officially old: what do I do with G+?

So.  I’m not actually an early adopter.  I like technotoys and all, and even though the longer I think about it, the more I’m convinced that Google = Skynet, I got one of my friends to hook me up with a G+ invite.  I’m not totally behind the curve here, but far enough behind that I don’t have a lot of friends that are on, and I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be doing.

My most favorite thing so far is that folks from BIU and Racialicious are on there, and I can follow them without doing Twitter.  Because yeah.  I also don’t do Twitter.  I do not all the way understand Twitter, either, actually.  I get the following part.  I don’t get the conversation part.  I’m still not sure how that happens.  And I don’t think I have time for it anyway.  Honestly, I don’t understand how all these people can have jobs and have time for all this social media!  Unless.  Well.  There are a lot of unemployed people these days.

See, I must be crazy old, because I freaking LOVE del.icio.us (just delicious now).  I love getting to just outline some relevant text in an  article that someone should totally read, and then addressing it to that person, and sending it off.  I get to keep a copy to know what I’ve sent.  With add-ons on Chrome and Firefox I can just hit a button to tag something.  It’s easy and functional.  And a dinosaur.  (And in the midst of writing this I just delicious’ed [yes, it is now a verb] 2 articles to the R and 2 to my mom.)  But really, who wants to send an email link every time they come across an article that they want someone to read?  And who wants to receive that email?  Nobody.  Not me anyway.  Delicious me, sucker.

In other news, I recently involved myself in a political discussion on FB.  Which I don’t normally do.  The post was just so inflammatory to me though:

oh this is the kind of fight i can get behind. Go Cantor! Go Boehner. DO NOT CAVE. If the president won’t bend (whether on principle or bc he’s trying to keep his left base happy) on spending cuts then FORCE the debt ceiling freeze. Then he will have no choice but to prod his party to cut spending or default. And he’s surely not stupid enough to default.

I was apparently in just the right place to HAVE to respond.  I knew I’d get whacked, but I had to. And I did get whacked, but not by my friend, by her husband.  Which I’m not into simply because he doesn’t know me. At all. Anyway, my point is that this whole debt ceiling mess is grating on my last everloving nerve.  I realize governing isn’t as clear as it seems to us folks in the peanut gallery, BUT!  Can we not get it together?

the stone on 'Secession Hill'

I live in Podunk, SC.  Nestled between the seat of secession and a town that hosts a store actually named The Redneck Shop (Google it if you must).  Nearly every white person I meet around here is a staunch Republican.  And yet many of them see the need for compromise to work things out.  To be clear, the Tea Party has South Carolina by the nipples, but there are still reasonable people (of the Republican persuasion) here.  If we can have them here, how did none of them end up in DC?!?  Why is Boehner so beholder to the TPers that he can’t even lean toward reality?

Eh.  I don’t know.  I wish the President wasn’t so centrist, because then we might actually end up in the middle.   But now, he’s so centrist, and wanting to work with everyone, he’s leaning further and further right.  It’s like he keeps capitulating and the GOP is like – “that’s right, we’re not caving on ANYTHING”.  But they should be held responsible for holding up progress and gumming up the works, and somehow that’s not happening.

SO frustrating.  Especially since I live in Podunk, SC.  We all know the score here in South Carolina.  The Dems here vote party lines whenever we can and it makes no difference.  It’s spitting in the wind.  And I don’t know what it’s like other places, but here?  It’s mostly because there are so many poor and middle class white people here who would rather miss out themselves than see the gov’t do something to help poor/middle class brown people.  You can tell when it comes from that kind of place.  Because the arguments have HUGE holes.  Something like. “Yeah, but you know, State’s Rights!”  Or just a pure bootstraps argument.  I’m tired of it.  I try to stay out of it, but CNN is on blast in our work breakroom 24/7.  It is very uncomfortable to be the only brown person at the table during some of their topics.

Anyway.  I’m still not clear on G+.  Ideas?  =)

Advertisements

almost, doesn’t count?

falling-moneyThanks to Liss, I had to watch a bit of the American Idol final auditions to keep my heart from palpitating.

See, for some reason, I am not appreciating all the townhall meetings.  All the talk about stimulus, with action still not forthcoming – blowing up into a battle between the Left and Right.  Lots of ways to spend money, not so many ways to *make* money.  The talking is actually really annoying, and I’ve passed the point of being disgusted with the folks who are supposed to be representing us and acting in our interests.

The longer I live, the more it becomes clear that we are all the same.  None of us has ever come this way before.  Some of us are better at learning from others and others’ mistakes, but most of the time we’re all just making it up as we go.

When you figure out that we’re all just making this up, you realize how much more important it is for those people in positions of responsibility to learn as much as they can about whatever it is they’re responsible for.  We have to be diligent, because we are actually running things.  That is a scary thought sometimes.

