Sunday, December 09, 2012

Crazy is the new Enemy Combatant Status

Akin (almost) to the witch hunt of 17 century Salem; there was a time during the early 20th century when the ultimate oppression against someone you didn't like was to threaten a lock-up in the loony bin



You only have to sit through a few old flicks before you see it used as part of a slapstick routine, like with a lot of things we're afraid of; we laugh. 
  
Uh oh, Jeb made a snide remark about the mayor's wife -here comes the paddy wagon. Look likes the boys got a straight jacket for ya, Jeb.
-Cut to hilarious lobotomy scene.

We shake our heads and tsk tsk this simplistic view of behavioral oddities while producing Hollywood blockbusters and docudramas at the injustice done under the guidance of ignorance.

 Nooo, you don't understand, the stretchy pants help me save lives, dammit.
 
Seizures that look like staring spells? Lock him up. 

A female who likes to fuck?

Clearly, this is a dangerous mental ailment.
Someone who believes in a god the rest of us don't (or none at all)? Evidently the subject is bat-shit fucking crazy.
 
The motivations are obvious now. This was a user-friendly weapon and it was fired against anyone targeted out of fear. 


This idea of locking people up for having unpopular ideas has fallen out of fashion over the last few decades. 

I credit the hippies' coming of age for the decriminalization of eccentricity and sandals.




 

But now the power elites, who, I must say, have really had their nose to the grindstone, at this whole "hate them for their freedom" thing, have discovered that their new toys aren't all that useful, at least for the time being. Political pressure against the use of NDAA and the media (internet, anyway) firestorm over enemy combatant status makes these weapons of purge politically difficult to use (especially for a democratic president). 

So now, once again, having Jeb hauled to the loony bin is looking like a pretty doable option. 

The building designation is of little solace when you're locked inside it. 

And I really have to wonder; 

where have all the hippies gone?




The common factor in all of these columns of power is a shared building block: in none of these situations do you stand before a jury of your peers. 

And it really is poetic and kind of beautiful to think; that with all their unimaginable wealth and unfathomable power they are still so very terrified of a jury of 12.





Norman Rockwell's The Holdout


How do we know this is coming? Because power elites telegraph their next move 

 

About a million years ago before half a baseball team called me mommy, I did a little boxing and I kind of sucked. I sucked because under no circumstance could I throw a jab without telegraphing. If you telegraph your jab, you don't have a jab. If you don't have a jab, you don't have shit (I didn't have shit).

And here it is; they don't have shit either because they keep telegraphing their next move. They telegraph by feeding the media everything they need to feed them to smooth out the road. 

Here is what they've telegraphed over the last year of so; every criminal is suffering from mental illness (batman murders, Bran Raub -covered by Oath Keepers here ). No longer are we hearing about all the vices of their pre-crime life, all the juicy details of who they dated, who they voted for and what type of porn they watched. All we hear now is how terrible and sad it was that someone didn't notice this mental illness sooner and "do something about it".

But is the media really that complacent? Would they really repeat what they're told ? Aren't they just trying to get the good stories? To be best and first? 

Well, yes and yes. 


King Stern



Many years ago Michael Jackson's press people (I swear this ties in) started referring to him as the king of pop (The king was already taken by Elvis Presley -who had a nose). 

Media outlets, battling to get in close to be first with any MJ news were eager to impress his peeps. They hoped to get on his gatekeepers' good side and gobbled up the king of pop line. They slung it better then his own press agents did. Sometimes even skipping his name to make room for his title.


Some years later, Howard Stern commented that he found this absurdly hilarious and loudly proclaimed he would do the same. He would just give himself a title, any title. He would repeat it. He would ask to be introduced by it. And he would favor media who repeated it. 

Go ahead; Google "The king of all media".

And that was just the entertainment industry. 

Yes, the stakes are fairly high. There is money. There is fame. There are careers to make and break. 

But is it as high stakes as war? The leadership of a nation? The world? What about billions or trillions of dollars? Is it crazy to think that that amount of power and position could slant an individual reporter?


Power players and those who cheer lead for them would call this conspiracy theory. 

I prefer to call it human nature. 

In a world filled with sociopaths you only have to follow the trails of self interest to see where we're headed.


Crazy is the new Enemy Combatant Status/NDAA and is every bit as dangerous.

-Tasha 

See Also; 

Marine Veteran Brandon Raub, Victim of Soviet Style Pre-crime Detention









Monday, August 13, 2012

The Emperor Drinks Boxed Wine

Recently there was a show on one of the Discovery channels focusing on all the ways our subconscious minds fuck with us. In one segment a wine taste test was given to multiple targets. One poured from a box, one from a French wine bottle.

