Department Of And Who Can Argue With That?
My lifelong and ongoing study of my species has led me to formulate this highly complex principle re human nature: We the People ® are sometimes more strongly united by our fears than our hopes.
These worries-in-common include the fear of
(1) harm befalling our children and/or others we love;
(2) becoming less useful and relevant – to society, our families, and ourselves – as we age;
(3) farting during yoga class;
(4) there is no 4th fear which unites us;
(5) really, is anything more frightening than (3)?
Speaking of common fears, like most concerned citizens I boycotted the most recent episode of American Horror Story. Translation: On January 20 I did not watch the least presidential presidential inauguration the world has ever imagined inauguration.
On January 21, I did participate in the anti-inauguration, pro-human rights, Portland Women’s March, one of the dozens of marches held around the country – around the world  – in solidarity with the main march on Washington, D.C.
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I was thrilled that daughter Belle, who attends college in Tacoma, was highly enthusiastic about the event and joined with friends to travel to the Seattle march. Moiself, however, had many reasons to be hesitant about taking part in the local march. There was the emotional and physical fatigue of having recently returned from my mother’s funeral and house cleaning aftermath; there was also Portland’s history of anarchist assholes showing up, running amok and ruining otherwise sane and peaceful demonstrations…which they’d managed to do on the previous day;  the was also the idea that a march is kina like maybe sorta close to being a parade – and for a renowned parade loather such as moiself, that alone is reason enough to stay home.
And…signs? We should carry signs and, uh, chant meaningful slogans – that’s what you do in a protest march, right? Well, IMHO if your politics can fit on a sign, you need to rethink your politics. Nevertheless, I made a two-sided sign. Side 1 was to express a serious sentiment.
Side two, I opted for what I assume would be a universally understood metaphor:
I made my signs, but still hadn’t decided on attending, until it hit me on Friday: I. Just. Had. To. Go. As per my post last week (link) re the the young people will save us! cliché, I decided to aside my Seen Most Of It All world-weariness….
And I am still not quite sure how to describe the experience. I only know I am so glad that I, and MH and friends JWW and MW, joined the one hundred thousand other people and marched our soggy asses off.
I thought I was old and cynical – correct on both counts – but still… In the pouring rain, being part of an enormous, seemingly endless river of humorous and good-hearted humanity and then discovering that this was going on all over the world as well as in every major city in the country…. Women and children and MEN and elderly women in wheelchairs and women and MEN and even dogs wearing pink hats and police officers accepting the pink hats the marchers offered them (and placing them atop their helmets) and did I mention how many MEN there were, supporting the women and advocating for their own issues and rockin’ those pink hats?
The Predator-in-Chief  aka Agent Orange is going to have his reality-denying job cut out for him, trying to ignore the fact that this has never happened on such a scale, not even during the anti-Vietnam war era protests.
And I love the fact that, returning home after the march, my right index finger got a mild case of repetitive motion soreness (what I think of as FBLS, or FaceBook Like Syndrome) from clicking like on pictures and posts from friends and family all over the world, who also participated in the marches. I am, we are, far from alone. Millions of people in this country, around the world, share our concerns and fears about what the incoming administration is capable of.
Now, I’m aware of the dangers that can follow acts of solidarity, and of how moments of satisfaction can lull us into complacency, especially if demonstrations do not translate into action. This struggle – against Agent Orange and his human rights quashing/reality-denying minions – will take vigilance and consistent action on the part of everyone, but especially young adults, who, IMHO, have the energy and responsibility  to do so.
I am somewhat skeptical about the capability of the on-line, instant gratification generation’s ability to devote significant time to causes which require longer attention spans than watching a six second GIF. Still, I would like nothing better than to have a big fat I TOLD YOU SO thrown in my face after my son’s and daughter’s peers rise up and do whatever it takes to get this political impostor and his toadies out of our nation’s capital and back to the circus where they belong.
