Underneath my yellow skin

Category Archives: Topical Politics

The Hottest of All Takes that are Hot

i have your hot take right here.
The hottest.

There were a few special elections in red districts last night that had the Dems excited, but ended in narrow losses. There was a lot of hype about the elections and the possibility of turning the districts blue. When that didn’t happen, there were the expected hot takes as to what the problem was. Many were along the lines of we need new blood in the party, and the even more predictable worry about the appeal of the Democratic Party to rural white people. This has been the theme of 2016: How the Democratic Party has abandoned rural (read, white) Americans. It’s playing out in Minnesota with the new light rail line being vilified by congresspeople from rural areas, painting it as a benefit to the Twin Cities at the expense of rural people. More than half of our taxes come from just 4 of our 87 counties, and they’re all ‘city’ counties. When the rural counties fall short on what they can pay, guess who picks up the tab? Yet, even in this article which is definitely pro-city, there’s the obligatory ‘both sides do it’ paragraph tossed in at the end.

I’ve written about my weariness with this hot take before, that city people need to stop looking down their noses at the poor, beleaguered country folk. I’m not denying that city people have and will sneer at rural people. People look down on other people; it’s the way of life, sadly. What bothers me is that for the hundreds of hot takes I’ve read (or scanned), scolding urban liberals for overlooking or laughing at rural people, I’ve maybe read four or five stories pointing out that big cities pay way more than they take in and that we’re equally looked down at (if not more so) by county people than the other way around.

We’ve become the punching bag when conservatives (and some rural Dems) want to push for their agendas. Limousine liberals stuck in our salons sipping kale smoothies watching Trevor Noah while talking about how much we hate people who live in the country. Real Americans. The heart of America. The Bible Belt. The salt of the earth kind of people. It’s a lie, and yet, it’s one that has stuck. For whatever reason, it’s fine to laugh at city people and call us special snowflakes while taking our money, but we’re supposed to reach out and ignore their disdain and try to bridge the gap.

I was traveling with my best friend and another friend through the heart of America (this is many years back now), and we stopped at a gas station in Iowa (or Wisconsin. Can’t remember. Very rural, though). All three of us were wearing tank tops, and two of us have tats. One black woman, one white woman, and me. The woman at the counter was rude to all of us, staring daggers at us as we picked out our pops. When I went up to pay, I held out the money, and she took it by the corner so she wouldn’t have any chance of touching me. Then, when she was giving me my change, she dropped it on the counter right in front of my outstretched hand.

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How We as a Society Respond to a Crisis

pew pew
Maybe put these at half mast for a bit.

I woke up to the horrific news that a man who volunteered for Bernie Sanders shot at Republicans while they were practicing for the annual congressional baseball thing. Two congressmen were wounded along with a lobbyist and a legislative something or the other, and the gunman was shot and killed by the police. Two police officers were also wounded. Looking at my Twitter TL which is mostly filled with ardent Dems, I saw two trends happening, neither of which were good. One, screaming at Republicans who were, naturally, casting the blame on Democrats, saying in effect, “You started it!” Two, Clintonites shitting on Bernie and his supporters. Again. Still.

I have many things to say, and my thoughts are not the most coherent right now, so I’m  just going to muddle my way through it. Let’s start with number one. I’ve seen way too many, “No way are the Dems to blame in any way for this bullshit. It’s all Republicans and their strong allegiance to the NRA.” I’ll acknowledge the obvious–yes, the Republicans are mostly to blame for the lack of gun control in this country, with a healthy assist from the Dems (this seems to be the one truly bipartisan issue), but to deflect all blame is bullshit and hypocritical. It’s the same thing some Dems did after the Kathy Griffin stunt. Many denounced her actions, but many said it was fine because Republicans weren’t outraged by all the ‘kill Obama’ memes that were being circulated while he was president. I feel trite for saying this, but two wrongs do not make a right, and ‘the other side is doing it’ is a cop-out.