No surprises here, the targets swished and sniffed and twirled and declared this new French wine to be something fruity yet woodsy, fresh yet matured and simply elegant on the palate.




They shook their heads and rolled their eyes at the wine-in-a-box. They wrinkled their noses at just the sniff of it, as if to say, "I'll be a good sport and try it, but my accomplished olfactory already tells me this inadequate inebriate is of wino paper bag variety."

Of course, the twist ending was both wines were from the same cheap box.




Did they really believe the bottled stuff tasted better? Is it that they trusted so much in the price tag, set by experts, that their own taste buds were rendered completely numb? It is possible but I don't that's it.

The thing is; we lie to ourselves all the time, but we're not usually all that convincing when we do it.

I believe they saw this as a chance to feel superior to the masses. To finally look down from above at those box drinkers. With such an obvious - pick the dainty bottle over the cardboard box- password, to the super secret upper echelon club, who could refuse?

But why, why do we care? Why do we want so much to be a puffed-up compatriot of the preferential posh?

All of us are expert in something.

I don’t know shit about French wine.

I can only estimate the price afterwards; by degree of headache. I know the difference between a your and a you’re. Does that make me, by internet forum decree, better than someone who doesn’t know a there, from a their, from a they’re, but can reassembled a car’s engine with her eyes closed?


Why do we do this? Is this just basic tribalism? Is this desperate need to be accepted into something exclusive worse now than years ago when we were surrounded by a multi-generational family? Or maybe this is nothing new. Maybe this is just yet another off-shoot of royalty/celebratory worship.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pink vs. Gray Vaginas


When my husband first started law school, we had a neighbor who attended art school. This was one of the top, and therefore one of the highest stress (think cut-throat business world intrigue, then up it a notch) art schools in the country.

My neighbor’s art was always some type of vagina. It was sometimes rainbowed, sometimes flashing, sometimes ethereal, but always, always, it was some type of vagina.

Despite her inspired passionate drive, she was never really in the art school in crowd. These were the people who would be chosen to 'make it' in the fast paced, who's who, latex wearing, world of art.


 Georgia O’Keeffe; subtlety was not her thang

For her senior project exhibition she created a covered walk-way, filled with neon light, you guessed it,    vaginas. The floor was granite tile and the effect was actually quite pleasing to the eye. The light reflected onto the floor making a delightful, flashing, twinkling vaginal reflection. People walking through commented on how pretty it was. They would stand with hands leaning against the very shiny, very pink archway wall opening and wonder aloud what it could all mean .  .  .

 Neon Virginia? Close enough

At the end of the second day's showing, our neighbor, reacting to the weight and constant pressure of her supervisors' disapproval and her peers' non-stop eye rolling at, what they considered, her unsophisticated display, broke down and, for lack of a better term, flipped her shit.

She purchased a gallon of gray paint and overnight, dumped it out and sloshed and smeared it all over the floor and structure of her cunt-cabana. It looked like mud, but more dreary.

The next day people could not get out of there fast enough.

The director of the department followed visitors around and listened to their comments as part of the grading assessment.

They all said how ugly it was, mostly "Eww, gross" and "OKaaay, that was weird."

Our neighbor was officially inducted into the in crowd that day.

The director congratulated her and told she had finally done it.

She had made people experience something they didn’t wish to experience and, in this, had embodied the true essence of an artist.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is everyone full of shit?


It's examples like this that make one wonder, how much bluster and bullshit are the upper spheres of any area of society full of?

I suspect the answer is a lot.

Because all of us are knowledgeable in something, all of us have experienced a similar unveiling of the wizard. We have all witnessed the bona fide, recognized expert in our own area of knowledge buffoon his way through an appearance and talk out of his ass. It's no surprise but disappointing, all the same, to see that he really doesn't sport a giant green papier mâché head.


Maybe it's the anti-elitist in me, but while I have an interminable, boundless  faith in the power of the average person, who may or may not know a your from a you're, to achieve seemingly impossible heights, at the same time, I have a deeply ingrained suspicion when an expert claims to know better than the rest of us.

I leave you with a kind of long but, worth it, except from the autobiographical novel; Expecting Adam.

This ridiculous snippet made the email circuit at Yale, for obvious reasons, usually titled Faking it at Harvard (as if no one at Yale did the same).

And maybe I don't have an artist's eye but I still really think vaginas are better in pink.

