Saturday, May 07, 2011

Weekend Art Blogging- OHHHHHH It's crooked

It's the first of the revolutionary travel posters! And no, I will not be doing further lettering freehand again.

Let's all give a cheer!

To Tata, who from across the country arranged for a microwave and a whole mess of awesome stuff to be delivered to my house today. I got a fancy red cast iron grill pan and a toaster. TOAST OMG it's been so long since I had toast.
And to Aeryl, who sent a giant box of clothes for the Kid (including some ironic liquor shirts, a Bob Ross happy trees shirt and a Monty Python shirt) as well as a small library of books.

And because after a few years of feeling disconnected and untethered, I finally feel a little normal. I'm in less pain. I am back to being a little bit of a social butterfly (full butterfly effect takes a while). You peeps have kept me from the darkest of dark places. 

Now just because I'm grateful for the awesome things that I've got, doesn't mean I'm not the angry Queen bitch you've come to know and hopefully love. 
(h/t to Renee for the link. And I'm pleased as punch that shit sandwich become a part of the anti-poverty lexicon. Remember folks, there is no difference between shit sandwich and shit sandwich with pickle).

I don't really think it does the book justice

Have you missed out on reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged? Do you feel a bit like an illiterate lump when people make fun of the book or those that are objectivists?

Fear not, my friends. Now there is an abridged version.

(But seriously, the abridged version is much better written than the original so I am not sure if you will really get the flavor of just how ridiculously bad the writing is. It's worse than that time I read the free literature from Focus on the Family. It's worse than Latawnya the crack pony.)

Friday, May 06, 2011

Dear Douchebag Pilots:

Throwing people off a plane because of the way they are dressed is pretty fucked up. Throwing 2 men off a plane because they are Muslim while those 2 men are on their way to a conference about prejudice against Muslims would be down-right funny if it wasn't a true fact. But it is.

There are approximately 1.6 Billion Muslims in the world. The number of Muslims who have become terrorists is a number so small that it's a tiny fraction of a percent of that number. The number of those Muslims that have become terrorists AND managed to commit an act of violence in America is a tiny fraction of a percent of that. There's actually been way more acts of violence committed by White Christian Males in the US than by Muslims.

So perhaps the next time you see some douche in a "God Bless America" t-shirt with a cross around his neck, that is the dude you should be throwing off your plane. Because the math says he's more likely to kill you than the 2 imams on their way to talk about racism.


Divergence point

I've been seeing a lot of very thoughtful people talking about the death of bin Laden from a human rights point of view. And every point they've made is legit.


This wasn't random joe gunned down in his house before we had proof of who he was or if he even had any involvement. Osama bin Laden openly and plainly declared war on us. He proudly took responsibility for deaths on our soil. What would the result of arrest and trial have done for us and him? He still would have been executed. But in the process he'd get a chance to spew more hate and gain more followers and his body would then become a shrine.

Until we can live in a warless, stateless world (and yes I am enough of a sucker idealist that I believe that can happen) then we have only a few options for justice and protection. In the imperfect world we have now, I am a champion of good intelligence work and surgical strikes against proven (that's the key word, proven)enemies who have committed violent acts against us over full scale war, where innocent civilians die by the thousands so that a few assholes can die with them.

We never should have gone into Afghanistan, and the death of OBL proves that. He wasn't killed in a traditional battle, but in a small action by a small team. he wasn't killed in Afghanistan. (Though I do wonder if the drone strikes in Pakistan were part of the reason we got the intel about OBL to begin with. Were the drone strikes some form of International Uncle where we keep killing until they say enough?)

Don't worry, I still don't like Obama. But this is one of the only actions that I may actually agree with. We should now be able to pull out of Afghanistan since all pretense for war there is literally lost in the ocean (if you believe the reports) but I know that won't happen.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Ugh, keep that shit to yourself.

I just got one of those compliments that at first glance seems like it's ok but if you listen to the nagging, churning of your stomach you realize it's really just some exceptionalist bullshit meant to keep well within patriarchial guidelines.

'You look like one of those cool moms that's a partner in crime with her son or her man. Not the garden variety Seattle area mother hen growing old in fleece pullovers and mom jeans and Birkenstocks and fanny packs! You know what I mean?'

