Hot Mess Christian Walker

My impression of the physically adorable looking Christian Walker, one of the GOP U.S. Senate candidate’s (for GA) Herschel Walker’s children, is that he’s pretty mixed up inside. He’s out as gay but hates Queer pride. And he passionately supports Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a man he says he “loves.” Hmm, me thinks I detect some self hatred going on here. Well, after his life being “destroyed” (Christian’s own description) by his absent, narcissistic (my added descriptor) father, along with whatever else he grew up enduring, no wonder why this cute kid comes across as a hot mess. All that expression of beauty and joie de vivre is being so misguided and misdirected, imho.

I hope Christian Walker gets some serious psychotherapy and/or other kinds of life interventions that wake him the hell up. I empathize with and hold compassion for his hurt and rage at his absentee and lying parent. But, similar to his unhinged dad, Christian appears to be in the throes of a narcissistically driven political media frenzy. Sure, he’s young and on a journey to find out who he is. However, what an unmindful, destructive way he’s doing so out on social media. Others’ lives (such as queer lives, including the true wellbeing of his own) are in the crosshairs of this obnoxiously manufactured culture war Christian has appeared to join the wrong side of. I guess this is yet another example of how apples don’t fall far from the tree. So sad.

To Glorify or Vilify the Queen? Neither for Me

Since the recent death of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II (QE2 or the queen for short), there has been a flurry of positive and negative posts on social media about her and the British monarchy. I am admittedly not deeply informed about British history, including during the seventy plus year reign of QE2. In a broad sense, I know the British monarchy and the royal family wealth have benefited directly from colonial and post colonial capitalism, which was once extremely, and is still somewhat, exploitative and oppressive around much of the globe, such as Africa. Also, a lot of the Irish do not like the government the queen represented, so they did not like her either. Hence, for example, there are a share of Black identifying voices not mourning her death, due to her enabling of oppressive colonizing of them and/or their ancestors. It is arguable, as some have made the case in great detail, how QE2 in her role may not have caused or even did not directly cause such extensive oppression and exploitation. However, it is easier to point out how she allowed or enabled such unfair, inhumane treatment on a mass scale to continue. For many, including myself, enabling harm is viewed to be just as bad as directly causing something harmful.

Personally, I have neither vilified nor glorified QE2. But, I have expressed supportive acceptance of the varying feelings people have shared over her death, which have not all been warm and fuzzy. I’m fine with that. There can be, and naturally is, whether one likes it or not, room for all the range of feelings and emotions over such a world figure. I’m neither a fan nor ardent detractor of her. I do personally wonder about the need for a monarchy to be supported so much by English taxpayers in comparison to how a counterpart monarchy in, say, the Netherlands is more leanly funded by that country’s public. I honestly do not carry much investment in people’s responses about the queen, who embodied a powerful archetype for sure, a crowned female ruler (albeit symbolic only) over a prominent land. She was a living fairy tale character for a lot of people.

I do think there is a slim distinction between the institution of a monarchy and the person filling that role. On extremely rare occasion, people in high places are heroic and undo oppressive power from the inside out. Gorbachev in the former Soviet Union comes quickly to mind here, though he was elected and not in a far more ancient, entrenched position like QE2’s, which has developed so much awe, wonder, and protection around it, several centuries in the making. A part of me admittedly wishes more individuals would sacrifice their and others’ mass power when they are in positions to do so. Alas, it is easier to go along, make incremental changes here and there, if any, and still enable large parts of an institution’s harm to continue over others than to take larger, more radical risks. QE2 was no such daring person, no sacrificial heroine for deep systemic change. She was human, and a fairly conservative one at that, an upholder of layers of tradition valued by many, enabler of classism and racism, also valued by many, sadly.

Those who are more directly affected by an institution’s, such as a government’s, harm, including ancestrally, are going to feel pain from that legacy of harm. That pain can and does often present as raw and ugly, not thought out with rationality. The public discourse occurring seems natural to me, even if rough and downright toxic in places. Well, the way social media works these days, many jump on the opportunity to post extreme and uninformed memes about anything, and most certainly when the topic is political. But, much of that mean-spirited, extreme, polarizing language is a reflection of a larger problem than how QE2 is currently being discussed online, such as the deterioration in more intelligent, civil, and nuanced discourse.

