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Words for Wednesday

Picture found here.

For the Chipmunk in My Yard

BY ROBERT GIBBI

think he knows I’m alive, having come down 
The three steps of the back porch 
And given me a good once over. All afternoon 
He’s been moving back and forth,
Gathering odd bits of walnut shells and twigs, 
While all about him the great fields tumble 
To the blades of the thresher. He’s lucky 
To be where he is, wild with all that happens. 
He’s lucky he’s not one of the shadows 
Living in the blond heart of the wheat.
This autumn when trees bolt, dark with the fires 
Of starlight, he’ll curl among their roots, 
Wanting nothing but the slow burn of matter 
On which he fastens like a small, brown flame.

Monday at the Movies

They never really understand the Witches.

Almost Samhein Potpourri

Photo of mirepoix by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

We’re just a few days away from elections in Virginia and I’m working flat-out to try and keep Virginia blue. Meanwhile, the trees on the Blue Ridge mountains have started turning in earnest and Samhein is even closer than the election.

SCOTUS is going to take down Roe. The only question is whether they’ll outlaw abortion all together or (my guess) leave it up to the states. After the fascists get abortion, they are coming for your birth control, your gay marriage, your health care, etc. So, as I’ve said over and over, if you don’t plan to have any children or any more children, get sterilized. Now. If you’re planning to have children some day or to have more children, then buy condoms and Plan B and store them somewhere hidden and according to the storage directions. If you’ve been planning to marry your LGBTQ partner, do it now because there’s a chance they will leave existing marriages intact and only outlaw new ones. Get all the health care you can get now (trip to dentist, new glasses, that nagging problem with your back, etc.) Once they’re beating on your door, it will all be too late.

Meanwhile, there’s lots of good writing going on.

Jason Miller explores an important Samhein question: What If Your Ancestors Were Horrid? One of his points is that:

Acknowledging And Honoring Are Different

You can’t erase your ancestors, but that doesn’t mean you have to embrace them. You should acknowledge who they were but acknowledging and honoring are different. You can call your ancestors to the circle, you can even make an offering to them, without in any way honoring them as good, noble, or worthy of emulating. The first step in rejecting something is knowing what it is you are rejecting.

Some ancestors . . . show up at offerings and I ask them for advice and connection. Others I say “take this offering and shut the fuck up. I don’t want to hear from you”.  Remember, offerings are not only for spirits you like. Paying off spirits that cause harm or that you don’t want around is a time-honored tradition.

Do you agree? The essay is worth a read.

Find out more about Appalachian Folk Magic.

It’s soup season. What are you cooking?

Are we really still debating this? OF COURSE they are!

Worth Your Time

Picture by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

Mrs. Whatsit will be back next week. Meanwhile, Atrios posted this excellent discussion of how the press creates the impression that liberalism is dangerous and/or not supported by most Americans. It begins by focusing on the story we all know that just ain’t so: the McDonald’s hot coffee case and “frivolous law suits.” It’s not very long and is well worth a read.

The author notes, for example, that many such stories : “display the superficial features of investigative journalism, a deep dive reveals the same motivated reasoning, nonexistent evidence and indefensible editorial standards that misinformed the public about frivolous lawsuits.” These features include: (1) really low stakes, (2) irrelevant examples, (3) misleading statistics, and (4) false equivalence.

In conclusion:

Moral panics entrench misinformation and foment reactionary backlash. The parents storming town halls and taking over school boards to ban critical race theory have been explicit that their efforts are in response to the alleged “wokeness” of K-12 teaching. This is precisely, word for word, the narrative that the Economist and Atlantic articles, and dozens like them, have promoted. 

The “frivolous lawsuits” panic should be seen as a foundational embarrassment for the national media. Rather than educating the citizens of a functioning democracy — the role we journalists love to tell ourselves we’re playing — prestigious publications were de-educating them by presenting evidence of a national trend that didn’t exist.

They are doing the same thing now, playing with the same fire that has pulled the United States rightward and backward over and over again for the last 40 years.

The media has tremendous power to shape public opinion. Reporters and editors should not just be aware of their ability to spread moral panics. They should be terrified of it. “

Starting Now

Photo by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

Do you vote in primaries? You should. I’ve been reminded this week just how many people simply don’t.

I’ve been phonebanking and, due to the weird way Virginia registers voters, the list of “likely Dem” voters comes from people who vote in Democratic primaries. (I assume it’s the same for the Republicans, but I don’t, you know, ever phone bank for them.) The phone banking program gives you a name, phone number, sex, and age of the person. To say the list skews not just “not young” but to “genuinely old” is no understatement.

Look, democracy can be a hassle and I don’t expect everyone to take politics as seriously as I do. But you have to vote.

Every time.

Words for Wednesday

An old favorite. . . .

(Belated) Monday at the Movies

Definitely will watch. Kind of a poor man’s Thomas Crowne Affair.

And I Have Friends

Picture found here.

I.D. by Barbara Starrett

I am a secret agent
Of the moon

Ex-centric
Extra-ordinary
Extra-sensory
Extra-terrestrial

Celestial subversive
Con-spiratorial
Spirita Sancta

Holy
Holy
Holy

And then some
And I have friends.

**********

Sometimes, I just need to remind myself.

What IS “Build Back Better”?

