Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Fridge Inventory

Home economics is not my mother’s strong suit. Technically she knows how to sew and cook, although I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw her do either. I’ve seen her water house plants and shuffle piles of papers and other junk from one surface to the next, but that’s about it.

When she’s home, which isn’t often, my mom’s preferred position is sitting on the couch as pictured below, in various mismatched flowing house garments, “finishing one little work thing” or “working on a talk” or “responding to emails because I’m leaving for Rwanda on Monday.”

But the one realm in which my mom retains a stereotypical Jewish mom vibe is by informing me in excruciating detail of every single item that’s in the refrigerator and available for consumption. 

Some of this inventory, she typically warns, “might not be good anymore,” and indeed this week I discovered a hunk of strawberry cheesecake that was here the last time I visited from Alaska and had now developed a thick layer of penicillin on top of it. I am told to discard such things as I find them in the green compost baggies that are now “the law in New York City, if you can believe that!” 

But not before I am made to know the identity and origin of each item of food and drink, catalogued in excruciating detail:

There’s a fruit salad from the farmer’s market with little cut up apricots and currants, and also heirloom tomatoes that are too delicate to sell in a regular store because they can’t survive a ride in a truck. There’s a chicken cutlet procured on a “foraging” mission to a deli in Washington Heights. There is “delicious mozzarella” from Arthur Avenue. And spicy hummus from the farmer’s market too. There are also gluten free brownies and M&Ms in the freezer. Also Coffee Mate. Also Diet Peach Snapple. Also cheddar cheese from the farmer’s market. Do you know about farmer’s markets? They’re “all the rage.” But you can’t get strawberries there anymore. They’re out of season. It’s very interesting and old-fashioned! You can’t just get strawberries at the farmer’s market whenever you want! When you get older you need far fewer calories anyway.

And I’m just like, MOM. You actually don’t have to line-item every single thing that’s in this refrigerator and freezer. I’m perfectly capable of just looking inside of it and seeing what’s there. Can I make fun of you on my blog for this?

And she says “of course, you’re adorable.” No, you are. No you. No you. No you. Oh, there’s also this pepper jack cheese but it’s very spicy. I think I’m going to put out a few nuts. 

Want some nuts?








Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Fly Down Dilemma

I’m not sure “dilemma” is the right word, exactly, because “dilemma” implies something more serious than this, so maybe it’s more of a conundrum. Or a pickle. Yes, probably a pickle, for obvious reasons to be explained below. But whatever you call it, it sparked a brief conversation with the couple I was dining with in Philadelphia this past Friday night. 

Here it is:

Do you tell a front of house guy/manager at a restaurant that his fly is down? And not just like, part way down. I’m talking ALL the way down.

I was in Philly for a work conference and went to dinner with old friends who live there. The wife in the couple works in the food and beverage industry, and happened to know some of the people at the restaurant through her professional contacts. One of them came over to chat with us, and since we were sitting down and he was standing up, our eyeballs were exactly even with the wide-open fly of his designer jeans.

I tried to look at his eyes and concentrate on small talk, but I was extremely distracted. All I could think about is whether I should say something, because I knew: (a) this was not an intentional look; (b) he would want to know; and (c) he would also be mortified at this information. 

So somehere between (b) and (c) lies the pickle, so to speak. 

Because this isn’t some drunk slob at Fenway Park who doesn’t give a fuck if his dick is threatening to jump out of his pants. This is a very fit, well-dressed 30-something millennial with Good Hair™️, fancy jeans, and a crisp dress shirt who is at work and clearly cares about his appearance and probably wants the zipper of his pants to win a fight with the business end of gravity.

In the end I decided to take the opposite of the NYC Subway mantra of “see something, say something,” and just said nothing. The guy in the couple I was with said he might tap him on the shoulder in a sort of “dude-to-dude” way later to let him know, but I think we drank a bunch and it never ended up happening.

I still feel a little sorry for the subject of this pickle.





Friday, July 13, 2018

This Did Not Seem Particularly Ingenious and Yet it Kinda Was

Scene: Extremely crowded but deliciously air conditioned Apple Store in Downtown Philadelphia, where I'm about to attend a three-day work conference.

Me: Hey, so I lost this little piece of the plug to my MacBook Air in transit somehow, and I'm wondering if you sell it?

Apple Guy: Well, we sell the whole adapter here on the wall for $79.99 [Points to adapter on wall] What you're looking for is a little piece called a duck-head, which is only like, $8 or $9.

Me: Okay, well that sounds about 70x better than the rest of the thingie which I don't actually need, so can I buy like, just that little part I need?

Apple Guy: Well, yeah, but we actually don't sell it on the floor. You have to make an appointment at the Genius Bar to get it. [Gestures to said Genius Bar literally two feet away]

Me: M'kaaay . . . well . . .  can I do that?

Apple Guy: Sure, but it'll be a fifteen minute wait. 

Me: Seems worth it to me, I'll wait, thanks. [Waits less than four minutes, gets called over to Genius Bar]

Tattooed Genius Bar Tender: Hello, Elizabeth! I see you're looking for a duck head. It's coming right down.

Me: Wait. Wut? Down from where?

Tattooed Genius Bar Tender: [Taps a few things into iPad; produces envelope containing product out of thin air] Here you go! That'll be $10.00 with tax.

Me: I am seriously so confused. Why did I have to make a special appointment for five minutes from now at a desk three feet away from the display of plugs just to get this plug accessory from a secret stash of accessories instead of being able to just walk in here and buy it in under ten minutes which I actually just did anyway? Am I in a real-life Kafka novel? That was a rhetorical question by the way, cuz I'm not really interested in the answer but also I kind of am, but also I need to go back to my hotel room and eat this spicy tuna roll here that I bought from Walgreens and check email hence why I'm here. Anyway I just saved like $70 and your service was amazing so . . . I guess this is why Steve Jobs died a multi-billionaire and I'll be lucky if I die with $87 in my checking account?

Tattooed Genius Bar Tender: [Shrugs and smiles]

End Scene.






Wednesday, July 11, 2018

America is Straight Trash RN But Bald Eagles Still Be Fucking Like Crazy

America is probably the least fuckable country in the world right now (cf: Canada). No one wants to get in our metaphorical pants. Like NO ONE. And really, can you blame them? I mean look at us. We’re a goddamned mess. 

We have babies (human ones) in cages. We spend 24/7 ragefully jamming our thumbs into our phones, pounding out screeds about how much we hate each other. Our President is a division-sowing, treasonous global embarrassment who has plunged his citizenry into a propaganda-fueled race war while generating policy with all the skill of a toddler making purple spaghetti in a Play Doh Fun Factory. 

