Tuesday, March 29, 2011

cleveland, texas: worse than you think

NYT: Texas Rape Inquiry Shows a 3-Month ordeal

I post stories like this on my Facebook a lot. I'm sure I make my friends sick with all the stories about rape, anti-choice politics, and violence against women. But it's so easy for us to ignore how our society hates women in so many ways. So I use my account as a kind of library of sins against us.

(But it's not all heavy depressing things like this. I also post about food, being gassy, feeling sleepy and work.)

"The police say the girl was raped on at least six occasions, from Sept. 15 to Dec. 3. Nineteen boys and men, ages 14 to 27, have been charged in connection with the rapes, the most recent arrest last Wednesday."

A little girl was repeatedly gang raped over the course of three months by multiple groups of men.

This world makes me so tired and angry, I could sleep forever.

Monday, March 28, 2011

stupid, small world!

Scene: Reproductive justice organization board meeting

CEO: Ok, new board members. I have two candidates and we need someone to interview them. One is Blah-Blah and the other is Professor Bleep Bleep.
DeliaChristina: Huh. Professor Bleep Bleep. Why is that name familiar...?

(blah blah interview schedule conversation continues)

DeliaChristina: Wait. What's her name again? The professor?
CEO: Professor Bleep Bleep. She's with the University of X and she also did work in California with Boop Boop. Why?
DeliaChristina: Um, I think I vomited in her face once. Technically, on her head, but her face is on her head so...

(stunned silence)

Board Member: What?? Are you sure?
DeliaChristina: I think so. I mean, it was grad school and I wasn't used to drinking and I didn't have dinner. But, you know?! It could totally be someone else. I mean, it's a common enough name and as long as she didn't do her doctorate in Michigan...
CEO: That's where she got her degree!

DeliaChristina: Ohmygod. I vomited in her face. Our friendship ended that night.
Board Member 2: But how long ago was that? Maybe she forgot.
DeliaChristina: In. Her. FACE. Copiously.
CEO: Ok, then. You are *not* interviewing her.

I ask you! What are the odds?!?

we are all diminished

The Kill Team | Rolling Stone Politics:

What you'll see when you click on that link will either make you angry, sad or (if you're someone who's missing a critical puzzle piece shaped like Human Decency) fill you with a sense of satiation. An eye for an eye, and all that.

But years from now, perhaps many years, when someone has to write about the United States and how we went from being a shining light on a hill to being a gutter filled with blood and craziness, the story of our involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan (and our silence and inaction in Africa) will condemn us.

War is bad. It's almost banal to say it that way. It has become cliche. And we, trying to be hip, worldly or knowing of the very manly way the world works resort to cliche a lot. We say, war is hell; we invoke passive voice and say bad things are done; we say that no one can ever know what it's like.

Perhaps all of this is true.

But I know in my heart that I never want to know what it's like to look at a severed head, or exploded guts, or the vacant milky eyes of a dead teenager and not feel something like repulsion for the act - as well as the people who committed it.

We should shun these men, the system, and the war that created the context for their murder.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

the wrong jesus

Dangerous Minds | Amen to that: Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus:
Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one’s money to the poor. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation’s poor—especially poor children. They hate anything that smacks of “socialism,” even though that is essentially what their Savior preached.
And this:

And as is the case for most White Evangelical Christians, what they are ignoring is actually the very heart and soul of Jesus’s message—a message that emphasizes sharing, not greed. Peace-making, not war-mongering. Love, not violence.
I think that if the trajectory our country is on is ever going to change, and if there's a chance for the rampant craziness from the religious Right to be checked, those of us of faith will need to be more confrontational and call out these so-called Christians for their hypocrisy and greed. The liberals don't really understand church language or sentiment so it's really up to us.

Friday, March 25, 2011

asshat of the week: G.E.