I will also say that Republicans are not as quick to distance themselves from their nutters as Democrats are. Sanders issued a full statement this morning saying he was sickened that the shooter had volunteered for his campaign and that there was no room for violence. I can’t recall a single Republican making a similar statement after a right-winger went on a shooting spree. In fact, they’re quick to say, “Let’s not politicize this” when it’s a right-wing shooter, but how quickly they’ve jumped on the ‘Democrats are to blame’ train in this case. So, yes, I get the impulse to push back hard and deny the accusations.

However. If we on the left want Republicans to take accountability for the rhetoric that flows from their side when a right-wing dude* goes on a shooting spree, we had damn well better take a hard look at ourselves when the situation is reversed. I’ve seen an increase in violent rhetoric from the left, or at the very least, callous disregard when it’s expressed if it’s aimed at this president or this congress, and it makes me uncomfortable. I’m not trying to be all morally superior here, but we’re supposed to be better than that. I’ve written about this before, but if we are disgusted by Republicans who laugh at pictures of Obama effigies being lynched, then we have to be equally disgusted with Kathy Griffin’s beheading shtick as well. And, as I’ve said, many on the left were quick to denounce it, but several felt compelled to defend her by saying the Republicans had done worse in the past.

This isn’t even about going high when they go low: I just don’t feel good about myself when I give in to my impulses to stoop to that level. I don’t like hypocrisy, especially when I find it in myself. I am not saying we shouldn’t stand up to this administration or this congress, but I am saying we should be mindful of our words. They do have an impact, and our collective increasing tendency to be as intolerant as our Republican counterpart is not a good look on us.

As to the  second trend, it just makes me so fucking tired. “Bernie and his supporters have to take responsibility for this.” Oh, really? Like Muslims when a Muslim person commits terrorism? I’m not equating the two in terms of discrimination, obviously, but the mentality is the same. This guy was a Sanders supporter, so therefore, all Sanders supporters are tainted with the same brush. It’s OK, though, because Sanders supporters are all cis white males, so it’s OK to slag on them in such a manner.

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An Open Letter to Ivanka, Woman to Woman

Ed. Note: I know I said I was done with politics, but, apparently, politics aren’t done with me. I still keep abreast of current events, and I can’t help but react when shitty things happen, such as the president pulling out of the Paris Accord. One thing that has been poking in my craw for some time is how Ivanka is treated with such kid gloves. Leave Ivanka alooooooone, cry many of the (mostly male) journalists. One in particular, Chris Cillizza, seems to have appointed himself as her white knight, pun intended, excusing her for not speaking up against her father in public. It’s been both baffling and fascinating to me how differently Ivanka has been treated by the press as opposed to, say, Chelsea Clinton. In fact, the aforementioned Chris Cillizza neatly displayed this hypocrisy with these two tweets: 

It’s OK to pile on Chelsea who isn’t a politician and hasn’t evinced any interest in being a politician, but LAY OFF IVANKA (who, need I remind you, is actually a part of her father’s administration). There are many theories why this is the case, and I think it’s because Ivanka is pretty in a conventional way and has carefully cultivated herself to be nonthreatening. When she speaks, she smiles softly and speaks in this breathy voice, which the psychologist in me says is how she’s learned to deal with her father.

At any rate, this note is threatening to become a post in and of itself, so let’s move on. 

Dear Ivanka:

Hey, girl. Can we talk? Is it OK if I call you Ivanka? I feel as if I know you, and it’s because you’re in my goddamn news feeds almost every day. I know you’re a busy woman, what with doing your business deals while simultaneously…what exactly is your job in the administration? I’ve never been sure, and you’re pretty coy about it–as is everyone else around you. Anyway! You have been called your father’s whisperer, which is the defense given to why you don’t stand up to him in public. Cillizza, who I mentioned in my note, was eager to defend your honor, saying what daughter would be expected to stand up to her father in public*?

It’s not that I don’t sympathize–I do. We Americans only have to deal with this president as our president; you’ve been his daughter all your life. You probably learned early on that you had to play along to get along, and you’ve learned that lesson well. You either intuited or learned the hard way that if you contradicted your father, there would be hell to pay. So, instead, you molded yourself after him, but in a softer, more traditionally feminine version that you knew would appeal to him. You made yourself the ideal woman to gain his approval, and as I said, I am not without sympathy. It’s not easy growing up under the tyrannical thumb of a narcissistic, arrogant, explosive tyrant, and you’ve done the best you can to adapt to the circumstance. If you were just a private citizen, I would completely sympathize, but because you are part of American politics, for worse or for worst, I have to observe how your dysfunctions are affecting the country.