Like this is actually something the man said at one of his white supremacy fundraising rallies this month:
I have broken more Elton John records, he seems to have a lot of records. And I, by the way, I don’t have a musical instrument. I don’t have a guitar or an organ. No organ. Elton has an organ. And lots of other people helping. No we’ve broken a lot of records. We’ve broken virtually every record. Because you know, look, I only need this space. They need much more room. For basketball, for hockey and all of the sports, they need a lot of room. We don’t need it. We have people in that space. So we break all of these records. Really we do it without like, the musical instruments. This is the only musical: the mouth. And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right? The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain. The brain is much more important.
I mean. WUT?! No one is making babies with this, even though three different women actually did make five babies with this. But you take my point.

Anyhoo: Trump’s involuntary civil-commitment level psychotic ramblings won’t stop ‘Merica’s official avian mascot—the bald eagle—from fucking and reproducing like crazy, a fact to which I can personally attest having recently seen about three dozen eagle teens drying their feathers along the light poles of the main highway here in Juneau. 

The bald eagle's supposed regal bearing is the delight of millions of Juneau cruise ship passengers each year, but to locals, they are giant, dirty, carnivorous pigeons who will eat small dogs and occasionally take out our power by dropping a deer head or salmon carcass on a piece of fiber-optic cable strung across a mountain somewhere between here and Ketchikan. 

And now they’re multiplying like bunnies. Or birds. Cuz they’re birds. Birds who lurk in close proximity to the fish hatchery and the garbage dump for easy pickings. They’re survivors, those eagles. And lucky AF too. I’m sure the Spectacled Eider is out here in these skies wondering why *it* couldn’t be the symbol for America’s big, strong, giant, 12-inch civic peen and thus granted federal protection from bulldozers? 

The bald eagle has no idea how lucky it is. To paraphrase Neil Young, keep on fuckin’, eagles. Keep on fuckin’ in the free world.



Photo Credit: Heather Hardcastle

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Bot/Incel Said I Look Like a Dude and I Have Never Been More Flattered in My Life!

Most of us know that Internetting While Female™ involves a certain degree of well-documented trolling abuse. But after I wrote this tweet about how I wished there had been more votes than Wikipedia clicks, I got one of the biggest compliments of my life. A bot and/or involuntary celibate with no profile picture and five followers, and going by the very original presumable pseudonym "Mike Jones," wrote a post-script to me that I "look[ed] like a dude."

Now I've been called fat, a cunt, and a fat cunt. I've been told that my face can't be saved by makeup, and also that it needs more makeup. But I've never been told that I look like a DUDE. 

And frankly I could not be more flattered. 

It seems this incel-bot was trying to insult me by using a tried-and-true tactic to make women run away and cry, which is to burn their looks. I'm not sure why Russia and/or incels would assume this would be effective at shutting women up. After all, society only drills into our brains from the minute we're born that our main value added to the world is our fuckability, and all endeavors we undertake must be in service of increasing our fuckability, and the second a man calls our fuckability into question—even if he's a complete stranger or a robot with no face—we must curl up into a ball and weep in mourning for the spinsters we're destined to be.

But dudebot’s play backfired, because little does HE/IT know that I WANT to look like a dude!

I want to look like someone who doesn't earn 13% less income just because of what's in my pants. I want to look like someone who wouldn't be human trafficked, or assaulted in a staircase or in a parking structure or in college or at work or or or orororororor. I want to look like someone who would easily default into positions of power like Congressional seats and judgeships and C-suite gigs instead of being the rare exception to the norm. I want to look like someone who wouldn't get kicked out of a public place for feeding their kid. 

As Larry David might say, all of that sounds pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, PRETTY good to me. I'll take the dude look any day. 

Thanks, “Mike Jones!"






Sunday, July 8, 2018

I Am a Mosquito and I Am Not Fucking Around!

That’s right, you little homo sapien bitches. I was here long before you came along, and I’ll be here long after you’re gone. I’ve sunk my teeth into DINOSAURS. As in T-fucking REX! All you’ve sunk your teeth into is the five dollar footling at Subway.

Because I am the mosquito, and I am not fucking around.

I’m the standard vector for one of the deadliest diseases known to man, and how do I spread malaria? Or if you’re lucky just irrritate you a bunch instead of kill you? I’ll tell you without even looking at Wikipedia, because I’m a fucking mosquito, m’kay? 

It all starts with my status as the biggest player in the animal kingdom.

See first, I make twenty zillion babies all at once in a warm puddle. My reproduction game is Wayne Gretzky level. In the time it takes you to smack and kill one of me, I’ve already reproduced myself 12 times over. I’m basically like the bug-fucking version of those brooms in Disney’s Fantasia, but more pestilent.

Next, I’m ready for a blood meal, if I’m a WOMAN, which I am. And I have this very sharp, straw-sucking protuberance thing and I land my six tiny weightless legs on the warm, supple flesh of my prey, pierce it with my straw, and engorge my entire body with as much of their blood as my abdomen will hold before leaving behind an oozing, scabrous welt that itches for days.

Do you even understand that? Do you get how successful I am? From an evolutionary standpoint? I’m an endlessly reproducing, weightless, real life FLYING VAMPIRE and I LITERALLY ATE YOU FOR BREAKFAST. 

And what are you? You’re a self-destructive blob of hair and donuts who’s gonna be gone before my 7,000th generation of great-grandbabies comes along. You can keep your glass skyscrapers and drive-through espresso stands and theme parks. Party while you can pal, cuz I’m playing the long game here. 

And if you don’t believe me, I’ve got some Charlie Darwin you should read.




Thursday, July 5, 2018

Truck Nutz is the Most Accurate Embodiment of Independence Day

I was thinking about this yesterday. Halloween has the pumpkin, Christmas has the tree, Valentine’s Day has the heart, and July 4 has the American flag Truck Nutz.

That’s really what Independence Day is all about, folks. Giant, plastic, made-in-China, novelty testicles hanging from the rear bumper of an enormous, gas-guzzling, shipped-with-pride-from-Guangdong-Province-to-America tricked-out Ford pickup.

That says it all, in one perfect metaphor.

Because let’s talk some Real Talk: Those of us who routinely try to define patriotism in more academic and subtle terms like “dissent is patriotic,” and “actually the Constitution doesn’t let Trump say 'no more due process' or 'you have to stand up for a song,'” and “maybe taco trucks on every corner would be an excellent development, in fact,” have lost the marketing battle over what it means to be a proud American. 


Because judging by the tone of July 4 this year (and every year, really), there’s no such thing as patriotism without balls.

Balls, balls, dick and balls. Preferably snowy white, hairy-ass balls, jizzing out red, white, and blue fireworks in a cacophonous, explosive, money-shot of FREEDOM. That’s what America is really all about, folks. One big, giant, loud, exploding dick n’ balls. As a woman this might be a little hard to swallow (pun intended), since “Prius Ovaries” did poorly in focus groups.

