Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Thank You Letter: On Being Loved Although I Am "Green"

Dear Family & Friends,
This song below is about "being green."  And this post is a thank you to those who love me anyway. Remember the song from Sesame Street when we were kids? "It's not easy being green"? When I heard it as a kid, I learned being different was Ok. Thank goodness I learned that early. Because, turns out, I would grow greener with age. Ha. And everybody in school would notice. Which at the time, I thought was a bad thing. Who knew people would love me anyway once I grew up?

This post isn't about that entirely. This post is a thank you to those who love my greenness then and still do. This post is a big thanks to those family and friends who helped me survive this past year. I had a very tough time this last year. Health problems, surgeries, slips in my recovery from drinking, and a couple (unnecessary and embarrassing) romantic disappointments. Health issues of family members worried me a good deal, too. I've survived one insane, abusive neighbor. I lost a child in need who'd befriended me when he was (appropriately) taken by CPS for his betterment, to a place with food, water, and electricity. It was a good development in his sad life, but broke my heart to see him go. I still can't look at fruit cups or string cheese without tearing up. I also lost my precious Nosy, my beautiful rescue street cat, who sat on my lap and purred through every inch of pain.

Fuck 2016, for the most part. Plus, it got Prince. What the hell.
This is even for my very new friends who would talk to me briefly, often late at night. You didn't know anything was even wrong. But your conversation about your new shoes, you grandmother or your jokes, those helped me sleep that night, or make that doctor's appointment in the morning (after I'd lost my will to keep trying to get better). You helped me show up the next day for another painful procedure. And most of you didn't even know I was in Hell.
This list of who helped and how is endless. And endless. (and also, endless) This thank you is for all those who helped me survive through ways big and small, phone calls, texts, brief visits, for all the people who randomly checked on me, and for those who consistently invited me places they KNEW I'd cancel going (but invited me anyway because they knew it felt good to be invited), for those who listened to me cry, those who constantly said they love me, those who asked "what the doctor say today?" (after the 50th doctor), those who sat beside me saying nothing when I just needed another presence in the room, those who helped me fetch things I needed to feel better (the phone, water, heating pads, blankets, the TV remote, Jell-O)

This is for all of you. And who thought I would have anyone who would care at all? Me being "green" and all that? That's the most amazing part, people loved and love me, enough to hold me up every now and then in the best way they know how, even if just a small way. I'm grateful for it all now. When, honestly, before, the alone feelings almost engulfed me. But now, I realize I wasn't alone. It was just the illness that made me feel that way. I had people.

Some crappy things went down very recently, too. But I've had some support. (Again) Today, I'm thinking about all my family & friends who love me for my separateness, my unique, my eccentric, who love me FOR (not despite) my weird, my clumsy, my sometimes oversensitive, my intense, my sometimes awkward, my hyper, my often inconveniently spontaneous invites  to things 2 hours away or things happening RIGHT THEN (ha), my big, loud laugh, all my differentness.
I ain't got many friends I see or hear from often, but the ones I got love me for my being GREEN. And I know my family has always got my back and accept me for who I am. For example, my friends and family don't mind my unapologetic use of Appalachian dialect straight out of southern West Virginia (in writing and speech) even though I have two graduate degrees in English and writing.

Thank y'all a million times for your support. And if I can do something for you, please let me know. That is a REAL offer, not just something I say.
Here's to spring, exciting beginnings, rebirth, growing things in the dirt and in the heart, bravely! Here's to sun, long days, warm nights, hooting owls, and wild singing crickets, and more crickets, and green, green frogs calling to each other (and us?) just outside our doors. I love y'all to the summer moon and back. I can't wait to see what becomes of my new friendships and who will come to love me for my green-ness in the coming year and who I will embrace in return for theirs, too. Happy spring, friends! 🌈🌞
Even after all this darkness, today, maybe not tomorrow, but today I am as grateful as a frog in spring. And I am loved even though I am my own odd shade of GREEN.

