I want it on the internet record…

…that I thought of this ORIGINAL joke about a few days ago. I originally posted it to my Tinder bio. At the time of this posting I have not heard it from any other source. Not that it matters. lol. Anyway. Here you go:

Q: What’s the only type of cheese Tom Brady eats?

A: GOAT cheese, motherfucker!

Boom. There it is. Best joke I’ve ever thought of (though clearly that doesn’t say much), so I want it on record that I thought of it. Also that Tom Brady is unequivocally the GOAT at the QB position. Anything beyond that I admit there is still some quivics about. GOAT of football could be him, Lawrence Taylor, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, or maybe 1 or 2 others that are in the conversation; and then GOAT of any sport, shit, that could be him, Serena Williams, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, or a few other people. But when you’re talking about Quarterbacks, there is no argument anymore. Tom Brady is the GOAT.

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Another Person of the Perplexed Masses Blogging About Trump’s Relationship with Facts

I know I know I know. You’ve already heard it from John Oliver, Trevor Noah, The Huffington Post, and maybe even CNN, MSNBC, and the broadcast news outlets. So yeah, I’m not exactly on the cutting edge here by quoting John Oliver’s brilliant assessment (full disclosure, I view anything that involves John Oliver AND a lemur as being brilliant… don’t you dare make me eat my words John). Anyway, as he said on an episode of his HBO show Last Week Tonight, “I’m not even sure [Donald Trump] knows he’s lying. I think he just doesn’t care about what the truth is. Donald Trump views the truth like this lemur views the Supreme Court vacancy: ‘I don’t care about that in any way. Please fuck off, I have a banana!'”

Ahhhhhh. That was back in the golden days when we didn’t exactly love being showered with his lies, but we knew that at that point that, and getting people to believe them was pretty much the extent of his power. If he had lost the election, nobody would care about what his views on the truth, the Supreme Court Vacancy, or bananas were. But alas, we live in a frighteningly unpredictable, divisive, and oligarchical world now where Trump has so much power it’s impossible not to talk about his relationship with the truth. And bananas. Every concerned citizen has a right to know their president’s stance on bananas. Personally I love the flavor and am all for the potassium they carry, but am not a fan of their texture, or the little stringy things you get sometimes when you peel it, or all the article headlines I’ve seen telling me I’m peeling a banana wrong which is impossible because I don’t peal or eat bananas, though I recommend them for all to consume. Whew. That’s actually a pretty tough thing to take a stance on. So that’s the world we’re in now, as opposed to if Sec. Clinton had won, in which case we would be living in a predictable, divisive, and oligarchical world where 75% of the nation suspects her of doing something corrupt at any given time. Or, the alternate scenario where Gary Johnson wins and we’re all high as shit and don’t give a fuck what the government is or isn’t doing as long as they keep up this free weed.

My very poorly made point among that paragraph of tangents and losing focus is that just because it’s been pointed out in the media a bunch doesn’t mean we can forget about Trump’s interesting relationship with truth and fact. Actually, the way I see it, along with protesting his immoral executive actions and the litany of conflicts of interest that not only he, but his cabinet nominees have, ensuring that we continue to fact check every fucking word that comes out of his smug little mouth (*Trump voice* Actually, my mouth is quite big. As a boy, even, everyone would say, wow, President Trump has a huge mouth. I wasn’t allowed to play trumpet because I couldn’t make my mouth small enough. It’s really a freakishly big mouth).

Why does that hold so much importance? Why can’t we just let the media run it’s typical course with Trump’s fact-aversion and let it die off once they get tired of talking about it or listeners get tired of hearing it? Because he’s the fucking President. The president typically has power over what news gets released from their administration, how it gets released, and when it gets released. More importantly, the president has power (for the most part) of the things they don’t want the American public to know. So we know there’s already a heavy filtration system by the time we get information from the White House. But we don’t know what they’re not telling us. And the way it’s been for decades now is that we have to assume that when they release information, it is correct, accurate, and truthful. Bill Clinton lied under oath and was impeached for it but as we’ve established, who knows if Trump even knows he’s lying? He’s already lied directly to America multiple times in his first week of office, and he (must have) instructed his press secretary to brazenly lie to the public about a trivial thing (crowd size). And he’s still basing his actions on lies he told during the campaign.

