Monday, September 14, 2009


Blue Moon
Contending with a headache that keeps coming back. Probably linked to hormonal crap, as there are other signs of that. Behind on work. Not enough money to buy medications. But wanted to say a few things...

Yesterday it never reached 90 degrees as a high. Last night the low was below 70 degrees. This is the first time in months and months that either has occurred. Plus, we got Rain. Even so, with the relief, I kept thinking about it being the anniversary of Hurricane Ike all weekend. Galveston has nowhere near recovered, may never recover. All the lives and livelihoods lost.

During my coverage of the aftermath last year, I looked through hundreds or thousands of photographs online. And there was one -- I'm not even going to tell you what it was about, except it showed what must have been a long, agonizing death. I wish I hadn't seen it. I wish I could wipe it from my mind. It haunts me still.

One of the "hormonal signs" is that my sleep is all awry. I keep dropping off at odd times and not sleeping through a complete cycle. This plays havoc on an already challenged body. The new TV season is not yet arrived, and I'm not sure it will be much good when it does get here. Except for those PBS documentaries and science shows, g*d bless them.

I watched one last night about the history and impact of Helvetica. Yeah, the font. It was utterly fascinating and raised more questions than I know how to answer. It's yet another source of brainwashing and homogeneity. Will we ever throw off corporate control of our lives? Postmodernism can go FUCK itself. Clarity does not equal communication or respect. Reacting against something does not produce new ideas or energy if that's all you're doing. These are a few of my sub rosa reactions.

Cat Dinah as a kitten (Dinah as a kitten in November 2001)

Tomorrow Dinah turns 8 years old. She usually comes and sits by me when I create the LOLCats weekly round-up, which is a little unsettling because I know she's not registering the photos, it must be something I'm generating energetically to attract her. Or the occasional zany laughter. I'd give her a special treat tomorrow except she doesn't like wet food or human food, only kibble and Whisker Lick'n treats, both of which she gets on demand. I guess I can pick up some of the red rings scattered around and throw them all day so she can run around like a maniac, that will make her happier.

("States United" map from Strange Maps

I've noticed that in the blogs I like to read first/most often, there's a serious collective movement underway to unroof the bedrock racism of what's being aimed at Obama in the name of "anti-socialism" or the teabagger reactionaries. A solid group of us are naming names and making a list, and I feel good being part of this effort. A few of them have written me private e-mails or linked to me. More are using ideas I raised without credit, but perhaps it was their idea simultaneously, that happens when an inevitable realization sweeps the minds of thinking folks. There is also a concurrent decision to call out crazy where crazy appears, differentiating delusion from those who foment and prey on delusion. It has libertarians very, very upset out there. My name has been bandied about with extreme negativity. Oops.

It reminds me of how outraged hippie and counterculture boys were when women started demanding equal rights. Like, we were trashing their good times by pointing out what THEY were doing that was sinking the possibility of real, enduring change.

I never enjoyed "Happy Days", just like I find "That 70's Show" unwatchable. You have to ignore huge segments of the population to pretend like the 1950s or the 1970s were lighthearted, with only rock and dope added to what is (in Hollywood-land) still all about white boys looking for sex.

Here's some of those fighting the Very Good Fight: Jill Cozzi at Brilliant at Breakfast; Richard Blair at All Spin Zone; Crooks and Liars in general, but especially Mike Finnegan's daily blog round-up and DO GO READ Nonny Mouse's recent post Stoopid Peepul ; Hullaballoo in general but especially Digby, Tristero and DDay; Batocchio at Vagabond Scholar; Michael's incisive analysis of current images at BAGNewsNotes; Echidne (24/7) for Real Feminism and astute take-downs of pseudoscience; and, while I always read my friend Kat's BitchCraft, her latest post (Challenging Art and Our Educations) promoting her friend -m-'s reaction to seeing Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party" for the first time is extremely good.

The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago (The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago)

Yeah, Kat and -m-, we been robbed. We coulda been a contender. However, unlike Marlon Brando, we are still alive and still able to lace on gloves. Even with this damned headache, I'm not dead yet.

To give thanks in another direction, I'm a big fan of the adventure games produced by Sandlot Games, which assuredly must have some really really smart women designing product. The entire Tradewinds series has been female-friendly and good on a number of oppression issues -- for instance, when you have the option of creating your own character, some of the images you can select from are actually fat. And the people of color are not Cosby-women-light. However, their latest, Tradewinds Odyssey, set in ancient Greece, is outstanding in its non-sexist portrayal of genders, its inside humor, and its clever rethinking of myth and history. For instance, when one dimwitted god or king (can't remember who it was) says he wants something sparkly to get himself a woman because "Girls like shiny things, right?", the hero replies "I think you're confusing girls with crows". Zing!

Even better, during one quest the Minotaur's sister is trying to help her discriminated-against brother (lots of disabled-rights messages in this one), and she turns to the Amazons for assistance. Once she's done with her part of the story, she announces that Hippolyta has created a "women's commune" that she's going to join because she's decided to come out. It's couched in other language, but the message is clear. Right ON!

Tradewinds Odyssey screenshot (Tradewinds Odyssey screenshot)

Okay, back to typing emergency room reports of people who've arrived with far progressed conditions because they don't have insurance and couldn't afford to see a doctor back when a simple prescription or low-cost treatment would have interrupted a downward spiral. We can't afford NOT to have universal health care any more. Do the math, stoopid.


Blue said...

I am sending a prayer-spell straight into your headache.

Maggie Jochild said...

Well, Blue, FWIW, my headache cleared around 9:30 last night. In time for me to wake up and watch an amazing show with Jacques Pepin and Izaak Perlman cooking together and talking about the intersections of making music and cooking.

I spiked a fever (2 degrees) and had left ovarian pain for several hours, so I gave up and went to bed, sleeping it off. My left ovary is still making its presence known in a gentle way, but fever is gone and headache is long gone.

Thanks, buddy.

Margot said...

Reading with hindsight, I'm haunted by the harbingers herein... and your final paragraph breaks my heart.

I love you.