Celebrate what, exactly…

My thanks to The Nation for the opportunity to read Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” – a speech he gave before members of Congress in 1852. This is only the second time I’ve read it, and this time it stood out all the more.
 
It is not an easy read. There are too many uncomfortable parallels between that time and this – at least for those with eyes to see.
 
Most strikingly, Douglass’ words then could very easily be updated to fit so many ills of our nation and political system today. The strength and honor of our forefathers contrasted by the greed and cravenness of our present. The slave trade may have ended, but are the poor, the weak, the broken people of any color that much better served by what we now call “government.”
 
Then “religious liberty” was used to justify laws that forced judges and states to return runaway slaves to their owners, and provided harsh punishments for those who aided or harbored them. Today the same argument is used to divide families, to deny minorities equal justice under the law, even as excuse to deny service in the public marketplace, or to justify throwing your child in the streets because they – by Nature’s design – are something other than what your bigotry and craven interpretation of your myths define as “godly.”
Now, as then, violence based on race, creed, sexuality, and politics are considered “normal” in the nation’s discourse by the vocal elements of our society. Few speak out against it, fewer still fight it, and those that do are made mockery of by the crude, the illiterate, and the privileged with the media whoring for them and hanging on their every word. This is your America. It is not mine. Celebrate the slatternly creature you have created, if you will. I will not. Instead, I will mourn the dream of what she was meant to be.
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A Yule Blessing

Things I miss today from long ago…
Having my whole family gathered around my grandmothers’ tables – Gram ‘Cille and Granny Annie. Not to mention the giant mounds of homemade fudge, candy, peanut brittle and popcorn balls!
Listening to my Dad, Uncle Dick, and my cousins playing guitar/banjo/uke.
My own tradition of Mommie Dammit’s Orphans and Waifs Din-Din – gathering a bunch of friends who had no home to go to or wouldn’t be welcome because they were LGBT, feeding them a huge dinner I’d made and spending the rest of the day playing games and watching classic Xmas shows.


The holidays have NEVER been about presents to me! They always were, and always will be about sharing the love and laughter of people who mean so much to me.

To all of you, past-present-and-future, may you find the same joy and peace I’ve always known in these days. The Gods bless and keep you.

Now, enough sappy stuff… LET’S EAT!!

You Can’t Go Home Again…

It has been many years, Children, since Mommie Dammit has hit rock-bottom.  Over a decade, in fact.  After 12 years of struggling to build a home and advance my career in Kansas City, enduring 2 bouts of Pneumocystis, and spending my third extended period of unemployment searching vainly for a new job… BOOM!  “Oh, Bottom, there you are!  I’d almost forgotten you; it’s been a long time since last we met.”

 

As usual, I landed not on my feet but on my ass.  Through the grace of the Gods, and the love of my family, I’ve now the opportunity to get back on my feet again.  The move from Kansas City to this teeny-tiny backwater was rushed and very ugly – I shudder to think of the shape I left my old house in.  Yet it was accomplished far easier and with better results than I’d originally thought.  Thanks to my baby sister and my nephew (and a few dozen Rubbermaid tubs!) I packed my essentials and watched my nephew’s spacial-relationship-genius at work.  Between his pickup (even with the shell still on), pickup -box trailer, and my poor, benighted Miss Boogie, we managed to haul more of my crap up here than I ever thought possible.  What I couldn’t bring I can easily replace – and, to be honest, most of it was long overdue.

 

But where is “here”, I hear you ask? Back in Nebraska, in a tiny and quaint rural village. Waco. Founded in 1877 as a railroad stop, and named for the Texan city. Typical of nearly-dead backwaters the world over, there is little here in the way of businesses – a couple of hair salons, a gas station at the I-80 exit, a tiny bank, and the mainstay of every village lost in the boonies, a bar. So far I’ve found the natives friendly, if a bit cautious with the “stranger” in town. After living in the racially diverse neighborhoods of Kansas City, finding myself back in an all-white enclave is something of a shock and one that feels somehow lacking…  Gods!, but I miss my crazy Black and Latina women! They, and a couple of just-as-nuts White women were all that helped me hold on to what little sanity I had left. …shut up! I heard that!

