Thursday, June 22, 2017

Are You Here for Man Bun Ken?

Because I am, bros n' bitches!

Man Bun Ken is one of several new Ken Dolls Mattel introduced to the world in order to deal with the fact that regular blonde Ken is 80s AF, and no little girl wants to play pretend Barbie sexy fun times with Blaine from Pretty in Pink or the water skier from the Juicy Fruit commercial anymore.

As you can see below, there's also a Justin Bieber, a Bruno Mars, and a Taylor Swift boyfriend with nerd-chic Buddy Holly glasses.

But by FAR--by FAR--the best new Ken is "Man Bun Ken." The creation of Mattel Man Bun Ken™ is the canary in the man bun coal mine. But before the man bun goes the way of Flock of Seagulls hair, let's pretend that Man Bun Ken has a little computer in the back where you can press a button and he says like 10 different man bun things.

Twitter already had kind of a field day with Man Bun Ken, but no one so far--I think--has put words in the mouth of Man Bun Ken other than someone who claimed he looks like he would interrupt her and say "Bernie Would Have Won" which is just . . . MWAH.

Anyway, here are 10 things I think Man Bun Ken would say if he could talk:

1. "There's a great new brunch spot in Silver Lake."

2. "I am CRUSHING Tinder."

3. "OMG. I am SO OLD."

4. "I'm moving to an organic farm for the summer to do their creative."

5. "Please engage with my brand."

6. "I'm DJ'ing at Kompromat tonight." (Kompromat is the name of a made-up bar in Williamsburg)

7. "I'm doing a multi-media performance art installation at Kompromat tonight."


8. "Follow me on Instagram."

9. "I love your aesthetic. It's so authentic."

10. "My hair products are locally-sourced."







Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fucking Really? Why Do Mass Murderers Always Wash Up in Alaska?!

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat. 

According to the Juneau Empire, four people possibly "connected" to the execution style-killings of 8 people in Ohio "took a vacation to Alaska" in "recent weeks" and authorities "believe the family has now relocated to Alaska, but would not be more specific." 

M'kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. 

DUDES. Alaska is  663,300 square miles. So for Ohio authorities to imply that the public should be on the lookout for a family of four murderous rednecks is a bit of a needle in a haystack proposition, at least initially. (Then again, there's hope, see below).

Further research reveals that a child traveling with the wanted fugitives is named "Bovine," which speaks to questionable judgment (though not necessarily homicidal behavior), since it's kind of mean to name a kid after a cow and it also makes you pretty conspicuous if you register for daycare while on the lam (or lamb? BOOM!) 

Even in a state where naming children after mountains, trees, and weeds is common,"Bovine" sticks out.

For some reason, sketch-ass fugitive motherfuckers have this delusional fantasy that Alaska is going to be like their secret haven where they can just hide out forever. 

couple problems with this myth:

1. It's not as easy to hide out here as you think. Alaska has a very small population (738,500) and the lowest population density in the U.S. So everyone is six degrees of separation from everyone else. Newcomers are duly noted everywhere.

2. There's plenty of wilderness to hide out in. But the average fugitive who is dumb enough to shoot 8 people and hit the road is unlikely to survive here very long without Alaska kicking their ass to the point of serious injury or death.

In sum, there's good news and bad news to this story. 

The bad news is that homicidal rednecks still run away to Alaska and the myth of escape.

The good news is that the myth of the Alaska escape is just that, a myth, and people and sketch who live and belong here know how to flush out the people and sketch who don't.

Tick-tock, motherfuckers!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Think I Speak for Most Women When I Say I Wish There Was a Safe and Clean Way to Catheterize Myself Every Night

"Too lazy to pee" are four words I would have hoped I'd never use to describe myself, but welp, here we are.

And I think I speak for most women when I say I wish there was some way to safely (and painlessly) catheterize myself overnight, for the simple reason that my bladder won't last through the night on its own. It wasn't just the kids. I've always been like this. It's just that now, I can't go back to sleep again, because here's what happens:

I suddenly worry I haven't set the alarm so I go double check. But whoops!

Since my alarm clock is also my calendar, maybe I should take a quick peek just to see what meetings I have tomorrow.
 

And then because my calendar is my weatherman, I need to look at the weather to figure out what to wear to the meeting.

And then because my weatherman is also telling me that the weather is going to be unusually warm, I start to get nervous about climate change and open my newspaper, which surprise surprise, is also my weatherman.

And once I open the newspaper, all bets are off, and I might as well check my email which is right next to my newspaper.

And I'm wide-awake and mad at the world at 4:00 a.m.

I know what you're going to say. Why are you sleeping with a smart phone next to your bed? Don't you know that's the EXACT thing that every expert in everything since smart phones were invented tells you not to fucking do? 


And that if you do it you are seriously the worst person on earth, and might as well be smoking 800 packs of cigarettes and eating Junior Mints by the bucketful every single day?! And how but no, seriously though, you shouldn't do that it's terrible sleep hygiene.

To that I say: PISH-POSH! I might come up with a good idea for a blog post, (and often do from dreams). And also, how will I know when something horrible happens to a relative on the east coast?

You can see the problem. 


And, at the risk of offending someone who actually needs a catheter for medical reasons, this is why it all comes down to wanting a catheter simply to avoid losing three hours of precious sleep to Donald Trump's early morning tweet-storms.

Not Equipped

I am not equipped for this task. That’s what I thought, for months after he asked me. His message sat in my in-box, blinking, criticizing, reminding. I see you, it said. I see you not doing this thing you promised to do.

He didn’t ask again, but I knew he wouldn’t. My disappointing failure to do this was going to be just that: My own failure and my own disappointment.

I wrote to him and told him I was halfway there. I had read my friend Ishmael’s book of poems, Rock Piles Along the Eddy, but I couldn’t do the second part. I couldn’t write about it.

