It’s just words. And they are ours.

I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve gone back to school and I’m busy, but that’s not the only reason. I’ve grown to dislike the internet as a communication vehicle because of its distortion–like an uncleaned fishbowl that we’ve all gotten used to. I’ve encountered so many positive aspects of social media–made friends with people I might not have ever met, shared a ton of laughs, and been able to learn from a diverse range of viewpoints. I like learning. I like people.

This election is changing everything for me. Don’t give up on this post. I’m not going to talk about candidates. And please don’t comment about the candidates, or the alternative parties, or who is worse than whom. This is not what this is about. This is about us.

An intelligent, thoughtful, and what I would call moderate friend posted a comment on Facebook saying that while she personally liked a candidate for state office, she disagreed with the candidate’s vote on a particular bill that was important to her.

For this she was called a bimbo. By another woman. And that was one of the nicer comments.

I’ve gotten emails from conservative friends saying something akin to, If I’m white, I’m racist, if I believe in traditional marriage I’m homophobic, etc. And I get the same ones from liberals. If I worry about inequality I’m a socialist, or a lazy ass who just wants a handout.

That is exactly our problem.

Our candidates call each other names, and we call each other names, and it continues to perpetuate this belief that we want radically different things and only a winner-take-all approach will get us there. You have to be all in, one way or another. Either the Democrats have all the answers or the Republicans do, and there is only one right way to be and it is our way.

Everyone accuses everyone else of blindly following candidates. Of not doing their research, or being lazy, or stupid, or a whole host of other things. We are all different. We’ve had different experiences, and have different values. Not wrong values, just different. This changes how we see and evaluate issues. That is a good thing. Let’s stop assuming that other people would agree with us if only they knew what we knew. It’s flawed logic, and doesn’t give us or our friends any credit.

I have a good friend who is on a different side of the political fence than I am, and I respect her more than I can say. If she holds a different viewpoint from mine, I assume she does for very good reasons, and I’m not afraid to hear them. I’m not afraid to have her disagree with me, and we can do so without any animus whatsoever. The idea of calling her a bimbo is laughable.

Not to mention really, really unkind, and really really unproductive. Yes, they are just words, and it’s the internet, and we don’t have to see the other person, or feel their hurt and anger.

Our candidates are vicious to each other because we are. They are responding to us, and we are lapping it up.

We want a change? Be better than this. We can be.

It’s gotten to the point where disagreeing about solutions entails putting our hands over our ears and screaming “Lalalala I can’t hear you. There’s no problem here.”

Yes we have problems. We also have an enormous population of intelligent well-meaning individuals and resources and will. No one else is going to solve it for us. Yes, these problems are hard and complicated. They say wisdom is being able to hold two different points of view in your head and believe them both to be true.

I think that’s why our problems are so hard to solve. They are the living, breathing paradox of who we are.

Leadership can come from the top. It’s clear that our leadership on both sides is failing us, but it won’t change until we do.

A wise mentor once told me that I could be tough on issues without being tough on people. It’s a lesson I struggle with every single day. I am not always a good listener. I can be arrogant and opinionated. I am a work in progress and I am trying.

Let’s make an agreement today.

No more name calling. No more personal attacks. If you disagree, ask questions. “What makes you feel that way? And listen to the answer. Really listen. You may learn something. It may  change how you feel. It may not. But it’s becoming so nasty that many of us just don’t want to talk anymore. And I find that really depressing. I like to talk. Probably too much.

So let’s stop ascribing motive to others. Let’s talk about what we want the world to be, and how we can make our little corner of it a little kinder, more giving, more accepting, and leave everyplace we go a little better than it was before we came.

Naive? Yup. It’s also the only thing that gets me out the door each day.

It may be just words, but there are a lot of them out there. I know. I’m a writer. Choose them wisely.

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Go Out And Vote Dammit, The Local Edition

voteTomorrow is election day and I am ignoring my phone. I don’t know why politicians think robocalls are effective. Robocalls make me want to relocate to Canada. I know their elections are over.  And that Justin Trudeau is hot. That much has made the national news. If you want more info, listen to the BBC.

