What Now.

I am not in a good place. I haven’t been in a good place for a long time, and I’ve been seeking help with my mental health. Admitting this is hard because even the people very closest to me have expressed disbelief at the reality of Anxiety disorders, which have now damaged my heart, given me an ulcer, and helped my grind my teeth to chalk. I felt so much shame, and I didn’t want anyone looking too closely, so I hid while I sought help.

Last night’s election results nearly killed me. I am absolutely heart broken. I’ve cried, I’ve hugged and mushed the faces of unwilling cats, I’ve wondered how to get out of bed, how to face this world that treated racism, sexism, sexual abuse, mocking of disability, homophobia, rape culture, attacks on voting rights and freedoms for press and religion, demanded the largest mass relocation since Nazi Germany, was endorsed by both the KKK and the American Nazi Party with indifference.

Sad though, isn’t my MO. Angry is. For me feeling “bad” = “mad”. And now that it’s over? I’m furious. And I realize I have done myself an injustice by staying silent. I went to bed hopeless and I wake up today recklessly committed to battling the evil that is winning in the US.

I will not be asked to be “respectful” of these positions. I will not move away. (I can’t afford to, for one) But I’m also needed here. My family’s marriages are at risk. My friends may be deported and forced to register, identify themselves by religion. They may be the victims of violence and their voting rights are at risk. Bodily autonomy for women is at risk, even while anti-life policies like the death penalty, restricted access to health care, and unrestricted access to military weaponry are on the rise. Finding a good job in America as I’m being laid off (oh yeah, I’m being laid off in March. But they still need me for work on Christmas) will be very hard. We apparently can’t spare anyone who would defend anyone who is about to become defenseless.

I will not be silent in the face of “whitelash”. I will not dignify this by being “cooperative” with the abuser. I will not ignore the potential for evil with optimism – this is not normal and it’s not okay and I’m not going to allow myself acceptance. We should be terrified. We should be angry. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote that “Remember, everything that Hitler did was legal.” The normal system of checks and balances is moot because the same congress that tried to repeal the Voting Rights Act is still in power without a President to veto it, and without Supreme Court Justices to challenge. I’ve begged everyone not to get complacent and I beg you again – don’t under estimate evil’s ability to triumph if good men and women don’t stand against it. The extreme is not only possible, but likely. Have you ever wondered how Prohibition was possible? Conservative Congress, Court, and President. Then Herbert Hoover was elected and conservative politics started the Depression and a global nationalist movement raised fascists in Germany, Italy, and around the world. There is real risk to the foundation of our democracy.

I will stay. I will stand. I will speak.  I will fight and be more active than ever in our political system. I will try to make you laugh even if it’s hard. I will be here tomorrow. I will make tomorrow better. Then the tomorrow after that. One tomorrow at a time until my faith in us is restored.

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A Letter to Moderate Conservatives.

Dear Delusional Delinquents,

I’ve been had. I’ve been hoodwinked. The sense was embezzled from our cooperative operations by primary voters, while the moderates denied it was happening, an accounting glitch. Nothing to worry about. I believed you, believed that you knew your party better than I did. You tricked me and I let you and I’m hurt and betrayed.

You’ve whipped up rage and fear mongered and blamed and shamed and shunned and this is what we are now, this is real and I want desperately to be more surprised by it. You nutcases were supposed to be few and far between. But there were millions and millions and millions of you. Millions of people wearing teabags on their heads for strict Constitutionalism while cheering the end of religious freedom. Cheering the end of freedom of press, freedom to assemble.

It didn’t even seem worth talking about, low hanging fruit. Now we have to take this entertainer’s hot air and distill it into practice. What will happen when we pour it over ourselves? How badly will it burn us? On Day 1, this deflating whoopie cushion says, he’ll be at his own gaudy resort in Florida working to deport “immigrants” (he doesn’t specify legal/illegal anymore) and “get rid of Muslims” (terrifying) – this is the person who will control our nuclear arsenal.

A person whose reaction to silent disagreement is siccing mass violence on the dissenters, gleefully ramping up the bodily damage. He’d have the button.

A guy who turned a debate over the future of our country into an actual dick measuring contest, he’s carrying the nuclear football for your team.

What have you done?

Do you see what you’ve earned with your dog-whistle racism and unbridled contempt for the less fortunate? What you created when you shouted down higher education and underfunded schools, capitalizing on meaningless folksy charm? Where you were leading us when you blustered over foreign policy in the name of “strength” like an ordinary Bud Light addled bar fighter? Are you repentant now with your monster, this willful Golem of your secret prejudice, running amok?

Reasonable Republicans wherever, if ever, you exist, now you have November. You have November to prove that “Conservative” can’t be bought with bigotry and that you’re smart enough to know good business isn’t gilded bankruptcy. You have November to prove that “family” is too valuable to break apart in mass deportations and that “life” is too precious to end just because it’s different than you. You have November to prove you don’t go slack jawed for wealth and fame. You have November to prove you stand for the weak. You have November to prove this isn’t you:

HITLER/JAEGER FILE

Nazi German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler (L) celebrating Harvest Day festival w. massive crowd of adoring Germans pressing forward to greet their idol. TIME Magazine

 

Be better people in November.

 

Sincerely,

Lauren.

 

 

 

4/20 Means Nothing To Me

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I’m a square. I have never seen a real live bong, but feel like I could recognize one in the wild based in descriptions from books. I did once get a contact high, picking up a couple of wake-and-bakers for class. I dropped them off and went home for the day to look, I mean really look, at my hands; positive I’d be detected and dismissed from Community College.

Not that I’m without my vices: I worship at the altar of red wine, but that church meets 365 days a year. They also serve that in ACTUAL CHURCH.

 

 

Happy Manatee Day

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I just realized that I spelled “Manatee” with an “i” both in the doodle and every social media post.

Great.

Because I’m working on a children’s book about weird water critters that I started after writing that thing about fish farts, and not being able to spell the name of the cutest* member of the Trichechidae family is not an excellent early sign of success.

*If manatees aren’t cute, well then neither am I because we kind of look alike. They’re basically the “me” of deceptively seductive grey aqua dwellers.

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