Friday, June 25, 2010

Growin' Up

I hid in the crowded wrath of the crowd
But when they said "Sit down," I stood up.
Ooh, growin' up...

Yuh. I seem to have that habit, too.

What kind of relationship do you have with those closest to you? Pretty equitable? Easygoing mutual respect, that sort of thing? Or do you clash with your SO, spouse, bedmate or bong buddy? Clash? Uh, you know; when they look at you like you just did a Jules Feiffer* and turned into the world's biggest baby? That condescending, dopey, wall-eyed stare and pause in their speech that, when they speak again, it's as if you were suddenly reduced in mental capacity to that of a cherrystone clam's.

That kind of clash.

Do ya?

We've all felt pretty infantile on occasion. Yup, I know I have. Ever feel that way about your own dear ones? Like: did they just lose twenty IQ points while I was talking to them?

I'm wondering about this, you see, because I hear my own SO doing it to me on a regular basis and I'm thinking she's feeling the same frickin' thing from me. I'm wondering where the fuck this comes from and why?

Why do we condescend toward our dear ones? Why do they condescend toward us? What is it about a 'normal' dynamic of an adult relationship where the partners trade off in that parent/child thing? Or more accurately: the adult/infant thing?

Still not getting it? Let us consider a few cliche's, shall we? The 'givens' in our culture, comprende'? Men tend to regard women as pretty non-technologically oriented. Hey, it's usually a guy under your car, right? Or a guy with his hands buried up to the wrists in your computer? It's usually a guy flying your plane (might be a woman. Might be) or installing your cable TV/Internet. (Sorry, Chloe. Yes, I know you're one of the few exceptions...)

So it's usually a guy doing the condescending: "Sorry, ma'am, but your tranny needs a complete teardown. I'd explain why it's gonna cost you $400, but I don't think you'd understand..."

(Your tranny needs a complete teardown. Yeah, sometimes I think I do...)

But that's a mechanic talking to you; a woman he doesn't know. What about your SO or spouse? "Sorry, honey, but you can't do it that way. Lemme show ya how..." and he elbows you aside.

And you? Cluck your tongue, shake your head. "Men." (Meaning: boys.) Don't they ever change the roll of toilet paper? Or put the damn seat down?

Cliche's, yeah, but they're helpful. You can fill in the blanks with any of the above actions/infractions. The behavior subsequent is still to the point: we tend to treat each other as if we were infants more often than not.

And if there is one thing I've learned as a trans person, it's that when you insist, demand, enforce your treatment of someone, it usually categorizes them as such. Let them define themselves and the dynamic shifts drastically, doesn't it?

Those darn dynamics! Will someone please tell me why, even in the depths of a loving relationship, we still struggle to establish one above the other? Is there, anywhere, in this World, this Earth of Hours, one relationship where neither struggles for dominance?

I'm having increasing difficulty in imagining such a relationship.

It may be only my own experience. I must say that one such had no such struggle within it; instead, there were other struggles having nothing to do with dominance; only rejection. (That may be a significant point.) Still, all the rest contained seeds and active flowering and even large, malignant thorn bushes of emotional dominance.

With some, I suppose it's a given from the get-go: "She's weaker and the less able, so it's up to me to lead..." or "He's strong and capable but he's about as bright as a small appliance bulb..." Others, it grows on you, almost by accident: "You said you would do that two weeks ago! And you're still dawdling! You're such a child...!"

Signify your opponent as childish and it improves the odds, doesn't it?


Of winning, stupid. (See, I just did it, too...) Yeah, we want to win. Even if it means humiliating the other. "To crush your enemies and drive them before you and hear the lamentations of their women!"

Okay, not everyone marries Conan the Barbarian. (Although, I sometimes wonder when I see some couples together...) But we do that, don't we? Some of us.

I do. And I hate it.

I wonder if she hates it, too. I know it has a lot to do with her seeing me as emotionally inept; flawed. Kinda bent inside, so to speak. There's that frisson of pity which really sticks in my craw and I'll bet it does yours, too.

So we give as good as we get and that's helpful, isn't it? Yup, let's play oneupmanship with a reckless admixture of chicken and we'll find out who flinches first.

That's a great way to develop a dialogue. Assuming, of course, that a dialogue is what you wanted in the first place.