So check it out:

According to Kanjorski, on September 18, 2008 the Fed tried to “stem the tide” by pumping money into the financial system but it didn’t work and decided instead to announce an immediate increase in deposit insurance to $250,000 per account to stop the panic.

Said Kanjorski: “If they had not done that, their estimation is that by 2 p.m. that afternoon, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn out of the money market system of the U.S., would have collapsed the entire economy of the U.S., and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed. It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it.

::shudder::

dancing on the tightrope

The tears are here.

I spent the last two years in thought, in anger, in fear, in prayer, in despair, in faith – with occasional glimmers of hope.  When the nomination was won, I wasn’t all that happy, cuz my girl didn’t win.  I wasn’t surprised – I wasn’t despondent – but I wasn’t crazed, like a lot of people were.

As time went by, I became more convinced that Obama would win.  I had lingering doubts, but I was pretty sure by the time November 4th came around.  I couldn’t help getting swept up in some of the Obamania – like the Yes We Can video, and the pictures from all over the world, of people who wanted Obama to be our next president.  I’d felt ambivalent about Barack for awhile – when I noticed that once the smoke cleared after his inspiring speeches, I never actually had any substance to hold on to.

His first speech that I watched – in 2004 – was incredible to me.  I thought, “Wow!  Who is heHe should totally run!”  That speech was truly inspirational, and gave me hope for the Party.  When he announced his candidacy, I thought – well, hey, that’s great – he’ll get a chance to learn the ropes.  I wasn’t thinking that he had a chance to win.  I wasn’t thinking that I wanted him to.  Part of me did – just for the historicity of it – but mostly, no.

I voted Green.  Because I wanted to.  I stood in the booth, choosing between two black candidates for the office of President (!), and even then, I wavered.  But I did what I’d already resolved to do, go with my heart and vote Green.  Living where I do, I had no illusion that we might end up a blue state.  Certainly not Green.  But I did my part to be heard – to be counted.  And I watched as the votes were tallied by poll estimates.

I hoped.

I stayed up incredibly late, considering I had to go to work the next day, and watched as history was made.  I saw other people cry, but I didn’t.  I was happy that McCain didn’t win.  I was happy that the Obamas would be moving into the White House.  I saw the handwriting on the wall – a friend of mine stated that the only positive thing about the election results was that they proved that racism is over in America.  This, on a grander scale, was what I’d been afraid of.

Nationwide, there has been an uptick in proclamations of a ‘post-racial era’ having been ushered in by our newly elected President.  Today, I watched Oprah speaking with Demi and Ashton about their part in the political process.  They (the Moore’s) have put together a video of famous people taking Obama’s pledge – Demi directed.  In the video, there’s a guy (I don’t know his name) who says that he pledges to think of himself as an ‘American’ and not an ‘African-American’.

Oprah said she loves that.

I don’t.

That’s when I started thinking about this whole thing.  This whole new era that has most certainly been ushered in by the historic events that will continue to take place through this presidency.  It’s a tightrope.

I’ve been afraid to hope, because

  • Promises from politicians haven’t ever meant much
  • Backlash is brutal
  • I wanna at least hold on to the progress that we’ve made up to this point
  • I know that this is gonna be hard. real hard.

So I kept being pragmatic.  At the price of sometimes being labeled a naysayer, or raining on parades.  But it’s true – this is NO time for complacency.

But at the end of Oprah today, David Foster, Will.I.Am, Faith Hill, Seal, Bono, and Mary J. Blige sang a new song.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Download and Watch America’s Song“, posted with vodpod

And I cried.

It is a tightrope that we’re on.  Hope is a thread.  It’s fragile.  It must be guarded.  It must be cultivated.  It requires something of you.  Of us.  If we’re all gonna be out here on the line together, we have a responsibility to keep our neighbor’s standing.  It affects us all.

Tonight, though?  I’m dancing on that tightrope.  In step with the rest of you.  Through the tears – I’m dancing.  May God keep us together.

in support of belief

one moment: We have a black president, ya’ll.
That’s some serious stuff.  All by itself.

Moving on, I have to comment on the injustice that has been legistlated this week.  My mind is almost reeling, cuz I was sure that California [of all places] would be able to defeat a proposition recommending to limit the rights of a select group of people – gay people.  Living where I do, you kinda get the picture that Cali is one big gay sex orgy.  No joke.  So it’s crazy to me that they could scrounge up so much support for an article that restricts the civil rights of gay people.

But then there was a measure in Fl, and another in Az, for similar purposes.  Both passed.

Do people understand this is like saying, basically, “we don’t want gay people living in our state”?  That’s crazy.

smoking hot

smoking hot

Here, I’ll pause with a pic of Cap’n Jack Harkness: Torchwood hot boy who plays bi, but is totally gay.  I just love to look at him.  Good actor, too.

Ok, on to my point, the largest single reason that people give for being against civil rights – pretty much any civil rights, for any group – is religious belief.  God ordained these people to be downtrodden, for whatever reason.

