A Break In The Storm

Palace intrigue abounds. Full-scale war looms threateningly on the horizon. The Supreme Court tilts rightward, promising future disappointments. The media lurches from narrative to narrative, frantically trying to piece together a coherent story.

A lot’s going on. A lot is always going on. A populace overstuffed on alarming tidbits of information fed to them 24 hours a day reflexively turn back to old distractions. Besides, it feels like a lull in the nightmare, not measured in weeks or months as in times past, but days.

We’ll take it. Heaven knows we need it. This new normal is exhausting. A return to even a poor verisimilitude of sanity could be over in an hour.

(Year Zero/Day Eighty-Nine)

Happy Trans Day of Visibility

The transgender community has made some progress in recent years, but there is still a long way to go.  As wonderful as it is to have a day of visibility, knowing that there is a day of the year where all the trans community is asking for is to be seen should be a sign of how much further we all have to go.

Visibility is indeed growing, but the danger of simply existing and being trans at the same time is still very real.  The data might have updated recently, but as of ten years ago the average time between a trans murder was three days.

Laverne Cox, arguably the most visible trans person that isn’t related to a certain “E!” family, has done many interviews and appearances as she’s become more successful.  And as trans rights and visibility grows she makes more appearances in support of her brothers and sisters.  But more than once during an interview she’s basically had to ask either her interviewer or a rival interviewee to stop talking about trans sexy bits.

We’re not there yet, but there is some progress in visibility.  Alex Newell was Unique on Glee.  The aforementioned Cox is both Sophia Burset  on Orange is the New Black and Cameron Wirth in Doubt.  Jamie Clayton is Nomi Marks on Sense8.  There are also a handful of films that have a trans character, some even played by trans actors, so the progress is happening.

To close on an optimistic note I’d like to share a video that GLAAD put together over on their instragram.  “Visibility is a collective thing,” Says Jacob Tobia.  “We’ve gotta support each other.”

It Was The Brat-Best Of Times, It Was The Brat-Worst Of Times

My heart goes out hard-working, YHWH-fearing, paisley-tied, red-blooded Americans like Dave Brat. Dave valiantly rose above his hardscrabble roots of being born into a middle class family, earning a Ph. D in economics, working as a consultant for the World Bank and serving as chair of Randolph–Macon College’s School of Economics to unseat the RINO Congressman from Virginia Eric Cantor during the Tea Party revolt of 2011.

Brat, along with his T.P. compatriots in the House, fought the good fight against the federal government operating with a functioning budget, people with pre-existing conditions keeping their insurance, women having access to reproductive services, the LGBTQ community being treated like they’re not morally defective and refugees from war-torn countries being given safe harbor.

But now, Brat faces his most dangerous enemy yet: women who don’t agree with him politically.

Representative Dave Brat of Virginia, a Tea Party tough guy, said recently that he’s “getting hammered” by women who want to keep Obamacare. They are getting “in my grill,” he said. “They come up — ‘When’s your next town hall?’ ” … His tormentors responded with plans for a symbolic “grilling” of “Brat-Worst” in front of his office.

One wonders if the hammers these angry women wield are closer to Mjölner or Maker. Either way, it sounds like the poor man is suffering right now. Faced with explosive populist rage, the kind he liked when it helped him and later Donald Trump get elected, Brat acted like a tough guy and

rejected holding town halls until “our first 100 days’ agenda is implemented.” … Republicans are squirming from coast to coast. The biggest draw is the Affordable Care Act, whose supporters are following the Tea Party playbook and storming legislator meetings much as anti-Obamacare protesters did in 2009. It’s a harrowing turn of the screw for legislators who rode that fervor into office.

Please keep Rep. Brat in your thoughts and prayers. He and his allies in Congress have been subjected to a truly harrowing experience.

(Year Zero/Day Twenty-Five)