"The blue marker makes me look like the ocean!"
My kids are alike in many ways, but they are definitely individuals in ways I've tried to articulate in the past.
Yesterday, they gave me a single story that illustrates each of them, perfectly.
We had to drop off Kaylee at camp, and after the paperwork and unpacking in the cabin, everyone was supposed to assemble at 'the field' to say goodbyes and play games.
So we went down there, and see about forty kids milling around, visiting, et cetera. There's a makeshift kickball field, and a couple boys about a year younger than Kaylee, kicking a soccer ball back and forth.
Sean goes over near them, and is watching intently.
One of the kids notices this, and veers off his direction, letting the soccer ball roll over near the edge of the field by the trees and long grass.
"Do you want a ball too?" he asks Sean, extending a old, dirty, yellow rubber ball. "You can have this one. Do you want it?"
He keeps offering it, and asking, over and over, until Sean finally shrugs and reaches for it.
At which point the kid chucks it backwards over his own shoulder and has a good laugh with his buddy.
And here are my kids:
Sean frowns at the kid, shrugs as if to say "whatever man, I don't even know you, and that ball was gross anyway" and stalks off to do something else.
Kaylee, who'd been standing next to me, takes a couple steps forward and starts in. "Really?!? You're starting off a week of camp, WITH ME, and the first thing you do is pick on my little brother? THAT seemed like a good idea? Really?!?"
And the boy backs off and rejoins his friend. They both realize they don't have the soccer ball anymore. It's over at the edge of the field.
Actually, while all this was going on, Zoe went over and picked it up, and she's standing right where it had rolled.
They walk over, bending over and talking in that "charm little kids" high voice.
"Hiiiii. Can we have that? Can you give that to us?" They pause. "Do you want to kick it to us?"
Zoe looks at the ball, extends it out toward them…
… and CHUCKS it back over her shoulder, into the trees and long grass.
Then walks away, without even looking at them.
So… my kids, in summary:
"Americans will honor and fulfill the Paris Agreement by leading from the bottom up – and there isn't anything Washington can do to stop us," Bloomberg said.
Actually, let me take that "not going to lie" a bit further: I cried a little when I read this, grateful and a little shocked.
I don't know much about Bloomberg (though I like what I do know); I certainly don't know if he's a good person or not.
But the guy just stepped up and promised concrete action to protect my kids, and a ball of tension I didn't even realize I was holding unwound a little.
‘Washington can’t stop Americans’: Michael Bloomberg pledges to pay US share of Paris climate funding
US billionaire Michael Bloomberg has offered $15 million to UN efforts to tackle climate change after President Donald Trump announced he is pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord.
- Man yells, “Make America Great Again!” Before shooting 6 people dead.
- Man wearing, “Make America Great Again” hat murders 2 strangers for no reason.
- A Trump supporter murders 2 police officers because they told him he couldn’t wave a Confederate flag at a high school football game.
- Two men beat a homeless man with a metal bar and urinate on him screaming, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” When asked for a comment about the incident Trump defends them saying, “My supporters are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again.”
- Trump supporter attacks a Hispanic man and a Muslim student at a gas station while yelling, “Trump! Trump! Trump!”
- Trump supporter stabs a black man unprovoked because he was holding hands with a white woman, tells police they need to release him so he can attend a Trump rally that night.
- Trump supporter attacks Muslim woman at airport.
- A Trump supporter punches a 70 year old protester in the face.
- Trump supporter arrested for brutally beating protester.
- 3 Trump supporters arrested planning terrorist attack to kill Muslims.
- Trump supporter confuses an Indian man for a Muslim at restaurant and says, “Things are different now, I don’t want you sand n*ggers sitting next to me.” Before attacking the man.
- “We got a new President you fucking f*ggots.” Men yell as they attack gay man.
- Trump supporters track down and brutally beat an artist because she made a painting of Trump with a small penis.
- Trump supporter who sucker punched protester: “Next time, we might have to kill them.”
- Trump is asked to comment on his supporters brutally beating a black man, he responds with, “Maybe he should have been roughed up,”
- “You fucking gorillas and baby monkeys, We voted for Trump. Trump’s building a wall, beaners, and you’ll be going back to where you belong.” Man yells at black elementary school children unprovoked before he swerves his car at them attempting to hit them.