And for some reason, this does not sound ludicrous in people’s heads before they say this stuff out loud.

But you know what?  I’m not just mad at folks for misrepresenting God’s character as someone who is a respecter of persons, I’m pissed cuz they seem to have totally forgotten what America stands for.

America: land of the free*, home of the brave.  This is the place settled by people looking to get out from under the thumb of religio-political rule.  The place where in the midst of truly horrible persecution of indigenous peoples [endorsed by the twisting of religious belief] people continued to seek freedom of and from religion.  Do we have a twisted past?  To quote Ms. Palin – You betcha.

But religion has often encouraged us to think bigger, live better, and bear up those who would otherwise be forgotten.  Our beliefs are wide and varied, but normally we al come back to the unifier for all US citizens.  The fact that we are safe from legislation based on religion that restricts the rights of a select group – when said group is not restricting the rights of others.  See, we restrict the rights of murderers because they eliminae the rights of others to live.  That is a clear demonstration of how our laws are supposed to work [according to the constitution].  Restricting the rights of people who live in pink houses, because someone has a religious belief that pink houses are an abomination?  Obviously foolish.

But two gay people getting married to the person they love infringes on my rights as much as people who live in pink houses.  Less so, even.  And yet here we are.

If people don’t have something/someone to believe in, they fall to themselves.  This tends to lead to situations best illustrated by William Golding, in The Lord of the Flies. The complete breakdown of civility towards those with less power is a human tendency.  America has a rich history of demonstrating it, but also a rich history of struggling to overcome it.

Belief is not inherently bad.  Religion is not inherently good.  But each one must reason for themselves.  The character of God can seem mysterious, but the foundations are evident in the best of everything we can see and do and be.  In simplicity, God is love, and we may live richer lives by basing them on this belief ahead of all others.

(*originally land of the free applied only to white men, then it was expanded to white women in some ways and black men in others, it has expanded futher to include pepole of all races, so long as their gender is clearly defined and their sexuality is strictly hetero.  Although, of course, free still doesn’t mean equal.)

hope you voted – I did

I was in and out of my polling place in about 7 minutes.  I went with a book, just in case there was a line, but there was no need.  Every other time I’ve been there to vote, I was either the only person there, or one of two.  But today, I figured more people would be out.  There were.  I had three people in front of me in line!

No matter if your town is big or small, I hope you voted today.

I’m actually more interested in how things turn out for the senate/house, and what happens on Proposition 8 in Cali, than the presidential race.  Maybe I’m jumping the gun, but I feel like Obama has things pretty sewn up.  Guess we’ll all see, in a few hours [or at least by tomorrow].

Enjoy your evening, fellow civic-minded friends!
(it’s easy being Green)

loaded terms (the n-word for [some] white people)

As the presidential race nears its end, and tensions rise, it has become abundantly clear to most that race is playing a huge role in this…race.

Exhibit A:

A coworker speaks:

America’s not ready for a black president.

and

I just can’t get past his name.

and

He [Obama] is best friends with a terrorist [Ayers] – they’re next-door neighbors!  He [Ayers] helped him buy his house!  And I know he hates America because of his pastor.  His pastor hates America!

and

The reason the stock market keeps fluctuating is that people are afraid Obama’s going to win.  And he’s gonna raise taxes, and all the companies will go out of business.

and

If black people hadn’t gotten all these houses that they couldn’t afford, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

–Just typing this stuff, I could feel my blood pressure rising.  This guy (the same guy I was talking about before) pisses me off so much.  I haven’t been a die-hard Obama fan, but I will say, that given a choice between McCain and Obama for president, I’d choose Obama every time.  Every time.

The thing that gets me, is that this dude wants to say all this crap and then say-

Oh, I don’t have a problem with black people.

If you mention that some of the things he says are racist, he’ll go crazy trying to defend himself.  Making up all kinds of fanciful, far-fetched reasons he believes anything bad he hears about Obama, and discounts everything bad he hears about McCain/Palin.

Exhibit B:

My dad has a friend – they’ve been friends for years – but he’s more like an adviser/sounding board to her than someone to actually hang out with, or whatever.  A long time ago I realized she had some race issues, and it would be better for me to not get close.  Dad can take care of himself.  I, on the other hand, might say something untoward.

So every once in a while, Daddy tells me whats going on with her.  They keep up mostly through email these days, and send jokes to each other.  [My dad loves to send jokes.  And those powerpoint presentations of pictures of some famous person’s house, or a hotel in Dubai, or nature, etc.]  Recently, she told my dad that she felt like things in the country weren’t going that bad.  She’s doing better now than she was eight years ago, so [fill your own expletive in here] everyone else.  At least that’s the message I get when someone says they’re doing ok, so they don’t see why other people think things are so bad.

Anyway, she sent Daddy a couple emails about McCain and how wonderful he is.  So, Daddy sent her this:

How Racism Works Continue reading