Category Archives: politcal action

Night Terrors

 

 

 

Head held to my pillow

Comforter cover a mummy’s sheath

Sweat soaked sheets

He’s howling

My baby

 

Dream let me go!

I need to get up

get him but

I run in place against

 a hidden force of mechanical phenomenon

Thrashing about,  delirious

in the muck that

willfully conceals my way.

 

God!

Help me reach

His screams

Not for you

But ME

his long departed

deceased lifeline.

 

Impossible to save him

His neck pressed to the pavement

Life slowly suffocating

Squeezing his heart

His lungs

His voice

Calling calling for me

HIS MOTHER

to save him.

 

I can’t baby!

I can’t get to you

I’m letting you down

Letting you die

As I die again

Here in the next world

I die again.

.

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I Can’t Breathe

Exploding canisters

We are all suffocating

Tears pouring

As autocracy creeps

ky-lousiville-0529-4-1440 george loyd protest

Need a minute to get my breath

Some space

Some breathing room

 

Peaceful protesters flushed like roaches

Trump declares he needs no Governor’s blessing to bring them to their knees

On their knees they will have to look up

To him

He sets his flag for fascism

 

Breathtaking

Breathless

Relentless

Get off my neck!

Heavy metal death roar

This weight on my chest

 

Respirator, intubate, oxygen tank, hospital bed, mask

I can’t breathe

Wearing this mask

Anxious

Virus Violent

 

Permit to carry anywhere anytime

Weapons unmasked

Endangered cops and itchy triggers

Psychopath cops excuse to murder

Insanity

War

Smoke

Tear gas

 

In Nashville, my corner

Funnel cloud first

Dust storm next

Smashed sheet rock and ink dyed paper sheets

Scarred the air

Shelter in place, the virus is hunting you

Then the storm

Power out

For days

Hoarded frozen food to stay in for days now useless

What good was preparing for dearth?

 

You don’t know what’s coming

 

Black and White make black and white

Not gray today

Let Black have its day

 

The under loved rightly rage while

Savage Supremacists

stain

Intercept, interfere, interface

Time Square cleared for months by THE VIRUS

Teems with righteous indignation

 

Across the country

Tainted by anarchy placed and paid

Looters

Ruiners

Devastate the innocent and already broken

Misplaced misery

Monsters for hire

 

Being Black means no space

To mourn together

Protest together

Rise together

Yoga, ”The practice of the last breath

Is not enough.

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Ants.

A river of ants flow from the foundation of my home. They stream down the terrace on a single minded mission to multiply beneath a glorious seven foot rose bush.

These otherwise harmless creatures can wreak havoc. Their industry sucks the moisture from roots and mortar leaving dust in the wake.

Pour water down their exit hole to divert them and they disappear for awhile. You think they went somewhere else but suddenly they’re back at the same mission, the same route, to the same place. Maybe they were just “sheltering in place”.

Like us.

Nature’s balance pushed to new limits, the creature Covid 19 found a ripe opportunity to devour the toxic, polluted, immune repressed, stressed human race.

It forced us back to our holes with a Tsunami rage. Without the insidious ravage of humans, the earth had taken a breath. We might have seen how quickly it seeks to repair. Dialed in to needs personal and present we haven’t had time to expand the view beyond that.

The threat of number 19 is now greater than when we feared a water boarding suffocation by leaving our confines. But the autocracy says, it’s time to get back out there. So we take the same path do the same thing in the same way as before. We call it normal. We call it freedom to get back to the routine, to the route. Cloaked in masks, slathered with Purell we’ll clog the highways, swarm the stores, erode the foundation, compromise the roots.

A different path to fulfill one’s destiny is right there.

But like the ants, we just do what we did before.

Don’t know why, guess you can ask the ants.

 

 

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Flower or Weed, Biden or Bernie? Trump? It Depends on the Time and Place. Election 2020

Vote for love, vote for gentle.

WE can’t take another angry man shouting in our faces.

So polarized, so hateful, so tired are we from squad Trump.

CRACKED.

I thought, don’t push it. The PUSH BACK might elect the Dictator again. We can’t stand that.

Tread lightly, make no waves.

Biden is a safe bet. Bernie always seems angry though rightly so.

And then the Virus finished us off. Blew off the doors, exposed the flaws.

Revealed corruption, pollution, inequity, racism in ways some might have ignored before.

