Choosy Dieties

So, commenter Nik.E.Poo asked:

"In terms of the infinite continuum of reality, where does choice fall in the D.U.C.?"

Commenter Lambness pointed out the term "recursion" and the concept of "discrete infinity".

All rather dizzying, no?

So, I will attempt to explain my view of this, starting from my primary hypothesis that the D.U.C. tastes just like chicken. (And tofu. And dust. And quark-poo.)

To understand what I am about to express, we will have to agree that the usual perspective that we, as physical human beings, have on Time and Space is just that -- A perspective.

Let's say that Time . . . . . perhaps . . . . (I include that "perhaps" for the explorationally timid) . . . . is not really linear. Let's say that all moments in Time are actually concurrent, and that we are choosing to perceive and experience Time as linear.

My favorite metaphor is -- a great novel -- perhaps you've already read it, perhaps you haven't read it -- but it's sitting on your desk, bookshelf, or in the basket on the back of your toilet. Let's say it's a novel that you read before, and you loved it. (If you "don't read" -- and I know some people who do not, and hold this as a point of pride -- simply substitute "move" for "novel" and "watch" for "read")

Jeez, I can't believe I just included that -- but I did.

Anyway, back to that great novel that you've read before --

Why in the world would you read it again?

But you do.

You read it again, even though you already know how it turns out.

You read it again, and perhaps, even enjoy it more than the first time you read it, because now, you're not all about how it turns out, but about how it unfolds. You notice nuances and structure and meaning that were not apparent in your first fascinated reading of the novel, because your focus has change.

And every time you read this great novel, the novel itself is changed by the fact that you read it.

(If you can't handle paradox, you should probably stop reading now, or take two aspirin. Or four.)

In other words -- all the possible novels of this Universe have already been written, but every time any one of those novels is read/perceived/experienced (for the first time or the non-nillionth time) that novel is expanded and transformed.

This may seem counter-intuitive -- how can a novel be changed by being read? Well, even at the most physical, matter-based level, when you pick up a book and thumb through its pages, oils and residual tissue from your fingertips join with the pages -- that's why historians wear gloves when handling very ancient or valuable texts. If you sneeze while your reading, this matter exchange escalates even further -- or if you read it in the rain at the bus-stop, or while you're slouched over a table at Mickey Dee's. Perhaps now you're grasping the true spiritual depth of the ancient Koan:
"I CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGER?"

"MY CHEEZBURGER. YOU NO CAN HAZ."

The point is, even when you put the book back on the shelf, or in your garage sale -- even if you never read that book -- the book still exists.

The notion that all possible stories of the Universe already exist may lead some to conclude that things are "pre-destined" -- but if Time is not linear but rather, concurrent, nothing can be "pre"-destined, as there is no "pre" and no "post".

So, the D.U.C. is like the owner (and author) of an infinite library of stories about Itself. In Its fully unified state, there's really no reason to "read" the books. So, It chooses to mitose into various forms and levels of enfolding intelligence, some of which (human, for example) are designed to forget that the entire library already exists, and so begin to read the stories one at a time (incarnation), in a linear direction (past to future).

Then, where is Choice? Well, there's one little thing I neglected to point out. Each of these novels is really a choose-your-own-path book -- you know -- if you want to find out what happens to character A, skip to page 73, if you want to find out what happens to character B, skip to page 91, etc..

This is the place(for me) that the concept of parallel universes comes in -- but that is a whole 'nother can of worms that is too big to stuff into this post -- perhaps another time (scratch that -- in some reality, I've already written it, and in some reality, I never will).

It kind of hurts my brain to think about this stuff sometimes, and I believe that is because the brain is actually designed as a tool to perceive Time in a manner (linear/finite) that doesn't fully represent its true state (concurrent/infinite). If you want to read something that takes you to a more transcendent, experiential version of these concepts, try reading Jorge Borges' The Library of Babel (What luck -- the entire text online!), or Donald Barthelme's excellent "Nothing is Not a Nail".

I want to point out that I don't believe that the human perception of linear time is necessarily the only way the the D.U.C. is playing with itself. I think it's entirely possible that other species and/or constructs are designed to play with various aspects of paradox and apparent limitation/separation in entirely different ways.

Some people say, for example, that animals do not (and perhaps, can not) perceive linear Time. Since I don't speak dolphin or turtle or snake or spider or cow (yet), I'm not ready to make a conclusion about this.

I will say that, so far, it's my experience that human beings are the only known earthly creatures who obsess on measuring Time and carving it up into calendar squares, hours, minutes, second, nano-seconds, etc.. It's almost as if by divvying it up, we're trying to make more of it. Which, if my hypothesis about time is correct, is an impossible (but interesting and, ironically, time-consuming) endeavor.

To sum up -- in my cosmology, there is Choice -- but the choice rests exclusively in which story to read/re-read, and how to interpret it. Since Time doesn't truly exist as linear, you might say that your consciousness of your own existence and the choices that you make in interpreting that experience are, literally, the concurrent creation of the Universe in "real time".

How 'bout those aspirin, now? Or, for being a dutiful reader and plowing through this post, you can haz cheezburger. Or not.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:52 AM 5 comments Links to this post  

Nice . . . erm . . . .Boots

A couple of days ago, The Rotund had a little contest, in which she challenged readers to guess her height and weight. The inimitable Kate Harding cross-posted this to Shakesville, and let the games begin.

The entire exercise was, IMO, brilliant, and brought to awareness, for me, some very uncomfortable places I still have within myself vis-a-vis fat-phobia (like how I would be totally fine having someone else guess my weight, but I wasn't comfortable guessing someone else's). Back to fat-acceptance school for me.

I was struck, though, by something as I read through the various guesses -- the number of comments that included: "I love your boots", or "You have beautiful hair."

Maybe it's just me -- I'm not really a fashion maven (OK, I'm probably actually a fashion moron) -- but I found myself reacting just a little tiny bit every time I read one of these comments, because it seemed similar to me to some compliments that I've heard over and over again from people (directed toward me, or toward other fat people) -- compliments like "You have beautiful skin", and "She has such a pretty face". I don't think these compliments are necessarily completely false -- usually when they're doled out, I think they are genuinely well-meant, and are probably truthful (I do have beautiful skin).

But sometimes, I think these might be a version of "Thumper" compliments (as in: "If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all.") So, rather than make a compliment that would in any way bring notice to the fact that I'm fat (because they assume I'll be offended by that), they choose something safer.

