Told Ya I'd Answer

For those brave souls who dared to "ask a question" -- here are my answers:

To Phydeaux, in response to: "Just how long does it take to create a label for Portly Dyke Brewing's "Beard-Stroke Stout", anyway?:

Apparently, about this long:

Personally, I was working for a little more "bling", but you can't rush genius -- I still haven't settled on a background color, or cleaned up text positioning.

Patience, Phydeaux, patience.

Oh, fer fuck's sake -- Blogger won't animate my gif. You'll have to go HERE to see what, if any, the bling is about. (If you're using Firefox, you may need to right-click and use "open in new window" to see the animation part).

And to NameChanged: I think you will have a boy. At the very least, a very "yang" being (regardless of chromosomal gender) -- don't mistake me -- I don't mean that you will bear a dyke if it's a chromosomal female -- I know a lot of "yin" dykes. But you probably know already, with all that shoving and pushing, that there's a whole-lotta-yang going on "down there". I think your mom agrees with me.

Tomorrow morning, very early, I plan to put up a "pithy" post, and a couple of entrancing link-posts, so that you will all be entertained for the next two days. I am leaving in the morning for a much-deserved camping/fishing trip, and I'll be back Friday night. Short vacation, it's true, but I will relish it.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:20 PM 3 comments Links to this post  

Not Blogging Tonight (Again)

I'm in the midst of processing some various posts. I just can't seem to bring myself to "toss off" something here. There are certain topics that I want to think about and roll around in before I post about them. Some posts seem to fly off my fingers. Others do not.

So, if you want something to read today, ask me a question. Any question. I'd welcome a brisk, direct query from a commenter. I think it would clear my head and I will actually answer, even if it's a difficult question.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:45 PM 2 comments Links to this post  

New Post Post-Haste -- Cogitation Time Required

Once again, I ask your indulgence while I prepare a post.

In the meantime, go identify your personal DNA:
(Here's ME)

Free-Wheeling Inventor

(h/t to the inimitable Phydeaux)

Posted byPortlyDyke at 8:59 PM 0 comments Links to this post  

Empathy for the Cultural Ulcer

Today, a friend was was talking to me about how completely Alberto Gonzalez was screwing up, and I had the actual experience of feeling physically sick to my stomach.

Sure, I've felt sick to my stomach (a lot) when I read about/watched Gonzo's exploits. Or W's exploits, or Cheney's, or Rove's, or Snow's, or, or, or . . . . . . but today, it was a different kind of sick.

I actually had this moment of empathy. I remembered what it was like to work for a psychotic fucking boss who told you to do things that were obviously and clearly wrong/illegal/unethical/wrong/wrong/wrong, but from whose reality it seemed impossible to disengage, even while knowing that eventually, the shit was going to hit the fan.

I really don't want to feel empathy for any of them -- not a one of them -- as far as I'm concerned (rationally), they've made their beds and can lie in them. (Luckily for me, my spiritual beliefs are such that I am certain that they will actually lie in those beds, eventually, in this life or the next.)

But I did have this moment -- just a moment, mind you -- when I remembered that sick, hopeless feeling of knowing that I had become embroiled in an absolutely corrupt system. That time when I walked around in a permanent state of adrenal-shock and angst.

Here's a personal story: When I was 21, I worked as a gas-station attendant. It was one of the several jobs I did then, to "make ends meet" (what ends? meet where? as Eddie Izzard would say). My "boss" went from station to station that she managed (she was a "dyke", so I trusted her -- ha! ha! stupid me!), and was dipping from the till at every station she managed. She would tell me to short-change and over-charge customers to make up the difference. It drove me nuts. I actually put money out of my own pocket into the till to cover the difference at times, before I passed it on to the next co-worker.

I lasted about 4 months before I "turned her in" to the regional manager. I was fired. She stayed on.

Here's what prompted my empathy tonight: In those four months, I experienced a huge amount of internal conflict, physical and emotional suffering, perpetual angst, and "red-alert" adrenal states (constantly being on the verge of being "found out" can really fuck with your adrenalin quotient).

And that was a gas-station in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere, that probably did, at best, maybe $500.00 worth of business every day (remember, gas was $.59/gallon in those days).

I was trying, tonight, to imagine what it must be like to know that you're lying, and that your boss is lying, and your boss' bosses are lying, and that what is at stake is not $500/day in gas-station receipts, but billions of dollars/day and thousands of lives/day -- and I thought: You would either have to be completely disassociated from any human/sensing part of yourself (a distinct possibility, and, if true, very, very sad), or in a complete state of ongoing panic and terror (a distinct possibility, and if true, very,very sad).

Please don't mistake my empathy for excusing these people from their actions and choices. I do not excuse them, any more than I excuse myself for participating in a corrupt system for 4 months, even though I thought I "had to" in order to survive.

I want to develop my ideal of compassionate accountability -- to hold myself and others accountable for their choices, while never forgetting that we are human beings (and by this, I don't mean simply discounting "bad"behavior as "human nature", but understanding that we are animals distinctly focused on survival, and simultaneously capable of sublime transcendence from a state of mere survival).

It's very difficult for me to imagine the "humans" behind the masks that I see presented at senate and house hearings, at press conferences, campaign stops, and pundit-fests, but I think that it is essential that I continue to attempt to do so -- not so that I can be a "good" person, but from a very selfish point of view -- so that I am not scared shitless.

When I was 14, a friend's mother (who was known in our little town as a "loose woman" because her children's father was not around, and a "drunk" because she actually didn't hide her drinking) gave me some very good advice: "Hon, if you're ever afraid of anyone, just think about them sitting on the pot, taking a shit."

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:12 PM 3 comments Links to this post  

Honoring Butt-Pirates Everywhere

In Honor of Petulant Rumbling's Butt Pirate Theme Day,
My pirate name is:
Iron Mary Cash


A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. You're musical, and you've got a certain style if not flair. You'll do just fine. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Posted byPortlyDyke at 1:46 PM 3 comments Links to this post  

The Lesbian Grand Council FAQ

Well, I've commented on behalf of the Lesbian Grand Council [tm] a few times now, and I think it's time that we come out of the closet.

Lesbian Grand Council (LGC) FAQ:

Question: What is the Lesbian Grand Council?

Answer:
The Lesbian Grand Council is a galaxy-wide coalition of lesbians and lesbian-sympathizers. At its meta-level, the LGC governs every aspect of life as a lesbian (see "The Lesbian Rules" at the end of this post), which is far too detailed and complex to explain fully in this post (or this lifetime). Do not attempt to understand the LGC in its entirety. This will lead you to the Cliffs of Insanity.

Question: Do I have to be a lesbian in order to be authorized to post/comment on behalf of the LGC?