The Dictator’s commands from the pulpit are a paucity of mercy that cannot be denied.

The Federal government is “not a shipping service”. It’s every man and state for himself says he. Bidding wars and price gauging while people die alone.

Not my problem. People are free to do what they want.

Work is money. Money is power. Resume your positions.

My show must go on.

Low gas prices, a welcome relief for you,is a crisis says he and you’ll believe it

because Dictator will explain it with a benign malignancy as he does all alternative facts.

And will repeat it every day just so you know he is unashamed and his words become gospel to the flock seeking salvation.

Tells you to your face he will fuck you in favor of his Saudi and Russian oil friends, for an oil industry that should have been phased out years ago

Look at his confidence!

Like, yes we put Jews in ovens but it was good for the economy

and say it every day until we are numb and inert or believe him.

Only a sociopath could pull off such a subterfuge. He’s such a charming fella.

You might forget right and wrong. Some have.

Bernie displays the pitfalls of the 1% disparity. Demands health care and fair wages as a right. Shows that in crisis there is not net for the most vulnerable.

For most of us.

And here we are.

Bernie did not radicalize us.

An invisible bug and ill prepared leadership beat him to it.

Rob Lindsay Pictures

If Bernie was a thorn in the Democratic party he is now a flower in its last phase shedding seeds for rebirth.

If Biden was a cultivated flower he is now a wild one. Will he genetically modify his platform to fit Bernie’s’ as Bernie holds some cards?

If reality star Trump was a flower on a clown’s lapel,

Dictator Trump is a poisonous vine.

Time to clear the White House battleground.

 Spray no weed killing poison but till the fields instead.

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Let My People Go

Dictator runs the narrative, threatens, fires, lies and fury.

Controls the coffers, flogs his servants, incites the faithful, degrades the women, emasculates the men.

He is the sum of himself and his minions. Minions enable the one.

Without that symbiosis the dictator would perish. That parasite needs a host.

Like the VIRUS.

He is he and the sum of his parasites. The host is a shell once called a party.

Republican.

Greed, lust, disregard for the under gloried.

He is Pharaoh.

They are Pharaoh.

Hoards stockpiles of life saving devices in the temple

Those are for the privileged.

The under worthy can silently suffocate alone.

 

Who cares, thinks Pharaoh?

If they care now he banks on them forgetting when he puts a few dollars in their pockets and promises the moon.

 

He is/ they are corrupted Israelites on the radar of one Jesus.

The wealth worshipers.

Wealth is power.

Extra is power.

Time to remember.

At dinner.

At church.

Hunting eggs.

Or matzoh.

 

God threatened to kill the children.

Of the flock that wrongly enslaved and imprisoned.

Release them from bondage or the first born is killed.

And God killed his first and only.

Made him a martyr.

Guilt.

 

He died for you. Now it’s pay back time cause you didn’t get the message.

You weren’t humble.

You worshiped money.

Hoarded.

Abandoned values.

Didn’t notice, didn’t care.

 

Years slide by.

 

Injuries add up.

Poison the earth for a buck.

Flog ourselves to everlasting labor.

Enslaved to the dollar,

Owned by the man, the landlord, the lender,

Over step and step over.

Money will make us immune.

 

Well I’ll grant you it can help

like that fat lipid surrounding the Covid 19 virus.

Their are some shields;

 

Better healthcare, education,

the privilege of space to surround one’s fortress.

But no!

No one is exempt.

The innocent and the guilty will go when

their time is up.

Time.

What will we do when it is ours again?

Will we re step into the ashen streams

Slumber under brown smog skies?

 

 

 

 

 

Dump stockpiles of pesticides back on our food?

Ignore the poor?

Disable the ignorant?

What will we do with our time?

How can we people go

without a path to freedom.

Don’t tell me it’s the next life,

the afterlife.

Tell me something real.

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The Earth Breathes and Nature Runs Free on a Pandemic Morning.

Do we need to lose our breath for the Earth to get hers?

Will the sky appear in China without industry?

What is India without a car’s exhaust?

Will the animals come back if the hunters stand down?

Will the plants reappear if the clear-cutters are laid up?

I drive down the road and remember the Nashville I love.

Traded Los Angeles for a place more small town than city almost thirty years ago. Because of us it became a city. Ironic.

Now small town charm hangs in the air like a friendly ghost.

Space and intimacy are  precious.

One fights to sustain.

