I'm cranky today.
Does the sun ask itself, "Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there enough of me?" No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself, "What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about me today?" No, it burns, it shines. Does the sun ask itself, "Am I as big as suns in other galaxies?" No, it burns, it shines.
What's really bugging me of late are the people who claim that moderation is the ticket out of the clusterfuck that we find ourselves. Other words and expressions and phrases are coming to the middle, reaching across the aisle, being respectful, both sides are guilty. Etc. I cry bullshit. I agree that heinous people are everywhere, but people aren't building Maxine Waters' inspired bombs and sending them to Republican leaders. Yes, a Republican congressman was shot at a baseball game, but I and the many "liberals" I know deplore gun violence whether it's directed toward people on the left or people on the right. People on the right, though, cling to their "right" to "bear arms," to "protect their families." I have zero interest in tolerating this mindset or even respecting it. I maintain that anti-Semitic and racist violence, while always present, is increasing due to right-wing/Republican/Trumpian rhetoric. I see idiots from my high school class arguing with some of the smartest people in my high school class about how fantastic Trump is doing, how the economy is booming. I have no interest in understanding their views anymore. I can barely talk to members of my own family who support the POSPOTUS or who still call themselves Republicans, much less any person not in my family who espouses these views or who supports the Republican party and their president.
I told you I was cranky.
It's not about me, though, is it? It's about all of us or the rest of us. We've got to vote the Republicans out.
Other thoughts: I'm reading Rebecca Traister's new book on women's anger. It's called Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger. Here's a bit that I just read:
Now, I was worried and consumed with anxiety about what’s happening nationally, but in terms of my own general health, having had the opportunity to write, think, and take seriously not just my own anger, but other women’s anger, was the most salutary experience I’ve ever had in my life. I slept better, I ate better, I wanted to exercise. I was clear-headed. So I am very much in favor of the expression of rage, and getting to a world in which the expression of rage can just be a regular part of the full human range of emotions and thoughts that women have.
However, I am also aware of the fact that that experience was very much the product of a very particular circumstance. I was being paid to do that. That’s not possible for a lot of women who do get punished, right? They get called hysterical, they get taken less seriously. They pay tolls in their personal relationships. So I don’t want to exhort anybody, like, “Go and be your mad self.” If you’re in a position where you can, please do, because we do need to hear from more women who are angry and able to be angry without fear that being angry is going to result in a materially damaging repercussion for them. However, the thing you can do, if you are not in a position to express your anger yourself, is to take the anger of other women seriously, because that’s the part we have to change, not just individual behavior—what we have to change is the way that the world receives women’s anger. That’s about the broader reality that it’s not taken seriously, it’s not considered valid, it’s considered often disqualifying. And the way we can contribute to that individually is by asking women, “Why are you angry, what makes you angry?” and then listening to their responses. This goes especially, I think, for white women and women of privilege. We need to all practice taking women’s anger and women’s rage more seriously, being curious about it, being interested in it. And considering what it’s telling us about the world, about ourselves, about inequality.
I'm holding one of my literary food salons on Friday night to discuss this book. I've got a wonderful group of women coming, and I plan to make a feast for them and facilitate a great discussion about women and anger. No men signed up this time. I changed the name of the salon from Books & Bakes to Eat Your Words. What do you think?
And, finally, last night I attended the Los Angeles premiere of a new documentary produced by Ricki Lake and featuring the stories of families with children who've used cannabis medicine to treat vicious cancers. My beloved Dr. Bonni Goldstein plays a prominent part of the documentary, as well as some other significant doctors and researchers in the world. It's called Weed the People, and I highly recommend it. Reader, being on the frontline of this revolution is just -- wild.
Keep on burning. Keep on shining.