Sorry it’s taken me so long. I haven’t forgotten, I promise. But I’m not equipped to do this. That’s what I told him, in so many words. I thought your poems were beautiful, but what do I know? What does a Jewish woman, born and raised in New York City, and an Alaska transplant/intruder/interloper know about the poetry of an Inupiaq and Tlingit Alaska Native man?

Moreover, I’m not a literary critic. I write about farts, nipples, Cheetos, and Donald Trump's spray tan for tweets, shares, and viral laughs. I don’t know anything about poems. Or if I do, I’ve forgotten. And when I did know, it was the classic western kind. Keats, Yeats, Walt Whitman. Norton Anthology stuff. I have nothing to say.

He assured me that I did have something to say, which is why he had asked me to say something. And over the course of some back-and-forth, I realized he was right. The problem was not that I had nothing to say. To the contrary, I had plenty to say. I was just afraid to say it.

The night before, I’d asked Geoff what my “angle” on this post should be. He said “don’t go there.” By “there” I knew what he meant. He meant The Things We Don’t Talk About. For us, maybe why we chose to circumcise our son and why we don’t have a Christmas tree. The Holocaust, slavery, genocide, diaspora, assimilation, competing in the historical trauma “suffering Olympics.” As if there could be a Gold Medal in such a thing. 


Preposterous.

But, Ishmael said, this is the crux of dialogue. It is the crux of my blog, too, though the medium seems trivial, petty and ephemeral. To explore and probe with authenticity and sometimes vulgarity, and hopefully some depth, the things we don’t like to face. The Things We Don't Talk About. To stare into the blinding sun of those things, open my eyes wide, and let them burn my retinas.

What does it mean to do that in this particular instance? Well, I think it means to acknowledge that there is a reason I do not like to wear my Alaska Native jewelry and why my lavender kuspuk stays buried in a drawer, out of sight. It feels dishonest and appropriating to adorn myself with these objects. 

It means “passing” as “white,” and collecting all the prizes—big and small—awarded for the genetic happenstance of white skin. Being in, of, defending, and benefiting from the systems erected and imposed amid the ruins of a very recent and evident cultural genocide, the reverberations of which are felt, seen, and heard everywhere, every day, in this state. 

To concede the point that it is more than “white guilt” or “white tears.” Or being “woke” or "calling people out" for being “not woke.” It is those things, of course, but above all, it is white complicity.

A few lines from one of Ishmael's poems in RPATE (my invented acronym for this, Ishmael’s second collection of poems) reminded me where the rubber of my reluctance met the road of necessity to do the simple thing Ishmael had asked of me:

This is Native land.
Until you recognize this, there is no justice.
Until you act on this, there is no justice.
Until you dig deeper than empathy, there is no justice.
Until you give up what you never should have had in the first place, there is no justice.
Taking up the space, the land, the airtime, the mic, the profits,
the recognition, the dialogue, the conversation.
It’ll never feel right.


Steps Toward Dismantling Collective Psychosis on Colonized Land is the title of the poem from which this excerpt is taken.

In Alaska, we live in the wake of a massive cultural genocide perpetrated with surgical, devastating precision on a complex and rich culture. This is a fact. To acknowledge it as objective reality—and not a matter of subjective perception—is, just maybe, one tiny step toward dismantling the collective psychosis that none of it ever happened.



Monday, June 19, 2017

This I Spy Junk Board is a Hard-Won Trophy of Short-Lived Sibling Harmony

If I'm honest (and I usually am), a full 70% of my kids' interactions with each other are hostile. Scratch that. It's more like 80%.

This statistic defies my only-childhood fantasy of sibling bliss. Despite being forewarned by veteran parents, I had naively assumed that my kids would be best friends at all times. Now I realize they're just two people who got stuck with the same parents and chromosomes. Under more primal circumstances, they would surely try to kill each other in the wild in a Darwinian quest for resources.

The deflated expression on Isaac's face in this picture provides a glimpse into the tempestuous evening that led to the creation of this "I Spy" junk board.

I'd come home from work in a mood. A bad one. My eczema was flaring up again after I'd let myself believe that an expensive magical medicine had cured it forever. The state legislature was marching grimly toward the fiscal plank of a devastating shutdown that would put a serious cog in everyone's financial works. And natch, because it was a day ending in "Y," Vladimir Cheetos was barging through the China shop of American democracy like a raging orange bull.

In short: My data limit for the intolerable had just been exceeded, which is my kids' cue to go into roll-over minutes.

I tried to go to my "happy place" of adult coloring on the couch as I listened to Paige and Isaac devolve into pointless conflict over nothing.

"MOOOOOOOOOM!!!! ISAAC TOOK MY DOLLS!"

"WELL SHE SMALL-PINCHED ME AND CRUSHED MY NUTS!" ("Small pinching" is exactly what it sounds like, and so is "nut crushing").


I just sat there ignoring them both, slowly rolling a magenta glitter gel pen around and around inside the petal of a pen-and-ink flower, pretending I was somewhere--anywhere--else. 

Somewhere I didn't have to hear my kids arguing with each other, for the sound of my kids arguing is even more unbearable to me than Nickelback and/or the sound of Donald Trump saying words, which is really saying something. 

Finally, I played the "no screen time or sugar for a month if you don't quit fighting" empty threat card. Fortunately, my kids still fear my making good on this threat, notwithstanding all historical precedent to the contrary. They fell into line. 

Under Paige's able (if slightly despotic) leadership, my kids cooperated to both get rid of junk AND use their imaginations!

Of course, this "I Spy Board," as Paige called it, was itself destined to become the object of a future fight. But for now, it was a hard-won trophy of short-lived sibling harmony, and it would be documented for posterity.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Face Hurts from Glitz-Related Smiling

The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Waverly Place, a few blocks from Stonewall. Boys Night at Twylo. Provincetown in summer. The AIDS Walk. Gay and lesbian couples in my familial orbit. 

These were all staples of my very straight, very cis-gendered childhood in New York City. So I'm certainly no stranger to drag. And all I can say is Juneau fucking BRINGS it when it comes to drag and Pride.

