Tag Archives | Palin

Whose Family Values Are They, Anyway? Happy Adoption Day!

I wrote this post almost four years ago. In that four-year time, gay marriage has become law in almost half the states in the Union and yesterday Tylenol ran a new ad that celebrated all the different types of families you can imagine — including some that look like mine.  To celebrate #HowWeFamily, here’s this post again…

My extended family will officially, legally, extend by one more person today, August 29.

My brother is going to become a father.

It’s very exciting and my mom has gone out west to join him for the big day.  They’ll meet at the courthouse where the papers will be finalized and then they’ll go out to lunch: my brother, my mom, my now-official nephew, his mother, and a few assorted other relatives.

It’s an event that would make Michelle Bachmann’s well-groomed toes curl in horror and make all of Rick Perry’s hair stand up straight (Michelle’s would stand up straight, too, except she uses too much hairspray. Come to think of it, maybe Rick does too).  In fact, my brother is pissing off the entire cohort of the Far Right today, with one simple action.

My single gay brother is legally adopting his biological offspring, the result of a single woman’s trip to a sperm bank some fifteen years ago. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading · on June 23, 2015 in birth, Children, family, Feminism, Gender, Politics

Monday’s Listicle: Things That Make You Go “hmm…”

The Sisterhood chose the listicle topic for today: “things that make you go hmmm.”  If you don’t know the Sisterhood, you should; they’re exactly the kind of people you’d like to have on vacation with you, in part because they’re so good at finding the “hmmm” in everything. I keep asking them to adopt me but they mutter something about having too many kids, and I’m too far away, and so the best I can hope for is to join their lists.  Make sure you click over to Stasha’s site and see what else makes people say “hmmm.”

 

1. Sylvester Stallone selling . . . fine pens? You know that Sly, he never gets credit for being intelleckshual.

2. How the windows in my fifty-story apartment building get washed:

Apparently, the little scaffolding platform that they used got stuck too often, including once last month when it crashed through someone’s apartment window.  So now we get these window-washing rappelling guys who are being belayed by these guys down on the street.  Not precisely confidence-inspiring, is it?

3. This house, in a compound way outside of town. All the houses in this brand-new compound are dust-colored: beige, tan, brown. Except this one, which takes up most of the block, and whose owners seem to have purchased every single lawn doodad in the shop: fake urns? check. playground equipment? check. plaster stag-head, “rock” waterfall, plastic swans? check, check, and check.

4. The dosage instructions for Liam’s antibiotics, because scrawled instructions on the side of the box are so professional:

5 & 6 are things that make me say “ewwww” rather than “hmmm:”

7.  This also makes me say “ewww” but with a slightly different emphasis:

It’s what happens to cheese if you leave it in the car for about 15 minutes while you run into another shop.

8. Speaking of cheese, here’s another “hmm:” Wisconsin’s failure to recall Scott Walker. Given that Wisconsin is where the Progressive movement started (Robert LaFollette ran on the Progressive Presidential ticket in 1924; he was also an outspoken critic of corporate involvement in politics) and given the state’s long history of liberalism (yes, I said the L-word), Walker’s policies are all the more shameful, as is his debt to the Koch brothers.  I know many of you cheese-heads worked like dogs to oust this guy but I’m wondering how those of you who voted to keep Walker in power justify that decision? Do you think the Brothers Koch will be sending you million-dollar checks any time soon? Let me know how that goes, m’kay?

9.  This ad, in the Marks & Spencer mall near our house. Does Ryan need the money? I dunno, but he sure is nice to look at while I shop:

10.  These “toys” I saw being sold in a “bookstore” (or at least, a store that sold book-related products).  Really shows girls how to aim high, professionally speaking, don’t you think?

And if your little princess should get tired of top trends, here’s the companion volume:

11. And because I’m not always a crotchety old lady, I throw in a bonus “hmm…”  Not all “hmm” has to be bad, right? This bird lives with his family in the shrubs near where I go to yoga. When I walk by this fine feathered fellow on my way to class, I say to myself, “hmm….life here in the desert ain’t all bad.”

Continue Reading · on June 11, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, expat, Monday Listicle, Politics, pop culture, UAE

Will no one rid me of these wretched districts?

Once upon a time, there was a king who wanted to have more freedom than the church would allow. In fact, a certain clergy man had become quite powerful in his own right and was challenging the king’s authority, but the king could not, outright, do anything.  At one point, exasperated beyond control, the king is thought to have said “will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest” and within a week or so, four of his knights had ridden to Canterbury and killed the meddlesome priest, right in the nave of the cathedral.

Thomas Becket became a martyr, which wasn’t quite what Henry II had planned; in fact, Henry had to do significant penance for the murder—a murder in which he took no direct part.

