You Are Permitted to be Angry…

With a few caveats of course.

For all my years of touting cute catchphrases like, “Say what you mean and mean what you say,” or expressing my resolute determination to no longer remain silent, I forgot one thing. The power of commiseration.

I don’t need you to use your sympathy voice every time I share something that makes me angry. I want you to be angry with me!

I GET IT NOW!

There is great power in numbers, as the current protests around the country have shown. I know this to be true. I talk about it, A LOT, within my professional space yet skim right over it in my personal space. And, for that, I am so very sorry. In this, I realize that I am no better than all the assholes I rail about, the ones without even a minuscule amount of empathy in their bitter bones. I, a person who has too much empathy at times, still forgot the therapeutic efficacy of a good bitch-fest. The legitimate airing of grievances, but without having to observe Festivus.

I will be angry with you.

I will listen to what you have to say without doing the, “Awww” face.

I will join your venting session, not because I’m mad at the same person, place or thing, but because YOU ARE ANGRY and I want to support you.

It’s okay to be angry because anger is an energy that can cause change just as easily as it can cause destruction.

I support your right to FEEL all the feelings that go along with being human.

Now, having said all of that, and I meant all of it, I just know there are miserable shit-stirrers out there itching to rail against those who express the desire to FEEL. You know? The FUCK YOUR FEELINGS dickheads. The rest of this is directed at you. Everyone with historically documented reasons to feel angry, you can grab some popcorn and relax for a bit. You earned it…

Yes, fuck my feelings! That’s so mature, so human, so kind of you! And, it’s exactly what I would expect from people who don’t think anyone else is allowed to be angry but them. What exactly are YOU mad about? Didn’t your whiteness provide, abundantly, everything all those other white male politicians promised if you supported their agenda? I know what everyone else is mad about but, please, tell me what’s REALLY troubling you. And, can you do it without calling me names or threatening me with violence? It’s a novel idea but try it, you might like it. And, while you are trying that maybe stop and picture what it really means to be the “good Christian” that you keep calling yourself. Are ya, really??? Can’t be Christ-like when you’re calling me a loud-mouth liberal bitch that needs to know my place. All-seeing God my ass, you don’t know me at all! Let me introduce myself, I’m you’re worst nightmare because I can see who you really are and that’s what you really hate, not me, not them, but yourself.

photo by Andre Hunter

It’s the truth about ourselves, the stuff we demand stay hidden, that really pops up in times of anger and strife, whether we like it or not. It isn’t hidden anymore and if the truly oppressed in this country can put up with your racist, homophobic, misogamist bullshit for centuries then I guess the LEAST I can do is get my privileged white ass up in their support. I stand with them because standing with you is limiting, exhausting, debilitating and completely on the wrong side of history and humanity. I will not side with vile hatred so stop trying to sell me on the garbage you keep peddling.

Yes, I believe Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No Human is Illegal, Science is Real, Love is Love and Kindness is EVERYTHING! On the flip-side, to those who do not believe in the things I just listed? You are the real problem and you are the one stoking the fire of hate in this country and around the world. Lying, cheating and stealing are really your areas of expertise, not ours but you jump at slapping those projected labels on us, which is laughable. Don’t like what I just imparted? Let me use some of your own medicine on that burn…uh, fuck your feelings! Ah, that felt refreshingly satisfying.

I can guarantee one thing for sure, in this current moment and moving forward, if ANYONE directs hateful vitriol and violence towards anyone I love, I will rain the entirety of my FEELINGS of anger, disgust and rage down on you! I was subjected to physical and mental abuse as a child and young adult and can only keep that raging beast of revenge down so long you know? Count on me coming for you because, hey, when you dismiss my feelings of empathy and kindness what’s left? Yeah, just the NASTY parts, the ones you identify with most and you can’t fuck ALL of my feelings. Who’s got that kind of time?