It was only by the grace of a friend whose husband was performing as one of the queens that I scored a seat to what I didn't realize (but will certainly note for future reference) was the hottest ticket in town. (P.S. to note to self: DO NOT WEAR JEANS, WOOL SOCKS, AND CLOGS, K?). I couldn't stop laughing and smiling watching all the drag queens and kings just fucking kill it up there.  

And I honestly teared up looking at all the people who had come to see this flagship Pride week event. Because it's one thing to celebrate Pride and the LGBTQ community in NYC, where tolerance abounds, and it's quite another to do it with so much love and so much enthusiasm in the capital of Alaska.

Everyone has a different story. I'm not LGBTQ myself, and I don't pretend to know what a lot of the people in that room and on that stage have been through.

I was reminded of it, though, when the emcee who was down from Anchorage mentioned that there were protests planned against Anchorage Pride, and called on the audience to just love one another.

I have to confess it's hard for me not to be repulsed by (much less love) people who would take time out of their day just to show up and rain negativity on fellow human beings who have nothing to do with them, and are just trying to celebrate their own humanity.

Then I decided that if I couldn't dig up any love, I could at least find sympathy. Because really, you have to feel sorry for people who are that sheltered, damaged, and afraid. You just have to feel compassion for someone who can't find it for others. For people with that kind of misguided, clueless hate in their hearts. It must suck so hard to be them, and hopefully love and Pride will drown out their sad, tiny, shitty little voices.

To end on a lighter (grosser?) note, I had an insight tonight about "test-farting" and gender-neutral bathrooms. 

Test-farting is what I do when I have to fart and I'm not sure what the fart situation is. Like is it a mild one-off? Or is it about to be like the kind of thing where I just need to go home?

That's when I realized what the bathroom wars were really all about. I AM afraid of gender-neutral bathrooms! Why? Because I spent my entire younger life trying not to be the girl who accidentally gave up the biggest secret of her entire gender.

One of the drag kings was wearing a tank top that said "GENDER IS OVER," which is all well and good. But that doesn't change the fact that in a post-gender society with gender-neutral bathrooms, a hot guy might hear me fart.

Now THAT'S something to protest, motherfuckers!









Saturday, June 17, 2017

Juneau DJ and Radio Personality Angel Montgomery Could Make the Garbage Dump Sound Like a Trip to Disney Land

Because I have a nine year-old girl, I end up listening to a shitload of Top 40. Ugh, who am I kidding. I would totes listen to Top 40 anyway, because I am 100% here for Coldplay, T-Swizzle, and Drake.

Regardless of whose fault it is (mine or my kid's), I listen to Mix 106 in the car a lot and I must say, I am in awe of local DJ and radio personality Angel Montgomerey's ability to make ANYTHING sound AMAZEBALLS.

I can only surmise that she is named after the John Prine song, Angel from Montgomery, but either way, the thing I love about this DJ is that she is obviously really great at her job. Like, watching someone who's really good at their job is always fun. Whether they're a lawyer, a fisherman, a mechanic, a musician, a teacher, or a carver, there is a unique pleasure in observing someone kick ass at their job.

Part of Angel's job (can I call her Angel? I don't actually know her), is to set up shop with her radio gear at various locations and events around town and advertise and promote them. 

Over the years, Angel and her perky enthusiasm have convinced me to bring home a spicy tuna Poke bowl, get my tires checked, and eat a 16 oz. cup of raspberry frozen yogurt with gummy worms on it, when truth be told I needed exactly zero of those things. I would die of exhaustion if I had to sound that happy about anything for even five minutes.

Just this very morning, I heard Angel promoting Gold Rush Days, where I know for a fact it is pissing down rain, and yet Angel made it sound like a beach bonfire in Maui with an open bar that you'd be crazy not to hit up immediately. 

In fact, Angel could make Juneau's garbage dump sound like Disney Land. I'm not kidding. You would flip a U-turn and book it right to the dump if Angel told you to go there, because this is what it would sound like:
Howya doin' folks!? Angel Montogmery here, and we're broadcasting live this morning from Juneau's #1 garbage dump in Lemon Creek! And let me tell you: It. Is. AMAZING. DO. NOT. MISS THIS! There's liquid sunshine just STREAMING down out of the sky right now onto mounds and mounds (we're talking TONS) of the best junk in town! And the eagles, Omigosh. The eagles are just EVERYWHERE. They're circling around, and those majestic birds are going to snap up all the old fish heads and rusty tire irons if you don't hurry up and get out here NOW. AND, while you're here you can put your name in to win an all-expenses paid trip to see Lady Gaga in Las Vegas!
Serious props to Angel Montgomery who could make the garbage dump sound like the biggest party ever.

Friday, June 16, 2017

That Time You Thought it Was Summer in Alaska But Then Were All Like Wait, No, Never Mind. It is Fucking Snowing in June

1.That time you went out in your friend’s boat and caught an 80 lb. halibut under a bluebird sky: Nothing says summer in Alaska like fishing on the crystal blue waters of the Inside Passage. It really felt like summer that day! Almost 70 with calm winds, and a self-satisfied sense of AAAAAAAAAH! This is THE LIFE! Only problem is that now it’s 45 degrees, raining at sea level, snowing in the mountains, and windy AF. That’s when you were like wait, no, never mind, remind me why I live here, no one told me to live here, it’s fucking snowing in June.

2. That time you roasted caribou hot dogs on the beach and wore sunglasses while watching the sun set at 11:00 p.m. with some mountains you can't name in the background: A reindeer hot dog roasted over an open fire under the Midnight Sun. It’s Insta-Instagrammable eco-porn! You snapped that pic, posted it, were like #SummerInAlaska, and watched the likes and the wows just POUR the fuck in. BOOYA! But the very next day it was like, oh wait, never mind, I left my phone out on the deck and now it’s dead because monsoons. #SnowingInJune #BuildTheArc.