Answer: No. But you do have to be willing to be identified as a lesbian, which includes, for legal purposes, being labeled, in print or electronic media, with any or all of the following words, and in any combination thereof: lesbian, dyke, lesbo, queer, homo, gay, cunt, man-hating, castrating, dick-slicing, ball-cutting, bull-dagger, unnatural, freak, freak-of-nature, abomination, sodomite, pervert, perv, muff-diver, clam-licker, flange-fister (or, when you are lingering with the "intelligentsia" -- Homophile, or Invert) -- and also, even though you would think it didn't really apply to lesbians: faggot, fag, fairy, fruit, cock-sucker, and "some-phrase-I-haven't-thought-of-yet-
but-I'm-sure-They-will". (I welcome your submissions if I've omitted a common epithet that you feel should be included in this section of the FAQ.)

This section implies, but does not detail, further phrases and combinations of abusive language that you are likely to encounter if you post or comment as a representative of the LGC, such as "can't get a man", "just need a real man", or "fat, ugly hole". We will refrain from detailing other, more violent, abusive phrases that you may be the recipient of, as we do not want to show up in certain Google searches.

Question: Do I have to be bitter to post/comment on behalf of the LGC?

Answer: Not necessarily, but it may help. The human tongue is capable of tracking five basic tastes: Salty (Ooooo -- Pussy!), Sweet (Ooooo again -- Pussy!), Savouriness (aka Umame -- OOOOO -- Pussy again!!), Sour (sometimes, pussy, also) and Bitter (Also sometimes pussy, unfortunately) -- however, -- evolutionary biologists have suggested that a distaste for bitter substances may have evolved as a defense mechanism against accidental poisoning, so developing your bitterness-receptors may actually help you to determine when you have encountered something that is potentially poisonous -- such as a right-wing troll, rape-apologist, progressive wanna-be, or queer-basher. Don't hesitate to develop your "Bitter" receptors -- you may need them, in the long run.

Question: Does the LGC have any rules about posting/commenting on behalf of the organization?

Answer: Emphatically, YES. Here are the LGC posting/commenting guidelines, in a nutshell:

  • When posting on behalf of the LGC, do not call anyone names that you, yourself, would not want, or be willing, to be called.
  • In all instances, be "up-beat" and congratulatory in your posts/comments! Example: "Great job [right-wing nut-case]! Thanks for helping the LGC in its continuing mission to raise the awareness of all humanity about the reality and prevalence of real oppression, simply by being who you are, and saying what you say! I couldn't have made a better case against hypocrisy and hate if I had banged away on my keyboard all day!"
  • Remember that extremely hateful people can be testy at times. If they nip or bark at you, remain calm and keep your sense of humor.
  • Try to really "give" something to those you are posting/commenting to . . . An award, certificate, or decorative wall-hanging can go a long, long way! Be creative! Yes, you can always fall back on LGC standard awards: the "Honorary Inadvertent Blue-Ally Creator" lapel-pin, or the "Thanks for Pushing that Gay-Curious Gal Off the Fence Cuz You're Being Such an Asshole" Certificate of Merit, but the LGC encourages innovative thought and action, and we welcome your suggestions for new honors and awards.
Question: How do I become an authorized poster/commenter for the LGC?

Answer: You must apply to ME, Portly Dyke, at this blog -- Nowhere Else! As LGC Internet Chairwomyn/Chairwombwyn/Chairwomin (oh, fuck it,whatever) -- I, and I alone, have the power to invest you as an authorized LGC poster/commenter.

To apply for authorization, make a comment to this post, detailing the gifts and commitment that you bring as a potential LGC poster/commenter, and I will consider your application.

Of course, there are some intricacies involved with being a Lesbian, or even with being associated with Lesbianism. If I could figure out how to embed this sound file into my blog, I'd do it, but for now -- you're just going to have to bear with a link to . . . .
The Lesbian Rules

If you're serious about applying, I suggest you listen to that.

Signing Off,
Portly Dyke

[This post is dedicated to Fred Phelps, who, through his courageous stretching of the hate-envelope, managed to transform my straight, Lutheran, midwest mother into a LGBT activist.]

Posted byPortlyDyke at 7:57 PM 7 comments Links to this post  

Things I Don't Spend Much Time On Anymore

For those of you who found me through comments I've made at other blogs (such as the inimitable Shakesville), you may have noticed that I tend to comment (frequently) on some topics and leave other topics pretty much alone.

Oh, I read all the posts, even most of the comments, but there are some issues and areas that I simply don't give much of my energy to anymore in terms of outflow.

For example, you'll rarely find a comment from me on a thread that is purely confined to discussion of recent political events. That may seem counter-intuitive, since it's probably clear that I have an activist streak a mile wide (or at least the residual of same).

The reason is this: I've been around for quite a while now.

I cast my first presidential vote for Jimmy Carter in 1976 (the Bi-Centennial! Rah! Rah! Rah!). I didn't cast another vote for a president who actually won for another 16 years. I lived through the Reagan era as a social worker working for a government agency with low-income and homeless populations, and witnessed, up close and personal, the morass that is "welfare agency as a small boat manipulated by political tides".

When my "ally" Bill Clinton won in 1992, we were "standing at the threshold of a new era![tm]!" I canvassed and volunteered for the '92 Clinton campaign, and got a whole bunch of queers to give up a whole bunch of their money to the man who was going to champion our rights. I was so excited!

When he wrote, and then signed into the law, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", in his first year of presidency, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I never, ever, saw it coming, I swear to you.

Let's just say that on that day, my belief in political solutions was seriously eroded. OK. Massively --and perhaps, fatally -- eroded.

It's not that I'm encouraging people to ignore politics, exactly -- but I find it personally very hard to "get it up" to experience true outrage over various political shenanigans that I have, through hard experience, merely come to expect.

Like the new Congressional "leadership". Yeah, sure, I did afford myself a moment of giddy exhilaration after Election '06 -- a brief hopefulness that I was yet again standing at the threshold of some new "new era".

But I must say that I haven't been all that surprised at the slippery-slidey erosion in congressional fortitude amongst the Dems.

I'm no longer shocked when candidates, pundits, and office-holders are revealed as hypocrites, harlots, and hacks.

Frankly, I'm more often amazed when a politician is ethical, follows through on a promise, or takes a truly courageous stand in the face of popular opinion or partisan opposition.

I have paid my dues as an activist. I've protested, canvassed, sat on PACs and advisory councils, organized grass-roots actions, raised money, signed and gathered signatures for petitions, come out publically in a major newspaper, directly confronted racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, and classism, served as a legislative aid, marched with union workers, people of color, queers, homeless people -- I spent the bulk of nearly 30 years immersed in political activism.