But if we look at the facts (and they're staring me in the face, so they're a bit hard to ignore. Also very uncomfortable.), we find that we tend to do this more often than not and sure, why not? It's the way we've always done it!


I'm thinking it's time to think outside the box. I'm thinking it's time for a changeup. Hell, I'm thinking it's time to change batters and pitchers! (Where the fuck did that sports metaphor come from? I swear, I ordered English Lit metaphors and look what they sent me!)

I'm thinking that it's time for a different reaction, from me, at least. If she signifies me as infantile or if I find myself talking down to her, it's time for a different dynamic.

(Which would be?)

I'm working on it. I'll get back to you. In the meanwhile, here's some more Bruce:

I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere and you know it’s really hard to hold your breath.
I swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid in full costume dress,
Well, my feet they finally took root in the earth but I got me a nice little place in the stars
And I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car
I hid in the mother breast of the crowd but when they said, "Pull down," I pulled up

Ooh... growin’ up.

Michelle Diane Rose
June 26th, 2010

*Tantrum (1997) Google it. Why should I do all the work? Sheesh, you're such a child...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We Want the World and We Want It Now...

Remember that line? Morrison and the Doors: "When the Music's Over". A nice, uplifting bit of anthemic, rabble-rousing crap. I knew it was crap when I first heard it and it's still crap.

This is not to say that the rhetoric coming from activists in the gay ghetto is all crap. Far from it. "I feel your pain," as Slick Willie would say. (Oh and how I've changed! I'd have never said that about Clinton ten years ago! Never. But time and my cynicism marches on...) Yes, even you, Lane Hudson, dear boy, though I sometimes feel like smacking your bottom and sending you upstairs to bed without supper.

But the rhetoric does rather remind me of a pre-adolescent child whining about such matters as eating the veggies, picking up the toys and behaving less...boorishly.

(Whoa, it feels almost treasonous to write that line. But my inner sophist is having fun with this thesis. Let's see where she goes, shall we?)

It's interesting that politically-conversant folks like Lane should seemingly be so ignorant of the dynamics of politics; the ebb and flow and currents of power. Politics, as Lane and others would have it, should be simple: take a stand, start a movement, lobby, convince your congresscritter and get a law passed. (Hmm, even that has a lot of steps.) Simple, right?

(Short pause for hollow laughter. Special effects courtesy of Dolby Labs.TM)

Politics, it's said, is the only game in town for adults. Everything else is pretty much kid stuff. Okay, tell me the rules.

In this world, at this moment in time: there are six and a half billion rules.

Digest that a moment, will you? Can you agree on everything even your best friend or lover or spouse or next door neighbor might say about this society, this incredibly complex and convoluted civilization?

If you can say yes, I suggest that you really don't know that person very well. And they don't know you very well, either.

Consensus: (literally: to feel together) First, a general agreement; second, group solidarity of belief or agreement. The best we can ever hope for, being the kind of creatures that we are, is a general consensus. Really, really general.

But we might note that, for the first time in American history, acceptance of gays and lesbians (alas, no mention of teh trans and should we even wonder why?) has risen above fifty percent; a slim but measurable majority.

That most of us in America can agree that the GLBT community should have equal rights and opportunities is amazing enough in itself. That some of us want those rights and opportunities right now isn't very amazing at all.

I get kinda tired, seeing and hearing some of our firebrands acting up and acting out. Run for office, why don't you? (Well, it's friggin' expensive, but we'll get to that in a minute.) I become weary, seeing good work dismissed or ignored; good work from folks who move quietly beneath the radar; deal-making and negotiating and taking those incremental steps that can all be individually defended instead of dropping a bucket-full of changes on an unsuspecting public and risking the whole shebang. I grow bored with the rhetoric that demands 'transparency' from Washington and all the State capitols just because it's the right thing to do.

When has 'the right thing to do' ever been a matter of general consensus?

Backroom politics has been a fixture in human relations ever since politics was invented. We should change that? How?

That we are able, after eight long, agonizing years with Bush II and the neocons to have a dialog about this, one we know is being noted and understood, is frickin' amazing all by itself.

It's all about strategy, Lane. (You other kids listen up, too.) All about not putting all of your limited resources into one fight and only one fight. Make no mistake; even the Leader of the Free World is limited in his resources. It's all about not spreading yourself too thin and prioritizing and being a good executive trying to fulfill his promise to bring as much change as he can in the four years he has allotted to him.

