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Category: Humans

One flu east
One flu west
One flu made my life a mess
Object Lesson
I think I have located the one good thing that will come out of this ugly election season. It’s right here, inside my thick skull.

I consider myself a feminist, but I try not to get cocky about it. That’s because I am not a woman. I’m a middle class white guy, so I don’t have much personal experience when it comes to oppression. In particular, I have very little real, first-hand knowledge of how women are mistreated by men. Everything I know about that subject comes from what others tell me and from the small lessons I manage to eke out from my own observations. This presidential year has been very educational.

I have heard locker room talk before, but nothing like this Trump stuff. I’ve never been much of a participant in such conversations, but I do know what it means to objectify women because I do it myself. At least in my own mind. In my defense, I can only say that I try not to let it affect my behavior.

Trump’s comments about how he uses women, however, have raised my consciousness. When his smug boasts were juxtaposed against the emotional stories of those clearly frightened women, I felt something of what they must be going through. I guess I needed to have the repulsiveness of the abuse shoved under my nose for it to fully register.

It’s still a man’s world, but from what I sense inside myself, that might be changing. It will be a slow change, to be sure, and all kinds of habits and institutions will conspire to make it even slower. But I really believe that feminism — wherever it finds a home — will be at the forefront of that change. The world (along with me) will be better for it.
Nuh Uh
I don’t care much
What you say
Two wrongs
Make a right
Also nice guys
Finish first
And the sun
Comes out at night

You can lead
A horse to water
And also make him drink
Leopards, they can
Change their spots
Don’t tell me
What to think

Put the horse
Before the cart
A rolling stone
gathers moss
You see
It’s always lightest
Before the dawn
And you’re not the boss
Of me

If you say yes
Then I say no
That’s the way I roll
Count your eggs
Before they hatch
And keep picking
On that mole
Some Kind of Genius
Well, another year has gone by, and another bucketful of MacArthur Fellowships have been handed out. It did not escape my attention that I was once again passed over for these so-called “genius grants.”

I don’t begrudge this year’s recipients the recognition, the money, the endorsement deals, the powerful new friends, the primo reserved parking, or the armies of groupies that will come their way as a result of this award. I don’t care about that stuff. I assume they are all intelligent, chock full of humanitarian fervor, and mostly deserving of their good fortune. No doubt they have accomplished great things (though not great enough, it should be noted, to be famous already). And none has a criminal record or a history of unkindness toward the weak, including helpless little newborn puppies. That we know of.

Let me declare for the record that I am not trying to claim that I am a genius (though everyone knows the SATs are rigged). I’ll bet, however, that none of this year’s recipients is either. The word genius is thrown around so much these days simply as a generic term meaning very smart, or possibly very very smart. But genius? Not unless it means “kind of bright with a really good press agent.”

Again, I am not bitter. A little tart, maybe, but that taste is located on a totally separate part of the tongue. In any case, I am not pitching myself as a potential MacArthur Fellow. Believe me, that is the furthest thing from my mind. I prefer to occupy my thoughts with things like finding a cure for cancer or crafting a solution to global warming. Whenever, that is, I’m not actually saving newborn puppies instead of doing who-knows-what to the poor little buggers…as some people who will remain unnamed like to do.

If any members of the grant program selection committee were to be curious about my ability to make any headway against these problems, I would like to direct their attention to my backyard. I am particularly proud of the repair job I did on our wheelbarrow. The use of screws, wire, glue, beeswax, and glitter is certainly unique. Some people have even called it ingenious, and that is a word that does sound very much like “genius.” Also, the way I have brought order to our kitchen storage situation has been recognized as a marvel of efficiency by everyone who has carefully inspected my cupboards. It shows, I think, a kind of anal retentiveness that borders on brilliance.

But never mind. I wish nothing but (more) good luck to this year’s MacArthur Fellows — even the ones who are not technically fellows but, you know, women. I don’t envy them, nor am I jealous, nor do I know the difference between those two things. So let them have their precious grants. I understand that sometimes injustices do occur and that life is essentially unfair.

You don’t have to be a genius to figure that out. Although it helps tremendously, believe me.
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No "new normal" for me, this shit ain't normal.
~ MS, Truckee