It has amazed me, both the actions and words he and his administration have put forward. And it all centers around that complete lack of caring about truth or fact. On the campaign he said we need “extreme vetting” of refugees, and on at least one occasion said of the current system that “we have no idea who [the refugees] are, where they’re coming from, what their feelings about our country are” (AJC.com). On another instance he said “we have to stop the tremendous flow of Syrian refugees into the United States. We don’t know who they are. They have no documentation and we don’t know what they’re planning” (NPR.org). Earlier that year, however, former President Obama had set a goal of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees, which is not only 16,000 short of the amount of refugees Canada accepted in a 4 month period. And put that all in perspective of the total 5 million fleeing from Syria. Not only was he ridiculously off track in the amount of refugees being let into the United States, but his claims implying that officials were seemingly just picking random people without asking them so much as their name again could not be more off base. Refugees under the former President’s system reportedly went through more security checks than any other traveler to the U.S., especially if they were from middle east war zones (NPR.org). The process typically takes about 2 years and involved multiple background checks and interviews, as well as having their paperwork and transcripts go through 9 different agencies before they can be considered to relocate to the U.S. The demographics of those admitted in 2015 were 50% children, 25% adults over 60 and just 2% were “males of combat age” (telesurtv.net).

But you know most or all of this. So what are the developments? The comments he made during the campaign were baseless and so erroneous that I’m surprised former President Obama didn’t set the record straight (although he probably declined to do so because he may not have been necessarily proud of his administration’s “extreme vetting”). But it was a campaign, and there was no mistaking that Donald Trump was running a fear campaign. He said anything and everything to attack the fear of people were either already holding onto, or didn’t know they had to be afraid. So he either made up those words without ever thinking to check the facts, or he knew the facts and didn’t care because he knew those statements  would (A) get him votes, and (B) end up being such a huge task to fact check that most people wouldn’t try. But now he’s done with the campaign, and here is where John Oliver’s quote really starts to sink in. Because he not only made shit up because he could… Once he got in office he acted on the shit he completely made up! He started with a statement that was egregiously false, and used it to put in place an executive order that is only going to hurt people and possibly put the US in more danger. We now have a president who is acting on complete falsehoods that he himself made up. This one we know about. We know that he pulled this “extreme vetting” bullshit out of his ass. We know that because it’s something international that international organizations work on and there are plenty of people for reporters to talk to. What happens when all the information anyone can get comes from within the administration?

What happens when we can no longer distinguish between him lying to our faces, and any kind of truth that that the administration make public or transparent? Do we still trust figures from Trump’s EPA? Do we trust it when the NSA and FBI say that 68 potential terrorist threats were stopped before they could start? Basically, how do we know whether or not to trust any part of his administration if the information they’re giving us is based off of data that’s not publicly available? I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for that yet, but they’re the questions we’re gonna have to start dealing with because he isn’t changing. And you can hope for an impeachment all you want, but Republicans (who are almost entirely filing in behind him) control both chambers of congress, and even if the dems overtake it and he does an impeachable offense, what happens next? In that situation we would get Mike Pence, who is more staunchly socially conservative, and a much smarter politician (when it comes to working Washington, I think we have to admit that Donald Trump is an incredibly smart politician when it comes to campaigning. He knew exactly the demographic he needed to win and he won it). Would Mike Pence really be that much better?

So we’re stuck with him. He won fair and square, and even though millions of people, from politicians to political science professors, from historians to industry workers have said how ridiculous and undemocratic the electoral college is, those were the rules going into it, and those are the rules he won with, and everybody who campains or follows presidential elections has known those rules for a long time. It’s not like he won by a technicality that no one had heard of, or by forcing the Supreme Court to decide who the next President would be. While it’s very possible the Russian hacking did impact the election, right now we have to assume that he won fair and square.

The problem remains, what do we do when a person who treats facts as a lemur would treat the Supreme Court vacancy is in possibly one of the only positions in the country where you can continuously make your own “facts” and release them to the public. This is different than not having trust in the government. That’s a completely different issue. This is about how we view the presidency. You always knew where President Obama was shaky: basically anything about drone strikes and civilian casualties. We understood where Bush was out of his depth: where to find WMDs. But there’s no one area with Trump. I suppose the only answer is either take everything that comes from his administration with multiple grains of salt, or flat out call bullshit on everything that comes from his administration. Either way, when the federal government is the largest collector, archiver, and distributor of data in the country, Trump’s dishonesty is going to be felt much further than just the words coming out of his mouth.