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General Announcement: Breaking Up With Politics

no more politics.
The end.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was thinking about rejiggering the format of my blog. Now, I’m formally announcing that Topical Politics will no longer be a category*, meaning I’ll have to come up with something else to write on Thursdays. I haven’t gotten that far in the planning yet. The reason I don’t want to write about politics any longer is complex and layered. I’ll try to dissect it so you can understand why I’m putting the pen down during these turbulent political times. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but I made the decision after Ian told me he loved my POOG posts (which you really should read because they’re pretty damn funny, if I do say so myself, and I do) because I got to write like me. I never thought about it that way, but it’s true. I love writing the POOG posts because I can just let ‘er rip and not care too much about how I’m coming across. It’s satire, so I can say whatever the fuck I want! It’s exhilarating and freeing, and my true voice shines through.

I used to be able to write about politics in that way, but somehow, I no longer feel able to do so. Let me recount the reasons why. One, I’m having a hard time laughing at the current administration because they scare the fuck out of me. Not just because they have no compassion and don’ t give a damn about anything other than themselves and their wealthy compatriots, but because they are so fucking inept and could bring about World War III. Fortunately (if sadly), many of our allies are more into mocking the president rather than trying to take him down, but that could change on a dime.

By the way, I’m so not into macho alpha/beta shit, but the video of my political bae, President Emmanuel Macron, owning our president with that handshake is a thing of beauty. He said it was to show our president that he wasn’t going to concede on the little things, and it’s one way of dealing with a bully. I would not kick President Macron out of bed for eating crackers, I’ll tell you what. You can have your Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; he reminds me of a grown-up frat boy, tbh. That’s neither here nor there, so moving along.

It’s almost seven months since the election, and I’m still not over the fact that so many of my fellow Americans wanted this man as president. I know there are more of us than there are of them, but it doesn’t really matter right now. All of our collective id is on display, and it’s not a pretty sight. It’s not that he’s a (nominal) Republican; it’s more than that. If we had ended up with a President McCain or President Romney, I would have been pissed, but not as scared as I am now. I would have understood why someone voted for them (though, obviously, not agree). I do not understand voting for a failed business man who has no experience in politics, and that’s the least of his problems.

I also don’t like how in focusing on this president and everything he’s doing wrong, we’re not paying enough attention to Congress. That’s where the real deals get down, and the Republicans are doing some nasty shit.

The biggest reason, however, is that I hate the endless infighting between progressives and pragmatists within the Democratic Party. It’s like being a kid whose parents are going through a horrible divorce, and you just want  to disappear. I don’t like how each side is hunkering down and  and demonizing the other side, and it’s making me sad, tired, and weary. I don’t find much humor in the situation, if any, and I find myself writing about it in a very tepid way because I have friends on both sides of the divide.

I’m not giving up on politics completely, but I just don’t want to feel as if I have to write about it every week. I don’t know what’s replacing it yet, either, but I have a week to figure it out.

 

*The irony being that I’m using it as the category tag for this post.

Try a Little Tenderness

One of the downsides to being sick is that I get depressed at the same time. It’s understandable, but it’s difficult to handle for someone (me) who has dealt with depression all her life. When I say depression, I don’t mean the blues or feeling a little down. I mean, “There’s no point. It’s all hopeless. I might as well be dead” feelings. The worst part for me is that it makes me not want to write, which is akin to death for me. My brain tells me, “Your writing is shit. No one cares what you have to say.” I read what I’ve written, and it’s horrid.* I’m hard on my writing in general, but I know I’m being extra-hard on myself.

I woke up this morning and thought, “I hate all my writing. I should just stop.” I actually considered quitting for several minutes, and then I stumbled across an article about Mr. Rogers on Facebook (h/t Krista Elliott) that made me feel better. The author, Anthony Breznican, recounts a terrible time in his life when he felt hopeless about his writing and life in general. He’s from Mr. Rogers’ hometown of Pittsburgh, and he (Breznican) caught an episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood on the television in the common room at his college. He watched the whole thing and felt better. Later. he ran into Mr. Rogers and poured his heart out to Mr. Rogers about how hard a time he was having and how watching one of Mr. Rogers’ episodes helped him. Mr. Rogers actually sat down with him and related his own story of grief (losing a grandfather for both of them), and said that it never went away, but the love was always there.