 -Tasha

From Expecting Adam by Martha Beck ;
It was mid-November and the few remaining leaves rattled on the trees. I welcomed the winter chill, since icy air helped keep my mind off the nausea. I breathed it carefully one day as I waddled over to William James Hall (known to the intelligentsia as Billy Jim) to attend a class. I arrived a few minutes early and decided to use the extra time to visit a friend in the Psychology Department, one floor above the Sociology Department, where my class was held. My friend was in her lab, conducting an experiment that consisted of implanting wires into the brains of live rats, then making the rats swim around in a tub of reconstituted dried milk. She told me why she was doing this, but I have no memory of what she said. Maybe she was making soup. Whatever the reason, she had put the rats and the milk in a children’s wading pool, the kind you fill up with a hose so that toddlers can splash around on a hot summer day. The tub was decorated with pictures of Smurfs. Smurfs, for those of you who are not culturally aware, are little blue people whose antics you may have observed on Saturday morning cartoons during the 1980s. I personally feel that the Smurfs were cloying, saccharine little monsters, but Katie adored them.
After chatting with my rat-molesting friend for a moment, I excused myself and headed downstairs for the seminar. There were seven or eight other graduate students in attendance, along with a couple of extra professors who had come to hear the latest twist on established theories. I felt the way I always did when I walked into a classroom at Harvard, that I had just entered a den of lions — not starving lions, perhaps, but lions who were feeling a little peckish. The people in the room were fearsomely brilliant, and I was always terrified that I would say just one completely idiotic thing, make one breathtakingly asinine comment that would expose me as a boorish, politically incorrect half-wit.
“Ah, Martha,” said the course instructor, “we’ve been waiting for you.” I blushed. I had stopped at the rest room to blow a few chunks, and had been hoping that the class would start a bit late. I did not want to be the focus of attention.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I was upstairs in the Psych lab, watching rats swim around in a Smurf pool.”
“I see,” said the instructor. “Yes, I believe I’ve read about that.”
A professor, one of the visiting dignitaries, chimed in. “How is Smurf’s work going?” he inquired. “I understand he’s had some remarkable findings.”"Yes,” said a graduate student. “I read his last article.”
There was a general murmur of agreement. It seemed that everyone in the room was familiar with Dr. Smurf, and his groundbreaking work with swimming rats. It took me a few discombobulated seconds to figure out that everyone at the seminar assumed a Smurf pool was named for some famous psychological theorist. I guess they thought it was like a Skinner box, the reinforcement chamber used by B.F. Skinner to develop the branch of psychological theory known as behaviorism. Comprehension blossomed in my brain like a lovely flower.
“I think,” I said solemnly, “that Smurf is going to change the whole direction of linguistic epistemology.”
They all agreed, nodding, saying things like “Oh, yes,” and “I wouldn’t doubt it.”
I beamed at them, struggling desperately not to laugh. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to mock these people. I was giddy with exhilaration, because after seven years at Harvard, I was just beginning to realize that I wasn’t the only one faking it.
                                                                -From Expecting Adam by Martha Beck

Monday, August 06, 2012

Joy After Loss

There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy -Mark Twain




I don't down own the copy-write to grief. If we are lucky enough to live long enough we lose those we love.

We just do. 

To experience loss is to experience the full palette of human emotion in all its vibrancy and darkness.

When it happens earlier in life it seems shocking. When it happens a little later in life we view it as a sort of phase. We realize we all must face these things at some point. Our friends and family are derailed by tragedies and we wait, watch and help while they go through it. When it happens toward the end of our lives, well, we view it as an inevitable part of the ride; another signal that our time is coming too.

If there is such a thing as scale of loss and I'm not sure there is, mine falls on the lower end. I did not know my baby as a little girl or as a teenager or as a young woman. I never heard her laugh or tucked her in at night. I don't have those memories of her to mourn.

I mourn the possibilities.




I stare at her little empty car seat and imagine buckling her in. I see the empty seat in my truck between my two youngest and visualize her in the middle. I see the empty table place and imagine her high chair there. 

While she is not physically here; she holds a window, a view of what might have been.

If there is a spectrum of grief I cannot begin to fathom the outer edge; losing a child whom I knew, one who colored my life beyond the eight months that I carried mine.  To lose her so young is such a very sad thing.  But is it any different from what we all must face at some point?
 

As a little girl I had seen such grief in my father, when my parents received a call that my 22 year old half sister had died. I could hear from the hall what sounded like laughter,  but not.  I was five at the time. I had never heard my dad cry. Peeking around the corner into my parent's room; I watched my dad hit his knees with his hands clasped out in front of him. I didn't know what happened but I knew it wasn't laughter I was hearing. The neighbors came by and picked me up “to play”. Hours later I learned what had happened from their kids. And while my father grieved his little girl, my 22 year old sister also had a little girl of her own whose life was upended in ways I cannot imagine.