Illustration by Sefira Ross

Oh, you don’t like that I’m expressing a desire to treat you as miserably as you treat others? Huh, it doesn’t FEEL good does it? Are you afraid of my rage? My words that I can freely express without the need of a gun to back them up? Or, are you really terrified of my ability to size-up your obvious inner conflict and verbalize the issues that I see standing in your way of being a decent person? No one acts the way you do without channeling some fucked up dysfunction from childhood that leads to the near debilitating self esteem issues you clearly exhibit. Do I want to be right about you being a shit person? No. But, 9 times out of 10, I am right and it hurts because I know humanity can do better.

You see, I am willing to listen to your angry outbursts, just like I listen to those I love vent. The only difference is that I know one of those complaint sessions will lead to greater self-awareness and inner calm and the other will lead to personal ruin. Without a willingness to see the pain of others, to listen, learn and actively understand why they have a right to be angry nothing will change. You will stay miserable and stuck. You will never be happy. You will never be a healthy community/society member even though you have this warped impression that this land is YOUR land and not anyone else’s, especially those with darker hued skin. To hold onto those ideals is to hold onto quicksand…your made-up “identity” is being exposed as you slide down, down, down.

I’ll offer you a hand if you want it. Do you want it?

Or, does going down with the rat infested ship seem more palatable than letting a dirty liberal offer you kindness?

Sad.

© 2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Company You Keep: A Tale of Constant Disappointment

Over the past few years I have come to the resolute conclusion that there is a very good reason people who were once childhood friends, co-workers, waving neighbors or even fragile family members grow apart. The saying that we are known by the company we keep was very true during Aesop’s day just as it is today. Look to the left and then back to the right. Who do you call friend, family, acquaintance?

Aesop’s Fables: An Ass And His Purchaser

The tale of An Ass And His Purchaser goes a little like this:

A man wanted to purchase an Ass and took him home for a trial. The Ass befriended the most idle of those the man already owned and so… Bye, bye Ass.

A man is known by the company he keeps.

I see your posts on social media. The lazy re-posting of propaganda. Yeah, this looks good…CLICK. The refusal to fact-check, question or even comprehend that what you just shared was an example of racism, sexism, isolationism, homophobia or any other repugnant, exclusionary belief. The refusal to acknowledge that careless words can cause great harm is illuminated like a TIKI torch at a white nationalist rally. “Oh, I will totally OWN them with this scorching article from a hugely biased news source!”

I see the venom, the bile and the disdain posted about those you feel are not as “good” or as “smart” as you. I make note of how you feel those people are disrespectful, dishonorable, untrustworthy, un-this, un-that and then the final dismissive pronouncement that when those people use their long ignored voice this equals whining. Does this mean your point of view is the only one that matters? Or, does it mean your point of view should matter more? It’s one or the other. You can’t have it both ways after all.

What do you hear in the voices of protest that bothers you so much? I ask because I truly want to know why the sound of life-long pain, frustration and grief triggers such dismissal and/or anger? Are they not deserving of fair treatment, equal rights or the same protections afforded to you under the law? If your answer is NO…why? And, can you look those people in the eye and bravely explain why they shouldn’t be as FREE as you? And, can you do it without sneering, condescending vitriol? Thanks. That would be great!

Now, back to the part about being known, or judged, by the people you choose to associate with. If you are pals with people who make disparaging remarks about people of color, women, non-Christians, LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, people with different political beliefs or anyone different at all for that matter and you LAUGH or LOOK THE OTHER WAY then that will be considered condoning or agreeing with their behavior. The key word here is CHOICE. You decided which side you were on without even saying a word. Silence was your choice. Like it or not. I don’t make the rules.

A riot is not quiet…

So, I see your condemning posts about those, whiny, lazy, ignorant and, weak liberal snowflakes and I always come back to the introduction, written with great authority by you. The original post may have come from someone else but you obviously agreed with it or why else would you share it? For shits and grins? To stir the pot? To purposely cause outrage? To mock? Oh, you may claim any one of these but I suspect it’s because you actually do agree with the sentiment embedded in that inflammatory meme, quote, shared article or video. It’s okay to admit it. I could even respect you, believe it or not, if you would just be honest for once.

