Competition

I turned on my computer this morning to find everything on it was open. My brother used it last night and obviously didn’t bother to close shit. Two apps popped open while it tried to wake up, plus it connected immediately with the ‘net – before I’d even typed in my passwords. Please! I said, You’ve got remember to shut that stuff down before turning off my computer. I really don’t like seeing that. The response I received included three expletives in two short sentences.

Right. Well, sorry to rock your cool this morning. But I didn’t scream at you, I just said you left everything open and I hated that so please close everything next time. Three expletives were three too many. It’s not my fault you forgot, or that you feel in a rush this morning to get down to the comic book shop. You don’t have a fucking appointment, dude. And it’s Saturday. Chill.

Stayed out of the hurricane fueled storms yesterday. Every time I began to think that maybe I should just head to the gym, we were hit by a whopping gust of over 70kph. I began wondering if I could make it to the gym and stay on my feet, or avoid being hit by flying debris. Or at least that’s what I said to myself.

Managed to polish off the write-up in Dutch for my bro. I went thru it first alone, then with google translate, then ran it past one of my teachers. Five sentences took almost a week to get right. Sure, I did well. My teacher praised my work, and only had one change to suggest. But…a week of looking at it, searching out words in my dictionary, puttering, conjugating verbs, etc. I gotta get faster.

…Ach! I’m not okay with my bro’s attitude this morning. I see in it something he’s not telling me, and that worries me. Something that worries him, that makes him snap at me like that. Damn. Shoulda caught that before he left for the day. My bad. Then again, I had only been conscious for about 5 minutes.

Finally got a newsletter in from the theatre group in Den Haag. It’s…interesting. They say more on that newsletter than I’ve been able to get out of them so far. What they’re up to, etc. But…wow. Talk about self-promotion. I thought I was bad. In a whopping two page PDF, one and three quarters pages were devoted to the playwright/director and his works. 75%. My newsletter has a lower self promote percentage: 25%. I’ve also got to say that this group’s newsletter contains nothing in it that makes you want to hold onto it for any reason. A couple of blurbs about the plays. A call for auditions, a reminder to attend a workshop. That’s it. I’m striving to include info you may just want to hold onto: places to connect with, hints and ideas for any performer, etc. But there’s the difference in our approaches: he’s using it to promote, I’m using it to connect.

Yep. Keep your goals in sight. Do not become distracted by what other people are doing. Keep an eye on it, watch them, learn if you can – but keep your own goals in mind. What I want and what he wants are two different things, even tho you could probably say both of us want our works publicly shown and known.

I read a passage in my book last night (in Dutch) that really made me think. The main character got himself into trouble, and he was worrying about the outcome. The author side-stepped the action for a moment and became introspective, pointing out that the character’s fears over not being supported came from a present day perspective when a person’s word means nothing (the character has time traveled to the past). It was a sharp little paragraph to read, and I took my time with it. And the author is correct: we live in a time when a person’s word means shit. Promises are only temporary, as is love or security or anything else we so desperately desire. An entire generation has now come of age with the slogan ‘Trust No One’, and we think nothing of it.

Do you not see what’s happening? How humanity is curling in on itself, chewing its own tail?

I have lived long enough to become an oddball. Everyone says it: Beeps is a bit odd. For one, I keep my word. I do not lie or exaggerate. I do not have hidden agendas when dealing with people. I don’t want to cheat or steal my way anywhere. I value honesty and kindness over money. As the saying goes, a sane woman in a crazy world is deemed insane. So I am an oddball, because I am not the norm. And take a minute, because everyone I’ve ever spoken to admits (when they think about it) that in order to get ahead in this constructed reality we’ve created you’ve got to lie and cheat and steal. Building ‘wealth’ these days means taking away from someone else, because there’s only so much to go around.

Why, why, why? Why do I turn on the tv and see such inane programs? Is everyone on much heavier drugs than I? We have turned everything into a competition. Who’s the best cook, the best athlete, the best singer, the best dancer, the best mother, the best weight lifter, the best make-up artist, the best liar? And if you don’t make the grade, you’ve had it. There’s your 30 seconds of fame, baby. Why not write a book about losing?

I refuse to compete with anyone but myself. I am only trying to better my last attempt. Write better, run faster, lift more, go longer. What you do is only a distraction. And if you think for a second any of this is about you, it only shows how self centered you are.

I am not competing with you.

Advertisements

The animal

How I wish there was anyone – anyone! – else sitting in the WH right now. I’m so sick and tired of seeing his face every damned morning. Can’t get away from that sexual predator and narcissistic liar. And every time I see him I think ‘Yep. That’s who my family voted for. That’s who they support. And that’s exactly what each and every one of them are like.’

