These are things that have been rattling around in my head since the horror began to reveal itself last night. Some of them are fully formed letters, other are just too long to be tweets. Read them, share them, do what you will (with credit of course). Fair warning, I don’t have the tolerance or patience to argue with Trump supporters, anyone who opted out of voting yesterday or who voted 3rd party. If you show up here spouting crap that in any way irritates or stresses me I’ll bring down the ban hammer so fast it won’t just be the door hitting you in the ass on the way out.
Oh, yeah, and I’m probably gonna break my own rules and swear. It’s the apocalypse. I think my mom will understand.
Despite living on the very cusp of the middle class and constantly worrying that one slip will send us spinning into a void from which we won’t be able to return, Geoff and I enjoy a lot of privilege. We’re white, we’re straight, we’re cis gendered, and, though we live in an expensive area of the country, we live in a fairly safe area of the country. Gun ownership isn’t very high and health care is good here. It’s isn’t nearly as hard to get good mental health care here as it is elsewhere in the US.
And yet, after what happened in Orlando yesterday, I’m angry. I am angry that we live in a country that has wholly abdicated the promise of freedom upon which it was founded. We are no longer free from tyranny and fear, you and I.
Today the Supreme Court decided to enshrine in law the idea that 1) if you are a rich, business owning, angry, ostensibly christian white man you are sexist special and 2) if you are a woman you’re not a real person. God forbid you be a person of color, non-Christian, and female, war has just been declared on you.
Coupled with the unanimous decision from last week that killed the 35-foot buffer zones around women’s clinics that provide abortion, among other services, I’m ashamed to be an American right now. Free speech, my ass.
Today I read two very different but still related stories about things that happened in Hammond, Indiana due to the polar vortex. Both stories emphasize the plight of the working poor in the United States, and how extreme cold affects them in ways that many people may not have even considered.
In the United States Thanksgiving is a holiday that is supposed to be about celebrating bounty. The bounty of friends, family, togetherness, and food. It’s about the end of summer and fall, the harvest, and making one last big get together before the coming winter. (There are others who celebrate/mourn it differently, that’s not what this post is about.) It is about giving thanks for what we have before we might lose it to the cold, the dark, and the winter.
While Thanksgiving might be about conspicuous consumption of the food variety, some people choose to celebrate it in other ways. Some give back at churches, food pantries, and soup kitchens to those without a bounty to celebrate. Some get together and play football, roast marshmallows around a bonfire, or prepare for Christmas. Lots of people watch the parade or the dog show after eating too much. While there may be a lot of conspicuous consumption going on, Thanksgiving is patently not about the shopping variety. If you’re shopping on Thanksgiving, you’re doing it wrong.
Ok, so it’s October 1st. The Federal Government has effectively shut down. Open enrollment for the ACA has started, but the website isn’t working. In fact, until about 11:00am this morning, the MA iteration of the website didn’t even reflect that open enrollment for people looking for ACA healthcare effective 1/1/14 had begun.