this really says it all

I wanted to share a conversation I had the other day.

It started with them saying (in shortened paraphrase), “I was going through our old emails the other day, from way back.  That was hard to read.  I guess I was an asshole.”

When I was younger, or less weary of the world, or whatever, this is where I would have jumped in to assuage, reassure, fluff up the ego.  ‘Oh you weren’t an asshole’ or ‘we were both assholes’ etc.  You know the drill.  But this time, I just waited.  I wanted to know if this would be the time they’d actually say the words.

After a pause, they reiterated that they were uncomfortable when confronted with their past self, and said that it made them feel bad.

And I just waited.

And after a bit they said, “I’m probably still an asshole.”

I thought, Um, yeah,I know you want me to jump in and reassure you.  I picked that up the first time around.  It’s not going to happen.  We’ve talked about what you did, and how it makes you feel.  And then you gave me another prompt to comfort you and help you with your feelings.  So now…

And that is all they said.


Why was this conversation all about how they feel?  If you start out, “I see that I was such an asshole to you”, isn’t the follow up naturally “I’m sorry I treated you that way; I’m sorry I hurt you”?  Not “I feel bad when confronted with the truth of what I did”* and then, when no ego stroking is forthcoming, “Wellp, gotta run”.

Ah well.  It’s not like I was surprised.

I wasn’t surprised at all.

This is part of why I’m weary of the world.




*(which is exactly what they meant btw, not “I feel bad when I realize how I hurt you”)

Coping with the world–yeah, we get it.


Chavisory's Notebook

{This post references the comments made here.}

Once, when I was still a stage management intern, I was assistant stage managing a show on which I was having a lot of trouble and just generally felt like I couldn’t keep up. Some of the reasons why I was having such a hard time under those particular circumstances are much more clear to me in retrospect, and some are honestly still a mystery. There were blind spots and skill deficits on my part involved. There were certain ways in which I was ill-prepared that both were and weren’t my fault. There were other factors at play that didn’t originate with me at all. But it certainly wasn’t that I was just being lazy or not trying or didn’t care enough.

I was having a talk about it with the production stage manager one day—I could see well enough even then…

View original post 788 more words

They tell you I am wrong

And you believe them

You don’t even question it

They tell you I am broken

And you believe them

You don’t even question it

They tell you I am bad

And you believe them

You don’t even question it

They tell you I am dangerous

And you believe them

You don’t even question it

They tell you to hate me

Your own family

Your own family

You don’t even question it

Not the same

Stop saying that the protests against DJT today and the previous protests against Obama are the same. They aren’t. I will give you two reasons. (There are more.)

I heard during Obama’s administration (First List):

-Obama is not American (he was born in Kenya)
-Obama is not Christian (he’s a Muslim) + Obama’s going to put us all under Sharia Law

Republican pundits kept on about this, and on, and on, and never stopped about this. There was/still is a lot of fear and anger on these points.

That is NOT THE SAME as (Second List):

-the (nominee for) health secretary and Republicans in Congress are trying to repeal my healthcare although they have no working plan to replace it
-the education secretary has no experience and is considering defunding public schools
-the labor secretary’s career is based on undermining worker’s rights
-the head of the EPA wants to abolish the EPA
-the attorney general has a history of opposing civil rights
-the vice president has a strong record against LGBTQIA rights
-the president is in violation of the constitution but he claims it doesn’t apply to him

>>>Reason Number One that these are not the same:

The second list of complaints are all demonstrably true, and they all directly affect (sometimes a majority of) American citizens in some way.

None of the things about Obama (first list) are true. The punditry manufactured the “danger” out of thin air and and that “danger/potential harm” never materialized because these things were patently untrue to begin with. But we still hear about them to this day.

>>>But examine this more closely and you’ll see:

The very nature of the claims on that first list has had a remarkable effect on the American public.

-Obama is American and has an American birth certificate.