I notice that I most often receive these types of compliments from some of my friends who haven't really "adjusted" to the fact that I am not the skinny little shit that I used to be (IOW: haven't dealt with their fat-phobia). I think they really want to give me a compliment -- maybe I'm looking particularly radiant at the moment -- but I often find that they will say something that seems to point directly at some aspect of my clothing, a specific feature of mine that doesn't relate to my size, etc. -- my favorite (not) is "You look good. Have you lost weight?" (which was, like, the third thing my mom said to me during our recent visit, even though I doubt if my weight has changed at all since I saw her last).

I notice that if I'm glowing in some undefineable way, my friends who are not fat-phobic usually say something like: "You look great!"

I notice that my mate frequently tells me, as we snuggle into the comforter and she wraps her arms around me and squeezes me tight: "I adore your body."

The irony here is, when I, a fat woman who is actively working on fat-acceptance, was challenged by a woman who is all about fat-acceptance to make a guess about her height/weight, I found myself in a cold sweat. I think part of it is that I don't really pay attention to "lbs. on the scale" and therefore, have no frame of reference from which to make an educated guess (and I do have this thing about being "wrong" -- I can admit it) -- but at least part of it was: That I didn't want to "offend" her by guessing too high, but I didn't want to be shit and guess low in order to "not offend" her.

So this post is a thank you to The (brave and fabulous) Rotund, and Kate Harding, for raising my consciousness (again).

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:16 AM 2 comments Links to this post  

Explaining The D.U.C.

In my last post, I referred to my concept of "A Divine, Unifying Consciousness" and a commenter asked:

"Ok, seriously. In eastern philosophies, total consciousness is often equated to or represented by the sublime state of emptiness. In western philosophies, consciousness is often described as self-awareness, cognition and engagement. What is the flavor of the D.U.C.? How is it manifest?"
The answer is: The D.U.C. tastes like chicken.

Ok, seriously.

While I prefer using the term "Divine Unifying Consciousness", I once toyed with naming it "ATIWOSB" -- All That Is, Was, Or Shall Be . . . . . but it seemed, I dunno -- a little clunky?

(Warning: If you do not have a sense of humor, turn back NOW)

ANYWAY . . . . while I prefer the term D.U.C., I do not have any problem using the word "god" (capitalized or uncapitalized) and I often do use this word, for ease of reference when discussing matters of a spiritual nature with the more traditionally-inclined, for the purposes of connectivity.

There was a time when the "G" word caused me to break out in a rash, but, despite being a devote muff-diver for most of my life, I never went to the point where I used "Goddess" as a substitute (primarily because I had a lover who would shriek "Oh Goddess!" when taken to certain heights of lesbianic pleasure, and it was all I could do not to giggle every time it happened).

So, I'll try to boil my cosmology down to a the simplest metaphor possible (nearly, if not always, a dire mistake):

I am a game that God is playing with Itself.

When I look into the laws of physics, and the tendencies of biological and chemical entities, I keep seeing this "many from one" and "many back to one" cycle, and a recurring theme of what I call "enfolding intelligences" (My body has organs and tissues, these organs and tissues have cells, these cells have molecules, these molecules have atoms, these atoms have protons, electrons, and neutrons, and the electrons and neutrons have quarks -- and I have a sneaking suspicion that, even though science generally names quarks as the smallest unit of matter, it is quite possible that we'll someday understand even smaller enfolding structures - - ". . . the book says we may be done with the past, but the past isn't done with us".)

When I look into the most ancient creation myths -- I see a consistent theme: The physical Universe always manifests first as some form of a dichotomy or paradox (Light/Dark, Male/Female, Heaven/Earth). This paradox often/usually arises from some sort "unknowable One-ness" (a cosmic egg, a pre-existent chaos, a zohar, etc.).

Stay with me here.

With all that mass of seemingly variant spiritual, religious, cultural, and scientific opinion swirling around me, how did I come to the conclusion that I am a game that God is playing with Itself?

I looked into my "natural tendencies", and the tendencies of matter and other beings around me.

If you remove the pressures of obtaining food/water, building/maintaining shelter, keeping children alive, etc. from a human being (for the more civilized, this would include removing the need to "go to work") -- what do human beings do? (Hint: We call it "vacation".)

They play.

They play at all sorts of things. The invent sports and crossword puzzles and sodoku and backgammon. They swing and slide and swim and run around.

You don't have to "teach" a child to play. You might teach it "what" to play, or "how" to play a certain thing, but generally, play comes naturally to humans. Most animals also engage in play, and I'm not so "form-ist" as to think it isn't possible that rocks may have some form of play (although their games are probably very, very long, comparitively).

Biologists will tell you that ecosystems are primarily governed by stochastic (chance) events. Meanwhile, designers of "artificial intelligence" face the challenge of creating "fuzzy logic" systems that can allow mechanization of tasks that are normally reserved for human beings, or harnessing certain algorithms that seem to govern stochastic, organic events such as evolution. One of the things the creators of AI work with? Game Theory.

So, what if the entire physical Universe is a great big crossword puzzle, with all the answers at the back of the book, or in tomorrow's paper? You don't work a crossword puzzle that is too easy for you (or not for long), you don't work a crossword puzzle that is impossible to solve (or not for long), and you don't (usually) cheat and just copy the answers from the solution page -- cause what would be the fun in that? Game designers understand that, in order to be "fun", the game has to have a certain balance of challenge and resolution.

I believe that the D.U.C. was, at one point, a single "un-self-conscious" point that got bored with itself, and created the diversion of mitosing itself into various bits of seemingly different matter. Just for fun. From a purely physical science POV, I would say that this happened prior to the "Big Bang", BTW.

Because all matter (and consciousness) arose from that original one-ness, but is seemingly different, the "clues" are embedded in every part of the universe -- in chemistry, spiritual experience, biology, astronomy, emotion, thought, etc..

So, in my spiritual practice, the "Golden Rule" is still applicable -- but not from any "moral" place, because it's "good" or "right" to treat others as I would be treated, but from a place of energetic integrity -- because, essentially, they are me, at some level.

That's a challenge, I'll admit -- part of the challenge, I would say -- because they don't always look like me at first glance (quarks, rocks, other humans, animals, trees, planets, galaxies) -- but if I believe that the D.U.C. is everywhere, in everything, I have to assume that anything that I see as "separate" from me could possibly hold a clue to 10-Down, or 25-Across.