After all that time in the trenches, I came to this conclusion: I don't think that changing politics will necessarily change our culture. I think that changing individuals will change our culture, because these changed individuals will vote for candidates who will change the face of politics.

So, while I occasionally allow myself a moment of strumg und drang over things political, I tend to conserve my energy and steer it into interactions and actions that I think might actually create change in the world.

People still seem astounded that George W. Bush won a second election (if he did, in fact, win a first one). One thing that I noticed, though, was that most of the people that I know (and yes, I do know some) who voted for Bush actually voted FOR him, whereas most of the people I know who voted for Democratic presidential candidates weren't really voting for anyone -- they were voting AGAINST Bush.

Energetically, I think there is a vast difference.

That was one of the reasons that I issued the 30-day angst-loss challenge. I'm more interested in actually changing things, now, than just getting myself worked up, talking myself down, and going on my merry way.

Here, at day 15 of my own angst-loss experiment, I must say that it has been helpful. I've sent over 15 written communications to congresspeople, government agencies, and advertisers, I've kept my mouth shut at times when I might not have otherwise, because I was just about to piss and moan rather than think and act, and I've generally stewed in my own juices just a bit less. I'm not sure that my communications will actually do much of anything to change the minds of the currently-installed politicos, but it has helped me to know that I did something.

In spite of everything I've experienced as a "political being", I suspect that we are now at an important crux -- that we actually are at the threshold of a new era -- on the verge, or maybe in the midst of, a great cultural change -- and I believe that this change can be a change for the better. I don't believe that I will find that reflected in the mainstream media. In fact, I think the MSM is frantically attempting to distract us away from the fact that we are changing.

In the USA, for the first time in history, we have a majority of full-grown adults who have never lived without the concept of email and the internet. (Why do you think the corporations are all so hot to control the web?) I think that this concept alone has the capacity to shatter the insularity with which this nation has clothed itself.

The capacity.

So, I want to put my energy on the web to the best use that I can think of --awareness-raising, connective dialogue, and hopefully, transformation.

(OK, that entire thing was probably distinctly unfocused and rambling. Fuck it. It's late and I'm tired.)

ps. Don't worry. I still vote -- I just don't scream and yell about it. Hurts my throat.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 2:03 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

My First Ever Friday Cat Blogging

Well, I was just going to post one video, but I realized that there was a joke you wouldn't get if you haven't seen "The Smiley Intervention" -- so I'm posting both. If you've already seen the smiley intervention, skip to video #2. (Blogger's Note: I'd post a video of my cat, but she'd kill me. She's kind of a Greta Garbo type.)

Smiley Intervention:


Kittens:


As you may have guessed, I'm working on a "real" post.

Pet your kitties, bitchez!

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:08 PM 2 comments Links to this post  

Which Finger Am I?

I was really hoping to be "the bird", but apparently, I am not. The worst thing about finding out my true finger nature was that the being who referred me to this quiz is someone who I think of as a true compatriot, and he was warned to stay away from me, for I am:
a Pinky

You are fiercely independent, and possibly downright weird.
A great communicator, you can get along with almost anyone.
You are kind and sympathetic. You support all your friends - and love them for who they are.

You get along well with: The Ring Finger

Stay away from: The Thumb

What Finger Are You?


As a "That's so WEIRD" aside, I usually call my cat "Pinky" (even though this is not her "real" name), because she has a pink nose, and little toes that are like small pink beach pebbles. They are adorable, IMO.

I usually classify cats not by breed or marking -- instead, I study their nose and toe-pad color and file them under: Pinkies, Terra-Cottists, Blackies, etc.

I hope you can still talk to me, Phyd.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:20 PM 6 comments Links to this post  

TTDT -- Be Prepared to Speak Your Truth

I think we've all had the experience. Someone -- perhaps someone we know, love, or expect something different from -- says something, right in front of us, that we find so offensive, ignorant, discriminatory, and/or demeaning-- that we are absolutely flabbergasted.

Example: My mother (the woman who used to be all liberal and shit -- who taught me that racism was a really bad thing) says to me, during a phone call, of the Somalian refugees who are now living in her small town: "Well, they all look alike you know!"

Example: My co-workers, who work every day with my white boss (who happens to be married to a black man), and seem to love and respect her, wait until she, and every person of color, is out of the room before they exclaim over the picture of her new daughter: "Oh, thank goodness -- she's so light!"

These are only two of many (personally-experienced) examples -- examples of speech that I recognized, in the moment, as absolutely, positively, unvarnished racism-in-action.

When I heard these statements, I didn't wonder in my head (as I often do, when I receive or overhear a fat-phobic or homophobic comment, however overt) -- "Am I just being sensitive because this is 'my' issue?" I knew immediately that these comments were offensive, ignorant, discriminatory and demeaning.

Yet, in both of the examples above, I was utterly flummoxed at the moment. I did not make an immediate response. I did not speak my truth in the moment, and I lived with regret about that afterward, stewing for days and days about what I should have done in the moment, regardless of what action I took later.

In the first example with my mom, at that moment, I remember that I stammered -- my dad, lingering on the extension phone, jumped in for a quick recovery, changed the subject, and ended the phone call within the next 60 seconds.

In the second example with my co-workers, my jaw actually dropped -- I simply stared, speechless, at them over the picture of this beautiful child, and before I could think of what to say, they had already slunk away to their respective work-stations, and left me standing alone in the break-room.

In both of these encounters, and in many others -- like "Joe" (Vs. the Volcano), as he quits his "job" -- I found my mind whirling around this phrase:

"I should say something."

In truth, however, at each of these moments, I had no idea what to say. While I tried to catch my breath, my brain was, no doubt, busy calculating the risks of possible confrontation, the likelihood of effecting change in the situation, and the emotional and energetic cost of engaging with someone who could say "something like that" while I was a) totally pissed off/triggered, b) uncertain whether I ever wanted to talk to them again, and c) totally pissed off/triggered.

Would I/Should I? --

  1. Launch into an educational diatribe about the heinous results of racism, whether intentional and practiced, or unconscious and entertained?
  2. Simply say, in measured tones: "I can't believe you just said that," and stalk away, clothed in my outrage, hoping that they would understand what had offended me?
  3. Raise my voice to match the intensity of my emotional response and emphatically state: "That is a racist comment, and I won't stand for it!" and hope that someone might actually have the guts to meet me in the crucible where my personal activation was swirling with a global human issue?
  4. Shout with all my might: "You fucking hypocritical turd(s)!", and refuse to deal with them until they apologized?
I've actually done all of those things, in other situations. I haven't found them to be tremendously successful in effecting the change I want to make in the world.

Here are two of the most effective consciousness-changing actions I've ever taken (the first of which I wouldn't have even thought about if I hadn't answered a QOD at Shakesville the other night):

Action #1: Dark theater, 1995. Showing of "Higher Learning" in a cinema located in a well-known liberal west coast city. Audience of 200 or more, mostly urban, well-educated folk.

