Thursday, May 30, 2019

Me and Trumpy McGee (Freedom Molecules)






Oil spill near Baton Rouge, pelicans and cranes
Were lookin’ greasier than refried beans
BP played that diesel down, just before it rained 
Stock prices from here to New Orleans


I pulled my gas hose from its dirty, smelly nozzle
I was texting while my tank filled up on cue
Windshield wipers slappin’ time, I was keepin’
Trumpy’s words in mind
We burned every ounce of fossil fuel 

Freedom’s just another word for petrol molecules 
And Lord you know that Freedom Gas ain’t free
Cuz Freedom Gas was awesome Lord, before we really knew 
Climate change would send us up shit’s creek
Up shit’s creek with me and Trumpy McGee.

From the Kentucky coal mines, to the California sun
There Trumpy sang the praises of petrol
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done
Freedom Gas has kept us from the cold yeaaah
One day down near DC, Lord, reason slipped away
It’s lookin' for an ear, and I hope it finds one
But, I'd trade all my tomorrows, for one single yesterday
To tell 
Congress we’re all about to fry.
Freedom’s just another word for petrol molecules 
And Lord you know that Freedom Gas ain’t free
Cuz Freedom Gas was awesome Lord, before we really knew 
Freedom Gas would send us up shit’s creek
Up shit’s creek with me and Trumpy McGee.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

I Don’t Get It.

I really don’t. I don’t get America under this despotic bullshit.

I don’t get how you can be worried about the government interfering with your guns but be perfectly fine with it interfering with the most intimate parts of your body.

I don’t get how people in power can violate the constitution, the law, and congressional subpoenas with zero pushback or consequences.

I don’t get why who you fuck or marry, or what gender you identify as, or what toilet you piss in, matters to anyone but you.

I don’t get women who cannibalize other women by tearing them down and undermining them.

I don’t get how we have a separation of church and state yet essentially live in a theocracy.

I don’t get how journalists can’t do their jobs anymore or go out in public without the risk of being assaulted.

I don’t get the buzz of trolling for the sake of trolling and abusing other people, laughing at their pain, rejoicing in their failures, mocking their appearance. I don’t get the pure and tragic sadism of that.

But most of all I don’t get the complicity or the complacency or the cowardice. I don’t get how people—smart people—put their own self-preservation ahead of almost everything else.

I don’t get how we can function in a society where the majority of people just put their heads down and keep following orders and endorsing and ignoring what these morally bereft criminals say and do.

I don’t get how people can dehumanize other people with bumper stickers that mock human death and human pain and think it’s funny. I don’t get the sociopathy of that.

I don’t get how we have candidates for the federal judiciary who won’t promise to uphold Brown v. Board.

I don’t get how I can continue to use my time and my voice when it feels like I’m wasting my time screaming into the void and all I feel is depression, alienation, and isolation.

Truly, I do not fucking get it. Not one bit.




Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Solution to Alaska’s Fiscal Crisis is in This Email

Dear Most Esteemed and Honourable Rulers of Alaska State,

I know this message will come as a surprise to you, but please permit me of my desire to go into business relationship with you.

My name is Prince Tunde Surugaba, heir to the throne of the late King Abioye Surugaba of Libya, who was murdered during a government coup some years ago. Before his death, my father was a strong supporter and member of the late Moammar Gadhafi Government in Tripoli.

Meanwhile, before the incident, my father fled to Nigeria with the sum of USD $4.5B which he deposited in a bank in Lagos for safekeeping.

I am in this message seeking an avenue for transfer of the fund to you (and you only) as you are a reliable and trustworthy government and understand well investments. I remain in Libya because of the death of my father, and I want you to help me transfer my inheritance into your Permanent Fund or General Fund or General Permanent Fund for investment in police, schools, and large dividends to your loyal subjects.

Please I will offer you 20% of the total sum of USD $4.5B for your assistance in this regard. Please I wish to transfer this sum into the Permanent Fund or General Fund or Permanent General Fund urgently and without delay. 

I simply need the routing number of your largest bank account, the social securities numbers of all of your loyal subjects, and a small upfront payment of USD $100,000 to repay debts to the bank that holds the note on my castle.

I know we can be of service to each other as you are very poor and I am very rich and your loyal subjects would be most indebted to their rulers upon provision of such ample riches. Please respond immediately to this email with the information requested and wire transfer the above sum promptly so that we may begin our business.

Many thanks and peace to you.








Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Anonymous Guest Post from a Man Who Decided Birth Control Was His Job

Once, many years ago, I had a tawdry and long-running affair with a woman nearly 15 years younger than me. I was pushing 40 and she was, as you can surmise, suitably young given my fast approaching grey beard.

We were, in short, massively connected when it came to our sex life. We would two-to-tango every day some weeks, sometimes up to thrice a day.

The sex was good and she even invited me, on many occasions, to meet her family. She said they “would just love me.”