We live in tiny tribes separated by things unfamiliar but not unpleasant.

We can buy anything, eat anything.

We can go to music venues morning to night.

Existence means some things are exchanged for others.

And we still find one another.

It just takes more effort.

Effort is good when it’s done with optimism. It’s not bad.

But I notice in this empty space that my optimism was a dwindling resource.

You know what I mean.

Last year I read a study out of England that declared loneliness to be the worst disease of our time.

It kills people.

You see? Social distancing is not new.

Are we at one end of a pendulum’s swing?

Is this Covid monstrosity the full tilt?

Will anything change as we emerge gray haired and naked before each other some time from now?

Still breathing for now.

Listening to the quiet.

Few cars drive down this street these days.

Every day is the third day of vacation.

It’s the fourth day when one succumbs to the reality that this life is not that life.

My time is my own.

What will I do to enjoy it?

.

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Hazmat Suit Sleep

It’s the end of the life that we knew.

We’ll have to make a new one.

Nature is shaking us from our torpor.

Shaking harder I should say. Many of us have felt her urgent hand before.

Some of us will not wake up.

In the kosha layers of Ayurveda the human body is the last thing to feel disease. It comes from disturbance in the field of planetary agitation, emotion, mind and yes, breath.

Earth, you’ve got my attention. I will attend.

Like anyone, you want to be heard.

I hear you.

I see you Corona Virus. Respect for your massive power.

Now please leave us alone.

 

My eyes close at 9:00 P.M.

Sitting in front of the television.

I have no purpose. No schedule. Like some of you. I take myself to bed to rise at midnight despite the struggle to stay unconscious. I imagine prisoners of war. John McCain shows up. He’s young and brave and handsome looking up through a bamboo cage stuck in a hole in the ground.

He’s showing me that sanity now is a choice.

Why him? He’s not the first guy in my playlist of favorites but you don’t choose who visits from beyond.

Merlin, our new puppy will wake me at dawn, my favorite time of day.

Until now.

Willed to the mattress till the first bird sings had been my way. A lack of sleep made no difference. Joyous to fling myself smiling from the bed as my husband soundly slept. Grateful for another day, the sweet foam on my coffee. The peace of being the lone one at my kitchen island taking in the morning news.

Merlin’s sharp teeth and happy paws disrupt my Hazmat suit dreams today. I think I got back to this bed just hours ago. He and Layla, my sweet hound, beat the walls with anticipant tails that herald a delightful day.

Always new. Always hopeful.

I am exhausted.

I think, I’ve got time to make steel cut oats. It takes a half hour. Ha Ha. Why is that still surprising? Coat the pot with Ghee, boil the water with sea salt, add chopped dates with the oats. Sprinkle toasted pecans and dark maple syrup. Feed my husband and son something healthy, something happy, something lucky to have in the ever present rainy gray gloom.

I do a headstand in the living room. Wait for the upside down to get real. Land with clarity. In the upside down life is interesting. And it goes on.

Write this post. Figure out Venmo and Zoom meetings and send resumes for the future. Clean the closets already cleaned before. Clean out this old filing cabinet.

Call friends in California today. Seems a bit of an underachievement.

Call the bank and change my auto pays. Think about how to get unemployment for my part time but constant work of over a dozen years at Vanderbilt. Corporate America turned its backs on those of us paid the least at the esteemed University. What bullshit.

Note to self. Care less.

Some of my clients will buy a Facebook Portal. We will do virtual classes. Three books unfinished beckon.

I’ve planted hyacinth to bloom next year, weeded beds, fertilized and mulched with my youngest son.

The Crabapples are a canopy of white petals. Daffodils are still smiling under blooming Redbuds as the tulips prepare to burst. The wisteria I’ve sculpted on the front lawn is ready to break out. Our bluebirds are building a new nest. The woodpeckers on the feeder don’t know it’s a new world.

It is for us to nurture, to love, to protect and honor all of us.

To seek truth in the smokescreen,

To make sense of truth.

To act in truth for a better life.

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Ashes, Ashes We All Fall Down

 

Notre Dame is burning down lamented my husband’s friend as he walked through the door.

I thought, so what?

Wreckage is the current state of affairs: Our financial institutions, our governing institutions, our crops, our creatures, our home. Flames lick our boots. An architectural feat now a crypt of old stones is just going to be rubble with the rest anyway. Save your thoughts and prayers.  Wooden building blocks of porous words decay by insidious slow seepage of poison on all that are holy. We are the destroyers.

