If all is ephemera, how can there be artifact?

Blinded by the Light

Y'know, I had an essay written in my head. It was all about the second coming of my feminism, and it was deep and thoughtful and intended as a public apology to Hillary Clinton for arriving so late to her party. But then, just as I was closing the logical loop, my neighbor trotted over to talk to me. He's very shy, my neighbor. I know this because he never looks me in the eye. Two guesses where he lets the vacant stare linger, as long as one of those choices is NOT my shoes. He told me how cute I looked in my overalls. I should mention that this was the day after Hurricane Mathew swept past, so I was hot, sweaty, without power or hot water, and getting bitten by mosquitoes. I was not in the mood. For G-d's sake Max, I'm 62 years old, I am not cute. Just stop it now. He teased me again. Oh, no My Familial Nickname Used Without My Permission, you stop it right now. Max, I repeated, Just. No. And I slammed the conversational door in his face and continued to pick up fallen limbs.

And then two days later, while I was quietly pulling weeds and rewriting my essay, the young workmen came to take the shutters off my studio. One of them attempted, despite verbal warning from both my husband and his co-worker, to apologize for the anti-Semitic sub-contractor who was their painter. Just the son, he said, right? The father is one of the good ones, isn't he? No, I said, he is not. He was rude and insulting and told me flat out that they did not bid prep work into this job. And then he attempted to mansplain (pause in conversation while I had to define mansplaining: y'know, when a man tries to tell a woman how to do something that she knows damn good an well how to do all on her own?) paint prep to me, an artist who has painted plenty of walls, and my husband the portrait painter? As far I am concerned he is an anti-Semite of the first order and if he ever sets foot on my property again I will call the police and have him charged with trespassing. And you can tell him I said so.

And then I watched the second debate and the fever dream of our national pre-apocalyptic behavior that unfolded in the aftermath. And it hit me.

What the fuck is wrong with you people? Have none of you read the fucking Handmaid's Tale? Or even rented the damned movie? No, really. How did we get from being the nation that sent a man to the fucking moon (with the help of women and minorities in critical positions) to being the nation that allowed Donald Trump to breathe air for free on the same stage as Hillary Rodham Clinton?

I have been a feminist all my damned life, and I have been an active combatant in the war against my sex. We have fought, as women, to control our own educational and vocational options, our own credit cards and bank accounts, to control our own names if we marry, to own and control our own bodies, fer fucksake. I cannot fathom how, after all these years of struggle, we have not made any fucking in-roads that haven't been shut down or detoured by rich, old, white, "Christian" men. Enough is enough. Fuck them. Or don't fuck them. But don't let them fuck you over in this election and for generations to come.

I'm begging you. This is our moment. If all of us who are not cis-normative white males vote for Hillary, we can maybe, just maybe, overthrow the rule of old white men. And wouldn't that be a good thing?

Born in the USA

It was a gorgeous dusk in the 772, and promised a gorgeous sunset. The RLA and I took out the old 'vette for a long run down old A-1-A, looking to get a burger and a beer at Harry and the Natives on a Saturday night. We pulled in to a spot in the parking lot and were faced with a TRUMP sign stuck in a planter. I gave it the benefit of the doubt, after all, parking lot/planter... could have been a diner who left it behind. So we trotted in to the hostess, but on the inner doors, in front of her stand, was taped up a Make Amurka Great Again sign.

I just couldn't do it. You wanna support that orange bag of toxic waste vaguely shaped like a human with a frightened ferret on its head, fine. But don't expect me to spend my money in your establishment. I find that Trump sign to be the absolute moral equivalent to flying a Nazi flag or wearing a sheet and pointed hood. Period. End of sentence. I will not support your business as long as you support Donald Trump.

The view of the sunset as we rode home with the top down was spectacular.

Return To Sender

How to get an OCD ex-webmaster to volunteer for your organization in one quick lesson. I just hit send.

"Your site is non-functional. I spent the greater part of today resizing my photos and attempting to fill out the application form. I couldn't upload photos and I couldn't submit the form without the photos. I couldn't submit the form because the final field had no indication of the information I was supposed to enter and without that field being filled (try saying that three times), I couldn't submit the form.

The final insult was that this contact address is listed incorrectly on the site. Just FYI, you don't use http as a prefix to an email address, only to an actual web(site) address.