Bullying? Yep. Shouting out how anyone who tells the truth is a liar? Check. Sheer ignorance? Yeah, they got that in spades, too. Controlling, manipulative, power hungry? Yes, yes, yes. Cut out 45’s face and plaster the face of anyone from my mother’s DNA family and you’ve got what I grew up with.

It’s a constant trigger.

I’ve grown to believe in the idea that all children, ultimately, want to kill their parents. I think that’s our animal nature: the drive to usurp the old alpha dog and take charge of the pack. And we’ve developed all sorts of coping mechanisms to deal with it, but from time to time it, as well as most of our animal centered natures, comes to the fore. Aggression. Violence. Rape. War. These are some of the ugliest ways humans try to assert control. Older generations have attempted to solidify their power base by sending the younger generations off to be killed in battle. That happens time after time historically. Time after time historically there are lines drawn between ‘them’ and ‘us’, and those labels are usually meted out by those old cronies in power. In effect, our ‘parents’ give us something to fight – something other than our parents themselves. That’s how they retain power. That’s how they manipulate. That’s how they control.

Calling them ‘leaders’ is a misnomer. We should actually call them ‘controllers’ or ‘manipulators’. They do not lead; they enrage us into action. They bully us into action.

It is sickening.

…*sigh* Told my bro about my name issue, and how I’m calling myself by my childhood diminutive. He asked me if he should call me by that name, too. Bless him! I said no, and for now that’s the correct choice: I don’t need yet another trigger locking me into my 13 year old self. I am continuously reminded of that, continuously triggered. Wish I would have just taken care of my issues back then. But older me acknowledges this is tricky stuff, and it scares me. I’ve got more coping skills than my younger self, so I’m cutting her some slack. Telling her she did the best she could, and no one could ask anything else of anyone in this position.

My bro was pleased to come home yesterday and find I hadn’t sat around inside all day. He’s especially pleased I went downstairs to yet again buy a little noon-time food for myself. He’s encouraged that for years decades, and it’s always been difficult for me to do it. Just going somewhere or stopping somewhere to pick up something to eat, maybe a drink: I don’t feel worth it. It’s a waste of money. The only time it isn’t a waste of money is when I’m on the edge of passing out from too few calories or dehydration. So me doing this for two days in a row is a big deal.

Managed to tackle the worst of the housework, too. Dishes, hoovering up dust bunnies, garbage and recycling. Even (as promised) made my bed. Finished my homework, read three chapters in my book. I’m happy about all of that.

Received an email yesterday from the theatre group. It basically said ‘hey, you’re the one with the videos…maybe you should contact L and make sure she has the ability to use your format.’ …O-o-o-oh? All news to me. This is a get-together to see the vids my bro put together. Not the long-promised cut together vids that were going to be made from the ten people somehow allowed to film the play even tho filming wasn’t allowed. Lucky for me, my bro was close at hand. I read him out the message, and his reaction was very like mine: first a disbelieving and ironic laugh, then a ‘Oh! Didn’t know they wanted to see those videos!’ I took care of it, but it brings to mind another thing I want. This type of situation happens to me when working in a group. Other people drop the ball, then I feel put on the spot and under pressure to perform and perform quickly in order to have things proceed smoothly. Let’s be clear: I wasn’t even aware the date to watch the videos was approaching until I received a reminder message about it. I didn’t know a date had been chosen. I didn’t know I’d have to supply the videos. I didn’t know I’d have to think or deal with the format of said vids. This information was dumped on me less than 36 hours from the supposed viewing. While I’m capable of dealing with this on a timely basis, I feel ill used and put out. Angry to be asked or expected to deal with this mess on such short notice, and unable to communicate those feelings to the group without alienating them.

I know I need to communicate something along the line of ‘Next time I’d appreciate having more time to prepare. I feel uncomfortable if I think there’s a time limit or too much pressure.’ Simple, and without that whine in my voice that says ‘you used me and I’m pouty and unhappy now, boo-hoo’. Do not feel up to it yet.

I’m also aware that on some level this could be a bit of group hazing. The ‘test the new member’ stuff that so often occurs in group situations. Not saying they’re conscious of that, just that it might be going on on a subconscious level.

It’s that animalistic behavior that drives these repetitive cycles of humanity.

That part of us we can’t escape.

The snarling beast. The wounded anger. The very desire to destroy, and taste blood.

The animal.

[Note to self: well written. In re-reading this, I experienced a click of recognition from the theatre group’s perspective. I won’t jump on them; this is a case of miscommunication. My bad as well as theirs. I made assumptions, and I see now where and why they made their assumptions. …And wow, that puts my pouty feelings to rest. Goodnight, animal.]

Lay bare the new

Sent out one of the longest emails I’ve ever written. To my theatre connection and support in the states. It included notes on the trilogy, and PDFs of the script. It’s not their submission period. I’m probably a bit out of line with even sending it. But…and…I just couldn’t let A put in a submission for Blue Whale yet again with this group without informing her of the entire work. So she’s got it, with full explanation and disclosure.

