Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What I learned from Carrie Fisher

I am positively gutted over the loss of my childhood and adult icon.  She was a truly remarkable woman who meant a great deal to me.  

Here is what I learned from Carrie Fisher. 

- I learned that you can have a mental illness and still be successful

- I learned that you don't have to put up with people's bullshit if you don't want to

- I learned that when you grow old you can grow more comfortable in who you are and less apologetic

- I learned that you can do great and important things and not always get the credit for them, but that is

- I learned that sometimes the heroes are "chosen ones" and sometimes the heroes are the ones who put in the work and hand out the medals to others

- I learned that mistakes you made as a younger person don't have to define who you are

- I learned that people will love you even if you are "weird" and write things that people don't understand.

- I learned that you can be funny, strange, thoughtful, brash, kind, confident, broken, whole, mother, daughter, and weirdo all at once.

When I say that Carrie Fisher was my hero, I do not say it lightly. Her loss impacts me more than any of the other great people we have lost this year. She was more than just Leia to me. In all the things that she was, she was important to me. She will be missed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Imaginary Conversations - This is Fine

This is the latest in my series of Imaginary Conversations.  You can read the rest here.

So how are you holding up?

What do you mean?

I mean, you were pretty stressed out before.  I'm just wondering how you are handling everything. There have been a lot of scary things in the news lately; I just want to make sure you are ok.

Oh!  Yeah, I'm fine.

Are you sure?  I just want you to know that if you need anybody to talk to I am here for you.  Or you could talk to like a professional or something

No, I don't think that's necessary.  I'm fine.  I realized I was overreacting

Oh... oh well if you are sure.

Yeah.  I mean, nothing has happened yet and I was getting myself all worked up over nothing.

Well, I don't know if it was nothing.  I think it is okay to feel a little anxious about what the future holds.

No, it was silly. Everything is fine.  I really think we need to just give him a chance and the universe will just work itself out

Um... this really doesn't sound like you at all

I don't know what you mean.  This is exactly how I sound.  I'm talking aren't I?

Well... yeaaahhh... but I mean, you being so optimistic and saying you will give him a chance and all that.  You sound kind of... you are kind of freaking me out actually by how calm you seem today.  I mean I don't want you freaking out all the time and I was actually getting kind of worried about you talking about the end of the world, but now you seem sort of... off.

I really don't know what you are talking about.  I was really stressed out before and taking my stress out on the world, trying to place blame on others when the blame is really on myself.  It was a lot easier to say the world was going to end than to admit that I hadn't done anything productive with my life.

Um... well... no, I mean no that isn't exactly what you were talking about before.  I mean, you were talking about the end of the world but you were also talking about how you are scared and angry and like... wanted to murder the...

Hahahah.  You are so funny.  Always making jokes.

Riiiight.  I mean you weren't actually going to go out and do anything, but I don't think that you were joking when you said you would be happy if he just dropped....

Let me stop you right there.  Are you implying that I wish harm done to the president elect, the man whom our nation voted into office by an overwhelming margin?  Why nothing can be further from the truth!  This is America, and I firmly believe in democracy.  We don't throw a fit when we don't get our way.  That would be just silly and wrong.  We rally behind our leaders and we pray to our Almighty God that they have the strength to protect this glorious and beautiful nation.

Okay now I am officially creeped the fuck out.  Have you eaten or drunk anything unusual lately?  Have you been visited by people wearing matching jumpsuits?

Well I don't have the slightest idea what that is implying. I just love America and everything that America stands for.  We just all need to be good patriots and realize that even though that crooked, horrible woman I inexplicably voted for didn't win the election that it will all be for the best and we will grow stronger and more prosperous along the way.

What in the actual fuck is happening right now?

You seem really agitated.  Perhaps you need to relax.  Maybe watch one of your favorite humorous TV shows.  Might I suggest Family Guy?  So hilarious.

What... I just... are you...

Don't stutter dear.  Speak English properly like a good American does.  We are all good Americans and we all speak English very good.

Very well, you mean

Well... good... it's all the same isn't it.  No need to be an elitist about it.

I mean I'm no grammar Nazi but...

Oh there you go with the Nazi again.  Always with the hyperbole.  We need to just get that word out of our vocabulary, shall we.

Um... I'm not gonna lie I am kind of scared right now.  Like legit pretty terrified.  Did you go to a reeducation camp or something?  What the fuck happened to you?

Nothing happened.  Nothing happened at all.  Everything is fine.  This is all fine.  We are all fine.

Well, except for the people that aren't fine.  Except for the people under rubble in Aleppo, the people who will lose their health insurance, who will be discriminated against, who will die.  Those people aren't fine.  The mentally disabled black boy who was raped by a white student who will get no jail time isn't fine.  The young men shot by police aren't fine.  The Muslims kicked off of planes aren't fine.  Lots of people won't be fine.  This is not fucking fine at all.