So, far from believing that "God" is impersonal, I see "God" as being both intensely personal and trans-personal. However, I think that the D.U.C. is more interested in having experience than in judging it, and I think that if you present this concept to people, many of them take it personally, and think that it means God "doesn't care".

Just because I don't judge you doesn't mean I don't care about you, however.

As above, so below. As within, so without.

Now, many people may wonder how I came to such a belief system. I'll blog about that more in the future, I suppose, but basically, I believe asI do because I see it reflected in nature, in biology, in chemistry, and in my experience, and I suspect that there are more "clues" in the offing.

And truly, I believe this because I've found it simply works better, and is more fun than the alternatives I've tried.

IMHFO, the D.U.C. is manifest in the ecosystems that are all around me, and that form and adapt and re-form. The D.U.C. is manifest in the fact that I am breathing air and taking in molecules and atoms that might have once been a part of your body -- so where do "I" really start and end? The D.U.C. is manifest in the paradoxical nature of light itself (particle or wave?), and in the beautiful chaotic order of a mandelbrot set.

Like I said: The D.U.C. tastes like chicken.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 3:50 PM 21 comments Links to this post  

Meta-Physician

I recently got into a online conversation about my spiritual beliefs.

I often experience some difficulty when I get into these types of conversations, because there are so many “hair-trigger” words that seem set people off into assumptions about what they think about these words, rather than listening to, or asking about, what I might think about the words I’m using.

If, for example, I use the word “metaphysical”, a lot of people assume that I am just a woo-woo nutcase, incapable of rational thought, and probably burning incense to keep the bad juju away. (Come to think of it, I do burn incense to keep the bad juju away, but let’s just gloss past that for the moment. I promise that I will explain the scientific basis for my burning of incense at some point.)

I’ve experienced, too, that when I enter into conversation about my spiritual beliefs with people who say that they are atheist or agnostic, they often assume that I’m trying to convert them to my way of thinking or something. I don’t find this surprising, and I can hardly blame them for having a certain “spiritual gag reflex” -- since most public dialogue about spirituality (at least in the good old USofA) comes from organized religions that place heavy emphasis on the concept that they have the “right” answers, and strong, if not obsessive, tendencies toward proselytization.

However, precisely because of the spiritual beliefs that I hold, in my spiritual structure, proselytizing would be one of the few things that could even remotely parallel the concept of “sin” that exists in most traditional religions (I don’t really believe in the concept of “sin” as they express it). I may, or may not, expound on that as I continue, but I want to be clear that one of the foundational aspects of my own spiritual approach is that, not only is every being completely entitled to their own view of “what is so” about the universe and reality they inhabit/experience, but their unique exploration and understanding of that view is critical to the evolutionary nature of the universe and reality that I inhabit/experience.

So, if you hear me using the word “metaphysics”, what I mean is this: Metaphysics is exactly that – the “meta” version of the garden-variety physics we humans are still struggling to understand from a purely physic-al (chemical) level.

I’m strongly convinced that the concept “As Above, So Below – As Within, So Without” is valid – and not because I think some bearded dude in the sky has got it all planned out for me. I do believe in a divine unifying consciousness (what some people refer to as “god”, I guess) -- some thread that runs through this entire puzzle -- but I think it would be sheer arrogance to say that I understood the totality of that consciousness.

I have some very clear beliefs, a lot of questions, and a strong spiritual framework that works for me.

Get that last phrase? It works for me. I don’t need it to work for anyone else, cause it works for me. If it works for you, too, I’m glad to share.

Those of you who have hung around with me at Shakesville’s virtual pub on Fridays know that I cut out around 7 pm PST to “teach” – this is what I teach about:

How to create a spiritual life that works for you, and that you will actually put into practice in your physical/chemical existence.

I would say that I’ve tended toward the Seeker end of the spiritual spectrum ever since I was a youngster – I was raised with strict Lutheran doctrine, but my critical thinking skills kicked in early, and at the tender age of 6, I was known to plague my pastor with completely logical questions that frustrated him greatly and showed him up as the “baa, baa” type of Christian that he was (and that I was to become all too familiar with over the years).

Once I figured out that my status as a big old lesbo consigned me to eternal hellfire in the eyes of my Religion-Of-Origin (ROO, rhymes with FOO -- family-of-origin), I did a fuck of a lot of seeking. I studied archaeology and anthropology and sociology and history, I learned Latin and Hebrew to understand more about what the hell had happened with the Bible and Christianity. I know the Tarot inside and out. I’ve plumbed books on quantum physics, gematria, genetics, astrology, astronomy, philosophy, esoteric and practical geometry, Daoism, Buddhism, Sufism, Muslism, Bahaism, Shamanism, and Christianism (if I left anyone’s theology out, just ask – I’ve probably read about or practiced it at one time). I’ve sat to yoga, chanted mantras, attended sweats, cast the circle, jumped the fire, sung to the water drum, and studied with teachers from many, many disciplines and perspectives.

You might say that I was seeking my own personal “Theory of Everything” long before that phrase entered the common lexicon.

In many of the traditions, religions, and disciplines that I’ve directly practiced, my major complaint was that a lot of people who say that they are seeking spirituality are really just trying to get a whole bunch of their life, thought, and experience into the “DONE” box.

Let me explain what I mean by that. The “DONE” box is the box where you put things that are troubling and paradoxical so that you don’t have to think about them any more. Big F Fundamentalist Christianity is particularly useful is you want to fill up your “DONE” box – it tells you precisely what to think about certain troubling things, like the fact that your child is gay and you are not gay and this troubles you, because you’ve been given all sorts of different ideas and opinions about why people are gay, and you’re not sure whether it is something you did or didn’t do, and what the fuck do you do now with this kid who you thought you knew and what will everyone in the congregation think and oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck! -- in situations like this, BigFundieC [tm] tells you precisely what to do:

I don’t want to get my life into the DONE box. I want to keep questioning.

I do keep questioning, and actually, I’ve come to some realizations that, to me, look like they might be pretty solid answers. Answers that inevitably lead to more questions (the best kind).

My answers come from disparate sources, some of which might be called “scientific”, some of which might be called “philosophical” or “metaphysical”, and some of which might be called “anecdotal”. For me, the key to finding a real answer is when the scientific (and I’m not talking diet studies funded by the makers of Dexatrim), the philosophical, the metaphysical, and the anecdotal all seem to align.

