Friday, July 17, 2020

This time. Maybe.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

I’m using: balance, cerebellum, gentle, overhear, surround

They were submitted by:


I feel like I'm on autopilot lately. Cerebellums be getting us through, right?

As I'm writing this, protests against racism and police brutality and how those two intersect to cost Black lives have been going on for 47 days. I've watched live streams from independent journalists for most of those days keeping up with marches and protests across the country in as many cities as I can and occupations in new york city, buffalo, the North Carolina governor's mansion, Aurora, d.c., Atlanta, Nashville, Louisville, Seattle, and more.

I have seen American citizens be brutalized for nonexistent or arbitrary rules, shot point blank with less than lethal rounds, choked, hit, gassed, maced, pepper balled... I've seen protesters shot at by racists and people mad about being inconvenienced. I've seen them hit by cars while I've been on their streams and unfortunately I saw someone shot and killed. Every time I open a live stream these days I brace myself for seeing someone get hurt or even die...and that's from the relative comfort of my home. I can't imagine how bad it is for people on the ground, the ones streaming every night to get the truth out who have been targeted by police in multiple cities across the country despite their press passes (because of their press passes) or for the ones marching for justice and reform every day they're able.

I've also seen protesters give each other gentle education, make demands, surround one another with love, and succumb to the stress and cause problems. It has not been a faultless movement and fear and defensiveness has cost lives, but the good, the empowerment, the organization has been more than a balance to the ugly. That good, that love and it's search for justice and equality has exponentially outweighed the bad.

It feels different this time.

I remember (vaguely) the LA riots/protests. Protests about our involvement in Iraq. I remember the occupy protests in 2011/12. I remember the protests after Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. There were protests after Trump won and again in 2018. For many of the years of my life there have been protests to address our attack on other nations, our attack on Black and Brown people here and abroad, and for an end to the kind of unfettered capitalism that costs so many lives especially Black, Brown, and queer ones. Yet here we are...

But this time...maybe?

Earlier this year people protested for the right to get sick and die and also get others sick, for haircuts, for using servants for conveniences...and the general public looked on in horror at what we were willing to do to one another. Coughing and spitting and screaming spittle on folks during a pandemic for the right to go to a bar. The divide seemed impossibly wide.

And then George Floyd was murdered by police in broad daylight by an improper chokehold by a police force representative of every department across the country with a long history of lynchings, rounding up slaves, busting unions, belonging to the KKK, committing assaults, running drugs, having theft and prostitution rackets with the locals and more.

People of color are tired. Tired of dying over nothing more than the color of their skin, when they're asleep in their own homes, doing what they're told, or acting out. Doesn't matter. Tired of building up their own communities just to have them destroyed and then told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Tired of existing in a society this unfair just to be told they're playing a "race" card.

If you use that phrase, eat my entire ass.

People are tired of a system that allows people to sit back and profit off their work, that makes it impossible to escape poverty, that puts people in huge amounts of debt to get an education they'll never stop paying for during their lifetimes. People are tired of being overworked and underpaid and having to choose between food and water or not even having access to clean water. People are tired of men like Jeff Bezos whose taxes if appropriate could, alone, pay for so many social programs, for needed infrastructure, for mass transport, climate change programs, and more. Seriously...and more. And he would still have more money to burn than most people will ever see in their lifetimes. We're tired of being in the caboose begging for scraps and fighting for a step up while people with inherited wealth and endless opportunities have golden toilets and rows of shark teeth ready to snap the smallest chunk of change.

We're tired.

And angry.

And this time, it's different.

If you listen closely, you can overhear it whispered from our lips in the shadows of the night and the bright of day. Every moment.

This time.



Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

Wandering Web Designer

On the Border

The Crazy Mama Llama

Part-time Working Hockey Mom

Friday, July 10, 2020

Rules? What rules?

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 6 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

We enter a second quarantine, this time with you only being allowed to have essentials items sent in by drone. The drone can only deliver a week’s worth of food and it can’t weigh more than 20 lbs. What is the drone bringing you?

It was submitted by:

****I just want to clarify that I know the person sending this in didn't intend to rile anyone up, and it's an interesting prompt. And I do probably sound angry. I'm angry at my state government. I'm angry at my family. I'm angry at the federal government. I'm angry that people keep dying at the hands of cops.  I'm angry that last week I saw someone shot to death at a protest and a few days later the live streamer I watched got hit by a car going 80 mph...while there were hundreds of people tuned in and then they had to make their account private because people kept cheering over another protestor's deaths and wishing death on them. I'm angry that so many people willfully ignore why protests have to happen and care more about whether they're inconvenienced slightly than why the police kill Black people at 2.5 times the rate of white people, and that it opens the door for people to be openly and grossly racist and kill or attempt to kill protesters creating a cycle of violence.

I'm not ok. We're not ok.

I live in Georgia.

I suppose what we're in right now is a second wave of coronavirus, but our numbers never really dipped enough for that to be realistic. Our governor, who stole the election in the first place, waited until too late to take things seriously which both influenced the populace to also not take it seriously and made it harder to control our numbers. And now he's pretending everything is fine even as we increase 3400 cases a day.

The point is that even under the strict circumstances outlined in this prompt, I would give anything to have an actual quarantine at all, for businesses to close until it's safe and for allocating my 20lbs a week to be my biggest source of stress since I need more weight than that in dog and cat food and cat litter alone than to be worried about dying and leaving my kid with no one.

But I'm not going to get that.

I have to worry every day about some asshole who won't wear a mask meaning my death. Mask wearing isn't about wearing one to protect yourself. It's about fucking wearing one to save everyone else and so we can get back to some semblance of normalcy. Other countries have done it for a long time to prevent an individual from getting others sick. Why don't we wear them during flu season, you might ask? I don't know maybe because we value individual feelings and faux freedom over the safety and freedom of everyone. Other countries have been doing it since their populations actually, you know, give a shit about other people. I don't know how to explain to callous, selfish pricks how to care about other people enough to shut the fuck up with the conspiracies and whining and politics and Wear. A. Goddamn. Mask. You. Soggy. Piece. Of. Toast. How did we get an entire couple generations of adults who are basically ready at all times to do "whatever it takes" to protect America unless that means wearing a mask?

If you think I'm talking about you, I probably am.

20 lbs? I am poor. I cook a couple times a week with few ingredients already because I have a tight budget. 20 lbs a week to feed my family is nothing. This week alone I've made two big meals (taco stuffed peppers and chili mac) that pretty much last all week long and for much less than 20 lbs given what I already had on hand. That part--the budgeting and scrimping and creativity--is what poor people have always done. Ribs, brisket, lobster, cereal, grits...we've always made do with what we could get and made it taste so amazing that within a generation everyone wants it and the price is driven up. Lobster used to be a poor man's dish. So give me 20lbs just for food and I'm good. I got this. I will make these rules my bitch.

But pet supplies? COFFEE? Oh god I have to have ginger ale. Got to have weed....

Honestly, you let me go without coffee too long while my pets slowly starve, and I'm going to beat the shit out of the first rich person I can find and make them let me have their deliveries. We all know they won't face the same stipulations anyway. Put people in a bind like this, and they will fight for life. I would.

Fuck around and find out.


Baking In A Tornado

Wandering Web Designer

A ‘lil HooHaa