Reached Out A Hand To Touch Your Face
No Voice From Some Sublimer World
The awful shadow of some unseen PowerFloats though unseen among us; visitingThis various world with as inconstant wingAs summer winds that creep from flower to flower;Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,It visits with inconstant glanceEach human heart and countenance;Like hues and harmonies of evening,Like clouds in starlight widely spread,Like memory of music fled,Like aught that for its grace may beDear, and yet dearer for its mystery.
Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Jeffrey Tambor says Maura Pfefferman, his transgender character in "Transparent," would be envious of the attention Caitlyn Jenner's getting.
"You bet," Tambor told a TV critics' Q&A session Monday. "Maura loves a red carpet and loves a party. Definitely, that's something she would really like."
The former Bruce Jenner is documenting her fledgling public journey into womanhood in an E! reality series and has been feted at the Espy Awards, on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and elsewhere.
"We love Caitlyn," said Tambor, who's had dinner with Jenner. She's gone on record as loving "Transparent," he said.
As I understand it, they're still not quite halfway through shooting Season 2. Perhaps they could work this into the story line...
Seeing The World Through White-Colored Glasses
Ah yes, just a little of that colorblindness I hear so much about. Just remember: we're all red meat to hybrid supersaurus...
These Hearts Were Woven Of Human Joys And Cares
There are waters blown by changing winds to laughterAnd lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that danceAnd wandering loveliness. He leaves a whiteUnbroken glory, a gathered radiance,A width, a shining peace, under the night.
Learning From Jenny
Oh, but I hear tell it's just all about Caitlyn's fame and money:
Every week, I worry that I Am Cait will do something to exploit transgender women and try to make them look cartoonish, or else it will swing too far in the other direction, taking on an all-too-serious voice that somehow turns the fabulous life of Caitlyn Jenner into a grim gender studies lecture. But for the second week in a row, I was thoroughly impressed with how thoughtful and compulsively watchable this show is, without resorting to the cheap stunts that so many reality TV shows rely upon. Who would’ve thought that E! could drive a group of transgender women on a party bus through California, inspired byPriscilla Queen of the Desert, and the tone would still be educational and classy?
The episode begins with a sobering reminder of just how much women have to put up with, whether they’re transgender or not. Caitlyn’s personal assistant Ronda shows her a video, and Caitlyn flinches while hearing her voice, because it still sounds more masculine than she’d like. “I never felt feminine, but I always felt female,” says Caitlyn, quoting the transgender activist Jenny Boylan. “All I want to do is to slip into society.”
Listening to the complaint, it’s hard not to think about how often we police women’s voices as a society. If women’s voices are too low, they’re accused of “vocal fry.” If their voices are too high, they’re accused of “sexy baby voice” or “upspeak.” Transgender women have the added problem of worrying that their voices will “out” them when they speak. Caitlyn admits that she used to practice her voice while ordering room service at hotels. If the person on the other end of the line called her “ma’am,” she’d feel like she’d gotten her voice where she wanted it, but it never happened...
“Caitlyn is a person of tremendous privilege and power,” Jenny says, as if explaining the differences between them. She admits that she’s worried about Caitlyn meeting others who don’t share that privilege.
When the group suggests that activists should concentrate on getting entry-level jobs for transgender people, Caitlyn replies, “You don’t want them to get totally dependent on it,” not realizing that many transgender women need social programs to survive. When they talk about their heavy suitcases, Caitlyn brightens up. “You know what the other good thing [about being a woman] is?” she asks. “We get guys to carry our bags for us!” Before anyone can give her a lecture on institutional feminism, the group arrives at the HRC, where there are even more lessons to learn. One transgender woman gets emotional, claiming that people accept Caitlyn because of her “socio-economical stance,” and another tells Caitlyn that she should use her spotlight not just to spread acceptance, but also to correct people who are wrong about transgender issues.
These are powerful conversations to hear, both for Caitlyn and for the rest of us. Debates about transgender issues are too often fought by cisgender (or non-transgender) people in the media. (I’m thinking in particular of this New York Times piece about Jenner, which got so much wrong.) It’s so important to hear transgender women discuss these issues themselves, amongst one another.
There's No Point In Direction
Praying For Rain
Lord,when you send the rain,think about it, please,a little?Donot get carried awayby the sound of falling water,the marvelous lighton the falling water.Iam beneath that water.It falls with great forceand the lightBlindsme to the light.