Example: The beautiful portly body that is now typing this post began as a single cell. (The beautiful body that you are now sitting in, either reading or listening to this post also began as a single cell.) That single cell very quickly either “underwent” or “practiced” mitosis (depending on your views about spiritual causality), and differentiated itself into anywhere from 10 – 100 trillion cells (depending on your sources for human cell counts), most of which specialized to become various parts of my current physical form, some of which (stem cells) still remain in an undifferentiated state to “fill in the blanks” in case of emergencies such as tissue damage, etc..

Somehow, these cells, all originally deriving from a single cell that formed more than 51 years ago (with contributions from mom and dad – thanks folks!) – and some say that the current cells in my body have all been regenerated within the last seven years or less – somehow all these cells are, right now, conspiring to obey my command to type: “Yippee!”

And I don’t think of that as a huge, big miracle (unless I’m having a particularly conscious day). I take it entirely for granted. Even though 10 trillion cells (conservatively) are participating to keep me upright in the chair, process the beer I just drank, and parse the complexities of the English language -- meaning, syntax, grammar – not to mention the astounding act of typing approximately 90 words per minute. While slightly drunk.

How is that possible?

Here’s where the scientific, philosophical, metaphysical and anecdotal align for me on this one: For some strange reason, these variable parts have decided to cooperate to be ME. Scientific evidence points me to an understanding that my cells will pass on my DNA signature to the cells that replace them, or which derive from their mitotic activity. Philosophical evidence points me to an understanding that my concept of myself as a cohesive “I” will also tend to attempt to replicate and imprint itself, attempting to pass the “genome” of my particular personality on, even in my writing here. Metaphysical evidence points me to the an understanding that, while I am an individualized cell in a larger body (“I” am a part of the human species, “I” am a part of the planet Earth, “I” am a part of this solar system, galaxy, universe, and who-knows-what-beyond-that, etc.), I participate with these larger organizing structure according to the rules of those structures, just as my cells participate with me and my “rules”. (I’m glad to take particular questions about this if you want to ask, but I’ll gravely oversimplify by giving the example that “I” and all my participating cells are subject to Earth’s gravitational field and that laws of aerodynamics while within Earth’s gravitational field). My own anecdotal evidence points me to the understanding that I can observe how I am affected by these various levels of what I call “Enfolding Organizations” all the time.

So, when I look at the dizzying possibilities of interactions with all these levels, I find myself searching for a common thread, and I find this:

My physical body arose out of a single thing and became a complex thing, although certain tiny parts of myself are always standing by in a undifferentiated state that is less complex, waiting to become more complex, if necessary. I am also part of several levels of more complex structure, each of which quite possibly may have risen from a single thing. It’s possible that I’m just a stem cell in those structures, or that I’ve already differentiated into a specialized bit.

Two areas of what some call “empirical research” or “real science” have been very, very helpful to me in my seeking: Quantum Physics, and Oncology.

Of all the “scientists” I have known, read, and interacted with, theoretical Quantum Physicists and practicing Oncologists have been the most willing to admit: “We don’t know how that works, but we see that it does work, and we are interested in asking more questions about it and finding out.”

I’ll probably write more in the future about the various connective tissues that I see between these two types of scientists, but for now, I want to write about what in the fuck any of this has to do with my usual Portly Dyke blog-spew.

So here’s my temporary wrap-up to this portion of my spirituality revelation:

To me, when I hear someone say something like: “I’m an atheist because I only believe what can be physically explained using the existing data,” I don’t see this as much (if any) different from someone saying “I believe that homosexuality is an aberration because most of the people I know are heterosexual.”

That said, I’m perfectly willing to allow other people to have whatever opinions they want to have, as long as they don’t insist that I have them too, and attempt to legislate so that I have to live according to their opinions.

In 51 years, I’ve seen too much that I cannot explain using the existing data – not stuff I’ve read about in newspapers – stuff that I’ve experienced directly.

In 1676, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the “father of microbiology” had a very “strained” relationship with the Royal Society (the main recognized “scientific” society at that time – think present-day National Academy of Science, or CDC, etc.), because he had reported his first observations of single-celled organisms under the microscope. Even though he’d already been an accepted member of this august assembly, it was only after the Society sent a vicar, some judges, and some doctors to verify his claims was he finally vindicated for his “radical” proposals in 1680.

Think about that. This man spent four years of his life trying to convince the scientific powers-that-be (not even the general populace) that something existed beyond the currently-accepted world-view – something that we now take for granted as “scientific fact” – microbes exist, and they affect our physical bodies. Without his observations, and his insistence that he had observed what he observed, Louis Pasteur might never have been.

If I took a four-year tissue-slice of American history – let’s say from the years 2003 to 2007, and attempted to make an analysis of “what is so” about the USA, don’t you think that I’d get a very different analysis than if I took a slice from the years 1969 to 1973, or 1992 to 1996?

If I took a four-year tissue-slice of scientific observation from 1676 to 1680 as opposed to 2003 to 2007 – same thing.

So, my spiritual stance arises, not from some biblical training about what is “right” and “wrong” – not from the currently-accepted view of what is “real” and “not real”, but from an amalgam of: First – what I have directly and personally observed and experienced, Second – what others (scientists included) have observed and how their unbiased reporting of what they have observed meshes with what I have observed, and Third – how this might align with the body of information about previous observations.

I’ll probably keep blogging about this from time to time, and include a few more details about what exactly I believe and don’t believe, but that is a huge fucking mouthful as it is, so I’ll stop now.

Any questions?

(ps -- this series is especially for Nik.E.Poo and Burning Prairie ;), who asked for it. )

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:45 PM 7 comments Links to this post  

Friday Cat Blogging












I IZ NICK CAGE.














Toning and Refreshing, always massaging away from the eyes. Oops!

















Portly is in love with both of these beings.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 3:17 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

Do. Not. Even. Get. Me. Started. -- OR -- Harnessing Outrage

Do not even get me started on some shit, cause you can't finish the fury I have.

I will now parse a sweeping generalization, using my mad programming skillz:

IF:
You're reading this blog and your head is not exploding because you think I'm a perverted, radical danger to society.
ANDIF:
You follow the mainstream media on a daily basis.
THEN:
Regardless of your race, color, creed, political party, or gender/sexual orientation, you probably feel really pissed off at least once a week by something in the "news".