But the time has come to accept that aggressive, loud, in-your-face performative masculinity is what July 4 is really all about. It owns the holiday.

It’s all very AMERICA, FUCK YEAH, HERE WE COME TO SAVE THE MOTHERFUCKIN’ DAY YEEEEAAAAH! BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM HERE’S A VERY LOUD MARCHING BAND BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM TOOT TOOT TOOT HERE’S A COUPLE THOUSAND FIREWORKS KABOOM KABLAM I AM GOING TO JIZZ FIRE INTO YOUR FACE FROM MY GIANT PHALLIC FIRECRACKER AND YOU’RE GONNA THANK ME AND ASK FOR MORE YOU WEAK-ASS BITCH NOW GET OVER HERE AND BRING ME A BEER AND A RED MEAT SAMMICH! YEEHAW!

Oh and also, the Truck Nutz website offers “hot chicks,” “bad-ass rides” and “free stuff.” But hang on. Wait just one cotton-pickin’minute. I thought “free stuff” was for socialist welfare queens. In America we don’t get “free stuff” from anyone! We work for every last penny we have! We don’t need no gubbmint HANDOUTS! Except for Medicaid. And public assistance. And the PFD. And roads without potholes. Or giant snow berms. And and and and and and and.

But anyway, July 4 is the one day a year we can pretend none of that matters, and that each and every God-fearing, white Christian American man is in charge of his own destiny (and everyone else’s), just like we were always taught in school. And we will express that with a phallic manifestation of loud aggression and Truck Nutz.

‘Til next year (or tomorrow), Nutz-Havers!








Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Jumping on the #SecondCivilWarLetters Meme Bandwagon With This Dispatch from the Trenches

Dearest Mother and Father:

It has been some time since I was able to text you, but I trust you are well. The free in-flight WiFi was spotty, my noise-canceling Bose headphones were failing to live up to their good name, and all my messages were green. So Divine Providence only knows if you are in receipt of my latest dispatch of 9 July.

When our regiment finally reached Starbucks, my iPhone was at a meager three percent and my MacBook Pro at zero. Fortunately, the barista did not summon law enforcement even though I waited 45 minutes to purchase with bitcoin a fair trade pumpkin spice macchiatto, because Whiteness.

MacKenzie suffered a torn sandal at Coachella, and we have used all our provisions. We’ve had no coconut water nor so much as a stick of Burt’s Bees grapefruit lip balm with SPF30 for a fortnight yet. I do have one 12 oz. bottle of Brooklyn Lager, a rasher of grass-fed non-GMO Applewood smoked bacon, and a small wedge of unpasteurized Asiago to sustain me before the Battle of Hobby Lobby in three weeks’ time.

At first light, our command will mount a stable of Citibikes and ride at top speed to the nearest WalMart, for there is destined to be staged a fierce battle for the Soul of This Great Nation. On offer there, we are made to understand, are “Impeach 45” tee shirts but also MAGA hats, and so truly we may know the Union army not by its jingoistic raiments but by its distinctive mullets and poor grammar.

I fear the Union soldiers will have us out-gunned with their sizable arsenal of background-check-free, open-carry semi-automatic rifles; and evade detection with their fashion camouflage. But a Rebel spy at the deli counter has sent word that a full chafing dish of potato salad with extra mayonnaise and free samples has drawn at least one platoon and so we may have them cornered.

The truth is, when my Instagram notifications are blowing up, the consuming passion is to distract myself briefly via a pics-or-it-didn’t-happen with Clarendon filter #revolution #resist #BattleOfWalmart #bestlife #journey #besties. But for now I fear the pings and pangs and dings and dongs of psychological information warfare will reveal to the enemy my most secreted location behind this pallet of cherry Jell-O.

Many of our company has been wounded; felled at Panera by a suspect quinoa and goat cheese salad. I might as yet be resigned to great solitude on the front lines, trying in vain to procure last minute tickets to Shakespeare in the Park as sweat beads upon my brow.

This from Your Loving Daughter,

E.M. Bakalar





Monday, July 2, 2018

Is This Really Worth Losing Friends Over? Yes, Absolutely.

When is it “worth it” to lose a friend over “politics?” This is a question that’s arisen, again and again, since Trump was elected. It’s a question that many of us—especially those of us in white skin—haven't really had to confront until recently (a privilege and a blInd spot unto itself).

This is by no means an original thought, of course. The strain and divisions in the American zeitgeist under Trump’s “leadership” have been the subject of one take after the other, with each day seemingly bringing a new test to the limits of our collective empathy and civic conscience.

On a microcosmic level, these divisions are playing out in our most intimate relationships. One argument goes that it’s just politics, and a stupid thing to feud about. The other argument, and the one I endorse, is that this is more than “politics,” or at least it’s more than “politics” as many of us have complacently defined it for ourselves until now.

This time is a test of character and values, and if character and values do not form the basis of human relationships, what does?

Everyone has a different definition of what makes a good friend, but there are some common qualities most of us can agree on: true friends love and support you for who you are; they listen with empathy; they “hold space” for you; they are dependable; they do not betray you; they are loyal and trustworthy; they don’t judge you; they share your values; they give and accept tough love. 

In short, friends have character.

Do not forget: the moment we are in is not a political moment but a test of character. It’s a rare moment in which the true nature of people’s characters is revealed. Are we lizard-brained animals who will strive at all costs to hoard resources and justify our dominance over each other? Or are we able to appeal to and meet the demands of our better natures, finding the empathy needed to actively defend our ideals when called upon to do so? And if we have people in our lives who insist on regressing to the former while we want to do the latter, is it okay to let those relationships go?

In my opinion, it is.

If your friends don’t understand why you are afraid; if they cannot listen without judgment; if they cannot cultivate empathy for you as a woman, a person of color, an immigrant, an LGBTQ person; if they refuse to listen and learn; if they betray you by voting against your life and liberty (yes, that is a betrayal); if they dismiss your concerns as petty when none of those concerns affect them personally; if they cannot be depended on to fight for your autonomy and needs when needed, then how are they a friend? How are they worth it?

The answer is they’re not. Let them go.




Sunday, July 1, 2018

I Put the Yak in Kayak

Don’t I look so happy here? Well let me tell you, that’s a fucking LIE. Because I have never—and I mean NEVER—paddled a kayak ANYWHERE ON EARTH and NOT vomited within 30 minutes of leaving shore. 

Was it the Outer Coast, you ask? No. Was it even the ocean? No, no it was not. It was a lake. And not a very big one, either. You see, no matter the body of water or the weather—and Mendenhall Lake was choppy today, the glacier smaller than ever, THANKS TRUMP—you can count on me like 1-2-3 to toss my cookies over the edge of our cumbersome, zillion-pound, precariously-bungeed-to-a-ski-rack beater Fulbot “canoeyak” within the hour.