Peace & Blessings,

I won't name my specific friends and family because you already know who you are. Thank you from the bottom of my green heart.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Why I'm No Longer a Feminist: Move the Talk to The Real

(Sorry for the crazy spacing. I suck at blogger, honestly. And for the grammar/spelling because I'm lazy)

And Let's Begin...

No more "F" word label for Andi. (feminist) I'm not a feminist anymore. I'm going to borrow an idea from a poet I know named Crystal Good who recently said, "I'm not a feminist. I'm an Appalachian woman. We never take the day off."

I like that better. Yeah.

I'm not a feminist. I am just Andi. I'm a hillbilly. I'm a writer. For now.  I don't want to talk about fake corporate feminism (which is the focus of the article I'm responding to). I'm more concerned with a more pressing problem- Fake Individual feminism. I've been annoyed with this the last few weeks. Boy, oh boy, am I glad to find a good example of it so I can better articulate. Someone decided to write an article dogging the "fearless girl" statue, pictured here:

God isn't that awful! Just a travesty to feminists everywhere! (sarcasm)

The author outraged at this statue sparked my thought which is useful I suppose, to get people thinking, but primarily, articles such as hers, promote worthless discussion and anger among groups activists need to persuade AND among activists themselves. Gawd, don't piss me off. Get us all excited and passionate!

She didn't. So, Imma try here.

This piece is me doing my tiny part to change the conversation. To change what we are doing to help women and girls in the US and abroad. No. Wait. Lemme revise.
Actually, I would like to stop the conversation entirely-the ones about statues,  word-choices, labels, television commercials, Beyonce's clothing, which group within groups suffer the most oppression, overcompensating for your own privilege, what we should be most angry at, and about what--

instead of talking about all THAT shit, I want to turn the Talk toward the Real. The Real, aka, shit that matters to real women and real girls.

First read this piece that is entirely worthless, both a perfect example of outrage culture and a great example of why many people who activists NEED as allies, can't stand the "F" word (feminism). This article is why so many people do not listen to you, my awesome women activists.

Because what she writes about here is SO common, focusing on the petty!

Click here to waste your life:

Why The Fearless Girl Statue Sucks (not the actual title but basically)

Her point is that a corporation who doesn't employ many women has put up a statue encouraging the bravery of women and how that is hypocritical. Sure. It is. But is that shocking? Not to me. Is it horrifying? To her. (she must not see much horrifying shit)

But maybe she is horrified. However, the piece she wrote will give her LOTS of readership since outrage culture is so popular right now and so is Fake Individual Feminism. (I just made that term up. You're welcome)

As we said as kids, well, no shit Sherlock. Of COURSE companies that do stuff like this often do it for personal gain. Lots of people exploit causes for personal gain, even people who claim to be feminists do it to get readers, fame, money, etc. (See what I did there? Yeah ya did)

Many people have good intentions and do a poor job of helping, which is forgivable. I know I did at age 19. I was wrong about many, many things as I feebly tried to help women and girls. I'm sure I'm still wrong quite often. (A few times today, no doubt) But man, I know I'm right on the money this time when I say, this bullshit writing has to stop.

It divides, alienates, and pisses people "outside" of the cause off. but not in a light-a-fire-under-your-ass-to-help women and girls sort of way, just a if-this-is-inequality-this-is-total-bullshit-and-I'm-shutting-down kind of way.

Let's not be mad at Fearless Girl statues or the companies that implement Fake Corporate feminism to get ahead. Their hypocrisy matters not. It's what the look of the statue represents that people enjoy. Of course companies have been jumping on the bandwagon of the popularity of "feminism" for well over a decade.

Anybody have a chart documenting the rise of how companies manipulate the new "feminism" to sell stuff? Somebody, do your PhD dissertation on commercials that appeal to feel-good activism and Fake Individual Feminism! Maybe someone has already.