Currently, I'm pissed off that the Atchison story still hasn't made the "top story" page of Google News, even though the perp attempted suicide in his cell this morning. Very pissed off.

In truth, though, I've been pissed off at the MSM with such frequency since the turn of the millennium (probably even longer) that I worry that I'm simply getting used to it.

Human beings are incredibly adaptable. A teacher of mine once said: "The mind can make 'normal' out of anything". I have found that this is true, and it is sometimes a little scary to me how quickly we can come to accept something that would have had us foaming at the mouth in the past.

Case in point: The "Homosexuality is a Danger To Society" Meme. I had the privilege to come out as a lesbian in the late 70's. During that period of time, and throughout most of the 80's, this meme, while still present in fundamentalist and ultra-conservative circles, was generally recognized as an ultra-conservative stance in the MSM, and in most forms of public discourse.

If Ann Coulter had called Al Gore "a total fag" on NBC in 1985, my guess is that there would have been a shit-storm of protest. Last year, it was pretty much just a blip on the screen.

The mind can make normal out of anything.

Thing is, I don't want to "make normal" out of institutionalized homophobia, racism, or misogyny. I don't want to "make normal" out of rape, child abuse, war, famine, crumbling infrastructure, or plain old intentional cruelty.

I do not want to just accept that "that's the way things are". Furthermore, I will not accept it.

I, for one, do not believe that human beings, as a species, are "getting worse", or that cruelty, disregard for the rights of others, and oppression are just "human nature". I know too many wonderful, smart, committed to human beings to draw that conclusion. I know too many fabulous homo sapiens who are kind and loving in spite of the abuse the world has dealt them. In fact, of all the bones I have to pick with "organized" Christianity (and they are many), I think that the concept of Original Sin may actually be the biggest.

Frankly, I resent the MSM for continually portraying my species as an assortment of slime-balls who just can't help themselves. I don't deny that slime-balls exist, and in truth, I do want to know where they are, and what they are doing, but I want those stories presented in the following light: This is unacceptable. This is NOT "just human nature". This is not just "the way things are". This is an individual making a choice to act in a way that is un-just/cruel/dis-respectful, and we will put a stop to it.

And I want equal time for the love, the kindness, the intelligence, and the grace of "humans behaving goodly".

I think I have a legitimate beef with the MSM. See, I really wouldn't mind if the MSM had big banners and slogans that said: "All the News That Will Scare the Crap Out of You and Make You Wish You Could Teleport to Another Planet!" or "We Just Want to Sell Some Shit!"

It's when I read (or hear, complete with tump-tumpta-tumptaaa-ta! theme music) slogans like "We're On Your Side!" or "All the News YOU need!" or "Your ONLY source for fair and balanced news coverage!" that I turn into a cranky bitch from hades.

Because I believe that if you say you are going to do something, people have a right to hold you to account for it.

What's at the top of the Google News reports as I type this: The Senate has voted to condemn MoveOn.org (#1), and "Democratic Bundler Charged with Fraud". I have yet to read a single article that cites the fact that John DR Atchison is a Republican. I have yet to read a single article on the top stories page about this US Justice Dept. attorney who not only broke the very laws he is supposed to be prosecuting, but did it in a way that is so shocking that even the most conservative conservative could not defend it.

I will harness my outrage. I will protest, and write emails and letters, and I will confront my brother-in-law every single time I hear something homophobic come out of his mouth. I will stop to help people who need help, and I will not spend money at businesses who support the MSM to slant the news.

I will not "make normal" out of this.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 3:05 PM 2 comments Links to this post  

See Phydeaux Speak - Ahrrrrgh!

Avast Ye! It's talk like a pirate day, and talk like a pirate ye will, or I'll run ye through with my snicker-snee! Arrgh.

(While I'm trying to think up some more piratey things to say, go See Phydeaux Speak for a great video on how not to be a Christian.)

Shiver me titties, but it's a fine day fer a pirate!

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:50 AM 2 comments Links to this post  

In Case You Had a Single Illusion Left

About the Mainstream Media, Check out my Googles from this morning:



First, the smashing coverage of the John Kerry tasering incident.

452 articles! Way to chase a story, MSM!

And then the coverage on the Republican Attorney from the Pensacola US Justice office who arrived in Detroit with a Dora the Explorer doll, hoop earrings, and a jar of vaseline, planning to rape a 5 year old girl.

21 articles. Hmmm.

Note that the headlines do not ever use the word "rape", opting for the kinder, gentler term "child sex".
Note to MSM: It is impossible to "have sex" with a five year old. It is always rape. Always.

This story doesn't appear in "top stories" -- I had to dig for it within Google News. Before the arguments begin about how this does not represent slanted coverage by the MSM, let me just pre-refute them:

Anticipated Argument #1: "But Kerry is a main player. Atchison is a nobody attorney from Florida. Of course the story isn't going to get the same coverage!"

Refutation: Bullshit. "Nobodys" who are involved with child molestation make the Top Stories page all the time. Even more so if they are people of color, or poor, or uneducated, or mentally ill.

And as far as what the MSM considers "important news" -- today, a story about a city manager who got lost while hiking was more of a "top story" than the fact that a fucking representative of our justice department was arrested for coldly calculating to rape a child.

Anticipated Argument #2: "But he hasn't been convicted. Innocent until proven guilty is a part of what makes our country great!"

Refutation: Tell that to the prisoners in Guantanamo.

Anticipated Argument #3: "It was entrapment."

Refutation: Don't even start that shit with me. And while you're busy shutting the fuck up, take a look at the "cheerleading" program at the youth group that he helped with.

Based on recent experience, I think that the Republican party should be stripped of its right to use the phrase "Family Values" ever again, in any context.

Regular readers here will know why this particular story strikes close to home for me. I hope this man is put in prison for the rest of his life. However, I also hope that there is massive media coverage of it, because it highlights something I've always known: While the MSM rants on about sex offenders in the community and Cosmopolitan magazine warns us of the 5 places that sexual predators search for women, the same media ignores the fact that one of the most dangerous places for children to be is probably with some "upstanding" guy who constantly touts his family values, publicly and politically, and who is trusted because he is in a position of authority and adheres to a political party that claims the mantle of moral rectitude.

I noticed that when Melissa blogged about this over at Shakesville yesterday, there was suddenly a flock of commenters that I had never seen before. If they show up here, I'll consider that they are Republican flacks madly searching for Atchison references to hush up.