The story really resonated with me because of the writing aspect, and it was exactly what I needed to read at the moment. Writing is a lonely business especially for an intense introvert like me, and it’s hard to see the end of the tunnel when there’s no light along the way. It also reminded me that there is kindness in the world, which is hard to see when things are dark all around.

Breznican wrote this article in response to the Manchester bombings because the quote by Mr. Rogers about always look for the helpers was making the rounds, and he (Breznican) wanted people to know that Mr. Rogers was the kind and gentle soul he appeared to be.

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Top 10 Things I Need When We Talk About This President

don't do it.
Just say no!

I’m tired. I’m sick. I’m sick and tired, which means I’m fucking cranky. As such, my normal filters are gone, so I decided this is the perfect time to go on a rant about how people talk about this president–mostly the media, but also people on social media. Look, I know we’re in dark days with this president, but some of the things you’re doing isn’t helping. At all. Let me put them in list form because people love listicles.

  1. Stop being incredulous about the shit he does. “Can you believe this president _____?!?” Unless the blank is, “Worked at a homeless shelter without cameras around for a day” or some such, yes, I can believe it. We’re only four months in, but he has shown who he is. It irritated me when before he even started, people were like, “Oh, he just said what he said to get elected. He won’t do what he said during the campaign.” Yes, he will! Or something even worse! There is no depth to this man, so what you see is what you get. He’s shown himself to be an ignorant, incurious, idiotic, narcissistic, reckless, and plain old mean-spirited jackass who doesn’t know his asshole from a hole on the ground. He has no filters and no impulse control. Whatever he thinks as it were, he does. Sell out Israel by telling their intel to Russia? Of course. Telling Middle East countries that radical Islam is bad? Why the hell not? There is no more to this president than what he’s shown. Expect the worst.
  2. Don’t focus on the extraneous shit. This one is hard because all he does is shit. Big, huge piles of it all over the White House. It’s hard to know what’s important and what’s not. But, there are a few easy ones. His appearance. There’s no need to be snarky about it. This includes his weight. It amazes me that liberals who jump on anyone for fat shaming turn around and do the same thing to a conservative. That tells me your social justice politics is more politics than social justice, and I am not here for it. I would say most of his tweets are extraneous, albeit infuriating.
  3. In a similar vein, leave Melania the fuck alone. I’ve been extremely displeased with liberals calling her a mail-order bride or making fun of her English. When she does something egregious such as plagiarize Michelle Obama’s speech or defends her husband’s outrageous birther bullshit (before the campaign, even), then have at her, but don’t make it personal. Maybe it’s because I’m the child of immigrants myself, obvious immigrants, but I hate when anyone disses immigrants. It’s understandable given the double standard, same as when Ted Cruz was running for president, but it felt slimy to me. Additionally, I don’t give a fuck that Melania had nude photos taken of her, and I side-eyed liberals who denigrated her while scolding others for demeaning sex workers. Don’t do that shit.
  4. Stop getting mad when people talk about him having mental health issues. I know it’s frustrating beyond belief that the only time we talk about mental health in this country is when someone it’s associated with violence/bad things perpetrated by the person with the mental health issues, but I don’t think the answer to it is to ignore that there are people with mental health issues who do bad things. I once was told in my writing MA program to change the race of my female serial killer protagonist from Asian to white because otherwise that’s all people would focus on. I didn’t because I don’t believe in hiding the dark side–I’m Jungian in that way. We have to face our shadow sides. I’m also for the truth, and no matter how you try to obfuscate or equivocate, this president is not mentally well.

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An Open Letter to My Fellow Democrats:

Dear Fellow Dems:

donkey buds just chilling.
I wish Dems could get along like these donkeys!

