I want to start a meme. Can I can I can I please please please?
Thank you. It’s this:
Stand in the water!
It means, show me you care…even if it’s somewhat, or mostly, an act.
This meme inspiration – mimspiration? – comes from watching the various television news crews covering Hurricane Matthew. At some point in the broadcasts a reporter, perhaps even the network’s anchor, would be on the scene at a hurricane affected-area, speaking into a hand-held microphone, and the camera would slowly pan back to reveal the reporter standing in the floodwaters/waves/ocean. Every single newscast I watched did that; I felt as if they were trying to say to me, See, we are here, we are legit reporters and not just armchair journalists, and this is water, and a lot of it wiggling around our ankles and knees means a serious storm, so pay attention to our authenticity.
And then it was “Back to you, Scott,” even as the local authorities were telling people other than the reporter to get the fuck out of there, you dumb schmucks please evacuate to higher ground.
MH did not realize the reporters were doing that water-standing thing until I pointed it out to him. Even then, he failed to grasp my (perhaps just a teensy bit over-the-top) fascination with the phenomena. I began yelling at newscasters  who were lurking by a flooded highway – I wanted them to show me that they cared: Stand in the water!
* * *
The Abuser I’m Not Castrating…
…only because I lack the materials and expertise to construct a time machine.
Dateline: Sunday morning. I needed an entertainment breather after cleaning up a thinking-outside-the-litter-box accident and then some cat barf,  and opened Facebook on my phone. I read the four sentences from RKK which comprised the first post in my feed. A mere four sentences, which carried a novel’s worth of import. And I had to lie down on the couch.
I was playing 45s in my bff’s bedroom. Her stepfather sat behind me, wrapped his legs around my hips, pressed against me, whispered into my ear what he wanted to do to me, and grabbed my breast. I froze. I was 14.
The post was written under a hashtag started by author Kelly Oxford: # notokay, who’d tweeted: “Women: tweet me your first assaults. They aren’t just stats.” And then Oxford shared her story, using the same vulgar term a certain presidential candidate used in a recently released recording.
Oxford wasn’t sure she’s get more than a few responses, considering the highly personal nature of her request. She received over a million.
I sought and received RKK’s permission to share RKK’s story in this space. I wanted to post it verbatim, as part of the ongoing discussion of sexual assault, a discussion that seems to be the one positive fallout from the recording of the vile musings of He Who Shall Not Be Named. 
I have been trying not to comment about HWSNBN in this space, for a plethora of reasons, including (what is, to me) the DUH-ness of it all: Trump said something/did something outrageous WHAT a surprise! And also because I just feel plain dirty, having the image of his lying, blustering, bullying façade come to my mind for even more than a second.
And then, there is what happened to RKK…and to so many women and girls like her. I wonder, when they read or hear about the loutish HWSNBN bragging about his groping and his aggressive sexual pursuits, if they once again, even if just for an dreadful moment, transported back to a childhood friend’s room, to a school concert, to a city bus, to a classroom, to a church hallway, to a street, a backyard, where it happened….
Read a roundup of some of the women’s stories here, if you think you can stand do. If you think you can’t, perhaps that’s the more reason you should.
This release of the HWSNBN recording and the responses to it – folks, this is what people are talking about when they talk about rape culture. If you’re put off by that term because you think it’s related to group think and/or political correctness, or for whatever reason, please unclench your jaw, do some breathing exercises, and read on.
It is, simply and profoundly, this: Rape culture is the cultural conditioning of men and boys to feel entitled to treat women as objects. It is a culture that leads all of us – men and boys but also women and girls – to question and second guess and blame females for male sexual harassment and assault. (I would never do such a thing to anyone/ It would never happen to me; she must have done something to provoke him)
Trump’s retort, and his defenders reactions to the tape , are the exemplars of rape culture. The dismissive “it’s just locker room talk” normalizes and justifies the behavior.
Like most women – holy fucking festering pigslop, why is this the case ?!?!? – I’ve my own experience with sexual harassment. I’ll save one such story for later.
* * *
Department Of Last Straws
And one more thing, on this subject.
I keep hearing/reading about how more Republican leaders have withdrawn their support  for their party’s candidate. It seems the lewd sex tape was “the last straw.”