I see it all and wonder how your definitions of GOOD, SUPERIOR, PURE, RIGHTEOUS and HOLY were formed along with the polar opposite of those five words. Did your views come from a highly edited history purposely designed to place you on top as the victor while everyone different is cast as defective, unbalanced or criminal? How did you come to the point in life where you currently stand? You appear angry. You also appear so certain to be right and also very certain I, and people both like and unlike me, deserve no audience to plead our case because our guilt was determined long before we were born.

Do you ever wonder if everything you were ever told about those not like you is a lie? I do.

https://theundefeated.com/features/being-black-in-a-world-where-white-lies-matter/

https://theestablishment.co/white-people-you-have-a-lying-problem-e991c3634493/index.html

https://milwaukeenns.org/2020/06/26/opinion-the-lies-white-people-tell-ourselves-and-how-they-haunt-milwaukee-today/

Currently, I am furious that a huge chunk of what was in my white grade school and high school history books was biased, unbalanced, revisionist propaganda written to purposely divide by race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or disability. I am certain that there are other agents of division I missed but you get the point…right? History is written by the winners no matter how they achieved that status. Be it by theft, coercion, excessive force or editing. It’s the real FAKE NEWS.

REAL…fake news. Take that in for a moment. It isn’t the moronic bullshit, the twisted, spun and manipulative gas-lighting vomit broadcast via Twitter or Fox News. It isn’t the bizarre, braying jackass sound bites from unprepared press conferences or the never ending ego trips masquerading as campaign rallies. You mean nothing to the talking orange head. Your life experiences, trials and tribulations and worries don’t even register a blip on that schizophrenic radar. You get that, right?

I simply cannot believe that people just wake up one day deciding to be arrogant, insolent, heartless assholes. Something happened along the way. Someone, or a group of someones, taught them how to behave as if their particular hue is the best hue, their particular worldview is the best, most perfect, most tremendous one of all time. It has the highest ratings, the largest following and they will DOMINATE the world.

But, here’s the thing about reaching the top of the heap…getting there isn’t the true goal, staying there is.

And, if you continually get to the top on the backs of those people, never allowing them to SHARE the space with you, then to what lengths will you go to stay on top?

You don’t fear those you stand on. You fear retribution for the transgressions you and your ancestors committed while on the continuous journey to the top. THAT is the legacy of this country. Simply admitting it isn’t culpability, it’s true freedom. Cutting loose the “company” that no longer reflects positively on you isn’t a huge sacrifice. Losing your very life because of deeply ingrained bias and racism is.

Learn the difference.

© 2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A longing for situational tabula rasa…

Oh how I wish, after reading mind numbingly, willfully stupid comments posted online or after listening to politicians obsessively vomit purposely divisive rhetoric, I could hit the factory reset button on my mind and start anew. To have a “clean slate” mind in these troubled times would be beneficial but as it always is with wishful thinking…not very practical. That which has been seen or heard cannot be magically erased except by rather extreme measures. Head trauma inducing measures.


So, back to tabula rasa, a peculiar theory constructed by Aristotle as a ‘unscribed tablet’ or clean slate rebuttal (On the Soul, Book III, chapter 4), to his buddy Plato’s pronouncement that man was merely a ‘spirit with no corporeal manifestation.’ To say that I’m not really certain what either of these fine toga wearing fellows were yammering on about is a massive understatement so I will just stick with what I believe to be true: we came into being, we overheard the words of those around our maternal flesh-dome Airbnb and once pushed out into the world we hung onto some of those impressions. Once the bell has been rung the memory of its tone and timbre stay embedded in our memory so to say we pop out of the womb free and clear of any and all outside influences or DNA predispositions doesn’t hit the mark for me.

If you don’t clean your slate how can you have any pudding?