Hiya. How’re you doing? It’s been a long time since we’ve had a little chat. How’re you recovering from the election shock? I hope you are practicing self-care. That said, we have to have a talk. Grab your favorite (non-alcoholic) beverage, sit back, and listen to Auntie Minna preach some wisdom. Or rant. One or the other. You can decide which it is after you’ve finished reading this letter.

Listen. I know it’s been rough. I know we’re all grieving, especially given the antics of our current *sigh* president. It’s hard to believe that a man-sized toddler is in charge of our country, but it’s our reality, unfortunately. Our job is to figure out what we did wrong during the last election and to change our MO in order to win the next election, if there is one. That’s what we should be doing, but, instead, many Dems on social media are rehashing the primaries as if it were fucking Groundhog Day. The movie, not the actual day.

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This Presidential Administration is a Clown Car and a Shit Show

I was in the Syracuse airport yesterday on my way home from visiting Ian upstate NY, trying to ignore everything around me, but I couldn’t block out fucking CNN. Why does every airport have CNN blaring from their TVs? I deliberately ban CNN from polluting my life, but I don’t get that choice when I’m flying. Anyway, there was someone in a suit on the TV, spouting gibberish and sounding idiotic. I listened for a minute, wondering who this clown was. Then, I realized, partly by glancing at Twitter, that it was Sean Spicer, the president’s press secretary. I had never heard him speak before, and I was gobsmacked that this cretin was the press secretary. He could barely put a sentence together, and it sounded as if he had a hard time relaying a thought from his brain to his mouth. I tweeted:

Spicer gabbled on for several minutes, but I tuned out. Too bad, because I missed his stupidest comment of the presser, and that’s saying something. He was talking about the meaningless attack on Syria–by the way, can we talk about that for a second? This president unilaterally decides to bomb Syria, mostly as a stunt, and partly because of his daughter’s tears, and he’s fapped by the press for being presidential for the first time. It makes me sick that our media has learned nothing from W.’s fictitious war and how they reported on it. Also, this same president waxing poetic about the suffering of Syrian children won’t let them into this country. In additoin, there are children in Flint, Michigan dying of lead poisoning, but no one seems to give a shit about that.

I digress.

In talking about the bombing and why Assad is the worst dicator ever, Spicer said this:

You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.

When I heard he said that, I couldn’t believe it. I know he’s an ignorant and stupid man, befitting the president for whom he works, but did he really say that? I was certain I was being trolled, but I wasn’t. Yes, the president’s press secretary didn’t know or forgot that Hitler gassed 6 million Jews. To make matters worse, when asked to clarify his remarks, he was forced to admit Hitler did use chemical weaponry, but insisted there was a difference, saying;

I think when it comes to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way Assad is doing.

I literally recoiled inside when I read this. The naked anti-Semitism in this statement is astonishing. Also, ignorant. Also, blind nationalism is never a good thing. First of all, it’s OK to use chemical weapons on people if they’re not your own people? What the fuck is wrong with you? Second, Jews CAN be German. The fact that Spicer doesn’t know this or won’t acknowledge it is fucking scary.

He also said something about ‘Holocaust centers’, which apparently is the day spa version of concentration camps. In other words, it was a whole ball of WHAT THE FUCK sprinkled with a generous portion of NOPE.

He’s apologized for it twice, saying he shouldn’t have made the comparison, but it’s too little, too late. The fact that this is his mentality proves what we’ve long since known–that he shouldn’t be WH Press Secretary.

The problem is, though, he’s perfect for this president. A no-nothing, egotistical, bullying, patronizing, ignorant man who is going to lead us into WW III one way or the other. My brother picked me up from the airport last night and asked me plaintively why this president hasn’t been impeached. I still maintain hope that he will be gone in two years (ideally one, but I’m being, ahem, conservative at the moment), but how much damage will he do in the meantime? Sean Spicer isn’t a bug–he’s a feature. I just read that Betsy DeVos rescinded the protections President Obama put in place to help people crippled with student loans not get fleeced by student loan services. She also recently compared charter schools to Uber or Lyft, pushing the tired old meme that private companies get the best results. I bet she thinks public transit is a waste, too, even though I bet she’s never been on a bus. Speaking of public transportation, Amtrak just got screwed by this administration as well.

