“What Will Cure Society In Its Aftermath Is Art”, Or I Believe In Theater

Is it just me, or are others who work in the theater frustrated with the pushing back of live performances in traditional venues by a few months at a time?

Would it be better to look further out for our traditional model (since I honestly think “further out” with lots of yet unseen progress is what we will need to go back safely), and to focus right now on how to create and monetize new online content? In fact, I keep thinking it might even be possible to create content together, in person, in a “quarantine pod”.

Go ahead, say it, what the hell do I know? But many of y’all “in the business” do know. And those who have worked with me know I love problem-solving, plus, it’s the most creative thing I have to think about right now.

A friend shared this quote with me, part of which titles this post, and I think it’s spot-on:

“While the creation of a vaccine and anti-viral drugs will cure this pandemic, ultimately what will cure society in its aftermath is art.” ~ Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director, Stratford Festival

Shouldn’t we start working on that cure for the “aftermath” now? I think so. And I believe in us. We can do this.

(Yes, in many ways, I am the eternal optimist – I even own rose-colored glasses – but I also know we need creative and realistic optimism now more than ever.)

I Love You, Nancy, But You Hurt Me… And Many Others

Nancy Pelosi has always been one of my personal heroes… but she blew it commenting, especially the way she did, on 45’s weight. I know, she’s human and has flaws, but she seems to be oblivious to the harm she’s done.

And you – if you’re okay with Speaker Pelosi’s comments and the fat shaming that followed, please read this piece and sit with it.

Fat-shaming is a soft bigotry that even the Democratic establishment condones.

None of this is a surprise to my fellow fats: You wake up in the morning and you know what the world has been telling you every moment of your life. That I am considered less-than because I am more-than has permeated every moment of my life from birth; even in dreams, I’m not free of the weight — not my own physical weight, but the internalized hatred from a thousand sources and voices, woven into every square inch of our culture, as natural as breathing…

If I could say something to all the thins, I’d say: Stop and listen. Millions of fats read and heard the awful bigoted garbage about Trump, and about fat people, that Pelosi’s words unleashed. There’s a desire in too many of us to use those words, to express that hatred of fat people, to silence and punish fat people for existing. That impulse has always been in our culture, and as thins you don’t seem to see it. Please try to stretch yourselves to see how it affects us, to feel the simple empathy that can make all of us better to one another.

Besides, there are many glorious ways to insult Donald Trump that do not belittle and demean anyone but him. Use those.

And to my fellow fats: Hey, here we are again. You know all this stuff already; I’m tired of it, too. I can’t believe we have to explain it all again, either. But this is the work, I think — to try and be seen, so that our worth can be counted as equally and fully. Even I once had to be persuaded that my life as a fat [woman] had worth. And in my life since I realized that, I’ve seen a few people listen, and then a few more. Maybe it takes a lifetime. Thanks for being here with us for yours.”

Please do NOT comment until you have read the entire piece (not just the quote above).  And then, read this piece also.

Ali and others saw a more insidious effect:  that no matter the intention, the comments normalized fat-shaming even at the highest levels of government.  “You can mock him for so many other things,” he says.  “She could have left it at, he was unhealthy.  But perhaps she unconsciously went there.”

The message it sent to everyone watching, Ali says, was simple:  “This country really hates fat people.”

If you disagree… think twice about what you say. (Any cruel comments will be deleted promptly and the commenter blocked.)   If you’re someone with thin privilege (yes, it’s a thing) and you’re not speaking out against this fat shaming (and fat shaming whenever you see it), you are part of the problem, and you have a responsibility to become part of the solution.

One thing that is making me extra sad and mad and deeply hurt about this… In the last few years, I had actually begun being more comfortable with my size (I’ve written about my journey on this blog, in fact), though I work at it and at my size, for my own reasons.  Those reasons, BTW, are not “doctor-ordered”. Since people often fat shame by talking about health, let me head you off. My doctor jokes that I am the healthiest sick person (sick referring to my Sjogren’s) that she knows.

And this just made me realize again that no matter how I feel about myself, there are so many people who look at me and all they see is “fat”. And think less of me for it, while knowing nothing about me.

Finally, I’m not looking for people to reassure me about my size, though I do appreciate it if you thought of doing so.

Peace.