Over time, history will judge the queen however, probably in a nuanced way. She certainly was no tyrant and couldn’t be if she tried, though I don’t believe she spoke out against all tyrants in the world when she could have. She does not seem to carry a wide reputation for being nasty. She was a grande dame in her own way, stoic to a degree we may not ever see again in public figures. I think this is both indicative of some healthy human evolution and also a unique loss.

QE2 had to know that she was stepping into controversy when agreeing to become a monarch, albeit a figurehead one. I’m sure she rolled with the punches as best she could and undoubtedly still is, wherever her life essence may happen to be.

My Response to the SCOTUS Striking Down Roe v. Wade And Further Loosening Gun Ownership Restrictions

I’m for term limits across the board for every federal office holder, including those who are appointed. I’ve also long been for electoral reform, such as getting private money out of politics and neutralizing the Electoral College. We’re not living in a true representative democracy any longer. Some would say we haven’t for a while. I think the Citizens United SCOTUS decision basically killed the vestiges of that. Call it what it now is, an oligarchy. And there is no “united” like our country’s name suggests. (I’m not sure how “united” America ever really was.) There are alliances among states, a patchwork of sorts. Not so great, but rather realistic in such a large country with a steadily increasing plurality of peoples.

The desire by a sizable, active and vocal minority to “unite” the country by authoritarianism (with a uniquely so-called “Christian” brand here) is historically predictable. The oligarchs at the top like this occurring among the comparatively poorer masses, as it enables them to further consolidate their stranglehold on resources and power. Again, we have arrived at an oligarchy. Yesterday’s SCOTUS decisions on abortion access and gun ownership reflect this. One is extremely, nonsensically restrictive while the other will add to even more dangerous chaos (though both outcomes will do this, sadly). The oligarchs are surely smugly smiling over these further diversions away from their societally damaging means of functioning. Let’s all be honest with ourselves and each other about the reality we now live in.

Brief Thoughts on the Mexican-American War and U.S. History

The Mexican-American War (April 25th, 1846-Feb. 2nd, 1848), provoked by U.S. troops on Mexican soil (now in Texas, if I read Howard Zinn correctly), was covered so briefly in my U.S. History classes, which I find both pathetic and appalling. What an enormous, awful mess, as all war is. It was just another example of an empire ruthlessly expanding on the backs of soldiers and innocent civilians, in this case Mexicans especially but also economically disenfranchised Americans (e.g., family members and friends of soldiers, themselves largely disenfranchised).

I humbly admit that, as a preteen and teenager, my interest in U.S. History was virtually nonexistent, sadly. I’m glad that has long since changed. The whitewashing and abridgement of whole chunks of America’s history, which appear to only be ratcheting up in several if not likely all– to varying degrees– state school systems, is deeply concerning. There are so many people who, like defiant children sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting and kicking at anyone sharing painful but relevant information, do not want our collective history known. Heaven forbid we actually learn from the past and grow from it.

Brief Thoughts on Leaving Behind the Ladder of Hierarchy Mentality

Modern industrialized cultures continue to be so invested in the dynamic of dominance by some over others, who, according to their gender, skin color, and assortment of other characteristics (such as socioeconomic status), are each placed somewhere along the rung of an ancient hierarchical ladder. Every nation has its own nuanced version of this set up. I’ve spent much of my adulthood empowering people— including myself— to get away from this ladder mentality as much as possible. Clearly, many would rather kill and be killed than give up this outdated, harmful worldview.

Brief Thoughts on Elitism and Education

Staying with this reflection about how in group/out group tribalism pervades human thinking and behavior (such as what I posted about yesterday, re: religion and spiritual paths), I’ve been concerned for a long while about elitism and education. I think it’s a common element of classism, this belief that achieving a formal, higher education equals reaching the highest level of evolution as a human being and those without such experience, and subsequent awarded degrees behind their names, fall short somehow. Hence, such individuals are stunted, less than. (They are then to be pitied, which, of course, is so patronizing.) It’s an embedded extreme assumption I grew up around and have intentionally spent years steadily releasing from my psyche. I think this belief by many in the educated middle and upper classes has actively contributed to a lot of the white working class alienation and subsequent anger we’ve witnessed channeled through the rise of Trumpism in recent years.

There are many other ways to view success and human evolvement besides through the lens of formal education achievement, right down to taking in each person’s own strengths and laudable ability to live their own lives as best they can day to day— whether they happen to have a college degree or didn’t finish high school.