If it does for you then cool, I’m fine with that but what about the idea of reincarnation, the ultimate form of recycling? New body with a completely wiped hard drive? The claim that anything saved on a computer hard drive is never truly erased intrigues me…but then I think about the potential scenario where someone comes along and writes new code, implanting new memories over the preexisting ones effectively canceling out the old. What then? Can those old memories pop up in between the new ones when we least expect it doing a funky déjà vu cha-cha? A tricky virus of unknown origin that gums up the works and makes humans doubt how they got here, who made them and why?


I think about things like this often and attribute it to a bizarre need to peek into every imaginative room constructed within my mind. If you think about it this way, that we have many rooms in our heads just like the many boxes, bins and trash bags full of long forgotten stuff crammed in closets, attics, basements and garages then why would it be too hard to fathom the idea that pre-programmed ideas, beliefs or memories aren’t stored someplace we just haven’t accessed yet? It’s the ultimate treasure hunt! Doesn’t that sound more exciting than the theory that we blip into this world a blank-eyed dolt who knows nothing yet is expected to learn EVERYTHING in the time allotted them by a lazy creator too busy to be bothered with details. WELCOME TO EARTH GLOB OF FRESH CLAY! No roadmap, no guidebook, no direction other than, “See that vaginal slip-n-slide there? Go that way and good luck!”


Alrighty then, I’ve gotten way off topic here…where was I? Oh, right, I was talking about how I’d like a tool to drown out the negative noise the world is making currently. The anti-education, anti-anything that cues those not male and white into the fact that they are being subjected to constant gaslighting and purposeful oppression noise. Preferably a mode of mental relief that doesn’t involve driving off a cliff or jabbing an icepick into my ears to shut out the obnoxiously deluded or purposely misleading.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/why-do-republicans-suddenly-hate-colleges-so-much/533130/

It is my belief that there are people out there that wish harm on those who refuse to think or behave like them so if I had a temporary way to wipe their actions and words from my mind it would be the best No Harm, No Foul ever. It would be even better if my inability to hear, see or react to their negativity and need to control could effectively reprogram their way of viewing the world around them. “Just ignore them honey and they will go away”, that kind of thing except better…they literally evolve into a kinder and more considerate human being. Oh, how wonderful that would be!

http://www.stirjournal.com/2016/04/01/i-know-why-poor-whites-chant-trump-trump-trump/


Yes, how wonderful it would be if humans could get that being assholes to one another serves zero purpose other than scratching some perverse itch they have to make everyone as miserable as they are. Or, to make sure no one takes their spot in the line of privilege. I see you. I know what you are doing and you know what you are doing yet, here we are, stalemate with no possible checkmate in sight.

Please sir, may I have some more…nothing?

The negative throng of the world buzz and hum, creating an insanely annoying racket, a calamity designed to distract, redirect and restack the cards formerly set in their favor. Unfair advantage taken, lost and now feverishly reclaimed despite the odious stink it admits, signaling all who know better that the fix is in. It’s always been “in” the only difference is that now the game is being brazenly played out in the open, shit-eating grin in full display and the “what are you going to do about it” gauntlet dropped like a greasy Big Mac on the Oval Office floor.


I have many ideas about what I would like to do. One that would be particularly satisfying: a thunderous kick to the shriveled nut-sack of any old asshole who has ever called me cupcake, sweetie, little girl, snowflake…anything other than my given name. You do realize that misogynistic, racist, sociopathic dick-bags refuse to call those they fear or hate by their legal names because your name holds power right? If they say your name they acknowledge your humanity, they acknowledge that every degrading, demoralizing, dehumanizing thing they have ever said is false and only said to lay flat those who stand to take a piece of the abundant pie they are too greedy to share. It’s complete and utter bullshit, all of it. And, yet, they are allowed to march on with little to no resistance. WAKE UP WORLD! You are on fire.