The movie is all about oppression, and the audience seems to be following along, getting the gist of it all -- until, HORRORS! -- there's a (minuscule -- like maybe three seconds, tops) lesbian kissing scene-- at which groans, retching noises, and choruses of "oh gross!" break out in the theater. I am stunned for a moment.
I can't believe what I'm hearing.

Then, somehow, without thinking, I say, calmly, in a voice just loud enough to be heard throughout the theater: "I'm a lesbian." The place goes dead fucking silent.

The woman next to me fidgets throughout the rest of the movie, but the woman who is in a seat two rows in front of me sits through the credits, as I do, and when the theater is all but empty, and I am leaving, she touches my arm, and asks: "Was it you who said that?" -- "Yes," I answer (after looking around to see who might be waiting to beat the crap out of me).

"Thank you for saying that," she says.

Action #2: I am leaving my brother's second wedding with my mom and dad. They are taking me to the airport. It's a long drive.

On the way, parental units are ripping my new sister-in-law a new asshole. I have no idea why, really.

I suspect they're really mad at my brother, for ruining the "no-divorce" streak that our branch of the family had maintained for a couple of generations, but they're ripping on the new wife, not my brother. I first engage in an educational manner, trying to appeal to "reason" -- but they're having none of it.

Finally, I said: "You know, when I hear you talk like this, I wonder what you say about me, when I'm not here."

Then there is a long, uncomfortable silence, which does not seem to portend any great shift of consciousness.

A year later, my dad takes me aside, and tells me that he remembered what I said, and has thought (and acted) differently about gossiping or complaining about people in the family, ever since.

The commonality in these two actions, I believe, was my willingness to be vulnerable in the moment.

I usually find it much easier to speak up and out on behalf of others -- to protest and confront racism, trans-phobia, hetero-phobia, religious intolerance for religions that are not my own, etc., etc. -- than it is for me to directly confront fat-phobia, homo-phobia, or misogyny, or any of the "isms" that are focused at me directly.

I think this has to do with the fact that I have a suspicion/understanding that it is actually possible for me to see things and hear things through a very subjective filter that may, or may not, provide me with an accurate view of what has just happened. (Shorter Portly Dyke: I don't trust myself.)

I spent several decades of my life perpetually pissed off -- not without reason, mind you -- but, in retrospect, I believe that there was a period during I was actually addicted to my anger -- I became more loyal to my rage than to my reason, and more attached to my identity as an oppressed person/victim than to my desire or motivation to effect change.

So, now, I keep a sharp eye on my RighteousWrath-O-Meter, especially when responding to issues that strike close to the bone for me.

I don't have judgment about feeling mad -- I think that the energy of this emotion can be (and wants to be) transformed into action very effectively. I believe that feeling "pissed off" is telling me something (but probably nothing that feeling "slightly irritated" wasn't telling me, long before I registered being pissed off).

However, I haven't found pedantic lectures, icey walk-outs, or incendiary spews to be necessarily effective.

The one thing that I have actually found to be effective is: My truth. How I feel in the moment.

I wish now that, when my mom had said that, I had responded immediately with: "Mom. I feel sad and mad when I hear you saying that. It doesn't seem to fit for me with what I've heard you say about judging people by their skin color." (Because that's what I thought when I heard it.)

I wish now, that, when my co-workers said what they did, I had responded immediately with: "I feel very bad, and very sad right now. I have the sense that I've just been included in a 'whites only' conversation, and I don't want to be a part of that. I feel scared to even say this, because I think that if I say it, you'll start treating me like you just treated our boss -- waiting for me to leave the room to say what you really think."

This post was inspired by two things:
  1. Thorn's posts at Shapely Prose. Reading her story, with all the "messy" vulnerable feelings included, brought me closer to her experience, and helped me to commit again to speaking up in the moment when I witness or experience oppression.
  2. An experience that I had recently, where the power of telling a personal story of my own, and including the emotional content, without trying to look all "cool", shifted a conversation/conflict dramatically.
So here's the TTDT:

Be prepared to speak your truth -- not "the" truth, and not some "prepared statement". Your truth, in the moment.

Be smart, witty, whatever you will -- but also -- Remember to tell people how you feel -- describe your emotions and experience -- not just the feeling of being mad/angry/rage-full, but also the sadness, the feeling of being scared to speak up, the fear of being "thrown out" or discounted, or simply the dissonant twang that arises when something has been said and you haven't yet figured out, intellectually, what exactly is bugging you about it.

You may be thinking: "Well, they don't care how I feel -- if they did, they wouldn't say what they said!"

Just try it. Try a bit of vulnerability. Sure, they may go for your throat. But hell, if they're as bad as you are projecting them to be, they're going for your throat anyway.

I'm going to be working with this through the next week.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:35 PM 5 comments Links to this post  

Once Again, Working on a Post

OK, magical readers of the untouchable "out there" -- I was going to post tonight about something pithy, but find that I'm needing to think, and ponder, and think again about the subject that I thought was going to be so effortless and easy to post about.

When I think of the producers of my favorite blogs, who manage many posts per day, all intelligent and witty-like, I wonder "How the fuck do they manage that?"

So, I'm going to throw out a couple of momentary distractions while I continue to ponder my next post:


and:

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:33 PM 0 comments Links to this post  

Update and Question of the Day

An update on those who expressed concern about my last post: All is well at The House of Portliness, and I truly was just processing some emotional content (I'm pretty emotional, actually, and when it's high tide for me, I prefer to surf without distraction). I may post on the exact whos/whens/whats/wheres at a future date, but today, I'm just enjoying my return to equilibrium, and not feeling particularly profound or insightful.

So, I'll just be posting a Question of the Day (inspired by the movie I just watched):

If you had the ability to travel backward (or forward) in time, what would you do with this skill?

(BTW -- the inspiratory movie was a living ambiguity for me -- loved the premise, suckered by the special effects, groaned out loud many times at the cinematic condescensions, enjoyed verbally reaming the producers, director, and editor for coping out on a potentially great concept, and now absolutely must read the short story upon which it was based. Guess what it was. Hint: Released within the last year.)

Posted byPortlyDyke at 12:17 AM 15 comments Links to this post  

Time Out

Portly is taking a time out today. Processing teh emotions. No worries, mates, I'm not emotion phobic -- just taking a real life break to process on through.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 5:54 PM 7 comments Links to this post  

Scratch a Prude, Sniff a Perv

Something I get, and two things I don't get.

I get that the phrase "Methinks the Lady doth protest too much," is cliche.

Why, then, doesn't our culture seem to get that? That's the first thing I don't get.