You don’t believe his birth certificate is real? Even when it is an official birth certificate issued by your own government? So how do you know any birth certificate is real? Who gets to decide that? Do *you* get to decide if someone is “really” an American citizen, if their birth certificate is real? Even if fraud experts and officials whose very job it is to check these things out say it is real? So, you can just delegitimize ANYBODY’s citizenship, no matter their papers or references or established evidence to the contrary?

So, you get to declare anybody a non-citizen based on your whim? Deport or disenfranchise anybody based on your whim, in the face of established evidence to the contrary?

We are beginning to see the broader implications of this thinking right now, in the immigration issues, the executive order travel ban, and on supposed voter fraud, for example. Who is a “real” American depends- not on the standards that have always been used to determine citizenship, not on documents, not on where you were born, not on your parentage, not on the naturalization process- on a whim?

-Obama is a Christian and goes to a Christian church.

You don’t believe his faith is real? You don’t believe his stated religion is true? Based on no evidence in your claim and in the face of contrary evidence? Nothing he can do or has done can convince you? You delegitimize his baptism/confirmation/etc? You invalidate the authority of his pastor, his congregation, his church? Why are you the judge over everyone else?

And what reason does he have to change the foundational laws of the country? He’s a professor of law, why would he change the very laws he studied and taught and made as a congressman and swore to uphold as the president of the United States? He obviously *didn’t* enact sharia law. But you think it was because he was prevented from doing so, not because he had no intention of doing so? Based on nothing but the punditry has told you- even though it has been proven to be untrue?? So, even his character cannot be proven through his actions; only the punditry knows for certain?

This, all of this, is an undoing of truth, and of ways of finding and confirming truth. If the pundits discredit and delegitimize traditional, established means of proving what is true and what is not, then the pundits seize the authority to become the sole arbiters of truth. Not the government, not science (or religion), not the press, not your own lived experience in the world- only they decide what is true, what is real, and nothing can be used to argue against them; and you must therefore accept their authority. Science is a conspiracy, the media is a conspiracy, political opponents are conspiratorial liars, people with different points of view are criminals, liars, crybaby snowflakes, and the enemies of America.

If they say Obama is an America-hating Kenyan Muslim, then it’s true. If they say that the Democrats are whining because they are spoiled brats, then that’s true. If they say Mexican immigrants are rapists, refugees are Islamic terrorists, and only white rural working class folk are “real” Americans, then that’s true. If they say Jeff Sessions isn’t racist, Steve Bannon isn’t a white supremacist, DJT has no history of sexual assault, then that is true. Despite all evidence to the contrary. Because Authority’s Whim says so.

We need to recognize and publicly acknowledge how this leads to authoritarianism, and how quickly we could lose our democracy in this way:

“What we are witnessing now is the birth of a new political order” /Bannon

which leads us to

>>>Reason Number Two that these are not the same:

The very nature of the claims on first list (and their resulting implications on truth, facts, and authority) is integral to the tactics being used to undermine Americans and American institutions.

The second list calls out what is being done against Americans in an effort to stop the direction this is taking us as a country.

I’d say that’s as different as hell.

To-Read Pile

Yay, books came in the mail today!

Ravensbruck, by Sarah Helm. A book about Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women. (Over 700 pages; was thinking it was 200…)

Also, ELI CLARE’s new book Brilliant Imperfection! I Highly Highly Highly recommend his Exile And Pride.

Always good to have more books lined up to start, just as soon as I finish my current read: the tenth anniversary revised and expanded edition of Foucault and the Government of Disability, edited by Shelley Tremain.



If voicing your reasonable, substantiated concerns about a person’s reliability to fairly and equally safeguard the rights of American citizens is cause to be silenced and dismissed, we’ve got big problems.

We need to ask ourselves why engaging in a pattern of racist (etc) oppression is not grounds for immediate dismissal, but pointing out such a pattern is.

We need to ask ourselves why, in an established tradition of reading letters into the record, a woman was not allowed to do so, yet men read from the same letter later that same day and this was considered perfectly fine.