I doubt that Sarah Palin knows the story of Thomas Becket, or Henry II, or has read much Shakespeare. But what she and her minions—her versions of Henry’s over zealous knights—should perhaps realize is that rhetoric matters.  Sarah doesn’t seem to have much respect for language (“refudiate,” anyone?) or for “book learning,” so maybe she and her peeps had no concern about the ripple effect of putting targets over various congressional districts, on her now infamous “take back the 20” map.  Perhaps the language on her website isn’t meant to inflame, despite using words like “fire,” and “take aim” and “hold them accountable;” or her assertion that the mid-term elections are just the “first salvo in a fight.”

In fact, I hope she is that ignorant, that she is genuinely shocked shocked that anyone would take her language as a license to hunt down and kill public representatives. I hope she’s that ignorant because if she’s not, there is no limit to the depth of her cynicism and malice.

And maybe it is all just an unhappy coincidence; maybe the man with the gun had no political motive (or maybe he was trying to prove himself to Sarah out of love, ala Mark David Chapman).  Maybe this Arizona shooter was just another in a long line of lunatics with guns. God knows that making it easy for lunatics to get their hands on weaponry has a long tradition in this country–similar to the long tradition we have of demagogues who know how to fuel the flame of an unsteady fringe.

But as long as lunatics have ready access to guns, and as long as public figures use the rhetoric of violence to express disagreement, then what, really, can we expect?

Henry II initially insisted that he had no part in Becket’s murder but eventually he walked barefoot into Canterbury, knelt in front of the cathedral, and allowed himself to be flogged by the monks.

Not that I’m recommending a return to public flogging.  I’m just saying that’s what Henry did.

Words have power.  That’s why one of the first things a dictator does, upon wresting control of a country, is to get rid of all those pesky writers who might criticize the government.

For Palin (and Glenn Beck and all the other foaming-mouth fomenters) to assume that her words aren’t fueling a violent fire, if not in Arizona then elsewhere—maybe in your congressional district, maybe in mine—then she’s fooling herself and trying to fool us.

Continue Reading · on January 8, 2011 in Politics

Palin puts targets on a website; someone shoots in Tucson

The Huffington Post ran an article about Sarah Palin’s PAC putting “targets” on Democrats who voted in favor of health care reform. Here’s the image from Sarah’s web page:

Please note the actual targets–gun sights, I think they’re called–over specific districts.

Here’s what happened today in Tucson: Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat, was shot at close range in the head, at a public event at a grocery store. Her district is one of those targeted on Palin’s website.Representative Giffords is in critical condition at a Tucson hospital.

A coincidence? I wish I could think so.

I can’t wait to hear La Belle Sarah’s rhetorical back flips about this attack – and does anyone want to take bets on whether the “target” image gets taken off her website?

The collision of horrors here overwhelms me: Gifford dead; idiots with unfettered access to guns; Palin’s violent rhetoric and her insistence that she “doesn’t mean it;” the inevitable finger-pointing that’s sure to follow; the inevitable stasis that follows the finger-pointing.

When is enough enough?

Continue Reading · on January 8, 2011 in Politics

Reverb #4: Cultivating Wonder

Today’s reverb#4 prompt: How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

I wondered what happened to my waist-line. I wondered what happened to my (aging) skin. I wondered when my children would stop squabbling with each other 45 out of every 60 minutes they spend together. I wondered why so much of my brain has to be devoted to logistics (see reverb #2, on “what gets in the way of your writing?”) I wondered how I could possibly make room to work on a novel, a screenplay, an academic article. I wondered if all the fashion designers in the world got together and decided en masse to forever erase the concept of “hips” from the clothes they design.  I wondered about where we’d go if Sarah Palin & Co actually won the White House in 2012.  I wondered why Barack doesn’t stand up and tell the Repugs to go fuck themselves because there comes a point when trying to play nicely with playground bullies is just dumb. I wondered how I got so lucky as to find a collection of sane & creative mommies to have as friends. I wondered how much it would cost to live in a brownstone with a garden and whether it was too late to become a hedge fund manager. I wondered why sports stars and Kardashians make so much money but give so little away. I wondered if Caleb knows how much joy I derive from listening to his elaborate Lego stories, which spin on literally for hours at a time. I wondered about taking a month off to follow Michael Franti. I wondered why in the hell I live in New York and came to the disconcerting realization that I might be miserable anywhere else. I wondered if I could learn to make a perfect roast chicken and then remembered that because I live in New York I don’t have to make a perfect roast chicken: I can have one delivered to my front door.

In short, I’m not sure I cultivated much wonder this year, but wonder sure seems to have cultivated me.

Next year, I’m going to think about wonder as a noun. And cultivate it. Maybe in a little pot right here on the window sill. I wonder how you cultivate wonder? Probably with the same sorts of seeds you use to cultivate joy. Put that on the list for 2011.

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Continue Reading · on December 4, 2010 in reverb10

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