I’ll admit it… I hope I get an email along the lines of ‘I just couldn’t stop reading it. It’s fabulous!’ Truth is, I’m not sure I’ve got my point across in the three acts. I’m hoping people get it, but you know how that goes – people can be insanely dense sometimes. Guess I need a little outside assurance on the whole thing.

Still no whisper from the local director. He’s had the full monty since New Year’s. Hello? Do you like it? Hate it? Are you on vacation somewhere and haven’t even read it? No idea.

Thinking about writing. How often I’ve seen or heard that old (and arrogant) phrase meant to encourage newbies: writers write. What a load. I heard that at 20 and didn’t understand. I heard that at 30 and thought I was doing what I needed to do. I heard it at 40 and got fed up with everyone, told them to all go fuck themselves and they’d never read my stuff again. I think I’ve finally got it. When you get to the point where you can churn out 1000 words on nothing and make it interesting, you’re there. Then, all you need is a story. But if you sit in front of your computer thinking, not knowing what to write, not knowing how to start…get writing. Everything. Every day. Make your damned shopping list into something interesting for me to read. My advice: tackle the small form first. Hone your skills on short material. The longer stuff will write itself. The story will spin and weave at its own pace, and suddenly you’ll realize you’re onto something.

In other words, stop trying so hard. Stop trying to be interesting or original.

Gods, I wish I could say that to J about his writing! It is what I think he’s trying to do: be very original and create an entire world. Kudos. We all do it. But…it’s too much. *sigh* Still don’t have my notes written out for him. Still haven’t finished reading his story because that’s how little it interests me.

Ach, if I ever teach, fantasy writing will be banned. Nope. Write in black and white before you flesh in those chroma colored characters.

Small victories: no pain in my teeth. Yippee! Still brushing cautiously. Another day at the gym. Not so yippee. Had a back spasm near the end of my hour’s walking. Still having pain in my hip area. And really! I feel like I’m not even using the gym if my heart rate doesn’t go over 140. But I’m doing it. More Dutch films. Hearing more. More understanding is coming back to me, getting the gist of the spoken Dutch before reading the English subtitles. Good. Better. Should invest time in reading my Dutch book, but it IS officially still my holiday time…

Heaving a sigh of relief. Received a letter from the government about my bro’s company. My bro was in a dither, but trying really hard not to show it. I felt immediately it must be some sort of mix-up or crossed wires. We just got everything cleared. So my bro met with his native Dutch speaking friend, and popped downtown to talk to someone. Yes. It’s a mix-up. Some paperwork somewhere along the line didn’t get put through even tho it’s there. Whew! Did not need another 6 months of running around like mad eejits.

Purposefully avoiding a lot these days. The news. Climate change. Equality. Seems these topics are in my face 24/7. I expect a lot of people feel that way. Every day, there’s something new. The biggest storm. The stupidest tweet. More sexual allegations. When I couple the news with the knowledge that nothing is really changing yet, nothing seems to remove certain people from office no matter what they say or do, I lose heart. Totally. Always comes down to fantasies of me with a gun in my hand. Those are ugly thoughts, full of anger and rage. I guess a part of me feels that some people will never change, and the world really would be a better place if they were just dead. Doing my best to find understanding, but that’s damned difficult. It’s difficult because people always have a choice. They can be assholes or not. Simple as that. Everyone gets hurt. Everyone has issues. Some people think that gives them the right to shit on others. Those are the people who need to die off. Accidental shitting on someone, or doing it and then regretting it…I understand making mistakes. But setting off to destroy someone with your words, your lies? No. Kill them. And all their spawn, because they’ve taught that to every single one of their children.

Speaking of parents and children, been thinking about a very harsh punishment system. One that punishes the family of criminals. If you’ve raised a criminal or a psychopath, you should be responsible for what you did. Don’t sit there and looks stupid, or hold your hands up and say you don’t know what happened. You knew – or should have known – about this. You chose to have this person. You took responsibility for feeding it, giving it a place to sleep, teaching it your ethics. If your experiment created a psycho, you should pay. …Harsh, right? I know. That’s a reflection of my anger level.

…Put that aside now. It’s Saturday; time to clean. High time for a good scrub all around – including me. Scrape off the old, and lay bare the new.

Francis-stein

Allowed that despair to overtake me yesterday. Just for a moment or two. Enough time to sob deeply and feel a tear drop from my eye. Then I shook myself, sighed, and went to the gym.

Exercise has become a time waster. A thing to keep me from smoking. Not a thing I enjoy. Not a thing I do to get in shape or lose weight. Just a thing that keeps me out of the house, away from my ashtray. The goal is to spend as much of the afternoon at the gym as possible.