My first reaction was to be the superbitch I know I can be and throw the same kind of "compliment" right back at him with a "wow you look like the kind of black guy who's articulate and doesn't show his ass in baggy jeans while listening to gangster rap! You know what I mean?" But he doesn't know me and that kind of sarcasm would be lost without the fuller context. For the record both comments, his and mine, are tools of the patriarchy. So I refrained and you all get a post instead.

Compliments that aren't really include some method of setting you up against your own group as better than. You are the exception. You're supposed to be grateful because someone has just told you that you're better than the group you belong to. In my case, mothers are supposed to be boring, sexless old kill-joys, but I'm hot and fun so I can be the superhero sidekick to a penis-waver! Sweet. All I have to do is agree that people like me suck, do everything I can to not be like people like me and maybe I can get a number 2 spot to a child or man.

There isn't actually anything wrong with being a mother hen growing old in fleece and birkentstocks. That shit is comfy and I freely admit to spending more time than I should in yoga pants (though I don't own birks, fleece or mom jeans. But that ain't the point). There is also nothing wrong with being a black man who wears baggy pants and listens to gangster rap. (Though I'm not a fan of the misogynist rap, but again NOT THE POINT). The construction of compliments like this are meant to keep us isolated from others like us who might, I dunno, all come together to say "Fuck you and your crappy system! I don't have to be pornorific hot all the time, or ever to be valued! I don't have to shed all of my cultural markers just so that the oppressors find me worthy of second-class status!"

So instead of being straight up bitchy, this is what I sent back:

I'm sure you think that was a compliment. But it's not actually all that different than if I said "Wow you're articulate". I don't need to hear insults to other women to feel good about myself. Thanks for trying though.

Good News re Bradley Manning

Apparently when enough people complain loudly (or maybe enough of the "right" people) then we can stop our government from torturing citizens.

EDT: you can send Manning a letter even.
Bradley Manning 89289
830 Sabalu Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2315

Yay and fuck!

So at some recent point this little blog got it's 100,000 visitor! Whoooooopeeeee.

But this means that Echo, the crappy commenting platform that exactly no one likes, is now charging me 10 bucks a month instead of 10 bucks a year. That's why comments look so funny with the all caps and not popping out like normal. I don't know how to fix that. I think it might involve an even more expensive monthly option to do so. I am looking for a cheaper commenting platform that will still give me iron-clad moderating options and let me import old comments into it, but that seems to be hard to find.

But anyways, 100,000k. Hurray!

The Annual Obligatory Mother's Day Post

Damn do I hate this holiday. Here's why:

1. Mothers are treated like shit throughout the world (except maybe in Norway). We are paid less than other people, even other women. We are thought to be stupider, less able to perform paid work, etc. etc. We are more likely to be killed by our partners while pregnant than to die from pregnancy complications, at least in this country. Childcare is expensive and/or low quality. Child support collection sucks. We still do more unpaid work than fathers do. And to make up for the fact that without mothers there would literally be no future (no babies= the actual end to the human race)we get one stupid hallmark holiday where we get cheesy cards and brunch. I'd rather have the cash, thank you very much.

2. Mother's day started in the US because Julia Ward Howe was tired of watching sons die in the Civil War. Today we have, what like 4 wars going on where sons AND daughters are dying and have been for nearly a decade. But we're going to send flowers and cheap gifts and no one will mention the wars in relation to Mother's Day. Fuck that shit.

3. My own mother is an asshole. I have spent years, and will spend many more years trying to undo the damage she has done. Every child deserves at least one parent that loves them, but I would have settled for just one parent who wasn't intent on causing me actual harm. I could tell you all how a huge part of the abuse that I suffered is based in sexism and how it was a generational problem. The boys are loved and supported, the girls are treated abusively to "toughen them up". It was the early recognition of the unfairness in my family that made me a feminist. My mother is also the ultimate rape apologist and to this day, when she has lost an argument she will throw that in my face. She doesn't realize how that just cements her assholery. There is nothing to celebrate in that relationship.

4. I have an awesome kid and we have a really good relationship. I don't play the martyr "oh look how much I've given up for you" shit because I chose this life and I haven't got a single regret as far as having the Kid goes. And to be honest, if I hadn't experienced the overwhelming unconditional love that I have for my monkey boy, I would never have been strong enough to tell my own mother to fuck off. So he can skip the card. I know he loves me. No need to prove it.