So, for shits and giggles, and because maybe 1) someone actually monitors this account, and 2) maybe this mail account can handle attachments, I'm going to submit the files that I can't submit on the application form I can't submit.

You guys look at the art and figure out if you want me involved in the tour and how to get my money if you do. In the interim, I've spoken to a human (Karen) about being a volunteer and overhauling your website so that it, y'know, actually, like, works."
What to make of Bernie Sanders, the Jew. See, there is this whole thing going on among American Jews... is Bernie Jewish enough? Why doesn't Bernie talk about his Judaism more? I'll tell you why, because he doesn't have to. His Jewishness, to any degree, is the two ton gorilla in the room. Take this political cartoon by Pat Bagley. The whole joke depends on a single premise: that all Christians (even the Pope) are anti-Semitic, is a given. And why shouldn't that be a given? Donald Trump was endorsed by the KKK and the Nation of Islam. The only thing those two groups have in common is a virulent anti-Semitism. (Editing for clarity here, I'm not saying that I believe all Christians are anti-Semites, just that the whole premise of the cartoon depends on that assumption. Which makes the joke not funny, at least to me.)

Just last month, I had a stranger use the phrase "he Jewed me" as she described a business deal that she felt had not been to her advantage. I had just told her my name, and she still used that expression and she was insulted by my response. I didn't slap her, so I don't know what she was so pissed off about. I only called her out on her appalling manners and overt racism.

Is it racism? Because, you know Jews aren't really white. They're...Jews. Don't believe me? Try typing "are Jews" into your Google search engine. Auto-fill suggests the answer: Are Jews White? And how many hits does that get you? A cool 71 million articles. MILLION. And there isn't an easy yes/no answer to be found. Even in Israel, there are questions. Jews: are we a religion? A race?

When you search the Ellis Island data base to find your Jewish ancestors, you have to search for Hebrew. I had this conversation many years ago: Jesus was not a Jew, he was merely of Hebraic extraction. I still don't know what that meant. But back to Bernie.

Try typing Bernie Sanders into your Google search, and the number one result is "Bernie Sanders Jewish". That must be a less pressing issue than are Jews white, because that comes up with a paltry 11 million hits. Predictably, the headlines are "yes, but not enough", or "yes, but too white", or "yes, but he doesn't like to talk about it." Which is also a matter of media spin, because when he does talk about it, nobody seems to listen.

Still, it doesn't matter, because in the American mind, such as it is, Bernie is a Jew, and if there is one thing everyone can agree on, that history has taught us, it's that nobody likes the Jews. Even the delicate dancing around of the problem that Bernie doesn't carry minorities because he's a white male is bullshit. Bernie doesn't carry minorities because he's a Jew and even though Jews were in the forefront of the labor and civil rights movements, when push comes to shove, a white woman is perceived to be a better choice than a Jew of any gender.

As the great Bob Dylan once said, "Who says you can't go home again, of course you can." It's true. I did. What he should have said was that you can't start blogging again once you stop.

Turn and Face the Change

R.I.P. David Bowie. When I heard the news, I was instantly transported back to autumn of 1972, when "Changes" played in heavy, yet always welcome, rotation on WVUM, the voice of the University of Miami, and WVUM played in the lobby of my dorm, and I wasn't a lobby rat, but I did spend a number of hours perched in the stairwell, drawing those who were. I met my friend Billy there in the '68 Building. The autumn of 1972 was when I left my home town for good and swore never to return, for reasons that were many and valid.

I've been back in my childhood home for almost a year, so I suppose it is fitting that I was remembering what it was like when I left, and considering "Changes" when I had the following encounter this morning.

A new face is telling me that she is a neighbor, and lives a street over on the river, or near to. I say that's nice. She tells me that the person she bought from was Mitt Romney's wife, Anne's, brother, a Mormon. I say that's nice. She tells me that he is actually a crook. I say that's nice, and not unexpected, really, although I say the latter phrase only in my head, I am sure. Yes, she tells me, he is a crook. When we bought the house, he Jewed us out of $7000 dollars.

Stop, I say. Did you really just say that? Oh yes, she repeats, I did. He Jewed us... Stop, I interrupt. Really? You are using those words? Yes, she tells me with a shrug, I'm from Philadelphia, and... And I'm Jewish, I rudely interrupt again. So, good day to you. And with that, I turned and walked back into my home, and locked the door behind me.

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