As glass houses come tumbling down about the ears of "RIGHTeous" men, over and over and over again, you'd think the accuracy of our Hypocrite Early Warning System would improve, wouldn't you?

Why is it, after so much experience, that when some asshat starts screaming about teh gay, or teh fambily valuez, or teh trampling of christian rightz, we do not simply slap a decibel meter on them, calculate the frequency and acoustic levels of their outbursts, chart the algorithm from past data, and set the fucking timer for their projected MMM??!! (Moments to Moral Meltdown)

I mean, really. I do not get why there is any element of surprise to the whole thing anymore.

It just so obvious. One of the ways that I personally determine where people score on the "gay aptitude test" is their level of knowledge about/interest in anything gay (regardless of whether this expresses as a positive or negative attitude).

Example: A friend (I call her "Sherry") was quizzing me about being a lesbian. I had always thought of her as one of the most heterosexual people I had ever met, but until this day, I wasn't exactly sure why I thought that. She asked me, "So, when you make love with your girlfriend, don't you miss the closeness?"

I was completely baffled. "What do you mean?"

"Well, you know . . . . the closeness."

"I really don't know what you mean, Sherry. Do you think we have sex, like, from separate rooms, or something?"

I then realized that she simply could not imagine having sex without having a penis in a vagina. She literally could not imagine it. That's why I think of her as unremittingly straight.

See, people who don't want to have a certain kind of sex don't seem to spend a lot of time imagining what it might be like. They also, in my experience, don't spend a lot of time insisting that other people not have that kind of sex -- it just doesn't occupy much (or frequently any) space in their minds.

The second thing I don't get is: How in the world do these people think they're not going to get caught?

These are some of the same people who supported Bush's illegal wire-tapping and internet-harvesting programs. Surely they must know that we live in an increasingly transparent age in terms of personal information.

Is it simply staggers-the-mind quantities of denial?

Is it passeth-all-human-understanding levels of arrogance?

Is it something in the communion wafers? I mean, really --- how do they manage it?!?

See, now right at that moment, I almost feel sorry for them. I have known the agony of the closet . . . . the terror that someone might find out who I really am, and judge me, and scorn me, and fire me, and beat me.

But I never for an instant actually thought that it was impossible that someone might find me out. So I came out of the closet, instead.

So what do they got that I don't got?

Oh, yeah -- they've got the "Get Out of Hell Free" card. As Kate Clinton once said (I paraphrase): "You say your confession, do your penance, and you're back on the street."

In the interest of supporting the Constitution and forming a more perfect Union, establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility, providing for the common defence, and promoting the general Welfare, I am now requesting that each of you begin exercising your Hypocrite Early Warning System.

Exercise:
Choose a screetcher about values/morals/wev, and using the algorithm of past cases, calculate their projected time to MMM.

This is not a psychic, woo-woo exercise. Be scientific. Use your brain.

Special Credit if you successfully predict what method they will use to dodge responsibility for their acts. This is multiple choice:

  1. It's a misunderstanding.
  2. I've already confessed it to my preacher.
  3. The Devil made me do it. He's after me personally because I am such a force for Good.
  4. All of the above.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:59 AM 7 comments Links to this post  

Wednesday Morning Comedy Break

Since Phydeaux Speaks got me all worked up last weekend by posting Monty Python vids, I'm posting my very favorite Holy Grail clip.



I fucking love this bit. In fact, I think that the next time I meet up with a troll, I'm just going to scream:

"COME AND SEE THE VIOLENCE INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM!! Help! Help! I'm being repressed!!"

Posted byPortlyDyke at 9:00 AM 3 comments Links to this post  

TTDT - Teach Your ISP How To Sew Up Its Market Share

Stay with me here -- This is a follow-up to my post on July 5th about net neutrality
If you don't understand what a TTDT is -- read HERE.

I was going to give myself (and you) a break and simply post a "Holy Grail" video, but there are only 3 days left before FCC comments close, and I got all, you know, activist, and shit . . . .

Portly Things to Do Today Option #1:

Comments to the FCC on net neutrality close this Friday, the 13th (Isn't that a great date? In my witchy little heart, I decree it lucky for net neutrality, unlucky for those who oppose it.). If you haven't done so already --
Go to
www.savetheinternet.com and post your comments to the FCC about why you believe that net neutrality must be preserved.

Portly Things To Do Today Option #2:

Write a letter -- yes, a real letter (and send an email) to your ISP, telling them how they can secure their future market share (read below) by becoming the first ISP to declare that they will insure net neutrality for their customers -- I've included links to corporate info about various high-speed ISPs at the bottom of this post -- if none of these is yours, go to Hoover Profiles at Answers.com to find your ISP's corporate address and info -- and here's a template, based on the letter that I sent my ISP:
========================
Dear [ISP CEO]

I've used your ISP services for the last [insert # of years]. I would like to continue using the service that I currently purchase from you, but I have concerns about net neutrality, and whether your company will make a commitment to my rights as a customer.

I purchase service from you so that I can enjoy the wide range of content currently available on the internet. I do not want you to decide for me what I can download quickly, by implementing for-pay "fast lanes" that would prevent me from having equal access to the sites I want to see.

I urge you to take an evolutionary step -- to become the first ISP in the nation to adopt a policy insuring that consumers will be able to access what they want, when they want it, at the connection speed that they are paying for. I believe that there are thousands of internet users who would prefer your service if you provided such an assurance.

I currently have [number of different] high-speed ISP options available in my area. In the future, I will choose my Internet Service Provider based on which provider assures my full access to the entire internet. I will be sending this letter to my friends and business contacts and encouraging them to make their ISP choices based on which company makes a real and tangible commitment (via written policies) to the concept which is now commonly referred to as "net neutrality".

I believe that the first company that makes such a commitment will obtain a substantial lead in costumer loyalty and brand reputation.

This is a claim that I think any ISP could crow about proudly "Our Service -- Your Choice".

