Lucky Seven

28 11 2008

Seven.

This is the seventh post that I’ve started about President-Elect Barack Obama.

Here’s hoping that I can finish it.

I’ve been having a really hard time clearly expressing my feelings about the occasion of his election. Since feelings haven’t been working I’ve decided to shift gears and talk about facts.

Fact:
Barack Obama’s campaign is the first campaign that I have ever felt connected to and inspired by. I donated money. I talked to my family and my friends about it. I even, as the campaign neared its end, called perfect strangers in battleground states to try and get the vote out. This was a big deal for me. I don’t even call my Grandmother and this campaign got me to call people all over the country. I was overwhelmed by the positive reception that I got from people when I told them where I was calling from and why I was calling. This sense of connection to my fellow Americans, the sense that I could actually think of them, without a smirk or a cringe, as my fellow Americans is something that I have never felt in my entire life.
I felt so connected I even called my Grandma.

Fact:
Nearly everyone in my family voted. My mother, who I don’t believe has voted since the Carter Administration and who has never given money to any candidate, donated to Michelle Obama (that’s how we referred to the Obama campaign in my family, “Michelle Obama”) and voted early for Michelle’s husband.

Future President

Future President

My sister voted early and took my one year old nephew Malcolm to the polling station with her. She has kept her “I Voted” sticker and keeps putting it on his clothes. He’s too lazy to walk and she chastises him by saying, “Son you won’t be able to be President like Barack Obama if you can’t even put the effort into walking.” He just smiles at her and points to her eyes or his “I Voted” sticker.
My brother, who is a schizoid personality with severe paranoia, registered to vote. My brother prefers jobs that don’t require him to fill out a W-2 form, has allowed my mother to assume the deed or title holder of nearly all of his large possessions and has changed his cell phone number every three to six months for the past 4 years. Five years ago he… well he says that he “escaped” or “took a break” … from the family and refused to allow himself to be found for nearly a year. He still refuses to tell me any specifics about where he is, what he does or where he’s going and he registered to vote and voted early. He told me, “I had to give the government some information so that I could vote for my man Barack. I will be changing the information the same day I make my vote though, trust.” Just because he’s paranoid doesn’t mean he’s not out to get change.

Fact:
I keep crying. I cried so hard on Election Night (once the guests left) that I astounded myself. I don’t recall ever being that happy in my life. Because it was more than just joy. I occurred to me that I’d really invested a lot of my time and energy into Mr. Obama’s campaign and when he said that it was our victory I believed him. I cried so often on November 5th I was weak the next day. Every time the Election Night photos or the acceptance speech were shown on TV I cried or at least teared up. I’ve being trying to write this post for weeks now and each time I start I end in tears.

Fact:
I had to step away from this post for a couple of days because I still am having trouble finding the words.

I don’t have a father. I lost him, emotionally at least, when I was about 10 to alcohol. And after he and my mother split when I was thirteen there were years of radio silence. The last time I saw him was when I graduated from high school. It was heartbreaking. I remember being eighteen and looking at this… this shrunken ashen man — this man who didn’t resemble the Daddy that I’d known and loved and who didn’t even resemble the bitter angry alcoholic Father who ate him. All I could see was the space where he should have been.

That’s not exact. That’s not what I mean.

What I mean is, I looked at him and saw a man who’d given up. Who was past hope and care. He’d shrugged his shoulders and thrown up his hands at first himself, then his family and then the world. He smiled like loose pebbles. He made promises that he didn’t keep and ten years passed before he even so much as called me. He abandoned himself and he abandoned me.

I know that there are good policy reasons and feel-good historic reasons for feeling jubilant about President-Elect Barack Obama but when I see him, I see the Daddy that I should have had. The Daddy that a lot of little girls and little boys (and not so little girls and not so little boys) should have had.

When I see Barack Obama with his daughters I see everything that I lost when I was ten. I see how my father should have filled the space in. I see a man who doesn’t believe in giving up, who smiles like a warm embrace and who calls his daughters every chance he gets. I see someone who would not abandon his responsibilities, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and now the United States of America.
I see someone who looks you in the eyes and tells you the truth. “Yes we can.” I see someone who believes that, “This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

He gives me hope.

That’s a fact.

Cross posted at Magnificent Chaos.





U Got the Look. It’s crazy around the eye.

20 11 2008

Dear Prince,

Wellwellwell Mr. Pretty Man I must say that I expected more from you.

