Tag Archives: Trump

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.

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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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Downwind From the Crematorium

It flows from the top. Rogue winds carry the stench of decay. Trolls climbed on willing shoulders to the once hallowed house on the hill.  Now shoulders bow under the weight of our missteps. Some minds blown and others twisted.  Handcuff the free press. Release the free radicals. Banish charity. Dishonor agreements. Taunt, flaunt, violate. Ceaseless cycles of venomous discharge desecrate, devastate ravage and rage against the fabric of our country. That fabric that was flammable, flawed and fragile is being shredded and replaced with funereal shrouds.

Layla my dog and I head down the fire road toward the farm.

What’s that smell in the air? Chemical? Decay? The death of the E.P.A.?

Here at the Agricultural Center a group of four unlikely like-minded women from different worlds walk, talk and run their best buddy dogs. An unpleasant smell dismays me on this otherwise fine first crisp and dewy day of autumn as Layla and I round the lower field waiting for the others to show.

I smell disaster.

Bouncing between sleepless nights and stressful days, for the second time I’ve got symptoms of flu that disappear after a final collapse into a night of exhausted surrendered sleep.

It’s a virus that’s going around. Like wild fires, floods and opiates.  Warning bells toll in the ether. The force shields are down. We are subject to invasion.

Glenanne arrives with her dog Lucy. Christine is behind her with Chelsea. They want to walk the fire road I just came from. “There’s a weird really strong smell down there”, I tell them. I don’t want to go back.

Glenanne tells us the little red brick building down there is a crematorium for road kill. It’s not public knowledge. Carnage quietly turns to ashes under the ancient oaks amid serene white domed wooden barns and meeting halls. Moms gather to exercise, babies on backs and in strollers. Visitors amble among slave quarters and along paths beside the idyllic horse pasture that houses the police force’s tremendous and gentle beasts.

The surface is serene but listen to us as the dogs play and witness the rumbling underground.

We are all downwind from the crematorium.  The stink comes from the rotting head of a once youthful body that declared itself open minded, open hearted and democratic. It is clearly corrupted. It stinks.

On the other hand, under the oaks a group of friends share the rhythm of a turning season. There is a hint of new in the air. Change is always there and change cleanses the past. History is absolute but our impressions and focus shift. Rumbling leads to action. Action leads to change.

Here downwind from the crematorium, I smell decay but above me a lone hawk soars like a Phoenix.

 

 

 

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Follow the Money

There is no yoga here. It gets a place on bitchin yoga because bitchin yoga is me.

I wanted a job in the film industry and was sent to interview with Augusta Dinardo at Jenkins Covington Newman in Manhattan.

It turned out that Gus was the bookkeeper and wanted an assistant to be the production bookkeeper. I told her I had never  passed a math class and sorry for the wasted time but no thanks.

I don’t know why but she called me for weeks trying to convince me to take the job. She told me that it didn’t matter what I was good at because I could already do that. I should become good at something else. I finally caved because I needed the work and she was relentless.

On my first day she said to me, “Everything in a production comes through this office with the money you track in the actuals. If you follow the money you will understand this job better than any producer working here.” She was right. Producing on budget was later a game I excelled at.

So I’m watching the new Trump presidency. He is about the money. His cabinet members are for the most part wealthy. There is a new model that moneymaking is the most important thing a president can do for the country. I will follow the money.

trump-and-money

I’m watching to see how many dollars go into regular folk’s pockets and for how long. And how many dollars go somewhere else. And how many dollars come out of regular folk’s pockets to pay for things he wants to buy. Like walls.

“Let’s make a deal” is the motto now. Somehow  I suspect the dealer always wins.

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Awareness Hides in the Riddle of the Step Gone, Not Gone

 

Written on a laughable day last week. I didn’t bother to post it as is my habit these days of why bother. I’m posting for the yoga lesson included which makes none of this dated.

 

Trump is the president elect. Hope dies harder for half the country as he appoints each post.  Today Rick Perry was marked to run the department of energy, a department he tried to disavow with his own failed run for presidency years before.  Under the pressure of a debate he could not remember its name. He is famed for being stupid. The meanest witch that ever competed on Trump’s reality show is on his transition team.  The Apprentice was designed to pit colleagues against each other. No competitor had sharper teeth than Amoroso. Sociopathic ambition impresses Trump. So do sycophants.  Here she’s invited demented Kanye West to the Tower for a narcissist coupling with the boss. What the Hell could they be talking about in any non-acid dropping universe?

 

 

I’ve been choking on the news but this latest pile of impossible releases the catch in my throat.  I take the breath held this year long and laugh. All scenes of Trump dynasty are absurd. That is if you forget for a moment that you and your children and everyone you love will be destroyed.

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Election 2016 is a collaboration of We the people.  Stage lights illuminate the terrible, impossible truth of this black comedy we created by ignorance or complicity or apathy. It took generations to get here.

Time gone is not a word called history but a void of unfinished, tangled events.

 

Then again it is the same day the news exposes the dire straits of Tennessee’s children. They are failing. There is nothing funny about that. Halt the rise of charter schools officials say a bit late to the game! The bulk of Tennessee’s population lives silent lives below the radar. The jewel of Nashville is worse than the rest of the state. Here in Nashville those that can, go to private schools that were the once the sanctuary of Whites against integration. It took generations to get here.

Time gone is not really gone but lies like a film of unsolved problems on the windows of our collective home.