3. That time you ran on a trail with your friend at lunch in short sleeves:
 Alaska is totes all about work-life balance. Alaskans consistently have the highest life satisfaction on that index of life happiness thing that was going around that one time on Facebook. On beautiful sunny days at lunch during the work week you’ll be like, Hey guuuuuuuuuurl, let’s go for a run, it’s like soooooooooo nice outside, riiieeeeeght? And your friend will be all like, YAY! SUMMER! Fer Suuuuuuuure! Meet ya on the super bright corner across from the Capitol Building where nothing’s happening anymore in 10! And then the next day you’ll both be like uhhhhhhhhm, wait, never mind I’m wearing my puffy coat to work again kill me now every moment I live is agony, m'kay?

4. That time you went on a 12-mile hike up on that ridge: It felt so great to beep-boop-bip-bop yourself and your FitBit and hydration pack up to the alpine, get up on that ridge, take a deep breath of fresh mountain air, and gaze down onto the celestial fjords below. You fucking BLEW up the ‘Gram with pics that day! Too bad/so sad the next day you were like, What mountain? There's no mountain there. I can’t even see across the street for all the fog and sideways rain, but you know what I can see? MY FUCKING BREATH, Y'ALL!


5. That time you realized that the first four times were actually all during the same three-day period: 
Deep down you know summer in Alaska only lasts three days, if you’re lucky. In retrospect, all four things just described above happened over the course of three days in May. THAT’S when you’re like, OMG forget it. Fucking forget summer. Let me just see what fucked up shit Trump did today, and when I take a break from that, let me watch the Alaska Legislature hurl feces at each other and foam at the mouth online like two warring bands of rabid gibbons while the ship of state sinks like the Titanic.



Suggested Gavel to Gavel Playlist for the Next Floor Session of the Alaska Legislature

Last night’s acrimonious house floor session left little hope of a budget deal between the two houses of Alaska’s Legislature. Fortunately, music heals all! Here’s a playlist—to be piped in on Gavel to Gavel—to help the House and the Senate come together to avert a government shutdown on July 1.

Come Together (The Beatles)

Let’s Stay Together (Al Green)

Baby Come Back (Player)

I Won’t Give Up (Jason Mraz)

Two of Us (The Beatles)

Can’t We Talk it Over in Bed (Olivia Newton John)

In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel—for this one, the House or Senate stands outside the chamber of the other body with a giant boom box over its head).

I Want You Back (The Jackson 5)

We Can Work it Out (The Beatles)

Love the Way You Lie (Eminem feat. Rihanna)

Right Here Waiting (Richard Marx)

Reunited (Peaches & Herb)

With or Without You (U2)

Together Forever (Rick Astley)

We Don’t Talk Anymore (Charlie Puth/Selena Gomez)

We Are Family (Sister Sledge)

Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus)

Trainwreck (Demi Lovato)

We Belong Together (Mariah Carey)

We Are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift—on second thought, maybe this one isn’t such a good idea).


Photo: Nat Herz, Alaska Dispatch News

Alex Jones is a Bitch and So is Karma

It takes a special kind of scumbag--like really Grade A scum--to hawk conspiracy theories to a desperate and gullible tinfoil hat-clad audience of two million bigots.

It takes an EPIC scumbag to make one of those conspiracy theories that a mass shooting that killed 20 kindergarteners was a hoax.

And it takes quite possibly the deepest bottom-dweller ever to bury itself in the sands of the Mariana Trench to use as a defense--in their own divorce proceeding--that they don't really believe any of it and are just "playing a character" for ratings.

Welp, what's good for Alex Jones' goose is good for Megyn Kelly's gander, because Alex Jones is a bitch and so is karma.

There's more than enough blame to go around for the state of the nation right now, but at least some of it belongs squarely to TV networks who pimp scum for ratings. After all, isn't that how we ended up with Trump in the first place? Didn't a network executive famously say during the campaign that Trump was bad for America but good for ratings?

WELP.

Here's what happens when you pimp democracy and your morals for TV ratings. America ends up in the shitter, and karma fucks you in zole.

Seriously, karma just strapped on a huge latex purple dildo and rammed it right up the ass of everyone involved in this entire thing.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Real Salem Witch Responds to Trump WITCH HUNT Tweet (Nice!)

They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice

--President Donald J. Trump, June 15, 2017, 2:55 a.m., EST

You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA

--President Donald J. Trump, June 15, 2017, 3:57 a.m., EST

Dearest Mr. Trump,

With all due respect, I beg to differ that yours is “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history,” for I was a mere 17 years of age, when, in 1692, I bore witness as one of the “afflicted” girls in the Salem Witch Trials held over the course of a fortnight in the colony of Massachusetts.

Your being a poor student of history—and yet now inexplicably and unspeakably at the helm of This Great Nation—it would behoove you to learn the origins of the term you have carelessly tweeted so often, and with such wanton disregard, so as you may know the fallacy of your assertion.

For it is not, in fact, former FBI-director Robert Mueller’s investigation into your campaign’s collusion with the Russian government, nor your admitted obstruction of justice to Lester Holt on NBC News that constitutes “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history.”

Forsooth! That dubious distinction belongs to none other than the literal Salem Witch Trials of 1692-93. 

Given your penchant for mendacity, one might hesitate to lend credulity to ye who has questioned—without evidence—the birthplace of his predecessor, the size of his inauguration crowds, the weather falling from the sky, and countless other verifiable details that any commoner with two eyes within his head might swiftly confirm as lies.

As our jury five years too-late confessed in writing, our contemporaries were “not capable to understand, nor able to withstand the mysterious delusions of the powers of darkness and prince of air, but were for want of knowledge . . . and better information from others,” and therefore “prevailed with to take up with such evidence against the accused,” and thus “ignorantly and unwittingly” brought upon themselves the “guilt of innocent blood.”

The Good Men of Salem were thus forced to beg forgiveness for their involvement in what truly in God's Eyes was “the single greatest WITCH HUNT” ever launched upon this Blessed nation’s soil. 