Things aren’t right, they haven’t been right since day 1 and it’s high time we ALL recognized that. Longing for some long gone era some wistfully call “the good old days” is both figurative and literal horse shit! For every advantaged person’s good old days there are many, many disadvantaged, oppressed and cruelly disregarded people that don’t remember certain days, decades or centuries quite as rosy as you do.

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself WHY? Probably not or we wouldn’t still be playing this perpetual game of It/Not It where one group consistently floats to the top after even the smallest set-back. It’s not that hard to figure out yet, old habits die hard and even older myths, lies, manipulations and purposeful control methods rise continually like a shit-covered specter clawing at and climbing over everyone to the side and in front of them even though it’s CLEARLY no longer their turn! Hello, old white dude! Take a seat, hand over the microphone and open your eyes and ears!


We are just getting started.


The slate has too much blood on it.


It will never be clear.


But, you knew that…right? Tap, tap, tap…is this thing on?

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If all you want to be is right then I guess I will choose to be happy instead.

I have been thinking about this topic for a long time. Right, wrong, in between and I don’t care are all positions people either fight over or simply walk on by without a single thought. I’d like to be in the latter category. To do anything else seems counterproductive and illogical.

There is a whole world of wonder outside of our own heads….

I will let you have your outrage, your vitriol, your angst and also…your misery. Many in that list are well earned so I would never want to take that away from the possessor; I prefer to err on the side of mental and physical well being now. You do what you think will get you by in life and I will do what allows me to climb mountains, sail seas and soar above the negativity. If I live by example, fully immersed in the current moment rather than frustrating ruminations then I won’t have time to worry about how others perceive me. That will no longer be my concern.

How Being Right Stops You From Being Happier

Okay, you enjoy that title! I’m just going to be over here enjoying life. Cheers!

Oh, please don’t think that I am stepping away from being passionate about causes and movements that matter a great deal, that won’t change. What I am setting aside is the reactionary response to little digs, picks, prods and manipulative lead-ins. Also, please don’t dish out the line, “Well, if you don’t speak out and stand up then you are just another sheep waiting to be led to slaughter!” Save your time and breath. When it matters I will speak up, no doubt there and when it’s an effort in futility and only feeding the ego of narcissism then I will have better things to do. Got it?

5 Ways to Handle People Who Always Think They’re Right

I don’t always have to be yelling to be heard and I don’t always have to react in rage to express my disagreement with arrogant and ignorant statements. Sometimes it’s not so much what you say as what you do that matters. I will be happy, despite ridicule over my point of view. I will enjoy my life and revelle in the wonder of new discoveries and new travel adventures and also the excitement over meeting new interesting people. All of those things involve both personal action and intent. There is no praying or hoping here. It’s all ME powered.

So, do you want to be Right or do you want to be Happy? Or, neither? Take a moment and choose wisely.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Believability in unbelievable times…

Why didn’t she report it?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

In this day and age, after all that has been revealed by many, many women and men to ask WHY their pain and embarrassment and shame wasn’t paraded about for all to judge, criticize and tsk tsk is tantamount to siding with the abuser.

After all, when our own president vacillates between acting like a wronged man-victim and a cruel bully all within the course of a day it’s not hard to see where the inspiration for all the other abusers and powertrip seekers to assert their new found dominance came from.

But, it’s the supposedly conflicted fence riders that get me the most. If you can’t muster the strength of mind to speak up when you see blatant harassment and abuse occurring in real-time, right before your eyes, then what goddamned hope do we really have?

This is how I see this topic playing out in my mind:

Fence Sitter: But, I NEED to hear all the sides here! 

Empathy: Are you the judge and jury?

Fence Sitter: Well, no but I can’t make up my mind who to believe until I know all the dirt about the accuser.

Empathy: Hasn’t she been hurt enough by this? You do realize that by bullying her into revealing things that aren’t your business just to satisfy your gory car crash mentality is a form of revictimization right?

Fence Sitter: Hey, she asked for this by going public.