Political Plug and Rant: I Support U.S. Senator Edward Markey

I’m struck with what seems like ageism and superficialness overly influencing the Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate seat here in Massachusetts. I’m supporting the incumbent Ed Markey for re-election. His voting record and particular issues he’s impassioned about have long impressed me. I’m left thinking, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I appreciate his Green New Deal proposal, which he worked closely on with young and vibrant Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez. She clearly respects and values him as a close ally and collaborator in Congress, as does Senator Warren. I’m grateful for Markey’s concern for the USPS and his advocacy to sufficiently fund it. To my knowledge, his environmental track record is excellent. Over the years, he’s been very responsive to me when I’ve written and emailed him with numerous concerns, many of them regarding the welfare of the environment. He’s been on the front lines fighting to ensure Internet neutrality. And as far as I know, he’s pro Medicare for All.

Along comes Congressman Kennedy– young and handsome and, well, a Kennedy. These attributes alone are not relevant for me. (I mean, we’re not talking here about filling a position for modeling stylish men’s clothing.) To my understanding, he’s comparatively more conservative than Markey, who continues to have plenty of energy and ideas to keep doing a great job as my U.S. Senator. I don’t mind that Markey is in his 70s and not a Kennedy. I haven’t heard that he’s having any major health problems. He’s not in need of being put out to pasture. I don’t think his age or lack of family fame should matter for voters. Only his long legislative and advocacy record should.

We don’t need this mid stream change during such trying times in federal government (and beyond), particularly when Markey is doing just fine in the Senate for me, the rest of his constituents, and the country at large. But, a substantial number of folks seem overly swayed by someone who’s simply young, good looking, and a Kennedy, his opponent’s legislative record and so much other hard work in Congress be damned.

I say, come on, Joe Kennedy, you could have waited a while longer before running for Senate, because you’ve got plenty of time, and directly support Markey in his solid, ongoing legacy of great work on behalf of Mass. and America overall.

Thoughts on America’s Current Civil Unrest

It is very possibly the design/intent of many of the current vandals and looters in assorted American cities to throw off the central narrative of the urgent need for racial (and economic) justice. However, we each have the choice to keep this recent heinous crime born of racism at the forefront of our minds in the face of what’s going on and to insist others do the same. We privileged white people owe that to our long oppressed Black and Brown fellow humans. Please don’t let all the smoke blur/confuse your mental vision or moral compass around the changes that need to happen. This latest ground swell of violence all started from yet another lynching of a defenseless Black man (George Floyd, pictured) and the lack of justice against this hate crime. There are surely agitators involved who wish to keep the status quo of systemic racism and there are the usual criminal opportunists out looting for their own immediate material gain. And then there are both the nonviolent and violent protestors who are sick of this oppression. Please let’s speak and act up against these ongoing wrongs, and not choose to be inactive so as to simply avoid being associated with violence and criminality when nonviolence is one’s preferred ethical course of action. Such deliberate inaction is acting from out of white privilege, or so I’ve come to understand.

I did see some film footage and accompanying written narrative of peaceful Black protesters in Minn. trying to dissuade white people from vandalizing and looting. Again, please don’t lose site of what’s at stake, especially for people of color.

I want to add that, coupled and intertwining with ongoing system racism, America’s economic structure has been strained to a breaking point. To my understanding, civil unrest such as what we’re currently seeing is what eventually arises from more and more disenfranchised people being juxtaposed up against increasingly concentrated wealth and power of a few. In my lifetime, this imbalance has only grown more extreme. And Drumpf’s divisive words and deeds keep just fueling the pent up rage and anguish so many people are going through, as misdirected as these visceral emotions are for some. This current chaos is a storm of a sort fueled by the need for a new and better, fairer order, racially and economically. The status quo won’t hold because it can’t, not at least if enough of us collectively want a truly working, thriving democratic republic.

A Lovely Day

I spent a lovely day with my husband shopping for assorted necessities plus a pretty bird bath (pictured), which we then set up by one of two trees in our yard. We capped it all off by taking a pleasant evening walk in the neighborhood. I observed how the next phase of plants and trees are blooming, the bulbs along people’s lawns having peaked some weeks ago.

Amidst a culture peppered with so much Drumpf-inspired Sturm und Drang idiocy, I’m continuously grateful to be living La Dolce Vita of sorts in a peaceful, largely sensible-filled immediate community. (How’s that for a pretentious mix of literary and cinema references?)