“I’ll know that we’re getting someplace when I go into Central Park and see white men wheeling babies of color and getting well paid for it. There is no postfeminism—it’s like saying “post-democracy”!”—Gloria again.
“As social-justice movements have learned the hard way, having someone who looks like you and behaves like them —who looks like a friend but behaves like an adversary—is worse than having no one.”—Gloria Steinem on Sarah Palin, in this wonderful interview for New York Magazine
I have a new house now! And a new roommate, and some new silverware. Otherwise, most things are the same, except I no longer have a bed so I’m sleeping (temporarily, I hope) on a shitty Ikea mattress on the floor. It feels a little like camping, which is fun, although I think the charm will start to wear thin. After I find gainful employment, I think my first move is to buy a shitty Ikea bedframe to put this mattress on. Possibly also one of those nice featherbed mattress pads. Mmm.
POLITICO: Do you think our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and our continued presence there is inflaming Islamic extremists?
A: I think our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to further security of our nation, again, because the mission is to take the fight over there. Do not let them come over here and attempt again what they accomplished here, and that was some destruction. terrible destruction on that day. But since September 11, Americans uniting and rebuilding and committing to never letting that happen again.
WHAT. WHAT WHAT WHAT.
I am so, so terrified by even the remote possibility of this woman getting anywhere NEAR the leadership of these United States.
“Because the idea of American exceptionalism doesn’t extend to Americans being exceptional. If you excelled academically and are able to casually use 690 SAT words then you might as well have the press shoot video of you giving the finger to the Statue of Liberty while the Dixie Chicks sing the University of the Taliban fight song. The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it.”—Aaron Sorkin, speaking as Jeb Bartlet, in a column under Maureen Dowd’s byline.
Autumn at first is no more than a freshening of morning and evening, a certain sweet and winy odor in the air that blows upon the cheek as one steps out of doors in the morning, or opens the window at night to lean out a moment and look at the stars, before turning at last to sleep.
Autumn is the blooming of the goldenrod all through the oak woods and across the fields. Autumn is the cricket’s cry, the swarming of the monarch and the storms of the Lisa butterfly. It is the odor of leaf fires, the smell of crushed marigold leaves, of tansy leaves and the sharp terebinthine scent of walnut husks that look so apple green and leave so brown a stain.
Autumn is the end of vacation, the beginning of school, the gathering of grackles, the dropping of ripe plums, the swarming of yellow hornets in the pear orchards. It is the ripening of the wild rice, the meeting together of bobolink hordes, the first hint of scarlet in the sumac leaf and the dewberry cane. It is the end of one more year’s experiment. Now Nature dismantles her instruments and lays them away. - Donald Culross Peattie, from An Almanac For Moderns
Also happy fall! I love that it is 70 degrees out and I can still wear a sweater because there is a BREEZE and it is not HUMID. I can’t wait to go home (so soon!) and be in real fall (turning leaves, apples everywhere, frost on the car windshield in the morning, etc.) for a while, too.
“Then it all gets a bit fuzzy again. You have to listen to Dark Side Of The Moon two-and-a-bit times to get to the end of the movie, and it all seems to be building towards Dorothy waking up back on the farm at the exact moment David Gilmour sings “Home, home again, I like to be here when I can,” on the reprise of Breathe. (This might be more convincing if it wasn’t the third time you’d heard the song while watching the film.) After going through the whole process three times, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions. The Wizard Of Oz is a wigged-out movie, especially on mute. And Pink Floyd make profound, widdly, consciousness-expanding music that strikes a particular chord with people who have too much time on their hands. And, possibly, like heroin.”—Tom Shields, trying out Dark Side of the Rainbow for the Sunday Herald
Oof, this got a little beaten up in editing (a sign, perhaps, that I should strive for shorter sentences myself rather than having them enforced upon me.) The album is lovely, though, and you should pick it up despite the fact the second paragraph doesn’t make much sense.
I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it’s their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.
I don’t like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.
But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story — connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.
I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.
Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God’s plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin’s view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, “It was a task from God.”
Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist’s baby or not.
She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.
Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States . She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.
Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.
Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God’s name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.
I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S. , but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.
If the Polar Bears don’t move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, “Drill Drill Drill.” I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.
Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?
“My primary issue with vegetarians is, of course, their inability to cook a vegetable (to paraphrase Anthony Bourdain). If you go to a restaurant like Gobo (food 4 tha 5 senses), or Zen Palate, and God help you if you do, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Everything is two-dimensional, awkward, a highschooler’s attempt at writing a novel. Everything is some kind of facacta walnut-cilantro pesto without the carnivorous chef’s understanding of the relationship between greens (basil) and fat (parmesan).”—Nico Muhly
So I have this fancy faux-Blackberry for work these days (since I’m on call literally 24 hours a day for the 16 days of the festival), and its predictive text function keeps track of the words and phrases you use the most and then suggests them in a handy pop-up menu when you start typing a word. The list of my most commonly used words should give you a good idea of what my life is like these days.