Saturday, January 20, 2018

ONE YEAR

an education

they say love trumps hate
in the end
but it could just be hatred
turned cold and bored
there’s a lot to be said
for anger and apathy melding into something
seemingly benevolent
and his anonymous comment
say the only muslims he knows
are the ones killing people on tv
i guess my opinion
is skewed here in brooklyn
passing signs in arabic in chinese in russian
in english and spanish
most often on the same building
i think this is what america is about
because deep down i’m still hanging onto
the innocent white lie
even though the truth couldn’t be more apparent now
my anonymous comment back
tells him to shut up and get educated
although i could tell him
about the arabic kids on the street here
on skateboards
on cell phones
playing video games and defying their parents
just like every other kid in america
do my part to bridge
this chasm of hate and misunderstanding
that seemingly wants to swallow us all
but who wants to hear that in the heat of the moment?
no one wants to hear how much we’re the same
when there’s so much to gain
in losing it all
another anonymous person writes
love wins
which is what got me
to this point in the first place
i wish that i could be that kind of optimistic
to walk around in the rosy world
just waiting for everyone else to blossom
that kind of bliss
must feel nice
like a white suicide
but in the end i write to her
because i think it’s a her
and tell her
that she’s needs to get an education too.

                                                                        
--John Grochalski 

WineDrunk SideWalk : ShipWrecked in TrumpLand week FIFTY TWO wrap up


Are you there kittens? It's me, Ally

Here we are. Fifty two weeks into this living nightmare.
One Year of Douche as President.

What can we say? It was horrible? It could have been worse? It was the worst? The worst is yet to come?
I have hope for this year. I have hope because of the midterm elections and because I saw this map.


That was the electoral vote for millennials - everyone's favorite dumping ground generation. Look around people, they are the future. THAT is what is possible in America if we can just manage to get our shit together. I still believe that this presidency is the death throes of a certain type of America. I have to believe that.

Okay so let's take a look at this final week.
Monday was MLK day. Every president, democratic and republican alike honored the work of Dr. King by giving back to the community - volunteering, service events, painting fucking murals - what have you. That's what the president does to honor the man that said:


So what you may ask did DOUCHE do? You guessed. He did jack shit and waddled his fat ass out to the golf course because in case it hasn't sunk in yet he's a racist trash human being.

I feel like now is a good time to mention that during his first year DOUCHE took 111 vacation days, went on 89 golfing trips and blew through $90,000,000 of taxpayers money. See how great America is? Yeah, me neither.

The big news on Tuesday was that Bannon, that toad of a waste of human soil, was subpoenaed by Mueller to testify before a grand jury in regard to DOUCHE/Russia collusion. This is the first of Trump's inner circle subpoenaed by a grand jury. I want this to mean something, kittens but I'm proceeding with caution.

In a not so shocking poll 42% of Republicans believe that negative press is the same as fake news. If that isn't the power of language to warp and distort reality I don't know what is. Just for the record 42% is 4 in 10 people. So gather up your 10 Republican friends and find your 4 and engage in a serious conversation because this is only going to end in the death of truth.

DOUCHE also got himself a physical on Monday, weighing in at an astonishing 239 pounds - one pound shy of obese. I'm not here to fat shame but I can't help but raise a skeptical eyebrow at the likelihood that he is just one pound shy of obese OR that he is 239 pounds in general. Also outside doctors have concerns about his heart. Apparently fast food and soda isn't a stable genius diet. Who knew?

Now kittens, I know you all remember last week when DOUCHE was a blatant racist - calling countries shitholes - so I have some good news for you! Sarah Sanders said he can't be a racist otherwise NBC wouldn't have let him be on television for all those years. Yes! You see apparently hosting The Apprentice means that even while stripping away DACA rights and calling other countries shitholes you clearly aren't a racist because you're on television. Thanks for clearing that up Sarah.

Okay that's not really good news, I was being cheeky, kittens but you already knew that. So here's some actual good news. Tuesday brought us our first steps in fighting that terrible decision to repeal Net Neutrality. Lawsuits are being filed by states and Senate Democrats are only one vote away from restoring Net Neutrality - an exceedingly popular policy across partisan lines (whoa alliteration!). Who's going to be the lucky Republican to do the right thing? Stay tuned!

Then there is the looming government shut down for friday! How's everyone's stress level doing? More vodka?

Meanwhile the Russians are giving gas to Korea so they can come through on that previously mistaken but maybe one day possible Hawaii attack, the Pentagon is cool with allowing nuclear retaliation for cyber attacks, and our favorite Nazi Steve Bannon refused to answer questions because the whitest of White Houses told him not to. All the while we crawl closer and closer to a government shut down which I imagine DOUCHE just thinks is another vacation.