- Trump supporters beat black man so badly he’s hospitalized for concussion and call him the n-word.
- Trump supporter pepper sprays a 15-year-old girl point-blank in the face after another Trump supporter groped her breasts, shouting “n*gger lover” as she attempted to run away.
- Trump supporter walks up to a black man in the middle of a downtown area and says, “Donald Trump will deport you.” Before punching the black man.
- “Trump is going to win and if you don’t like it I’m going to beat your ass,” Trump supporter yells at random black woman outside of convenient store.
- Man attacks and kicks Muslim airport employee shouting, “Trump is here now, he will get rid of all of you.”
- In 8 months Trump supporters attacked protesters at 20 different rallies.
- Trump supporter tracks down a local Latino Democratic political candidate and tries to run him and his elderly mother over with a car. (The Latino candidate is also a former marine.)
- “This is for Donald Trump!” man yells as he runs up a Latino person and punches them in the head.
- Trump supporter goes to Hillary Clinton rally to disrupt the event, ends up punching someone when asked to leave.
- Trump supporter punches, chokes and slaps protesters on video during rally.
- An angry mob of Trump supporters brutally beat and grab a mans genitals because he held up a, “Republicans Against Trump” sign.
- A Trump supporter yells, “Get your black kids out of here. Do you even have a job? Do you know what a job is, n*gger?” Before physically attacking a black man who had come to the hospital to get help for his sick 2 week old daughter.
- Local Republican Politician sexually assaults a woman by, “grabbing her pussy.” and then says he is allowed to do it because now that Trump is president he doesn’t have to be politically correct.
- Canadian man who was a vocal Trump supporter both online and in person goes into a mosque and murders 6 people.
- Trump supporter physically assaults Comedian on stage for making Anti-Trump Joke.
- Man yells, “Trump” while beating African immigrant cab driver.
- A Trump supporter is arrested for burning a Mosque down.
- A Trump supporter sees a car has pro-gay bumper stickers on it and then follows the car, waiting for the 75 year old driver to get out before brutally attacking him while screaming, “My new president says we can kill all you f*ggots now.”
- A Trump supporter is arrested after brutally attacking gay men outside a McDonald’s. Witnesses describe the aftermath as, “There was blood everywhere.”
- A Muslim refugee gay rights activist is kidnapped and raped by two men in retaliation for, “Trump being mocked.”
- A Trump supporter is arrested on terrorism charges for building bombs he was going to use to kill Muslims.
- Person spray-paints a transgender veterans car with the word “Trump” then sets it on fire.
- A Trump supporter attacks two Muslim women and tries to push over a stroller with a baby in it while screaming, “Get the fuck out of America”
- A Trump supporter tells a random Muslim woman he sees on the street, “I’m voting for Trump because he said he would send all of you terrorists out of this country.” Before attacking her.
- Man shoots out the windows of two businesses from a car while shouting, “Hail Trump.”
It’s fan fiction from someone who posts on Tumblr and AO3 (Archive of Our Own), and it’s fantastic. Really some of the most fun writing I’ve enjoyed in years.
It makes me so goddamn happy, so I’m sharing it because frankly I need things that make me happy these days.