Twenty persons executed, dear sir! Fourteen of them women, and all but one by hanging in the public square in Salem Town, in Colonial America’s most notorious case of mass hysteria. Our ordeal serves as a warning to all who come after that one must never hasten to false accusations, religious extremism, isolationism, or an abdication of due process.

Warnings, might I add, that ye would be wise to heed.

Thus, yours is not, in fact, “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history.” You continue to tweet and golf with abandon; to seek praise heaped upon your ears by all who come within your orbit; to eat McDonald’s on your airplane; to hold rallies in which your acolytes genuflect before thine orange majesty and supply thine bottomless ego with the poisonous bromide of empty adulation!

A simple review of Wikipedia and a quick Google search for my name and sundry letters from our time confirms the foregoing.

Respectfully and Forever Yours,

Mary Walcott

The Four Most Ridonks Tweets of the Past 24 Hours (and the Bar is LOW)





UPDATE BONUS TWEET



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I Wish I Loved Anything as Much as Dudes Love Being Right

Honestly. 

I often have this thought. The thought that I wish I loved something—anything—as much as the average dude loves being right.

Advanced disclaimer for the salt and shade-throwers: this is #NotAllMen, nor is this “reverse sexism,” although there’s no such thing as either of those things, but yadda yadda beep boop boppity boop whatevs. That's a whole other can of worms to open on another day.

For argument’s sake, let’s just accept the basic premise of this post—a premise that I believe echoes most women’s experience, and the experience of most dudes who are honest with themselves right now: 

That there is no one—NO ONE--who loves anything more in this entire universe than a dude loves being right.

Right, correct, vindicated, a winner, nailed it, dead-on, whatever the word or expression. Everyone likes to be right. But dudes LOVE it. I mean, they REALLY love it. Dudes love being right SO FUCKING MUCH. 

They love it more than sex. They love it more than food. THEY FUCKING LOVE IT. 

When I looked at my kids devouring a flat of blueberries while standing at the kitchen counter yesterday, I thought to myself, “Wow. I wish I loved anything as much as my kids love blueberries.” Then I realized this was a weak metric. 

Because that very evening I went online to read about The Latest Shitty Thing to Happen in America. And it dawned on me that each time I do this, or get into a discussion with my husband about why his rage at Aetna's explanation of benefits is a stupid and unproductive waste of time, or I help a female friend navigate the insatiable desire of her male superiors to BE RIGHT AT ALL COSTS, I realize that loving blueberries is insufficient.

Nope. I want to love something as much as a dude loves being right. THAT is legit #LifeGoals.

I think most women will relate to this fantasy. Like it must feel SO GOOD to love something THAT MUCH. After breathing, blinking, and blame, rectitude is a dude’s number one instinct and first love, and I want that kind of love in my life. I want to know what that feels like.

With the exception of my children themselves, which of course are in an entirely different category from an evolutionary standpoint, I struggle to come up with something I love as much as dudes love being right about literally anything.

From the most trivial thing (e.g., Hertz shouldn't have charged extra for the rental car seat) to the most serious (gun control is necessary/unnecessary), I want to know what love is. 

Like the Foreigner song. I wanna know what love is. I want you to show me. I wanna feel what love is. I know you can show me. Show me love is real, yeah. I wanna know what love is. 

To #MostDudes: Be like Foreigner and show me what it means to love something as much as you love being right.

Fake News and Fidget Spinners

I knew it. I FUCKING KNEW IT. The minute I read the story about the guy who got a Fidget Spinner stuck up his ass and got "rushed" to the hospital, I knew that shit was FAKE NEWS.

I knew it even before my kids begged me for Fidget Spinners. If you don't know about Fidget Spinners, you either: (a) don't have a kid ages 5-15; and/or (b) are extremely lucky. 

As fads go, Fidget Spinners could be much worse. They could have a screen. They could beep and boop. They could have a fake smell or be messy. They could take up a lot of space. They could be expensive. They could need batteries. They could be like Legos and have sharp corners that hurt when you step on them. They could glorify sex or violence. They could be impossible to find anywhere because they are part of an engineered supply-and-demand conspiracy.

But they are none of these things, and so they could be a lot worse. But like all fads, Fidget Spinners are junk and involved a high degree of nagging and begging and discussion. 

For a few weeks, all I heard from both my kids was FIDGET SPINNER FIDGET SPINNER FIDGET SPINNER FIDGET SPINNER, until finally I did what I never should have done, which was order two Fidget Spinners from the local toy store. 

I shouldn't have done it, because their grandmother was coming the next day, and fuck me running if she didn't come up here with two Fidget Spinners.

"I didn't even reahlize these were awl the rage!," my mom exclaimed, clearly satisfied with herself. "I just sawr them in a store and thought they looked like fun!" 

"Franma," as she is known, was clearly thrilled that she had serendipitously stumbled upon a red-hot kiddie-trend, and meanwhile I had two fucking Fidget Spinners sitting on hold at a store waiting for me to pick them up.

Whatever.

Shortly before my mom arrived with the Fidget Spinners but after I'd ordered them myself, I did some research into the toy--which I had never seen or held--and found quite an interesting internet tidbit.

This story had the number one red flag for an urban legend (which is what we used to call FAKE NEWS in the Before Time, when you could still tell the difference): It involved something getting stuck up someone's ass. 

Have you ever noticed how so many urban legends involve that scenario? Like Richard Gere and the gerbil? When something gets stuck up someone's ass, your urban legend/fake news radar should go on high alert.

So it was with this urban legend/fake news story about some guy getting a Fidget Spinner stuck up his ass, getting caught by his parents, and "getting rushed" to the hospital to have surgery after the toy basically tore him a new one. 

The story quoted "interviews" with everyone, including the surgeon who had to perform a complicated colo-rectal repair as a result of this masturbatory misadventure.

I suspected this to be bullshit, of course, but only when I held a Fidget Spinner in my hand for the first time did I KNOW for a fact that it was. 