G.E. So Good At Evading Corporate Taxes That IRS Owes G.E. $3.2 Billion:
the New York Times showed an incredibly rare bit of spine today by publishing a dull numbers story that is possibly the most enraging thing you’ll ever read:

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None.
Wow. NO taxes. At all.
If I decide to skip my taxes this year (which is a real possibility if I cannot find the time to do them) guess who's knocking on my door two years later?

(And I know this because I accidentally did this while in grad school. They came after a grad student!)

And this should be repeated every time someone decides to blame teachers, unions, pensions and poor single moms for the craptacular state of this world:
This is going to get repetitive, we’re afraid, but every aspect of the “financial crisis” in the United States is due to corporations not paying taxes and the very richest .01% individuals not paying taxes. That’s it, that’s the whole thing — your crumbling schools, your sinkhole highways, your abandoned state parks, the laid-off city maintenance worker who leaps to his death in Costa Mesa after half the town’s workforce is replaced by hourly contractors and the mayor hires a $12,000-a-month P.R. manager, everything.

It may seem a little over-determined and bombastic but, boy, is it kinda accurate.

protecting government from religion

Wonk Room » Pawlenty: U.S. Should Not Be Governed By Religious Law — Unless It’s Christianity:

"During a recent address to the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, Pawlenty proclaimed, “The Constitution was designed to protect people of faith from government, not to protect government from people of faith.” He added, “we need to be a country that turns toward God, not a country that turns away from God.”

Uh, no.

I mean, sure, folks should turn to God. (If that is their wont.)
But there is no way I want my government basing its laws on the Bible.

Government, by all means, should be protected from religion.

People (typically men) who get excited by the idea of turning the Bible into some freaky rubric for everyone to follow always choose the weird stuff: 
no sex, stoning women, biology being destiny; the poor being with you 'always,' men being in charge of everything, no gays, daughters staying under the authority of their fathers, owning slaves; proselytizing/killing folks who don't give a shit what you think about their faith (or lack thereof), righteous war, exploiting the land and all that smiting nonsense.

They never pick the cool stuff: 
mutual kindness; minding your own business; helping your neighbor; the Good Samaritan; shaking the dust off your feet; rich men getting into heaven like camels through the eyes of needles; the last shall be first and first, last; Peter being told to stop being such an asshole bigot.

If they did, they wouldn't be called Christians; they'd be ... Scandinavian or something. Socialists, in any case.

Religious blowhards with giant, rutting, pink hard-ons for patriarchy and control always choose the rules in the Bible more likely to be illegal, oppressive or otherwise problematic in a democratic, secular and pluralistic society.

Why is that?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

saturday morning pillow talk

M- : i had a dream that i was waiting for you somewhere with some of your friends - i had never met before - and they were giving me a political ideology test.
DeliaChristina: oh, no! i'm sorry your subconscious is making my friends quiz you.
M- : no, it was ok. one of the friends was a guy, and he was on my side.

Ouch. Sigh.

M-: i had another dream that i sent snoop dogg back in time to the 18th century because he was being a dick.
DeliaChristina: (laughing) that's so mean! i'll teach you a lesson, snoop dog - i'm taking you back to slavery! see if you get sassy then!
M-: hey, he was being a dick. but i had another time travel dream a while ago when i went back to the 80s for an italian beef.
DeliaChristina: you wasted time travel on food? you can't do that!
M-: hey, i'm not changing history. i'm just eating pizza.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The 10 year plan

"It's you and me, or it's nothing."

M- said this to me the other night and it's not as scary and stalkerish as it sounds. I forget the context for the conversation, but suddenly we were talking about What If we hadn't met. Maybe the conversation was prompted by my long trip in DC and the distance between us.

He said, 'Meeting you was..my chance. Before meeting you, I was fine with the idea of being alone; I had pretty much decided that finding someone wasn't going to happen for me.'

I said, 'Aww. I don't know if I was exactly there but if I hadn't met you, I think I would have stopped dating in any serious way. It was getting too gross and pathetic.'

Yay, me and M- found each other, but it made me think about how getting older perhaps means a closing of the fan of possibility. Not that getting old means love is dead but that the willingness, the hunger, for the whole process of seeking out and falling in love just peters out. It's exhausting.