Like hunting and fishing, kayaking is one of those Alaska things that I WANT to like. I WANT to be good at it, which I guess is why I keep trying it. Fresh glacial air, green mountains jutting up out of the water like a postcard, icebergs, nesting Arctic terns, yada yada yada.

Welp, all I can say is thankfully there’s hiking and skiing (although I’ve also been known to puke off the chairlift in windy white-out conditions). Otherwise, I’d just go back home to the Bronx where I belong, move back in with my parents like I’ve secretly fantasized about doing ever since I came to Alaska 13 years ago, and work for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or something. 

Problem is of course, I don’t belong in the Bronx anymore either, if I ever did.  Now that I’ve been living in Alaska for so long, my NYC game is rusty AF too!

I’m in a Catch-22 of geographic helplessness; a future weak-link for anyone’s Zombie Apocalypse team, unless cursing and self-hatred turn out to be necessary survival skills. But God help me if the Zombies have personal flotation devices, because they will outpaddle me and try to eat my brains, and literally my only defense will be to barf a turkey and avocado sandwich in their melting faces. 

It will be fun, they said. We have out of town guests, they said. Every ding-dong off a cruise ship does this tenderfoot nothing of a paddle, they said. And by “they” I mean “Geoff,” who loves kayaking and has never seen me in a kayak without barfing, because that has never happened even once. Indeed, we still talk about some of my most legendary performances, e.g., Maui 2007.

When Geoff got us back to Skater’s Cabin (I was slumped down in the front of the canoeyak at this point), there were about three dozen or so of the aforementioned ding-dongs and their guides getting ready to raft around in this giant glacial bathtub from which I was sure I’d never emerge.

“Do you want some water?” one of the 20-something boy guides asked me, trying to be helpful and kind. “Nope,” I demurred. “Just gotta grab my usual after-kayak reverse lunch by this stand of spruce trees over here.”

Poor Isaac. 

Ever the empath, he was picking up on the signal of his mother’s dire straits and offered to take over her paddling duties on the return voyage; but he was too small, and truth be told, only a half hour earlier he’d whined for someone to “leave [him] off on this iceberg to die” because he “might as well get it over with.” 

At least there are no sea lions in here. Those fuckers will chase you the fuck DOWN, I’m told.

Anyway, it was all a moot point now, because we were finally ashore where Geoff could re-rack the canoeyak and Isaac could whine some more about being cold. And I could sit in the passenger seat of our car and boot every few miles until we got home and I crawled into bed with disbelief that I’d made it back to my favorite place on earth, doing my favorite thing on earth besides sleeping, which is to go off on what an unmitigated fucking disaster I am.

I still have my winning streak of not having to be rescued by a professional though, so there’s that.




Friday, June 29, 2018

Why Are We Here?

Below is a preview of my brief planned remarks at the Families Belong Together rally, which I was asked to emcee. Details for the rally are in the poster.

Good morning. 

Before we get to our wonderful speakers, who have been so generous with their time today, I want to say just a few words about why we are here; or at least, why I’m here. I’m here by accident of birth and luck. I’m here only as a guest on Native land, on colonized land, which does not belong to me simply because the United States government has granted me citizenship. 

Gunalchéesh.

I am here to bring what limited perspective I can to this issue, and to gather with like-minded people who share my concerns.

I am here as a mother. I have carried two children inside of my body. And I know—as only a mother can—what that means. I am here in solidarity, empathy, and pain for mothers and fathers who have been forcibly separated from their children; whose children have been lost indefinitely to bureaucracy at the hands of armed state actors. Armed state actors who have taken infants out of their mothers’ arms. In America. They have done this on our behalf. In our name. In the name of our country. 


And it is appalling.

I am here as a lawyer, albeit one who knows little about immigration law. But I am privileged beyond measure to have been gifted an education that feels more relevant than ever in this moment. To understand what's at stake as the United States Constitution—the founding document of our democracy—is stretched to the breaking point by those who would defy its promise and undermine its dignity. I understand that laws are temporary, fungible, and only as righteous and good as the higher moral authority that they reflect in executing our social compact; and to which all laws should be held accountable.

I am here as a Jew and an immigrant. The Jewish people have been driven from their homes since time immemorial. Only three generations of Americans separate me from those who were rounded up, caged, detained, and ultimately killed; also, by the way, at the hands and guns of state actors following orders, following the law, and wearing uniforms emblazoned with the authority of the state.

I am here in white skin and acknowledge the protection and privilege it affords me. The families we are rallying for today, by and large, do not have the protection of white skin. And please, let's not pretend that white skin makes no difference here. White skin in 2018 America is protective armor. And those of us who walk around inside that armor have a very simple, binary decision to make: will we continue to passively enable white supremacy, or will we actively work to dismantle it? 


I’m here for the latter.

I'm here as a concerned citizen who recognizes that we can and must care about more than one thing at a time. All politics is local, they say. But the world is smaller than ever, and this is about more than politics. Or if it’s not, then politics isn’t just civil discourse and polite disagreements after all. Politics—if you want to call it that—has life and death consequences for humanity.

And above all, it is humanity that brings me here. I am here as a human being, and because these family separations are an unconscionable abuse of our most basic human rights. They are an abuse that must be acknowledged, denounced, and remedied like our lives depend on it, b
ecause they most certainly do.





Thursday, June 28, 2018

Do Not Despair! Your Country Needs You

Do not despair! There is no time or use for despair. Your country needs you, and your energy.

It needs you to help reunite children unconscionably torn from their parents. 

It needs you to shine a light on dark money in politics.
It needs you to pressure your representatives in Congress by contacting them repeatedly in every medium possible.
It needs you to protect kids from being shot at school.
It needs you to protect journalists from being shot at work.
It needs you to defy kleptocracy and autocracy.
It needs you to vote.
It needs you to run for office.
It needs you to defend free speech by using your voice and exercising your rights.
It needs you to combat propaganda by affirmatively debunking it and not disseminating it further.
It needs you to peaceably assemble by joining a protest or a rally.
It needs you to defend the equal protection of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people by listening to them as authorities of their own experiences and amplifying their voices.
It needs you to speak out against human rights abuses.
It needs you to insist on due process for everyone on its soil.
It needs you to care about more than one thing at a time.
It needs you to fight for more than one thing at a time.
It needs you to appreciate the gravity of this moment.
It needs you to help redeem its reputation on the world stage as a steward of the planet and a beacon of freedom.
It needs you to stand up for marginalized people in your daily lives.

America’s constitutional democracy—the real American dream—is in the fight of its life, and it needs every last social justice warrior it can get. So the next time someone calls you a social justice warrior like that’s a bad thing, you tell them they’d BEST believe that shit. 