So fuck mother's day. I don't need it. I will, however be throwing a brunch for my dear friends. Not because of mothers, but because I am a fabulous cook and I haven't had a food related party yet. We'll picnic on my living room floor (since I still don't have furniture) and watch it rain on the Space Needle while eating frittata and drinking mimosas.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Death Of Hope

The Boxcarkid's Blog is over. If you've never read it, it is the blog of a single, graduate degree educated mom and her kids who have had to move into a tiny trailer because of unemployment and foreclosure. She is one of the nouveau poor and it's hard when you realize that the bad spots are going to longer and worse than you thought. And the good parts will be, well less good than before.

Poverty increases the likelihood of depression. Depression isn't an overly pessimistic view of the world, but a realistic view devoid of hope. The reality for the poor is pretty bleak. I spend a lot of time just pushing back necessary things to a day where hopefully things will be better. I push back dental care (see kid's recent abscess and the $660 that made me cry in public). I push back clothes buying. I haven't bought underwear for myself in at least 5 years and it's the last thing I do for the kid. Shoes, pants, shirts, underwear is the order of clothing necessity. We're taking care of shirts (thanks Aeryl!) so underwear are next for him. But the constant pushing back of things you need is a drain. Keeping a running list in my head of what's needed, what has to be paid, what's desperate and what can wait a few weeks, months, years, takes up a lot of head space that could be put to better, happier uses.

This is all just a long way of saying poverty sucks. You're in it for far longer than you expected to be. It's hard to find joy in it. And it can be a very lonely place, waiting for a happy ending. I will miss the Boxcarkid's. I hope they get their happy ending soon.

So Canadians Vote? Who Knew?

I've had more than my fair share of wine this evening (with Syyyyyylllllvvvviiiaaa and Amanda Fucking Panda, not less) so any random babblings are prolly due more to alcohol than anything.

But in the gleeful grossness of celebration, us USians may have forgotten that Canada is in the middle of an election and voting is today. Damn hard to type after 2 bottles of tempernillo and some proseco. Do I get bonus points for being able to type for that?

Anyways, if anyone is Canadian or Canadian by proxy, what's going down with your elections? Inquiring (but inebriated) minds want to know.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Happy Evening Music because Amanda Fucking Panda got me drunk

She went to the fancy wine store and I've had a large portion of 2 bottles of tempernillo (how many brownie points do I get for spelling that right?)

I am told that these guys are the Milli Vanilli of Europe. But as they say que sera sera. I am tipsy, obvs.

"We killed the guy that got us into 2 wars"

Is what I keep reading. And uhm NO. The guy that got us into 2 wars was Bush.The guy that's kept us in 2 wars and added 2 more is Obama. We did kill the guy responsible for 9/11, for the earlier bombing of the World Trade Center and for the deaths of countless others. Bin Laden was a murderous bad dude. But the wreck that is our country, from the ridiculously skewed income disparity to the removal of civil liberties pat by pat in airport security lines, is all us.

Think about how Bin Laden was killed. A small team went into a country we are not technically at war with and killed him. There was certainly no need for war with Afghanistan (since he was found in Pakistan, and not even close to the border). And we know that Iraq had nothing, nada, zilch to do with 9/11 yet people still keep talking like he was the reason, not Bush's daddy complex or oil, that we are in Iraq.

I fear that people may be putting too much hope in the death of this one man to change things for the better.

That about sums it up

This is totally swiped from Tumblr, though I would have added "Are we safer?" to the list.


so troops can come home now? 

are gas prices going down?

is airport security gonna stop cavity searching on the regular? 

is the war over?

yea, didn’t think so.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

Nighttime Music- Syyyyyyllllvvvviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaaaaa Edition

Sorry chiquita, I couldn't embed the weird official video version.

And we need a better name for nightly videos if this is going to continue.

Bin Laden Dead

There was a time when this news would have made me happy. But 10 years of war in Afghanistan where we average to kill one "bad guy" for every 30 people and drone attacks in Pakistan and I don't fucking care. That's 10 years that Bin Laden got to strengthen his networks and use our atrocious wars as propaganda to gather more followers.

And pardon me, but I can't help but think of how desperately Obama needs a bump in the polls and a distraction while he works with Republifuckers to complete the robbing of the Aemrican populace for spoils to give to the wealthy reduce the deficit. And I wonder how the Pakistan government feels. Did they authorize us sending a team into their country? Will we stop bombing them now? How long will we remain in the clusterfuck that is Afghanistan? The answer to these questions I fear will not be positive.