This is a rape scandal that conservatives cannot possibly justify with "entrapment" arguments, or ridiculous bullshit about being afraid of black men in the park -- its a crime so heinous that they must simply try to get us to ignore it. (Check out the "Look! A kitty!" tactics that were attempted over on the Shakesville thread.)

Try it over here, and I will go all avenging angel on your ass.


Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:30 AM 3 comments Links to this post  

I Think I'm Blushing

Well, I've been invited to contribute at Shakesville. I feel like I'm getting to "play with the Big Kids", and I'm somewhat, but not totally, daunted by the prospect.

I actually said "I'm honored" twice in my first post over there. Geez, I feel like a flustered teenager meeting a celebrity at the 7-Eleven.

Anyhoos -- thought I'd let you all know that I'll be blogging there, too. Most likely, I'll cross-post stuff from here.

A new adventure! And just about the time my parental duties were over. Hmmmm.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:06 AM 3 comments Links to this post  

The Abe Lincoln/Will Rogers Manifesto

I've been thinking for a while that I might list some of my basic tenets and principles -- oh, just for information's sake -- or maybe you might actually find some of it interesting enough to try it out as a philosophy.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that most everything I wanted to express had already been said.

So, here is:

The Portly Dyke Abe Lincoln/Will Rogers Manifesto:
Most Likely, a Work in Progress
  • "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." ~ Abraham Lincoln
    • This actually gives me daily hope. Whenever I get to angsting about war, fundamentalist religious nuts, and other forms of group insanity, I remember that the vast majority of the people that I actually know are not idiots. I remember that, even in eras that looked very, very bleak in human history, ultimately, the devices of oppression did not prevail entirely, or forever. I remember that I heard some old farts sitting in front of Safeway last week, saying: "Oh, the 'news' -- that's all a bunch of crap anyway. It's all owned by rich folks."
  • "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." ~ Will Rogers
    • This is the counterpoint to item 1 in the manifesto. Yes, it has been my experience that humans do "self-correct" over time -- but it's also been my experience that it is important for me to be a conscious part of that self-correction, because I have discovered that saying: "See?! I told you so!" while being hauled off in leg-irons is not nearly as enjoyable as dusting off my hands after doing what I can and saying: "Ok, then, that worked out well."
  • "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." ~ Abraham Lincoln
    • Basically, just another interpretation of the Golden Rule. I think it's stupid for me not to apply the standards that I expect from others to myself. I do it sometimes, but I still think it's stupid when I do it. Goes along (kind of) with another Will Rogers quote: "Everything is funny when it's happening to someone else."
  • "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip" ~ Will Rogers
    • I have a personal precept/goal to not say anything about anyone behind their back that I wouldn't say to their face (even if I don't like them). It's a hard row to hoe, sometimes, but I've found that it's helpful in keeping me awake and aware about how I run my mouth (or my typing skills). Let me make it clear that I (often) do not meet this goal to my own satisfaction, but I still hold and aspire to it.
    • This also touches on being willing to be "held to account" for what I think, speak/write, and do. Sometimes sucks in the short-term, but it's usually very helpful to my sense of fulfillment and integrity in the long-term.
    • Note that Rogers says "you would not be ashamed" -- there's crap in my life that I know "some people" won't "approve" of -- however, if I'm not ashamed of it, this simply leads me to the next item of the manifesto:
  • "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference." ~ Abraham Lincoln
    • The bite-me-in-the-ass difficulty of this section of the manifesto is that I absolutely know that sometimes, I really have not done the VERY best I know how, or the very best that I could. I know that sometimes I slack off and fall asleep at the wheel, or let my wit-demons take control of me and use my intelligence as a weapon rather than a tool, or let someone else step out to "take the heat", while I breathe a sigh of relief that it isn't me in the inferno. Still, I aspire to this nonchalance and sensibility about criticism. I know that the only real chink that can exist in my In Vulnerability is when I am uncertain whether I've actually adhered to my own standards and principles.
  • And finally -- a bon-mot from Will Rogers, to his niece, upon viewing the Venus De Milo: "See what will happen if you don't stop biting your fingernails?"

Posted byPortlyDyke at 9:02 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

The Parental Summit Report

Well, in the spirit of considering parents and their children everywhere, I want to start with an announcement that my blog-rating has changed since I last checked. This Blog is Now Rated:



This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

* dyke (20x) * pissed (7x)
* fucking (16x) * death (5x)
* shit (13x) * dead (4x)
* suicide (11x) * hell (2x)
* fuck (9x) * mother-fucker (1x)
* kill (8x)

So, don't say I didn't warn you.

Not that there will be a lot of dirty words in this post. After all, I'm talking about my Mom and Dad.

All in all, I had a very nice time with them. I will highlight some particularly "parental" moments, to give you an idea of the visit.

Saddest moment (already recounted): Mom saying "Oh, I wouldn't write my stories down. I've never done anything exciting". I did follow through with frequent nudgings and encouragement to her to tell her tales, and I think that it might have gotten through. I'm going to keep on her about it, though, until she flat out says: "No. I don't want to."

Most Surprising Moment: My parents really loved one of my friends who I wasn't sure they would get on with. In fact, my mom even commented that "she has kind of an edge, doesn't she?", but also said to her as she left after a day on the whale watching boat: "I don't always like all of my daughter's friends, but I like you."

Best moment: My dad is really great at telling awful jokes. My mom only laughs at a few jokes at all, but those which she enjoys, she does make the attempt to re-tell occasionally. The moment of the visit that is most imprinted in my memory is my 80-year-old mother, attempting the tell the joke about the condoms and the Dramamine, but cracking up so badly that she was weak with laughter, and literally could not get the punch-line out. (The punch-line is "Son, if it makes you so sick, maybe you should consider giving it up.")

My mom is a bit of a mystery to me. She is incredibly self-contained -- a classic stoic midwestern Swede -- but she pops up with stuff like this every once in a while (she told me one of the funniest penis jokes I've ever heard -- I'd recount it here, but it's a visual joke), and even though she will seemingly walk a million miles to avoid an "uncomfortable" situation, she can also be suddenly and brashly honest (a couple of glasses of wine helps).

We went to a casino and played blackjack together (my parents, retired school teachers, only discovered that they enjoyed gambling after they had been retired for a number of years). My mom is incredibly lucky, and a really sharp blackjack player. She looks like a nice old lady, and dealers seem a bit surprised when she starts playing, and winning. We didn't win any money, but we didn't lose much, either, and we had a lot of fun.

