Tag Archives: Politics

Battle of the Sexes Redux

It’s just really important that we start celebrating our differences. Let’s start tolerating first, but then we need to celebrate our differences. — Billie Jean King

“I wanted to use sports for social change.” — Billie Jean King

“You’ve Come a Long Way Baby.” — Virginia Slims cigarette slogan, first sponsor of the women’s tennis circuit which later became the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association).

Each generation experiences firsthand a series of events which become mile markers and touchstones for our lives. The past two weeks, I was reminded, while watching Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s riveting PBS documentary series, The Vietnam War, of being a baby boomer who came of age from preteen to young adult during the Vietnam War. Beginning last year, and continuing this year, I watched documentaries and narrative films about the anniversaries of Civil Rights protest marches, riots, and tragedies, most recently the film Detroit. On Friday, the reminiscing continued when I saw the new film, Battle of the Sexes, chronicling the $100,000 tennis television spectacle between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, billed as the “battle of the sexes,” women’s libber vs. chauvinist pig.  Continue reading

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The Toilet Zone: A Government of Men

Note: This is the third installment of The Toilet Zone, a commentary series on the Trump presidency.

“The Tweet speaks for itself.” — Sean Spicer

Just over a week ago on May 4th, I had carpal tunnel release surgery. It occurred on the same day the House of Representatives voted to forward their proposed bill to the Senate, H.R. 1628, The American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare). My sister Tami, my post-surgery driver and support person and I watched television while we waited for me to be rolled into the operating room. We switched channels between a show featuring men pulling pranks on the unexpecting public, adult cartoons, and the House of Representatives vote live on the AHCA. There wasn’t much thematically separating the three narratives. All three shows could alternatively be entitled, “Men Behaving Badly.” Continue reading

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The Toilet Zone: Truth & Lies

Note: This is the second installment of The Toilet Zone, a commentary series on the Trump presidency.

“Lies are usually attempts to make everything simpler—for the liar—than it really is, or ought to be.” — Adrienne Rich

This is not how I prefer to spend my time: reading and monitoring the daily news and social media, compulsively watching cable network talking heads, and blogging about our 45th President, his family, the Republicans, the cabinet, and the white-men-in-suits minions. I’ve created this series to inoculate myself, The Toilet Zone, a virtual letting-go device, a way to flush or cleanse my brain of the toxic waste and shit storm created by the diverter, distorter, and misleader of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Continue reading

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No More 9 to 5!

It’s still winter in Wisconsin. After a week of record-breaking temperatures of spring-like weather — a hopeful tease of things to come — then came the rain, sleet, ice pellets, followed by snow and howling winds. We’re reminded that winter remains for a few more weeks before spring arrives. Spring is a season of hope and new beginnings. So is my life today, as I cross the threshold of my third act. Cue up Dolly Parton, no more “9 to 5.”  Continue reading

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Drinking from a Glass Half-Full

“Every last one of us can do better than give up.” —Cheryl Strayed

Looking back at 2016 with gratitude and ahead to the New Year with optimism.

Before you jump to any conclusions — I’m not crazy — 2016 sucked!  I’m not going to rehash all the reasons why, because we all know why, and we’ve talked about it around the virtual, social media water cooler from glasses half-empty for the past year and more.  As we’ve all been reminded by a quote from Albert Einstein (who knew he was the first to say it?), “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Continue reading

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The Toilet Zone: First Flush

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy.” — Anonymous

It’s time to say good-bye to 2016. As a recovering person, the Serenity Prayer has been playing an endless loop in my mind; it’s my leitmotif for 2016. It’s reminded me —again and again — that there are many things happening in my world — and the larger world we share — that are outside of my control. In an effort to address them I’ve created this new Mixed Metaphors, Oh My! series, The Toilet Zone. Continue reading

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Karmic Takedown

“What goes around comes around.”

As a former student of philosophy and a current member of 12-step recovery groups, this slogan holds meaning for me. Its simplicity embodies the fundamental principle of Karma, the spiritual belief of cause and effect.  In the past month karma has helped explain the evolving outcome in the 2016 Presidential race.  Continue reading

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Ferment: Distilling Culture & Politics

fer·ment– verb

1. (of a substance) undergo fermentation.
“the drink had fermented, turning some of the juice into alcohol”
synonyms: undergo fermentation, brew;

2. incite or stir up (trouble or disorder).
“the politicians and warlords who are fermenting this chaos”
synonyms: cause, bring about, give rise to, generate, engender, spawn, instigate, provoke, incite, excite, stir up, whip up, foment

The past month has been wet, stormy, and unseasonably warm.  The lack of sunshine began eroding my well-being.  The political climate continued to heat up too, becoming a category 5 shit-storm, casting a dark cloud on my outlook for the future. I realized I wasn’t spending enough time in nature during my favorite season of the year doing the things that feed my spirit. Instead I kept reading more online and watching commentators discuss the fermenting disillusionment of the electorate. Continue reading

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Ode to Blue-Collar Working Class Heroes

“There’s room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill”
 —John Lennon, Working Class Hero

In July both the Republican and Democratic Presidential Conventions concluded. Each party, their supporters, speakers, and candidates have driven stakes, describing in detail— some more than others — their position on the issues, their plans for the future, and identified who their party represents, or not. The Republicans embraced fear, law and order, and promised to “Make America Great Again.” The Democrats expressed optimism for the future and reaffirmed that America is already great, in fact, in the words of Michelle Obama, “This right now is the greatest country on earth.” And as a people, we are “Stronger Together.”  Continue reading

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The Perfect Timing of Dismaland

Art as Anarchy & Political Commentary

Yesterday while reading Matt Taibbi’s essay, “Inside the GOP Clown Car” in Rolling Stone commenting on the Republican candidates campaigning in Iowa, the opening paragraph captured my attention. “On the campaign trail in Iowa, Donald Trump’s antics have forced the other candidates to get crazy or go home. The thing is, when you actually think about it, it’s not funny. Given what’s at stake, it’s more like the opposite, like the first sign of the collapse of the United States as a global superpower. Twenty years from now, when we’re all living like prehistory hominids and hunting rats with sticks, we’ll probably look back at this moment as the beginning of the end.” Continue reading

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