Hope to tire myself out. Get back here and almost fall asleep for the rest of the day. Wouldn’t need to smoke then. Wouldn’t need to do anything, other than chill.

Doesn’t quite work, of course. The more I do, the better shape I’m in, the longer it takes to tire me out. Half hour on the cross trainer. Half hour on the treadmill. Half hour on the bikes. Half hour on the free weights. Was surprised all evening long. Kept expecting my eyes to close while watching tv. Nope. Wide awake.

Telling myself I shouldn’t feel all wimpy and weak. My stamina has improved. I’ve moved up settings on everything, including heavier free weights because a 15 year old BOY had to go and pick up the lightest free weights in the gym to exercise. Really, kid? I didn’t want to, but I picked up the 4 kilo weights and started working – after I shot him a dirty look. He’s a healthy BOY CHILD and should be working harder. I’m an OLD WOMAN and should be working less.

Gave a lot of thought to what I wrote about yesterday. Thought so much about it I think I might have handled one of those disagreement points better than usual. It came up in conversation. I could hear it in our words and the slightly harder edge in my brother’s voice. My head said ‘this is one of those times when he feels you’re not hearing him’. So I stopped trying to get my point across. I acknowledged what he said ‘I hear you, and agree’. I dropped the pitch and volume of my voice. And I heard him stumble a moment, expecting a fight and getting none. Then he dropped his voice volume and tone, and suddenly that horrible argument moment was over and done with without our getting into a shouting and/or blaming match.

….And no, it didn’t escape me that in handling and defusing the situation I had zero opportunity to speak my own mind. That could be an issue, so I hope nothing too important comes up. This whole thing began in part because I feel un-listened to. While I’m very pleased to have no arguments or bad feelings to overcome this morning, as far as the subject goes my brother has NO IDEA HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT. He’s assuming I feel one way or another because I haven’t spoken up. But I can’t speak up without causing an argument. And I can’t prevent and argument AND speak up. That’s two conflicting things for me. Either I concentrate on keeping the peace or I speak my mind. And if I continually choose to keep the peace, I end up feeling like my opinions and thoughts don’t matter anyway – which is exactly what started the whole fucking thing in the first place.

Why does this shit always fall to women? I never hear men talk about compromising themselves in order to keep the peace with someone. NEVER. They just bulldoze over. Me, me, me. Hear me. Listen to me. Honor MY fucking opinion. Oh, you have one too? Well, that’s just silly. You should think like me. You do, don’t you? Oh…you don’t? What’s wrong with you?

Round and round. Get ready, women. If you haven’t hit this shit in life yet, prepare yourself. It’s gonna happen, and you’ll be blamed no matter what you do. It’s what men do. How they react. It’s their fragile male egos, which we pamper and coddle because some of us like to get penises shoved up our vaginas. Or maybe all of you put up with it because you think you need men. We don’t, you know. Plenty of sperm in the sperm banks. We can kill every man on this planet and be just fine. Better than fine, with their male egos out of the way. We can make real peace, real change. And never, ever let another person with a penis think they’re better than us. Never, ever let them take over again. Return to a matriarchal society. Burn every book that uses ‘he’ as a gender neutral pronoun or ‘mankind’ to describe humanity. Destroy every testosterone driven film. And yes, cut off all the dicks of every male ever born because frankly I’d find it cathartic.

Right about now is the time when some man usually pops up and asks ‘are you a dyke?’

No, for the record, I’m straight. I just see men the way they really are. Oh, got a problem with that? Can’t reconcile the idea of a strong willed woman who’s not gay? You are so immature.

But that, of course, is just another male put down. Oh, if a woman has a strong opinion, she must be a lesbian. Regular women don’t talk like that. Real women don’t think like that. I’m rolling my eyes as I type.

No wonder I remained single all my life. Sure, part of it was choice. Part of it wasn’t. No one ever wanted to spend their life with me. And I suppose that’s got to do with having a strong opinion. Dad told me long ago that I’d scare men off. Too smart, too opinionated, too outspoken.

Odd, then, because he’s the man who made me this way. Encouraged me to think, to debate, to challenge his viewpoint at every opportunity.

I feel like a freak. Some Francis-stein that’s half modern woman and half old fashioned lady. Don’t know where I fit in, don’t know HOW to fit in.

Make All Women the Norm

International Women’s Day. So far I’ve seen various articles on it. Most are men talking about how the day should be celebrated, or ‘fun’ little articles on how roses are being handed out to random women in a particular city. Would it kill the media to focus on strong female role models? Or even whisper about our pay inequality?

Apparently so.

And all the women shown to me today are thin, young, wearing fashionable clothes and make-up. Not a one over 40 (much less 50), not a one brave enough to show their true, unpainted face.