Because the next election ain't gonna be no free ride, either. I'll vote for him (unless Hillary runs again. Doubtful.), but I'm not giving him the benefit of the doubt. The Justice Department's position on DOMA sucks, bigtime (Incest? WTF? Incest?), but we're getting closer with DADT and ENDA, right?

(Agree with me or you'll get no supper. I mean it. C'mon, nod your head and say: "Yes, Auntie Michelle.")

(I forgot to add impatience to the above list. I'd make a terrible parent.)

My impatience is not with the Administration but with those who demand that something be done now, without delay, this minute, because I want it and need it and I deserve it. This also includes those who want the government to butt out of their private lives. Y'don't want half much, do ya?

I can afford to be a bit smug. I live in good ol' Blue State Oregon, home of the Oregon Equality Act...

Also Measure 36, which is cemented into our state Constitution like some sort of obscene found object sculpture, one that even the artists (the voters of Oregon) regard with a certain distaste. It was an ugly fight, one precipitated by a small cadre of well-meaning liberals who rightly 'wanted it all' and thought it was the 'right thing to do'.

It bit them in the ass and they all scattered to cover their stinging asses, those fine commissioners from Multnomah County who ordered the wedding licenses issued to begin with. And while they were hiding and pointing their fingers at one another (and Diane Linn, a lot), another group stepped in to fill the power vacuum. They did what we should have done and introduced an initiative to change the Constitution and won.

You don't drop a bucket-full of change on anyone. All you do is lose most of it. Someone else will challenge it.

Pendulum swings, baby. Push it too hard and it'll swing hard the wrong way. You're right back where you started, perhaps worse.

Now I have to try to undo what a group of well-meaning liberals did to my rights and privileges as a human being in this part of the World. I gotta bust a little ass and wear out a pair of sneakers helping to fix a mess that shouldn't have occurred in the first place.

If we'd worked out a consensus. If we'd strategized. If we'd made a few deals and negotiated first. Now BRO and the ACLU and others have to spend a whole bunch of money they could be spending elsewhere and utilize a whole bunch of resources they could put into a different fight (DOMA, anyone? DADT?) to reverse a nasty, vile addition to our state laws that allows legal discrimination and bigotry.

I'm not happy about this.

So when I hear "Obama isn't doing enough..." or "Obama isn't keeping his campaign promises...", I want to point to the shining example of my dear home Oregon, a wonderfully liberal state and its largest city; Portland. Where I can stroll down the street as myself, with proper ID that matches my correct gender and name, and be treated with equality. Most of the time.

I just can't marry my beloved because she has an F on her driver's license and so do I.

Take a good look at Oregon, folks. This is what happens when you want the world and you want it now and it's the right thing to do and so what if some people object? Leave footprints on their faces and get 'er done!

(Ooops, wrong rhetoric...)

You wanna give the Teabaggers more momentum than ever before? Keep it up, Lane. You want to lose a few elections for our allies in Congress? Act up and act out some more. Heckle. Jeer. Wave your signs and block some gates.

Works every time.

But if you want some results, get your butt out into the street and change your neighbor's mind. Talk convincingly and logically. Form a frickin' consensus, willya?

That works pretty well, too. You can run for office with a big enough consensus. It's called a mandate. That's when you can get others to pay for it.

(You gotta love capitalism, sometimes.)

Okay, I think we're done, kids. Run along and watch TV, now.

Michelle Diane Rose
June 22, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hiring Teh Trans

(I dunno why I've taken to using "teh" instead of "the". A sneer seems to be creeping in from offstage somewhere and I'm thinking it's indicative of something but I dunno what, yet.)

Would you hire a tranny?

C'mon, this is Oregon, a blue State through and through, right? We have the Oregon Equality Act, which prevents discrimination in hiring and employment practices, right? So any employer ought to be able to nod and say, "Yes, we would most certainly consider hiring a trans person for any position available if that person were qualified." Right?


And I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. Cheap.

Like hell any of you will. You will like hell hire me and people like me, even if we are more than qualified. You will like hell hire people like me under any circumstances.