Finding the One Right Now took 39 years; I don't have the stamina or optimism to go through finding The Next One. It's not like my relationship skill-building would be that much better. (And frankly I won't have the hormonal urge to, anyway.)

M- recently found another job and it has us thinking, and talking, about cohabitation again. It's another step toward permanence and I am more receptive to things becoming more...settled. The idea of melding our households doesn't fill me with immediate panic; it's a logistical problem to be worked out between now and Fall. I think I'm also taking my cue from M-; he's in a much better thinking space. Because he rid himself of a toxic work environment, he's much less depressed and sad about where he is, and that makes me more comfortable with the idea of living with him. I think we'll be looking at neighborhoods this summer.

This increased comfort with the idea of permanence has also been prompted by thoughts of my aging father who is going through a period of not being able to pee because of typical old guy problems; of my sister, who is now more interesting to me; of my work (which might change in a few years); and of M-'s new job which has an office in Los Angeles.

He said to his new boss, 'Me and the girlfriend might get married and relocate out there since her family lives in LA.'

When he told me the story, for once I didn't get all huffed up and defensive ('How dare you make plans for me!'); the thought made sense.  I could imagine myself back in LA with my family, taking care of my dad, being reunited with my friends from the Old Delia, driving badly across all the freeways. For the first time, the idea of returning home made me think of the possibility of long-term happiness.

Being One of Two is an act of will; I've said so before and I believe it more firmly than ever. I don't think I'd have the will again for this path I'm walking with M-. Rather than making me afraid of what I want, this relationship is making me more sure of it. I want permanence. (I still don't want children. And I could take or leave a wedding.) But it's making me work for it, man. None of these decisions about my future, or our future together, come easy.  All sorts of negotiations need to be considered.

(For instance, my relationship with Girl Island. Unfortunately, I don't think M- or certain of my friends will ever be comfortable around each other; this might be a necessary price to pay for what I have with him. Or it's karmic payback for being a raging bitch toward my gay best friend's partner for a few years.)

But this is me putting it on the record: there's a vague 10 year plan moving forward and I might be ok with that.

God I'm getting old. What's next? Sensible DKNY walking shoes?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Miz D goes to Washington

I have so many pet peeves about trips like this I can't even go into it.

But mainly it's one thing: learn how to use technology!

All these folks with their smartphones and not one way to use them smartly to navigate the city (i.e., search the metra system, map a route from airport to hotel, look up congressmen, etc.)

This is the first moment I've had to get my thoughts together.
The rest of the day I've been up since 5 am, remotely steering my boss through DC's public transportation system, trying to find my delegation, going on appts and moving the earth behind the scenes to make sure folks have a productive time. Barely ate lunch, gulped down every glass of water on my table and I think my Instead cup flipped over. SIGH.

The last thing I want to do is go to dinner tonight. But I must.

(What would I rather be doing? Sitting in my room, in my pjs, studying for tomorrow and ordering room service.)

The room is very cute, though.

Monday, March 07, 2011

It has been an age, hasn't it?

Tonight, I'm in Washington, DC for a business trip. I'm trying to cram information about the foundation excise tax into my brain but I really want some sleep. I think I may cram before coffee tomorrow.

It's lovely here - the weather is soft - and I'm sure this trip will be moderately successful (having already addressed one snafu) but I really think Lobby Days need to be restructured. It's a lot of expense for very little payoff unless one has a really firm idea of what you're going to do with these contacts once you've made them.  Do orgs have a sense of a 'sales cycle' for these things? I doubt it.  And that cycle is the only thing that makes 'sales/pitch' meetings like this useful.

Anyway, I'm staying with a girl friend, we've had a lovely gossip and now I have to put on my big girl panties and act professional for two days.  Sure I can do it.  (Thankfully, I have the most comfy DKNY shoes to help me along.)

I miss M- (I'm here for most of the week).
And my bestie (we have a Kung Fu Panda game to conquer!)

But mainly M-.