Archive for the Why So Serious? Category

On the coming blood

Posted in Why So Serious? on November 12, 2016 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

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With blood coming out of my eyes
do I cry too much?
do I take it too personally?
don’t I look trustworthy?
am I too aggressive?
am I unprofessional?
am I not likable?

With blood coming out of my mouth
do I not SMILE?!
am I too angry?
do I Sound Shrill?
am I too motherfucking crude?
am I not Lady Like?

With blood coming from my breast
am I not strong enough?
do I have the “stamina?”
do I care too much?
or too little?
or just not in the right way?
am I not relatable?

With blood coming out of my wrists
with blood pooling in my hands
have I not used them well enough for you?
have I reached too high?
have I not carried enough children?
have I not carried enough water?
are they stained with the blood of innocents?
do you not believe?
that I bleed for them myself?
every damned day?
am I not responsible?

With blood coming from my… wherever…
from between my legs?
from betwixt my thighs?
from my dark, secret, terrifying, hysteria?
from my irrational womanhood?
bleeding from my lying, death dealing, bloody handed Cunt?
from my treacherous, uncontrollable VAGINA?
am I not WELCOMING enough?
do I wear the wrong clothes?
do I not wear enough clothes?
did it mean I askedforitwanteditlikedit? DESERVED. IT. i deserved it.
do I remind you of your mother?
or your daughter?
did I REFUSE to be a mother?
without permission?
did I REFUSE entry?
to your conservative christian Values?
to your cock
to your semen
to your TRANS…vaginal…ultra…SOUND?
to your idea of what it means to SOUND like a leader?
like a woman?
to BE a woman?
did I refuse to refuse?
refuse to be CLAIMED as property?
Broken. Property. Refuse.
a Fallen madonna who Stepped
QUITE deliberately, and with Malice Aforethought, STEPPED
off of her pedestal
OUT OF HER CAGE.
who didn’t Know Her Place?
does my power diminish you?
do you BELIEVE that it is illegitimate, illegal, ill-timed?
am I ILL CONCEIVED?
am I too old too fat too ugly too prudish too slutty too quiet too LOUD too ABRASIVE too pretty too damned much TOO Power Hungry? TOO HUNGRY.
am I just. too. god. damned. tired?
am I NOT FUCKING FUCKIBLE?

are my tears not enough?
are my words not enough?
is my love not enough?
is my work not enough?
is my blood not enough?
is my Life Not ENOUGH?

Well.
then Fuck You.
no really. Fuck You and the horse you rode in on.

I am your grandmother who loved you.
I am your mother who bled for you.
I am your lover who trusted you.
I am your daughter who deserves more from you.

and if you do not
if you Can Not
If you WILL NOT?

The answer is phrased in the form of a question.

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* For those of you who want to see the actual poem laid out in a way that WordPress won’t do and find the colors distracting.

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The Cake is a lie.

Posted in Why So Serious? on July 26, 2016 by Misanthropic Mom's Group
I started to write a simple comment on someones Facebook post, but it grew outsized enough that it would have been a little embarrassing to post it there and hijack the comments section for my own theoretical musings. The topic of discussion was progressives who say they will vote for Trump so that we can just tear it all down and start over, and how practical those plans for starting over might be. My own husband was (is) a bitterly angry Bernie supporter. So I have had the last year to think about this. Rather than, you know, TALK about it. Because that leads to arguments. *sigh*

There is something about this revolution that seems to tap a deep seated vein of furious anger in white, middle class, progressive males. I know the revolution is legion and composed of a kaleidoscope of parts. It is just that the part that is of interest to me is the part that I have to live with: a forty-six year old male whose DNA harkens from northern European, melanin deprived regions. Born and raised in the suburbs of Silicon Valley, Bachelor’s degree at 22 from UC back when you could actually come out of there without a mountain of student loan debt. Has worked fairly steady over the years, but with a work history punctuated by layoffs and shuttered start-ups. (There is this particularly irritating ethos around Silicon Valley that anyone with an idea, a computer, and a copy of Coding for Dummies can have their own startup. And yes most of them fail, but those failures are really successes because of all you have learned! None of this takes into account the lives of the employees of these companies. The ones who now have no job. And no savings as they had been being paid a low salary with a promise of stock options. But the idea of Failure as a virtue is so prevalent that every year in San Francisco they hold FailCon, where presumably one can network with other energetic failures who feel light as a feather now that they don’t have payroll to worry about.)

