Both Sides, Nah

🎶Rows of shorn white Nazi hair

And tiki torches in the air

And guns and camo everywhere

I’ve looked at crowds that way

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But now they threaten everyone

The fascist racist lies are spun

“Domestic Terror” hit and run

But Trump cast that away

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I’ve looked at hate from both sides now

From left and right

And still somehow

It’s Nazis who are culpable

There’s really no “both sides”…AT ALL🎶

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@hipchkk

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Facebook Frenemies (Friends/Enemas)

After years of avoiding Facebook, I decided to post an edit of one of Donald Trump’s many obnoxious and attention-seeking tweets to my feed last Tuesday, 6/14/16.

To be perfectly honest, I originally edited it on Twitter to include the sale of all weapons. I rewrote it for Facebook as “Assault Weaponry” thinking it might resonate with people who HAD to be collectively feeling shock, horror, sadness, and outrage at the senseless massacre in Orlando. It did strike a chord with many…but I think it was a little sharp with some.

Stacey, an old acquaintance from High School, responded with this uninformed gobbledygook:

“The foreign are domesticating and finding ways to get here. It’s too easy to beat our system to get into America. As for the recent attacks, there were signs and as soon as authorities questioned, the suspect found ways to circumvent. Not hard to buy thru the underground. He didn’t buy the illegal items legally, and he knew how to modify and rebuild to suit his needs. The system has holes, that is true. But I have yet to see any legal owners who commit mass shootings. Every one of the mass shooters had terrorist ideology, and displayed hatred, anger, and even so much as posted or wrote memoirs of what they were going to do. Nobody stopped them. Except here in Roseville, an (illegally) armed suspect entered the Galleria and started shooting. A legally armed (concealed) hero shot the suspect before he killed “mass numbers”. A case of why I support concealed carry. I have yet to hear of a mass shooting not in a gun free zone (schools, Ft Hood, San Bern, and Orlando, all gun free, not allowed). The terrorists don’t hit areas they know armed folks may be. They hit vulnerable areas where they can hurt most knowing there is no one there to stop them, at least 10-15 min response time of law Enf , to destroy as much as they can.  

I hear you and your concern that the wrong people get guns. Yes, it’s s problem. But places like Chicago that ban guns have experienced more deaths and murder. If you research the areas that have open carry and concealed carry, you will see crime rate (espec assault, Battery and murder) drastically goes down. Here’s a thought… It’s not something that can happen everywhere. That’s why law Enf is so important. But reality is that I want to be able to protect myself and family anywhere I go, and I am a law abiding citizen. I have the right to own and it’s not up to you to tell me I can’t. I would also be the one, should you get in a bad predicament and I am there, that would protect you if you needed it. And you have millions of others who feel that same way. That should be reassuring. I’m not judging those who are against guns. You have that right, I’m open minded. I would hope you are just as open minded about my beliefs. The real issue is fighting against the radical extremists and stopping them (Boston Terrorists/extremists used bombs and hurt/killed as much). No guns used there. That is what we need to stop. Too many on the FBI “watch-list” that have carried out their plans using many forms of weaponry” 

http://assaultweapontruth.com

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Well, I simply couldn’t let a comment like this go unanswered…so I went into MY semi-automatic mode and let it fly. And this, my friends, is why I abandoned Facebook years ago. Between the terrible memes, quick recipes I’ll never use, and all the ill-informed and inarticulate political wack jobs, I feel we’ve all become Sisyphus. Honestly, let’s get rid of the goddamn rock and start rolling, shall we? (My response to Stacey is as follows…)

“*heavy sigh* Your interpretation just boggles my mind. First of all…your boy “W” let the ban on assault weapons expire in 2004. The NRA, and all the political robotic minions that they own and squeeze by their tiny little balls, have filibustered every attempt to push for stricter gun laws. Now this is the part you NEED to read…it doesn’t seem to penetrate many gun owners’ skulls (unlike firing a 30 round mag of an AR-15 in app 4.5-5.5 seconds)…but please TRY to let this sink in…NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT TAKING AWAY YOUR GUNS AND NO ONE EVER HAS…THAT’S JUST A FACT. And I have never objected to your right to own one. So please cut the bullshit stonewalling rhetoric and do your goddamn research. It’s ALWAYS ONLY EVER been about enforcing gun control reform, which should not be such a hardship to law-abiding citizens. You’d think that any responsible gun owner, such as yourself, would identify this as a gravely serious issue and fully support this. Do you have something to hide? Are you that impatient where “instant gratification takes too long”? Do you want people who may be deeply disturbed, have records of past violence, or even extremists and religious fanatics (whether they identify as Muslim or Christian or Mormon or Evangelical or full-on KKK members) to have legal access to this kind of weaponry? Because if your answer is “yes”, then you, my friend, are part of the very problem we ALL face today.