The Fidget Spinner is way too big and unusually shaped to fit up anyone's ass. It would never move on its own such as to require a drive (much less a "rush") to the hospital or surgery. The way the "article" made it sound, this guy had gotten a suppository-shaped, battery-operated metal fan stuck up his ass in the "on" position.

Snopes--once a go-to website for urban legend fact-checking that has taken on new import in 2017 for obvious reasons--confirmed that this story was a crock of shit. But it did chalk one more up in the "pro" column of the Fidget Spinner fad: 

You'd have to try pretty hard to get a Fidget Spinner stuck up your ass and require surgery as a result.










Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jeff Sessions Pump-Up Playlist for Future Congressional Testimony

Given Jeff Sessions' apparent total lack of recall at today's Senate hearing, I'm suggesting a future playlist he can put on his iPod shuffle to pych him up for next time and hopefully yield more helpful public testimony.

  • Memory (Barbara Streisand (from the Musical CATS)
  • These are Days (You'll Remember) (Natalie Merchant)
  • The Way We Were (Barbara Streisand)
  • I Remember You (Skid Row)
  • Yesterday (The Beatles)
  • I Will Remember You (Sarah McLachlan/Macy Gray)
  • I Will Not Forget You (Sarah McLachlan)
  • It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday (Boyz II Men)
  • Nights I Can’t Remember, Friends I’ll Never Forget (Toby Keith)
  • Try to Remember (Harry Belafonte)
  • More Than a Memory (Garth Brooks)
  • Forget About Us (Tim McGraw)
  • Don’t You Forget About Me (Simple Minds)
  • Forget About the Future (Sting)
  • Never Forget You (Mariah Carey)
  • I Forgot to Remember to Forget (Johnny Cash)
  • I Can’t Forget (Leonard Cohen)
  • Soon Forget (Pearl Jam)
  • In My Life (The Beatles)
  • I Won’t Forget You (Poison)
  • Trying So Hard to Forget (Fleetwood Mac)
  • Don’t Forget to Remember Me (Carrie Underwood)
  • How Soon We Forget (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  • I’m Not Trying to Forget You Anymore (Willie Nelson)
  • I’ll Never Forget (Dolly Parton)
  • Memories (Elvis Presley)
  • Reflections (The Supremes)
  • Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room (Brownsville Station)
  • This is the Time (to Remember) (Billy Joel)
  • Don’t Forget Me (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  • At Times We Do Forget (Steve Winwood)
  • How Can You Ever Forget (Carly Simon)
  • Did I Forget to Pray (Billy Ray Cyrus)
  • Just Forget It, Son (Alan Jackson)
  • Forget Myself (Third Eye Blind)
  • I’ll Forget You (Jerry Garcia)
  • Forget It (Dinosaur Junior)
  • Photograph (Nickelback)
  • Forget to Remember (Megadeth)



Trump, Democracy, and the Double-Edged Sword of Predictability

Let’s talk for a minute about Trump, democracy, and the double-edged sword of predictability.

I’ll start with an analogy.

When you walk into a store—say Target, for example—the default presumption of everyone involved in the transaction is that you'll
 pay for the items you put into your cart. If you shoplift, you might get caught, but you might not, which is why Target’s bottom line has a built-in buffer for fraud and theft. 

Still, shoplifting and theft are not presumed. If they were, Target would be out of business.

It would be impossible for Target to catch every shoplifter. Target depends on its customers to adhere to certain norms—an honor code, basically. There’s an implicit expectation that just because you can get away with something doesn’t mean you’ll try or you will. Not because you expect to be caught, necessarily, but at least in part because you're guided by an underlying moral compass oriented toward the social compact.

It might be religious (thou shalt not steal) or it might be secular, but either way, it’s coming from internalized morality of some kind. Yes, shoplifting is illegal, but it’s also perfectly easy to get away with, and yet most people don’t shoplift or stores couldn’t exist. 

In short, the baseline default of relative, majority honesty is the glue of the social compact, and it’s what keeps us functional. It's a key and material distinction between sociopaths and non-sociopaths.

Now let’s apply this analogy to the Trump administration as we’ve known it up to now.

Trump and the people around him are not on board with the social compact or the framework of American democracy. They are walking into Target with a plan to shoplift everything they can, whether they ultimately get away with it or not. They’re willing to risk getting caught, because “getting caught” really doesn’t mean much. They know their malfeasance will likely overwhelm the weak enforcement mechanisms of a spineless Congress—the equivalent of Target’s unarmed, half-alert private security guards; and in the meantime, they'll raid the Republic and sell it for parts.

Again, it is not some law of physics that American constitutional democracy should continue to work. It only works because everyone agrees that it should AND acts like it. 

So when does it *really* stop working?

I posed that question—in person—to Erwin Chemerinksy, a constitutional law scholar and dean of Berkeley Law School, who spoke at this year’s Alaska Bar Convention. His answer, loosely paraphrased, was “the minute Trump ignores a Supreme Court order.” At that point, Dean Chemerinksy said frankly, “nobody’s constitutional rights are safe.”

Why?

Because at that point, the chief executive has ceased to honor norms that have made the three branches of government function in balance for the past 240 years. 

The President’s reported threats to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating the Trump-Russia fiasco, would be a step in that direction, preceded only by Nixon's brazen, norm-busting Saturday Night Massacre. Publicly disparaging, or worse—ignoring—a Supreme Court order makes Trump’s abdication of democratic norms a fait accompli.

The President’s Twitter feed is a useful window into his disregard for democracy and penchant for propaganda, and the courts are increasingly taking it seriously. They ought to, because Trump is stretching the fabric of the Republic to its breaking point.