You Can Count On Us
As I've noted before, one of the few actual mandates in our Constitution is the Census. The first legislation enabling it was passed on February 19, 1790 and signed by President Washington on March 1. It stated:
The enumeration shall commence on the first Monday in August next, and shall close within nine calendar months thereafter. The several assistants shall, within the said nine months, transmit to the marshals by whom they shall be respectively appointed, accurate returns of all persons, except Indians not taxed, within their respective divisions, which returns shall be made in a schedule, distinguishing the several families by the names of their master, mistress, steward, overseer, or other principal person therein, in manner following, that is to say:
The number of persons within my division, consisting of appears in a schedule hereto annexed, subscribed by me this _____ day of _____ 179_
A. B. assistant to the marshal of _______
Signing Onto Independence
This is NOT the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Journal of the Continental Congress (links added for easy reference):
The declaration of independence being engrossed and compared at the table was signed [by the members].1
Yawn. More interesting to me:
Resolved...That General Washington be instructed to employ in the service of the states, as many of the Stockbridge Indians as he shall judge proper...
Privilege Is Transparent
In the year since Jill Soloway’s series “Transparent” debuted on Amazon Prime, the conversation around trans rights and the representation of trans people in culture has radically shifted. “Transparent’s” pilot was released just last February, offering the series’ premise as a twist in the final act—the unveiling of Maura, the woman that the person called Morty has always truly been. Maura, played by Jeffrey Tambor, is a character in the process of gender transitioning in her 70s—an age fraught with other concerns, like mortality, retirement and parenting children who have grown into adults. “Transparent” unconsciously anticipated the most high-profile public gender transition in history—that of Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympian and parent to an unruly clan of reality television stars who is now emerging as a considerable star in her own right.
Now Amazon Prime’s award-winning flagship show is filming Season 2, and it’s returning this fall to a cultural landscape that knows a whole lot more about the transgender experience...
I think you will all be pleased with tonight's episode of I AM CAIT. For one, we introduce the character of Professor Boylan, who is the transgender Rhoda Morgenstern. For another, we see Caitlyn beginning to address and consider issues of privilege. We will see her meeting a number of people in the community who comes from considerably different worlds. And, most of all, you will hear the utterance of Professor Boylan's new catchphrase, "Oh my paws and whiskers." Lots of food for thought tonight on E! at 8 PM east.
Prof Boylan worked with Tambor to help him understand his role. And she's worked with Jenner as well. What an opportunity to really raise awareness of all sorts of privilege through fiction and reality!
We Can't Settle This
Why does Loomis hate Israel and the Jews?
In all seriousness, there's one component missing: the violently racist system also enables extremist Palestinian elements, fueling the vicious circle. But it starts and ends with settlements.
We Lay Down And Wept
For It Is Important That Awake People Be Awake
If you don't know the kind of person I amand I don't know the kind of person you area pattern that others made may prevail in theworldand following the wrong god home we may missour star.For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,a shrug that lets the fragile sequence breaksending with shouts the horrible errors ofchildhoodstorming out to play through the broken dike.And as elephants parade holding eachelephant's tail,but if one wanders the circus won't find thepark,I call it cruel and maybe the root of all crueltyto know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
William E. Stafford.
Teaching Vermont Politics
My friends Curtis Reed and Kesha Ram have some things to say about Bernie and what he needs to do:
For starters, Reed wants Sanders to meet with leaders of color in Vermont, "which is something that he hasn't done."
"Bernie needs to talk to his own people – his people of color that are right here in the state of Vermont – so that he has a much greater handle on the New Jim Crow and how racism has morphed since his days back 50 years ago," Reed said in an interview.
Reed, executive director of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity in Brattleboro, also wants Sanders to stop calling Vermont a white state.
"We become marginalized in the narrative about Vermont," Reed said. "He's projecting this view of Vermont simply not having any people of color. Maybe in his own way that's what he feels and what he thinks."
In the 2010 U.S. Census, 10 of the state's 14 counties declined in white population, Reed said. Meanwhile, between 2000 and 2010, 59 percent of the population growth was "the result of ethnic and racial minorities" whether born in the U.S or those who migrated here.
"Our numbers are relatively small, but they're not zero," he said.
Rep. Kesha Ram, D-Burlington, the first Asian American woman in the Vermont House, said characterizing Vermont as a white state insinuates that Vermonters don't know or care about race.