You won't hire us simply because the law says you have to or should. The law says so, but damn few employers are going to even consider that law. They will instead develop ways to legally circumvent that law and devise ways to terminate any trans employee who transitions on the job if it becomes politically expedient to do so.

Cis-gender folks will read this, shrug and say,"So what? Most of you trannies are pretty gross-looking, y'know? I wouldn't hire you either."

(Would it do any good to note that our appearance has absolutely nothing to do with how well we do our job or how qualified we are or even how intelligent we are?)

(I didn't think so.)

Yeah, some of us look pretty weird, myself included. Trust me, we don't like it, either. You don't like looking at guys in dresses? (News flash: most of us don't wear dresses to the office.) Uh, well, now that you mention it, neither do we. We'd rather look in the mirror and see ordinary-looking women. We'd rather you did the same when you look at us, especially if you're male.

(sigh) But you don't, do you? If you're an employer or a co-worker and especially if you're male, you look at us and instead of a woman, you see a man trying to look like a woman. And everything you've learned from your parents and teachers and peers and everything that you absorb from the the media, either manifest or latent, tells you that this is all about sexual expression.

Not identity.


It's as if a tranny hooker in six-inch platforms had just strolled into your office, adjusted her micro-miniskirt to cover the obvious bulge and drawled: "Honey, I need a job. Got anything I can do on my knees?"


Gender=Sex=Behavior. That's the paradigm we face. If we are only men who seek to be women then we must be men who seek to be sexually submissive/provocative/promiscuous women.

That's the paradigm and there ain't none other, sweetheart.

Men set this paradigm and men enforce it and men signify it and men hire and fire as their gonads demand.

And you wonder why we don't want to be men? Get a clue, bubba.

(It's not so much that I don't want to be a man. I never was a man in the first place. I just don't like being stuck in this effin' male body.)

Can you look past that signification? Nope. This is what they mean by social pressures being overwhelming. We can prove to you, over and over again, that we're just as qualified, just as able, just as deserving, just as willing as any cis or 'normal' woman (or man!) and it would be a waste of effort.

Senator Barney Frank kinda summed it up again. Good ol' Barney, that traitor and backstabbing snob of a faggot (I use the derogatory label deliberately and deservedly) commented thus on the still-amorphous ENDA bill: "But we won't have any guys with beards in dresses using the ladies john, That's certain."

(It's always about the goddamned restrooms, isn't it?)

Safe bet, Barney, ol' buddy. (But you're known as a man who covers his ass at every opportunity.) No, we probably won't have that and it won't require a law, either.

But where's your dividing line, Barney? At what point do you say: "This guy doesn't look nearly feminine enough to be considered a woman, so he shouldn't be allowed to use the ladies room." Too masculine of a face? (FFS and laser/electro is fiendishly expensive. Trust me, I speak from experience.) Big, bulky masculine frame and size? (Can't do much about that. None of us can.) Deep voice? (see above. Voice lessons are expensive, too.) Simply not feminine enough?

Aha. Now we come to the meat of it.

Let's put this into a male perspective, shall we? If you're a male job recruiter or a male supervisor, whether you're willing to admit it or not--and there are an astonishing number of men who will admit this--your approval of anyone's femininity is based on one simple rule of thumb:

Is she fuckable?

That's it. That's all.

I can hear the screaming in the back: "Not true! It's all about the background and experience!"

Crap. NYC has had an ENDA law on the books for almost a decade now. They just did a blind study to determine whether a job applicant is less likely to be hired if he/she presents as trans in the interview or in any face-to-face encounter. They found that trans folk were sixty percent less likely to be hired.

Well, I suppose that's better than one hundred percent.

Then again, it's better than a poke in the eye with a flamin' stick, too.

Fuckability is about the only criteria a male uses in determining a woman's worth. He doesn't consider her mind, her talents or skills and he damn sure doesn't consider her worth as an employee. Instead, he considers what she would look like with no panties and her heels in the air.

And if he thinks she's got the wrong kind of plumbing down there, he's not going to hire her, even if it's just running a friggin' cash register.

Let's take my experience as an out trans woman on the job, going on almost two years now. (Yes, take it, please, because it pretty much sucks...) I work for a guy who considers himself extremely liberal. He thinks he's liberal, in the way that Barney Frank thinks he's liberal: he's willing to extend privilege and rights to those he thinks deserve it, but he's savvy enough to realize that he's not bound to a moral or ethical code which demands that he do so.