Beyoncé already wrote the seven words you need to hear right now:

Okay
Ladies
Now
Let’s
Get
In
Formation





Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Cottonwood Tree Money Shot

I’m taking a much-needed break from writing about The End of the World as We Know It at the Tiny Hands of Cheeto Satan™ to make a simple, brief, and unrelated observation about the local flora here in Alaska. An observation that those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies will surely relate to, and even those who don’t might appreciate, which is this:

A tree is jizzing in my face.

Let me say that again, a little louder for the people in the back: 

A. TREE. IS. JIZZING. IN. MY. FACE. 

In 70's porno parlance, this was called “the money shot,” but I believe The Kids Today™ call it "skeeting." Whatever you call it, a cottonwood tree (actually hundreds of them) are busting a nut and splooging straight into my eyes, nose, and mouth, and it is NOT OKAY.

According to the omniscient Wikipedia:
Populus trichocarpa is normally dioecious; male and female catkins are borne on separate trees. The species reaches flowering age at about 10 years. Flowers may appear in early March to late May in Washington and Oregon, and sometimes as late as mid-June in northern and interior British Columbia, Idaho, and Montana. Staminate catkins contain 30 to 60 stamens, elongate to 2 to 3 cm, and are deciduous. Pistillate catkins at maturity are 8 to 20 cm long with rotund-ovate, three carpellate subsessile fruits 5 to 8 mm long. Each capsule contains many minute seeds with long, white cottony hairs.
 The seed ripens and is disseminated by late May to late June in Oregon and Washington, but frequently not until mid-July in Idaho and Montana. Abundant seed crops are usually produced every year. Attached to its cotton, the seed is light and buoyant and can be transported long distances by wind and water. Although highly viable, longevity of P. trichocarpa seed under natural conditions may be as short as two weeks to a month. This can be increased with cold storage.
WELL GOOD FOR YOU, COTTONWOOD! 

I’m happy for you and all your “minute seeds with long, white cottony hairs” which are “light and buoyant and can be transported long distances by wind and water.” But let me ask you this, and to my earlier point: Did I SAY you could jizz in my face? Did I? No, I most certainly did not. I did not and do not consent to this.

Yesterday, I was in Anchorage and your jizz was absolutely permeating the air, just floating around. It was in my nostrils and throat, and I came home sneezing and coughing and covered in a rash. I think it’s mighty inconsiderate of you to just blow your wad all over my face. S
eriously it’s amazingly rude. I don’t care if you want to reproduce. Do it in your own space. I mean, who does this? Who just unleashes a giant CATEGORY 5 JIZZ HURRICANE on the general public?! If you were human, you would definitely be in jail by now.

Not fucking cool, cottonwoods. Not cool at all.




Monday, June 25, 2018

Calling NYC 311 About a Downed Tree at 3:22 a.m. with My Dad in the Car Went as Expected

Me: *dials 311 on speaker from passenger seat*
Cheery Female Robot: Hello! Thank you for calling 311! We’re here to help! If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911. Otherwise, press 1 to continue in English. Press 2 for other languages.
Me: *presses 1*
Robot: Okay. Let’s get started. What can I help you with? Say what you need, like, “jackhammer noise” or “left violin in cab” or “tax preparation.”
Me: Tree in road.
Dad: *from driver’s seat* Tell her where it is.
Robot: I’m sorry, I didn’t get that.
Me: *speaking slowly and loudly, as if to a half-deaf moron* THERE’S A DOWNED TREE ON THE RAMP TO THE OUTBOUND GWB AND IT’S BLOCKING THE ROUTE TO THE BRIDGE AND YOU CAN BARELY GET AROUND IT AND IT’S GONNA CAUSE A HUGE TRAFFIC JAM IN ABOUT TWO HOURS.
Dad: Tell her Riverside Drive.
Me: Oh my God. ON RIVERSIDE DRIVE.
Robot: We seem to be having trouble. Let’s try this again.
Me: Let’s not. *smashes 0 on keypad 100x*
Robot: Okay, please wait while I transfer you to a representative. This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes. *hold music plays*
Me: No good deed goes unpunished.
Dad: *cackles uproariously*
Surly Human Female With Thick NY Accent (SHFWTNYA): 311 can I help joo?
Me: Yeah, I’m just trying to report a tree in the road.
SHFWTNYA: Okay ma’mm dass gon’ be department a parks and recreation so lemme trans—
Me: No seriously I’m just trying to stop a big traffic jam because there’s a tree in the road.
SHFWTNYA: Okay where’s the tree at ma’mm?
Me: Riverside Drive outbound ramp to the GWB.
SHFWTNYA: Okay ma’mm is it like a limba da tree or wha happen?
Me: No it’s like the whole tree. I think it blew over in the storm last night. It’s lying across the road.
SHFWTNYA: Okay it’s lying IN the road? 
Me: Yes.
SHFWTNYA: Oh dass gon cause a yooge backup in a coupleah howahs.
Me: DASSWHATIMSAYIN!
SHFWTNYA: You know wha? Imma bring in 911 on dis, cuz dis sound like a hazard.
Me: DASSWHATIMSAYIN! *hold music*
Dad: *now collapsing over steering wheel in hysterics as he passes Kearney exit on the NJ Turnpike*
911 SHFWTNYA: 911 what’s your emergency?
Me: Well it’s not really an emerg—
911 SHFWTNYA: I can’t hear you m’aam. Wasssa address?
Dad: Tell her 1051 Riverside Drive.
Me: 1051 Riverside Drive.
911: SHFWTNYA: Wha happen?
Me: Okay, so there’s a tree in the road ...




Friday, June 22, 2018

No Time to Hate

The opposite of love, it’s often said, isn't hate. It’s indifference. The older I get, the more I appreciate the meaning of this adage and its relationship to time.

Time is a diminishing resource. When you’re young, though, time feels infinite. For example, I think about the twelve years between first and twelfth grades. How long they seemed. How much I changed. How much happened. Then I think about the last twelve years, and they just feel like a blur of work and parenting with fewer immediately noticeable changes.

One change, however, feels very noticeable to me, and that’s the confidence with which I use my time and my voice. 

How I use my time and how I use my voice feels like an increasingly critical decision with every passing day, especially now. I’m careful and thoughtful (or I try to be) with my time and my voice, in order to maximize the likelihood that the uses to which I put them will ultimately feel good and right to me.

To that end, I’ve cultivated a sort of numb indifference to bigots and propaganda-peddlers who are wholly immune to facts, data, science, or reason. I don’t “hate” these people. I feel sad that they themselves are consumed with hate, motivated by anger, and living in ignorance and fear. I’m horrified that their ideas are apparently shared by so many of my fellow citizens. I try not to let my social media accounts serve as a platform for their vitriol.