"[Reed's] letter is very brave, and it resonates a lot with me," Ram said.
It is important for Sanders to "acknowledge that there are people of color living in Vermont" and "convey that living in Vermont doesn't mean someone has a lack of understanding of social justice and racial equality," Ram said.
That's a fair point about calling VT a white state (which I just did below). It is predominantly white, which is undeniable, but like any privileged, status quo POV, to say it's white ignores our growing diversity (which know for a fact scares some local people from my own canvassing back in the day) and changing needs. It is marginalizing, and I will endeavor to refrain from doing so going forward.
Bernie has certainly had a fairly easy ride, even as a socialist from NY, because of demographics and other factors. And he's done a lot of great work on civil rights and attendant economic issues. He can still learn and evolve.
Teaching Bernie Politics
It's a fair cop:
Bernie Sanders is very bad at talking to people who are not white liberals. I thought he was a skilled enough politician to show the needed dexterity to talk to a variety of people in their own spaces that would combine his own particular focus on income inequality with other issues that mattered to his audience. It’s becoming clear that he’s really not that good of a politician.
Bernie wins statewide elections by landslides. Because this is Ver-lily-fucking-white-mont. Ain't surprising.
He's absolutely right on the issues. He's passionate and drawing great crowds. For him to truly contend, however, he'll need to develop the other shit that presidents (you know, he candidates who actually win) do. And I am hopeful that he can learn.
When In Doubt, Troll The Dipshits
Although I don't think responding to stupidity is technically trolling:
[O]ne of the most amusingly off-beat antics of the antivaccine movement was to start a We The People petition to prohibit any laws mandating the force and requirement of vaccinations of any kind:
No human being should be FORCED to be vaccinated against their will and/or personal/religious beliefs. I petition against making vaccinations of any kind mandatory. This includes forcing children to be vaccinated to attend public schools, activities, and daycare centers. This also includes adults working in the public or private sector.
Notice the emphasis on the word “FORCE” (capitalized, of course, for maximum crank effect), which is clearly designed to appeal to Americans’ dislike of being forced to do anything. Of course, it’s not exactly being “forced”; parents can still refuse to vaccinate their children, but their children will pay a price other than being made vulnerable to potentially deadly vaccine-preventable diseases. They won’t be able to attend public school. After having been used to getting easy religious and personal belief exemptions to this mandate (the latter of which basically boiled down to saying, “because I don’t want to”), it is understandable that antivaccine activists would be upset. In any case, they channeled their rage into the petition above (among other places).
How I remember it! As they got closer to the required 100,000 signatures that would trigger a mandatory response from the White House, they got more and more excited. Apparently they thought that the answer would be to their liking. Why they thought that, I have no idea, but now we know the answer. The White House got Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to respond personally to the petition, and I have to conclude that the Obama administration is basically trolling the antivaccine movement. First, the response quotes President Obama from a previous interview thusly:
I understand that there are families that in some cases are concerned about the effect of vaccinations. The science is, you know, pretty indisputable. We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not.
I beg to differ on that last point. Being a selfish goddamned asshole with a shitty understanding of science is a reason to not get your fucking shots. Ain't a good one, but it's a reason.
Claiming The Real Bad Things
This is a significant observation:
Conservative language is forever appropriating the Holocaust, but only while comparing it to why they should not have to deliver flowers to a gay wedding or as empty rhetorical backdrop for a preferred farthest-right foreign policy stance. They are forever talking about slavery—but not as historical abomination, only as metaphor for their struggles against a perceived-as-too-liberal health insurance reform plan. An assault weapons ban is, according to the NRA, a form of discrimination against favored weapons akin to "Jim Crow"—and the Jim Crow history of the southern states is far more likely to come up as metaphor for gun oppression, in conservative groups, than it ever will be in discussion of the actual effects and modern legacy of Jim Crow.
And don't forget how they also have appropriated NDN culture, as you see in the steadfast defense of Washington's racist football mascot. Hell, they've even try using disasters under their own watch as an attack ("Obama's Katrina"). Dishonest and deluded...
Paul Campos asks:
[W]as there a handy suffix for scandal neologisms prior to Watergate? And will we ever come up with another one? I suppose the persistence of the -gate formulation is another tribute to the power of baby boom demographics...
Tea Pot Dome, methinks. Deflatedome doesn't rhyme, so it never would've worked today.
He Was One of God’s Athletes
"Y bardd trwn dan bridd tramor..."