 

I enter the University with a heavy heart. I have a class to teach. And a bad case of I don’t give a shit about a yoga class. Though it’s after dark I have not washed my face. I am wearing the sweats I threw on to walk the dogs this morning. The grey day lingers inside me.

CRW_4484

I have the feeling that I no longer have a country or free will that matters beyond the choice of food I eat which is still a lucky choice compared to much of the world. That might not seem like good inspiration for a yoga class but it is.

 

Where is the awareness in a yoga pose? The correct movement of skin requires refinement of the senses but reflection comes in the wake. Realization comes in the limbo between forms. This seeming inaction sometimes feels like the step not taken or the slide backward. However it is here that the yoga manifests awareness in totality.

 

The effect of the action of the skin is clarity.  Hopefully it is the awareness of peaceful space. But strong actions in new territory often result in the awareness of discomfort. The actions seemed correct at the moment but whether clouded judgment, group pressure to perform or confusion prevailed, we are hurt or at least uncomfortable.

 

Time gone after the pose is not a measure of finished business but the space for unfinished business.

This reflection births the next move. When we don’t recognize the gift of that moment, we squander it. Mistakes are repeated or we fail to reap the full pleasure of good space. Either way, lack of recognition is a disservice.

 

The riddle is that recognition is subject to one’s past and perceptions. It might seem like a no brainer that we would recognize truth except that truth is strained through the screen of our individual experiences and subject to distortion.

 

How does that relate to the choice of this man for President? We’ll see.

trump-rnc

In the meanwhile, we might recognize our part in all of this. This is the step backward. It will seem to be gone with the next one forward, but that is an illusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Report from the Implosion. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Spiritual Exhaustion

Clouds tap Morse code on the skylights overhead.

 

There’s a message I don’t bother to decipher. I don’t really even look. Peripherally aware, I let it go.

 

Last night I brushed my teeth with hydro-cortisone cream and wondered why the toothpaste tasted so bad. It took a long moment to register. And then only because I noticed that something was different about my carefully curated basket beside the sink.  In a quick glance, a painting always on my wall kind of noticing, I recognized that something was off. I’d non-habitually thrown the only thing that relieves the endless bug bites of Tennessee summer next to the toothpaste instead of on the counter where it usually sits till autumn.

 

Ask the people who know me best what comes to mind about my mind and they will tell you I don’t miss a thing. Is it stress or age or exhaustion or depression or what? I’m missing.

 

I turned on the news yesterday morning to hear the Sunday news shows. I’ve been eating a daily breakfast and dinner of world crisis and crazy election shit sandwiches. I watch like I’ll be tested. I watch like something more shocking can occur. I watch like it matters that I know.

 

I switched from one station to the next to get a taste of the offerings. I would say I was paying attention if not my fullest attention as I was making coffee and feeding dogs and putting away dishes washed the night before. But all I heard was blah, blah blah.

 

I steeled myself to the television. What was happening? Is this what they call ADHD? Why can’t I pay attention!! I turned up the volume but I could not make out the words.

 

I could blame it on a Nashville party weekend and there was that but gears don’t slip that far unless they’re totally stripped. Seems I am totally stripped.

 

I haven’t posted much about this election. I have my reasons. But I have written scores. I looked back over some musings today.

 

The phenomena of a reality T.V. figure appropriating the highest branch in the Republican family tree is shocking. How did he do it? He understood an electorate’s doubt in itself and this life. He understood how to slither between the broken shards of people’s uncertainty. Can a guy that sure be wrong? They’re mesmerized by the gold crown on his self anointed head.

 

 

Politicians speak with confidence. We’re used to ignoring them. Trump got our attention with a confidence that didn’t jive with his adolescent insecurity. He fascinates us by calling admirers wonderful and detractors nah -nah names. He reduces the gravitas of President with a combination of juvenile delinquent and Mafia Don while his fans cheer him on. While a person of conscience would have exhausted himself, Trump fueled by the disease of winning can’t stop. While anyone else would have been buried under so much awfulness, Trump’s supporters are enthralled.

Trump RNC

Perhaps they see themselves in him or want to. Maybe it feels good to let all the trappings of civilization get trod under boots thick with the mud you want to roll in. Have we been too tightly wrapped? Are we longing to be overcome and helpless? Do we lack faith in ourselves or just that much faith in the system?

 

The name Clinton no longer has the ring of progressive intelligence. It is besmirched with the wanderings of a sex addict and the hint of lawlessness regrettably tinged with boring that describes the long suffering wife. Still, there is a history there of good deed doings that Trump lacks entirely. It’s something to cling to like a leaky raft. She lacks the history of stomping on the little guy. That’s a clear difference.

Hillary

There is an ongoing history of persuasive leaders and vulnerable followers whether victims of government or kidnappers or even yoga teachers. Not all leaders are the same. Some are idealized and elevated without seeking that status. Some purposefully reach for power. Those work to convince us they know more than we do. Whether different personalities end up in the same muck given the same circumstances or character trumps circumstance is an individual thing. But power is hypnotizing. Ask Frodo.

 

More fascinating is the nature of the follower. My brain almost refuses to dwell on the topic. I want to reduce it to the word douche bag. I want to reduce all annoyances to douche bag right now. But it’s not so simple. We are one body of exhausted people who feel powerless. We are tired of struggling to keep our heads above the quicksand. We’re dying to let go. Not all of that is our fault.

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