Thing these little beauties out into the world this morning. Postcards by Marta Pelrine-Bacon.
Update: I hesitated to post this on Facebook, and I even hesitated to post it here, in my own virtual living room (knowing i would probably be allow it to be sucked into Facebook, but that fewer people would see it because: algorithms.)
But now, instead of cowering, I’m roaring.
During the election I felt things strongly and I posted them on Facebook because that is where I interact with people the most, now that I am at home, writing all day.
I was one of those people who prompted Facebook comments like “I can’t wait for the election to be over so we can get back to posting about the kids and cute kittens.”
But I can’t go back.
This is who I am.
This is why you rarely see me at neighborhood get-togethers. It’s why you don’t see me hanging out making small talk after church. It’s why I tend to turn down invitations to jewelry parties (that and the fact that I don’t wear it.)
It’s not that I don’t care about the people in my community. I do. I like a lot of them an awful lot.
But this is who I am. And this is what I want to talk about.
I very much appreciated my two years of being a bus-stop mum, after the kids switched to public school. I liked the comradeship and the forced socializing early in the morning (the requirement that I get dressed, for one, and maybe drag a comb through my hair), and the opportunity to share concerns and triumphs with other parents, maybe to help, maybe to be helped.
And I miss that.
But that’s not all I am. (It’s not all anyone is.)
I am passionate about Big Ideas. And I can’t not talk about them.
I care a lot (head-‘splodingly) when the leaders of the richest nation on earth “decide”, in the face of scientific evidence, that climate change isn’t being affected by humanity, because it might slightly affect profits if they do.
It drives me insane when our so-called ‘leaders’ protect a broken status quo rather than looking for bold solutions to the problems we face.
It makes me want to punch things when I see people lying to support their ideology.
And I can’t shut up about it because they work for me.
My blood pressure goes through the roof every time I see a flier for pot-luck dinners and fundraisers when someone in my community gets sick.
And do you know what? I haven’t seen so many of those in recent years, since the Affordable Care Act raised premiums but required that all insurance covers stuff like, actually getting treatment when you get sick. The calls for help that I have seen, tend to be about ‘helping out with living expenses while the family deals with this’, which is still not utopia, but is better than the panicked “OMG, she’s going to be homeless and bankrupt if we don’t help right now”, like the ones I used to see.
(This is true in my physical community and even more so in my professional community of artists, who don’t have big corporations to sponsor their health-insurance for them. One house fire, one tumor, one car accident can mean DISASTER to the self-employed, underpaid writers and artists who provide all the entertainment we rely on so much to get us through the day.)
I care ALL THE TIME about war and international relations and small businesses and public transit and corporate welfare and the dignity of human life, the poor, the vulnerable, the prisoner, the refugee, the underemployed, the at-will contract worker, the person with mental health issues, the rich person who doesn’t know why they still aren’t happy, the unborn, the born, the entrepreneur; I care about how we treat our animals; truth in advertising; integrity in government; faith (yours, mine, and his right to lack it); philosophy, history, truth, truth, truth (subjective as it is, but pare away as much of the rubbish until we get as close as we can, clear-eyed about our own prejudices and privileges).
I cannot wash my hands of it all. I can’t shrug cynically and say nothing makes a difference. This doesn’t makes me better than someone who can. I’m simply stating who I am.
Are You There, Senator? It’s Me, Your Boss
Our voices ring in the ears of our elected representatives. I’ve been blessed with a mostly-tax-payer-subsidized and excellent education that trained me to research, gather information, compare and contrast, analyze and build an argument formed from the best available facts. It is a talent and a gift and I feel compelled to use it to spread truth, and battle misinformation.
I will continue to suck in information and share the best-researched, the most-thoughtful, most useful information I can. I will be eloquent when I can and pointed when I cannot. I will be opinionated and honest about my biases.
TL;DR: This executive action on the environment SUCKS and I will be screaming about it for a long time. This small-hearted, short-sighted government chaps my ass and I will be screaming about that for a long time, too.
If you’re looking for kittens, move along.