On our way home from the casino, we stopped at a cafe that touts one of the nation's best hamburgers -- Fat Smitty's, on Route 101. I hadn't been to Smitty's since before 9/11, and the place has . . . . well, undergone a bit of a transformation. Smitty is an ex-Marine, and the cafe has always sported various Semper Fi stuff, but this time, the table-cloths were plasticized red, white, and blues, "patriotic" stuff was all over, and there was a framed picture of Preznut over the cash register (which, if my parents had seen it BEFORE we ordered, probably would have nixed this restaurant for them, as they are lonely democrats in a very red state).

We took an all day excursion on a whale-watching boat and saw stellar sea-lions, a mincke whale, porpoises, the beautiful San Juan islands, and lots of fog. The Orcas were hiding out, apparently. My parents have become avid travelers since their retirement, so they enjoyed themselves but did not seem over-awed by the magnificence of where I live, except in that way that I still am, after nearly 30 years in the Northwest.

I ate more meat this last week than I usually consume in a month, beat my Mom at Scrabble three times,
learned how to play rummi-cube, and hung out, hung out, hung out.

We had some political conversation, and this part was interesting -- I was always the "radical" in the family. As we were visiting, and Bush was doing his speech on Thursday night (in the background), I made the comment that I sometimes felt a real human compassion for him from this perspective: That I don't think it's possible for a human to practice these deep levels of inauthenticity without suffering deep, soul-searing damage, and that, in that sense, I felt sad for him.

My mom said: "Are you kidding? He doesn't have a conscience. He's an idiot." It was kind of strange -- in some ways, my statement was still kind of "radical" -- this time because of my spiritual approach, rather than a political stance -- still, it was the first time that I had the sense of me being the "moderating" voice in the conversation.

I've had a rather strange life, from my parent's perspective -- I've had a million different jobs (they worked in the same field until they retired), a large number of relationships (they've been married to one person for nearly 60 years), and it's never been a big goal of mine to get rich. I live in intentional community, which is how I intend to live for the rest of my life, and this, I think, is kind of mysterious to them.


Sometimes I suspect that they come out to visit me just to make sure I'm "doing OK". Unfortunately, their perspective on what "doing OK" means has a lot to do with whether you own a certain type and amount of property, how much money you have in savings, and whether you have a "solid" job. My perspective on what "doing OK" means . . . . . no, wait -- I don't even WANT to just "do OK" -- I want to thrive and grow and flourish -- so my definition of a "good" life has to do with whether I love my work (which I do), whether I am involved in a vibrant, deliriously loving relationship (which I am), and whether I have real, thriving relationships with my friends and my community (which I also do).

I think of myself as incredibly successful, and very rich. Most people who would look at my bank balance (and thank god my parents' middle-class, midwest sensibilities are such that they would never, ever ask me what my bank balance was, because I think it would freak them out) would not think of me as "rich". However, a lot of people who look at my life tell me that they wish they had a life like mine.

My dad did (delicately) ask if I had a "401-K or anything like that" one day. I said "No". He then asked if I had kept up on my social security (self-employed for nearly 20 years). I said "Yes, of course." I could see them visibly relax. "Oh good," they said in unison. I think their concern is truly just a basic human desire to make sure their kids are going to be okay -- however, what would be "OK" for them is very different than what would be "OK" for me, in terms of a fulfilling life, so it's sometimes hard to bridge that cultural divide.

Still, it felt good to have my parents in for a close-up look at my world, and it seems to comfort them. Last year, when I went back to Kansas to visit for Dad's 80th birthday, as we were leaving, he said to my spouse: "Thank you for taking such good care of our daughter." Sweet, but the Beloved and I kind of rolled our eyes at one another as we drove away -- our relationship is based profoundly on each of us taking good care of ourselves, and supporting one another to take care of ourselves, and then sharing the wonderful riches that result from that self-care.

This year, as we were bidding the 'rents fare-thee-well, Dad said to spouse: "Thank you for loving our daughter so well."

"Ah!" I thought, "I think they may be getting it."

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:13 AM 5 comments Links to this post  

How to Enjoy Your Parents

When I think about my parents as "my parents" (some monolithic cultural construct) -- I find that I don't enjoy them very much.

However, when I just sit back and observe/listen/experience them as individual human beings, I find that I enjoy them a great deal.

I'm beginning to form (or re-form) a hypothesis about how "grouping" people may decrease my enjoyment of the individuals in the group.

Still, I find that I do this mental "grouping" constantly. Today, I sat with my parents and one of my friend's parents (who are closely related in terms of their generational material), and I found myself thinking: "I'm listening to a generation."

In truth, however, I think I'm listening to four voices of a generation, which I do not dream represents an entire socio-cultural experience.

I notice my monkey-mind attempting to categorize this experience, however.

I think that this is probably enormously short-sighted and scope-limited.

It's ironic to me that the distinct individuality of my children proved to me that each human being is unique, but with my parents and others of their "generation", I seem to want to sweep them all into some broad category that "explains them" to me.

I think that this is, possibly, a sign of true laziness on my part.

This post seems disjointed and obtuse to me, in some ways, but I'm about to hit "publish post" -- think of it as a simple revelation: These are the thoughts I am thinking tonight, after a day in which I have been breaking down and observing the individualities of the unit I have called "My Parents". I have no conclusions -- no universally-encompassing insights -- just more questions.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:28 PM 3 comments Links to this post  

Family Stories

When my mom and dad arrived yesterday, the first thing my dad wanted to do was grub around in his suitcase.

"I've got something for you," he said.

He couldn't find it right away, but finally my mom poked around and found a manila envelope. Inside was a bright red peachie-type folder, with my dad's memoirs from WWII. He had, at the urging of my uncle, finally written them down.

Later, at the dinner table, I said to my mom: "Now it's your turn."

She answered: "Oh, I haven't ever done anything exciting."

This from the woman who survived the dust bowl on a small farm in Kansas, who was the first woman in her family to attend college, who defended the school library from censorship in 1968.

I realize, though, that what she really meant was probably: "I've never been to a war."

There were all sorts of levels of sadness in her statement. I'm wondering how much it has to do with being a woman in a man's world, in the devaluing of herself simply as herself, or even the dismissal of midwestern rural life as unimportant and "less than".

I'm going to be working on her during the visit and letting her know that I want her stories.