It brings to mind the very basic arguments of feminism: what and how can we be and act? Why do we even need to ask these questions? Why is every action or non-action we take scrutinized so fully?

Make-up. When I was young, I was all for it. I felt more attractive and therefore more confident. As I sit here sans make-up and with a lot more experience, I understand that the reaction I had when younger was denial: I denied the fact that I felt invisible and therefore used brightly colored paints to decorate my face in attempt to stand out and be noticed. That’s what truly lay behind my earlier viewpoint, tho I was unable to acknowledge it at the time.

And I believe that mindset lay behind much of the back and forth bullshit I’m hearing these days. It’s reinforced by media stereotypes, cultural influences, paradigms and idioms. It’s cemented in by jokes and situational comedies, by cover spreads and centerfolds, by our own desire to be seen, heard, and valued.

See me: we paint our eyes, outlining them in dark colors, adding shading and glints, we glue on false eyelashes, we stick color bits of plastic on our eyeballs to make our eye color change, we draw in dramatic eyebrows. See me; I’m here.

Hear me: we paint our lips, outlining them, plumping them, adding gloss and glitter all in an effort to draw attention to what we say.

Value me: we paint our cheeks with blush; too much and we are whores, too little and we are sallow-faced and unhealthy, but just right and we can be mothers, leaders, world changers.

Using make-up isn’t wrong. It doesn’t make you wrong, or less. But with the obvious (tho little discussed) health issues associated with make-up use, it does beg the question why women feel the need to continue using it.

We question why smokers continue to use a product dangerous to their health.

We tell drug users they’re killing themselves, and they need to get clean.

We body shame the fat, tell them they’re costing our health care systems millions just because they’re lazy.

But we don’t address the ‘window dressing’ women feel compelled to do. If we do, we are shunned. Extremists. Un-womanly women.

And everyone seems to think the large issues need tackling first. That’s silly. It’s the small stuff that should be worked on first: build from the ground up. Show real women: women over 40, women over 50, fat women, skinny women, ugly women, beautiful women. Women with make up on and women with make up off. Make all women the norm. We need not be one thing or another, this or that. That truly is extremism.

 

 

 

Rehumanize Yourself

Burkini bans. Geert Wilders. Islamophobia. The world is battering at me with reasons to be anxious.

Saw a bit on The Daily Show at a Trump rally. They had an on the street interview with a woman who didn’t think women could ever be President because of our hormones. It’s hard to see a fellow female be so damned closed minded; never mind when MEN do it. I consider it akin to men voting for a candidate that favors cutting off all men’s balls. Maybe there’s one or two freaks out there who say yeah, let’s cut all our balls off, but most men wouldn’t think it was a good idea.

Got body checked this morning by an old guy riding a bike. Many things crossed my mind. I felt affronted that I was reduced to nothing but meat: he looked like he was trying to figure out if I looked good enough to gobble up. My negativity spoke up and said oh, god, do I look THAT bad?!? while another rebel part of me pointed out that some people would consider it a compliment to be able to pull at all at my age.

If the gurus and saints are right, nothing happens that isn’t perfect in our lives: perfectly timed, perfectly executed – everything happens for a reason, even when we can’t perceive that reason. This, too, crossed my mind as the moment the body-checking man passed me my iPod (on random shuffle) began to play ‘Rehumanize Yourself’ by The Police. And then it hit me: this man had passed me by and did not see my smile, my nod in greeting to him because his eyes were too busy devouring and degrading my body head to toe.

Rehumanize yourself, indeed!

Too often I hear ‘they’re nothing like us’ these days. Nothing could be further from the truth.

People want to be happy. Society faces a problem because some people get off on abusing others – and that is a serious issue. But saying someone from another culture is too different from yourself is just sticking you head in the sand. Everyone wakes up in the morning. Everyone has to pee and shit. Everyone worries about the future, and every single one of us is afraid of something. These are huge similarities, that supersede any differences in skin color or religious views. But humanity is being whipped to a frenzy right now. Politicians are hammering home narrow and dangerous ideas. An entire generation that ‘slipped through the cracks’ of the capitalistic bubble are now being heard. You didn’t invest in your schools when you had the chance, and THIS is your outcome: poorly educated people with little to no chance of advancement on the money train, so they end up lashing out at people who don’t deserve it.

It’s happening again. That’s all that’s running through my mind, and I wonder if I’m here to stand witness to the next great war.

This behavior begins at the smallest level. It begins with the man who body-checked me this morning. His dispassionate assessment of me as sex object rather than me as a person. It is a small disregard of my humanity. But as we allow these small disregards to stand without censure, they begin to add up to larger and larger societal problems. Burkini bans. The right to choose. Equal pay for equal work. Health care for all.

