You can read it here: "White Out"
I wrote a new piece of fiction in a genre I am calling Madge-Noir.
You can read it here: "White Out"
I wrote another short story yesterday. You can find it under the Fiction pull-down "A Day Late and a Dollar Short." This is the first thing I've written about Madge in a long time. Madge is back! I'm not sure if I'll ever explain her back story, how she got to that place, or if it will be revealed what happens next. Madge came to visit me and that is what I captured.
My writing recently seems lately to take a dark turn more often than not. I hope readers will find it entertaining, but will perhaps need their own road map to get back from some of the more difficult places I'm driving through or to. (Through which I'm driving. Bah.)
I have plenty of cheerful life-affirming things going on in my life . . . but as Tolstoy wrote in Anna Karenina, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." By this I mean that all happy stories are alike . . . and not often very interesting.
I find that I do not generally have the capacity for long works of fiction. I did write a novella when I lived on Noyo Court; It's not book lengthy but is the longest work of fiction I have produced. I would like to find it to share here. First things first; I'm working to organize this website so that the good stuff is not buried three layers down in the Archives section.
I have certain ideas that WANT to be told, stories that come to me with intensity and realism. They are like crazy people (nuts) escaping from the asylum (nut house) and they deeply desire to be seen and heard. The character Alex, from No Way Out is like that. I had a vision of how he looked and his whole back story was just there. I knew this man like a boy I watched grow up.
I think of what I write as "vignettes." I hope the reader will be taken to a different place and dragged around against their will, always wanting to read the next word, the next sentence, the next paragraph until "boom." It's over. You're dumped back on a sandy beach with waves lapping up against your ankles.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? The short answer is no.
I create art and measure its effect by the number of views and responses I get from my audience. Facebook is currently throttling my account, so that my posts are pushed down in the newsfeed - which is where my friends are most likely to see my posts.
My FB account has been restricticted for weeks now. The number of days it will be restricted never goes down from 90 days. Perhaps in May the throttling of my posts will be lifted, but FB is vague in its sentencing. My current crime is posting "false information."
The first item on the list is something I shared from a reliable friend of mine. I cannot see the whole post to fact check it. I cannot review why it is considered to be untrue. Robb Wittman supported Trump through thick and thin and I have shared many examples of this over the four years of 45's presidency. Wittman was the only Republican Congressperson from Virginia to attend the fascist-in-chief's nominating convention. The photo below is a rare picture of the two of them together - at a speech 45 gave at a Naval base. We know Wittman (Wittless?) loves the Navy. Well not so much the sailors, more the contractors who supply the Navy.
The next item is something attributed to Anthony Hopkins about how to deal with people who are bad for you. After I learned that it was not actually written by Hopkins, I changed the comment to mention that fact and said that the text was still worthwhile and worth reading.
The next item is a post about Clarence Thomas' wife Ginny. I ask if the meme is true that she helped organize the January 6, 2021 Insurrection.
The next item is truly bizarre. It is a meme drawn from news reports about the number of days the Berlin Wall has been down. The day it was published, it was true. The next day it was dated. To label this as "false news" and then punish me for sharing it is a consequence for no crime.
One can say the same thing about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. "Four score and seven years ago . . ." is a LIE.
The final item on the list - well Facebook can't be bother to tell me what it is. The information on phone is a somewhat different list, oddly. This item could be their complaint that I shared false information when I blamed CEO salaries and corporate price gouging for inflation. Their source relied on a think tank funded by our corporate masters.
Facebook also marks as spam my efforts to share my website blog, so if you are reading, PLEASE leave a comment. Or at least a like. Otherwise, this tree that is falling in the forest will make no sound.
Miriam Toews has written a lovely piece, published in a recent New Yorker. She described on incident from her past: “ . . . how my father died. He stepped in front of a train.“
That is so much more elegant a way to say that one’s father took his own life than it is to say that one time my father drank an unusually large amount of whiskey, then ate all of his prescription medication, and finally, woke up dead next to my mother, sleeping beside him. Except he didn't wake up. Like Elvis, he’d left the building, but unlike Elvis, he had left behind a corpse for my mother to find, cold and lifeless beside her in the bed.
So my mother called me up - I was living about an hour's drive away from Primrose Drive, in Lake Elsinore. She told me a long story - took at least five minutes, describing in great detail all the events of the previous evening, finishing up with "and I think he's dead."
That was the first point in the story that she got around to the most salient detail . . . "I think he's dead."
My hair stood on end and I said something to the effect of "Oh my god, Mom, go take his pulse! Call 911!"
She corrected herself and said, "I know he's dead. He's dead."
And we proceeded from there.
But I think compared with stepping in front of a train, overdosing on pills is a much more polite way to leave this painful vale. What a mess to leave for someone else to clean up. How selfish.
My father was in charge of his own boat the whole time I knew him.
He didn't get into anyone else's boat.
He didn't let his boat just wander down the stream, unmoored and unsteered.
