think America is pretty great; we get a lot of things right. I could offer some tweaks, but my issues are (in no particular order, and in no way comprehensive): wealth and asset inequality, poverty, racial justice, education equality, continued LGBT equality, campaign reform and voters' rights, environmental protection and reclamation, thoughtful and rational foreign policy, gun safety and control, utilizing evidence-based policies for effective government intervention, and a pony for everyone.

I'm guessing these are not the same issues been discussed at a GOP rally. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Dear Tim Gunn,

I know you are concerned that, if I am watching a fashion show or looking at an ad campaign featuring a transwoman, who you insultingly call "a tall, skinny guy with no hips" (see P.S.), there's no way I can "project [my]self into those clothes," but just so you know, there's already no way I am projecting myself into those clothes, transwoman or no, so don't you worry your pretty little head about it. If I see a transgender model in an ad campaign, I won't lose all touch with reality or somehow disconnect with the world of high fashion.

When I look at Vogue, I am being sold envy and the unattainable. I am being sold someone I have never and can never be, and I am being sold the desire for and the knowledge of all that I am not.

Reality isn't a concern when it comes to fashion.

If you think that using transgender women as models is using "basically adolescent-shaped boys or men in women's clothes" (again, see P.S.), I'd like to know what you think the fashion industry is doing now? Because I don't see many curvy, size-6 cis-women walking down the runway, let alone someone size-8 like me. At size-2, 5'9", and 110 pounds, most fashion models do not resemble the women you see walking down the street.

The cis-women who dominate high fashion are already decades younger, dozens of pounds smaller, inches taller, and infinitely wealthier than I. In any given runway or print situation, they are wearing items worth significantly more than my average yearly expenses. Their body shape, life experience, and facial features in no way reflect back on me. Except for the fact that they are overwhelmingly white.

But if I know that a company has chosen to hire a few of my transgender sisters, then I can at least begin to believe that they recognize that there is a breadth of female experience beyond what they constantly sell me, even if the models themselves are still size 2, 5'9", and 110 pounds.

Also, Tim, have you ever SEEN any transgender women?



P.S. You need to check your language when you talk about transwomen.
I'm no expert, and I am still learning, but please.

P.P.S. That's Carmen Carrera, former RuPaul's Drag Race contestant, model, and performer, modeling something I can never project myself into.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Republicans close War Memorial. Then Republicans stage photo op where they help Veterans get into closed War Memorial they closed. Then Republicans complain to America about closed War Memorial they closed.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

From this day forward...

I admit it. I cry at weddings.

But I am usually present.

I am there in the park/church/bar/garden/inn to witness the ceremony. See the bride or groom; hear their words; experience their emotion.

This is different, and it has been happening with increasing, joyous regularity: looking at pictures from all over the country of same sex couples exchanging vows, getting married, pledging themselves to each other in full sight and approval of family,and friends... and the law.

This time, it’s personal.
Image not mine. From The Star Tribune. Linked below.
Minnesota has joined the ranks, and the resultant photographs are as exultant, poignant, and beautiful as all the others I have perused, hoping that some day, I would see my state embrace marriage equality.

These are the happiest of tears, and my marriage means more to me now than ever.

Full, unreserved congratulations to all couples married today and in the coming weeks, months, and years. Welcome and congratulations to those married in other states who are now, also, married here.

Thank you, citizens, lawmakers, and organizers of Minnesota.

And we’ll get there, United States of America. There’s still work to do.

You know what I mean.

Let’s get federal.

Star Tribune

Pioneer Press


Time Magazine

Star Tribune2

Keith Ellison

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Which is it?

Hey, conspiracy people! Is the government incapable of organizing a piss-up in a brewery, or is it single-handedly masterminding large-scale attacks against its own people?

Choose one, because I don't think you can have both.


Go feed the homeless or something.

Or are they a false flag, too?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston: a Tribute

I must share this blog post from runner Dave Munger:

Mungerrunns: In Praise of Boston

From the piece:

"Marathon day in Boston is one of the warmest and most heartfelt holidays and events that I have ever been a part of. Someone tried to take that away from the people of Boston yesterday, but I don't think they succeeded. They only gave Boston another chance to show how generous and brave its people are. While I am horrified by the events that occurred yesterday, I'm glad to have had the chance to see so many people at their best." -Dave Munger

Monday, April 15, 2013

Runner's High (Repost)

Note: I wrote this in October of 2005, when my uncle ran in the Twin Cities Marathon. In the midst of the horror that happened this afternoon in Boston, I wanted to remember this day in the past, when I first had a glimmer of understanding as to why people would want to run a marathon. To everyone in Boston, my family and friends there, anyone who is feeling shaken, sad, and angry; all who are affected by this senseless violence... love and light to you.