But I’m ultimately indifferent to them, because anything short of indifference is a waste of my time and my voice.

Every minute I spend reading or responding to an insane comment or trying to change a bigot’s mind, or defending myself and my ideas and actions through direct engagement with a bigot, is one less minute I have with my family. It’s one less minute I have with my friends. It’s one less minute I have for my own writing and activism. It’s one more impediment to the tiny little dent I try to make in issues of social justice. It’s one more distraction from everything that matters.

To invite these futile interactions into my life is to allow bigots to rob me of my most valuable resource: my time. And time, more than ever, is of the essence.

Like the song goes: Ain’t no time to hate. Barely time to wait.




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

This is All Very Black and White

The artist and activist Bree Newsome wrote on Twitter today:
The issue of immigration in the United States is and always has been inherently racist. It’s an issue of a white colonialist state enacting policies designed to maintain a white majority that has only ever existed due to genocide and colonialism.
Every sovereign nation-state has borders, but the current immigration crisis isn’t about American sovereignty. It’s about racism. Full stop.

Every non-indigenous person in America was an immigrant here at some point, including, of course and very recently, Donald Trump’s family and his own third wife. But that doesn’t matter, because their skin is white.

Let it not be lost on us that the current family separation crisis impacts—nearly exclusively—brown families. If these were white families, we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all, because white babies would not be in internment in America, separated from their parents, with no guarantee of reunification.

Period.

And that is because America as a matter of policy and culture values white life over brown life. That is a fact. It’s not a secret and it’s not subject to debate. It’s true as a societal matter, it’s true on a microcosmic and macrocosmic scale. It doesn’t mean people with white skin don’t struggle or aren’t poor; it means that their skin color does not present an independent impediment to their lives or immediately devalue them in the eyes of society.

I’m acutely aware of my own “white-passing” privilege. I call myself white and I consider myself white, although many other white people don’t consider me to be white because I’m Jewish. But I have lived my entire life in America benefiting from white skin, and unlike other members of my family, was lucky enough not to be born in Eastern Europe in the 1930s.

Ask yourself this:

In an administration that employs open white nationalists, secured the white nationalist vote and earned the vocal support of the KKK, calls Nazis “very fine people,” and targets the “economic anxiety” of “working class whites” for its support and most insidious propaganda, do you really think the immigration debate is about anything more than racism toward poor brown people? The myths—the lies—that this population takes jobs, drains resources, or commits crimes at any greater rate than the native-born public is rooted in simple white supremacy.

This article in the FAILING NEW YORK TIMES gives a good breakdown of immigration myths and global realities. Here’s an interesting snippet from it:
A study based on surveys in the United States and a variety of European countries by the economists Alberto Alesina, Armando Miano and Stefanie Stantcheva found that people across the board vastly overstate their immigrant populations. The overestimates are largest among particular groups: the least educated, workers in low-skill occupations with lots of immigrants, and those on the political right. They overstate the share of immigrants who are Muslim and understate the share of Christians. They underestimate immigrants’ education and overestimate both their poverty rate and their dependence on welfare. Almost a quarter of French respondents, as well as nearly one in five Swedes and about one in seven Americans, think the average immigrant gets twice as much government aid as native residents do. In no country is this true.
But in all of these countries, it’s true that whiteness retains primacy and supremacy and is code for all that is good and right, while brown skin is meant to signal the opposite of these things. The world has limited resources and at least on a macro-global level, people with white skin have plundered way more than their share of those resources for centuries, at the expense of brown people’s lives and bodies, based on a sense of entitlement derived from their white skin.

It’s not at all surprising that they’re trying to retain the status quo.





Monday, June 18, 2018

Y2Kray

I’m old enough to remember all the hype at the turn of the century—Y2K—when, with the flip of a switch at 11:59 on December 31, 1999, all of civilization as we knew it was supposed to instantly crumble when clocks, computers, and other date-reliant mechanisms would suddenly quit working. I was at a concert off the grid in Florida then, and I remember calling my dad from my Nokia cell phone early in the morning on January 1. 

“Is the world still turning? What happened?” I asked. Nothing, of course, was the answer.

I’ve thought of Y2K often in relation to the specter of creeping authoritarianism and disregard for constitutional norms that we're seeing with the Trump administration, and ask myself if it’s possible people are “overreacting.” But, as the writer Virginia Heffernan said recently on Twitter, she cannot identify a time in history when a population has “overreacted" to corruption and kakistocracy on this scale.

I don’t actually think America is the next “Nazi Germany,” if only because—and this is Trump’s saving grace—the man's mercurial self-absorption and lack of coherent ideology hopefully foreclose the kind of cold, calculated extermination efforts we saw there and in other genocides. Which is not to say that irreparable damage cannot be and is not currently being done to people who are not you or me.

And this is critical, I think. I’m seriously disturbed by my so-called “friends” on social media who are defending the family separation policy: 

“These people are breaking the law!” No they’re not, many are seeking legal asylum, or being intentionally prevented from doing so through legal means. And anyway, Jim Crow and slavery were once “the law” too.

“But kids and parents don’t get to stay together in America when parents go to jail!” American kids and parents aren’t separated from each other by armed agents, without a trial, with no assurance of reunification, with no idea when they will ever see each other again, and "lost" to unknown persons. 

“But it’s the law, and prior administrations did it!” No, it’s not the law, and no, prior administrations did not have a “zero tolerance” border policy that led to family separations. Also, of course, the United States has a looooooong and ignoble history of forcibly separating families of color.

I almost can’t blame my "friends" for being misinformed, though I pity their lack of compassion amid a lot of professed piety and religiosity, might I add. Part of the difficulty of living in this time is the confusing, conflicting, and endless stream of information we get 24/7 from sources ranging from downright insane to generally credible. That makes it very hard to get to the bottom of what the “truth” is, and that, of course, is one of the tools used by propagandists to confuse the public.

The point is, I know three things for a fact: (1) A lot of VERY wrong things are happening in this country right now, mostly to people of color; (2) Only but for the Grace of God do none of these very wrong things directly affect me right now; and (3) IDGAF what I have to do to make it stop.

Geoff says I should focus on local things, stuff here in Juneau. Well, I do that, I serve on the AWARE board and do pro bono cases locally, among other service and volunteer work where I can. But now I’m committed to ending this family separation policy and working on immigration issues because, to paraphrase the Martin Niemoller poem, first they come for "them", and no one says anything; then they come for you, and no one is left to help.

I’m partnering with people in Alaska who do immigration work right now to see what I can do remotely until the winter when, if help is still needed, I plan to travel to the Southwest and lend whatever elbow grease I can to this issue.

Maybe I and other fortunate people will be able to say “no big deal, this was just Y2Kray,” but for lots of human beings, this administration is already the totally un-American humanitarian disaster it’s been hyped up to be.