So clearly I do not own grief. It is public domain. We all own a share.




But mostly what I want to talk about are the little oddities of the experience, the strange places where joy can be found even among such sadness.  I find my emotions don't always "match up" with the store bought variety. I suspect no one's grief squares with what it is "suppose" to be.

I find joy and peace in anything that proves she existed. And in anything that makes me feel she still exists in some way.

Anything that makes her feel real brings me great joy. The photos of us holding her and seeing her little plaster hand cast on the shelf bring me such serenity.  I dream of her at night and sometimes in the dreams she's alive for just a little while and I get to see her eyes. She looks right at me. You would think such a dream would be devastating but to see her looking back at me is such a beautiful experience that I smile when I wake up. It feels like I've been given a small sweet gift.

I have a habit of counting my kids when we're out and about. I do it so often that I don't really hear the numbers anymore. When I've mentally checked them all off, I go right back to what I was doing. If I don't get to the right number, I look to see who is missing and why and then I count again. Ever since the death and subsequent birth of my daughter my brain doesn't feel satisfied when I reach five. My mind rings the someone is missing bell so I start to count again. Mid-way through the second count I realize who is missing and why. 

This brings me joy, an odd bittersweet kind of joy.

It tells me that somewhere beneath the veil of consciousness, my mind  detects her. 

She was really here and somewhere, in some form, she still exists.


It tells me that the empty space  is not really as empty as it seems.  
                       


                           Baby Sonora Rain with Mom, Dad and brothers and sisters

-Tasha





Friday, July 06, 2012

Where are all the libertarian women? I'll tell you.


I never hear the end of women complaining that men aren't involved with their kids, that they don't take an interest.*

And some don't; but maybe it's because they're human and like most other humanoid life forms they can only take so much rejection and nitpicking before they shut down emotionally. 

                                                 This guy sports a six pack and he still gets nagged

And at that point they probably do say to themselves,” Maybe I'm just not cut out for this, maybe I should just step out of the way and let my wife takeover or step out permanently, let someone else raise the kids who can do all those things the right way."

Anything that doesn't fall in line with the way things should be done according to the TV model receives the head-shaking, smile knowingly and roll your eyes, silly man just doesn't get it look.

I cannot even begin to fathom what is wrong with women. And when I say women -I mean of the finicky mainstream variety.

    I don't know her, but odds are she's not a naggy bitch

I have not come across any of this bashing among the off the beaten path types; homeschooling, attachment, crunchy, gunny, anarchists, freedom minded women. Because of the circles I run in, I rarely meet up with women, these days, who aren’t of like mind set with myself. But occasionally when I’m cornered by chance or social dynamics to chitchat with the eye-rolling, tsk-tsking species of my gender, I am reminded why. 

Generally, the only discussion going is, my husband/boyfriend is an idiot because_____. Women do this as a type of female bonding. Women who** do not even know each other will connect in a bond of sisterhood by making snide comments about their buffooning husband. 

You see, we women want protection. Even those of us who claim independence, who pound our fists and declare ourselves in control of our destinies, those of us who carry guns, run companies, dig ditches or power lift; we can‘t help it. As deeply ingrained as it is in men to dream of being the hero (just admit it, even Samwise Gamgee couldn't help himself), we dream of feeling safe. 

                               Ya, sorry about putting that song in your head

And here is where is gets fucked.


This little lizard brain quirk isn’t enough to stop us from achieving anything feminism fought for back in the day. If channeled properly, it only means that we show our husbands a little respect; that we say, Thank you when he changes the tire, instead of stamping our feet and muttering about how we could have done it ourselves.  But when television tells us that men are insulting and bullying us when they talk to the mechanic for us, we get huffy and pissy instead of realizing they are just trying to do their job.

Men can't help themselves; they want to protect; they want to provide for their tribe, their family. I'm not saying only men should work while women do housework. I mean on a very deep, subconscious level this is where men are coming from.

So what now? 


We have effectively removed our spouses as protector and provider even if only in an honorary modernized version of the position.

And yet at a deeply rooted level we still want protection.

So here’s what now.


We have put government at the head of our table.

We have put government in the role of daddy. 

So while there may physically be a husband and father in the picture, in the dynamics of things, they have been replaced.
                                      I feel so much safer knowing this giant head is here

Government protects the children with their rules and laws.

Government provides food with their little programs.

Government provides health care and education.

So if you’re wondering where all the libertarian women are, we’re the ones not laughing at our husbands.

-Tasha

*This post is a re-write of one I wrote a few years ago. After careful review, I felt the message needed repeating and also, I noticed that it contained zero swear words. I don't like to write anything that doesn't contain the word "fuck" at least once'; hence the re-write. 