So he cheats, my boss does. He lets other people harass me. He lets the customers assault me verbally and sometimes physically. His supervisors approve. They don't want me there, either, mostly because they expect me to endure the abuse or, hopefully, quit out of sheer disgust and frustration and fear for my own safety.

But that doesn't stop my boss from gathering information for eventual termination. I'm willing to bet that they started that the second I informed the HR department that I intended to transition.

That's what I get for trusting a charity to honor my individuality and respect my rights.

I'm probably going to be fired within a few months. My co-workers, most of whom are women, are reaching a break point with me. Most of them have complained loudly about me using the ladies room, not working as hard as they do, and, most important; not knowing instinctively what women do while working in that particular environment.


Want to hear what both of the lead cashiers have said about me? (When they thought I wasn't present. I'm paraphrasing both.) "Well, if he was really a woman, we wouldn't have to explain it to him!"

(I should have butted in right there with one of my patented job-destroying comments but I didn't. Instead, I hurried into the back room because it was suddenly very difficult to see. Something in my eye...)

Both lead cashiers are very attractive women. One is extremely resentful of me and complains about me on a daily basis. How do I know this? The boss let it slip during a 'counseling' session and I think he kinda regrets it.

They're both good-looking women. I have no doubt what my boss sees when he looks at them. I also have no doubt what he sees when he looks at me.

I'm not fuckable. Not by cis-male standards.

So: soon enough, I'm going to find out how difficult it is to find a job, now that I'm out and "socially" transitioned. I already know why so many of my tribe turn to sex work for any kind of income, because that's the only option left. Kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, isn't it? Men believe that the only reason a man becomes a woman is to have sex as one and lo and behold! The prejudice becomes the truth.

Sure. If that's the only option we have. That or die.

I'm not ready to die. Not yet.

Neither will I sell my ass for a handful of cash.

Michelle Diane Rose
June 20th, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blood in the Streets...

"Blood in the streets and blood at the polls but another election was never held."

Robert Anson Heinlein wrote that almost forty years ago. He was commenting on a pair of short stories that he'd never written and never regretted the omission; "The Stone Pillow" and "The Sound of His Wings". The quote refers to the latter story which tells of a "backwoods, pipsqueak evangelist" who seizes control of the media, rigs a presidential election and seizes control of America. He promptly turns the US into a theocratic dictatorship, combining the worst aspects of the Spanish Inquisition and Mussolini's Italy. Forty years ago, this was science fiction!

Not anymore, it ain't.

What would Bob tell us about the blood in the streets and blood at the polls? We can speculate. The Grandmaster was a libertarian, perhaps the Uber-libertarian. He was also a unrepentant capitalist and somewhat of an elitist. (sigh) Growing up and finding that your idols have feet of clay is always depressing. That doesn't dissuade me from searching...but I digress. Much as I love the man's style and his brilliance and his warmth and humanity (plus the fact that he instinctively understood teh trans), he was still a bit of prick when it came to folks who don't quite measure up.

We have a bit of that going on in South Carolina. Mr. Green, a previously unknown candidate for Senate somehow managed to win the Democratic Party primary over the expected candidate, retired judge Vic Rawl.

(I'm merely pointing out facts here. Whether they're salient remains to be seen.)

Mr. Green is unemployed and refuses to disclose how he managed to raise the ten grand plus required for the filing fee. In fact, he refuses to disclose any information about his financial support or support of any kind. He did not campaign, did not buy airtime or any commercial time or ads of any kind at all.

Yet he carried 6 out of 10 of the votes in his district, handily beating Mr. Rawls.

("Curiouser and curiouser," said Alice.)

A challenge has been filed, of course. Defective voting machines have been mentioned, the mysterious source of Mr. Green's funding has been raised and so have a lot of eyebrows, all the way to Washington, in fact.

Someone doesn't quite measure up and neither does his story, what there is of it.

I wonder: the Dem winner would be facing a fave of the teabaggers, Jim DeMint, in the fall election. Green would have his ass handed to him in a straight-ahead vote. ("Positions? What positions? He ain't got no stinkin' positions!")

