What brings people together to cheer mindlessly? Trump has made such a frightening mess of the USA and the world situation that we look at his ‘fans’ and think ‘are you out of your fucking mind?’
But all of a sudden I thought of fandom in all its forms and other things like Branch Davidian, the members of Jim Jones cult that killed themselves, the people waiting in the desert for aliens to come and take them away, the group that killed themselves waiting for the mothership, Hitler’s rallies, Mussolini’s rallies, people standing outside Windsor after Diana died, Trudeaumania, Elvis fans, Beatles fans. We speak of his followers as a cult but I don’t believe that is the case. Groups gather to celebrate, talk, party, scream, dance and yell and be a part of something larger than themselves all the time. The world is full of strange and lonely people who all have different beliefs and obsessions. Specifically what brought the thought was fandom. There are one fandom people, there are serial fandom people (like me), there are people who follow multiple fandoms. The different pairings are endless and looking at some of them from outside you think WTF. The stories within a single fandom display an incredible breadth of subject matter and if you have ever been squicked by something you have read about your favourite pairing you would understand the blinding observation that people really are different. Same show, two minds so diverged. Think of sex and all the different ways people relate..BSDM, sadism, masochism, m/m, f/f, threessomes and more. Think of furries and bikers and curlers. People become interested in so many different things and looking at some of them from outside one wonders…how can they possibly love that. Sports…hockey lovers who hate basketball. Others who love watching skating competitions. The things that interest others most often seem weird to those of us bored to tears by whatever it is..or outright detest whatever it is…like dog fighting rings or cockfighting rings or people who go out and shoot wild animals for fun and ego satisfaction.
Look at all the different religions and the fanatics that follow many of them and the weird things they believe. Look at all the different varieties and churches just in Christianity. So, the mistake we have been making is in thinking Trump supporters are morons and stupid and blind and self-destructive and treasonous when they are merely fans who have found their current niche, a home with like-minded people and even if you find some of them off putting or coming at the fandom from a different place than you…you are accepting because the ‘object’ of your affection is the same. Think of having a child who is different – disabled, mentally ill, criminal, tortures animals and goes on to kill people…the parent hurts but protects. The parent might turn a blind eye and refuse to believe their child capable of the horrors and even when faced with incontrovertible truth still denies the reality because it is totally unacceptable to them…they will it not to be true. Those who fell in love with Trump as a media star (and look at the variety of media stars and what awful people some of them are..even John Wayne was an asshole but much beloved and excused for his opinions and thoughts) it is so hard to let go of the fantasy of what he represented to you in the beginning. It is like when your teenager brings home a totally unacceptable boyfriend/girlfriend and you as a parent want to throw him/her out of the house and scream at your kid that it is a horrible choice and you refuse to let the relationship continue…I guarantee you that what might have been a single month relationship could become a marriage just to defy you. Trump supporters are the same..juvenile as that may sound but then fandom is a hangover of our juvenile refusal to grow up. The more we disparage them, the more fervent they become and the more determined to stand by their man. Maybe if we left them alone, stopped making fun of them and criticizing them and accepted their right to choose their love object…they might just come to a point where it is time to move on to another fandom, another pairing, another anything.
We all know that the Republicans in power have their hands in the till and are sticking with Trump because once he goes, they go. We also know that a lot of fringe weird morons will never leave Trump’s base no matter what crime he commits. But, there MUST be sane, sensible, honest, upright citizens who love America, love the constitution, believe in true law and order, revere truth and justice and do not want America to become a police state with citizens being beaten in the streets for lawful, peaceful protests. Those Republicans should take a deep breath and for once in their lives vote Democratic ticket. Four years…please just give us a four year breather and use that four years to find and groom a decent Republican to run for President four years from now. Save the country from gestapo tactics and a fascist president. Trump was NOT your choice, he became what was left for you to vote for if you were determined to vote Republican, just as Democrats are faced with Biden. The system and the dark money on both sides give you unpalatable choices…please please please side with sanity and give America a chance to breathe again. Because for 3 1/2 years we have not been able to breathe under Trump.
Born May 1, 2004, died April 30, 2020 – my heart.