Oh my goodness, you are worked up

Will you quit it with the fucking oh my goodness bullshit.  You sound like the 2 dimensional antagonist in a fucking bad dystopian novel right now.  Quit the fucking around and talk like yourself.

This is myself.  This is me.  I am talking.  Nobody else is talking for me.  These opinions are mine.

Bull fucking shit.  I was just talking to you the other day and you were talking about doomsday clocks counting down and some kind of totalitarian regime.  You said we were becoming like Libya or whatever.  You were even talking about deleting your facebook and twitter because you were worried about all that stuff you said about killing... Wait a minute


Are you doing some kind of crazy ass method acting right now?  Are you preparing for government intrusion on our internet conversations?  Are you fucking with me?

Why, whatever do you mean?

You are fucking with me aren't you?  You are pretending to be some kind of good little American because you are worried about the corrupt FBI spying on your conversations or something aren't you? You saw that he is still being guarded by private security instead of the Secret Service and you are thinking this is how the Gestapo began, right?  I get it now.

Hahahah What an overactive imagination you have! And there is absolutely no reason why I would need to pretend to be a good little American because I AM a good American.  I love America so very, very much.  I love the flag and everything it stands for.  I love that we live in a good and strong Christian nation with the greatest and best military in the world and the greatest and best economy that will only get greater and better.   Everything is going to be just fine and dandy.

Uh huh...

Absolutely.  And of course any undesirable people who are not fine and dandy might need a nudge in the right direction.  But certainly not me because I am a good American and I love my country so very much.

HAH! I knew it.

Knew what?  Knew just how much I love my dear and precious America.  That gorgeous and beautiful flag that I love so much I want to roll around on it with my naked body.

Um... really?  Naked body?

Too far, huh?

Uh... yeah, just a bit.

Dammit.  I need to dial it back.

I totally called it

Called what, dear?

I called it.  I called that you are doing a bit.  You are doing this long and involved bit to prove some kind of stupid point.

Not at all.  I really and truly love America this much!  And while I don't agree with everything our new Dear Leader has to say, I will obey his commands because he will be, after all, the Commander in Chief.

Yeah that was a little much again.

A bit much to love our leaders as much as I love our nation?  That is "a bit much" is it?  Well, I really don't even know what to say to that.

Okay this bit is getting old.  I already caught you.  You already broke character.

That's preposterous.  There is no character to break.  This is just me.  Me and only me being me.  Telling you truthfully how very much I love our country.

Ugh. Enough already.  Change of topic.  Did you see Rogue One?

You mean that film about those terrorists who destroyed a government instillation in an attempt to smuggle out state secrets?

Alright, I'm done with this conversation now.

Aww don't go.

Are you willing to admit that you are just doing some dumb Stepford character yet?  Are you willing to talk to me like an actual human being because I'm fucking done having a conversation with a robot.

Not all robots are bad

Well no, I mean I think robots are actually pretty cool.  I don't mean to talk smack about robots.

Robots just comply with their programming.  K2S0 was an Imperial droid before he was reprogrammed.

Yes.... Yes he was

And if a droid were, say, behind Imperial lines trying to go undetected then the droid might not want to draw attention to itself

Uh huh... So is that is what is happening now?

It... it might

And is the droid scared?  Is it doing its little scared bloops and bleeps?

Um... bloop

I'm sorry.  I'm so sorry.  Are you going to be okay?  I mean really?

I don't even know what okay means anymore.

I know.

This isn't fine.


This isn't normal.


Will we... what's gonna happen?

I don't know.

They assassinated that dude


I didn't really think people just got straight up assassinated anymore


I watched that movie Suffragette the other day

How was it?

Eh it was okay. A little slow.  Did you know those ladies burned houses down and shit? They bombed Lloyd George's house.

I did not

Neither did I.  I thought the suffragettes just marched in parades and stuff.  It turns out they were kind of like terrorists a little bit.

But they were right weren't they?

I know, that's the thing

So what are you saying?

Nothing.  Nothing at all.  Just saw a movie is all.  It made me think.


Uh.. um... nothing.  Just, ya know in general.  Too much thinking is bad for my delicate female brain though.  I should probably stop.


Um... we should probably end this conversation before I say something I shouldn't.

That might be a good idea.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Imaginary Conversations - Clocks

This is the latest in my series of Imaginary Conversations.  You can read the rest here.  This one is... not so imaginary.

What the Hell is even happening anymore?

I don't even fucking know

Like I literally have no idea what is happening right now.  Have I taken crazy pills?  I feel like I've woken up in fucking crazy town.