 

All the Instruments Played on Supertramp Albums

So I have no idea if this is going to come out to an impressive total or not, but I was thinking about how eclectic their sound was and figured this would be fun to do. Before I start, I’m not including “standard” rock instruments, though I will include variations of those instruments. I’m specifically not including the following: vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, piano/keyboard, and any percussion that’s in a standard drum kit. That said, I would include like 12 string acoustic guitar, even though it’s fairly common, because it is a deviation from the base instruments. I’m also going to mark (B) for instruments that were recorded by a band member. Everything without that mark would indicate a studio musician or guest musician or whatever. Also I’ll mark the album number in [brackets] that I first found the instrument on. And I’m only counting original studio albums, no compilations, live albums, or remastered albums with bonus tracks. Aite.

  1. Organ (B) [1]
  2. Harmonica (B) [1]
  3. Cello (B) [1]
  4. Flageolet (B) [1]
  5. Balalaika (B) [1]
  6. Flute (B) [2]
  7. Saxophone (B) [2]
  8. Accordion (B) [2]
  9. Moog Synthesizer (B) [3]
  10. String Synthesizer (B) [3]
  11. 12 String Acoustic Guitar (B) [3]
  12. Clarinet (B) [3]
  13. Glass Harp (B) [3]
  14. Celesta (B) [3]
  15. Saw [3]
  16. Water Gong [3]
  17. Harmonium (B) [4]
  18. Marimba (B) [4]
  19. Melodica (B) [5]
  20. Oberheim Programming [5]
  21. Trombone [6]
  22. Tuba [6]
  23. Synclavier Programming [8]
  24. Fairlight Programming [8]
  25. PPG Programming [8]
  26. Timbales (B) [9]
  27. Trumpet [9]
  28. Kalimbas [10]
  29. Horns [11]

That ended up being pretty fun. I have no idea what at least a quarter of those instruments are.

The 20 Best Songs of All Time

This is an exercise in subjectivity. I think too often many of us (especially myself) get caught up in thinking that there is an “objective” way to rank, appraise, evaluate, or even understand works of art. It happens in film (“well this movie deserves the best picture oscar because it’s objectively the best made movie of the year”), in painting and what I’ll call the visual arts (“van Gogh is objectively the best artist of all time because of the way he builds on and melds the styles prominent at the time”), and of course in music (“Slash is the best guitarist because his solos are incredibly fast and require more dexterity and virtuosic prowess than any other guitarist”). The problem is that as badly as we want to officially and objectively rank and rate various forms of art, art is something that will forever be entirely subjective because of its very nature.

Stack up Slash (Guns ‘n Roses, Velvet Revolver, Slash); Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes, Albert Hammond Jr.); and Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) against each other as guitarists and despite the arguments that can be made that may seem objective, which one you argue is the best guitarist is completely subjective. When we attempt to give “objective” reasons why one is the best, all we’re doing is saying what we like in a guitarist and what we think is most important in guitarists. In no way can we ever make an objective and definitive statement that one is better than the other. Slash is known for his incredibly quick solos, use of a wah pedal, and blues-inspired composing. You could argue that solos are the true measure of a guitarists talent and because they require expert skill and intricate knowledge of keys and scales. By that token, you might say that Slash is the best of the three because his solos are distinctly faster and more prominent than either of the two others. But all you’re really communicating there is that you subjectively value solos.

You could just as easily make the case that Kurt Cobain is the best of the three because of how revolutionary and original his guitar style was and how much impact it had on music for decades to come. There you’re saying you value guitarists that break previous molds of playing and whose style becomes popular enough for people to want to copy it. Similarly, you could say that Albert Hammond Jr. is the best of the three because of his varying guitar sounds and styles, his cohesive work with Nick Valensi to create The Strokes signature sound, and his ability to both create memorable hooks and riffs and play intricate solos only when it fits the song. As you can see, really any argument for who or what the “best” is in an art can be dressed up to seem objective, but any “objective” argument is simply communicating what a certain person values in that form of art. One person could say “Crossroad Blues” by Robert Johnson is the best song ever, and another person could say “Oops, I Did It Again” by Brittany Spears is the best song ever and at the end of the day nobody can prove either of them right or wrong.