Last week at dinner, my husband repeated the old adage; “all politics are local.” I asked him since his local politicians were so important to him, perhaps he could name a few of them. This was not conducive to marital harmony. I state for the record that my husband is a brilliant man. He was having an off day.

There are a lot of local issues to care about in Northern Virginia, and I suspect it’s no different where you are. I haven’t heard about many school budget surpluses out there. Yes, what happens in D.C. is important, but I would guess what happens in your local government effects you more personally. It’s not as entertaining as the Donald Trump show, but what else is?

Yes, you have to find time away from work, but it’s totally worth it.

Last year the both parties gave out donuts. Since I’m technically an independent, it was a total breakfast win.

You don’t have to stand in front of a tank, run a military gauntlet, or choke on tear gas to cast your vote. All you have is fill out a few circles or tap a few buttons. Navigating my doctor’s call center menu is more complicated than that.

When you’re done, you’ll get a nifty I Voted sticker. It creates halo of self-righteousness for the rest of the day. Do remember to take it off. If it goes through the washer and dryer, you end up with a sticky white oval on your favorite sweater that even Tide won’t budge.

If you want to turf the asshats that are running the joint, vote.

If you’re even more afraid of who is looking to replace the asshats that are running the joint, vote.

If your polling place has donuts, let me know. When it comes to baked goods, I have no pride.

And if you’re trying to reach me, try email. So far, that’s a safe haven.

The Democratic Debate in Haiku

Anderson Cooper

Is in a serious mood

His glasses say so

_______________________

The jumbotron set

Makes it look like a game show

Miss the big ass plane

________________________

Does CNN see

Their facebook logo placement?

Someone ****ed it up

_______________________

Cheryl Crow can sing

She even hit the high notes

(The tight pants might help)

________________________

I know it’s sexist

But I wore Hillary’s suit

When I was pregnant

______________________

I love you Bernie

But who pees in your cornflakes

Every damn morning?

______________________

Who is this Jim Webb

He was once my senator?

Uhm. Yes. I knew that.

_______________________

Martin O’Malley

Says that he fixed Baltimore

What about those O’s?

_______________________

Hey Lincoln Chafee

Nineteen seventy nine called

Want their yardsticks back

_____________________

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

Blah Blah Blah Working people

Democrat Intro

___________________

Bernie Sanders says

Congress speaks like Eskimos

Thousand words for “no”

____________________

Wedded to the polls?

Hillary asks for numbers

“I’ll get back to you”

______________________

Martin endorsed Hill

‘I’m allowed to change my mind

Just like you change yours’

______________________

Our first Trump mention

“I may be a barker but

I own the circus”

_______________________

Chafee asks for slack

We don’t care that your Dad died

If it was your dog…..

___________________

I don’t care about

Hillary’s emails either

Let’s all unsubscribe

___________________

And I still don’t know

Anything about Jim Web

But he can tell time

__________________

Hillary is asked

How she’ll differ from Barack

“Pee breaks take more time.”

____________________

This is so civil

There’s nothing to make fun of

I need more cowbell

_____________________

If O’Malley wins

I really hope he invades

New York’s Trump Tower

_______________________

What is Communist

Versus Social Democrat?

Putin bores Bernie

______________________

Jim Webb gets to speak

And what does he choose to say?

Yup. I killed a dude.

_______________________

Damn, I’ll never know

Which chick they’d put on the ten

Who will I vote for?

______________________

And Twitter weighs in

Martin won’t be president

But the man’s a DILF

______________________

Huckabee live tweets

And I trust him like I trust

His foot near his mouth

_______________________

That’s all I got folks

Until we get the next round

On the 28th

If Only We Could Lock Down Guns As Easily As We Lock Down College Campuses


At 2 a.m. on Saturday night, my IPad sang from across the room to let me know someone was calling. My husband shook me awake. I’d forgotten to mute the electronic offender, and surely I’d hear about it in the morning. I picked up my IPhone just as it stopped vibrating. I had to wait until the missed call registered so I could find out who it was. Late night calls generally aren’t good ones.