Well to that pill analogy, perhaps it is more like the Matrix where it has always been like this but now you see the people hooked up to the machine and you are like "What the fuck?  When did this happen?" But it has always been like that.

I mean I get your point, but I really don't think it has always been exactly just like this.  I'm pretty sure this new shit is a whole different round of what-the-fuckery than the normal shit.  I mean even taking into account my privilege and my lack of experience with some of the normal shit that other people have to deal with, this shit seems like pretty crazy fucking shit.  

Fair enough

Is this what it was like during the Cold War?


I mean this feeling.  This feeling like the world is going to end.  Or even if it isn't going to end that it could end.  Like that big end of the world clock deal that they have is closer to fucking midnight, you know what I mean?

Ah.. yeah I get what you are saying

Where do they keep that fucking clock?

The clock?

Ya know the end of the world clock.  Like they have this big clock and when things start to turn to shit some dudes in suits come out and move the hands of the clock.  It is like this giant novelty Publishers Clearinghouse check of symbolic clocks.

I know what you are talking about.

Is it in a storage unit or something until the clock keepers decide to move the hands of the clock?  Do they just reassemble it for their big press conference of clock hand moving or does it actually just sit there in some office and people have to walk by this clock every day reminded that like the Earth could end and shit.

You seem really emotionally invested in this clock.

Well, I'm just saying that the clock is probably going to have to be rolled out again, ya know?  I'm just wondering what the clock might be up to.

You know I'm sure you could probably Google this.

Eh fuck it, I'm just bullshitting about the old doomsday clock.  It doesn't strike you as odd that we have an end of the world clock?

Yeah, it is pretty odd.  It is like those terror alert colors we got rid of a while ago.  It was almost always on Orange anyway.  Like what does Orange today mean compared to Orange yesterday.

Well sort of... but it has been at 3 minutes to midnight for only like 2 years now.  It was lowered from 5.  Last time it was at 3 was in the early 80s and stuff.  I was too young then to remember, really.  I don't remember what it was like to think the world could end.  And like obviously I am not the only person who has this feeling like the world could end.  Obviously the people who manage the clock moved the hand on the clock a little while ago for a reason and I bet you anything they are going to move it again soon.

So end of the world, huh?

I mean that's kind of dumb, right?  It is dumb to talk about the end of the world as a thing.  It seems alarmist and childish.  But... I dunno, people in the 50s didn't think it was bullshit.  They were making bunkers.  We are somehow under the impression that bunkers aren't necessary because of that whole mutually assured destruction thing, but what if some men want to watch the world burn.

Have you been watching Dark Knight again?

No, but I've been thinking about it ever since our nation elected an actual fucking comic book super villain.

There's that

Maybe it is a digital clock now


Whatever.  Whether it is a digital clock or an actual giant novelty clock it is a thing and it fucking scares me.  I can't even look at regular clocks anymore.  I keep thinking of this clock.


Really.  I have gone from being sad and depressed to being pissed the fuck off and disappointed in America to being really and genuinely terrified.  I know that fear isn't exactly the most productive emotion.  I should be thinking proactively and stuff like that.  But... all I can feel is fear right now.  I am not joking around I am seriously worried about the end of the world.

I know you aren't joking around.  I'm just worried about you.

Well, thank you for your concern and all that, but you shouldn't be worried about me, you should be worried about the myriad of ways our democracy has been/ is going to be undermined, what our nukes are up to right now, and the fact that global warming is irreversible and nobody is doing shit.

It's not like I'm not worried about those things too, but you seem to be really preoccupied by those things.


Just... Ok I don't want to tell you to calm down.  I don't want to be dismissive of your feelings.  Just... just don't forget to breathe and all that.

I am finding it hard to

I know.  I see that.  You seem very anxious.

Anxious doesn't even touch it.  I am feeling complete and utter existential dread.

That can't be very healthy for you

Neither is war.  Neither is the irreversible destruction of our natural world, the polar ice caps melting...

No, those things don't sound so great either.

I try to think about people in the 50s or 60s.  Like how they didn't know if Russia was really going to attack.  Like how they actually thought that it was possible that nukes would come down.  That they had duck and cover drills for that shit.  It seems so removed to me.  Even though I was born in the 80s I don't remember that feeling of fear.  I have a lot of disconnect watching movies like Red Dawn or Hunt for Red October and all that.  That whole fear just seemed kind of silly to me.  I didn't understand it.  I wasn't old enough to understand it then.  9/11 was scary but even then it was like... I dunno... I did feel like our nation was protected somewhat.  Now I just don't even believe in this country at all.

I know.  I understand what you are trying to say.

A while ago we were talking about the apocalypse and you kept saying how you thought that Trump would never get elected and if he did get elected he wasn't going to be Hitler 2.0 and if he did get elected Immortan Trump wouldn't have roving bands of war boys off like, ya know, tearing women's hijabs and acting like actual Nazis.  Remember that?