Thereby handing the Senate seat to another "Conservative" currently on the teabaggers' most-favored list. A brief look at this dickhead's rap sheet tells me why; he votes against good stuff and he votes in favor of bad stuff. He says ugly, horrible things about nice people who work hard and give a damn about other people. He doesn't contribute much except controversy and animosity. He's perfect, in other words, for assisting in the overthrow of America.

The teabaggers and the fundies and the neocons all have the same general objective: conquer America for fascism. Oh, I know it's not expressed that way; that would be terrible PR, but it's the bottom line. There really isn't any other way to put it honestly. They want to conquer America, turn it into a homegrown Third Reich and rule the rest of the world through armed might and slavery and torture.

And they're experimenting, trying different techniques through various means to see how much they can get away with and how far they can push the envelope, especially through dissemination of misinformation via a controlled media and manipulation of the voting and legislative process.

Heinlein's story dealt with a cynical, greedy media mogul who took that "backwoods, pipsqueak evangelist" and turned him into a media star who could do no wrong. A few tricks with CGI (Heinlein visualized a kind of special effects that morphed the preacher into something awe-inspiring but this was the late Sixties. Not even he could have predicted what the nerds are capable of with the right equipment and software.), a call to arms among the faithful and wham: "Blood in the streets and blood at the polls but another election was never held."

It can't happen here, right?

Like hell it can't. George Bush had a fraudulent election handed to him by a Supreme Court bought off by his personal fortune and oil baron buddies.

How would they do that; conquer the country, as Heinlein envisioned?

Well, a "backwoods, pipsqueak evangelist" wouldn't be hard to find. They're a dime a dozen down South. Turn over a rock.

(A brief digression: what the hell is it with those effin' Confederates? Don't they effin' realize that they lost the goddamned War and that it's time to knock off the bigotry and prejudice and general slack-jawed, cornpone bullshit? Holy Jeebus, what do we have to do, nuke your stupid sister-molesting asses? Apologies and we'll return to our regularly-scheduled rant.)

But what "cynical, greedy media mogul" could possibly fit the bill?

I'm pointing the finger at you, Rupert Murdoch. You evil bastard. I know what you're trying to do. So do a lot of other folks. It isn't going to work, you Aussie asshole.

You're trying to destabilize American society. You're literally plotting to overthrow the government.


You're a naturalized American citizen and you're planning to overthrow the government and destroy the country that welcomed you, you evil bastard. At which point, you'll install a puppet government and put your equally evil son in charge when you you finally die, you evil bastard.

I follow vector sums. I spot trends. I have been cursed with a skill in pattern recognition and all the patterns point at you, you warped, wrinkled fascist monster. You make Eichmann look like a frickin' Scoutmaster by comparison.

(This is what my professors would call an ad hominem attack. But sometimes you just gotta rock and roll...)

We laugh and sneer at and dismiss Fox but it has a huge audience, fully a third of the viewer share. That is not something to sneer at. It is something to be very alarmed about. Murdoch has perverted the concept of journalism on his so-called 'news-shows' and broken every rule, turned every nasty trick and repudiated every ethical and moral conviction inherent to responsible and honest journalism. Protests about these travesties result in contemptuous laughter and disingenuous comments such as: "It's not journalism, it's entertainment!"

Indeed. Thereby releasing you from the responsibility to tell the goddamned truth.

The truth is, you're going to be sued and sued repeatedly in the coming years. Certain people are going to be watching you, waiting for you and your evil clone to make a mistake. When you do, we'll be there, subpoena in hand and armed Federal Marshals at our side, if necessary. State militia if need be.

Are you listening, Rupe? Give it up. We're on to you. I'm just a tranny college student who works for a gutter-level non-profit. If I can spot it, don't you think that folks with a whole bunch more smarts than me and a truckload more resources than me (i.e.: $$$) can spot it, too?

They're in a position to do something about it, too. I can guess who some of them are and maybe even who their operatives are but I'm not telling.

But you better effin' watch your back, Murdoch.

Because we can, and will, clip your wings. Permanently, if necessary.

Hands off the election in South Carolina, bucko. No more directives to the clever lads who program those computerized voting machines. No more bribes and it would be best if you pulled your operatives out of the field until sometime next year. If we catch them, your ass is grass and I know of some really big power mowers who would love to take you on.