I'm sure someone out there has a comprehensive list of hit songs about "empowerment" and "body-acceptance" like "All About that Bass"  (er, I mean, skinny-shaming songs like that All About that Bass. Yeah, it goes both ways, dickheads)

ANYWAY, my point is, what this company did is not at all new. Unlike this smartass article of hers that annoys people who need to care about issues of women and girls, this statue actually hurts no one and inspires people who view it even if the company is hypocritical. I'm not saying this statue will change the world drastically but is it really that horrifying? Is it that offensive?

Oh, everything is offensive nowadays, isn't it. Because we have the luxury to be. (or some of us do) But really, we all do compared to other nations, not that this reduces the importance of suffering here.

Bad things are happening to women here. Sexism is real. But we don't talk about The Real. We're pissed off about statues. But inequality is real. And women and girls NEED the rest of our people to take notice. How can they when my voice, your voice, our voices, are drowned out by garbage about statues? By outrage culture?

Shit that Matters (moving to The Real)

We sit around, privileged as fuck, arguing about semantics and statues and bullshit that doesn't matter while crimes against women like rape in the military, in psychiatric facilities, on-campus, and on reservations is especially rampant, poverty and homelessness among domestic violence victims and women in general is SO high, lack of quality education and social resources for girls and women from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds is SO common etc. etc. etc. Women are being murdered, three a day, from  domestic violence. 20,000 people called  domestic violence hotlines a day. 20 people are physically abused every minute in the US and most of these are women. Half of all rapes are by someone the woman knows and half of all those are by spouses. And let's not forget oppression of women globally, women being buried alive because they were raped, honor killings, genital mutilation, sex trafficking. ALL of this is happening.

But people are writing articles tearing down something as minuscule as a statue. And a statue that inspires people to boot! Privilege at its finest.
And women online are wasting their time and space in their heads thinking and talking about this crap instead of thinking about The Real. Nooooooooo.

I'm not sorry you are offended by a statute. I am not sorry I don't adopt the right labels for your comfort. I'm not sorry I can sit down and talk rationally with the very people who deny equality is even an issue. I'm not sorry I think parades in this country in this time period are worthless. I'm not sorry I hate words like "intersectional feminism" or all the categories of feminism. (categories PERIOD, in fact) I think pro-anybody who wants to fight for justice category will work for me. (I’m not putting that much thought into this part. It’s useless to me)


I am very sorry there is a woman working two  minimum wage jobs right now who has minimal reading, math, and verbal skills because of where she was educated. I'm sorry  psychologically she is at a major disadvantage due to witnessing her father beating her mother as a child  and she was raised in a community where there were no resources for her. I'm sorry about the difficulty of her life. I am sorry for what she cannot contribute to her community or pass on to her children because of her disadvantages. And I'm sorry for how much of this has to do with her being a woman.

I am sorry to her because we sit around talking about statues instead of children whose futures are dark because they are living exactly how she did as a child.

I'm sorry for all the shit I went through as a girl and still experience to this day, too. I'm sorry for the uphill climb life is for all girls, the ones I love included.

No more F word for Andi.

Fake Individual feminism has taken over. But then like I said before, I'm retiring from activism. OK, I may still run my mouth on my blog. maybe. This decision is still up in the air.

But for right now, I want to stop the conversation about noting and turn the talk to The Real.

On Skipping the Women's March (and retiring)

My Last Act of Resistance: This Advice For Privileged Feminists: I'm retiring from activism but first I need to point out what I think is wrong with white feminism. I want to do one more resistant act – and this is it. To offer advice and get some shit off my chest about white feminists. And feel-good activism.

I started my feeble attempts to try to change the world for the better when I was 19 years old. And I've done a little good. Tiny actual, tangible good. Almost 20 years later, I'm stopping for my own sanity. Which is my choice.

Meetings with financially stable white women standing around talking about white guilt and wearing T-shirts and holding signs because they have time and privilege to do so has finally grated my nerves for the last time.

These women go to their meetings and make themselves feel good while a poor woman is unable to afford a babysitter. she walks to work at the dollar store and has to leave her kid with her drunk boyfriend. These women stand around at meetings while women of all races are being beaten and murdered every day, three a day in fact, it's just getting old, listening to these white women stand around discussing shit that doesn't matter. Small details. Arguing over semantics on Facebook. Arguing over what Beyoncé wears.