I do not want to prosecute the man who body checked me. That does not and will not help the situation. I want him to understand on his own why what he did was wrong. But the only way to do that is through education. And you gotta catch people young, when their minds are still open and flexible. Very few of us have mobile enough grey matter to make leaps of understand once we’re adults.

Back to current espoused policy. Geert Wilders came out with his platform for next year’s elections. In addition to several anti-Muslim measures, it includes more of the same: cuts to the elderly, cuts to the disabled, cuts to schools and art, cuts to public broadcasting. It is a frightening prospect. How his party managed to compact so much hate into such banal political wording I’ll never know.

This is a loop. A circle of compliance and fear. I see it happening around me. And yes, it scares the hell out me. I think what frightens me most is that so many people can’t see the bigger picture. Everyone says yes, yes, it’s horrible, they’re terrible to say/do these things and I, for one, don’t support them. Yet it’s happening. If the rest of us ignore right now the rise of these right wing extremists, WE will be the ones to answer for the next batch of atrocities.

Don’t get me wrong: I understand the drive of these people. The anger they feel. What I don’t get is why everyone turns this anger on each other rather than those that rule us. Because make no mistake about it: you are ruled, whether you live in a country with a king or president or prime minister. We have been taught to worship strips of paper. We have been told that “they” want everything we have and they’ll do anything to get it. I don’t give a damn if you insert Syria or Muslims or Putin into the “they” – we all hear it. And it’s ALL a lie. It’s a slight of hand, a flash of something shiny to distract you. Oldest trick in the book and it’s still used because it still works.

You’re being played.

If you’re hearing you don’t have a choice, you’re being lied to. If you’re hearing pat answers placing the blame on someone else, you’re being lied to. No one problem is simple to fix because it wasn’t simple to create.

Everything is connected.

Time to wake up.

So history tells us

images-1.jpg

Maybe I shouldn’t say anything anymore. Someone overhears me, muttering in a corner, and somehow they think it’s free and open season on conversation. So they respond with a comment, which then brings someone else in to make a different point. Ye gods. Next thing I know there’s a fight going on caused by my ONE muttering. Had I said nothing, never been overheard, maybe everyone would have gone on their merry way and no one would walk away with a bruised ego. As it is, I have an old Uni friend and my uncle arguing on FB at the moment. Of course it’s political. Seems everything is political right now, or turned into a political argument. And both of them are pointing fingers at the other one, saying it’s your fault things are so bad in the US.

MY comment – the original muttering – was that ALL American citizens better re-think what the fuck they’re doing. Not Republicans. Not Democrats. Every. single. citizen. But no. In the US, it’s got to be them against us. Always has been, and probably always will be. Want to know WHY the US has a two party system? Because it falls into the easy ‘them or us’ category. It makes it easy to pit people against each other, draw lines in the sand, start fights.

Divide and conquer. That’s what the fat cats have done, and boy! Do they have YOU over a barrel.

By keeping one side chanting ‘USA, USA’ and the other side shouting ‘Black Lives Matter’, no real issues get addressed. Health care, once a hot topic in the states, isn’t discussed right now though I’ve heard umpteen complaints over the problems in the system Obama founded. And it should be.

The United States has the most expensive health care in the world. And it’s not very good. The doctors aren’t good. The board that watches docs and kicks out the quacks isn’t good. The drugs you get – IF you can get any medication, which seems to be damned difficult unless you’re asking to get hooked on some opioid – are horrendously expensive.

They keep telling you it’s great. I’m telling you it isn’t.

I would have thought when Michael Moore took a bunch of people down to CUBA to get their health care problems addressed in Sicko that more people would have sat up and said ‘Cuba? Cuba has better health care than the states?’ but it seems they didn’t.

I remember the time I had to go to hospital after getting mugged and dragged down the street. Not my choice; I got banged on my head and my sister insisted I get checked for a concussion. I spent over an hour on a gurney, waiting to be seen. When I finally WAS checked, it took a whole 20 minutes – 15 of which was given over to a class of med students who came in to look at my uneven pupils, a semi-rare condition I was born with. A week later I was slapped with a $2000 bill.

My physiotherapist apologizes to me for charging €31 for a half hour session.

Even in Ireland, where health care was FAR more expensive than here in the Netherlands, it was far LESS than in the states. A visit to my GP cost €21 each time in Ireland. Last time I saw a GP in the states it was $80 – and that was 25 years ago.

And health insurance? I think my policy is costing around €130 a month. When I was in my 20s and HEALTHY Blue Cross Blue Shield cost $300 a month.

Let’s just think for a minute. If everyone in your country is sick, disabled, in pain, and unwell, how high do you think your production will be? How about the quality of your products? People make mistakes when they’re not feeling well. Now think about a healthy nation. A nation where everyone gets taken care of. How much do you think they’ll be capable of? And how high will the quality get?