The call originated from the town where my son attends college. A fist clamped around my heart. The phone buzzed in my hand, signalling the message’s arrival at the same time my IPad let out a happy ding, telling me I’d gotten a text. I thought the joy was a little premature.

A robotic female voice filled me in on the news. The cadence in her words was off, which lent a sinister tone to what was meant to be a precautionary message. A convenience store at the edge of campus had been robbed by two armed men. The suspects were headed away from campus, but just to be safe, the University asked the students to take shelter and lock the doors. The text confirmed I’d heard her right.

I checked my Mom-stalker app and saw that the Dude was not at home in his dorm, a safe distance from the scene of the crime, but somewhere unfamiliar, a little too close for comfort. Did I mention it was 2 a.m.?

So I texted him to make sure he was fine, which he was, but he’d been at the convenience store just an hour prior. Buying snacks, I’m sure. He decided to reassure me by bringing up the fact that he still had to walk home, but he had nothing on him but his I.D. so he wasn’t worth the bother. I thanked him for his sensitivity and told him to stay put until the University lifted the lock down.

It took about a fifteen minutes for the all clear to come through, and another hour for my chest to loosen enough for me to breathe. I did not, however, sleep.

I knew the Dude wasn’t in any danger; that wasn’t what kept me awake. It was the thought of the parents of students at Umpqua Community College and how they must have felt. I knew that whatever I imagined would be off on a logarithmic scale. Add to it a certain hopelessness. Nothing will change.

The Onion posted the article “No Way to Prevent This”, Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens, only it was a rewrite of their June article about the Charleston shootings, which was a rewrite of their May 2014 column about the UCSB shootings.

I find it ironic that I have to fill out more paperwork to adopt a cat than I do to buy a gun. I also find it ironic that politicians find the idea that rounding up illegal immigrants and sending them on their way is easy, but reducing the prevalence of guns in the U.S. is impossible.

The ever-present “they” say we have a mental health problem (which we do, but their characterization of it scares the shit out of me). We have a hate and a fame problem. We have an education problem, and an economic disparity problem.

But we also have an inertia problem, a campaign funding problem, an unwillingness to compromise problem, and an all-or-nothing-our-side-must-win-at-all-costs problem.

Most of all, we have an it-won’t-happen-to-me problem.

Let’s hope “they” never get a 2 a.m. robo call about their own child. The thought that anyone might get that call keeps me up at night. Doesn’t it keep “them” up too? We could all use a good night’s sleep.

Haiku News Review

GOP rallies

Should use classical music

Dead artists can’t sue

________________________

Donald Trump’s all heart

“We should help the refugees

Just send the ‘good ones’.”

________________________

Serena loses

Venus offers Lifesavers

“You got a whole roll?”

_______________________

Mike Huckabee thinks

Dred Scott’s the “law of the land”

Is that Common Core?

_______________________

Late Night cheers Biden

Funny, everyone likes him–

Now that he won’t run

_______________________

Redbook’s new cover

Featured true sized “real women”

And a workout plan

_______________________

Hillary, if you

Want to keep emails secret?

Teenage IT team

________________________

Fat-shaming people

Is your first amendment right

But you’re still a jerk

________________________

If a weatherman

Can pronounce that Welsh town name

Please say nu-cle-ar?

________________________

Rick Perry drops out

I wonder if Lenscrafters

Will give a refund

________________________

The Pittsburgh Steelers

Say the Patriots cheated

Football caucus race

Hey Donald Trump, do you kiss your daughter with that mouth?


Mr. X was in his fifties. I was in my early twenties. He had been with the company for all of his career. I was fresh out of college.

He was a gnat in a short-sleeved dress shirt. He questioned my analytical methods and argued my findings. He tattled to management with my mistakes and afterwards, scolded me like an disapproving father.