I stood by you after Vanity, Apollonia 6 and Carmen Electra.
I didn’t say anything when it was revealed to us that you met Mayte when she was 17 (or perhaps just a day over 18) and then married and divorced her before she even turned the ripe old age of 27.

prince-slave1I didn’t say boo when you were walking around with “Slave” scrawled on your Raspberry Bereted face.
I mean, Slave.?!?. You’re the one who willing signed a legally binding contract which made you a very wealthy man and a very well-known and respected artist. You could have freed yourself from the (cough) chains of that contract at any time if you agreed to suffer the financial consequences (that’s how contracts work).
Maybe I’m just too demanding but really I’m never satisfied by people complaining about how they don’t like their fancy rich-man making contracts but still don’t want to take the steps to end them because it’s inconvenient for them and their art.

When you went on to Oprah and told us all that you believed that you had a different person inside of you, one whose gender you suspected of being female, I thought, “Sweet! Two of them!”

When you told the whole world your name was O(+> I stopped calling you Prince and started referring to you as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.”

rave-un2 I actually bought Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic and (ignored the crazy blue hair ribbons and) defended it to my friends when they thought that perhaps you’d fallen off (and let’s be honest with each other Sexy Motherfucker, that was weak sauce dude.).

So let’s just say, I refrained from making comments about your life because I thought that a wackadoo like yourself (What? Game recognizes game. It takes one to know one.) would refrain from making comments about mine.

And then you decided to have soup with the New Yorker and put yourself in a situation to sound like you get your religion from Cliffs Notes and your social views and ability for discourse from Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

Let’s consult Scripture together, “…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
So I guess I’ll be hanging out at the Paisley Park in Hell.
I think your assless pants will be the right attire for the balmy weather.

prince_ass

Sincerely,
BPD





2 4 6 8 Vote for Love not for Hate.

15 11 2008

Champagne, has, on occasion, led me to make some decisions that while extremely fun at the time were ultimately uhm unwise.

Like say… agreeing to play strip poker on the millennial New Year’s Eve after drinking a couple of bottles of champagne and then proceeding to tell everyone which cards you had and what your strategy was.
And by strategy I mean, “Go Fish.”

Unwise.
But fun!
Though oddly chilly.

Anyhoods today champagne led me to the Prop 8 Protest at City Hall this afternoon.

Girlfriend and I went with a nice group who, while understanding the importance of our presence and the presence of other protesters, brought a welcome sense of levity to the situation.
By the time we got there the weather had turned far more threatening than the police officers (some of whom were taking pictures with the protesters) but the atmosphere was buoyant. We amused ourselves by pointing out the clever signs (and cute boys) that we liked.

[Note: I am super good at scoping out cute gay boys. I don’t think that I can call it cruising because I think that it’s pretty clear that boys aren’t the ocean liner I want to lose my lunch on and I try not to do it when straight boys are involved because well, I don’t think I’m flirting, but they always do and it’s so tedious to have to explain that the very fact that I’m a lesbian means specifically that I don’t want them to watch.
But put me in a crowd of gay boys and I am totally at home. Plus it’s a great way to get a gander at some Fashion Do’s.]

The sound system on our side of Broadway wasn’t very good but we filled in the gaps in sound with our own pithy comments.

Like this one.

not-gay-as-in-happy

We here in the Baby Power Dyke and Redheaded Stepchild household believe in marriage equality, the separation of Church and State, Change, a more perfect union and that no one has the right to make us second-class citizens.





Barack your world.

9 11 2008

So MoveOn.org is giving away Obama stickers (stickers which say, “Yes We Did” which leads me to point out the fact that I was saying, “Yes We Did” on Tuesday night on Facebook before MSNBC or MoveOn.org had even stopped sniveling. So there! [Uhm, more on my sniveling later.][And also, we can be Facebook friends if you want. Or we can be Twitter friends. Yes We Can!]) and I, of course, had to sign myself up for one as soon as I found out.

And then I turned to GF on the couch and glared at her until she was forced to admit that she wasn’t planning on giving the sticker that she’d just ordered to me. That was disquieting.

To console myself I started thinking about all other options for Barackification.

The US Mint has already got a coin out.
You know that Ebony and Essence are chomping at the bit to paint their mags Obama and Vogue is all over Michelle like a Maria Pinto sheath.
There’s the Barack Obama squeezie thingie which I would GLADLY trade in for a good old fashioned action-figure.
Or a bobble-head.
Or an Obama Family snow-globe (Christmas is on its way.)

Though, now that I’m thinking about it, I think that what the world needs now is love, sweet love and a WWBD bracelet or, better yet, a WWMW (What Would Michelle Wear) bracelet [course, Michelle probably wouldn’t wear a said bracelet.]

And then there’s music.
Because nothing says Barack n’ Roll like a rock album. OhEmGee what if Barack and Michelle had some sort of secret Ashford & Simpson type skills.

ashford-simpson

(But before we get all Solid as Barack about things can we just all take a moment to wonder about why Nick Ashford could never seem to find himself a decent shirt when it came time to take a picture for the album cover? Because, for real Nick!?! They totally had shirts in the 70’s.)