This is basic stuff. One plus one equals two. Why can’t you see that?

Let me make myself clear: this is NOT the fault of the doctors, nurses, and health care professionals in the field. It’s the fault of the ENTIRE SYSTEM. A system that asks young people to burden themselves with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt from school. A system that sees the health of its citizens as an opportunity to make a buck. If you are poor, uneducated, or disabled, you’re not really ‘part of the system’. You’re just a burden. The scapegoat of society, the blame for all ills of the nation. Never mind what your POTENTIAL is; right now you’re a drain on resources. That makes you bad. All of you, from your head to your toe, from your childhood to your death – BAD. You stink from it, and it’s a stink that will never wash off.

This football team maniacal feeling of ‘kill the other guy’ isn’t new. Nor is the ‘if you don’t like it, get the hell out’ line. In fact, I heard the second line enough that I did just that – got the hell out. I’m not alone. The US has had a record number of people giving up their citizenship for new nationalities.

If you seek out comparisons in history, you might find the disturbing fact that all totalitarian systems had an exodus of intellectuals prior to the final crack down.

History repeats itself.

We are growing more divisive at a time when we need to come together. This phenomenon isn’t happening only in the states; here in NL we have Geert Wilders, who’s been likened as the Trump of the Netherlands. In Britain, it’s Nigel Farage. France, Marine Le Pen. Organizations like the Sons of Odin – basically vigilante groups – are gaining ground.

Things are spiraling out of control. Everyone’s trying to say it’s not so bad, they’ve got a way to fix it. Everyone is lying. It IS that bad, and you can’t fix it. Not fast, and not easy. There is no action you can take that won’t have negative consequences somewhere. Politicians like to espouse simple lines and simple solutions. They act as if we live in an open ended universe, where all assets are unlimited as long as you keep working or digging for them.

The truth is, there’s a limit. This isn’t an open ended system. It’s closed. We use it up, that’s it. There is no more. No way to fix it. If you take more than you need, someone goes without. THAT’S the true law of the planet.

And like children, some people just can’t keep their hands out of the cookie jar. They must take, they must comment, they must incite violence.

This world is not theirs alone. Injustice always topples. Always. And hate will always instigate hate.

So history tells us…

Back Burner Boil

images

I did well yesterday. Very well, in fact. Enough to put a gold star on my forehead today. I went out THERE for 3 hours – three whole hours – and never bit my tongue. I never even felt annoyed at anyone. I also didn’t stop writing.

Waiting for the metro. On the metro. In the stations. Up the escalator. Down the street. In the shops. There wasn’t a single place I could go where my head wasn’t narrating some epic scene. Popped into my favorite coffeeshop for about half an hour and took advantage of sitting and a table in front of me. Out came the notebook and pen. Scribble, scribble. Strike out. Notes climbing up the sides of the paper like word ladders. The experience certainly reminded me why I now get so much done on my computer. It’s faster. And far neater. There was a time I found a blank screen on my computer intimidating. Now I’d rather face that blank screen than have to pick up a pen and later unravel my own spider-crawl writing. What a mess.

And I wrote my novel long-hand!

Ah, well, you won’t catch me at that again.

More social commentary. Good goddess, I had no idea I had so much to say about society. So much to say about PEOPLE. I get so wound up at times that the only thing that comes out of my mouth is ‘morons’ and curse words. Sure as hell never thought I’d be writing insightful stories, breaking people down into two sentences that smack the truth over your head with a quick slap, slap on either cheek. Of course, this is manic me talking. No one’s published yet. No one may ever publish my stuff. So who the fuck am I to say it’s good? It could be shit, yes, it could. I don’t believe it today, thank you. Try me again tomorrow.

Okay, embarrassing confession coming up. Everybody turn away.

I queefed yesterday in public. Full out fart coming up the alleyway and getting an extra phfft from my labia. It was LOUD, too. I hope my cough, which generated the fucking thing in the first place, covered up most of it. For fuck’s sake! For a moment I thought Terrance and Philip from South Park were going to make an entrance. I mean, that’s a new one for me. I’ve got to age where I let my farts go if I need to and to hell with where I am. I try to be discrete, try to only let them fly when I’m away from other people. But sometimes they just slip out (and yes, a part of me is a little afraid of becoming my dad in this; he farted every time he walked). Yesterday it happened in the coffeeshop with about a dozen people as witnesses. SOoooooooo very happy they were all toking up. Maybe if they heard it they thought they imagined it.

My farting gives me pause. If I’m farting this much, how much more is my obese sister farting at this point? She liked to take it up the ass, too. I can’t help but think that served to loosen up her anus even more. She must be a farting machine. lol! Well, that gives me something to chuckle about. Farting too much would be exactly the type of thing she’d never mention, even to her doctor. It wouldn’t fit her perfectly coifed and manicured life. Ha!