The company hired troops of newly minted graduates every year, knowing that most would get flushed out of the system by the hours and the workload or would get recruited by other companies in bigger, more interesting cities. He didn’t treat any of the other newbies the way he treated me.

My boss told me to ignore it.

I did my best, but dang, he made my quills twitch.

One day he demanded information that hadn’t been approved for release, and I refused. That’s when he crossed the final line.

“I’ve been in this business since before you were born, little girl.” He gave the last two words extra emphasis, as if the rest was just filler.

Little girl? Is that what this had been about all of this time?

I’d like to say I responded in a professional manner, but I went full porcupine.

“And I’ll be in it after you’re dead, so tell me, who wins?”

Neither of us told our management about our exchange.

In an alternate universe, I might have learned a lot from him. But every time he opened his mouth, all I heard was little girl.

When I left the company he said that “he’d miss sparring with me.” I told him I would not miss sparring with him one bit.

I know he didn’t behave that way because he was a man. He behaved that way because he was a misogynist. Mr. X only saw me through the filter of gender. My greatest teacher and mentor was a man. He wasn’t always easy on me either, but when he looked at me he only saw my potential. And he never called me little girl.

So when Donald Trump talks, all I hear is blah blah blah, ugly, pig, loser, disgusting, slob, dog, He has no problem telling a woman she’d be a pretty picture on her knees or referring to her as a piece of ass. He attacked the credibility of a newscaster because she asked him to account for his own words, and then retweeted comments calling her a bimbo and even worse, unbecoming.

Afterwards he said “it’s fun; it’s kidding,” then denied it altogether. (USA Today’s Fact Check says otherwise.)

He clearly respects his daughter, Ivanka. She’s heavily involved in running his company. How would he react if someone intimated she could dust off the old kneepads? Would he find it “fun”?

She insists that he “cherishes and adores women.”

He might want to start with a little respect first.

The Mobyjoe Cafe Weekly News Roundup – Week of 3/15

Ab-tastic Rep is forced to quit
Because he overspent a bit
His office looks like Downton Abby
While the voters paid his tabby
But he’ll always find employ
As Men’s Health’s favorite cover boy

______________________________

Starbucks tackles race relations
By prompting in-line conversations
Sorry if I sound real mean,
But I don’t chat before caffeine

______________________________

A rider to a slavery bill
Wreaks havoc up on Capitol Hill
For every woman should be free
Unless you’re talking pregnancy
Sure, Human trafficking’s an abomination
Still, let’s stall Lynch’s nomination
No bill should languish, doomed to molder
And neither should poor Eric Holder

______________________________

A runner at a New York meet
Swept a bystander off her feet
Unfortunately, the gesture was less than loving
Think–more like a high-speed shoving
Neither party was injured
And “wham-sauced” is now my favorite word
______________________________

Wall Street bites its nails and waits
While the Fed reviews the interest rate
But they aren’t the only nervous fretters
It’s time for college admission letters
Both Moms and bankers look for signs
And try to read between the lines
While figuring out how much to hoard
To pay for things they can’t afford

______________________________

Netanyahu’s re-elected
Not the outcome pols expected
Yet the news creates less racket
Than Obama’s b-ball bracket
But neither headline hopes to top
Bruce Jenner’s coming gender swap

______________________________

Robin Thicke’s back on the market
His ex-wife told him where to park it
Although he wooed her, undeterred
I guess some lines aren’t all that blurred

______________________________

Ashley Judd is fighting back
‘Gainst Twitter trolls bent on attack
She called out b-ball “dirty play”
And that is where she went astray
For trash talk is a dude’s domain
Male twitterverse has made it plain
She deserved the hate-sex drumming
Because, you know, she had it coming
(Threats are a first amendment exception
So let’s clear up that misconception)
The law may give you all a pass,
But if I was your mother, I’d ground your ass

______________________________

Sports reporters can’t be trusted
My NCAA bracket is already busted
Since it’s freed a ton of time up
I’m starting my fantasy baseball lineup

______________________________

Just remember….
Just when the world is looking bleak
We get to start a brand new week
The news is ours to create
So go out there and make it great