In other words, things you throw together to create a single cohesive item/experience. It’s been a while since my last post, and months since I put some original content up here. There are a lot of reasons for that, not the least of which is the fact that Twitter is voraciously consuming my day-to-day sparkly creative brilliance.
Don't let that sweet blue face fool you. This bird's a blog murderer.
If you need your Fiqah fix, I’m over here, acting up. Please be advised that my tweets are alternately raw, preachy and ridiculous – comme moi. So, yeah, they’re pretty flippin’ awesome.
I’m currently working on several long-assed, hyper-involved posts, gearing up for NaNoWriMo, and otherwise (re)adjusting to une vie au marais. In the process, I have discarded several blog post ideas that for whatever reason have not completely panned out. It occurred to me that some of the ideas were pretty good, but not in a stand-alone way. What do you do with something that’s not good enough to use by itself, but is too good to just chuck away? Why, you mash it up, of course!
See, it's like this..but, um, with a post?
That’s not really what I was going for. Hmmm. ::: snaps fingers ::: Got it! This post is like…a bunch of tapas and a lotta really good wine instead of the meatloaf-and-gravy you usually get here.
Ehhhhh? Much better, right? Yup. Aright.
People of color in general and trans and cis women of color in particular are disproportionately under-insured in this country, and if this healthcare crap doesn’t come together soon, we will continue to be disproportionately represented among the dead. That’s not just empty statistic inflation. For me and millions of others, it is a day-to-day cold, hard fact. Of the people of color in my immediate social circle (25 or so, all under 44 years of age), seven of us are uninsured, and five of us Uninsured-erinos are cis women of color. We are staving off deadly flus, both swine and regular, with vitamins, Echinacea and syncretic faith rituals. (Yes. Really.) Now, some folks might think it’s alright that in a country that stockpiles antibiotics/antivirals/antideath medicines my people are forced to enlist the aid of the spirit world and the dubious healing properties of the coneflower in order to stay healthy. Personally, I think it sucks. I think it sucks big ole hairy donkey balls. So, instead of pitching a fit about it in a post, I decided to learn more about it, and have been quietly agitating my governmental representatives in both states for weeks. I encourage you to do the same.
In a small effort to stop and correct the erasure of trans men and womens’ experiences from various types of dialogue…I am committing myself to using the terms “trans” and “cis.” It’s part of an ongoing effort to educate myself (and hopefully other like-minded but ignant cis folks) about what it means to truly advocate for real social justice. Privilege has this nasty tendency to be invisible until it is pointed out. (“Progressive” cis women and men are just as guilty of this as not progressive people.) So…point point pointy point point.
Mother Nature is still the boss of you, me, and the whole wide world. My mama raised me to have a dual appreciation of my selves. This means that I was raised to understand just how big (a lovely, kind, talented and bright child of eternal God) I am as well as just how small (powerless in the face of the awesome wrath of nature, a pawn of the Fates, morally flawed, unquestionably mortal, a speck of a speck of a speck’s speckled speck in the Cosmos and prone to the occasional “owie”) I am. This is the contradictory duality of the human experience. There’s a reason why at the sub-atomic level everything in existence is composed of essentially the same shit, and I firmly believe that part of that reason is to keep mankind appropriately humbled. Nothing drives that point home for me more clearly than hard-core weather and sudden violent seismic activity.*
Don't just sit there. DO something.
An amazing friend of mine wrote a very touching post about the recent natural disasters in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim. He linked this relief organization, and since every little bit really does help, I encourage you to at least look at the services offered and their greatest areas of need. I say this because I mean it: a better world really does start with you. Yes, it does. Yes, I know, shit is rough, and we are all struggling. But if you flushed your terlet with clean water today, then dammit, you have it pretty good. Not because you deserve to, but because you are lucky. Here’s a quick compassion exercise. The next time you see or read about someone catching hell through no fault of their own, before you judge and distance yourself from their situation and humanity, say this: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” And then, you know, go work on being less of an asshole.
The agony irritation of self-labelling. So someone who has become very dear to me in a series of months did an amazing write-up via Twitter about why calling oneself an “ally” is problematic. In a nutshell, she said, it’s kinda like coming up to someone, declaring that you wanna be their best friend, and INSISTING that they recognize you as such. The concept of an ally, when you put it like that, is…well, it’s obnoxious as hell! I have struggled with the term “feminist” over the years as well, specifically because feminism as it is popularly expressed speaks to, for and about straight cis able-bodied White women (I’m looking at YOU, Jezebel) and often either ignores or silences the experiences of any woman who lives outside of those categories. That’s also obnoxious as hell. SIGH. Still haven’t quite figured this one out yet, really.
Dear White people: Black people tan. On purpose. (Really.) This was actually something I mentioned on Teh Twitteh. While relaxing on the GOOAHGEOUS white sand beaches of my home state, I attracted quite a bit of gawking from White people, who seemed to be baffled at what was clearly my intentional sunbathing. One woman in particular stared, openly and rudely, as I happily basked in the golden sunshine and patently ignored her. As fate would have it, we rode the same bus back to my city’s downtown area. I happened to be sitting behind her and was treated to an up-close view of her disgustingly mottled, prematurely aging back. Now, here’s my question: if you DON’T have eumelanin (and if you freckle in the sun, then you don’t) why the fuck are YOU tanning?
Oh, Lindsey. The sun, much like Paris Hilton, isn't really a "friend" friend...
Dear White cis women: Stop referring to YOURSELVES as “White girls.” A recent email exchange with a White cis woman who strongly identifies as a feminist bugged the shit out of me. Why? Because she referred to herself, in so many words, as a well-meaning, progressive-thinking “White girl” who was just tryna figure it all out. SIIIIIIGGGGGGHHHHH. She didn’t mean to work my nerves. But the fact that so many White cis women are hesitant to refer to themselves as adults speaks a LOT to sexism and White gendered privilege. Self-infantilazation does not help the movement(s), anymore than the fetishization and co-opting of the pain (i.e., “strength” ) of trans and cis women of color helps. This shit is toxic. For you, and for all of us. Recognize.
Here’s some stuff you need to know about Black women. Lisa said it better than I could. Yes, indeed.
Steve Harvey’s an asshole. I feel like that one writes itself. I mean, a thrice-divorced philanderer giving romantic advice? And in THOSE suits? C’mon, now.
Motherfucker, YOU scream.
This concludes the hash post. OH! One last thing about soap bits – you can make eco-friendly art with them!
Read all about the Accumulation project, and don’t let anybody tell you that beauty can’t be crafted from bits, pieces, scraps and…ehr-um…chunklets.
*THIS IS NOT TO SUGGEST THAT ANYONE DESERVES TO SUFFER FROM THE DEVESTATING IMPACT OF NATURAL DISASTERS. I wanna make that clear. One issue I have with Gaea theorists is the idea of the natural disaster as collective punishment for ”sins” commited against the earth. People in nations with smaller GDPs and less governmental infrastructure are impacted more heavily and for longer by natural disasters than wealthier countries. But the worst ecological offenders – the greediest consumers, the highest per capita polluters – are wealthier, “developed” nations. Soooo until I hear about a hurricane leveling the Hamptons and ALL the Bush family residences, I’m giving Gaea theorists the side-eye.