I wasn’t in love with this woman. Hell, until recently I didn’t know what love was. We were just primordial beasts in bed… and the shower… and the kitchen counter.

It was good like that… until it wasn’t.

One day, after we hadn’t seen each other for a few days, she texted me.

“Hey. I need to talk to you.”

Instantly I cringed. I knew what this was about and it was something I didn’t want to deal with.

A few hours later, another message. No response from me, mind you. This went on for two days until she finally did it. She ended my world.

“Dude…… I’m pregnant.”

My whole world stopped and for a second I could not breathe.

And then, after a few months went by, I decided to do something that would change my world and, hopefully, the rest of the world.

I decided to get a reversible vasectomy.

I did this mostly out of self-preservation, at first. I had already created one life that I loved with a human I did not. I’m not the brightest jackass and I have been accused of making more than my fair share of mistakes.

But the light of reason shined upon me that day. I knew I had minimal self-control when it came to women I wanted to sleep with – and I knew I never wanted to put another woman or child through that again.

Now, seven years later, I no longer have the libido I once did. Sexuality is more about love than orgasms now. And it certainly isn’t about procreation. That bird flew in my life.

I write this because I believe that if more men took charge of their sexual health, rather than wasted their words and anger directed at the “whores,” “sluts,” and “bitches” of the world who get pregnant by their seed—and then who they never see again or worse—the world would be a better place.

It’s time that men practiced some preventative maintenance when it comes to the creation of life.




Sunday, May 12, 2019

A Mother’s Day Thank You Note to My Babies

Dear Babies,

I’m writing you this thank you letter from a sunny bench on the playground. (Thank you for letting me sit here, by the way. The swings make me barf). Technically you’re not babies anymore. At 8.5 and 11.5, I’m guessing you don’t have many years of monkey bars and swinging left in you. I’m just happy you still love playing with dolls and Legos. Can you make that last a little bit longer, please?

As an initial matter, I’m sorry I brought you into this shithole slum of a planet at probably one of the shittiest, most overpopulated and bleakest times in human history. Sorry for saying “shit.” I’m sorry, too, for the trouble I have caused in trying to do my part to un-shittify things. Maybe I’ve shat them up worse. But maybe you will understand why some day, and pick up where I left off, and do a better and less self-destructive job of it? 

I hope so.

Your biggest gift to me is bravery. Not fearlessness. I have more fear now than ever before. But you make me brave because I know that the only thing that matters is that I live to see you grow up and that you both outlive me. If that happens, I can handle anything. People can drag my name through the fetid sewer of lies and bullshit all they want and I could be broke and homeless and none of it will matter as long as we are around to love each other.

To my girl: I envy you. Your self-confidence, your self-esteem, your kindness, hard work, affection and your fierce independence. When I was your age, all I cared about were boys and friend drama. I cried over everything. You care about friendship bracelets and making your own French toast and finishing your math homework correctly and on time. You never get in trouble, unlike your mother. You hardly cry. Grandma dreaded my parent-teacher conferences but I look forward to yours because I know I’m not going to hear a bad word about you.

To my little man: You’re already too cool for your mom, I know. With your Sabiki fishing rig and your deep knowledge of local flora and your love of snowboarding and anything involving a ball. I doubt you’ll ever live anyplace but Alaska, and I hope you make it a better place. Thank you for teaching me how to raise a low-anxiety, wordsmith of a boy who loves babies, animals, and elders. Thank you for (almost) always being kind to other children.

The two of you are, by far, my greatest achievement. When you were born, I looked at you in wonder that my body made these perfect humans. I still love to put my face in your hair and read you stories and sleep next to you at night. I’ll try my best never to let anyone come betweeen you and your happiness and potential.

Thank you for the gift of being mine.

Love,

Mommy.





Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Patagonia 'Power Vest' Drought is a Fucking NIGHTMARE for ‘Aspiring Tycoons!’

Satire has long ago eclipsed reality, so I should not have been surprised to see this headline in the Wall Street Journal last week: Patagonia Triggers Market Panic Over New Rules on Power Vests.

I would've read the whole article, but the WSJ charges per click (it's Wall Street, after all), and although I fully believe in paying for news content, I wasn't about to give that POS rag any of my cheddar--not even for this worthy cause. So I gathered what I could from the preview and elsewhere. Basically, "the sportswear company announced restrictions on its custom-branded vests to firms that 'prioritize the planet,' leaving aspiring tycoons out in the cold."

Again, because the Venn diagram of satire and reality is now a complete circle, it's hard to tell if the reporter had tongue in cheek when she called this a "panic-inducing announcement" and a "crisis that touches the very core of [Wall Street's] largely male workforce." 

I found more (i.e. free) coverage of this "crisis," and learned that Patagucci is saying FUCK YOU, YA FILTHY RICH BASTARDS to Wall Street banks like JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, and will henceforth sell its monogrammed fleece vests only to "mission-driven companies that prioritize the planet." 