Beneath the earth, beyond the sea -- poet, heavy Do you lie: clasped the hands that can not free, Gone cold the blazing eye to see Beyond the door that binds and guards your keep. All the living now is over -- all the roaming Now is done. You, when came the fatal hour, Long known a rover, now no longer Could you run, nor lie upon the earth, but under. Tender is the moon tonight -- rising over Trawsfynydd's bog, but you lament the light That lauds the lonely moor and height; Black gravel seals and steals away your sight. How could you have ever known -- when you upon Your native bracken trod, or stood alone On treeless height or tireless hill did roam, That you would fall asleep so far from home?
Robert Williams Parry.
Patent #: US0X0000001
Our friends at the USPTO remind us:
On July 31, 1790 Samuel Hopkins was issued the first patent for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer. The patent was signed by President George Washington. Hopkins was born in Vermont, but was living in Philadelphia, Pa. when the patent was granted.
The Stand In The Women's Health Clinic Door
Huckster would use Federal troops to deny women their reproductive rights. Is this when 2nd Amendment Solutions are supposed to kick in?
Okay. I Got A Good Spot.
Heavy And Dark The Night Is Closing
Heavy hangs the raindropFrom the burdened spray;Heavy broods the damp mistOn uplands far away;Heavy looms the dull sky,Heavy rolls the sea—And heavy beats the young heartBeneath that lonely tree.
A City That Is Set On An Hill Cannot Be Hid
AP History, ISIS' greatest recruiting tool:
In September of last year, Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon who is now running for president, said “most people” who take the course would be “ready to sign up for ISIS.”
I can't disagree that people around the world don't hate us for our freedoms, but rather for our depredations that we whitewash so we can morally judge everybody else. It'd be so much easier if we hadn't stolen land from indigenous peoples whilst killing them (or is it the other way 'round?), enslaved generations of Africans, and fought proxy wars that cost millions of other humans their lives. Changing the guidelines will only hide that from us, not everybody else...
If You Can't Stand The Heat, Stay Out Of The Hair Salon
We should, naturally, judge candidates by their hair. Just ask Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders!
Now I understand why the Framers wore wigs...
BDS Scares Clinton, Et Al
The Hill: Is boycott a bad word?
What If Trump Was One Of Us?
What would you ask if you had just one question?
At least 12 voters in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire are absolutely gaga over real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Bloomberg Politics' John Heilemann sat down Wednesday night with a focus group of 12 Trump supporters in the Granite State who riffed on why they thought the billionaire was the best candidate in a crowded GOP presidential field.
“He's like one of us," Janet, a former dog breeder, explained. "He may be a millionaire (sic), which separates him from everybody else. But besides the money issue, he's still in tune with what everybody is wanting.”
Many also cited Trump's vast wealth in identifying with him.
"I knew that he was a wealthy, successful man and I remember asking my mother if I could write him a letter to ask him how he made his money so that I could do it too," Jessica, a data analyst, said.
Yes, many people still cling to the mirage that we can all be billionaire blowhards if we just act like this selfish asshole who inherited his Richie Rich Starter Kit.
Intersection: End Of An Era
We'll see if I keep this up now that summer school is over. And yes, I was driving.
I Became Bored Hunting Animals
Stimulant Report: Day Two
Things are still going well with our new friend, Adderall. I really appreciate all the comments here and on FB about other people's experiences with the medication and attention deficits (both kids' and adults').
Samuel's teacher reported today that he's done well this week, and noticed that he was asking a lot of questions, looking for reassurance. Could be a bit of that initial euphoria some people get when starting on the drug, perhaps combined with his concerns over this being the last day of summer school?
On the way home the boy was definitely hyper-talkative, but responded very well when I asked him to tone it down. He was able to immediately put on the brakes, and remain quiet and contemplative for minutes on end, which is a welcome relief.
So Sam's on a relatively even keel. We definitely could tell when the stuff was wearing off last night, and he was extremely motorific this morning until the meds kicked in. A marked difference between on and off.
We're so very grateful that we've still got a few weeks before kindergarten begins to make tweaks. But man, it's been great already and we bask in optimism as the adventure continues.
Running at the school, May 24, 2014.
This Is, In Fact, The Real Life
"I have walked through many lives, some of them my own..."
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.
Happy Birthday, NASA!