Unpopular Opinion Of The Day, Or Thank You For Coming To My TED Talk

While I truly feel for Elizabeth Warren’s supporters, and I agree that it’s a travesty that this race came down to two white men after such an encouraging start, I have to ask…

Where was all the sympathy for the #KHive when Kamala Harris suspended her campaign? (Also, for supporters of Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar, to be sure.)

Where were all the media tears over how they were treated (yes, Rachel Maddow, I’m looking at you, though not only you)?

Where was all the praise for how smart, talented, and qualified Kamala, Kirsten, and Amy are?  Spoiler alert:  they are.  And I’m not going to argue who is “better”.  Suffice it to say all four of them are awesome.

Where were the posts suggesting her supporters deserved time to grieve before being pressured to “move on”?

Why were we expected to listen to others talk about how right it was for the other women to drop out, because they wanted to tell us “flawed” each was?

Why were were supposted to find it encouraging that _maybe_ Kamala could be AG (a job she turned down when Obama offered it) or _maybe_ one of these women could be VP?  or in the Cabinet?

Well?

No, I don’t think this means we’ll never have a woman President, though I do agree it’s possible the Republicans will do it first, because they don’t have the absurd problem with purity testing that we inflict upon our candidates and those candidates inflict upon each other.  But I think we need to look at how this is being discussed and reported, and remember that for the next time.  Because there will be a next time.

In the words of HIllary Rodham Clinton, when she ended her 2008 Presidential campaign:  “Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.”

Also in the words of Kamala Harris, on Election Night 2016:  “Do not despair.  Do not be overwhelmed. Do not throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves, and fight for who we are.”

Thoughts On The Democratic Primary

Today, March 5, 2020, the last woman standing suspended her run for President of the United States.  After a primary that was the most diverse in history, including four – FOUR – women who would have been excellent at the job, Democrats will be choosing between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren

I was all in for Kamala and with the #KHive from the beginning. I did the research.  I pushed back against the attacks, including writing about her here and here.  I donated when I could.  I still wear the t-shirt.  I was devastated when she suspended her campaign.  The misygnoir had been obvious.

And yes, the misogyny was obvious when Kirsten was taken to task for what we say we want, believing women (and arguably, Chuck Schumer was far more directly responsible for Franken’s resignation than she).  And yes, it was obvious in the attacks on Amy for being a “mean boss” and in the attacks on Elizabeth for essentially being “overprepared”.  We all saw and read more of those attacks than I can bear to repeat, so I won’t.

While I believe all of the Democrats have essentially the same concerns (#notyouBernie), I was more closely aligned with other candidates in the race.  You may or may not have seen the “quiz” in the Washington Post (which I took on February 21).  It asked various questions and then gave you a grid showing where you agreed with each candidate.  My “matches”, out of 20 questions, were Biden (15), Bloomberg (15), Buttigieg (14), Klobuchar (14), Warren (7), Sanders (6).  (I know that’s not everyone, but you get the picture.)

Then, in the lead-up to Super Tuesday, some were saying that not supporting Warren demonstrated “internalized misogyny”.  That if she were a man, everyone would align behind her.  That her plans were being discounted based on her gender.  And I agree, there are people for whom all of those accusations are true.

But while I understand the sadness, anger, and frustration at Warren’s suspending her run, we should not assume that everyone supporting a male candidate is a misogynist.  My left of center/more moderate views are not in line with Warren’s thinking, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want a kick-ass female president, and I would happily have fought for her had she become our nominee.  It also doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what Warren brings to the table, the work she has done, and the work she will continue to do.  I also respect and stand behind my friends who supported her, and today I feel their pain.

In fact, all four of these women are awesome and we are lucky they are willing to continue working in government after this primary. Any one of them would have had my support and my vote as our nominee.

As I’ve said, my first choice was Kamala.  I didn’t have a second choice, so I decided to wait and see where the base of the party cast their votes in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday.  #VoteLikeBlackWomen is more than just a hashtag; it’s a way to recognize the base that is trying to hold this party together and may just save us all from four more years of 45.  So I am now supporting Joe Biden.  It’s Hobson’s Choice.  He is the best of what’s left.

But even if we disagreed on which woman was the best candidate, I think we are all dealing with massive disappointment that none of them are still on the ballot.  It sucks.  So It’s time to be kind to each other, and also to give each other time to grieve.  Then I’ll do what women always have to do.  Get back up, dust myself off, and keep fighting.  Hopefully with all y’all by my side.