An example of privileged feminists engaging in feel good activism – "A day without women" it's supposed to be a strike. I don't agree with this protest. It actually gets on my nerves. It implies that our value as women lies in our ability to show up for a job. How was walking out of your position somehow a protest? What about the women who can't afford to walk out of work? This is a strike for women who are privileged. It excludes low income women, unemployed women, single mothers, stay at home moms, disabled women. Etc. I see some protests and I understand why my conservative friends disagree with them. And what exactly will change the day after this protest?

Then there is the overcompensation for white guilt that is useless. Some vegan white chick told me if you are a black woman you have it worse than anyone. She doesn't shave her pits, that makes you empowered apparently. Not shaving. But she can afford razors so that's a choice. Is it empowering to make a choice you can afford to make. How about White women who like to dress as "whores" who think it is empowering to do that although some other women (of many shades) don't have that choice and HAVE to walk the street as actual whores, because maybe they grew up in an effed up home and can't read and didn't have any privileges at all. How does choosing something other women can't and celebrating it make you empowered.

Yeah, so vegan chick told me black women have it worse than anybody. "If you're black you might as well not live. if you are a black woman you might as well give up. We have to fight for them."
She knew a lot. She knew statistics. She knew their history of suffering from books. But who is she to sit around and talk about that in this manner, to me. How weird and uncomfortable that was. And how I thought if I was a black woman would I fantasize about slapping the martyr complex out of her mouth? I'm not sure but I did as a woman with very white skin and privilege like hers. OK well, maybe not just like hers because I'm broke. And she gets paid as a teacher to teach little black kids how to change their community. That shit makes me uncomfortable too. I think probably some of them don't have enough to eat like the poor white kids on that side of town that came to my house for food. They got bigger shit to worry about than Learning community activism in the third grade.
Feel-good activism, the awareness races in their T-shirts and meetings are annoying as hell. I went through those phases which is ok as long as you grow past it and sometimes I want to March, too. But things changed after I got older.

And I learned more about Real suffering, about real oppression, about classism and racism and sexism in ways I never imagined when I lived in a shit neighborhood and had problems that were major, including rats and an abusive (of me) male neighbor, and children who weren't being fed in the neighborhood. Finding needles in my flower bed. People shooting up in the parking lot.
People trying to get into my kitchen windows 3 AM. Men harassing me on my way to my car. I would like to add here that all of these crazy people were white. I would also like to add none of this shit is new to me. But all at once kind of is.

But no one helped. Absolutely no one helped. I asked everybody I can think of – even the mayors office. Friends in government. The building inspectors. The cops. The humane officer's. Thank God I was able to move. Finally, the planning department did do things after I moved (after I emailed the director and raised 8 shades of hell). Because the employees ignored me before. Basically.
Daily, I think about the women in that shit neighborhood who cannot move. The ones who have to live with rats. I couldn't sleep at night for nightmares about these damn things – as big as cats.
I couldn't sleep because I was so Afraid I would see another rat because I heard them daily. I couldn't sleep for fear my window would get broken in by my drug addict neighbors, fear my psycho neighbor who kept a stool outside my window would finally crawl his fat ass through. (But I kept stuff in front of the window. My dresser)

This crap is awesome for existing PTSD by the way.

I couldn't sleep for listening to the animal he abused. I still think about the women who cannot get out of that hole. And then I think of the white ladies at their little meetings with their little T-shirts talking about black women and poor women and what they're going to do and how none of it makes a damn difference to the women's stuck in the holes with the rats. I think about the white vegan chick who doesn't shave her pits (driving a Prius helps guilt) telling me how bad black women have it. and how this too was about her guilt. Her useless self-serving guilt.

If you are living in a decent neighborhood, and you can afford a T-shirt, and you can afford the gas to go to a meeting… do something better. Start an organization that actually makes real tangible changes. Doesn't just win votes for people and make vegans who don't shave feel good about themselves so they have the energy to walk into a classroom and tell little children how to change their community. You know, the dirty and hungry kids who can't concentrate.
Do you want to March?