Friday, June 15, 2018

The End of Mystery


So I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. How in 2018, we are really and truly at the end of mystery. Here’s what I mean.

When I graduated high school in 1995, if you lost touch with someone, that was it. You might be able to call 411 or look them up in the White Pages, but if a person moved away from your immediate orbit and went off the grid, that was it. They were gone. You never heard from them again, and you had no idea what happened to them. For all you knew, they could have died in a fire.

When you took pictures, you had to wait to develop the film. The best you could hope for was a one-hour photo booth, but beyond that you had no idea what was in that little envelope of prints and negatives until you’d flip through it quickly in the CVS parking lot and be like, “oh yeeeeeeah, I remember that party from three months ago, God I was so wasted.”

And if you were intimate with someone, what was under their clothes was a black hole (no pun intended). What color are their nipples? Do they have a 70’s bush? Is their dick weird? You weren’t going to find out the answers to these questions until show time. You were going in blind, and you’d better have your game face on at the moment of the big reveal.

No more. 

Now because of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, you have the answers to all of these questions instantly. What’s more remarkable, even, than the volume and level of information you have access to is the size of the gulf between the total void of information that once existed, and the absolute granular level of information that exists now.

Let me illustrate this with a few scenarios:

Scenario 1: The Photograph

1995: I wonder what’s on this random roll of film?
2018: OMG DELETE

Scenario 2: The Make-Out

1995: I wonder what s/he looks like naked?
2018: Send nudes.

Scenario 3: Whatever Happened To?

1995: I wonder if so-and-so is still alive?
2018: I haven’t spoken to so-and-so in 30 years, but yet somehow I'm privy to the fact that they have an 18-month old son named Nate who ate strained carrots for dinner last night.

I’m not really saying this is good or bad. I’m just saying it’s 2018 and mystery is dead.

Sun Rays Through the Tree Leaves and Mist

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Summiting Denali with Isaac is an Insurmountable #LifeGoal

I’ve lived in Alaska long enough to know that there are simply some things I’ll never do. Things that other people do here routinely like they’re NBFD.

For example: surfing in 35-degree water, kayaking across the Gulf, shooting caribou hot dogs on the North Slope, or summiting Denali—the highest peak in North America. I wouldn’t do it with a guide. I wouldn’t do it with my son. I wouldn’t do it in the spring. I wouldn’t do it with a fling. I wouldn’t do it with my mom. I wouldn’t do it all alone. Just pretend Denali is green eggs and ham, except covered in snow year-round and based in Talkeetna, and at the end I still refuse to eat that shit.

That doesn’t mean I’m not awestruck by adventurers who have the balls to do something as daring and brave as summit Denali, much less a MOM who does it with her teenage son and no guide. 

Beth Bragg’s report in the Anchorage Daily News that Canyon Tobin, 19, and his mom, Nora Miller, 50, summited Denali together in likely the first unguided mother-son duo to bag the peak got me thinking about a couple things: (a) how incredibly badass this was; and (b) how the likelihood of me summiting Denali with Isaac is about as high as me winning the lottery and using the prize money to buy new boobs. Not that I’ve considered this. I just maybe know someone who has.

Point is, this is light years away from an activity I imagine myself doing with Isaac, who granted is only 7, but who based on our current relationship seems highly unlikely to acquiesce to something like this in his teen years or any other time.

According to the article, Canyon was named after Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, where Nora and her ex-husband, Carl Tobin, went on their second date. Nora fell 110 feet and Carl saved her life.

Well see now there’s your first problem.

Isaac is named Isaac because I was originally going to name him Jude, but then decided at the last minute that Jude sounded too much like “Jew” for a Jewish kid who is growing up in Juneau. I kept muttering “Jude, Jew, Juneau” over and over until I landed on something more Gentile. 
Then I waddled home and took a sterile shower to ready myself for my scheduled C-section the next day. I think Geoff brought me a jar of jalapeno-stuffed olives at one point during that weekend, and I might have said “OMG YOU FUCKING SAVED MY LIFE WITH THESE,” but that’s where the similarities end. 

Canyon and his mom “took turns pretending to pull each other out of a crevasse” in their garage. I can’t even get Isaac to find his cleats and lunchbox in our goddamned garage. And I can’t get him to summit his bunk bed at night without both of us losing our shit within 15 seconds.

So the thought of being “roped together for nearly two weeks” and “sharing a small tent and spending very little time apart” with “never any big tension between us” seems improbable, at best.

The last time Isaac was roped to me, it was with an umbilical cord. And I think that’s exactly how he’d like to keep it. Oh he’s athletic enough. After all, he tempts fate and paralysis daily in baseball, snowboarding, and leaping from high places for no reason at all. His sense of self-preservation is non-existent, so it’s not that I can’t see him becoming a mountain climber (despite the fact that making him walk three blocks is torture). It’s just that I can’t see him becoming a mountain climber with ME. Not only because of my complete ineptitude, but because of Isaac’s desire to get as far away from me as possible, as frequently as possible.

If I so much as try to kiss Isaac on the top of his head he screams “NO KISSES!!!” and pretends he doesn’t know me when I leave him with his teenaged snowboarding instructor. He criticizes my pitching, claiming I throw inadequate “breaking balls” and “sinkers.” When I recently recounted the story behind a scar on his forehead, and the quick-thinking mothering that followed, he rolled his eyes and said “please don’t remind me of such a dark time in my life.”

In short, Isaac already thinks I’m a hopeless source of mortification. So if I told him he had to be roped to me for nearly two weeks—for any reason—and live in a tent with me and only me while we were climbing to the top of a mountain, he would probably collapse in a hysterical heap of snot and tears at the mere thought of it.

So mad respect to Canyon and Nora for what seems, to me at least, an impossible Mother/Son Life Goal.





Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Open Letter to Senators Murkowski and Sullivan on ICE Family Separations

Dear Senators Murkowski and Sullivan,

You have been shamefully silent on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ policy (i.e., not a law) of allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to forcibly separate children from their parents at the country’s southern border, with no explanation or assurance of reunification, and your constituents want to know why.

You are both parents yourselves, so surely you understand the fear and heartbreak that immigrants to our country—many of whom are legally seeking asylum from unspeakable conditions at home—are facing. Attorney General Sessions' current policy is more reminiscent of Nazi Germany's Gestapo than it is Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty that have made America a beacon of hope to asylum seekers, immigrants, and refugees for decades.

We want to know if, or why, you are apparently okay with what’s happening here, and with being complicit in your party’s human rights abuses of children.

We want to know if or why you are okay with a policy that the American Academy of Pediatrics called “appalling” in its “sweeping cruelty” and warns can “cause irreparable harm, disrupting a child’s brain architecture and affecting his or her short and long-term health.”