I wasn't kidding when I offered more vodka.

And while ALL of this is going on, The New York Times on thursday decided to just straight up throw in the towel. I have always held the Times up to the highest of standards - because we deserve good journalism and because in the past they have delivered. That is why they get $36 a month for weekend delivery and 24/7 digital access from me. And yet....on thursday they posted this:

The Times editorial board has been sharply critical of the Trump presidency, on grounds of policy and personal conduct. Not all readers have been persuaded. In the spirit of open debate, and in hopes of helping readers who agree with us better understand the views of those who don’t, we wanted to let Mr. Trump’s supporters make their best case for him as the first year of his presidency approaches its close. Tomorrow we’ll present some letters from readers who voted for Mr. Trump but are now disillusioned, and from those reacting to today’s letters and our decision to provide Trump voters this platform.

What in the actual fuck are you doing TIMES??? Back in 2016 the Times posted a crap ass editorial about "if" Trump won he would make the White House tacky decorating wise and I responded with a strongly worded letter about how they were not taking this shit seriously and now here we are surrendering our editorial pages so that people who support, enable and endorse white supremacy can get legitimacy. Though I suppose this is just another instance of the Times being the Times. Instead of them wondering what supporters are thinking about each new outrage or trying to deduce it, now we'll have first person accounts. Because why the fuck not?

I wonder if the Washington Post wants my money instead.

And I hope it is lost on NO ONE that this happened the same day as DOUCHE's Fake News awards came out.

As we approach the anniversary of the Women's March this is offensive to women and people of color and those that are our true allies. Shame on you, Times.

And since this post isn't long enough, I want to take one little second to talk about this Aziz thing. By now, you've probably all read the original babe article and then subsequent takes - some good, some not some really really not that followed (Why Does Caitlin Flanagan Have A Platform And Other Questions I Ask Myself: A Memoir). In the cries of "witch hunt" and "this destroys the Me Too movement" I have this to add. What Grace describes in no way compares him with Weinstein or Lauer. She calls him a horny 18 year old - which stands in contrast to the feminist persona that Aziz has cultivated. What I think is most important is that while we're all debating if this was "assault" or just "bad sex" is that this scenario is so familiar to men and women. He makes a move. She pushes back. As long as she doesn't scream "No" and blow the rape whistle than he pushes some more. He keeps pushing until she relents. And they live happily ever after.

This is the FORMULA for romantic comedies.

This is what we were raised on. Rewatch Empire Strikes Back and tell me again that Han Solo isn't a giant creep. He literally won't let her be. (Let's take a minute to walk through that kiss scene: A young woman is working in a dark corridor. A guy creeps in, tries to flirt and then starts rubbing her hand. She says, twice, for him to stop and he wants to know why she's afraid. She obviously doesn't want to be kissed, but she's literally backed into a corner so he does it anyway.)

As to sum up, this Slate article really hits the nail on the head: "A sexual culture in which it is deemed all right for women not to be affirmative and enthusiastic partners in sex is a culture that enables sexual coercion......It is true that women are being made to reckon with the fact that most of the men in their lives, including many they like and love, have behaved badly by the standards of an emerging sexual culture. It is obvious they cannot all be thrown into exile. To argue that young women, speaking as broadly and generally as #MeToo critics have, are somehow incapable of understanding this and making fine distinctions is to argue that young women are droolingly stupid. It seems like its own kind of misogyny. It is likely, even probable, that misjudgments and miscalculations will be made in a few cases. There is a difference between suggesting caution about this and implying that this generation of young women has the characteristics of a rampaging mob.
It is by no means clear what we’re all to do with a man like Ansari. But one thing is for certain: if #MeToo is to be a movement that merely indicts the worst of the worst, then we might as well start winding it down. It will never, then, be truly useful to the vast majority of women who have not been preyed upon by millionaire moguls promising them roles or bosses who can lock doors from their desks."

Think about it, kittens.

As this week slid further towards the anniversary of HELL ON EARTH, a porn star named Stormy Daniels came out about an affair she had with DOUCHE shortly after Melania gave birth to their kid. Nothing about this is surprising, obviously, we all know he's a vapid sac of piss but the interesting part is the hush money, $130,000 which came from an propped up organization. Meanwhile, when he's not getting spanked with a copy of Forbes with his daughter on the cover, DOUCHE is out here talking about the Wall being the Wall, contradicting his own Chief of Staff, John "I Fell Right in Line" Kelly and the FBI is investigating Alexander Torshin, Putin's right hand asshole and Trump Jr about how Russia illegally funded the NRA's 30 million in support of DOUCHE back in 2016.

Also we're still careening towards a government shut down.