 

 

 

 

 

Lemonade

I got the sweetest text today.

See, as a pre-teen and teenager, I loved physical activity. Actually, I still do.

So starting when I was about four, my sisters and I all went to dance classes and rode horses, but by junior high, it was sports.  We had a basketball hoop over our garage door (didn’t everyone?) and we played in the driveway.  We played soccer in the front yard.  We walked over the nearby elementary school and played pickup softball.  We swam.

In seventh grade, the options for team sports at my school were quite limited, so I (and a friend) joined the boys’ soccer team – soccer wasn’t my first choice, but my big sister played it and was awesome at it, so why not?

The summer before eighth grade, there was a basketball camp at the high school.

That summer…

Three girls went – of course, I was one of them – because we were getting a girls’ team!  I don’t remember anything odd about there only being three of us with the boys.  Maybe it was the coach.  Maybe it was the boys.  Maybe it was us.  Or maybe it was just our love of the game.

In eighth grade, and then ninth, I played on the girls’ team.  I wasn’t good, but I played.  And my knees objected.  So by the tenth grade, when we had a new coach (thank God, as we had gone 2 – 18 the previous year), I didn’t make the team.  I just couldn’t keep up anymore.

But I loved basketball.  I loved my friends.  So I became the scorer and kept stats for the team.  I felt like I was part of the team, even though, really, I was a hanger-on.  Or I thought so.  Until today.

Today, I heard from my oldest friend (we have known each other (ahem) fifty years now).  She was a star on that team.  She texted me from her daughter’s first game:  “seeing the girls at the table taking stats and keeping score and it makes me think of you! So I just wanted to say thank you for doing that and being part of the team!! Probably never said thank you back then so saying it now🤗thank you❤️”

So I realized… I wasn’t a hanger-on.  I was part of that team, even if they didn’t say so.  And I learned, for the first time though far from the last, that lemons can become lemonade, and a disappointment is not always an ending.

 

 

Be A Lady They Said

No wonder we’re often so conflicted…

Writings of a Furious Woman

Be a lady they said. Your skirt is too short. Your shirt is too low. Your pants are too tight. Don’t show so much skin. Don’t show your thighs. Don’t show your breasts. Don’t show your midriff. Don’t show your cleavage. Don’t show your underwear. Don’t show your shoulders. Cover up. Leave something to the imagination. Dress modestly. Don’t be a temptress. Men can’t control themselves. Men have needs. You look frumpy. Loosen up. Show some skin. Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative. You’re asking for it. Wear black. Wear heels. You’re too dressed up. You’re too dressed down. Don’t wear those sweatpants; you look like you’ve let yourself go.

Be a lady they said. Don’t be too fat. Don’t be too thin. Don’t be too large. Don’t be too small. Eat up. Slim down. Stop eating so much. Don’t eat too fast. Order a salad. Don’t eat…

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Being “Hillaried” Is A Thing, But We Can Fight Back

I wrote this.

Kamala News Network

It’s so sad that the way Hillary Clinton was attacked for years, and especially the way she was treated during the 2016 Presidential election, has become a verb.  But it has, and right now the target is Kamala Harris.

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 9.12.06 AMIt wouldn’t be too, too surprising if you haven’t noticed, as her mentions are not indicative of her support nor of her endorsements.

And after her extraordinary speech in Iowa, C-Span initially did not even include her in the video list of those speaking.  For over thirteen hours, every candidate (including some I bet you forgot were running) were listed.  But not Kamala.  In case you missed it, you can watch her speech here.

images

C-Span also left her out of a photo that purported to include all the candidates.  I won’t link it as I don’t want it spreading any more than it has.  Instead, here’s my new favorite Kamala…

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NO, I’M NOT TIRED! (The Updated Case For Kamala – So Far)

On July 1, 2019, I published a post titled “I Can’t Be Tired Already … Or Can I?  (The Case For Kamala… So Far” and kept updating it.  It’s worth a read, so click here and do so.  I’ll wait.

But this week – wow!  The energy surrounding our future POTUS, Kamala Harris, is exhilarating!  And I’m not tired anymore.  I’m ready to fight.

Rolling Stone nails it here… and they pull no punches on the possible negatives.  But the positives are far more dispositive, as you will see.