As I said before, I'm working on having a "real" relationship with my parents, which I believe means that I must come to know them better -- as they are now, and as they perceive themselves to have been (not just as I have perceived them to have been).

Funny -- the longer I go on living, the more interested I seem to get in the details of nearly every person that I know. Life is so fascinating, and humans are so diverse.

Here's to all the lost stories.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:51 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

Parents, Incoming at 1 O'clock

Hi all --

I thought I'd take a moment to explain my rather funky, funky, funky absence from blogging.

I and all those I hold dear are fine. It's not a crisis thing -- it's a well-planned visit from the originators of my FOO (that's: Family of Origin, for those not in the know).

My parents arrive tomorrow at around 1 pm for a four day visit.

I'm actually pretty excited about the visit. They are both upwards of 80, and very spry, but I'm aware that every visit we spend together may be our last, or that, next time I see them, they may be in a very different state physically (although they show no signs of slowing down -- they have literally run my ass off when we have vacationed together).

My last visit with them was over a year ago, when I went to visit them at their house in the deep midwest. They are excited to come out to the great Northwest, and we've got a whale-watching excursion chartered for Wednesday, picnics on the beach, and fantabulous Scrabble games planned (my mom can KICK YOUR ASS at Scrabble -- guaranteed).

I suspect that I'll actually be posting during the visit more than I have during the preparation for the visit (OK, now you know why all that basement cleaning was going on). Today, I washed the fucking windows in the kitchen and scrubbed the crap off the bathroom ceiling (not literal crap, just that extraneous crap that seems to accumulate, no matter how much you run the fan).

It's not like I need to impress my parents, but they were a great excuse, to tell you the truth. Equinox and Rosh Hashanah are coming right up, so the timing's perfect -- as we head into another season, I'm going to be doing so with a whole lot more light in the kitchen, and without fear of the greebly mold-demons falling on my head while I'm showering. Thanks, mom, you're an inspiration.

I have some nervousness about the visit, but mostly, I'm just suffused with excitement. In the past 7 years or so, I've been working toward having a more authentic relationship with M & D. That's always a bit nerve-wracking in the preparatory phases, but rarely that difficult once the interactions begin.

So, look for me through the week. I'll either be posting some lame-ass redirect to youtube, or writing something deep and meaningful about my visit with the folks.

You probably won't see me commenting on other sites much. I'm sure I'll have a shit-load of blog-reading to catch up on during the coming days. I'm choosing to concentrate on enjoying and exploring my parents, and occasionally posting here.

Wish me luck!

PD

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:56 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

I Spent the Day Organizing My Basement

"After the ecstasy . . . . the laundry" ~ Chris Kammler

I will paraphrase: "After the garage sale, the re-organization of the garage."

My parents are coming for a visit next week, and I'm using their imminent arrival as the perfect excuse to attend to a lot of things I've been wanting to attend to anyway.

So, I'm giving you a cheap and easy blog entry (because I'm currently working on an entry about my personal addiction to Shit-Storms).

In the meanwhile -- watch this:



Oh, and BTW -- I've liberated you all from captcha - at least until it becomes a problem -- comments ahoy!

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:17 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

Is This Thing On?

OK, sorry for the abrupt and unannounced hiatus. Here's my excuse for the lost weekend at Portly Dyke's place: It was Labor Day.

As if.

I'm self-employed, and have been since 1988. It's not like I take "days off" or anything (except that I do -- those are usually the days that I consume blog content as if it is a constant stream of Entenmann's chocolate-covered donuts, and comment as if I am the goddess of all True Truth -- usually, that's Wednesday and Thursday).

Last weekend, though, I had an accidental holiday.

I prepared for a garage sale on Friday, had the garage sale on Saturday, recovered from the garage sale on Sunday, and by Monday, I just had a huge case of the Fuck-Its.

I considered putting this up on the blog for the weekend:

But I thought it might not really be comprehensible to anyone under the age of 40, so I opted for radio silence instead.

I'll post a short bit here about "The Humiliation Factor of Garage Sales", and pick up with my usual pithy commentary Wednesday morning (on my "day off" -- which means that I've only REALLY had one day "on" since Friday -- how cool is that?).

The Garage Sale (aka "tag sale", "jumble sale", "yard sale", depending on where you live and/or how high-falutin' you are) is a VERY FUCKING WEIRD phenomenon, in my opinion.

I sort through a bunch of stuff that I don't want any more, and I put it outside, on my driveway -- maybe tag it or price it, maybe not -- hoping that you'll want it, and you walk up my driveway and take a look at the stuff that you may or may not want, just for entertainment, or because you are actually looking for something, or because you're bored and have nothing else to do, and we interact in the confluence of my desire to just have this stuff go away while I might make a small amount of money, and your desire (which I really have no idea about).

At some point, I, the seller, must assume that I actually wanted the stuff that I now do not want -- enough to buy it, in a retail store or at a garage sale, or, in the least incriminating circumstance, perhaps I received it as a gift.

You, the buyer, are strolling through my sale, judging not only whether or not you want any of my (many) particular items, but perhaps, while assessing the overall quality of the sale itself.

I kid you not -- these are some of the comments that I heard during my sale: "Well, the prices are certainly 'right'", "Very well organized", "Well, you've got a good crowd!" and "Did you advertise?"

So now, there are several complex levels of interaction going on. The judging of the stuff in terms of personal proclivities. The judging of the presentation of the stuff. The judging of the general appeal of the stuff. The judging of the size and quality of the population viewing the stuff.

The humiliation factor comes in when someone breezes through your sale, sniffs at all your stuff (Hey! I wanted that stuff! . . . . at some point), and breezes out again -- not just with indifference -- but with a look of disdain for you, your stuff, AND your sale.

Ouch. That hurts. My stuff that I don't want any more has been judged -- and I'm supposed to somehow feel inadequate about that.

OK. See!?!?!?!

That is fucking twisted.

I think I need some therapy.

(Just kidding. This was a whisper in a maelstrom, but I did notice it, subtle though it was. In reality, this was not what I needed to recover from. It was more like standing on hot concrete for 8+ hours, and making $137.57 on items that were mostly priced under $1 -- that's a lot of stuff! Well, that's why I had the sale on Labor Day weekend -- you can't say we didn't have a huge crowd of people perusing the stuff we didn't want.)

What was left is going to the local "free store".

Anybody need another Stylewriter printer?

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:47 PM 7 comments Links to this post