March your white ass down to the dollar store and if you see her walking, give her a ride home.
Start a fund to give local women money for babysitters. Better yet, put money in a damn envelope and slide it under her door when nobody's around. Don't film and put it on YouTube either. Leave groceries or clothes for someone who needs them. And do it anonymously.
Give some shit to the local domestic violence shelter. Give them tampons, socks, blankets, whatever the hell they say they need.

Put up a little libraries in a shit community. Which I was going to until I realized my neighbor would tear it down like he did all the other anything I put outside. Or he would pee on it how he peed on my porch. Spit his tobacco on it. How he did my car.

Go set up a tent in the middle of the shit neighborhood and talk to people about how to get into college. How to get their GED. Give them information. Give them a list of rehabs. Write something about the causes and put it on the Internet or pass it out. Aggravate the shit out of your lawmakers. Just do something besides go to meetings and wear T-shirts.

I ain't doing nothing else. I'm going to get this book of women's writing published. I'm going to write a blog post about a bill needs passing. And I'm going to help women individually when they need it.
This post is my last resistant act.

Thank you for listening and letting me share. March ladies. March. Some of us are just too tired.
Andi has left the building.

Do Some Shit: Why Did I Write This Again?

I got friends disagreeing with the "Day Without Women March" and they are getting whooped half to death online just for not walking IN line. "A day without women." Good idea. I reckon. A day off? A strike? That's neat and all. And visible and loud. Gives me the feely- feels too, to see women out doing stuff that feels neat.

Thing is though, the abused and dying and impoverished women and girls cannot take a day off from their shit lives. Take all the days off you want. Post about it on Facebook.

While you do all that and feel really good about it--women are dying from domestic violence , (3 a day in the US alone), trafficked for sex, tortured and killed in "honor" killings, living on the streets, going without health insurance, falling through cracks as little girls and growing UP (down?) to smoke crack and hook on the streets, being sexually assaulted, (and watching her rapist continue to lead the debate team on campus) etc. etc. etc.

Do some Real shit. Not Neat shit. Not self-serving Feel-good shit or arguing over speeches at award shows shit, what Beyonce said shit or who has it the worst shit. (Trans. Straight. Gay. Black or poor or white or red or southern or northern)

You can do other shit! Not necessarily loud or in the street shit. (We already done they shit) Not wearing some hat bullshit. Not standing around hollering in the street shit. No holding signs or hands or.... That time has passed already shit because the world knows we are here, but who is scared of a loudmouth? A pack of angry dogs with bark and no bite? (Nobody)

Don't argue about what you can't say. Or think. Don't holler at people who already (or will learn to) hate your ass. BUT-

There's legislation you can come up with or help pass. Assholes in congress you can meet and hold accountable. Shelters and crisis centers that need your donations and volunteer work. Etc. etc. Women online who could really use a great website on domestic violence. Posting cute shit on Facebook about "Happy Women's Day!" Will not cause fewer women to die by acid or fire or hammers or fists or guns.

It will not shelter homeless women or their kids. It will not put a bottle in a baby's mouth. It will not teach so and so walking the street how to read. It will not get little girls off drugs. (And IN the classroom) Taking the day off work is NOT similar to sitting in the front of the bus. It will NOT end violence or poverty.

Pink hats and rousing speeches by stars will NOT untie the hands of law enforcement who WOULD arrest your stalker if only better laws were on the books. Signs about rape will NOT end rape or hold rapists accountable. Glass ceilings will not be shattered by yelling. (Or singing for that matter)

You don't need an organization. You don't need a leader. You don't need instructions. You don't need signs. You don't have to be in races. You don't have to have T-shirts. You need yourself. Your brain. Your muscles. Your ideas. Your specific gifts and talents whatever those are. Get out of the March, away from the herd, out of the sheep, walk down the street and go do, do, do. Stop expending energy pissing people off who hate you already and go slay.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Shock Event: How We Are ALL Being Played. We MUST Unite Now

Heather Richardson, professor of History at Boston College explains what is REALLY happening right now and this information for us all, no matter our political views. Please read.