Les Miserables return to France’s streets screaming for bread, incensed by the bounty promised to rebuild a cathedral that might better serve the underclass. French leaders say Notre Dame’s tourist money will bring them the cash they are seeking but that promise is built on hollow scaffolding. Here in Nashville, the empowered have been selling the city off to the highest bidders ruining the quality of life for the greater population who never see a dollar from relocated businesses or tourist trade. We live in cement. We sit in traffic, pay higher real estate taxes on places we don’t want to leave. We lose each other in the density.

The sheer exhaustion of trying to be a person on the planet run by two headed monsters these days overdraws the bank that holds principles.  One head tells sweet lies while the other dictates destruction. Checks and balances no long teeter but lock the good guys out. Words shouted down a black tunnel declare all dark equal and nuance irrelevant. That which floats to the surface is declared scum in the worst of nations that we are becoming in the not united states of America. Submerge the light! Beautiful monuments, testaments of our passion for beauty dot so many cities under siege. They are not large enough to shadow the arduous existence of the average guy.

Doves of peace are released at our funerals and shot to kingdom come by hunters.

Billboards line the highway from Chattanooga to Nashville Tennessee. Yesterday I passed a sign preaching God and the next selling firearms. “Jesus is Alive” followed by a picture of a gun and “Silencers are Legal”. God and death and you know they are sold by the same lot. Any foreigner driving down this road would say these people are crazy. Let’s get out of here. Though I’ve been here for 27 years I am one of those foreigners.

But where would I go? Where would we go? That’s the question for most of the world these days? The flames engulf us.

Here a street fighter who Trumps the free world is a rat man a rat roach crafty swamp dweller.  Half the country closes its eyes as it sways to the illiterate spin topping the charts.   They are the weakest or most corruptible. He knew how to enslave them. He sought them out. They will believe what he wants them to believe. What they want to believe. “Come into the beautiful roach hotel. It is a palace I made for you because I love you. I am one of you. Come in, come in … and die before you realize what I did to betray you.”

He is Quasimodo swinging from the burning bell tower. He needs to be loved. He will do anything to be loved.

Tax and abortion are the Right Wing causes of a posse of self imprisoned Republicans. Are those leaders so tethered to unborn life that it’s no matter that that life drink toxic water, eat fatal food, perhaps live addicted or in juvie or maybe no worse and no better than foster care or homeless shelters for those that cannot make ends meet?

What proportionality allows one to sob over a building and turn a blind eye to the destruction of life around them? What value demands an unwanted or unhealthy life be born into a cruel existence? What logic allows one percent of the life to have a surplus while others starve and toil? Lower taxes on the rich have always been the opium that makes illogical mad hatters of those that choose myopia anyway.

I am saddened by the sight of this fiery annihilation. Even the abominable broken pile of stone and rubble that is Trump saddens me. But he is nature corrupted and a monument to the power of that nature in all its fury and distortion to survive, to mutate and infect that around it to mutate as well. We are awestruck by human potential in the cathedral but we are also awestruck by human potential that cannot be conquered or restrained no matter its devilish intent.

Leave the charred skeleton of the cathedral to remind us of that. Let history in its tortured truth stand. We the people need shock and awe to continue beyond a press cycle if we are to implement change. We do not need to be falsely comfortable or comforted. History for some has relevance only as it pertains to sentimentality.

But the time of reckoning has come.

 

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The Animals are Watching

I woke at dawn as I usually do. And forced myself back to sleep. It’s Sunday and I’m working on relaxing. Respite in bed is not a reprieve for me but today it came easily.

My dog, used to my habits, came at our usual time. She climbed onto the bed where she’d been allowed once when a vertigo event triggered anxiety that only my warm puppy could abate.

Now she drank thirstily from the cool stream that was strangely swiftly flowing through a crevice behind my neck.

Alarmed, I rolled away from the warm comfort of my sleeping husband and rushed out of bed to the kitchen as usual to turn on the kettle and looked out the window.

Hilary Lindsay

The gentle slope from the terrace up the hill was a flooded field. The bird feeders hovered over submerged poles. And the field was patterned in stripes of black and white softened with brown that revealed a congregation of wild creatures sitting terrifyingly still with their heads just above the rising water facing me, my house, a silent call.

We are in trouble. We are waiting for help.