If any ISP in my area takes action to assure net neutrality, I will move my service to them immediately, even if it means paying more money. I want to know that my ISP is dedicated to bringing me the freedom of expression and choice that I want in my internet experience.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
============================
Feel free to copy and paste to your heart's delight, and if you choose to write something different, remember this salient point:

  • The first ISP that commits to net neutrality in a "real" way (written policies, public announcement) will, I believe, obtain a huge customer base. It won't matter if other companies "pile on" -- they will still be able to say "We were the first. Aren't we great?"
Here's info about who to write to, depending on your ISP -- if none of these is yours, go to Hoover Profiles at Answers.com to find your ISP's corporate address and info.
Millenium Digital Media Chairman and Chief Strategic Officer: Kelvin R. Westbrook President and CEO: William J. (Bill) Shreffler SVP and Chief Marketing Officer: Rudy Tober Millennium Digital Media 120 S. Central Ave., Ste. 150 Clayton, MO 63105 MO Tel. 314-802-2400 Fax 314-802-2300

Comcast
Chairman and CEO: Brian L. Roberts
EVP and COO; President, Comcast
Cable: Stephen B. (Steve) Burke
EVP, Co-CFO, and Treasurer: John R. Alchin

Comcast Corporation
1500 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2148
PA Tel. 215-665-1700
Fax 215-981-7790

DirectTV
Chairman: K. Rupert Murdoch
President, CEO, and Director: Chase Carey
EVP and CFO: Michael W. Palkovic

The DIRECTV Group, Inc.
2230 East Imperial Hwy.
El Segundo, CA 90245
CA Tel. 310-964-5000
Fax 310-535-5225

Time Warner Cable
Chairman: Don Logan
President, CEO, and Director: Glenn A. Britt
COO: Landel C. Hobbs

Time Warner Cable Inc.
290 Harbor Dr.
Stamford, CT 06902-7441
CT Tel. 203-328-0600
Fax 203-328-0690

QWEST
Chairman and CEO: Richard C. (Dick) Notebaert
EVP Operations: Barry K. Allen
EVP Mass Markets Group: Paula Kruger

Qwest Communications International Inc.
1801 California St.
Denver, CO 80202
CO Tel. 303-992-1400
Toll Free 800-899-7780
Fax 303-992-1724

AT&T
Chairman and CEO: Randall L. Stephenson
SEVP and CFO: Richard G. (Rick) Lindner
SEVP Executive Operations: James W. (Jim) Callaway

AT&T Inc.
175 E. Houston
San Antonio, TX 78205-2233
TX Tel. 210-821-4105
Fax 210-351-2071

VERIZON
Chairman and CEO: Ivan G. Seidenberg
President and COO: Dennis F. (Denny) Strigl
EVP and CFO: Doreen A. Toben

Verizon Communications Inc.
140 West St.
New York, NY 10007
NY Tel. 212-395-1000
Toll Free 800-621-9900
Fax 212-571-1897

Note for those who have taken the 30-day Angst-Loss Challenge. Performing both options DOES increase your cred.

Carry On.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 1:10 PM 2 comments Links to this post  

Fatty-fying

I read a post over at Petulant Ramblings yesterday, about HP's new "Slimming" technology.

I found this rather (painfully) funny, as just days before, I had gone to some trouble to:

"Fattify" this woman . . . .











Into this woman.


I thought it was pretty hideously hilarious that I spent some significant time in Photoshop HELLp to achieve the above effect, when HP would gladly spend time, resources, and programming hours to help me reverse it with the mere click of a button!

For those of you who have taken the Angst-Loss Challenge -- this is not actually a TTDT -- (It's completely optional, and neglecting/refusing to do this does not constitute a breach of your 30-day challenge) -- but if you've a mind to - contact Hewlett Packard and request a "fattening" feature that is just as easy to use as their "slimming" effect, so that you can help your friends out when they look too anorexic in your photos.

(The really crushing irony is that the woman in the graphic above at left would still be considered "fat" in our society.)

Posted byPortlyDyke at 8:45 AM 5 comments Links to this post  

Take the 30-Day Angst-Loss Challenge

I've actually been thinking about this for a while. I love reading blogs. I have, in the past, daily gotten my panties in a wad, unwad-ed them, read again, wad-ed again.

And . . . .

I have profound questions about what is actually accomplished by all these knotted knickers. I want to be informed, but I don't want to just piss and moan.

It's fun, I admit it -- to commiserate with cronies, work myself into a righteous wrath, allow my wit-demons to take over . . . . . but what does that actually change?

So, I invite you to join me in "The Portly Dyke 30-Day Angst-Loss Challenge".

For the next 30 days, I'm not going to post (or comment) about anything, unless I also take some form of action on the issue that has got my undies in a bunch.

If I post here, and I'm complaining/bitching/moaning/pissing/ranting, I will include a link at the bottom of the post which leads to an action that I will, myself, have already taken (writing congress, donating money to a cause, etc), and I will encourage those who join me in the 30-Day challenge to take this action, too, or to report, in comments, another action that they have taken.

If I post here, and I'm celebrating/loving-up/rejoicing over something (a video I loved, a post that changed my mind, etc.), I will include a link at the bottom of the post which leads to an action that I will, myself, have already taken (sending an email of congratulations/appreciation, donating money to a cause, etc), and I will encourage those who join me in the 30-Day challenge to take this action, too, or to report, in comments, another action that they have taken.

My suggested actions will (nearly always) be tangible and direct. They will (nearly always) NOT be ambiguous suggestions like: "Love someone today!". My goal is to suggest real actions that require 15 minutes or less of the reader's time to complete. I pledge to help out by doing research that leads people to links that are swift, sure, and effective.

In future, such post titles will probably begin with, or include, the acronym "TTDT" (Things To Do Today). Any posts I create that are simple personal musings/revelations will probably not include this acronym.

I'm just so sick of complaint, and pissing, and moaning (especially my own). Sure, it's fun for a while, but it tends to leave me feeling hollowed out and empty, like bad porn.

I really do believe in the power of collective consciousness. I believe that, if we use our voices, words, and energy for change, change will occur.

I refuse to succumb to the whining passivity of victimhood. If the shit hits the fan, I want to know that I did everything that I could to move the fan, compost the shit, and raise my awareness of the power inherent in my own Being-ness.

Step One in joining me is this:

Post a comment here stating that you accept "Portly Dyke's 30-Day Angst-Loss Challenge".

Step Two:

Bitch, rant, piss and moan away -- AND take a direct action on the thing that's chapped your ass.

Today's TTDT?

Accept this Challenge.

That is all.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 1:00 PM 10 comments Links to this post  

My First Real Rant

Today, while reading comments in a thread about Peggy Noonan's helpfulness to little brown people, I stumbled upon this little gem:

"I am a lifelong Democrat who is sick and tired of people trying to make
me feel that I OWE illegals something because their ILLEGAl presence should make me feel SOOOOOOOOOO fortunate that I am an American.

YOU want illegals here, YOU pay for them. Sponsor a family, smartass, and see where you end up. I no longer give to food banks, churches, fund drives that help illegals. I now spend my money on my relatives, especiallly the young families, by buying them groceries. I think God will smile on my 10% tithe going to my family.

If Americans wise up, we can make it VERY hard for illegals to drain our medical, social, and moral resources."

Wow. Just . . . wow.

I responded with a comment, but the comment box was simply too short for me to speak my piece. So here's everything I wanted to say:

Dear Jan -- Are you native american? If not, where did your family come from, and when?