I don't like to talk about politics on Facebook-- political history is my job, after all, and you are my friends-- but there is an important non-partisan point to make today.
What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night's ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries-- is creating what is known as a "shock event."
Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order.

When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.
Last night's Executive Order has all the hallmarks of a shock event. It was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was released, and counterterrorism experts insist they did not ask for it. People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so. Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it.

Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot.

My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one's interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won't like.

I don't know what Bannon is up to-- although I have some guesses-- but because I know Bannon's ideas well, I am positive that there is not a single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle-- and my friends range pretty widely-- who will benefit from whatever it is.
If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have been tricked into accepting their real goal.
But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event.

A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This, for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern states out of the Union.

If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln's strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power.

Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it."

Can't We All Just Get Along? (Yes, We Can!)

I've been paralyzed recently, unable to decide how to best expend my energy when I see most of my friends and family in emotional turmoil since the inauguration. I have also bounced around from despair, to anger, fear, confusion, etc. I started realizing, after being called a LOT of names online by total strangers and told I should die because I supported the women's march, that the issue that terrifies me more than any other piece of this smoldering toxic garbage pile, is that our division may be irreparable if we don't change the rhetoric online. How we speak to one another (er, scream) online is not helping the chaos, the despair, the rift between people who used to care about each other.

PLEASE NOTE: my next post is a passage from a political history professor who has information about "shock events" and what the real purpose is. This concerns us all. Please consider reading my next post, even if you ignore this one.

I put this photo here for you to think about. If I comment I'll be writing a different essay. (I tried, my intended one-line comment became like....ten paragraphs in five minutes)

If you know history, you know some division is necessary for change. But what happens when we move away from focusing on necessary action (and necessary outrage) and turn into belligerent trolls who hate and abuse the shit out of each other on the internet?

What signals the difference between us destroying our nation from within and a temporarily divisive movement that will strengthen a people in the long run for its having occurred? Hmm.

I say ask the internet! (Or don't, unless you want to be covered in toxic goo that never quite washes off)  I'm concerned we are doing some irreparable damage to each other. Are we focusing on dialogue, a message, or are we focused on tuning out and abusing each other to the point of complete chaos? Until anger and rage, from everyone, boils over and results in violence?

I'm actually pretty fond of no violence.

Since we're all fond of not being in an actual war-zone (with guns and everything) and people hating each other is sort of how that whole thing starts, I'd like to talk more about how we talk to each other in private and online rather than the policies at the root of the unrest. ENOUGH people are talking about that. I want to talk about us.

And I'd like to be really silly about it, too, because--

I can't do THIS for you

But I can try to make you laugh, think, and maybe deal with your emotions for a few minutes in a way that doesn't end up in your arrest or disowning by your relatives. Sing! Bad boys, bad boys, whacha gone do....

I hope this piece helps you think more critically about your relationship with your community, particularly online. Which is, we all know, where people really, really like to show their asses.

Ha. Double-meaning, there.

Some people laughed at Rodney King when he said, "Can't we all just get along?"

Rodney King was wise to put advice in the form of a question. I still don't have the answer to that. (That's another essay, too) But I believe we need to use nonviolence and civil debate rather than insults, put-downs, threats, and general ugliness toward each other to get our points across.

This is not to say protests are not necessary or that anger should be buried. Of course it's necessary if you feel passionate about what's happening. Let's just hope you're on the "right" side of history, right? You've read enough to know what's coming but before I run my big hypocritical mouth, first, I want to apologize to my conservative friends who I may have  hurt with any of my words. I have been a wee bit testy. I said "screw you" a couple of times. Once to a guy who called liberals bitches and the other time was to pretty much everyone on facebook. Which I deleted after I was able to calm the Hell down.

BUT I didn't call anyone names (at least)! I'm so proud of that!