So funny story: my particular middle aged white male actually worked for several years laying out books for IDG Books, the people who used to publish the “For Dummies” books. I say “used to” because the publishing arm of IDG Corp was sold off to east coast based John Wiley and Sons. And that is when the layoffs started. I’m guessing a few employees were willing to move to Hoboken, where the new offices would be, but not many. Just saying “New Jersey” to a native Californian has been known to lead to fainting and/or catatonia. So that was one layoff. There were many. People who voluntarily change jobs tend to trade up. People who are laid off are likely to land in the midst of a weak economy. The weak economy that was the reason for the layoffs in the first place. People who were laid off tend to trade down. Managing to break even is often the best you can hope for.  And the long periods between jobs, trying to eke out a living on Unemployment, tend to preclude the ability to save for retirement. Once you’ve been through three or four or five layoffs, the very idea of a savings account that hasn’t been raided for living expenses is laughable. We are both working now, and making almost as much as we made when we moved into our apartment in 2010. We are both in our 40’s. We both have college degrees. And we still need to ask our parents for money periodically. This does not boost self esteem.

So what is it about the current talk of revolution that feeds a particular spark of anger in men like my husband? I think it might have something to do with feeling like they were promised a better future at the same time as being told that they could do anything if they worked hard enough. Now they feel helpless and that their world is out of their control. And they were raised to believe that they are responsible for their own destiny. This happens to the conservative males too, but it pushes them toward Libertarianism and seizing rare bird sanctuaries. I think the progressive male is more apt to turn bitterly on the idea of the American Dream itself. It seems like the idea that you have to have control, faced with the idea that the American Dream was never really attainable for most people, and getting less likely by the day; this idea warps into an “Everything is a Lie!” mindset. Because if it is all a setup, and everything is rigged, and we are being deliberately fed into the maw of giant, hungry corporations which will drain every last drop of productivity out of us before flinging us to live or die by our own devices… If all that is true then the only logical thing to do, really our only hope at all is to rise up and fight back. And it is THAT sense of taking action which allays the need for control.

Raising the red flag and idealizing Scandinavia makes them feel like they might be at the forefront of colossal global change, and not being sucked down in its undertow. But when the peaceful revolution is thwarted, those hopes are dashed, and unfortunately when hope is given and then snatched away, it is tempting to feel that nothing could be worse than the status quo. Suddenly the thought of life just going on as it has been is nearly unbearable. It is next to impossible to see that bearing the yoke of a boring job that barely pays the bills and a boss who obviously has no clue what they are doing… that yoke is hardly comparable to living shoeless in the streets of Calcutta. Suddenly it feels as if the revolution HAS to come soon because everything is so unbearable that global collapse and rebuilding just HAS to be better than this. I swear, sometimes I think that my husband would prefer to live in the world of Mad Max than have to deal with yet ANOTHER improperly formatted GIF. At one point I found myself yelling at him, “This revolution you want so much? What on earth makes you think that our side would win? THEY have all the guns. What are we supposed to do? Look smart at them? Explain rationally why a Scandinavian form of Socialism would make life so much better for everyone? Douse them in Kambucha so they’ll be temporarily disabled by the smell, and then pull your carefully ordered bookcases down on them?”

Myself, I am used to feeling that life is like floating down a river without a paddle. You can try really hard to paddle with your hands. You can get out and swim, and try towing the boat, but you are still going to have to go with the current. And most of the time you float through the bad parts, smack your head on some rocks, get scared half to death in the rapids, but then its done. It works out and you end up floating through the good parts. If you are lucky some of the REALLY good parts have rapids too. I’m gonna just float along on my raft of antidepressants and streaming video and the we will just see what happens next.

Ma Joad:

“Well, Pa, woman can change bettern a man. Man lives – well, in jerks. Baby born or somebody dies, that’s a jerk. With a woman, it’s all one flow, like a stream – little eddies, little waterfalls – but the river, it goes right on. Woman looks at it that way.”

From: The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 20th Century Fox Films, Directed by John Ford, Based on the novel by John Steinbeck