How to Kill Your Mother

There’s a lot of attention in the media right now on opioids and the epidemic of overdoses and deaths, both from prescribed and black market access. Political grandstanding on penalties notwithstanding, it is a serious problem, and the trail back to the root cause is convoluted, murky, and highly fraught.

Let me tell you a story about how a country doctor and an award-winning hospital nearly killed my aging mother because nobody was paying attention.

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Emma

Emma.
Emma is the face and the voice of determination and courage.
Emma is the face and the voice of a generation that
Will
Not
Be
Denied
Will
Not
Be
Ignored
Will
Not
Be
Trivialized
Will
Not
Be
Reduced
Will
Not
Be
Bought

Will

Be

Heard.

 

Go Emma go.

Manchester, United

I’ve written ad nauseam in the past about the mass killings that occur with alarming (and alarmingly increasing) frequency in the world. I’ve been struggling to say anything about #Manchester for a few reasons, mostly that others have already said it and I’m tired of words without actions.

But I finally have this to say: don’t use it as an excuse to smear more hatred on an entire people, or an entire religion. This vicious act has no more to do with Islam than Westboro Baptist or Timothy McVeigh have to do with Christianity.

The overwhelming majority of practitioners of Islam are devoted, loving, thoughtful, caring, delightful — and most of all, they’re human beings.

The people who carried this out are Muslim in name only; they do not live the tenets of their own faith. They act on a spectacularly narrow and cruel version of it, just as extremists/fundamentalists of all “faiths” do. They have allowed fear, anger, lust for power, a desire to subjugate creation in their own image to overtake their humanity.

Do not hate Islam. Do not even hate religion. Act to stop those who would terrorize creation in its name.

Love one another.

Day One

Today’s post is mostly images, as I process what I felt and witnessed today during what is turning out to be the largest protest in U.S. history. I’m talking about the Women’s March, and all of the sister marches both here and around the world. Continue reading

Day Zero

Oh, where do I begin?

Other, better minds than mine will do the job of analyzing the inaugural speech of Donald Trump. I read an annotated transcript and saw so many red flags I hardly knew where to start. Like the world-shattering demagogues in whose footsteps he follows, he resorts to nationalistic speech, broad strokes of bleakness that conveniently forget the fact that he is one of those who has enriched himself ruthlessly at the expense of pretty much everyone with whom he’s come in contact. He talks of unifying the country, completely omitting the fact that he has just appointed some of the most divisive, hateful, and self-serving nightmare creatures imaginable to his new cabinet.

I suspect that his (and his cabinet’s) vision of “unity” has less to do with coming together across social divides and more to do with silencing dissent and difference. That’s not unity; that’s oppression. He wants a country peopled with compliant women and brutal men — a nation of Stepford Wives and their owners.

This, then, is where I will begin. Continue reading

The problem with leaderboards

We live in a culture that fosters toxic competition in everything we do, and it is in large part why we as a people are on the verge of social collapse — and I include the current political climate in that, when you trace the roots to both the supremacy of profit, the whole “my god is better than your god” model, and the deep-seated xenophobic nationalism that has overtaken us. Continue reading

An open letter to my family (and yours) on rape culture

We live in a society that insists we forgive. There is a lot of wisdom in forgiveness, but we lost sight a long time ago of what it really means.

Forgiveness does not mean forgetfulness, and it doesn’t mean that one must be nice to the person who did the damage. Forgiveness means understanding, and understanding means having a grasp of what factors led to the offense. Continue reading

An army of safety pins

This week has been staggering. A presidential campaign season that was divisive, ugly, contentious, and wrong for so many reasons resulted in the election of a brilliant marketeer, canny carnival huckster, a reality TV star with no experience in politics who really just wanted to add another notch to his gun belt. Or, perhaps more appropriately in this case, to his bedpost. Continue reading

The Aftermath

There have been a great many analyses — and rather more accusations — floating around the ‘net about what happened, exactly, this election year. Some are deeper and more complete than others.

Root cause analysis is a must in the aftermath of one of the most divisive campaigns in American history. Pointing fingers at this group or that will not accomplish the task. There are highly complex forces at play here. Yes, on the surface it’s easy to say that “racists won”, or “I couldn’t vote for either one”, or “Dems didn’t turn out to vote”. But it’s much deeper than these factors, or even a combination of these factors.
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The Day the World Changed

Today is Election Day in the United States.

It’s my plan to avoid most of social media today. My timeline on Facebook this morning is full of vitriol from all sides, desperate messages imploring people to vote, screaming memes that grab viewers by the throat and threaten Armageddon if they don’t vote the way the poster does. All sides are doing this, not just the Big Two. Continue reading

Weaving New Stories

Not long ago, I took a Facebreak: I left Facebook and just stayed away (other than automatic Twitter and blog reposts) for two or three weeks. I loved it. I slept better, my mind was more clear for work, and I regained much of my emotional equilibrium (not to mention my blood pressure). Continue reading

The Hidden Path

The author’s journey is a difficult one: often surprising, mostly frustrating, deeply satisfying. Continue reading

Thinking out loud

One can admire things about a public figure without liking them, and without descending into fandom. So it is with my feelings about Hillary Rodham Clinton. Continue reading

A ROYAL COURTESAN: Synopsis

“Yes, all those ridiculous men–and women, sometimes–wanting so much for me to be something I was not. Their vision of what royalty should be, or justification for hiring me to fuck–… Have I shocked you?”

– Queen Malka (who becomes known as Shoshana by the people who save her life, “Rose” by the Romans)., Prelude

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GIT – The Final Note

The Final Note

Today’s edition of At Water’s Edge is built around the guitar, and also celebrates creative collaboration. Too often in the music world, the focus is on the soloist, the rockstar in front of the band, the diva, the hot dog shredder, the standout.

This applies to many other things about modern life, too: high scores in tests or games, competition in sports or at work, individual performance, standing out in a crowd, unique looks or ideas, rugged individualism. Gamesmanship.

But that model doesn’t serve us as well as we think. Life is far less of a competition than some would have us believe. Continue reading