So, basically, I've kept my mean-girl behavior somewhere in the 7th to 10th grade range rather than 3rd. Which is like, better or whatever.

Na-na-na boo-boo, y'all.

You guys know groups of people consist of individuals, right? Not like this big lump of evil?

We can't appeal to a lump of evil. You know who you CAN talk to? INDIVIDUALS.

When we disagree politically, we LOVE to forget that individuals make up groups, don't we? We want to hate "them." We want to fear "them." We want to hate this imaginary COLLECTIVE. (Except the Nazis. They were pretty much a collective evil. Different essay)

But I digress, liberals don't like "the conservatives" and conservatives don't like "the liberals."

YES, there are idiots on both "teams" who are vile. Some are violent or cruel or racist or sexist and TOTALLY using the political climate to be a MAJOR dick. The racists and wife beaters and idiots are always dicks. But political upheaval is like Christmas for them! They get to rage and throw their weight around and bully people online and have some people actually BACK them up! Saying stuff like, "GET OVER IT, you little PUSSIES!" and the social media crowd just goes wild. Some say, hey, it's no holds barred, m'fers, this is politics!!!

What a crock of self-serving, rage-aholic bullshit. And maybe it wouldn't be that "big a deal" to call people names on the internet if unprecedented numbers of U.S. citizens weren't marching and protesting, shutting down airports, crying openly in the streets.

You really think it's a productive, helpful idea to be nasty to people right NOW of all times in our history? Giving people who already hate you new reasons to hate you? Before you answer--

Please, take time to think about that.

Me? I refuse to believe every member of the "Red" team are racist, sexist, and basically hate everyone TV evangelists say is bad.

"The pile of money you send us should be this high."

As someone who almost always leans more left, I also refuse to believe all people on the "Blue team" are sane, correct or well-meaning in their actions and beliefs. But WHY would I say some of my teammates may not be great? Because PEOPLE.

Feminists, has anyone who HATES (or thinks they hate) feminism ever said this to you---

"You're a feminist, but I wouldn't lump YOU in with the rest of those nut-jobs! They're man-hating psychos!"

Consider how we have a serious inability to hate the other team as individuals but no problem at all hating them as a GROUP.

Has anyone ever said something like this to you?

"I know you're a conservative but it isn't YOU I have a problem with, it's THEM---

"You're a friend of mine. I would never lump you in with all those CRAZY racist bastard right-wingers!"

It's hard to hate someone or call them a dumbass or insane or a snowflake or a bigoted right-wing psychopath if you KNOW and LIKE the person, right? Or even if they are a mere pleasant acquaintance on social media who posts really funny things and fuzzy, fuzzy kitty cat pictures!

It's hard to call someone you KNOW loves kitty cats a bigoted piece of shit. (You know, how you called that one stranger on that one thread)

"I voted for Trump but look how cute I am anyway! Squee!" said some people I know.
(And they are correct)

Now that I've got your attention with a cute kitten, here's a letter for both teams! YAY!

Dear Red team,

That group of angry feminists you think are completely insane women who hate you because you're a guy and hate their lives because no one loves them except their cat---that group is actually made up of individuals, not 2,000 carbon copies of evil incarnate. I bet some of them don't even want to "indoctrinate your children with anti-Christian philosophies" or force men into slavery so women could rule the world. 

I even bet most of them do great things for people they love and even their community. YOUR community. 

This group you HATE is a collection of individuals you may even already know and love. INDIVIDUALS you may love if you got to know.

Shit, that's good. I'm gonna write that one down.

Dear Blue Team,

There are many people who love whatshisface that you probably know and love. They are not an Army of Evil. They're individuals who do not agree with you. At all. But I bet some of them would even give you the shirt off their back, no matter your race or gender. I bet most of them DO NOT run over kittens on purpose or exist only to plot crushing your every freedom and your every dream. I'll bet some of them may even understand you if you talked to them honestly. (Without, you know, the cussing and insults, and stuff) There's common ground here outside of species. I promise.