Set aside the rise in hate crimes and assaults on journalists. Just look at the President's six most recent tweets. In 840 characters or less, he shows more contempt for democracy and raw fascist instinct (it’s generous to call it more than instinct) than any President in living memory:

  • He maligns the judiciary and implicitly threatens the Supreme Court. (Not illegal, but not remotely normal for a President). 
  • With a sinister precision, he co-opts the language of his opposition: (“resist!” and “agenda of hate”) to confuse and gaslight his detractors and convert himself into the narrative's victim. (A classic psychological manipulation tactic deployed by autocrats and domestic abusers). 
These norm-defying statements are not illegal in and of themselves, of course, but they erode the default presumption of honesty and normalcy, in service of covering for unconstitutional conduct that Trump is betting will go unanswered. 

The silver lining here is the tactical advantage of predictability. American democracy is under an insidious and unprecedented assault, but while it might be unprecedented here, it’s not unprecedented elsewhere and therefore it's not unpredictable.

Like all strongmen and autocrats, Trump is nothing if not predictable. (See below for my 24-hour prediction of his tweet on the Ninth Circuit TRAVEL BAN ruling).  

American patriots can—and must—use this predictability to anticipate productive dissent. Make no mistake: American democracy is in for the fight of its life.







Monday, June 12, 2017

Small Critters Union Clashes with Power Company Over Outage Blame Game

JUNEAU

A brief power outage in Juneau on Sunday has sparked a sharp-clawed backlash from the local chapter of the Small Critters Union, whose membership Juneau's electric utility company, Alaska Electric Light & Power, blames for the weekend disruption.

According to a report on KTOO Public News Media, AEL&P spokeswoman Debbie Driscoll "thinks a bird or squirrel" caused the hour-long outage to several areas including Douglas, West Juneau, North Douglas, and parts of downtown.

Not everyone is buying the power company's theory, though. 

Marty McMouse, President of Local 481, Small Critters, believes his membership--which includes field mice, squirrels, Stellar Blue Jays, hummingbirds, marmots, and brown recluse spiders, among others--has been unfairly tarred with the power outage blame brush when Ms. Driscoll's own words belie the critters' involvement in the mess.

"We've had a good working relationship with Driscoll over the years, this is nothing against her," said Mr. Mouse. 

"But," he continued, "even she conceded that AEL&P patrolled the line and didn't find any evidence of anything in contact with the line. It's like she's just going off past power outages caused by small critters, when in this case she fully admits it could have been anything. It's not like an eagle dropped a deer carcass on a line like last year. This is just spurious speculation on her part."

Sally Squirrel, in-house counsel for the Small Critters Union, told O.H.M. that the Small Critters have a reputation to protect.

"It's our position that, in general, small critters take on a disproportionate amount of the blame for all sorts of things," Ms. Squirrel said in an email. "We get blamed for everything from leaving turds in cabinets that are actually just loose raisins, to chewing through garbage can lids our incisors couldn't possibly penetrate. Juneau needs to be on notice, because increasingly, we're going to be squeaking up about it."


Breaking Beast

Once upon a time (i.e. last night), our whole family watched the 1991 cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast. Paige has seen the movie many times, because we made the mistake of buying it during her mercifully now defunct "Disney Princess" phase.

She wanted to watch it again for the first time in years, because Hermione Granger stars in the new live action version. Isaac, age 6, is highly gender-conforming and never had a princess phase, so this was his first screening of the animated "classic."

The world could drown in the ink spilled on feminist take-downs of the fucked up Disney Princess Industrial Complex, and yet I feel driven to spill s'more because of my son's 
WTF reaction to this movie.

Reviewing the film's main plot points and messaging, it's easy to see why even a six year-old boy--not yet entrenched in society's misogyny and having instinctive common sense--gave this movie the side-eye:

1. GASTON AS CREEPER: Gaston is a class A-1 gym creeper. He stalks Belle the entire movie and throws a 120-minute temper tantrum because Belle “friend-zoned” him.

2. BELLE AS HUMAN CURRENCY: Belle is 100% human currency. First she’s her dad’s caretaker. Then she's shuttled back and forth between her dad and the Beast. At the castle, she trades herself in for her dad, then becomes the Beast’s prisoner, then leaves to rescue her dad, and then goes back to the Beast of her own "free will."

3. THE BIBLIOPHILE FIG LEAF: Belle likes books, because somehow that’s supposed to make her seem less like human currency. In fact, this plot device only makes Belle's obvious lack of access to a meaningful education and rich professional life that much sadder.

4. BELLE HAS PATTY HEARST SYNDROME: As a coping mechanism, Belle develops Patty Hearst Syndrome by sympathizing with her captor. All it takes to win her over is dinner and dancing in a ballroom and a playful snowball fight shortly before the Beast saves her from wolves.

5. BEAST IS AS BAD AS GASTON: The Beast is only a slightly less awful version of Gaston, because he too cannot take no for an answer. Isaac put it best: “This movie is scary. Why is he trying so hard to make her like him?” Good question, kid!

6. THE FERTILE OCTOGENARIAN: No one explains from a scientific fertility perspective how the old Mrs. Potts (the teapot/maid), who is voiced by Angela Lansbury and looks 85, has a toddler/teacup who is her “son.”

7. ANATOMICAL ISSUES OF HUMAN AND BEAST COPULATION: Conveniently, no one deals with the difficult issue of what would happen if Belle and the Beast tried to get it on—like how would that work anatomically? Belle doesn’t jump the Beast's bones until after he transmogrifies back into an animated Brendan Frazier doppelgänger, so the film leaves this question hanging.

8. CARTOON BRENDAN FRAZIER IS GROSS AF:
As I say above, in the end, the Beast turns into an animated Brendan Frazier, but he looked way better as the Beast. (In a double-blind study 9 out of 10 women said they would rather fuck the Beast in his Beast form as opposed to his Brendan Frazier form).

I want to make a sequel to this movie and call it “Breaking Beast.” It’ll be like a mix between Breaking Bad and the original classic fairytale.

Belle's dad Maurice develops tuberculosis and starts tinkering with crystallized absinthe (street name: “green ice”) to sell to the villagers to pay for his treatment. (Rococo-era France doesn't have single-payer yet). 