Yes, that is what it feels like. Killing my dog. Euthanasia..such a polite word doesn’t quite cover the feelings engendered by thoughts of putting Ashley to sleep. In the past month or more she has trouble walking, cannot keep her head up, keeps TRIPPING OVER HER MUZZLE and doing somersaults. She is sleeping more and I think has even lost more weight. So I think…quality of life. It has been a year in dark silence without a nose to bring in the information of the world. She is fed and drinks water, sleeps and dreams, for a year she walked a LOT in circles bumping into things and getting stuck under others. She is passive but when caught under something will squeal. No matter how I handle her she does not squeak. It is my need that is keeping her alive, not her quality of life. What quality can this life be? As long as she is breathing, eating, evacuating and not exhibiting any signs of pain…is that my criteria? And should it be? So, with the new hanging head problem I think, I will take her to the vet on her 16th birthday which is May 1. A week goes by and I count the days..only eight left. I look at her, I cuddle her in my arms this tiny newborn, silent, still, accepting animal and my heart hurts and I think…again…it is too soon. How about my birthday, July 31st, give her and me three more months. Right now in the middle of a pandemic Covid-19 with the world up in the air and now the news of Norman’s brother Glen being murdered. By July 31st the world should be clearer, maybe Covid will have made its resolution obvious. One more summer. Since I have to stay inside for Covid, as I have for Ashley for a year, a few more months will, maybe, bring more clarity. I just wish I knew I was not being selfish and cruel.
The first thing my mother taught me was to clean. We were the poorest of the poor, my mother, a 19 year old, uneducated girl with two children, alone in a garage loaned as shelter by a kind acquaintance. I never had new clothes and the ones I had were inadequate to the weather. We were always hungry and lived in places with spiders and rats and cockroaches but from the earliest age my mother had me scrubbing. Washboards and lye soap in concrete tubs came before wringer washers. Hanging clothes out on the line in all kinds of weather freezing to hang, frozen to remove. I was stood on a box to reach the ironing board at six. My life became always cleaning up after others until I ended up solitary in my concrete box in the sky with only myself to keep clean and pick up after. Mini rebellions surface, bathless for days, floors unwashed, dusting neglected, vacuuming abhorrent and avoided as long as possible. Certain things never neglected, laundry done practically the moment it is removed from body, dishes never allowed to pile up, stove top always gleaming, interior of fridge spotless. Clothes are changed from skin out daily, teeth are frequently neglected. I am currently reading Among the Bohemians about artists, writers, painters, sculptors, musicians from 1900 on who left their homes to congregate in squalor and starvation in garrets to serve their art. In the middle of a particular chapter on Mrs. Beeton’s rules and the daily chores of women after the first world war deprived them all of cooks and cleaning women had me up and lifting rugs and shaking, sweeping tile floors and then washing them, scrubbing down cabinet doors, putting ruglets in wash. I was never artistic, didn’t have any particular skill (except spelling 🙂 and generally floated through life oblivious of most things but long before women’s liberation noise impinged, I always felt a sense of disconnect and dislike of the inequality between men and women as represented by housework. The constant, daily, repetition of the same tasks. The hour of my life gone as I swept and washed the floors, to experience a moment of pleasure at a job well done and over with and shining proof of accomplishment, only to have a man or children or animals come in and casually destroy it all in a matter of seconds and there it was to do all over again. A more thankless life I cannot imagine, no salary to show someone appreciates in any way, shape or form the action just taken and time spent. No gratitude or thanks or attempt to preserve the work. Here it was put in more stark terms, these women had a calling, a gift, a talent and in so many it was wasted, thrown away ..replaced by peeling potatoes and sweeping floors. I feel a bit like Pavlov’s dog, a line or two in a book rang my bell and now I have clean floors and the urge to vacuum which I am resisting.
My entire life has taught me one thing – there is no free lunch. There is nothing for nothing in this world. There is ALWAYS a price. Large or small, spoken or unspoken, sometimes self imposed but there is always a price.
Denise or Bea gives me a surprise gift – I love it, I am delighted to be thought of, I am anxious because now I feel I must reciprocate in some way. They will protest that it is not expected, they had no thought of getting anything in return – maybe – but as time passes they do think “gee, I did something nice for her and she never does anything nice for me”, and so it starts – the canker worm in the apple of the relationship.
Parents care for you and feed you and love you – maybe – and in return they expect, want, need, demand obedience, love and to feel pride and not shame at who and what you are and how you succeed in life.
The smallest transactions between people or animals requires a quid pro quo.
This might be considered a twisted view but I prefer to think realistically about things and it has been based on my 75 years on this planet.