He commanded his life story, right up to the end.
And he was generally very polite - as can be seen in his summary actions.
Dismantling the Patriarchy
by Shelley Pineo-Jensen, Ph.D.
The construct of patriarchy is predicated, fundamentally, on the gender binary.
Increase in number of abject traits intensifies the effect.
Gender is a construct.
Transmen and women disrupt the codified power relations between genders.
Biology (sex) is what it is, but “gender” is a construct, a sorting of universal human attributes into two boxes.
The binary is a construct.
Queer theory is the name of these theories of human behavior.
Queer is saying “I do not accept the socially constructed limitations of my gender assignment. I can manifest a full range of human behaviors and am not restricted to performing only the behaviors assigned to my gender.”
Disrupting the gender imbalance goes to the heart of patriarchy – the belief in winners and losers.
Gender is a construct
What it means – “gender is a construct” – is that “winners and losers” is a construct. The gender binary, also known as “masculine hegemony” and “the patriarchy” is a belief system that allows a few members of the group to exploit and disadvantage others. These titans of industry/thieves/corrupters monopolize huge amounts of the earth’s resources, depriving billions of other earthlings the resources they need.
The silly billionaires take rockets to the stratosphere, but the more venal ones are transnational corporations gobbling up the earth’s resources and leaving a wasteland behind.
I feel like I’m living in a badly written Phillip K. Dick story.
Masculine hegemony and patriarchy seem to mean pretty much the same thing. It is a universal cultural belief that there is a natural division among all the peoples of the world into two classes, the gender binary, male and female and hence masculine and feminine.
There is a huge difference between those two sets of words.
Male and female are biological facts although there is not as strict a biological divide as many people assume. Even here, there is a continuum between most “male” and “female” with intersex somewhere between.
Masculine and feminine, on the other hand, are ascribed. They are an arbitrary distribution of characteristics of human beings. From birth, American children are sorted into two boxes, masculine and feminine. Baby boys are tough. Baby girls are sweet. Gender is so pervasive that it is largely invisible, except to border crossing trans people and other queer folk.
We must secure the future life of our planet by uniting as one people. Non-binary is the uniting feature. All the queer people are on the same page about certain realities of this existence – that much of what we are meant to believe are just constructs combined with perceptions.
“The other is bad” can be dispensed with when you become the other. Everyone and anyone is capable of being queer. Being queer is simply not being willing to comply with one’s gender assignment.
Liberation from gender assignment allows women agency as leaders, inventors, and innovators.
Liberation from gender assignment allows men emotions and feelings, along with collaboration, communication, and cooperation (all characteristics assigned to the female side of the binary that are also essential for the continuation of the species and probably all life on the planet).
We’re driving toward the cliff at full throttle now, like Thema and Louise, well knowing that we’re already at 400 parts per million and you know what that means. Well past 350.org.
Earth will host human life. We can do it, united beyond the gender divide, winners and losers, and patriarchal violence to the delicate balance of earth’s biosphere.
Give voice to these queer ideas.
“Gender is a construct.”
Say it out loud to people where you can fit it in.
Open a conversation among all people.
That thus we empower ourselves to see past the binary that divides us into winners and losers.
As long as we continue to perpetuate winners and losers in America,
we will give all the resources to a few selfish greedy men (mostly) who use their billions to waste fossil fuels to blast themselves up into space.
You’re On Your Own (YOYO)
We MUST abandon winners and losers -- “You’re On Your Own”(YOYO).
The falsity of the gender divide drives people to cross over to the other side of the divide – more every day. Trans men and trans women are the pioneers of “gender is a construct” – proving it with their bodies and lives.
We’re In It Together (WITT)
Human beings must reject the conventional wisdom of “winners and losers” and start advocating for human solutions.
Figure 1. Winners and Losers in Patriarchy
Figure 2. Queer Theory (Harold Pliska)
Figure 3. Queer Theor(ies) (Dr. Ryan Calabretta-Sajder)
A dark future is clanging its bell at my window.
Thunderbolt and lightening, very very frightening,
that same storm that ravaged parts of the Pacific Northwest lately.
But Oroville Dam picked up 20’ of water I heard
There is a light snow-pack on the western mountains.
Gotta build up that ice on the mountains to recharge the water table
or else we’ll survive because we divine the production of clean water from sea water.
The hydrological cycle is starting to wobble.
If we are passive, it will get worse.
We already must adjust our thinking
about how and where we build our homes
in the coming relentless storms.
So we can rebuild the same way in hurricane ravaged areas near Houston,
or we can design homes in safer places,
or safer homes for places with risk of predictable natural disasters.
If we stop all carbon today
it will not cure massive changes
in world weather patterns.
Grow local economies with
green investments in homes
Energy-efficiency retrofit and solar panels . . .
tax relief for capitalization than puts local people to work.
The past predicts the future
but TODAY DECIDES TOMORROW.
~ Dr. P-J