 

Still… living with my baby sister and my youngest niece, only 12 miles from my other sister, and 45 miles from my brother, sister-in-law and 2 of my nephews has it’s selling-points.  I’ve been far too long so far away from my family, and I didn’t realize just how much I missed them until we got back to Waco and it slapped me in the face.  There are stumbling blocks as well. It’s been nearly 2 decades since I lived with someone with less than 4 legs, and that privacy (I now realize) was something I heavily took for granted. It’s difficult to adjust to not being able to run to the bathroom naked with no one to scare but the cats!

 

The long process of reapplying for my assistance programs is well underway, but I have only just begun with the applications. No results or answers to be expected before the New Year, at the earliest. I meet with my new case worker on Monday, and will start that process moving. Hopefully those programs move faster than the State of Nebraska’s – I need to find my own place to live in roughly a month’s time. Some plans change at a whim, others for unknown reasons. Either way, it’s a struggle I’m very familiar with – just with different players in the mix. Besides – any longer than that and my sister and I may have to serve my niece up on toast!

 

Time means change. Change means growth or chaos. Growth is good, and sometimes chaos is too.  It all depends on how you handle it, and what positive outcome you can make out of it.  Not to change means not to be truly living. So, no… you can’t go home again.

Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus

Well, if this don’t get my rubber tit’s all a-twitter-pated! Barrack has grown opposable thumbs, completed his evolution (I think), and has finally said that same-sex couples “should get married.”

This excerpt from his interview this morning on Good Morning America…

President Obama with ABC’s Robin Roberts

Honestly, Mommie Dammit is dumb-struck. Now if he matches action to words I will finally feel like I didn’t have to hold my nose as I voted for him in 2008.  Y’all have to excuse Mommie Dammit for a moment… this deserves a hefty shot of Stoli in celebration and reflection. I’m so amazed at the suddenness of this move on the President’s part, it actually took me four attempts to spell “opposable” correctly.

Now get your little furry butts over to the White House web site and tell the President – and the Vice President, too! – just how happy you are to finally hear those words!

Knuckle-draggers, indeed…

Yesterday I read something that gave Mommie Dammit a really bad case of gas – the double-you-over-cramping-till-your-forehead-slams-the-floor variety…

Misery dammit! Missouri has a “Don’t-Say-Gay” bill advancing through the state House. My thanks to Think Progress for tipping me off to this latest in a long string of legislative turds coming out of Jefferson City.

The bill, HB 2051, states:

170.370. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no instruction, material, or extracurricular activity sponsored by a public school that discusses sexual orientation other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction shall be provided in any public school.

*emphasis mine*

Not only would this ban any discussion in our schools of LGBT sexuality and sexual health, it could likely ban GSA’s and could prohibit student’s voluntary participation in the National Day of Silence. This would also effectively bar teachers and administration from speaking out against anti-gay bullying and violence, and tie the hands of school counselors in similar situations.

According to Igor Volsky’s article

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Stanley Cookson (R) and has attracted 19 GOP co-sponsors, “including the two most powerful leaders in the House, Speaker Steve Tilley and Majority Leader Tim Jones (yes, the same Tim Jones who is a plaintiff in Orly Taitz’ birther lawsuits).”

One thing I expect all my poor, abused, neglected children to do (as in I’ll hunt you down if you don’t) is take your sorry ass immediately to the PROMO website, and sign their petition against this bill.

PROMO executive director, A.J. Bockelman, called the introduction of HB 2051

“a desperate tactic by frightened, bigoted, cynical individuals who are terrified at the advancement the LGBT community has made in breaking down the barriers to full and equal treatment under the law.”

I couldn’t agree with Bockelman more, though I’d be a bit less prosaic in my descriptors… somehow the term “moving targets” or “proofs that central Missouri needs an enema” come to my lips faster than frightened, cynical bigots. But whatever epithets your bowels cramp up and deliver when you think about our state legislature, get your ass busy and contact your local representatives and tell them that Mommie Dammit is on the war path and you don’t like it either!

First, go to the USPS website and find your full 9-digit zip code here. Now, go HERE, and find your elected representatives. Click on your state senator’s and state representative’s name and it will take you to their homepage where you can get their contact information. Write, call, email, send smoke signals, drum messages, pigeon droppings… whatever! Just let them know that you oppose this latest attempt to drag Misery dammit! Missouri into the slime of bigotry. We have enough reason for the rest of the nation to laugh at us – we don’t need this added to the list!