Michelle Diane Rose
June 16, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It seems to be an evening for weeping.

My makeup is streaked with tears, my hair rumpled and bed-headed and I would imagine the Hispanic woman next door is equally disheveled. She's been weeping not much longer than myself, which is to say; about two or three hours. She became quite vocal at one point, wailing almost, and I felt nothing but empathy for her, even separated from her as I am by two walls, perhaps forever.

Separated, perhaps, by more than mere walls of sheet-rock and siding.

We have our grief, she and I. I will never know hers but I can always speculate; an unhealthy proposition at best. Will she ever speculate about me, wonder why I wailed as well, earlier?

Perhaps not. Probably not.

Is it love that makes her wail, as it does for me? Love, or absence therof? Absence of presence and a sense of loss and despair? Does she, as I do, feel the pain of not being able to speak, to communicate from the heart and soul and tell of the hollow grief within her? Does she long to be held, as I do, long for that quantum of solace which can only be found in the arms of your beloved?

Wailing is all she has left, this dark and damp night in Portland, Oregon. Wailing and tears.

It's what I have now. That, and my endlessly restless mind and heart, questing after that which I may never have.

But I believe in Love, I do. I always will. I know that it exists, always has and always will, forever and ever, World without end, amen. Does that sound religious? Perhaps it is. There is love and there is Love and I see little difference, as close as I am to it, the forest for the trees, so to speak.

I have it and yet it eludes me. I long for it and it longs for me, love and Love alike and yet we cannot meet. So I weep, alone, in the night.

There is no way anyone of sound mind might ever consider this romantic.

Ah, well. Of such are pop songs great and puerile written and novels magnificent and mundane ground out by the score. (I'm winking at you, Danielle Steel and Babara Cartwright!)Gosh, I could sit down right now and crank out a tearjerker or two myself, either on guitar or this damned computer. Might even make enough money someday to invite Love (or her little sister; love) out for lunch.

Pizza sound good?

Michelle Diane Rose
June 9th, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The World is Bleeding

This is one ugly reason to restart this blog. I would have much rather done it because ENDA passed or DoMA was overturned or even because a meteor struck Rush Limbaugh's latest wedding reception and most of our troubles were solved in one fell swoop. (Or huge release of kinetic energy, but whatever...)

No. I'm writing this because our World is bleeding.

In case you were hiding in a cave or vacationing on Neptune, there's an ecological disaster of global proportions happening in the Gulf of Mexico. Behold, I am a soothsayer: in less than five years, over ninety percent of the life in the Gulf--fish, plankton, crustaceans, plants, anything you care to name--will be gone. Dead. Smothered. Rotted. Poisoned.


(I can hear the jeers already: treehugger! Eco-terrorist! Socialist! Guilty as charged to the last count, Your Honor, but the others are pretty ludicrous. I've never hugged a tree--unless you count hanging on for dear life when I was a kid climbing them--and I gave up terrorizing others when my wife and I separated.)

Yeah. Murdered. With malice aforethought, as the courts say. With gleeful abandon. Deliberate callousness.

I read an interesting op-ed on Slate; you wanna know who to blame? Look in the mirror, Mr. and Mrs. America, with your two and a half kids and your MacMansion in default of payments and your nasty, petroleum-guzzling Hummer that you absolutely must have to take the 2 1/2 kids to soccer practice. Look in the mirror. You are the one responsible because you won't give up that damned metal beast crouching in your driveway, that dinosaur that burns the World's blood.

Oh, and by the way: fuck you both. (We'll leave your kids out of it. For now.)

I can say that because I don't drive a car. Mine was stolen four years ago. Best thing that ever happened to me. I saved four hundred dollars a month in payments, insurance, maintenance and, most important: gasoline. I make less than ten dollars an hour working for a non-profit charity and there's no way I could have afforded it, anyway. So you did me a favor, even though you're a rat-bastard, whoever you were.

I walk. I take public transit. I bum rides with others, although that's pretty rare. I've done some jet travel lately and that's gotta be one of the most energy-intensive and costly ways to travel anywhere in this World but there aren't many "green" ways to get to New York State or Denver, Colorado or Baltimore, Maryland. So I flew on a jet plane more than once and frankly, it was pretty cool. I enjoyed it. Sue me.