Let’s not even talk about AG Sessions or the way the Republicans stole the SCOTUS seat. That’s the problem with this administration–there is something horrible to talk about every day. Several times a day.

I never want to hear that America is a meritocracy again. I knew it wasn’t true before this administration came into being, but it’s highlighted in stark relief by the horribleness of this current president. I wrote earlier about the United Airlines incident in which a doctor of Chinese descent was dragged, screaming from a flight because United needed to seat some of their own crew members on the flight and had no volunteers to be bumped. What happened next was even more disgusting. The local media were Dr. Dao lived dug into his past and did a hit piece on him, detailing his troubled history. This is a defense usually reserved for black and brown people, but I guess it’ll do for the yellow man this time as well. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the cops beating on the victim in the current moment doesn’t have access to his full history, so it don’t mean shit. In addition, we rarely get the same treatment for white victims. Indeed, white perps often have their histories soft-pedaled by the media, especially if they’re athletes of any kind. I’m thinking of Brock Turner who raped an unconscious woman and got only a slap on the wrist. He was a swimmer at Stanford, and that was mentioned in nearly every article about him. The picture accompanying the story was usually one of him looking all clean and collegiate. There were sob stories about his family being torn apart by this incident, and it was disgusting. When the judge sentenced him to a walk in the park, the judge said he did so in part because of how jail would be hard on Turner.

Excuse me???? Isn’t that the goddamn fucking point? Jail is supposed to be hard, goddamn it. But not for a delicate flower like Brock Turner, apparently. Who looks as white as white can be and is from the good old heartland of Nebraska.

Do I sound bitter? Of course I am. This man raped an unconscious woman, sent pictures of her tits to his friends, showed no remorse at all, and yet, jail would be too hard for him. He was treated as if he was the victim, and you can bet your sweet ass the judge wouldn’t have been so understanding if the perp had been black.

Same with the United Airlines situation. I have a hard time imagining that the airport cops would have dragged out a white man in the same manner, but that’s not really the point. It’s the media and how quick they were to dredge up Dr. Dao’s history. There’s some question as to whether it’s even the right Dr. Dao, but that’s not the point, either. Minorities know that we’re here on sufferance. Yes, Asians are the ‘model minority’* but only as long as we continue to excel and don’t make waves. The incident with Dr. Dao shows how quickly that honorary status can be taken away. We PoC know that we have to be twice as good as white folks to be considered not trash.

I bring this up because I cannot imagine how this president and his administration would have been received if this president were black. Wait, yes, I can. All I have to do is think back to the last president and remember how he was treated as if he were a criminal, even though he wasn’t. I wrote a post asking you to imagine how PBO would have been treated if he’d acted the way this president is, and you can bet it wouldn’t have been the same. I will say that this president is the benefit of lowered expectations, even during his campaign, because everyone knows he’s not fit to be president. This should be a reason to be more exacting with him, but that’s not the way America works. Qualified black man handles presidency competently, and he’s run through the ringer by the press. Incompetent white man is an utter failure as a president, and he’s treated with kids gloves. That’s our America, love it or leave it.

Speaking of leaving it, my brother and I talked about leaving America. This would seem a good time for it, and believe me, I’ve given it serious thought. However, like it or not, this is my country–and believe you me I do not like it. I’m old, tired, frustrated, and scared, but this is my fucking country, too, damn it. Even if others don’t think so. I’m here to stay.

 

*This is wrong, by the way, but this post isn’t about that.

I’m Fat; Deal With It

wish i were this much at peace.
Love me in all my glory.

I was reading a Facebook’s friend post about her friction with her doctor over her weight, and I found myself nodding in agreement as I read. I’ve shared my own horror stories about insensitive doctors and my weight, and I’ve had several, but one really sticks out in my head. At the time, I was trying to find a anti-depression medication that worked to no avail. I’ve had good luck with SSRIs in the past, but each only worked for roughly a year. Once I ran out of new ones to try, my therapist* and I decided to try Prozac again. It was a disaster. I was deeply suicidal, so I quickly got off that. Tried Celexa, but with the same result. All I could do was think about killing myself. I’ve been suicidal before, but it’s always been a more passive kind–“I wish I were dead.” This was hyper-aggressive, and I had to physically restrain myself from slitting my wrists, ramming my car into a median, leaving the car on while sitting in the garage, etc.