Now before you go quoting the 2nd amendment, let’s clarify that those gentlemen who signed the Constitution wrote “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This was in 1787…229 YEARS AGO, and written by a group of white men. I don’t believe there was any representation of women or people of color signing that original document. I believe it may need some tweaking occasionally. This is why we have amendments to help address societal changes regarding the needs, health and well-being of ALL the people of our country. That said, I can’t imagine our forefathers foreseeing the AR-15, “America’s Gun” (used to commit mass murder at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.; at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.; at a holiday party for county health workers in San Bernardino, Calif.; and at the campus of Umpqua Community College in Oregon.) or the Sag Sauer MCX, just used in Orlando…ALL OF WHICH WERE OBTAINED LEGALLY…in homes across the land, let alone being sold in gun shops and shows and over an electronic highway with barely the blink of an eye. I also don’t think that they envisioned Tennessee State representative Andy Holt giving away two AR-15s at a fundraiser (a hog fest and turkey shoot, to be precise)…like a freaking door prize. At $700 apiece, personally, I’d prefer an iPhone or a trip to the local supermarket, or maybe the commensurate amount to go toward my children’s’ educations. But that’s just me.

Now, if you want to start reciting the party mantra whereby you place blame at the feet of the mentally ill or disturbed, please don’t even bother. The very same Republicans who are hypocritically waxing on about this very topic as their reasoning have completely gutted mental health care over the years. They’ve worked steadfastly to defeat national access to mental health care despite every effort to bolster this system and provide desperate, deeply suffering individuals with support and assistance. I have infinitely too much personal experience with this topic, and can rant about it in an entirely different thread. The whole right-wing shit show brings to mind something Nietzsche spoke of when he said, “They muddy the waters to make them seem deep.” Well these lovely lawmakers on the staunch yet completely misinformed “from my cold dead hands” side of the fence are swimming in them, and getting dirtier every time they deflect rather than address the issue and act upon it. 

Remember the Patriot Act? Yeah, on the heels of 911, that was passed without our consent, removing legal barriers, giving the NSA and the US Department Of Justice all kinds of new powers of surveillance, violating civil liberties in the name of Uniting America, but I don’t hear you ranting about that one. I know, it seems nebulous and not as concrete, kind of like climate change, doesn’t it? Our right to privacy is fundamental, yet was arbitrarily taken away in the blink of an eye. I find that kind of infringement downright TOTALITARIAN. But, hey…that’s yet even another thread. 

Now maybe in a zombie apocalypse, it would be favorable to have a massive cache of weaponry in my cellar, which would incidentally be stocked with food and water, personal hygiene products, and a really sweet generator. But I don’t believe that day is upon us. Personally, I do not speak from some idealistic vacuum…I have been on the receiving end of a few violent assaults, I’ve seen first hand someone I once knew shot in the head, who died in front of me on the cold floor of a 7-11…I’ve lived in the City and the country and traveled quite extensively. I’ve seen official Nazi sympathizers in Virginia standing post with giant swastikas as they fondled their assault weaponry, and I’ve spent so much time in the hood (Oakland, DC, Inglewood, Compton, and 3rd World Countries) you’d probably be surprised. I’ve actually felt less safe in redneck towns with ignorant, prejudiced, angry, hate-filled people than I do in a city brimming with a mix of cultures and colors and sexual persuasions and even political choices. Frankly, I feel infinitely less safe walking through the parking lot of a Planned Parenthood than I do visiting the Inglewood DMV with thousands of dollars worth of camera gear strapped to my back. I was treated with more courtesy and respect in Inglewood, where cabs wouldn’t even travel to pick me up, than I was in the heart of Newport Beach at a Chico’s clothing store. Unfortunately, some people will never understand that all human beings should be treated with decency. But I digress. 

With regard to you “being the one who would protect me…” I’m choosing to interpret this as a gesture of goodwill and not the condescending, completely out of touch statement it is. Protect me from what, exactly? Instead of putting bandaids on bullet holes and firing back with self-righteous fear-mongering, I simply prefer to use facts and evidence and science and research and laws so that those with a history of violence or mental illness or radical perversion of religion do not get to saunter in and purchase weapons, especially one that can conceivably fire 700-800 rounds per minute. I mean, my god…is this honestly too much to fathom? I say absolutely not. But you know what is too much to fathom? The now commonplace senseless slaughter of innocent individuals in theaters, schools, places of worship, nightclubs, and places of business. As a good friend of mine recently said, “If people were constantly being attacked by wolves, the solution wouldn’t be more wolves.” Enough with the moments of silence and prayer and posturing. The time for action is yesterday. I’m down to do something about it…are you?

 
Well, are you?