Herons, cranes, deer, even a monkey came into focus as I stood frozen.  The monkey rose from the water, writhed and slashed and struggled to move and I thought monkeys might not know how to swim.  They will die. They are dying. There are so many. They are wild and alien and yet they’ve come to us like they are domestic, part of this house.

I ran to the bedroom calling my husband. You need to come. It doesn’t matter if you are tired. Get up you need to see this.

It had just begun to rain. Again.

And I woke up.

Yesterday Elizabeth Warren announced and all I could hear was the word “fight”. Big money, unfairness in cash, race, …. Shift I screamed to her. Don’t talk about health care talk about the planet, the food, the water, the raped land. Talk about the poison we are ingesting. Tell us we are an extension of all and they us and if we are to survive we have to eliminate our toxic overlords. The toxin is greed. They give us charity to save us from cancer while they make us cancerous. They give us medicine for all the disease they cause us so all we do is worry and band aid our shaking, limping mutated bodies and stay alive though it’s a half life. Talk about rebuilding community, eliminating loneliness, feeding and educating everyone.

Get these damn guns out of here. In this town children are snatching them from open cars. Where are the parents? Are they made useless by despair? Have they given up, the invisible till their spawn end up on the evening news?

Another press cycle begins as the crippled make the tedious trudge to the next presidential election. Will we notice the deflation, the anemia, dementia of ourselves as we make the choices that guide us forward? We are distracted by the affairs of weak men.  We are guided to look away from the big picture to little pictures about little people and their pathetic or natural proclivities that are perhaps the worst of us.

Still, we go forward in small ways, in anonymity. This is as it should be and always was. We don’t need a megaphone and a platform to show us that.

But as the most powerful nation on earth influences the other superpowers that govern these small lives in our separate, intimate communal, we are bowled over, drowning in the sound and vibration of the doom broadcast through the sound and visual waves we flounder in, the undertow.

I know why the creatures came to me as the rain began to fall again. They are me and I am them and they and I know it.

 

Can’t you feel that too?

 

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Messages From Your Mother

 

My friend’s kid got roofied at a bar in Santa Monica on Halloween. She spent the night in the E.R. I told my mother who snapped,

“What was she doing in a bar? Girls don’t go to bars to stay out of trouble!”

“WHAT!” She’s a quiet girl, a delicate girl who mostly stays home with her dog and worries about everything. I ask my mother why she isn’t supposed to go to a bar and why it’s her fault someone put something in her drink.  She was having a glass of wine with a girlfriend. They were in costumes to celebrate Halloween. Did they have to stay home in Burkas?   “She should have known better says my mother. Everyone knows what people are doing these days. It’s all over the news.”

This is the attitude of someone born in an era when men were in charge and women were taught to use female skills to manipulate, deflect and manage them. My mother was taught that men will be men and it is a women’s job to be smart enough to navigate that world. It was a weird combination of male worship and a testament to women’s superior wit

Why were men worshiped? Because they had the power.  Men have been in power since God was declared a man.

In a pre-feminist world where the men were in power, a smart woman would be wise to tether herself to one of them like a lobster crate to a buoy. Getting that man was a competitive field and more than that; every women knew what another woman was capable of because all women were taught to be manipulative. Women were taught implicitly or directly that worth was tied to seduction and seduction was a competitive art. The enemy wasn’t an aggressive man. Aggression in men indicated courage. The enemy was the siren who was after him when you’d already planted your flag.  That woman’s aggression made her a hussy.

That was the case in the socio-economic metropolitan New York I was raised in.  Things may have been different in diverse cultures around this country but I doubt there wasn’t some provocation for women to sharpen their  skills.

Here in Nashville Bible Belt values aren’t exclusively chauvinistic I guess but many faiths are a memorandum to women to please and place their men first. If you really believe it is God’s will won’t you resent the woman who tows another line?  I mean that woman could be trouble.

Even sister wives fight for the head seat at the polygamist husband’s table. Being favorite is fleeting and you don’t get a say but an ambitious sister wife isn’t going to roll over so fast.

On the other hand, a friend who describes her family as Appalachian American tells me that the women did all the work and the men were shiftless. There was no competition among women to win a man. Who would want one?