Empathy: Wow, can you hear yourself?

Fence Sitter: Hear what? I need to know more so I can make up my mind. She is making some pretty damaging allegations that could ruin a man’s life. You have to admit, she probably just wanted to be with him and he rejected her or something. Scorned woman syndrome.

Empathy: So, you actually have already made up your mind that she’s lying but you just want to tear her apart further by laying her personal life out on the table for the world to mock? 

Fence Sitter: Oh, I bet you weren’t perfect in high school or college either…

Empathy: Great job deflecting and playing the worn out tune of whataboutery. Bravo! Time to get off the fence dude, we all know where you stand now.

giphy[1]

Hey judgemental people, why do YOU do THAT? This is the question I pose to everyone out there that immediately casts doubt upon any woman (and men too but for this piece, I will speak to that which I know) that dares to talk about being sexually harassed, assaulted, molested or raped. Does the subject hit so close to home that in order to hide your own shame its easier to lash out at the person already knocked to the ground by years of keeping their trauma to themselves? Whatever happened to reserving judgment until all the facts are weighed while also remaining neutral AND respectful of both parties?

Wouldn’t that be nice? It would but it doesn’t happen that way. Not that I have ever personally experienced anyway. To mock sexual assault victims with jokes about their appearance, intelligence and morality is plainly a dick move. A big, bullying, shaming dickish move committed by both men and women, which is a huge head-scratcher in itself.

Women have the unenviable position of being shit on mentally and emotionally by both sexes while also juggling the fear of potentially being assaulted, raped or murdered should they dare venture out by themselves after dark to get a fucking chai latte or walk alone to their car doing any number of banal things men just DO without any thought to potential personal risk. Want to talk about something not being fair? THAT right there is hugely fucking unfair and it shouldn’t have to be this way.

So, what can women do to be believed when shit goes down? Start acting like men? Hmmm.. so if some dude tries to pussy grab me at a concert I should just do a sack clutch, squeeze and twist for fair measure? Okay, sounds cool to me! Of course, this is said in jest as I have no desire to touch strange sack but the point is this: WHAT GIVES YOU THE FUCKING RIGHT TO TOUCH ME IN THE FIRST PLACE? Who taught you that it was even remotely an acceptable thing?

Or…were you just taught that if you were going to do it then make sure you don’t get caught? Boys will be boys…until they assault and rape and then they are just criminals. Pretty simple to understand right?

If not, read up on it here

I am tired. Tired of always being on guard. Tired of having to check my facial expressions, emotions, and attire against the preconceived notions of how male society thinks a woman should behave. I’m fucking tired and no longer care if I hurt your feelings by speaking up when you say shitty things to me. I will no longer sit idly by while certain men tell me what a “lady” should be.

YOU’RE NOT A FUCKING WOMAN SO HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT WOMEN!!! I would never proclaim to be an expert on men but, yet…women aren’t even allowed to be experts on their own minds, attitudes, likes, dislikes, jobs, education, pay scale or their own vaginas. Fuck that!

Lady? Why should any of us be a LADY when abusers, molesters, and rapists hide behind the mask of GENTLEMAN all the time. Women have very legitimate reasons to not believe or trust men yet we are vilified as bitches, she-devils, banshees, sluts, whores and on and on just because we might have wounded a man’s pride somewhere down the line 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years ago?

Your pride? I would take a bruised ego and dented pride any day over being choked unconscious, slapped, hair ripped out of my head, drug across a room, thrown down stairs, beaten, stabbed, shot, raped and murdered any day. Pride! Get out of here with that!

Seriously, get out of here with that nonsense and start doing better. We are better than this and I’m ashamed at how little we have progressed. Boys can be tenderhearted, kind, loving and considerate just like girls can. It’s how they are taught to interact with others that makes the difference.

The issue of abuse of women will never end until men are taught to value themselves enough to invest in their hearts and stop being so fearful of women taking over. Aren’t you tired of this shit yet? I know I am.

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.