My great-great-grandfather immigrated from Sweden in the 1800s, and when he got here, he was helped by a number of government, church, and social programs -- not the least of which was the Homestead Act of 1862, without which, he would never have been able to own property upon which to farm.

He didn't speak English when he arrived. He barely spoke English when he died. Also true of my great-grandfather, but he was born here, so no prob, eh?

US Naturalization had no English requirement until 1906, and the length of residency required was 5 years -- for everyone. No one had to get a "green card" to establish this residency in the US at the time he arrived.

Language barriers are the primary reason given, by people who otherwise qualify for citizenship, when asked why they don't apply. (There are exceptions to this requirement for those over 50, or who are deaf or other-wise disabled).

I'm guessing you were born here. In which case, you didn't have to file (and pay) for a green card, wade through piles of forms and waiting periods, or actually take an oath to "uphold the Constitution" (which immigrants are required to do), in order to enjoy the rights of US citizenship.

Cost for a green card triples at the end of this month, to $930.00 USD -- cost for citizenship application nearly doubles -- to $595.00 USD on July 30, 2007.

So, if you've ever gotten all weepy at the statue of liberty, while reading: "Give me your tired, your poor . . . " and thought of your own ancestors, you might want to re-think your definition of "illegals".

When we make legal citizenship so expensive, so arbitrary, and so difficult for those who want to come to this county, it's no small wonder that there are so many "illegals" (as you call them).

Cost of filing for citizenship (please note: this doesn't assure you of citizenship) -- $1,525.00 as of July 30, 2007, once you add up the required green card and citizenship applications. Plus the cost of finger-printing, etc.. -- Oh, and you get to pay $19.95 just to download the application online. And the study guide for the Citizenship test is $59.95. (Unless you're really persistent, and look beyond the initial Google result -- past the commercial venture that is making money off this, and can wade through all the links to find the "free" form at the actual government site.) But hey, you can get them both together for just $79.95!

Average time to process a naturalization request -- 2 years (after you have fulfilled the 5 year residency requirement -- just 3 year residency requirement if you've married a US citizen ! What a deal!). Oh . . . unless you're unlucky and have the wrong name, in which case, it might be 5 years after you apply for naturalization.

So, I fear that I'm going to "make you" even more sick and tired, Jan, by suggesting that you are, indeed, very fortunate to have been born here. I don't think that you "owe" anyone anything (unless you agreed to incur the debt). I do think that, if your ancestors benefited from an open immigration process, and a concept of equality for all in that process, and if you, and your family, have benefited from these processes, that your expressed attitudes are rather hypocritical.

You have been automatically endowed, by virtue of the location of your birth, and the nationality of your parents, rights that other people have died to defend, and died in the hope of obtaining. You didn't have to pay money, learn another language, take a test, be sequestered from traveling to visit your loved ones, or take an oath to defend the Constitution. You simply had to be born.

I despise the attitude "Well, I've got mine -- everyone else can fuck off!" I despise it in corporations, political figures, social groups, and individuals.

I consider it, dare I say -- Un-American.

And now, in interest of something I've been thinking about, I'm going to take an action on everything that I bitch about, and send a letter to the INS about high fees and inefficient processes.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 3:02 PM 8 comments Links to this post  

In the Incubator

I am going to be "ITC" (in the Incubator) tonight. I have what I think is a really good idea cooking, and it needs just a few more hours to get nice and warm and yeasty. Check back tomorrow and see if my genius is flowering, or if I'm just being a lazy bitch waiting for the virtual pub to open at Shakesville.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 4:07 PM 0 comments Links to this post  

Information is Power -- Don't Just Sit There

Fucking DO something!

Net Neutrality. Universal Internet Access.

You may think these words don't concern you -- but I Urge you ---Do something!

On July 13th, the FCC will close comments from the public on the issue of net neutrality. Please take a moment to visit www.savetheinternet.com and submit your comments to the FCC about why you want to see net neutrality preserved. Your voice is important.

I believe that Net Neutrality may be the single most important issue on the our cultural plate at the moment. Yes, there are wars, and famine, and lots of -isms that need confronting -- I encourage you to take action on those things as well -- but if you are reading this, or other political/social/cultural blogs, news, and online content that helps you to understand and keep informed about those issues, you are doing so through the internet.

If you don't understand all the fuss about net neutrality and universal internet access, get educated.

Maybe you might want to start with something like this:

Broadband Reality Check (from savetheinternet.com)

So what’s the real skinny?

  • There is no competitive marketplace for Internet access in the United States. More than 95 percent of residential high-speed lines are owned by telephone and cable companies. That is a rigid duopoly by any standard. (Source: FCC)
  • The result of duopoly control is higher prices for slower connections to the Internet. Compared to citizens in other developed nations, Americans now pay 10 to 20 times as much for far slower Internet services than those offered by modern European and Asian countries. (Source: Broadband Reality Check II)
  • A full 37 percent of ZIP codes have one or fewer choices of a wired broadband provider. (Source: FCC)
If you need to get your dander up, go to Speedmatters.org, test your internet access speed, and compare it to speeds in other countries. Then send a letter to your congress-people, and ask them why you don't have the high-speed connection that you paid for as a taxpayer, demand that they hold the communications company to their promises, and tell them to support net neutrality through legislation.

Do something. Do it right now. Don't just bitch about it, and then complain later that your bitter predictions have come true. Believe me, I think a 45MBps connection, and true access to everything on the internet is going to give you much greater satisfaction that all the moaning and righteous wrath you could ever muster.

The sites I've listed above have great suggestions on what to do, and make it very easy for you to do it.

Please do it. I have. It's not too late for you to comment, object, make your voice heard.

It will take you, like, fifteen minutes, max -- Do something.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 8:37 PM 2 comments Links to this post  

I Love (The Idea Of) My Country

Last night, I visited Phydeaux Speaks and watched the videos he posted for "Independence Day". Two clips from 1776, then a choral performance of "America the Beautiful".

I actually got all weepy as I listened to the choir.

In spite of being incredibly strange, a lesbian, fat, and "radical" (wev that means) in my political, spiritual, and social beliefs -- I'm also so fucking American that it hurts -- born and raised a Caucasian Lutheran, in a middle-class family, in the "bread basket of America".

I guess you could say that I am living proof that neither "nature" nor "nurture" are solid predicates for assuring consistent output in the product line of society.

I love the idea of a nation where certain basic principles are placed front and center, where the rule of law overrides purely personal prejudices, preferences, and pissing contests.

I adore the notion of a government that is based on the wacky idea that human beings (all human beings) possess an inalienable right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". These thoughts make me absolutely giddy.

I want to live in that country. I want to vote in its elections, and volunteer years of my life in service to its goals, and teach children about its merits. I want to stand up and sing along with others who are hymning its praises.