(Full disclosure: I own a Patagonia puffy vest that I wear frequently, because it has discreet pockets for everything from iPhones to vape pens to loose cashews, and I can often get away with wearing no bra underneath it. From now on, I will be referring to this garment as a "power vest" in the hopes that it will force my smart-mouthed children to better RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH).

My powers of deductive reasoning and extrapolation tell me a few things about this story: (1) Big banks must not be "mission-driven companies that prioritize the planet"; (2) there is such a thing as an "aspiring tycoon" (*SHUDDER*); and (3) aspiring tycoons have a very sensitive panic-button. 

A "celebrity stylist" in the above-linked article put it best and most hilariously: "It's such a status symbol. The vest gives off the Indiana Jones adventurer look for the man who doesn't have any adventures."

BWAHAHAHHHAHAHA!

So true! It's way better to pretend you're off rock climbing (or fighting Nazis in a snake pit?) on the weekends, even though you're actually stuck on the 19th floor of 5151 Avenue of the Americas eating take-out sushi at your desk. Who has time for "adventures" when you're spending 80 hours a week shuffling money around from one hedge fund to another so that the petro-state and the military-industrial complex can turn you and the rest of the 1% into the .0000000001%,? It's essential that you guarantee yourself a leather seat on Elon Musk's first rocket ship to Mars when the REAL panic over non-vest-related resources such as food and water is unleashed on humanity. 

If these guys think they're panicking now, wait until they have to shove little old ladies and children out of the way to escape the boiling planet by launching themselves into the stratosphere.

Bottom line: Patagonia is "reluctant to co-brand with oil, drilling, dam construction, etc. companies that they view to be ecologically damaging," including "financial institutions." I suppose this means that here in Alaska, we shouldn't expect to see any "co-branding" with BP, ConocoPhillips, or the Pebble Limited Partnership? These "aspiring tycoons" will have to do all their vest-shopping at REI and might need to order monogramming through some separate, less scrupulous service in order to find a loophole in this disastrous new rule.

May God have mercy on their souls.




Monday, May 6, 2019

Needs Improvement

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

—Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light and Other Essays. 

You are a warrior. 

They have told you so, often. So it must be true. You certainly feel wounded enough. Then why do you not believe it? Why do you not feel like a warrior, here in bed, in the middle of the day for fuck’s sake, under your weighted blanket? The one given to you in a hard time by a fellow mother. One with real pain. With real problems, not of her own making.

Unlike you. 

This is a fake problem of your own making. You did it to yourself, and now you need to find your own way up and out. You are responsible for your own happiness, and you are abdicating that responsibilty. The children are at school (you dropped them off today) and it’s quiet except for those goddamned parakeets. The bit of work you set out for yourself this morning is done, and you lack capacity for more. You read a few pages of a novel, but can’t seem to focus. It’s not a book you ordinarily would have chosen, but here you are, trying anyway.

Trying.

The tears come when you think about what the others might be doing right now. Your other family, the one you haven’t seen since winter and will never see again. Not ever. Not in the same way, at least. They took that, and it’s never coming back. Self-indulgent self-pity is not the same as self-care, is it?

Self-care. Ugh. The term is so corny. So First World, new-age journey, hot yoga, truth-living. You think about bubble baths and soft leggings that arrive in the mail wrapped in plastic, paid for with plastic. Fake. You know you don’t deserve these fake things, because apart from everything else, you are too sad to exercise, even though you know exercising will make you less sad. Ironic.

“Apart from everything else.” That was a great turn of phrase favored by someone you used to talk to every day, but aren’t allowed to anymore. You feel trapped under the weight of your own victimhood and inability to cede to bullshit. You never intended your voice to operate as an act of defiance, and yet it has done just that for as long as you can remember. Every other day in elementary school, you would end up on the green Naugahyde couch outside the principal’s office, waiting to be beckoned in and scolded. 

“BEHAVIOR: NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.” (That was the worst mark available for behavior). It was on every report card. Sometimes it was even followed by two—TWO— exclamation points with a frowny face under the !! 

Even now, you can see it.

You haven’t changed in any way that matters in the past three decades, and you’re not going to. So what will you do instead? You summon from memory a college text book—an Audre Lorde quote, and then descend into a Wikipedia hole, reading about her work, her poetry, her life. Now that’s a warrior.

Self-preservation as an act of political warfare. The idea resonates. You think about refusing to leave your home. Refusing to disrupt your children’s lives. Swipe-deleting toxic people. Shrugging as you give up on them. Ignoring them. The determination to continue existing and resisting and thriving where you are, as acts of both self-preservation and affirmative aggression. 

Because that’s really what it is. It is an act of aggression and defiance simply to continue your work on this earth in the face of people who want you to shut up, get fucked, get raped, be broke, move away, die. They’ve told you all of those things too. They tell them to you every day. And yet here you are, still, anyway.

Maybe you can call yourself a warrior afterall.