This is all a reminder to myself as much as it is a discussion with whoever might choose to read this, because I’m a person that has always gotten caught up with objectivity in art. I’ve made lists on who “objectively” the best musicians are, or what “objectively” the best movies are. It took me a long time to realize just what I’ve been talking about, that there is no objectivity in art, and that’s exactly what makes it so beautiful. So here it is, my incredibly subjective list of the Top 10 Best Songs Ever. It’s worth noting that while both are inherently subjective, this list does not look like my “Top 10 Favorite Songs” list would (which I might post after this). That list is fairly fluid and doesn’t involve any analysis. It simply ranks songs by how much I enjoy them. While enjoyment is absolutely a factor here, and while again this list is just as subjective as a favorite songs list, it is more analytic and a little more set in stone for me. Like I alluded to before, this list is going to take into account the things I value in music, including but not limited to guitar playing, originality, composition, lyrics, and replay value. So they’re both subjective lists, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same list. That said, here we go: Continue reading

The Morning News (App)

There are news sources that report the events of the world, and there are news sources that report reasons to hate. It’s not always evident, especially when you get caught up in it, an easy thing to do. I didn’t notice until after the heat of the election is over that one of my favorite sources was giving me more reasons to hate than it was telling me about the world. What I’ve found the difference is, is in the headlines. Is your news source giving you headlines like “X-Politician Wages War on Modern Democracy in Inflamatory Speech” or are they giving you headlines like “X-Politician Discusses Major Policy Changes in Speech, X-Party Reacts With Strong Words of Their Own”? And the spin isn’t just on one side. It’s not bad to read news with a spin. But it’s important to be very aware of that spin while doing so. Otherwise it’s easy to get caught in it.

Commercial Writers

You know what irritates me beyond belief? And I do mean beyond belief because I’m sure no one else cares about it. It’s the unfathomable plot holes, terrifying ramifications, and overall writing that knocks out any kind of suspension of disbelief in tv commercials. For example:

  • Taclight: Who the hell is off-roading in what looks like a Replica WWII era Army Supply Truck?!?! And who is literally tossing a lantern they bought from a tv commercial behind their back into the bed of said truck then deliberately throwing a metal briefcase on it and driving around with only those things in the bed? Who is this person?! And who the hell measures anything in nautical miles just because there’s a lake nearby?!
  • iPhone 7: WHAT THIRD OR FOURTH GRADE CLASS DOES A PRODUCTION OF ROMEO AND JULIET?!?! And sure it’s all sweet with the dad filming the balcony scene but how’s an audience of parents gonna feel when a fourth grade Romeo commits suicide upon assuming that Juliet is dead, then seconds later seeing their sweet little fourth grade Juliet wake up only to commit suicide as well?!?! Despite both of them somehow getting famously difficult lines written in iambic pentameter memorized and recited flawlessly, is dad really gonna want that ending in video?! I don’t think I’ve heard of local high schools anywhere I lived, from Portland to Baton Rouge doing R&J, who the hell made the decision to make 4th graders do it?!?!
  • Any commercial where food is personified (a la Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Craves, Fruit Roll Up): two questions. One. We already eat living breathing animals, some (such as pigs) which are highly intelligent, and we as a society have largely found a way to clear our conscience of that (full disclosure, when I say we I do mean we; I am not even close to being a vegetarian or vegan). With that being said, why do you have to pile on that with the suggestion that when you rip apart a fruit roll up, you’re doing so while it presumably would be conscious? Why you gotta bring that idea into the world? Two. WHY DO ALL THESE COMMERCIALS FEATURE CANNIBOLISM?!?! You bring them to life so they can eat each other?! That’s fucked up, man. Pop Tarts are bad enough where we see a human baiting them into traps so we can burn them alive then eat them! You gotta take it one step farther and have a society where fruit roll ups eating each other on the side walk is common place?! Fucked up.
  • Any fragrance commercial: WHY ARE ALL THESE COMMERCIALS THE SAME?!?! WHY DO ALL THESE COMMERCIALS SEEM LIKE THEY CAME OUT OF A PARALLEL UNIVERSE?! Gendering aside, these have to be the most perplexing and least compelling “genre” of commercials. You hired Johnny Depp because people like seeing him! You did not hire him to reprise his role as Hunter S. Thompson’s hallucinogen induced vision of himself! Literally a commercial of him in a white background spraying himself with cologne and saying “I’m Johnny Depp and I like to smell good, which is why I wear fuckity-fuckity-who-gives-a-fuck by French Designer. Available at Macy’s, or you buy something that won’t cost you $100 a bottle” would be more compelling than him searching for his soul in the desert or whatever. And that’s not to mention all the others like where, not to kink shame or anything, there appears to be a full on orgy of people dressed in outfits heavily inspired by flamingos in a room of mirrors. Who are the marketing geniuses who seem to think that the only way to sell a fragrance is by going so abstract that Picasso and Pollack would say “huh, might wanna tone it down”? Compared to these piles of shit the Old Spice Universe makes sense! And say what you will but at least 9/10 of their commercials are funny.
  • Dos Equis: bring the old guy back. At least give us some kind of transition with both him and this guy. Also, you don’t get to just give us one “plotline” or commercial and think replaying that will be as good as having 5 or 6 different ones rotating at the same time like you had for the last guy. I’m fuckin tired of seeing him kick a coconut through giraffes, which if he misses could seriously injure a member of what could be one of the two subspecies of giraffe that is considered endangered (all subspecies are being watched but as a result of the fact that no species wide formal assessment has been conducted, giraffes in general are categorized as ‘least concern’ by the IUCN). Furthermore, as a fun fact, in my own minimal research cross referencing the countries in the top 25 for coconut production and the countries where giraffes are found, he would have to be in either Mozambique or Tanzania. Not impossible, but limited. Another thing? “He played college football in high school” is a good one… except when it’s paired with the image of some in their 50s or 60s kicking a coconut. The statement we suspend belief for because that’s part of the fun, but what are we supposed to think, he’s a 58 year old high schooler? Or you’re not showing the actual thing which is what we’re used to. Same with the “cheating death” one you stopped showing. Shoulda shown him where the viewer could tell he was cheating. Bottom line: you’re slipping.
  • KFC: you’re at your what 3rd or 4th Colonel now? How bout to keep it there and SHUT THE HELL UP DEAR LORD YOUR COMMERCIALS ARE ANNOYING!!!!! WHO IS WRITING FOR YOU?! LITERALLY GET ANYONE ELSE.
  • Bud Light & Miller Lite: you’re both mediocre at best mass produced light beers that are good for getting drunk at tailgating and basically nothing else. No one wants to see you try to fight each other just like no one wants to see me in the ring with Christian Bale during filming for The Machinist.
  • Every other commercial: YOUR CATCHY JINGLE BECOMES A GRATING, ANNOYING, MUTE BUTTON PRESSING DISASTER THE MORE YOU HAVE YOUR STAR ATHLETE HUM IT OR THE MORE YOU HAVE SEVERAL PEOPLE SING IT IN ONE COMMERCIAL, BASICALLY THE MORE YOU SHOVE IT IN THE VIEWER’S FACE!!!!!

That is all.

What It Says To Me…

As a trans person one of the first things you learn is that there is a chance you will be killed for being trans. I’ve known and understood this fact for some time now. Now, being a white transfeminine person, I also know that I am much less likely to be killed for being trans than a transfeminine person of color. But the threat is always there. You try to minimize it in your head. You try to tell yourself you’re in a safer area. Whatever you tell yourself, in never obscures that singular truth: there is a chance that you will be killed for being trans. And what a chance means is that you don’t know when it’s coming. You don’t know if it will or won’t happen to you. You just don’t know. Which is one of the hardest things.

For me, though, I’m not sure this is the hardest part of being trans. I don’t think it’s what’s stopping me from resuming my previous 8 months of HRT and beginning living life in the way I want so badly to live it, to begin living life the way I was when I was on HRT – fearless, whole, confident. No, I think what’s stopping me, what, for me, is the hardest part of being trans is the palpability of hatred toward trans people. It’s this tangled, snaring mess that starts with disgusted look, mistreatment from a police officer, slurs from drunk frat boys, news stories about bathroom bills, about suicides, about conversion therapy. Bit by bit all those things and more grow out of control and merge as they intertangle until you can’t tell what comes from where. But what you know. What you can feel all around you. What you feel every day of your life is a mounting hatred for who you are and “what” you are. And that’s something that when someone asks you why you’re so scared, because you’re in a progressive area, or whatever, you can’t just explain all the time. Because that feeling doesn’t always have a face.