The thing about Bernie is age doesn’t matter. All he has to do is get in, kick out all the bandits, hire some decent people and be a good man who tells the truth. Of course, it also won’t work for any candidate no matter how charismatic, young, perfect, good (like Obama) if the voters do not get some of those Republican Senators out of office. Mitch McConnell blocked Obama and so did Congress so he was helpless to do much. The people have to do a clean sweep. The man in the President’s seat doesn’t have to live for a second term. All he has to do is get Trump and his minions out, get the right people back as head of all the institutions like DOJ and EPA. Roll back a shit load of Trump’s crap. With the help of a majority in Congress and the Senate…put tax back on the rich including Amazon (165million dollar house just bought by the man who never pays any corporate tax) that is sinful.
I think the American people have to stop thinking of the White House as it was in the past and what it is supposed to do for them and refusing to elect anyone who won’t pander to them. Right now, it is 1939 and in less than a year the tanks will be rolling and anyone who disagrees with the White House will be dead or in a concentration camp so never mind what good things you want…start working on stopping the bad things and get the train of state back on track. I listen to too many people saying…ooooh the blacks or women or gays or latinos or muslems won’t vote for.XXXX unless he tells them he is going to give them. That might have been okay in a normal situation but this is not a normal situation…no one is yet asking Americans to put their bodies between bullets and the rights of others in the nation but they are demanding they get out and bloody well vote (Iowa was a disgrace) and people who are still waffling between Biden and Bloomberg and those still following Warren and Buttegieg…pick a place to make a stand and then hold it for the next nine months and proselytize. I am so tired of talking heads on news shows and nothing being done and some jerk democrat politician this morning saying ‘wait and see, it is early yet, whistleblowers will come forth’ like hell. I feel like Cassandra yelling at the people of Pompei as Vesuvius rumbles and they go on about their business buying fruit saying ‘wait and see, this isn’t bad, maybe nothing will happen’. Dominos are falling daily and still there seems to be absolutely nothing anyone can do through rule of law. (okay off my soapbox…like I said..I watch too much news tv these days on Youtube. Morning Joe etc.
I was thinking of how crazy it has made me to watch ordinary Americans crowded into Trump rallies, cheering him on, wearing t-shirts they paid him for sporting his latest slogan and all this despite the lies, the criminal behaviour, the outright theft from their pockets. Last night I thought of Walmartians and the thousands of pictures available on the net of these strange people who, when you look at them, you think WTF were they thinking, are they blind…have they no shame? My mind wandered on to Vicks..famous and rich and loves to hurt dogs and thinks it is okay. On to Davidian’s compound, the mothership folk, Jones and his koolaid. It continued…fundamentalist christians that send money to men like Falwell despite knowing they use it to live high on the hog. I kept thinking about people who run puppy mills and perpetuate that kind of horror, Epstein and his little girls, suicide bombers promised what in return for their lives? On and on my mental progress through a world where horrors are routine everywhere and we live with them. Random people walk out with a gun and kill 1-50 other random people and nothing is done. Politicians like McConnell work the system up front and brazenly and dare anyone to say them nay and no one does or seems to have the power. 300,000 million people in the country and these few stand and thumb their noses at those that elected them and pick their pockets and the population seems totally helpless to stop them. The government takes a good chunk of the money the people sweat for, leaving them barely enough to keep a roof over their heads and feed their children. The government then spends the money on wars deliberately fomented so that the oil barons and the arms merchants get obscenely richer and the children of those same tax payers die far from home. Then some fat rich politician cuts food stamps, health care, allows pharmaceutical companies to raise the cost of necessary drugs out of the reach of the citizens that need them to survive, sells public land to rich friends, allows other rich friends to pollute drinking water, takes away protections for endangered species so other rich men can get richer and 300,000 million people seemingly can do nothing, in fact, 150,000 million cheer them on as their jobs disappear, they have to sell the family farm to a big conglomerate (you think that wasn’t planned), miners with black lung are given a two minute audience after travelling hundreds of miles to beg for help of their elected official. The craziness goes on and on and on and I am lying somewhere between asleep and awake and trying to see my way to somehow not caring. I want to stop feeling angry, I want to stop feeling astonished, surprised and sick. I want to stop wondering how this can happen. I want an answer. I can’t turn to a bible and let it tell me just accept the shit… that if you believe …something better will come in the next world. We are living the Peter Principle…we have all risen to our level of incompetence and can no longer deal effectively with our world and so we are like chickens with our heads cut off… running in circles for the little time we have left. There doesn’t seem to be an answer but if I can hold that image in my mind of Walmartians and Trumpers, maybe I can accept that I have always known there was crazy in the world..it is just that I forgot that most of it wears a normal face with their crazy on the inside and the poor Walmartians wear theirs on the outside for the world to see. They always tell speakers with stage fright to look out and picture the audience naked. From now on when I look at pictures of Trump supporters…I will see Walmartians.