We want to know if or why you are okay with children crying themselves to sleep because they don’t know where their parents are.

We want to know if or why you are okay with a father committing suicide in ICE detention after his three year-old child was taken from him, in hysterics.

We want to know if or why you are okay with ICE agents lying to parents, saying their children are being taken for questioning or baths, until it dawns on them that their children are not coming back, and they have no idea how or when they will be reunited.

We want to know if or why you are okay with ICE forcibly separating children from parents, even though the parents are LEGALLY presenting themselves for asylum at U.S. ports of entry.

We want to know if or why you are okay with children being warehoused in unsanitary and dangerous conditions where they are subjected to verbal, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of ICE agents, and later “lost” to human traffickers. 


In America.

We want to know if or why you're okay with President Trump erecting "tent cities" (i.e. concentration camps) to house unaccompanied children?

Again, in America.

We want to know if or why you're okay with this policy, even though it's more expensive than keeping families together, considering that you're "fiscal conservatives?"

We want to know if or why you are okay with a “zero-tolerance” prosecution policy—NOT A LAW—that weaponizes children in an immigration war begun long ago, but waged with a new and breathtaking heartlessness by President Trump and Attorney General Sessions, and built on fear, bigotry, misinformation, and white supremacy.


We want to know how you can live with yourselves knowing these things are happening on your watch, by your party. In America. Is this America in 2018, or 1933 Berlin? Your constituents and basic principles of human rights demand that you answer these questions and that you answer them now.



John Moore/Getty Images

Monday, June 11, 2018

Dog Shit is Legit the Unofficial Mascot of Juneau

That’s a fact, and I think it’s time we just own it and pivot from trying to control it to just embracing dog shit as a scenic symbol of our lives here like the humpback whale or the glacier.

I’ve lived here for a long time now, and I can say without reservation that dog shit is 100% the unofficial mascot of Juneau. It’s everywhere, all the time, and everyone knows it. It’s on the sidewalks. It’s on the trails. It’s in little plastic baggies on the sidewalks and trails. It’s on people’s shoes. It’s on beaches. It’s melting out of snow berms. 


Dog. Shit. Is. Fucking. EVERYWHERE. Dog shit is easier to find in Juneau than mold and spruce tips in spring and a nasty comment thread on a community Facebook page.

Look, I like dogs, even though they make my face explode with hives. And without getting into the whole good dog-owner/bad dog-owner contretemps, I think it’s fair to say that dogs/fur-babies lead better, healthier lives in America than most human beings do in the developing world. 
Like I would legit and without a second thought choose to live as a Golden Retriever in downtown Juneau before I would a teenage girl in a slum in Mumbai.

I would have way more food, security, and shelter. The only similarity, of course, is that my shit would pose a public health hazard, and no one would bother to do a goddamned thing about it.

Over the years, CBJ has made various failed attempts to deal with the dog shit problem mascot, from PSAs pointing out that dog shit is not in fact a fertilizer, but actually a major pollutant full of disease, to ordinances to baggies to straight-up pleading for decency among the dog-owning public (which outnumbers the non-dog-owning public 100:1 based solely on anecdotal shit observed).

But none of it's working, so let’s just adopt an “if you can’t beat it join it” type attitude and say the dog shit has won and call it a day.

To that end, dog shit definitely needs to go on the Juneau Visitors’ and Convention Bureau website as a main attraction, i.e., part of the local flavor every visitor to our fair city is sure to encounter. Instead of dog-sledding on the glacier by helicopter, how about aerial tours of all the dog shit up there? And also down here? Extra points for diarrhea! Maybe someone should start a GoFundMe for a gigantic dog shit statue to go right next to the whale statue, and then all the naysayers can ask why the funds didn’t go to dog shit mitigation or doggie daycare and we can just say IT WAS PRIVATE DONATIONS, STOOPID, and yell at each other on the internet until we have a rage stroke and die.

Basically the only way to make lemonade out of these dog turd lemons is to somehow decide that we LIKE dog shit. We WANT dog shit. We want it on our sidewalks, trails, beaches, and shoes. WE FUCKING LOVE DOG SHIT! That’s exactly how we act. We ACT like we love it, so we MUST love it! That's the only logical conclusion. And those who adapt, excel.

So dog owners good or bad, just let your dog’s asshole rip a turd wherever and whenever you want now, because we're all set to fucking OWN dog shit as the wonderful local mascot it is and a part of the scenery that we should just be happy about. 

Long live dog shit, the unofficial mascot of Juneau!




Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Planet Earth Series Finale is Gonna Be Lit AF, Y'all!

And I don’t mean the BBC Planet Earth nature show with all the breaching dolphins and coral reefs and prancing antelopes and shit narrated by David Attenborough. I mean the *actual* planet earth. 

As in, the one we live on.

It’s gonna be lit AF, and I’m inviting all my friends over for a nuclear holocaust/apocalypse watching party, June 12 at 8:00 p.m. CST on the Trump Channel, aka the  same channel we've all been watching all day, every day since mid-2015.

Seriously the series finale is going to be SO DOPE. COME ON OVER. We'll have popcorn, beer, soft drinks (for the kids), wings, nachos, and guac. My big screen TV and all my computers and smart phone/tablet-devices will be live-tweeting and live-blogging the end of the world, at least as long as we still have a Wi-Fi signal and eyeballs that aren't irradiated into liquid courtesy of the mushroom cloud.

Everyone's gonna be glued to the action as two megalomaniacal doughy man-babies square up in Asia to determine whose country can blow whose to smithereens faster like a real-life version of Dr. Seuss's Butter Battle Book, and then demand a Nobel Peace Prize for the winner.

The past two seasons have been really tumultuous and exciting. Characters getting written off the show left and right: like in season one with Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon and the Hope Hicks/Rob Cohen romance. And then there was the Manafort indictment and Michael Cohen-thing as part of the Mueller investigation story arc. 

And the season two B-plot with Neo-Nazis and NFL protests, and then Melania going missing for awhile, and the C-plot about women in pink pussy hats complaining about health care for their vaginas and Kim Kardashian doing prison reform, and scientists making the usual dire warnings about global warming that no one’s heeding.

Cray.

And now here we are at the series finale, although it's hard to say for sure because America might still renew Planet Earth for another season. No one knows for sure yet. Negotiations are still ongoing at the Network, or so goes the rumor. Dennis Rodman might make a cameo--wouldn't that be INSANE? No one's seen him since he almost married Madonna in the 90s! And now--SURPRISE--he's like, supes BFF'd with Kim Jong-Un so he might actually turn out to be a critical character on the show. The writers just keep us guessing every episode.

What's gonna happen? Will our kids live to see adulthood? WHO KNOWS!?!?!? Tune in June 12 to find out.