The problem is, I don't think I'm living in that country right now. I don't know if I have ever actually lived in that country.

When I think back to what the Fourth of July commemorates, I wonder if the Founding Fathers were really attempting to create the dream landscape that I want to make manifest, or whether they were just pissed off about a tea tax.

I suppose it doesn't matter. They were on the cusp of an evolution/revolution of ideas. They were attempting to depart from the countless "old ways" that they had observed, read about, and discussed -- to create something previously unconceived.

I think the greatest gift that each American could give their "nation" on this, its 231st birthday, would be to re-commit to that (r)evolutionary process.

I think that Hancock, Jefferson, Adams, etal -- jumped off some kind of cliff. I believe that at least some of them attempted to create a structure that could anchor itself in some type of profound truth, yet remain flexible enough to accommodate the inevitable shifts of culture.

I believe that we are still in the free-fall of their leap.

And if that's so, an anchor may be entirely the wrong metaphor. What we need is a kite, or a wing, or a flying suit -- something stable enough to help us negotiate the up/down-drafts and thermals at hand.

When I read the news, and the bitching about the news, I try to remember that "my" country is actually still young. The Roman Republic lasted 500 years before it morphed into the Roman Empire, which lasted another 500 years. (Not that I prefer either of those models.) I often think of the USA as a gawky teenager -- pushing its weight around, popping its zits, and trying to figure who/what it is.

I often wonder: Am I really an American? The idea of a one-world government that scares the be-jesus out of many people actually seems like a pretty good idea to me, if it were based on valuing all humans, animals, plants, rocks, water, etc., and the good 'ole Earth itself.

Then, just about the time I'm wondering this, I get all verklempt while listening to " . . . for purple mountain's majesty, above the fruited plain!!" Then I think: "I must be an American -- they have created a plain just for fruits like me."

So, Happy Birthday to the US of A. Today, I celebrate what I think you are capable of becoming.

Here's a copy of Working Out Conflicts: How to Keep Cool, Stay Safe, and Get Along; by Naomi Drew, a tube of Clearasil, and an ID card, just in case you forget who you are -- see right there? -- it has a line of that song I like so much, that you might have forgotten about:

America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!

Posted byPortlyDyke at 12:01 AM 2 comments Links to this post  

Still Very Much a Work In Progress

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:36 PM 2 comments Links to this post  

The Bless-ed Balm of Truth

I had this great post in my head last night, all about the wash of relief I experienced after reading some great posts over at Shakespeare's Sister on the rather transparent attempts by the MSM to continue the Campaign to Terrorize America, and how important it is that each of us resist these attempts.

Today, after reading the news about Scooter Libby's commutation, I almost got dismal enough to abandon hope and put my post aside.

However, I think that today's events only heighten my sense of how crucial this issue really is.

The constant hammering of the MSM's message that the world is a "dangerous" place, that our families are in peril every moment, and that the "others" (and they are legion, those "others" -- other races, other religions, other genders, other orientations) are out to get "our" stuff, "our" jobs, "our" nation, "our" values -- this barrage of crap is, in my opinion, simply designed to turn the viewer/reader/listener into a paranoid, dis-empowered, quivering mass of paralyzed inertia.

And I'm not buying it.

In my own life, I've worked with a number of strategies to handle "MSM Infections"

I've gone on hard-core "media fasts".

I've listened to/watched/read MSM, but only while I played "Death and Destruction Bingo" (a game where you make a hash-mark on your score card every time the announcer uses a word like "crisis", or "mayhem", or "tragedy", or "threat").

I invented Death and Destruction Bingo in 1999, while listening to a radio report about a plane crash in which there was no suspicion of a bombing. While reporting this, the newscaster managed to say the word "bomb" over 45 times in a five-minute report. Just so -- you know -- we wouldn't be worried that there was a bomb on the plane.

Capitalizing on "Bad News" is nothing new for mainstream newspapers, radio, or television news. However, in the "olden days", I was always told "Don't believe everything you read in the papers, kid."

Last summer, my Dad said to me "Well, you know we're already in World War III".

"Really?" I replied, "Where'd you hear that?"

"It was on the radio," he replied.

Wow. This from the guy who told me: "Don't believe everything you read in the papers, kid."

A spiritual teacher once pointed out to me that, although we are constantly told how much more violent, and awful, and horrible our world is today, if we looked back a mere 60 years and compared it at a purely logical level:

  • 1942 -- World War II involved nearly every nation on the planet (only 8 nations were actually considered true "neutrals") -- Casualties conservatively were figured at 61 million people (probably more like 72 million), and the majority of people on the planet were actually feeling pretty consolidated about the idea that this war must be fought.
  • 2002 -- According to Wikipedia, there are currently 29 ongoing armed conflicts going on in the world. War death-rates globally for the years 1998 - 2002 are estimated at 1.5 million according to the Human Security Report. And the majority of people on the planet are actually feeling pretty consolidated about the idea that war, in general, is a stupid fucking waste of resources and lives.
The point that the teacher made was that these statistics would seem to indicate that we are becoming less violent, rather than more violent. He also pointed out that, on the streets of the town where I currently reside -- 100 years ago people walked down the street with loaded guns on their hips, 50 years ago, people beat their children in public, and 25 years ago, apartheid still existed in South Africa.

Actually, I encourage you to go and take a good long look at the Human Security Report. It's a refreshing view from someone other than the MSM -- to me, it's all about the reality of our evolution as a species.

Supposition: If humans were just vile, destructive, nasty creatures, and if our population had tripled since 1950, then wouldn't it stand to reason that our vileness, destructiveness, and nastiness would have grown exponentially as well?

You probably know by now that I am a pacifist and an advocate of non-violence. I think one tiny bit of war is too much -- I want the troops out of Iraq right now -- all of them. I don't post this to encourage you to become complacent, or accept the 1.5 million deaths that have occurred as an acceptable ratio just because it speaks to a possible proof of our collective spiritual evolution. I just wanted to provide another perspective here -- one that flies in the face of the attempts of the media machine to terrorize you.

I believe that the MSM would really love for you to believe that your neighbor is dangerous, your neighboring nation is dangerous, and that planet over there is dangerous. I believe that the MSM would really like you to believe that you are fucked no matter what you do -- that you are an insignificant, ineffective bit of flotsam floating on the tide of "circumstances beyond your control".

I don't believe it though. I want to encourage you not to believe it either. I agree with William Wolfrum -- it's time for America to deal with it's fear addiction.

My new motto: Fear -- Just Say No.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 7:42 PM 3 comments Links to this post  

Periodicity

It's late Sunday night, I have a great post (in my head), and I need some cogitation time. So, I'm going to post tomorrow, rather than rushing my process.

That Is All.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:08 PM 1 comments Links to this post