The truth of politics the world over is that what we are seeing every day reported by media is all bread and circuses to keep the attention of the masses of sheep from realizing they are surrounded by wolves that control every single politician…Republican AND Democrat..and the media. We are at their mercy (of which it appears these days..they have none). People are rioting in the streets all over the world ..and why? Because those greedy corporations and grotesquely rich people have gotten greedier and more careless of letting their actions show. They are moving too fast to undercut and take away the few chintzy rights the middle class and poor people have fought so hard to gain in the past 100 years. Brazenly handing out tax cuts to obscenely rich people and then claiming education, health care and veteran’s services need to be cut because there is no money. WTF they must really believe that the entire population is blind, deaf and dumb. They have managed to dumb down half the population and are working hard to undercut the rest but I think these old white men have forgotten..women, blacks and gays have gotten a taste of freedom and power and we will not be shoved back in the closet or kitchens of the nation. If we can’t stop these thieves any other way we will march and burn them to the ground. Drag them from their rich mansions and tear down their power structures. The French revolution did it…it can happen again. Money didn’t save even the King of France, what makes you think that when climate change starts destroying our lives that we won’t come for you. Memories are long and we know who is responsible. Right now the people are trying to let the laws of the land do the job of protecting the people from the predators who have gotten too greedy and shameless but make no mistake…we are not the peasants of France, we will take you down if the law won’t. Look out your window when the women march and imagine if we decided to stop being peaceful. We might bring the country down around our own ears faster than you are already doing it but you will be crushed under our feet first. Talk about Civil war….yeah some of your brain dead followers might get up in arms but thanks to the NRA the rest of us are armed too and we are a fuck of a lot smarter. Just because we are currently law abiding doesn’t mean you can keep pushing us over the brink. We are not lemmings, we can and will strike back.
Just found this place (Bibliophage Space). I read a lot, and I read fast and I re-read. My current year on Goodreads challenge stands at 279 books..my goal is 365. Retired and single so lots of time and freedom to do nothing but read. I follow my inclination which can take me anywhere. I don’t look at books for their quality of writing, their current or past popularity. I do tend to avoid best sellers. There are only two books I haven’t finished in my life… Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past ..I have the trilogy format and twice now I have gotten halfway through book two and funked it..the first time was I was interrupted and when I came back I had lost the thread and so put it aside till I could restart…restarted twenty years later and that time it bored me..the people were just so annoying and I didn’t care about any of the characters. The other book is the Bible..prefer the Boomer version 🙂 I love biographies, books of lists and information, books of quotations. Not up on contemporary fiction, currently reading my way through my personal library. I got a Kindle a few years ago and now have 1000 books on it…spent a few years reading cosy mysteries. Then another couple of years reading fan fiction zines in three fandoms. This year I picked off my own shelves. I started January 1 reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series in order right up through the new ones written by others and then moved on to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern and then all her other series plus a few biographies about her. Hospital Station series by James White; Dorsai series by Dickson; Grimes series by A. Bertram Chandler, Falkayn&Van Rijn series’ by Poul Anderson; Flandry series by Poul Anderson; Flinx series by Alan Dean Foster; StarWellThurbRevolution by Panshin; Journeys of McGill Feighan by Kevin O’Donnell Jr., This week I am taking a breather from SciFi to read Do You Sleep in the Nude, Conversations in the Raw, People Are Crazy Here and Valentines and Vitriol by Rex Reed (tell me I am living in the past and you are right….the news these days is scary as hell. Next up and already on the bedside table is Spider Robinson’s Callahan series. Oh, I did read On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder which blew my mind. My bathroom reading is H.L. Mencken’s New Dictionary of Quotations on Historical Principles 1347 pages of the tiniest damn print..I doubt I will live long enough or my eyes hold out long enough to finish that one. All of the above are mostly paperbacks I have owned forever. I am also reading Charles Greville’s Diaries..on volume 2 of 6…feel like Sisyphus…politics ugh. On my Kindle I am reading Sympathy for the Devil about Gore Vidal. On my Kobo I am reading Who Let The Dogs in by Molly Ivins. So many books, so little time. To answer the question..I am a pig.