Alright. Enough with the farting.

It’s Sunday, a lazy day in any language. Seems the whole world gets a little quieter on Sundays. Dawn breaks a little later, the birds sing a little softer. It’s a recurring pause in our timeline, a point for tidying up last week’s mess and preparing for the days ahead. I got a lot of mess to clean up. And I’m not sure what I’m prepping for. So Sundays can get confusing for me. I can feel a little like an old record stuck in a groove. TV reruns. News re-caps. Oh, please! You can’t tell me nothing happens on Sundays. Still, there it is, every damned Sunday: the week in review. Look at all the violence shoved into one three minute montage. This week the focus is on the sea of immigrants coming to the EU. Yeah, like I said: I catch the news whether or not I want to. So I’ve seen the pictures. I’ve heard about the video of the drowned child. I’ve listened to what the politicians are saying, both the excuses and the accusations. I can no longer say nothing about it. While politics are politics and I refuse to make this blog into a political arena, the situation is encroaching on daily life and thus it IS affecting me, in many ways. And, as usual, I can see both sides of this fence with equal clarity and reason. On the one hand, you have this huge humanitarian crisis. The people risking their lives to get to the EU do so because it’s less a risk than staying in their own country. I think people should stop and give that some thought. Mothers and fathers are risking their children’s lives to get here because it’s LESS a risk walking hundreds of miles or getting crammed into the back of a truck or getting on that overcrowded, leaky old boat than it is to stay. It’s the better fucking option, even if they do die along the way. These people need help, not aggression. On the other hand, this problem is HUGE. Everything carries a price, like it or not, and few of the EU countries involved have a solid financial foothold in the world. Greece is drowning. She may never recover. Hope if you wanted to see Greece, you had your chance. She’s dying and will never be the same. And the infighting! This has reignited those age old adversities between England and France, Germany and Europe, Germany and France. The small kids – Greece, Ireland, Portugal – are going DOWN, people. Good-bye. Not going to survive this. England is doing what England always has; addressing the entire situation with a haughtiness born of empire and never fully beaten out of them.

The EU may crack over this.

I, for one, would be sad to see it happen. Cohesiveness without absolute uniformity IS possible. What I don’t understand is how so many insufferable politicians have managed to secure seats in the EU parliament. Mary Harney from Ireland was a horrible health administer; under her rule millions were wasted building facilities that then lay unstaffed and dormant. She was also the one that got called to task for flying to France to get her hair done – on tax payer’s money. Yet despite all this, she sits in EU parliament serving as CHAIR for European Steering Group on Sustainable Health. Un-fucking-believable. If ya let eejits like her in, no fucking wonder everything is in such a goddamn mess. Bleh. Someday there will be a new story, and Mary Harney will serve as fuel for it.

If I ruled absolute, first thing I’d do would be boring, boring, boring. I’d modify ALL accounting standards across the board. Wipe the slate clean. Make everyone go back to solid, basic accounting principle. Honestly, the rules have become as convoluted as tax law. And about as logical. They were designed that way. So, out with all that. Get back to what we really need to know: CASH FLOW. Not the cash flow offered by accountants these days. REAL cash flow. Real money doing real things. Yes, some of the pretend money flow is valuable information. Depreciating large assets over time not only helps track the value of the assets, it also helps track regular maintenance AND replacement needs. But that shit should be put on a separate page and not integrated AT ALL in the main bulk. It’s not real; don’t fucking include it. There’s plenty of comedic scenes built on people not really knowing how much money they have. Just watched one last night in an Ab Fab episode (Season 2, Poor). Funny, yes. Very real, too. Claiming “invested” money as cash equivalents is ludicrous. Unless you cash them out right then and there the numbers are MEANINGLESS. Keep them off the report, too. And the will-o-the-wisp nothings that financial wizards whip up over night to become the next hot thing to make money on should just be illegal. Full stop. Banks would get their balls snipped and have to go back to being banks, not investment houses. Banks would have extreme regulation, as a matter of fact. No more taking money on both ends to fatten their own pockets. Nope. You earn money the old fashioned way. Worked for a fucking long time. Trickle down economics just let the bear loose. Now we’ve got a really BIG, fat and ANGRY bear to deal with. Shoot the motherfucker. And yeah, 1%. You’d go back to your 50% tax rate and you’ll like because there will be nowhere else to go. Really sorry that you have to give up that golden back scratcher this month, and really sorry that your single master goldsmith won’t get his commission. But that money will feed thousands and fix vital railways and provide wells for water and education for kids. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

*shudder* Sorry. I was just channeling the spirit of the accountant/financier/economist in me.

I guess with all this spilling out of me I shouldn’t be so surprised at the nature of my stories right now. There’s a lot going on with that back burner right now.