Me too applies to most women to some extent. Most women have had men prevail upon them at least once in a way that was unsavory.  On the other hand almost every woman I know has purposely made herself attractive to get the attention of men. I remember the first time I realized that no man even glanced at me as I crossed the room and I felt like part of me had died. I was no longer desirable. And then what was I? I am aware that even though my husband loves me and probably will forever that he has been proud of having a woman who turned men’s heads. Will I seem less valuable?

 

Women stronger than me, women who run the world, no nonsense women will say you are as valuable as you believe. Your worth is not defined by others.  Well, yes and no. Personally, no, my worth is not defined by you. But in the marketplace hire me world where we are selling ourselves for profit so to speak………

Oh I can hear the gasps of horror but tell me this. Why did the women who hated Hillary scream, “How dare she” when clearly Trump was a hundred times more a criminal than she could ever be.

How dare she

And then they’d go after her pants suits. 

You know what that sentiment indicates?  It indicates a competitive bias as if life is a game of duck duck goose and some woman is not going to have a chair and it’s not going to be you. It’s a sense of paucity. How dare she think she can get to the head of the line? We’re not even in the line why should she be? Who does she think she is?!

 

It is perhaps jealousy. We know our places who does she think she is.  To some extent sexism. She’s a conniving manipulator. But Trump the man who made a fortune as such, who stole and preyed on the poor and bragged about prevailing on a system that let others take the fall for his greedy mistakes? Nope, no how dare he for Trump. He is Trump. She is Hillary. See?

Why?

He’s a man doing what men do.  He’s a fighter and a fighter is a hero and a fighting woman is a screamer.

What woman has not been accused of screaming at a man when speaking emphatically to a man who is screaming his head off?

But men have been allowed to be bullies and bosses since God was declared a man and it’s time they were called on that. That’s more than sexual transgressions. It’s a transgression of power.

Sexuality and attractiveness play a huge part of our market value. There are calls for change and from my industry there are plenty but look at the yoga community. Even the damn Yoga Journal couldn’t keep up its attempt to be a beacon of change by celebrating “regular” bodies. Back to the bendy babes because people want to buy a promise of the future that is better than their present.  In a buyer’s world where magazine pictures are for the imagination more than reality it makes sense that there are only a sprinkle of average bodies to placate the P.C. police. And just shoot me but I don’t really give a damn because I don’t expect us all to wear olive green uniforms and greet one another as comrade. That’s not in this country’s DNA. I think our mission it to disabuse the abusers of their right to abuse the power of the louder or the luckier or the most ambitious.

In a country where continuous “progress” is the goal, even the human body is expected to step it up and up and up. It’s not my dream. Was it dreamed of by men only? Capitalism? I wonder. Is that entrepreneurial spirit also the spirit that qualifies us and frightens us that we will be left behind? Is that responsible for men’s power over women?

 

We are not the same. We will be assessed and even willfully suspending judgment we will be judged. Men and women will hopefully not be the same but preserve the best of our differences for a glorious attraction, a synchronized dance to prolong the species.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I’m here in an upscale resort. La Costa has been the home of the well tanned and well healed for decades which now includes the douche bag poser Deepak Chopra who’s made his yoga center here.

I come to see my folks whose home is on the grounds adjacent. They keep a membership to the place so I make use of the fitness center. I don’t generally enjoy other people’s yoga classes so I disregard the wealth of yoga offerings and spin instead as Toli, the Greek god of a spin coach brings playlists of dance trance mash ups that give an hour of sweat and effort purpose.

 

He’s talking to a member when I walk in and hear, “I’m sick of all this political correctness. Men are dogs. We’ll always be dogs. We’re animals. Look at nature. You can’t change nature and women are who they are too.” I stick my nose in like an uninvited puppy and notice the irony.

But we’re not animals, we’re people, I say. No difference, he counters.

 

There is difference of course and other than facts of specific limitations of species I can say with certainty that the thing that separates us is manners. And I in fact have taught my dog manners as well.

Manners are a funny thing, perceived as stuffy and superficial now by many but I was raised and continue to believe that manners are kindness. Manners are respect. Manners mean self control and concern for others. Manners require sensitivity. Slow down passing someone walking a dog. Don’t use your cell phone when you’re with other people. Return phone calls. Purposefully show appreciation. Hold the door for the next person. Use your blinker. Make way for other cars on the road. Ask me if I’d like some of what you’re having and offer a drink to the guy working outside your house on a hot day. Elbows off the table? O.K., so what. Leave the toilet seat up? Hell no.

And you don’t get to act like an ape in heat when you feel like it. You manage that shit. Manners are management.