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Take a look at pictures snapped from atop the Lincoln Memorial, or at the video footage shot from helicopters hovering over people amassing on the Washington Mall. Examine the images of a crowd of 100,000 people, and then the images taken from the same viewpoint showing a crowd of 300,000 in the same space. A pre-mathematically literate child could tell the difference – a group of three Lego blocks is smaller than a group of nine Lego blocks. But Agent Orange looks at the first picture and says, MINE WAS BIGGER.
Attention, Trump supporters…
Okaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Good point.
Still, if you voted for the Republican candidate, for whatever reason, and you find yourself reading this, for whatever reason, please consider the following:
The inaugural’s and protest march events’ attendance figures have been confirmed by outside, objective sources – including the professional “bean counters” and satellite imagery. The information shows that this most recent inauguration was one of the smallest recent inaugural events in terms of public attendance, while attendance at the following day’s protest march was three times as large. If you don’t trust the crowd counters, simply look at the aerial photographs of the events – this is not classified information. Trump and his spokespeople have the facts are available to them, yet they continue to say theirs was bigger.
Please don’t tell me – please don’t try to convince yourself – that you are okay with this.
You may say something along the lines of, Okay, but what’s the big deal – which crowd was bigger? Does it matter, ultimately It’s a small detail; it’s not one of the bigger issues facing the country.
That’s precisely my point.
If which-crowd-was-larger is small potatoes in the grander garden patch of issues, why then does Trump, and why do those around Trump, feel compelled to lie about it?
The big issues are made up of the small details. How is it you can trust Trump with what you say are the big issues (jobs, immigration, “making American white great again”) when he so consistently “falsely hits” – oh, come now, let’s use our big words – lies – about the details? 
If Trump and his staff are willing to lie about something as demonstrably false as the inauguration attendance figures, just what is it they won’t lie about?
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Department Of Still Petty After All These Years
Dateline: 6 a.m.-ish, two weeks ago at the Portland airport, getting in a little people-watching as I am waiting to board my flight to SoCal for my mother’s funeral. Also waiting to board the flight is a young woman dressed in multiple shades of black, from boots to leggings to kilt to shirt to jacket. One side of the dyed black hair on her head is fashionably  shaved, revealing multiple ear and body piercings and tattoos from the tips of her ears down her neck and shoulders. As she turns around to fiddle with her carry-on bag, I see that the back of her leather jacket is “decorated” with a very distinctive picture of an upraised hand with its middle finger extended.
What a lovely way to present yourself to…well, to everyone you meet, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, politics, worldview, or relationship to you. Up yours, whomever you are.
In yet another Sure Sign You’re Getting Old ® moment, I was tempted to tap her on the shoulder and whisper, “I’m sitting in the exit row, and if we need to make an emergency evacuation I’ll make sure you’re the last person off the place. Have a nice fucking day.”
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Department of Things to Consider
On Saturday my imagination was momentarily if infinitesimally tweaked by the following description, from The Oregonian, about a must-see event (my emphases):
“The Rose City Classic dog show series is underway at the Portland Expo Center. Some 3,000 dogs representing more than 180 breeds will face off in competitions including best of breed, agility, obedience and good citizenship.”
I had to scratch my noggin’ and other anatomical points as I wondered how the latter competition would be decided. What, exactly (or even vaguely), are the criteria for a dog (or any other animal) displaying good citizenship? Would there be doggy recitations of doggy essays on Why American Is Still The Home Of The Brave? How will the dogs be judged on the classic qualities of a good citizen – contributing positively to society, participating in public affairs with wisdom and discretion, being willing to serve on a jury and/or fulfilling other civic duties….
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Department Of We All Need This Right Now
Take a deep, cleansing breath, cast all thoughts of political turmoil aside, and enjoy this picture of Belle and her Bengal kitty, Yeti.
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May you display good citizenship regardless of your species;
May you always be able to recognize and respect the most rudimentary principles of math (such as, 300,000 > 100,000);
May you work for a world where guacamole is not extra;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 We saw pictures posted from a friend, taken at the march in Ljubljana, Slovenia!
 Side note: I’ve always been amused by the idea of anarchists organizing to show up at the same time and place for…anything.
 Hey, it’s your future.
 Not in my fashion book, but, yeah.