Maurice calls up his old pal the Beast/Brendan Frazier, and the two go into “business” together. They commandeer the wooden cart that has “Asylum for Loons,” painted on it (in the original movie, an angry mob tried to shove Maurice in there and have him committed to an 18th century mental health facility), and they drive it deep into the forest. 

There, the two start cooking absinthe, and they buy an old flour mill in the village as a fence for their operation. All of the ancillary characters—Gaston, the anthropomorphized furniture from the castle, the angry mob, etc.—are the Beast and Maurice's drug gang connections, fixers, lawyers, and rivals.

The pressures of the drug trade start to fray the relationship between the Beast and Maurice, and pretty soon the Beast is partying in the castle all wasted, while Maurice lets villagers OD like whatevs and has to bury all his gold coins at the bottom of a moat.

Meanwhile, Belle stays at home clueless, wringing her hands and along for the ride yet again, just like her character in the original movie and most of the female characters in Breaking Bad.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Power is Out and Whatever We Live in Alaska: Report from the Edge of Civilization

To the First Brave Soul Who Finds This Note:

There's a power outage right now, so I haven't much time, and
I must dispatch this communique with all due haste. Forgive me, then, if my final prose bequeathed unto the Internet is rough and shoddy.

WiFi is down, says the AEL&P hotline, between here and Snettisham, and a deepening fog is misting ominously through Gastineau Channel. Miraculously though thus far, our party of one hearty husband (who was unceremoniously interrupted while watching the Yankees game on the YES cable network) and three fourth grade girls playing Monopoly, is faring well.

Aaron Judge, who at this rate is totally on his way to getting Rookie of the Year and maybe even American League MVP, just homered one out of the park; and a bonnie lass sold Pennsylvania Avenue for Marvin Gardens while yet another passed Go and got out of jail free. As we speak, all three brave youngsters are slaking their hunger upon buttered noodles, which the husband hath boiled for them upon an outdoor flame.

For how long we can maintain here in safety and comfort, kind soul, I cannot say.

I know not when I shall next be able to access Vladimir Cheetos' globally destabilizing twitter feed, or pictures from the baby shower of the second wife of that dirtbag who sat behind me in 10th grade trigonometry. 

Forsooth! I am hanging on by a thread of 27% iPhone battery and two-horse thumb-power.

Life on the edge of the Tongass National Forest is not to be trifled with. Alaska is the Last Frontier, after all. Here nestled amid the Chilkat Mountains there is no Uber, there is no Taco Bell. There is nothing. There are only cruise ships and seams of tanzanite jewel prospects, buried betwixt the chocolate-covered moose droppings, somewhere deep in the storefronts out Thane way.

When you shout into the mighty Taku wind, no one will hear your cries, with the exception of your nearest neighbor. The most you can hope is for that guy to be walking his Labradoodle, wave, and sound a warning that he spied a bear in the neighborhood yesterday and also a fortnight ago, so pay heed to one's refuse.

The smoke detectors in our meager shelter have run amok. You see, they are linked to a single, centralized electric smoke detection system, and get very "confused" whenever there's even the tiniest surge in power--which happens more often than you might imagine. It takes a very long time to "un-confuse" them, and thus a power outage on the edge of the wilderness is a frequent strain on one's sanity.

 
For many of our provisions are frozen or refrigerated, and when the power goes out, one stands to lose one's hard-earned yearly rations of fish, game meats, and berries; and individualized guacamole bounty from Costco, before the generator kicks in. 

Individualized guacamoles from Costco are shockingly delicious, by the way, and worth making an exception to the "no single-serve packaged goods from Costco" rule, for avocados are gross here and those little guacamoles never brown; they are totally the perfect serving size of guac for a salad or a sandwich.

But I digress, at our own peril! 
Time is a-wasting and--HARK!--what's that? The power has resumed! 

In the time it has taken to compose this missive, electricity has returned to our dank and moldy hamlet. I can see from my watch-post atop the living room couch that the clock on our electric oven is blinking 12:00.

Praise be unto Providence and a beneficent God, in Heaven above, for keeping us safe and with power sufficient to blend some Orgain™ Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder (Chocolate Fudge) in the knock-off Vitamix™ . 

For my restless belly clamors for a smoothie.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Sample Feminist Agenda

A SAMPLE FEMINIST AGENDA
Marriott Hotel
June 10, 2017

8:00-9:00 a.m.: Opening Remarks with Practicum: "Defining & Smashing the Patriarchy" (BYO hammer or ax).

9:00-10:00 a.m.: Panel Discussion: "Paid Maternity Leave: Kind of a Pipe Dream Right Now, TBH."

10:00-1:00: Concurrent Sessions: 
  • 3D Screening of Wonder Woman
  • Product Showcase: Thinx Period Underwear
  • Pink Yarn Pussy Hats: New Patterns 
1:00-2:00 p.m.: Working Lunch: "How Not to Get Raped by Teaching Men Not to Rape You Instead of Changing Your Outfit."

2:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion: "Why Do So Many Women Hate Hillary THAT Much, Even You? It's Called Internalized Misogyny, Dingbat."

2:30-3:30 p.m.:  Lecture: "Women in Science: How to Keep Men from Interrupting You and Stealing All Your Research: (Hint: Ask Them to Remind You of Their Name Every Time They Start to Mansplain the Higgs-Boson Particle)."

3:30-5:00 p.m.:  Breakout Sessions: "Women Online: The Fine Art of Blocking, Unfollowing, Muting, and Deflecting IRL Threats and Insults from IRL People While Being Called a Reprehensible Cunt."

5:00-7:00 p.m.: Body Image Dinner: "How to Eat Chocolate Cake for Dinner Without Hating Yourself, and Then in Turn How Not to Hate Yourself for Hating Yourself Anyway for Having Just Eaten Chocolate Cake for Dinner."

7:00 p.m.: Get drunk and stoned; use vibrator; pass out.