It could be a cover album.
He and Joe Biden could cover Ebony & Ivory.
The whole campaign team could do We are the Champions (they could give David Axelrod a nice guitar solo in that).
Oooh! Maybe Malia and Sasha could be incorporated (the Von Obama Family Singers) in a rousing rendition of We Are Family.
Barack could have a solo spot with I Rock the Party or as I like to call it Barack the Party. (I’m sure that MC Lyte would be cool.)

Or! What about a special Obama edition of Pound Puppies? The Obama family is on the lookout for a dog for the girls. And there’s no puppy quite as hypo-allergenic as a Pound Puppy.

But I would really love is an Obama family Russian Tea Doll set. Sasha could go inside of Malia and Malia could go inside of Michelle and Michelle could go inside of Barack. Genius!

There are just so many options.
You know, the Queen has tea sets.

I would totally buy a Michelle Obama tea set! Wouldn’t you?






Last night, I didn’t get to sleep at all.

4 11 2008

I was so excited about today that all I did was toss and turn.

Finally the alarm went off and it was voting time.

Girlfriend and I waited in line about an hour (and what a wonderful hour it was) in wonderful temperate fall weather. We watched the crimsoning leaves and the children playing in them. We listened as the parents read to their children or explained to them why they were voting and why the long line was a good thing for America. We saw young Black dudes in the line. Young Hispanic dudes. We saw old people. We saw vampiric college-aged kids overcoming their aversion to morning light to stand in line to vote.

And then it was our turn to vote.

I voted!

I voted!

First I handed that little card to the nice man at the poll (who told me that he was so happy that he’d been able to vote early this morning for Obama), then the nice man pulled the lever to the right and held the curtains for me so that I could enter and then I went into the booth.

In the booth, I checked the machine twice and then pinched myself and checked it again to make sure that I was really seeing Barack Obama’s name. And then I flicked the switch and felt a wave of joy when I saw the X appear next to his name.

When I pulled the lever back to the left, my hand was shaking. Part of me is still shaking.

But in the most hopeful way possible.





One day more. (Or: I’m so excited I could slap your mother)

3 11 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Les Mis“, posted with vodpod






God hates hate.

2 11 2008

The picture up above got me thinking about indoctrination.

One the one hand, I feel sympathy for the Phelps clan. Their father (and patriarch) has been accused of abusing them emotionally and physically. I have no idea what it must be like to be beaten, literally beaten, by the word of God in a man who considers himself a supreme agent of the Lord.
I have no idea what it must be like to, as a child, come to the understanding that if you wanted to live, there were just certain things that you had to do.

I do wonder what it’s like to be the adult that that child grew into. At some point, when she was able to get away, that woman decided not to. She’d buried the memory of that child’s very existence. She does not question the rhetoric with which she has been branded.

And now she’s got a chance to brand someone of her very own. I wonder if that kid has had to come to the decision that it’s either the fags or him.

It all just makes me think about a friend that my brother and sister and I used to have when we were children in Florida.

There was a little boy who lived next door, JimBob. That was his real name. We all thought that it was funny. Two first names like that. We used to share everything that we had with JimBob. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, eggs, cookies, milk, shade… all of those things that kids share. JimBob used to tell us about how he and his dad like to go hunting and that he’d never had friends that looked like us before. He told us, once, about how his father and mother had told him all about n*****s. That they were dumb, and lazy, and untrustworthy. That they were useless and ill-mannered and were always trying to take from good white people. He told us that he hated n*****s. We were his best friends and he wanted to warn us about them. He was glad that he’d never met a n*****, he didn’t know what he would do.

Now, I was raised that if someone calls you a n***** you hit them first and ask questions later. I was glad that JimBob hadn’t called me a n***** because I didn’t want to have to hit my friend but I knew that I had to tell my parents.
My parents said that JimBob’s parents were racists and that we should never EVER go onto JimBob’s side of the fence. They explained to us that racists are people who don’t like Black people simply because of the color of their skin and that they make up all kinds of silly reasons to reinforce that dislike.
They said that because JimBob was good to us we could still be his friend but the moment he stopped being good to us was the moment that we weren’t friends anymore.

JimBob and his parents moved away a few months after that. He was, till our last conversation through the fence, a sweet boy, a kind boy, a boy who hated n*****s because his parents had trained him to even though he didn’t know that the n*****s his parents were training him to hate lived next door.

I often wonder about what became of JimBob. I wonder if one day his parents presented him with a “you or the n*****s” ultimatum. I wonder what he chose. JimBob must be about 27 today I wonder if, now that he has an opportunity to join us on the other side of the fence, he can.

I wonder who he’s voting for.