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Black Lives Matter, But Thank You for Flaunting Your Racism

23 Dec

Ew. Ew. Ew. Next time a white male says to me, “All lives matter,” I’m not going to freeze up. I’m going to say, “Check your privileges.” If only I’d said it today. I could have done so much better.

I was at the post office to ship two boxes of gifts—one for a friend who lives in St. Louis. The white male behind the counter said he grew up in St. Louis. He should have stopped with that. That’s a normal thing to say if you see a St. Louis address on a package. But he didn’t stop.

He talked about living in different parts of St. Louis. He talked about moving to different neighborhoods and even mentioned a specific intersection that I tried to picture. He mentioned a family member moving out of the city and into a certain part of the county.

He proudly stated that four of his cousins work for the city of St. Louis. When he said that they work in law enforcement, I started getting uncomfortable. I lived in St. Louis for about a decade, so I know what it’s like to be harassed by St. Louis cops for being female and for having an Indiana license plate. I remember the stories that black and female friends recounted about their experiences being harassed by cops in St. Louis. I’m pretty sure every ticket I’ve gotten was in the St. Louis area, and that was a lot of tickets. A friend of mine called St. Louis “a fascist police state.”

He said that one of his relatives worked twelve hours a day in Ferguson—as in when the cops killed a black kid and there was a huge Black Lives Matter protest that made national news. I saw a powerful play about it. I said, “I’m glad I left St. Louis before that,” because I was thinking about how overtly racist and hostile St. Louis is.

It wasn’t until well after I left that I realized HE WAS BOASTING BECAUSE ONE OF HIS RELATIVES WAS ONE OF THOSE POWER-TRIPPING RACIST COPS IN FERGUSON. You know, the ones with a tank.

It wasn’t until he said, “All lives matter, I say,” that I finally froze up in shock and couldn’t make eye contact with him anymore. He’s lucky I’m so slow to process. I’m ashamed that I didn’t call him out.

I used to work in retail in St. Louis, and I have horrible memories of racist white people coming into my workplace. (Not to mention of course fundamentalist Xians jamming their religion down my throat, anti-vegetarians, ignorant hicks who claimed I have an accent and asked where I’m from and ridiculed me when I said that I was born in Indiana… and sexual harassers.) And that was before that sexual predator neo-Nazi narcissistic sociopath started squatting in the White House and emboldening white surpremacists. But I don’t live there anymore, and today I was on the other side of the counter.

So, yeah: the post office needs to tell their employee to read So You want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Olua … and he and I both need to read the book How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

The last thing he said was, “Merry Christmas.” Another assumption.

I should have replied, “I celebrate Hannukah. But thanks, I look forward to giving feedback.”

Last Night’s Dreams

24 Nov

I dreamed that I had some possessions on a stoop and people were coming and going. It may have been a University.

I wasn’t the only one who had some possessions there. There was a desk with stuff on it, and I had placed a few things there. I knew the desk belonged to a guy I disliked; he was self-entitled and accustomed to getting his own way, and I was fed up with him.

At some point, I was close by and saw him run up to his desk and go through stuff, looking for something he urgently needed, and I was under the impression he needed it for a class project or presentation. I had no remorse for putting stuff on his desk, but neither did I feel angry at him in that moment.

Later, a guy who was a friend of mine but who could get annoying came along, and I was holding onto something, maybe a floor lamp, and he was demanding that I help him out with something, but I didn’t want to. He was trying to physically drag me away, and he got me off the stoop and onto the grass before I yelled at him. “No!”

He was shocked and stopped and stared at me. He wasn’t accustomed to me saying no, to me not being an extreme people-pleaser. I was surprised at myself.

Next, I was moving out and my male ex-roommate passed by without even acknowledging me. I think we were both ex-roommates and ex-friends.

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I dreamed I was in kind of a large and cluttered space, maybe a basement, with a few other people who were busy with their projects.

I was in contact with a guy who sold cannabis. I think I was on the phone with him… but it was weird, because soon I was holding in my hand one of his cannabis products. I thought it was delightful, because it was sculpted out of cannabis and resembled a witch flying a broom.

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I don’t know if that was the same dream, but I walked into my mother’s kitchen–she had a female friend (probably one of her siblings) with her. I noticed next to the stove a package of 3 treacle tarts just like the ones I used to get at a British import store. I exclaimed, “Treacle tarts!”

My mother snapped, “Don’t eat those up! That’s all I have!”