This went on for a month. Needless to say, I wasn’t eating during this time. Nor was I sleeping much (even less than I normally do). Again, I wasn’t doing much more than making sure I stayed alive. After a month of this and the second SSRI to reject me, I went back to my doctor to try something different. Now, remember, I hate going to the doctor is the first place, and I often delay it just so I don’t have to weigh myself. I know it sounds stupid to someone who doesn’t have eating disorder issues, but just accept that this is a thing. Anyway, I got weighed facing away from the scales as always, then was taken into the examining room. I was totally depressed and dispirited, but I knew I had to try something. It was my last gasp, if you will.

My doctor bustled in all perky and energetic. Her specialty was weight management, which should have been a red flag to me from the start. She was a relatively new doctor, and I had left the one before, whom I adored for a long time, because she tried to cite the BMI at me. I told her she knew it was bullshit, and she admitted she did, but she had to say it because their new health insurance manager required it. I cannot abide someone lying to me, especially knowingly, so I regretfully left her to find a new doctor. Anyway, the new doc looked at my chart and burbled that I had lost 19 pounds in a month and how great it was. I stared at her dully and said it was because I was actively suicidal from the SSRI, and she said, without missing a beat, “Who cares how it happened as long as it happened!”

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Through a Looking Glass Weirdly

About a month ago, this president’s staff accused Obama of having a shadow government. Never mind that there was absolutely zero evidence of this–that’s never stopped them before. Besides the fact that many Americans including me would be crying tears of joy if this were actually true, it got me thinking about the disparity between this administration and the last.

Imagine, if you will, that in his first month as president, Barack Obama did the following. First, his wife decided she didn’t want to live in the White House, so they kept separate abodes. Now, personally, I don’t blame Melania Trump for not wanting to live with her husband or in the fishbowl that is DC when you’re the president’s wife. Think of all the bullshit Michelle went through, being called all sorts of names from all kinds of conservatives*. They made fun of her for wanting to help kids be healthier, and they criticized every aspect of her physical being. Sasha and Malia were not immune from this critical eye, either, so I can understand why Melania would not want to go through that or put Barron through it, either. That said, just imagine if Michelle had said she and the girls wouldn’t be living in the White House and how much of an outrage conservatives would have drummed up over the cost to the taxpayers of wherever Michelle chose to live. It’s costing millions to have Secret Service guard Melania and Barron in NYC, and it’s the taxpayers of NYC who have to pay for it.

Next, imagine that Obama had nominated people with no experience for open Cabinet positions. I have no problem with a president installing people who align with *sigh* his point of view, but I would hope he would choose people who actually know something about the area s/he is being chosen to lead. PBO’s choices for secretary of energy were Stephen Chu and Ernest Moritz. The former was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at UC Berkeley before becoming Department of Energy Secretary (and co-won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997) , and the latter was the Department Head for the Physics Department at MIT in the early nineties, and his PhD is in theoretical physics. The two of them are distinguished men in their fields, brilliant, dare I say, and they’re succeeded by…Rick Perry, ex-governor of Texas, who thought the job meant he could go around the world bragging about how great the oil business is in Texas.

That’s just one example of the egregious choices this president has made for his cabinet picks. It seems as if in each position, he’s chosen the worst person possible for it. The head of the EPA doesn’t believe in climate change, and the secretary of education disparages public education every chance she gets. This president chose them based on either if he liked them personally or if they were suggested to him by people who only cared about making a profit.

Next, PBO was excoriated for how much vacation time he took as president. Never mind that he took less than W. did or that the president isn’t really on vacation. Imagine if he when he did vacation, he was glad-handling with business people while simultaneously handling a highly-confidential crisis. Now, imagine that he allowed one of the businessmen to take video of the incident and post it online. The Republicans would be howling for his head, and rightly so.

While we’re at it, imagine if PBO still had private business dealings in countries with which he had to have diplomatic relationships as president while being president. This isn’t legal, and yet, this president is still allowed to do it for whatever reason. All of this president’s business dealings are shady, including his beef with Nordstrom, on Twitter, no less, for dropping his daughter’s clothing line.