                But, then there are the people who DON'T get to talk anymore or be part of the conversation ever.
Like the really, really rotten guy who wrote this.

I don't think this will make our country great again, dude.
Go sit down at the kid's table. And no dessert for you!

That was his response to a video of Ashley Judd speaking. That's all. Just a video. I came across this on a friend's fb. I mean, ain't nobody gonna be able to say a nice word to this guy. He's making it impossible. I wonder if he realizes that.

Social media is a disaster right now. It's a disaster but I can't look away! None of us can!

But I have zero channels, I would never know if a blizzard was coming if I stopped social media!

And that could be bad.

While I am firmly against this administration for many reasons, I finally realized something more important than my being RIGHT about policy. Our people are in total hysteria. World leaders are criticizing us. There is resistance on an unprecedented level and since the administration is doing nothing to help soothe the unrest of our people, we're going to have to do that ourselves. It is VERY important for New Guy's supporters to also stop and take note of the unrest happening. Do you REALLY care more about being "right"? Or do you care more about your people being one? Because I think the 2nd one is patriotic. Whatever is being done now is not working, evidently.

This hysteria is solid proof that things are going very, very wrong with this new administration. You and I need to work on patching divides anytime it's possible. It isn't always.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in nonviolence, but he said rioting is the language of the unheard. Can't we ALL just practice this ONE lesson the great Dr. King mastered? To UNDERSTAND something even if you don't "agree" with it? For ALL our sakes.

People who feel HEARD, do not riot. So, listen.

There are enough reasonable people on both sides that an honest and productive conversation can take place. I still believe in the goodness of human beings and I'm going to try to behave in such a way as to inspire other people to believe it and BEHAVE like it, too.

well, initially, I had a social media hissy

I miss hearing "Now, let me be clear," when our former president spoke. Out of respect for a guy who never verbally assaulted the "other team", a man who told us to never despair when things looked dark, ESPECIALLY when things grew dark, a guy who, when he spoke, attempted to UNIFY all us crazy asses.ALL of us. In that spirit, I'd like to say to my friends

Let me be clear.

We MUST get back to this.

                Be kind to each other, Americans.
 Andi out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Response (lack of, actually) from Our Representatives on the Miners Protection Act

As y'all know, I've posted a letter to Mitch McConnell regarding the Miner's Protection Act (Senate Bill 1714) which would keep our miners and their widows from losing their health insurance if passed in full. Scroll down beneath this post to read that letter. Since then, a 4 month extension was passed. Because of this worthless extension our elected officials passed, our miners will now lose their insurance in April instead of this month.

Way to go, elected officials. 

I posted my letter online and in newspapers asking Mitch McConnell to publicly respond to the question: 
WHY hasn't this bill passed?  Senator McConnell thoroughly answered ignored my question. 

[HERE IS THE SPACE WHERE I WILL POST MITCH MCCONNELL'S ANSWER TO MY QUESTION. Obviously, this space will grow with the more words he puts in it]

Inside that empty space there SHOULD be an answer, one of SUPPORT for our miners but instead there's only silence.  SILENCE? 
That silence is a yawning chasm, above it, the hopes of miners and their widows hang as if from a thin, frayed string, swaying above that void born of apathy, indifference, and neglect. I will ask again, WHY hasn't this passed, Senator McConnell?

Here it is in a bright color so you'll be sure to see it: 


I emailed both Senator Manchin and Senator Capito, the two senators who introduced the bill, asking why it has not yet been passed. Senator Manchin has not responded. Capito responded. Her main point was, "I will continue to work to ensure miners receive their promised benefits." This didn't really satisfy me that day. So, I  replied to Captio, writing, "Can you deliver my letter to McConnell? Can you ask him to publicly respond to us?"No response from Capito on that specific question. (yet)


Contact McConnell's office by writing your question "Why hasn't the Miners Protection Act passed?" using this SIMPLE FORM. Or click HERE to see a list of PHONE NUMBERS AND ADDRESSES to mail your letters. 

And don't forget to click the facebook icon below to share this online.