Can't say as I enjoy watching our World bleed, though.

British Petroleum screwed up pretty badly and screwed the entire human race and our one and only World in the process. And they're whining about how it's impacting their profits. Too bad. Howdja like them profits shoved up your ass and ignited, boys?

(Sorry. That was less than literary and awfully undiplomatic. I must learn to control my outrage. It's going to result in a cardiovascular accident soon enough if I'm not careful.)

To say that this is a disaster of global proportions is not an exaggeration. Google the data. It's easy enough to lie with facts and stats but these might be a little hard to fudge. Or at least, not for long, because BP is the only outfit on-scene with cameras. Not for long, I think. I suspect the Prez is about to send in the Navy and about time, I think.

That isn't enough, unfortunately. Too little, too late and piss poor planning besides. What the hell do we do?

Stop drilling. Stop using oil. It's too valuable to waste by being burned in a goddamned car, for Heaven's sake. You know how many pharmaceuticals, exotic chemicals, plastics and just plain useful things can be had from crude oil? Thousands. More than you can possibly imagine.

But, nooooo! We burn it, adding to the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and increasing the greenhouse effect and accelerating global warming. Great. Why don't we just set fire to the whole mess and walk away?

Whoops, can't do that, despite the cheers of agreement I hear from my fundie brothers and sisters. Sorry, I don't think we're quite ready for the Rapture but if y'all wanna go, don't let the screen door hit you in the ass on the way out. The rest of us will stay and try to clean up the mess that you supposedly Christian, capitalistic, warmongering and violently testosterone-poisoned assholes left for us. Don't expect the welcome mat if you change your mind and want to come home to the good, formerly green Earth that gave you birth.

I can think of one very effective punishment that will forever dissuade oil executives from cutting corners, faking inspection records, lying to inspectors (and bribing them) and blithely figuring in fines, PAC donations, lawsuits and more bribes as the usual cost of business in Corporate America.


My World is bleeding and I want the rat-bastards responsible to die, painfully. Slowly, if possible, but most certainly painfully. Boiling in their own goddamned oil sounds about right.

Barbaric, you say? Medieval? You recoil in horror. Oh, dear! We can't possibly do that! That would be...inhumane! Why, these are good family men, with full lives. Pillars of their community. Beloved by their friends and relative. They contribute to charities. They're just human and subject to mistakes, like any of us.

Hmm, izzat so? "One may smile and smile and still be a villain." Shakespeare, I think. No, they're not human. I'm denying them that. They have no right to call themselves 'human'. They are no more human than a rabid wolf or a recluse spider or a great white shark is human. I have no doubt that they'd love that last analogy. Something about violent, rapacious images gives all of these guys serious hard-ons. I pity their wives and their mistresses.

Why do I say that my World is bleeding? Look at those camera feeds from two miles down. Thick, dark fluid spurting from a rent in the skin of the Earth, deep beneath the ocean, where the skin is thin and the only illumination is from halogens dropped from the airy light above. It billows out just like blood as when a great white tears into the side of a victim, fanning out into the salty water like parasols of pain and filth in 3-D.

It's blood. Our World's blood. It's the nasty, organic residue of millions of acres of prehistoric forest and reptilian life squashed into a thick, gooey mess and it's spurting, gushing, bleeding into the underbelly of the World.

It's pornography in the way that a hardcore S&M flick is pornography. Not B&D, although that distinction often escapes most folks. (Then again, the distinction between myself and a common hooker often escapes most folks as well, so whatcha gonna do?)It's a frickin' snuff film and you may be damned sure that I've never seen one and if anyone is stupid enough to try to show me one, he's gonna be minus the cost of a tape or DVD and some substantial facial repair.

Murder most foul. Premeditated. Planned. Executed with deliberation.

So that's why I say: execute those who would kill our planet, out home, our World. They knew what they were doing. They did it with full knowledge of the risks and they dare to complain to us about their costs?

I have a suggestion to the fine boyos from BP: shut up. Now. You're going to make it worse when we finally bring you to trial, right before we hang you for crimes against humanity. Shut up and get to work and you might, just might, get that sentence lowered to merely life in prison, short as that's likely to be.

At the very least, that's a lot more mercy than you showed our World.

Our World.

Not yours, BP.

Michelle Diane Rose
June 9th, 2010