Alright, so I was trying to be optimistic

That's what I'm saying.  People try to be optimistic and dismiss fear as alarmist and insensible.  I told you.  I TOLD YOU.  I told you fucking 6 months ago that the future we were heading toward was closer to Mad Max than Star Trek and you didn't believe me.  What do you say now, hm?

I am worried about the state of our nation, but I still don't think we are in some kind of disaster movie or dystopian YA novel.  The people in charge are shitty and they are going to continue to be shitty, and people are going to suffer because of it, but they have a financial interest in not like completely destroying everything and just maintaining the status quo.  I agree our environment is pretty much fucked, but the effects of that will be on our great grandchildren not on us at this very moment.  Do I feel shitty about the way things are?  Yes of course I do, but I still don't think things are as bleak as you make them out to be.

I just can't muster even that sliver of optimism.  I just can't.  Right after the election I was worried about having a shitty president, a shitty administration, about roll backs of civil rights, about lack of progress, about undocumented people being kicked out or Muslims being rounded up.  Even some of those things people thought I was being alarmist about.  But now?  Our very democracy undermined by Russia? China annoyed? Fundamental faith in the election process destroyed?  I don't know how our republic can even survive this.  Before I was just sort of being hypothetical with the Mad Max shit but now I really don't know how America gets out of this as America.  We either become a banana republic or a military junta or we completely disintegrate.  I don't think there is a coming back from this.  Before I was talking about the apocalypse as a hypothetical and now I am even more afraid.  Whether the guys moved the hand on the clock or not it feels more like 2 minutes than 3.  I don't know how we are going to survive.

Life finds a way.

Fuck it I would take fucking dinosaurs over this.  I would take aliens coming down and ruling us.  We don't deserve this fucking planet.  I don't want to be a fucking plucky rebel freedom-fighting Katniss motherfucker.  Fuck Jennifer Lawrence and her bullshit.  I just want to live a normal life. But I feel like things will never be normal again.

What did Jennifer Lawrence do?

Fucking sat on some sacred rocks or some shit.  She is a bitch. I'm over her.


So anyway.  Where was I?  Oh.. end of the world.  So yeah I mean when we had this conversation 6 months ago I told you all it would take would be one thing to send the whole shit crashing down and you didn't believe me.  But I think we have reached that moment.  Or we are reaching it soon.  The tenuous grasp we had on this reality is failing.  I don't know what comes next.  And I know you don't believe me.  You think it is all hyperbole and anxious rambling.  But I can't take my eyes off the clock.  I used to have some semblance of optimism and it is gone now.  I am just broken.

I... I'm sorry.

You have been pretty quiet lately.  You haven't been as chatty as you used to be.

I'm scared too.  I'm trying to be the voice of optimism and positivity but that is hard for me too, ok?  I really didn't think he was actually going to win.  I really didn't think that any of this would really happen.  I really didn't think actual Nazism would be normalized.  It seemed absurd to me.  Now I don't even know.  I don't even know what to believe anymore.  I want to be the voice of optimism for you.  I want to tell you that its okay or that we will make it through or that things aren't all that bad but... I can't.  I can't do that.  I'm sorry.

I'm sorry too.  I've been so focused on my own feelings that I haven't even considered how you are feeling about all this.

I'm feeling not that great, if I'm being honest.  I'm feeling more like we really are in that Star Trek scenario where we have WW3 before we get to any of the good stuff.  I'm feeling like you were right.

That's not good.  You are supposed to be the sensible one

I know that.  But I just... Can we just talk about something else?

What do you want to talk about?

I dunno.  See any movies lately?

Moana.  You wanna talk about Disney movies?

I don't even know.  I'm having a hard time even escaping lately.  Escapism isn't even working like its supposed to for me either.

Well what am I supposed to do when you are all depressed and I am all anxious?  One of us is supposed to be normal.

Maybe this is normal

Depressed anxiety is normal?

Maybe.  Maybe it is now.  I don't know how you live in this world and not be kind of depressed and anxious.

Should we see somebody about this?

What are they going to do?  Are they going to change the president or make Nazis go away?

Well... no... But maybe they can help us

I don't think there is helping us.

That's... wait a minute you are supposed to be the sensible one that is a really shitty attitude to have.  We really need to do something about this attitude.  I mean yeah okay I think the world is going to end but maybe we can have a... good... shit I am terrible at this.  You are supposed to be the optimist.  I don't do this very well.


Don't say sorry just say... We are supposed to end this conversation on a hopeful note.

Spider-Man Homecoming looks dope

Yeah it really does... wait.. this doesn't solve anything. We haven't resolved anything

I know.