ETA: Is it just me, or are the crowds of cheering gleeful celebrants making Bin Ladens' death a bit nauseating. Was the dude a murderer and terrorist- hell yes. Is it still gross to party over his dead body. Hell yes.

How to write a blog post

Abagond has in interesting post up about how to write a blog post.

Uhm, that's way more organized than I write. WAY more. Even the long posts. Even the good posts. Even the many linked posts.

Here's how I write a post.

Read. Read more. Read again. Read blogs. Read newspapers. Read books. Read the back of a cereal box.

Begin to have the glimmer of an idea. Nurture this by furiously chewing and snapping gum. Blow occasional bubble. (Gum has replaced my old pace and chain smoke routine, what with the not smoking. Dear gawd I miss smoking.)

Try not to be to distracted by thoughts of how much I miss smoking. Or that laundry needs to be done, but do i want to spend my last 5 to wash stuff. Can washing wait till more money comes in.

Read more.


Watch a movie on Netflix. Watch an entire television series on Netflix.Wish for visine because I have been up all night watching Netflix and my eyeballs hurt.

Vomit post onto screen. No really that's how it feels. Thoughts that have been churning in my head like PBRs and street hot dogs eventually come back out in one stream of typing.

If I am feeling particularly efficient, read post through to catch typos, etc. (Obviously, I feel efficient very very rarely).

And that is how I write a post.

The Kyriarchy Has No New Tricks

Read this quote:

....'endless training courses for jobs that the agencies and the trainees know don't exist. It's a charade in which applicants have to think up ways to convince prospective employers of their motivation for the most menial of cleaning jobs. "Needing work" is not considered satisfactory'
Bolds mine.

That could be the description of any participant in the grand failure of Welfare reform known as Workfirst. But it's not. It's about the working class French.

Did you know, by the way, that Workfirst has just a 50% success rate at getting Welfare recipients into jobs, and most of those jobs are of such low pay that the (mostly) women who get them will still need to rely on the state for Medicaid, food stamps and child care.

Curses!!!!! The suckage that is lack of transportation.

You know what is really fucking frustrating? Right now on craigslist free section there is the PERFECT sofa and love seat and a mattress set that would be a drastic improvement over air mattress and sitting on the floor. But I don't know anyone with a truck (shit, should have been nicer to the stable boys that drove them)

I'm going to go pout as my dream sofa gets picked up by someone else. Pouty pout pout.

Sunday Art In Progress Blogging

I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of paint to finish these two pieces and to get to work on a few more that I have in mind. But I thought I'd share what I've got so far.

First, the bedroom Buddha. This is painted over an old garden print. It's about 24 by 36 for the painted area and larger for the mat area. A happy accident happened in that you can see the garden painting behind my paint. It's also MUCH redder in real life than the pics show. It's a thin layer of crimson. Think nail polish red.When I get the white to finish it, Buddha will have a face and be giving the hard side eye. Think of someone closing their eyes to pray in church and then opening one to peer around and see if anyone else is peeking.

Now my little (not so little, it's 30 by 40) Zapatista (ha, spell check wants Zapatista to be seperatist!) travel picture. This is being done in the style of vintage travel ads, but instead of hot vacation spots I'm going to do revolutions instead. When finished this will have Chiapas in chrome yellow across the bottom. I all ready have ideas and sketches for the recent Iran protests and the self-immolation in Tunisia. If you all have suggestions/ideas for others I should do, leave em in comments.

Also, these are painted on other pictures, prints, things that aren't traditional canvas. I actually prefer painting on foamcore (no need to prime the canvas first and you get a super smooth surface). The Zapatista painting is done on the backing board of a cheap Ikea poster frame. If you have old, larger sized prints that you want to get rid of, shoot me an email. I will recycle them.

Happy May Day!

I think that even though we have done everything possible to pretend like May 1st isn't an important marker (like changing it to labor day, a long weekend in early September to devoid of pro-worker sentiment) we need it.

We need to remember that people like us have changed things in the past and can change things again. People were brave enough to risk their lives for things like an 8 hour workday.
A drawing of 4 anarchists being executed in Chicago after the Haymarket riots. They were convicted solely because of their political beliefs.