** Hat tip to Grammer Girl, fucking who and whom

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Is Skut Farkus style Obamacare really that big of a deal?

What does it really mean? I mean the philosophy is fucked, that is a fact.




A governing body that makes decisions based on how much power it can gain and how much money it can can avoid spending will essentially be in control of our lives and our bodies.

You want to drink raw milk? No, that's up to us now. Vaccinations? Well, we're in charge so that's up to us now, too and you know how we feel about that. Oh, and we do things about twenty years behind the times so, high fat? That's bad. Salt? That's bad too or it was fifteen years ago. Corn syrup is awesome though, so plenty of that if you're to be an upstanding citizen. Birth at home? Nope, not allowed.

Also, make sure you and your kids load up on pharmaceuticals like all the good people of the world who wash their cars on Sundays do. What's that? You don't want your children on drugs? Sounds like child abuse. We'll have to declare you unfit.

The possibilities are endless.

It's like accepting a gift of money from your mother-in- law. Oh you thought that was free?

No, the price is your kids wear the clothes she likes and do the activities she likes. Don't don't like beauty pageants? Too bad, mom loves them and if you want the goods, you'll make peace with having your daughter twirl on the runway while mom,"Ooohs and Aawws".



So yes, the philosophy is fucked.

How much of this health care plan that is philosophically and legally feasible is actually politically feasible and how much and how far can they push? Well, we shall see.

This will affect everyone.

NDAA however, is the power to kill.

NDAA is the power to imprison.

NDAA is the power to send anyone to a foreign land to place a check mark for all of the above.

It does not affect everyone. It only affects those who are politically expedient for it to affect.



That is me

and possibly, if you are an active libertarian; that is you.

Control over health care is important in that it really truly does affect everyone . Not just those at the top of  Martin Niemöller's  first they came for .   .  .   list .

So maybe, in that way, it really truly is that important.

Maybe this is the today's tea tax and or stamp act. Those not yet jaded and so full of enthusiasm had no idea the road ahead in this movement (thank God). Maybe, combined with the hard cold reality that Ron Paul could not get a fair shake, and make no mistake, to the young people who were new to the idea of freedom, the fact that the laws do not apply to those in charge was a cold hard and surprising slap, it really is important.

Here's to hoping that now that it is evident, we are not getting what we wanted for Christmas, that we received a deserved  C+ on our response to NDAA, that maybe this health care shove from Skut Farkus and his yellow eyes, so help me, yellow eyes, was  just one shot too many.

-Tasha

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hand me my cane; I'm sticking around

Okay, wow, when I started this blog; Facebook wasn't filled with my high school friends, Reddit wasn't filled with my wrath and Twitter wasn't filled with my anonymous secrets (not really anonymous, guess what my handle is). I did, however, have an active and bright and glittery and kind of loud Myspace account.

I had a devil of a time finding my own log in requirements for this creaky old blog but as much as today's social networks have rendered my blog as outdated as FM radio, I have to say, I'm pretty nostalgic about the whole thing. I never thought I'd be grandfathered into anything with a six year time investment but I think it safe to say, I'm an old timer in the world of blogs. 




I started this rant before my husband started O a th Ke epers (no sense making it searchable), before Ron Paul announced his bid the first time around (the republican bid anyway). My now six year girl was just born and since then I have had a little boy (now 3) and another beautiful little girl who was stillborn in March. 

Time changes us all and I'm, frankly, not as witty as I used to be and I'm quite a bit more jaded. 

I'm also a bit more prone to self censoring now that I know I'm just a click away from family and friends and just a few clicks away from hostile media (thanks to O.K.). 

So being the cautious sort that I am; don't expect me to talk about the lap dance I once gave to Matt Leblanc or the day that I learned Judge Reinhold had a fascination for dirty talk (and I mean dirty). 




I mean that would be like saying fuck you to the liberal forums that sometimes comb and quote my blog. 

 


 I can't spend my whole life as the zany zebra baby of the family. 

I have been slowed down by age and responsibility; my most recent claim to fame is that a bit part vampire from the not-yet-released Breaking Dawn II sent me a direct message on Twitter and if that is not boring enough, it was in response to my Tweet regarding Wikileaks. 



Hopefully, my caustic wit will return so we can all discuss our adopted son Rand Paul and try to figure out where we all went wrong and if our collective tough love program can straighten him out before it's too late. 



So now I sign off-with the same sort of sentimental clinginess that I clutch onto to my Grease II and Olivia Newton-John records; I still hold this blog dear and cross-my-heart that I will update.

-Tasha