Senator McCain, Rep. Ryan, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Senators Murkowski and Collins and Crapo and Portman and Governors Herbert and Bentley and all you other rats scurrying off the GOP sinking ship – really? Finally? The last straw is…now? There’s been enough straw spewed from Trump’s various orifices to construct a hay bale large enough to feed all the goats in Dumbfuckistan. 
Your nominee labeled Mexicans as rapists and murderers and “joked” about his followers shooting Clinton (pass the straw). He incited violence at his primary rallies and mocked a disabled reporter; he insulted a Muslim-American family whose soldier son was killed in service of our country and said that soldiers with PTSD were weak and called for preventing all Muslims from entering the country; he continued to add to his long history of sexist and derogatory comments about women (duck! There’s a straw storm coming in), he trivialized the consequences of workplace sexual harassment and lied repeatedly about issues large and small and committed business fraud after business fraud while passing himself off as a successful business man…
Oh, but now he’s on tape using the p-word. THIS IS THE LAST STRAW.
The number of prominent Republicans disavowing/withdrawing their support for Trump increased after the release of the tape. Among other issues, these pols are concerned with how this will affect them in their own upcoming bids for (re)election.
While it warms the cockles of my heart to hear about anyone changing their mind/seeing the light at the end of their sphincter of the tunnel and withdrawing their support from Trump…how can I put this?
When I invite guests to a potluck dinner – a dinner that has distinct start and end times (as opposed to an open house/drop by any time event), I will gladly open the door for any late arrivers. Whether or not they’ve called ahead to alert me of their tardy ETA, I’m glad they were able to make it.
But if you show up just as the guests are finishing their dessert, don’t be surprised if
(1) someone asks you What the fuck took you so long?, and
(2) nobody is interested in sampling the hors d’oeuvre platter you brought.
* * *
Department of Wednesdays Suck
Hopefully next week’s hump day will be better, but for moiself, this week’s was one to be gotten over. There was too much not-good news, including but not limited to discovering that someone I love has engaged in yet another form of self-expression.  And then, I had to go and read the latest Authors Guild Bulletin…
…which contained yet another well-written, well-documented article on the financial outlook for writers, ominously but aptly titled, “Where Does All The Money Go?” The article’s summary: There are an increasing number ways for customers to gain access to a book without a penny going to the writer.
Meanwhile, the Authors Guild and other professional writers organizations continue to fight (and lose) legal battles with Amazon and Google over issues including copyright, royalty and fair usage. And, while the AG and other organizations document and report on how writers incomes are declining the, membership dues for these various professional organizations keep rising. 
* * *
Department Of How To Frost Your Butt
It’s fairly easy: follow MH’s recommendation like I did, and listen to podcast #728 of Planet Money, “The Wells Fargo Hustle.” Then try to restrain yourself from taking a flamethrower to the nearest WFB ATM.
You can read about the logistics of the WFB scandal in many news sites. The podcast cited deals with the human cost of lower level employees being told by their managers that they must meet astoundingly unrealistic goals by any means necessary or we’ll make your life hell, and then when you lose your job with us we’ll make sure you will not be able to get a job anywhere else.
There are only four reasons I’m not insisting that MH and I close all of our WFB accounts (including, perhaps, some we don’t even know we have ) :
- The chance that by doing so my cherished friend LMW, employed at WFB for many years, many in some way be negatively affected;
- I’ve little trust in banks in general – are others just as bad, and we don’t know about it?
- There is no reason #3.
- See reason #1.
* * *
Department Of Ending On A Positive Note
National Coming Out Day was 10-11-16, and my nephew did just that. KMV’s articulate, passionate, well-considered post on his FB page ended with a line that made my day:
“Not to confirm stereotypes,
but I guess the obsession with Beyoncé now makes a lot of sense, huh?”
* * *
May you come out of whatever space needs leaving;
May you be a first responder to the last straw;
May you stand for the good guys when you stand in the water;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Ok, yelling at the TV. Don’t think the reporters heard me.
 Thank you, Nova and Crow, for those respective early morning eye-openers.
 Whom my daughter Belle refers to as te “spray-tanned version of Lord Voldemort.”
 As grudging as it may have been in the first place, it was still support.
 The lay term for the country formed by the US states which “re-elected” George W. Bush to the Presidency.
 In a format I consider self-harm and/or mutilation.
 In part so that they can hire lawyers to fight the losing fights.
 Wells Fargo was opening bank accounts (perhaps as many as two million fraudulent accounts) without customers’ permission.