Here’s a Twitter thread pulling together Kamala’s proposals and making it clear how they benefit us.  And also from @blackwomenviews, a second thread as Kamala as AG (the first one is in my first Kamala blog entry).

Representative Lucy McBath of Georgia weighs in on how Kamala is changing the narrative and why it matters, while Kamala’s sister Maya also has a lot to tell us in this article … and it’s not just because she loves her big sister.

Vanity Fair tells us GOP insiders are scared… and they should be.

And finally, I”m going to call out a hater.  The account @kamalasreceipts is deliberately spreading misinformation about Kamala.  They are also blocking any account that supports Kamala to prevent us from refuting their lies.  Even I am blocked and we’ve had no interaction.  So if you’re not blocked, please keep an eye on that account and push back when you can.

 

So go forward, fellow joyful warriors, members of the #KHive, and spread the message:

#YesWeKam #ForThePeople

#KAMALA2020!

 

 

(P.S.  If you have other articles that support the case for Kamala, please share in the comments and I will try to update this regularly until it’s time for a new entry.  Negative articles will be refuted or, if I’m too tired, simply deleted.)

 

I Can’t Be Tired Already… Or Can I? (The Case For Kamala… So Far)

Oh, yes, I can.

I wrote in August of 2016 about how tired I got from the attacks on HIllary Clinton, especially given their absurdity.  And here we are, sixteen months before the 2020 presidential election, and the attacks on the candidate I have chosen to support – Kamala Harris – are already escalating to that level.  And this time I’m not waiting to call out them out.

While I’m not going to dignify the attacks by naming them or linking to them, I am going to offer you some links to use as rebuttals against them.

Here’s one from @blackwomenviews (a great Twitter follow, too).  Read the whole thing.  Go to Twitter and read her other tweets.  Learn stuff.

Vox has summarized many of her campaign’s policy positions in this easy guide.

When someone brings up Mnuchin, there’s this.

Then there was the first debate – Jeremy Fassler tells us here why it matters even more than you might think.

Courtney Swanson addresses the “Kamala is a cop” trope here.  (BTW, if she is a cop, I want that cop as president.)

I don’t love Biden anymore (I haven’t for a while), but except for that, this post from Gayle Leslie is everything.

If you love Shonda Rimes, and I do… here she is asking Kamala 20 key questions.

Here’s one of many endorsements, outlinining why to support Kamala.  And here’s another.  And then seven in short order after a visit to South Carolina!

The AP gave Kamala a chance to make her case on that elusive topic, electability.  And of course, she nailed it.

Kamala makes her own case in this excellent interview,that pulls no punches about both sides of the issues.

And Harper’s Bazaar nails it on why we need Kamala here.

And on another note… please read this thread on how to handle trolls and bots.  And re-tweet it, share it, live by it!

 

(P.S.  If you have other articles that support the case for Kamala, please share in the comments and I will try to update this regularly.  Negative articles will be refuted or, if I’m too tired, simply deleted.)

 

 

Friendship

I saw this article in the New York Times recently, about over- and underestimating our skills.  It’s really interesting, and even includes a link to a “test” you can take on a specific skill to see where you fall on the over/under scale.

But this made me think about other types of “skills” and specifically about friendship.  I don’t know anyone who would say they are not a good friend; and most people probably would agree they could be a better one.  But do we over- or under- on our estimation of how good a friend we actually are?

Personally, I’ve been thinking about friendship a lot lately.  I think I may overestimate how good a friend I am, but I know I try.  I try to remember what my friends say about what’s going on in their lives; I try to check in if there’s something important that’s come up; and I try to be available, even if it’s not convenient, when they reach out.  Basically, I try to be present.

But do I succeed?  How can I know?  All I can really do is try to be the friend I want to have.  Luckily, I have some really good examples in my life.  I hope you do too.  And I’m sure we all have some really bad examples around too.  What I’m learning is that you can let go of those people, or at least limit your contact with them.  No matter how close you may have been in the past, some friendships don’t last.  Or they just change, not always for the better, but then, also not always for the worst.

I don’t have some smart wrapping-up comment to make (regular readers will know I rarely do) except this:  we hear a lot about how romantic relationships are hard, but not as much about our platonic friendships.  And I’m here to tell you that yes, they are hard too.

 

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