We keep hearing about how the general populace’s support for the Biden/Harris administration’s Build Back Better agenda is weak, uncertain, below 50%, how this-that-or-the-other voting block (Black folks, women, young people) are disappointed, GQ Grandpa Joe’s poll numbers are going down, etc., etc., etc. horse race bullshit.

What we’re NOT hearing is what’s IN the Build Back Better plan.

Looks like the media isn’t planning to, you know, COVER that, so it’s on us to get the word out.

So what’s in it?

  • More than 4 million children lifted out of poverty due to the child tax credit
  • Universal pre-K
  • Increased federal funding for school modernization
  • Child care stipends that will save the average family nearly $15,000 a year
  • Free community college
  • Plans to cut carbon emissions by 45% via modernizing the electrical grid and increased investments in renewable energy, plus financial incentives to switch to electric vehicles
  • Relatedly, more than 700,000 new, good-paying, union jobs in the clean energy sector
  • Medicaid expansion that will cover 2.2 million more people
  • Reasonably priced options under the Affordable Care Act that will save enrollees $600 a year per person
  • Expanding Medicare to cover vision, dental, and hearing
  • Lowering prescription drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices
  • Capping out of pocket expenses for prescriptions for seniors at $2000 a year
  • Expanding support for home care so more seniors can age in place
  • FINALLY getting MANDATORY FEDERAL paid sick, family, and medical leave (12 weeks a year)

Most importantly, how are they going to pay for all this awesomeness?

  • Getting corporations to pay their fair share.
  • Getting rich people to pay their fare share.

That’s it. Make less than $400K a year? Your taxes won’t go up – and in fact, with all the items detailed above, you’re very likely to see MORE money in your pocket every year, whether it’s from the family-friendly policies, reduction in your health care costs, or earning a degree or certification that leads to a career FOR FREE.

(Now before folks go all: “But Mrs Whatsit! $400K a year is not rich!”, let me just point out that Spouse & I make about half that, live in one of the highest cost of living areas of the country, pay fairly high state & local taxes, and are doing just fine.  “$400K a year is not rich!” my sweet round ass.)

ALL of these things are INCREDIBLY POPULAR, once people know about them. So you know what to do: SPREAD THE WORD!

Hat tip to @tify330 for doing the work to compile all this information.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

 

Words for Wednesday

Photo by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

Tomorrow, No, Tomorrower

BY BRADLEY TRUMPFHELLER

From up here in the leaves’ no-kidding goldishness
you’d guess everyone was already in lovely w/ each
others’ cheekbones. Infinity scarves
& vanilla coffee, mint tea, warm whatever.
Cozy becoming the coming-at-the-seams, a couplet
of verbs mid-bodily inexperience.
That man doing cartwheels is not wearing a shirt
& in any other life I’d want to be the double dare
fanfaring a future so totally astonished
by his nipples. This is what I mean

when I say things like catastrophe.
Okay, fine. Just one more winter.
Nothing can compare anymore to us anymore.
You big good oak limb. I’m in such cute like w/ you today.

In one diary of my have-beens, my mother
named me Elizabeth after one of her
mothers. You god particle. You matrilineage.
I’ve never lived anywhere more
or less this haunted. She named my sister
Elizabeth. You boy
genius. You midsummer pinky promise ring.

There’s this person I know I’m not in love w/ but wears
a dress patterned like a postcard from the state my grandma
died in. Imagine waking up
a whole frame away from your bedsheets. Imagine
waking up & being anything as yellow
as a dress. You treeline. You root song. What’s an amount
of time equal
to you? You kindling ring finger. You unchewable bark
but the headache’s gone. Pardon me, dandelions,
have you seen my ghost, six foot nothing,

has an interstate for a mother but also a mother? Adjust
your spurs, honeybunch. This time I’m writing all of us
in pink ink. Let’s huckle-buckle off into the leafiest
of all possible genderings. You know how the rain
starts right after you get home & the country song
your friend slow-danced w/ her big love to, the one
your mom would play real quiet on her moonbeam
highway streak back to Pensacola, is somehow

already at the chorus & you forget there are words like joy?
Or when someone whispers Imagine you never met them
back at the bum, grinning stars? You remember.
It’s like that.
Or, is that. The difference between salt & salt. A someday
of matching sweaters.
Told you it’s cute. O sweaters. O little knit
bundles of vegetable-spit. It’s always sunsetting.

You golden hour. You soap-soft seasonal.
Once my mom found me
sitting in a circle of candles, touching each rosebud
& sat w/ me until we were wax musuems
of our secrets. Look—
the sky’s a toenail & the moon’s a chesthair. All the shirtless
boys have tired themself out, spread-eagled
& slapping the sun off their shoulder blades. My body is a line
heading for my body. You crushed-grass
sex smell. You dirt-inverted comma. Someone w/ bleached
hair is biking home to restud their denim.
I rediscovered kissing foreheads & it is so yes again.

Hurry up & sunspot, daylilies!
The cops aren’t going to awe themselves
to death & we have
a dictionary to laugh across.

The light’s seltzer, bubbles.
I said My lord. I thought
My god. O moonstruck. O gladracket. Barring
gravity, our knees could be forevering each other.

Barring leather, love is a world I’m praying
all my mothers’ joy back toward.

Elizabeth was my name. I’m writing this on all the trees like a wish.
I’m kissing every hem in sight.

We’re all hysterical & going nowhere together.

C’mon rapture. Let’s go bedazzling.

Nothing gets futured without its own spitshine
& I’m already not not not not not not miraculous.