I don’t like running

If I had to run for my life, I’d die.

I quit track after 9th grade because they would not let me just run fast and then jump, and they would not let me just run fast and then stop. They wanted me to run. They made me run. And run. Just run. Run and run and run.

I didn’t like it.

This past weekend was beautiful. A showcase of Twin Cities autumnal majesty. One sparkling, warm yellow light day, and one grey blue breezy day. It was the weekend of the annual Twin Cities Marathon, and my uncle and aunt had arrived so that my uncle could run in it. I was excited to see them as they are two of my favorite people in the world and my example of how a couple should behave; madly in love, even when you are doing the dishes. But I don’t like running. I don’t know if I have mentioned this, but I just don’t like it. It kills my prematurely old knees, and it makes me sad, deep in my respiratory system. It would be great to cheer Mike on, but being that close to so many people who are running…. I just didn’t know.

I don’t understand marathons; I don’t know why anyone would want to do it; I don’t see the point. This does not mean that I am not impressed by the achievement because I most certainly am, but I did not see how I could get much actual personal enjoyment out of being a spectator for a marathon. And actual personal enjoyment is an important pursuit in my life.

Pete and I decided to ride our bicycles. Most of the route through St. Paul was familiar and relatively close to our house, and it seemed strange to use the car to cheer on people who are running. Jump in the car, drive the car, park the car, get out of the car, “GO MIKE YAY MIKE”, jump in the car, drive the car, park the car, get out of the car, etc. I figured it would stress me out and make me feel even more of a fitness loser than I already am. I jumped astride Stan and Pete got his bicycle (who will remain nameless), and we struck off to meet the marathoners.

We arrived at the Lake Street Bridge that connects Minneapolis to St. Paul where the Mississippi River separates them. People, everywhere. Cheering and whooping. Waving signs and clapping. Runners passing under us on the River Road, clearly members of the elite, still cruising along at Mile 21 like they had just started out. We were meeting the family at mile 18, across the river. I was surprised by my reaction to all the activity. It was as if the air was full of the runners’ endorphins, and I felt no pain, just a positive sense of ineffable joy. It was the kind of free-floating goodwill that makes you say nice things to people you don’t know, remark on the cuteness of strangers’ dogs, and walk around with an idiotic grin on your face, directing the glow at everyone in your vicinity. I found myself looking for things to compliment. “Nice boots!” “I love your top.” I look forward to moods like that.

We crossed the river and rode up the path alongside the course. The family was there, dutifully waiting for Mike. Spectators were stretched out as far as we could see, each way along the route, and the runners formed a steady stream of endurance. Almost eight thousand people would pass through here once the day was over, running, wheeling, walking, breathing, smiling, wheezing, and sweating. It was unbelievable, and I felt emotional, teary. I thought that perhaps I was losing my mind until I looked at Pete, who said, eyes red, “I feel like crying.” Freak. Freak like me.

I guess that it was the upbeat nature of the event. It is what it is, and this positive sense of accomplishment for the sake of accomplishment was hanging in the autumn air, just underneath the canopy of grey clouds. And it was affecting everyone. From me with my low expectations and disdain of running to the women who were across the course from us on Mile 18, cheering indefatigably for anyone, everyone who went by, using some stand-out aspect of the participant’s costume or appearance to designate them. “Go Spam! YAAAAY!!! All right you guys, you’re looking great!! Woo Hoo! Number 8413!! Super Fly!! Sparkle head! Batman! Robin! Superman! Keep it up!! Great Job!! YAAAAAAAAYYY!!!” They were incredible. My uncle would tell us afterwards that the crowd was pretty quiet, compared, at least, to Pittsburgh. But we can’t be compared to steel workers of the western Appalachians. It’s just not fair. I posit that they were pretty loud for a bunch of passive aggressive Minnesotans.

It’s a gorgeous route to run, if you have to run. Or if you want to run. It starts in downtown Minneapolis and wends its way past the Sculpture Gardens, though neighborhoods that inspire envy, home of the Mary Tyler Moore house and Walter Mondale’s home, past the chain of three lakes, Isles, Calhoun, and Harriet, along the Minnehaha Parkway and around Lake Nokomis, north/northeast along the river and then back down the other side, over and up along Summit Avenue through Saint Paul, past the Governor’s Mansion, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s brownstone, Garrison Keillor’s neighborhood, and down past the Cathedral and on to the State Capitol. Pete and I put in over 16 miles on our bicycles, a pittance in physical expenditure compared to my uncle and the thousands of others who finished, but it felt good. It was fun to ride alongside, to look for him in the crowd, to cheer him on, to have that brief moment where I actually understood why someone would want to do this. I won’t be running a marathon any time soon, or ever, I should say, but I will probably get the bike out again next year, and cheer on a bunch of strangers.