Speaking of Twitter, imagine if PBO had feverishly tweeted his perceived enemies at three in the morning, picking fights with reporters, businesses, and any rando with an egg avi who dared contradict him.

I need to stop and take a moment here because this is something that has gobsmacked me ever since the campaign. This self-proclaimed billionaire who supposedly is does nothing but win cannot help but respond to every person who insults him. If you’ve ever seen his TL, it alternates between him bragging about how great he is and him yelling at everyone who isn’t firmly kissing his ass. He needs constant validation, and if he doesn’t get it, the voices in his head frantically tell him he needs to stamp out the opposition.

Because of this, he’s extremely easy to manipulate. There are two ways to do it. One, flatter him into doing what you want him to do. If he thinks you get him and idolize him, he’ll be open to suggestions–as long as you make him think it’s his idea in the first place. The second is to goad him by calling him names and questioning his manhood. In this scenario, you have to claim you want the opposite of what you actually want, and chances are, he’ll do the opposite of whatever you suggest just to spite you.

If he were not president, I would actually feel sorry for him. He looks miserable all the time, and I’m pretty sure he’s never felt true happiness. It’s part of the reason he’s so greedy and voracious–he’s trying to fill a hole inside him, and he simply can’t. One thing I’ve always been fascinated by is how his mother is never talked about by him or the media. We know plenty about his asshole father and grandfather, but not a peep about his mother. It’s not surprising, given how heavily patriarchal his family is, but still.

Speaking of family, imagine if Sasha and/or Malia were given security clearance. OK. I think I’ve gone as far down this road as I care to go. The point is, when this president accused PBO of wiretapping him, no one believed it. Even the people who made a career out of being a pain in PBO’s dick didn’t take that accusation seriously. I saw someone tweet about how it’s a testament to PBO’s integrity that it’s ludicrous to think that he broke the law in such a blatant way. Most people didn’t think there was anything there at all, and the rest said if there was any wiretapping going on, then it was because PBO was wiretapping the Russians (legally), and this president was caught in the crossfire. At any rate, no one seriously thought PBO had wiretapped this president during the campaign.

By the way, people need to stop with the think pieces saying Obama has to do something to stop this president. It’s. Not. His. Job. He did what he could while he was president, warning us not to vote for this president and putting in place as many safeguards as possible, but there’s only so much he can do. I have full confidence that he’ll get back into politics soon, and I’ve heard he’s going to focus on the gerrymandering problem, but he put in his eight years. As much as I miss the hell out of him as president, he’s earned his break and as much time off as he needs/wants/desires. He’s put in his time and service, and he doesn’t owe us anything. Again, I’m sure he’ll be active in politics soon enough, but he has no obligation to do anything, no matter how much we implore him.

I have two points to this post. One, the media needs to put the screws to this president. For whatever reason, it seems like they’re grading on a curve when it comes to him. All the shit he’s done, and there’s not the outcry there would be if it were Obama. Or, heaven forbid, (Hillary) Clinton. My god, we heard about her emails every fucking day during the campaign. Even though there was nothing there, the media couldn’t stop jerking off to CLINTON EMAILS. Now, it turns out that the FBI was investigating this president at the same time for being in collusion with the Russians, and, yet, FBI Director Comey chose to talk about Clinton and the emails, but not about this president and the Russians. It’s mind-boggling when you think about it. He chose not to say anything about this president, but had no problems blathering on and on about Clinton’s emails.

I know it’s difficult to keep up with all the lies and misdeeds of this president, but I can’t help but feel that’s part of his (or someone on his team’s) plan. Put all this shit out there, and no one will notice the truly slimy things we are doing quietly. Like Ivanka’s security clearance and the fact that she shouldn’t be in any position of power. Very few people are pointing this out, in part because it’s not as sexy as, say, being too chummy with Russians or sniffs of pay-to-play. It’s also easy to become apathetic because everything is shit, and what can one person do about it?

I’m tired of this presidency already, and it’s only been three months. I hope the next three are much less eventful.

 

 

*Not just conservatives. I’m giving a massive side-eye to Maureen Dowd right now.