 

Orlando Shooter Bought Gun Legally, Store Owner Says

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_576059f3e4b0e4fe5143fd4d

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/helen_ubinas/20160614_Ubinas__I_bought_an_AR-15_semi-automatic_rifle_in_Philly_in_7_minutes.html?mobi=true

http://www.laweekly.com/news/the-mentally-unstable-could-lose-their-guns-in-california-5116798

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For My Mother…

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For my mother…

Thank you for reading Sherlock Holmes mysteries to me when I was little…for getting me involved in everything from tennis to piano, from writing to art, from theater to travel…for making the best tacos and the most divine cheesecake…for sitting up with me all night through horrific fever dreams when I was so sick…for leaving Fear Of Flying on your bedside table so I could sneak read it on the down low…for always being an unconditionally safe haven no matter what the story because you trusted me…for teaching me how to drive a clutch and parallel park like a boss…for watching Far From The Madding Crowd, Ryan’s Daughter, A Little Romance, and Camelot with me every single time…for playing Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Simon and Garfunkel, Nina Simone, Buffalo Springfield, Joan Baez, The Beatles, and the soundtrack to Hair, INCESSANTLY…for being the White Rose of Sigma Nu, and in Dad’s garden, and in every garden I will ever see for the rest of my life…for having the most profoundly loving relationship with Grandma Lou even after you and Dad divorced until the day she died…and for being the perfect example of unconditional love so I’d know exactly what my own kids would need the most…massive hearts, curious spirits, open minds, and the intelligence to weave it all together so beautifully.

I am the luckiest.

XOX

Jen

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Spoiler Alert: Ranting, Dead Ahead

Rant, originally posted on Instagram, but applies to all social media. It actually started as a political Caligula-esque bloodbath over on Facebook. These bovine darlings are clearly my audience, and they couldn’t tolerate me, either. I love them for their vaguely interested, yet, ultimately dismissive attitudes. I wish I could be more like these cows. Ohhhhhmmmmm…


~begin rant~

 It’s not so much the pathetic souls, frantically ‘building their brands’ and honing their contrived personas…it’s the blithering idiots who continuously and blindly encourage their gobbledygook. There, I said it. I tend to stay in my lane here on Instagram, but I guess I’m jaded by spending several years over on Twitter, and witnessing the irrationally monstrous, bloated egos that social media helps create. I’ve probably seen it all…women who play men (and other women) for attention and $$$…men who stalk/cruise women…people who fake illnesses, create bogus gofundme accounts, and hurt others with no conscience, whatsoever…trolls of all kinds…people who totally misrepresent themselves and steal others’ work…people who think they’re the next writer for SNL, or the next Ansel Adams…some of the most sinister, laughable, eye-rolling BS you can imagine. So, if you consider yourself “instafamous”, keep in mind that Justin Bieber has 63.7 million legitimate followers, ready to maim and kill for him. Now dial it way down and try to maintain some freaking integrity. Or head on over to Twitter where that notion hardly exists. Just know, I personally have zero interest in games and inflated numbers and some imaginary ladder to nowhere. But I very much appreciate genuine people…those of you willing to share your unique talents and skills, and your personal observations, experiences, and thoughts with no hidden agenda. And I’m especially grateful to those of you who support others along the way. I find that quite inspiring. I always learn something from others who are imaginative and not uber crafty…(you know who you are, and, hopefully, who you are not). So please keep that up…the world definitely needs much more of that.

~end rant~

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Last Call

  
There’s something terribly bittersweet about that last glimpse of light on the horizon before it bids us Adieu.

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I just posted this particular photo on Instagram. And I’ve dedicated it to Jon Stewart, whose unique hilarity, spot on satirical commentary, and beloved humble brilliance have not only given rise to so many others’ thriving careers, but have illuminated us all. I haven’t been this choked up about a television farewell since Johnny Carson, and I’m still not over that one. And now, here I sit…dreading another “last show”…wallowing in nostalgia, and utterly verklempt…yet, so grateful to have been a witness to the graceful exit of an irreplaceable, legendary gentleman who gave so much to so many.

So…one more for the road, indeed, old chum. Thanks for shining your light. *heavy sigh*

So long…

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Feeling The Burn

  

Saturday evening’s spectacular burn was not exclusive to the Bay Area…it also extended further north to the fields outside of Winters, and beyond. This was just before the sky turned a deep vermillion, but I’ll post that one later. It was so stunning that I won’t bother telling you about my car slamming into a ditch, my whiplash/semi-concussion, the literally hundreds of mosquito bites, the many calls to AAA and the two separate visits from my saviors at Winters Towing (may they live long and prosper), the harrowing late-night drive home as I yearned for a neck brace and a morphine drip…nope, I’m not gonna bore you guys with all that. 

It’s mind-boggling to discover that even after diving with sharks, rappelling down mountains, trekking through third world countries, parasailing right off the beach in Mexico (sooo dumb, but sooo awesome, and sooo cheap), finding myself in the midst of gang fights and violent crime, surviving a particularly monumental natural disaster, and even dating a few sketchy characters back in the day…photography is the most perilous adventure I’ve ever undertaken. I seriously need a helmet, a Sherpa, a spotter, a hazmat suit, and a personal injury attorney on retainer. It’s the one thing that challenges me in ways that both enflame my passion for life, and may also end up killing me…well, I mean, besides my foray into parenthood, but that’s an entirely different story. 
  

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