Well it does now. That’s what this election means to me. It is a statement that all that fear I felt engulfing my pride, my courage, my self-esteem, it wasn’t just a projection of some inner self-hatred. It wasn’t me being overly paranoid or hypervigilant because of some bad experiences I’ve had. No. What this election says to me is there are people all around me that quite literally view my life, the lives of my friends, and the lives of so many others as less than, as not having inherent worth, as inconsequential. That may not translate into more hate crimes against trans people, but it absolutely slaps a face onto that claustrophobic feeling of being hated. It’s the face of Donald Trump. A man that 6 months ago I would have said certainly isn’t a joke anymore, but doesn’t have a chance at the Presidency. I likely would have said that cooler heads will prevail and that this country just can’t be made up of people so willing to brush off the bigotry he spews. I was wrong.

2016: The Year of American Masochism

Two things, straight out: (1) I’m going to be breaking the rule I set for myself in a previous post by discussing a Donald Trump scandal instead of ignoring it, (2) this is not going to be a very well thought out article, more of a get things off my chest article.

So before I even saw the tape, I had heard that it contained Trump using misogynistic language on a bus. I had no interest to see the tape at this time as my hatred of Don was already almost to much for me to handle, and I figured anything like that tape could only reinforce that hatred as there is nothing he could do to wipe it away. That said, I was flabbergasted by the Republican fallout from the video. My very confused thinking went something like this: “YOU’VE KNOWN FOR A YEAR WHO THIS MAN IS!!! DON’T GIVE ME THAT STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK BULLSHIT IF YOU HAD A PROBLEM WITH HIS MISOGYNY, THERE HAVE BEEN AMPLE AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE EXAMPLES SINCE, I DON’T KNOW, THE SECOND HE ANNOUNCED HIS CANDIDACY!!!” I still feel that way. I think anyone who took this tape as a reason not to follow Donald Trump and even to call for him to drop out of the race either hasn’t been paying attention the last year or so, or knows that it’s far too late for him to actually drop out and at this point pulling their endorsement or whatever really doesn’t have much affect except for the optics which might end up making them look good. Short version: Sen. John McCain (as one example) gets to come away looking like he stands up for women and does not tolerate misogyny, when for over a year (and longer than that based on his activity in the Senate) he has not only tolerated, he has endorsed misogyny.

However after hearing what Trump said on that tape, I will admit I was surprised, even shocked, honestly. And that’s coming from someone who already thinks Trump is a predatory, misogynistic, sexist pig with no respect for the dignity of any woman, even his own daughters (specifically Ivanka) and wives (past and present). Even coming into the video with that view of Trump, I was floored by his comments – both the comment that everyone heard about what he is allowed to do to women due to his fame, and the later comments on that video about abusing his power as owner of Miss Universe to look at the contestants naked.  The language he used, the things he was discussing, the view of women he was portraying, and possibly worst of all, the fact that at the debate he denied that he had been talking about sexually assaulting women; it’s all the misogyny we’ve seen from Trump throughout this race rolled up into a ball and multiplied by a thousand. It’s the concentrated example that so many of us didn’t need, but apparently Republican lawmakers and if you believe the polls about 6-10% of voters did.

But you know what really made my spine tingle with disgust and general discomfort? When he planned to bring the women that had accused Bill Clinton of rape and sexual assault (and possibly some who had consensual affairs with him?) to the VIP box of the debate. It made me uncomfortable in part because there’s so many layers to it. Because in no way is it wrong to confront Bill Clinton with the women he hurt while abusing his power. In no way is it wrong to call out Bill Clinton for being the slimy, predatory misogynist that he is. But it’s Donald Trump doing this, not Barack Obama, not Mitt Romney, not even Sarah Palin. And he’s doing it right after the leak of this video that showed to the entire nation what a disgusting creep he is. Essentially, he is using Bill Clinton’s victims as a prop, as showmanship, as a debate strategy. He doesn’t give a shit that Bill Clinton is a rapist and serial adulterer. He doesn’t care about these women just like he doesn’t care about any women. That’s what didn’t sit with me well. Say this race was being run between Mitt Romney and Sec. Hillary Clinton. I would not have nearly as much of a problem if Romney did the same thing, even though he’s long been accused of misogyny, the “binders full of women” gaffe was nothing compared to Trump on that bus. So that’s part of it. Another part is something no one could get away with, which is using those victims to gain an upper edge on Sec. Clinton. It makes sense to call up the times she degraded her husband’s accuser because that relates to her primary statement essentially which is that she is going to work harder for gender equality than anyone has ever before. Bringing that up, in my eyes, is fine. It’s not pretty, but it is politics. But bringing up that her husband sexually abused, raped, and had sex with multiple women while married to her just to throw her off her game or embarrass her? There’s no place for that in a political debate. The place for that is in journalism – digging up evidence to support or refute these claims and letting the reader come to their own conclusions. Bottom line is Trump pulling this move is gross and it’s degrading to the women he’s talking about.