There were only two left, and the middle one was cut in half. I considered eating only half of the middle one, but they were so small. I asked her where she got them, so I could go there and buy my own treacle tarts.

Ghostly Dream

16 Nov

I dreamed that I was at my parents’ house—and it looked like their house—and many people were there. A crowd. I was in the bathroom connected to the master bedroom, and I was filling the tub and getting ready for a bath. I got in the tub without getting undressed, and several people barged into the bathroom and, completely ignoring me, went into the master bedroom while they were deep in conversation. I was angry and yelled at them and slammed the door behind them, but they paid no attention. I may as well have been a ghost.

Some more people came and did the same thing, but they were tiny plastic figurines, so when they were in the middle of the room, I scooped them up and threw them into the master bedroom. Furious, I went down the hallway and grabbed a dusty, Indian carved wooden folding screen, took it to the bathroom, and set it up in front of the door leading to the master bedroom.

Maybe I was a ghost in the dream, haunting the last house my parents lived in. They each haunted it after their deaths; I don’t know whether these were temporary hauntings and they’ve moved on yet.

The Nerve of me, interacting on social media like anyone else

14 Nov

It’s National Novel Writing Month, and tonight I reached the month’s official word count goal of 50,000 words. I posted not only to my Twitter account and my Facebook account the fact that I’d reached 50,450 words, but because I’d seen other people do it, I posted it to the NaNoWriMo Facebook group page.

This is what I posted:

“I just reached 50,450 words!

So… tomorrow I’m definitely going to wash the dishes and clean the living room. But I’m aiming for 90,000 words by the end of the month, since that’s standard novel length.”

That’s all I wrote. Nothing more. So what happens? A perpetual playground bully (PPB) commented: “50,000 is standard novel word count.”

I stared at that comment and was utterly flabbergasted. I had simply stated a fact, and here was a bully—like so many before—contracting my statement. I didn’t even post an opinion or a question about word count. So I went to the Writer’s Digest website and found an excellent article (I’ve read it before) by Chuck Sambuchino about standard word count, and I copied and pasted the url as a comment under my post.

Word Count for Novels and Children’s Books: The Definitive Post

Then I replied to the PPB: “That’s only the bare minimum.”

The PPB bizarrely acused me of saying that 90,000 is the minimum, even though that obviously was not what I wrote, as anyone could easily see by looking at my post. She added, “and that’s not true.”

I replied, “No, I didn’t write that it’s the minimum. I wrote that 90,000 is standard word count, which IS true.” Then I blocked the parasite… and started considering dropping out of the group, as I’ve done with quite a number of Facebook groups where I encountered drama thanks to PPBs.

Here are three things that push my buttons… and they also happen to be narcissist/sociopath red flags:

  1. Contradicting me—in particular, contradicting me when I state a fact, not even an opinion.
  2. False accusations.
  3. Attempts to gaslight me.
  4. Lies.

This perpetual playground bully whipped all these out in just a couple of comments! I include “attempts to gaslight me” is because this PPB accused me of claiming that 90,000 is the minimum, despite the obvious fact that I clearly stated that it is the standard. Her accusing me of that is a false accusation, a lie, AND an attempt to gaslight me, all rolled into one.

Yeah, I’m going to name a narcissist or sociopath Kerri in one of my stories, for certain. Coming to think of it, I could probably access a list of every bully I’ve blocked on Nazibook… that’s like a ready-made list of names for villains. If you’re a bully and you know I’m a writer, you’ve automatically given me permission to base a character on you.

The nerve of me, interacting on social media just the way other people interact on social media without being under attack. Am I shivering from cold, or am I shivering from shock? Hmmm. You’d think that a fact about word count would be one thing I can post on social media without being under attack, but… nope. There is absolutely nothing I can post on social media without being under attack from someone who has a shortage of empathy and should go back to the playground.

Anti-Feminist Bullshit Day

22 Oct

Oh. My. Goddess. When the bar is only 1/8 of an inch above the floor, you should be able to get right over it. It’s not asking too much.

In a writers’ group this morning, one member, a white cisgender male in his sixties or seventies, shared a piece he’d written that listed off bullshit stereotypical descriptions of feminists. No, feminism is about dismantling patriarchy, rape culture, and systemic oppression such as misogyny and racism and gender binary. It’s not about hating men and wanting to have “test tube” babies. Patriarchal males are so narcissistic that even their made-up version of feminism is about them. (Since the 2016 election, I’ve repeatedly noticed patriarchal/misogynistic males wave narcissist red flags.)