But it’s not all on men.

I’ve come to the class again. It’s a different group today. All women.  All middle aged women who seem to know each other and they know Toli too.

He takes his sweat shirt off as class begins and the women confirm their approval with cat calls. They carry on for much of the class in what you’d call innocent flirting but it’s kind of obnoxious. He doesn’t seem to mind. Then the door opens and a woman rushes in with a mad grin on her face. I have seen her do this before. It’s her thing.  Hard stocky muscles strain her lycra costume to its breaking point. She could offer any one of the bird like women on the bikes half her bottom and have plenty left. She’s aping a hip hop routine to the pounding music flinging her ass in Toli’s face like Angel Food McSpade to Mr. Natural.

She looks like a woman you’d never notice among the pickup line moms, the woman ignored by the clique who talks loudly and constantly anyway in her attempt to be noticed.  The aerobics teacher from the studio she escaped from rushes in and hauls her out. She’s dancing all the while. (I am a writer and my job is description. Don’t discredit me for the above unless you want a world where people go unnoticed just to avoid harsh depiction.)

Class is winding down and Toli trades the rave music for a slow soul George Michaels. “I’m never gonna dance again, guilty feet ain’t got no rhythm.

 

“OOOOOOh  Toli,you want to make out?”  They all giggle and join in the jeers. I picture crows baiting a hawk.

So what’s going on with women?  Is this the new female bonding?  I don’t trust it. Is the power of women the sorrow of feminism gone awry? Because feminism was a wake up call for both women and men but there were some short sighted back fires as is natural in any effort of collaboration of a body greater than one.

 

For years women didn’t speak out because they were as afraid of being attacked by other women as they were of being dismissed by the men. You might be familiar with the term slut shaming. Those oppressed have a history of siding with the oppressor over the victim if they think it will save them. It’s not all and not always but we’ve seen that side of our humanity made famous by Nazi collaborators.

Adherence to fascism continues today in other regimes and one can see it clearly in the present by studying the forgotten American who stands by Trump.  And of course that’s not just the “weaker sex”. It’s the weaker mind. Look at the Republican lapdogs that are an example of the coward crawling under the shrouds of the totalitarian to save their skins. Still, they are mostly men and the men still rule the nation and what woman feels powerful enough to fight that alone? Better to stand with the powerful.

 

Many of Trump’s followers are women who hated another woman so much they threw in with the guy who got drunk, fucked them on a one night stand and then pretended he didn’t know them when he saw them on the street.  Yes, that’s Trump, the entitled celebrity pussy grabber, the guy bringing back Christmas.

 

A common behavior of abused dogs is to crawl into the lap of the perpetrator in an effort to win favor. It’s a trait humans share. Enter Omarosa.

A woman who considered herself no one’s lap dog fell at the feet of the man she possessively called Donald when others called him Mr. Trump.  Omarosa was relegated to presidential pit bull after displaying, stanch loyalty and a sociopathic level of ruthlessness in his show The Apprentice. She was a symbol of the worst qualities of the “weaker sex”. There was no one she wouldn’t destroy to make her way to the feet of the dictator. I watched that show the season she was on and my interest in low brow television as I’ve told you before makes me a reliable source for sociological studies on the worst of us.

 

I don’t know what messages mothers are sending these days. Our kids have grown up online. They are depressed and neurotic. Relationships have new rules for many of them, modern rules.  I don’t think there is a real clear idea of what a man should be to a woman or a woman to a man. The lines are blurred and maybe that was the idea.

My sons are in their late twenties. They tell me that most women don’t ask them out but wait to be asked. They say they like a confident woman who isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants. They aren’t intimidated by someone making a good living and they like the small percent of girls who take the initiative. They tell me these are the girls who might be considered hippies and feminists. My oldest tells me that women he meets don’t seem capable of loving relationships because they don’t believe they are worthy of love. They are then suspicious of anyone loving them. After all, it’s got to be insincere. What messages are girls getting today that makes them feel so unworthy?

 

How should a girl, a woman act? How will she trust anything in this power worshiping world?  Will she go from one called victim to one called bitch? What would I tell a daughter? There’s always a game whether you realize it or not, whether you want that or not. Life is a series of calculations and relationships in which you are only in charge of your part. Find good friends and be a good friend. As for the mate she looks for? She needs a hero. And so does her man.

 

 

 

 

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