Finally… a two year, Republican led investigation into Benghazi that encompassed 33 hearings, 4 of them public all to find Sec. Clinton did not do anything criminal… After an FBI investigation into her server and emails that concluded that she was negligent but not criminally negligent and that they could not find any legal precedence to charge her (btw the Director of the FBI, James Comey, while impartial in his position, is a lifelong Republican)… after all of this thorough investigation all saying that there is nothing criminal that she did, Wanna-Be-Dictator Donald Trump actually threatened during a Presidential Debate where he appeared as a major party nominee, that should he be elected he would assign a special prosecutor to “look into [her] situation” and later said that she would be in jail if he were President. I’m fucking done with this election, man. And what pisses me off the most is that I know this kind of drivel is only beginning. I know the painful politics of 2016 aren’t likely to end when I pull the lever, or push the button, or punch the card, or do whatever to vote for Sec. Clinton.

Snapshots

by Phoenix

Have you ever taken
the time
to see the story of a tree?
Maybe while
walking
in a forest
or even
beside those oh-so-human
columns of trees
that line the asphalt.

The beauty, 
the colors,
the size of the beasts;
perhaps we appreciate this.
But do you ever 
stop to think
about the snapshot that you see
and how it came to be?

Years maybe decades;
the sun bending it this way one summer
then that way the next. Its
branches only
spreading out as they do
because of years,
years we cannot see,
years we were not here,
and growth too slow to watch.
Do you ever think
of the story behind the snapshot?

"FUCKING SHEMALE" i hear
a disembodied yet still drunk
voice call out
through the
laughs and the
cheers of its peers.
Can't see the owner
of the roller coaster voice.
Blurry
eyes already from tears,
they
all could own
that particular voice.

Awash in a crowd
it could well be
the voice of the hand
that threw a drink
at my friend 
and his boyfriend
for daring to hold hands at 
THEIR 
football game. The
least gay sport of all.

For years I swallowed
the sweet, addictive
pills of rage
as
one incident
became two
became three
became a stop by cops
who watch enough
porn
to ask me
if I'm a shemale
after I said I'm transgender.

Ask many
and hear 
the rage was just fine,
I had been wronged,
confronted with hate.
Face to face,
brain "ka-tcha ka-tchsssst" taking snapshots
of my biggest threat.
After all,
it's rational:
hate produces fear,
fear blossoms to hate.

These ugly snapshots,
once
controlled
my own brain.
I loathed the subjects
of every war-torn
sickening
photograph.

But were they not
simply 
snapshots?
A single frame in a story?
What does each of
these frames
tell me
of the decades behind it?

An inexcusable action.
Sure. 
Each one committed.
But how many snapshots of me
lay in the hatred of others?
Afterall,
it is but a snapshot.
And I know nothing 
of the
story 
behind it.

Walking on my
usual
suburban route.
Professionals cut,
break, and snap
a mighty tree
to the ground.
Termites,
they say,
have to protect other
nearby trees.

Saddened
I realize
now no one will
see that snapshot.
Decades of gradual growth
to become
a true beauty.
Still one
month two
or three
full of termites
and now far from a beauty
it's a danger to others.

No one asks
of the intention
or logic
of termites.
Because regardless of those
they bring healthy trees to the ground.

Why then does it matter
if my hate
my rage
my judgement
makes sense.
Are they not termites
of the mind, of the soul,
warping their host
into merely a shell,
a danger to others?
Why is my hate
better than that
of disembodied voices
the world over?

I don't have
my own answers.
I can't
say
what's true for me
is true for anyone.
It just seems that
too often
we snatch up these snapshots,
all too willing
to ignore
the story that made them.