I'm tired, kittens. Even keeping my chin up and my claws out, I'm exhausted. Has it really only been a year? It feels like a lifetime. I know we have to stay vigilant but we also have to protect ourselves. We have to remember how far we have come. We have to remember how far we still have to go. We have to keep fighting until we're dead from fighting. That is how change happens.

A year ago, at noon on January 20th, I was sitting in the waiting room of my local Enterprise, about to rent a car. That car was going to get me to a small town in Pennsylvania where a lovely friend's lovely family would welcome me as one of their own, feed me, give me a place to sleep and then, in the morning, a ride to the metro station where we would wait in seemingly endless crowd to catch a train to DC where we would march in what was one of the best and most important days of my life.

But that anniversary is tomorrow.
A year ago today, I was sitting in an Enterprise, watching the clock, that moment when the second hand hit the 12 and Barack Obama, one of the greatest men I have had the privilege to vote for twice, ceased to be the President of the United States....

though he will always and forever be My President.

As we mark this sad anniversary, kittens, remember what the next day wrought; protest and constant calls to our reps, blocking them at every turn, the #MeToo movement and stopping the stupid Muslim Ban. Ahead of us - still to fight for - are our Dreamers, and CHIP, our health care and stopping this wall.

We fought hard, kittens. And I'm proud to have fought by your side. This was us. We did this.


2018 is the year we take it back.

Or we burn it to the motherfucking ground.

At 10:30 we resist with the poetry of John Grochalski, the mad genius behind this whole damn thing. And 10:30 on Sunday we take a look back at the Women's March.

Chins Up, Claws Out Forever,

Ally


Friday, January 19, 2018

day THREE HUNDRED and SIXTY FIVE

Beaver Fever

It starts with a text from a friend,
one that makes me instantly regret my last two refills from the water fountain,
the enemy snaking through the walls of the house,
the plate of food in front of me is now suspect,
the glass of water next to it, poison with a lemon wedge.

News-releases and instant panic—
some say it’s coal mining waste,
others, the brain eating amoeba—
washing one’s hands after going to the bathroom is now a pyrrhic victory.

The next day,
panic at the Costco,
the specter of giardia—

I’m reminded of an AP newswire story:
hurricane in Haiti,
“aid trucks mobbed,”
“food riots,”
the subtle coding of racism in objective reporting—

The pallets of water are right in the front of the store,
a woman repeating, “I need more bottles for my cats!”
my own adrenalin rush because they opened early,
disgust at the man filling up the entire back of his Range Rover,
shame, because I’m doing pretty much the same thing.

The quickened steps, glassy eyes of casual terror—
the fragile membrane of civilization, so easily torn.
Welcome to the new normal.

--Matthew Usssia

Matt Ussia is sentient organic matter, an academic, soft core punk, theremin player, photo-blogger, and podcaster who lives in Pittsburgh.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

day THREE HUNDRED and SIXTY FOUR

MY KORA

This is my kora
made of goat gut and great affection,
one grand sigh and every cloud that makes you smile.
It sings with the twang of insects, bird calls,
the hum of a nearby stream entering a river..

Don’t piss on beauty.
Love until it makes you sick.
Pick up your gourd and shake it until you shake the earth.
You didn’t put the monster into office.
You didn’t invite him into your house.

We can change everything.
We can sing until the terrorists in office hear only us.
We are that strong. We are that beautiful.
Open your mouth. Play my kora.
Let its spirit change the way they think.

--Michael Brownstein

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

day THREE HUNDRED and SIXTY THREE




WHAT A 


                                            Collage by Steven B. Smith

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

day THREE HUNDRED and SIXTY TWO

The Wall

“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I will make Mexico pay for that wall.” – Donald J. Trump

The Xenophobe-in-Chief
without personal filters or boundaries,
insists on a geographical barrier
to keep out terrorists, rapists, drug dealers,
but mostly undocumented, desperate workers.

He vows to build a “beautiful” wall,
assures credulous Americans
it won’t cost them a cent,
Mexico will be happy
to pick up the tab.

His proposed budget
includes $18 billion
just to start construction.
The finished product could cost
three times more than
fantasy figures Candidate Crazy
was constantly quoting.

Once again, we’re the gullible,
ignorant electorate
who handed a con man
the keys to our nation,
signed a blank check
and are now on the hook
for stupidity’s exorbitant bill.

--Jennifer Lagier



Monday, January 15, 2018

day THREE HUNDRED and SIXTY ONE

the drug problem in this area

the police raided
another doctor's
office today

all in the name
of cleaning up
the drug problem
in this area

the truth is, the
police would
prefer if they
were the only
ones dealing
the drugs

it would make
for less paperwork


--J.J. Campbell