The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 established NASA to meet the following objectives:
- The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;
- The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space vehicles;
- The development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies and living organisms through space;
- The establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from, the opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes.
- The preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere.
- The making available to agencies directly concerned with national defenses of discoveries that have military value or significance, and the furnishing by such agencies, to the civilian agency established to direct and control nonmilitary aeronautical and space activities, of information as to discoveries which have value or significance to that agency;
- Cooperation by the United States with other nations and groups of nations in work done pursuant to this Act and in the peaceful application of the results, thereof; and
- The most effective utilization of the scientific and engineering resources of the United States, with close cooperation among all interested agencies of the United States in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, facilities, and equipment.
Socialist Sour Grapes
Been reading a lot of stuff like this in Seven Days, which apparently wants to be the Vermont NYTimes:
Diamondstone did admit feeling annoyance that Sanders gets credit, in Vermont and nationally, for an unwavering dedication to his beliefs — as the guy who has been saying the same thing for years, no matter how unpopular.
If that were true, Diamondstone said, Sanders' career would look an awful lot like ... Diamondstone's. He views Sanders as just another sellout who moderated his image and compromised his beliefs to win elections.
"He's a different political person than he was in the good old days," Diamondstone said. "It's changed, big time. It's two different people."
I dig Peter Diamondstone and the Liberty Union. I love what they stand for. I vote for him and their candidates (like my friend Rosemarie Jackowski) whenever I can.
LU now qualifies for major party status because enough of us have done so. That's wicked awesome!
They still haven't won at the ballot box like Bernie has. He's done more for Vermont and the United States than they have in terms of policy. Because, you know, elections have consequences.
Anyway, I look forward to the next Seven Days piece: Sanders says climate change is real, but why does he fly on airplanes?
Listening To Adderall
In the interest of establishing a baseline, even though we've just barely started the latest medical journey, I wanted to note that so far things are going surprisingly well.
On Tuesday Samuel got no meds--essentially a day of titrating the fluoxetine down. There weren't any noticeable differences from the previous week or two, which is not surprising with drug's relatively long half-life.
Wednesday marked his first dose of stimulant, right after breakfast. It was actually the first time he'd ever had a pill, which made him feel like a big boy and he took it like a champ.
Another first: Sam bolted ahead to class this morning, entered the room by himself, and immediately started washing his hands. Before now, he always stayed close to us, had to be nudged into room (while Sadie waltzed in and plopped down at a table to work), wandered around looking at everything, and took a long time to get over to the sink, making every step of the morning routine a chore. Smoothest dropoff ever.
At pickup, our boy was line leader. I was amazed that he didn't need guiding or reminders to slow down, stay with group, not cross the "safety line" (where buses are), etc. There was a look of calm confidence on his face.
On the way home Sam volunteered that he'd played with other kids--usually it's like pulling teeth to get him to talk about school. He told me a complete sequence of events instead of haphazard memory of what he did (scattered over many follow up questions). He reportedly even took time to ask his teacher about P ("the black human" whose name he now actually knows) and why he has white parents (apparently adopted from war-torn country in which his parents vanished, "were they killed by Germans?" he asked in follow up).
Second dose administered after lunch. His appetite is already a bit suppressed, so we'll have to be very careful with Mr Low Birth Weight Skinny Butt. That said, he still is grazing and asking for snacks, so that's good.
I am trying not to engage in confirmation bias (is the placebo effect possible when you're not the one taking medication?). But...it seems today we've had fewer questions, fewer check ins, and fewer interruptions about his dragon game or legos or whatever he's doing. I've even been able to type this post without a whole lot of distraction.
Today was one of the easiest Samuel days in a long, long while. While we understand things can be up and down as we get dosage right and work on new dynamics, it has been a remarkable change already. One hopes as he gets used to Adderall, the trend will continue. Insha'Allah.
Too Set In Our Ways To Try To Rearrange
How little we know, and when we know it!
It was prettily said that “No manhath an abundance of cows on the plain, nor shardsin his cupboard.” Wait! I think I know who said that! It was . . .Never mind, dears, the afternoonwill fold you up, along with preoccupationsthat now seem so important, until only a childrunning around on a unicycle occupies center stage.Then what will you make of walls? And I fear youwill have to come up with something,be it a terraced gambit above the seaor gossip overheard in the marketplace.For you see, it becomes you to be chastened:for the old to envy the young,and for youth to fear not getting older,where the paths through the elms, the carnivals, begin.