As for bra-burners?! That was a misnomer invented by patriarchal mainstream media. Atlanta had a city ordinance against burning trash. Therefore the feminist protestors in question tossed oppressive, sexist things such as girdles and Ladie’s Home Journal into a trash can without actually burning them. Stop repeating a lie that has been repeatedly disproved… and read feminist books and blogs.

Later, I logged onto Facebook and visited a group that I usually enjoy. It’s for participants in National Novel Writing Month. But a female posted, asking if she must have “strong female characters” in her novel (because of something someone, maybe a friend, said) and if this is some “feminist agenda” or a requirement. She said she has a male protagonist and no “strong female characters.” Really? Not one single character in your entire novel can be described as a “strong female character”? She seems to think that because it’s medieval historical fiction, that she shouldn’t have to include strong female characters. This presumably means that her novel will have no major, three-dimensional female characters.

I was utterly flabbergasted, twice in one day (and I don’t even work in customer service anymore–heck, I’m somewhat reclusive nowadays). And I’m not going to read anything by her. Even Joss Whedon has no trouble creating strong female characters. It’s such a low bar. No doubt if she learned about the Bechtel Test, she’d have a heart attack or piss her pants or post about this “feminist agenda.”

Both situations reminded me of what a friend recently said in a feminist discussion: that people really hate us feminists. She’d dropped out of an atheist organization for this very reason. I’ve repeatedly observed that the only people with whom I enjoy socializing are feminists.

Yeah, and I’ll keep writing unabashedly feminist fiction. The funny thing is, this was a NaNoWriMo group, and my NaNoWriMo novel for this year is Feed Misogynists to Dragons, a novel so feminist that the title indicates it. I mean, it’s in your face. I’m going to soooooo wallow in the feminism of this novel and my “feminist agenda.”

Nightmarish Dreams

4 Oct

I dreamed I was at a large, very plain and white library… or museum… with s female friend. For a library, it certainly didn’t have many visible books.

In a large white room, I was standing in front of something like a white podium, and it was my intention to be doing research. But I didn’t like how this library worked and complained aloud, in a moment of exasperation and impatience.

Suddenly a male voice over an intercom—the staffer whom I’d met in the front lobby—was verbally attacking me over an intercom or PA system. He was somehow able to hear me. I replied in kind, and he replied and proceeded to shower me with nonstop insults, accusations, and threats over the PA system for all to hear.

I needed to leave immediately. The friend and I were going to slip out a side door. She reminded me that he had my keys—you hand them over when you show up at this place—and according to her, I needed to go get them myself… although I wanted her to get them for me, so I wouldn’t have to see this verbally abusive asshole again.

And that’s how the dream ended.

 

I dreamed that I was supposed to meet up with a queer Latinx male friend, a petite guy, at a restaurant. So I was in a back room of this restaurant waiting for him… and he didn’t arrive. I felt abandoned.

Eventually, I went to the front of the restaurant… and to the front door… and he was out there waiting to meet me. I was so appalled that it didn’t occur to me to wait out front instead of in back. We talked for a bit, but the hour had passed, and he couldn’t stick around.

 

In another unpleasant dream, I was across the street from a low, glass, L-shaped 1960s building. I recognized it and associated it with the Buddhist book discussion group from which I recently dropped out, thanks to a bully. This gave me aversion. As I watched, I spotted both the organizers of the Buddhist book group approach the building’s door. I froze. They spotted me and kept looking at me. I felt dread and aversion, maybe even panic, although emotions are generally muffled in dreams compared to real life.

16 Sep

Today’s Asshole Award goes to Donald Dump and his administration…and Czar Vlad Poopin’…and to all dictators…but of course, they win every day’s Asshole Award.

In addition to the usual, I’m adding someone I caught in the act today.

Punchy mood, I guess. I took lots of plastic bags to Fred Meyer and put them in the plastic recycling bin. I sat on a bench and replied to an email, and just as I was about to get up, a dude approached the recycle bin, lifted a handful of plastic bags, and slipped his used paper coffee cup into the bottom of the bin. The bin is an inch away from a trash receptacle.

My hackles raised, I muttered, “Asshole.”

After he started walking away, I glared at the bin and got up while considering removing his cup and placing it in the trash. I scowled at his back, and he turned and looked at me with surprise. Yeah, buddy, I saw what you did.

I know people are doing much worse things in the world, but I take recycling very seriously, and this jerk has no moral compass. Furthermore, people like him are why China no longer accepts Oregon’s recyclables.