- the one where martha kent has a shotgun and knows how to use it
- the one where everyone goes to smallville for christmas
- the one about bruce wayne trolling twitter
- the one where superman gets a new costume from the guy who’s been drawing his dick #weedhorse69
- the one where bruce wayne is a cantankerous party grandpa
- the one where someone gave batman a toddler
- the one with catwoman as a reverse archaeologist
- the one where catwoman is an art critic and makes batman reinstall snapchat
- the one where batman and catwoman have sex
- the one where lois lane gets drunk
- the one where clark kent saves lois lane by pretending they fucked
- the one with lois lane giving a dubiously consensual hj
- the one where bruce wayne saves women from creeps at parties
- the one with bruce wayne heavily dissociating during sex and it’s actually kind of distressing tbh
- the one where superman cuddles his girlfriend and saves the night
- the one with batman and a duckling
- the one about gothamblr
- the one with the justice league road trip
- the one where batman does ballet
- the one where bruce wayne is a columbo fanboy
- the one where wonder woman and superman and batman are all trying to masturbate and things get weird
- the one with batman and harley quinn grocery shopping
- the one where nightwing doesn’t need to be saved from his own dick
- the one with batman meeting superman for the first time and also lois lane bangs a billionaire and she’s pretty smug about it
- wonder woman and catwoman bang in batman’s bed because he’s busy brooding or whatever it is he does
- batman’s sadness spreadsheet
- batquinn sex pollen fic that turned out cute somehow
- laurel lance had a one night stand with bruce wayne and now she’s a superhero and it’s awk
- selina kyle spends all day in bed, batman pets cats
- poison ivy and harley quinn break into bruce wayne’s office
- batman needs wonder woman’s help breaking a terrible curse that turns him into a savage beast
- someone is making a batman show and batman has opinions
- superman doesn’t want to misgender a crow
- the league gossips about black canary’s new hairdo
- tim drake’s social media featuring bruce wayne getting banned from walmart
I mean, members of his campaign staff could have been on the phone with lots of different foreign countries. It didn't have to be that one. They could have been on the phone with friendly foreign countries like England, or France, or Spain.
They could have been on the phone with countries that we're not particularly friendly with that we don't take especially seriously as a threat. Like Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia, or North Korea or something like that.
But no. It had to be Russia. They had to pick the one country that literally every generation of voting Americans is going to think of as the biggest baddest most ENEMY enemy country that we have.
It's like a caricature. It's like a cartoon of people being evil and corrupt. It's like they thought if they were bad enough, they'd be so bad no one would take any of it seriously, because it all sounds so ridiculous.
If this were an espionage novel, no one would publish it. It's ridiculous; it has every terrible trope in it, executed poorly, and obviously.
And it's only chapter 3.
Yesterday, I shared a thing regarding hate speech and how it is/isn’t protected under the first amendment, then I said:
Always. Punch. Nazis.
And I stand by that.
However, Dave made some good points about how that sort of thing is going to look to thus-far neutral people, observing the whole mess. It’s hard to look like heroes, when you’re clearly not being very nice.
And I see the point about winning the hearts of bystanders, but when some guy is arguing for the “benign genocide” of my family, I feel the situation has moved past Diplomacy checks.
Debate isn’t available for those talking points and, if necessary, I will personally deny that option to the speaker.
Neither do I consider it “hitting a guy cuz he said something that made me mad.” (People do that ALL the time, and I don’t hit anyone over it.)
I consider it defense. Pure and simple.
I mean… there’s a lot more I could say about it, but I said most of it already, mostly about how none of this makes me happy, in the least.
To be clear: saying “punch nazis” isn’t bravado on my part, or some kind of machismo. It’s probably not even a smart option for someone in his mid-forties.
It’s a line in the sand.
Everyone’s line is going to be somewhere different. I understand that.
Everyone sees the country and our people in a different light. Some (many, probably) don’t see it in the same light (or darkness) that I do. Some look and think we’re near a precipice.
I think we’re ON the precipice, and it’s crumbling.
My niece lives in downtown Denver (a very progressive, blue area of the country), and she walks to work every day constantly trying to avoid notice, to be invisible, because of what can and does happen, even here. She’s 25 with a master’s degree and she’s averting her eyes for fear of giving offense as a black woman.
My niece was punched by an old white guy at a Broncos game this year, because she was there and he was mad, and my other niece, standing there, couldn’t do anything, because everyone nearby was mad and old and white and she’s none of those things, so she just had to let it be. To stand and take it.
To be obedient.
Because if she ISN’T that, she’s instantly an angry (uppity) black girl who dared to go into a public place, and there are points in time right now in this country where that is a death sentence.
The America I see today, close at hand, is just fine. Yes. Fucking incredible, but yes. There are not-so-distant storm clouds I can make out regarding civil rights and education and the environment, but really are they going to affect me and people like me? To judge by the reactions of those around me… no. Things are fine.
I can imagine a lot of bad, or project forward far enough to see the bad coming, even pretty clearly, but that’s it. It’s not around me.
So I look at things with my nieces’ eyes.
In my nieces’ eyes, some of the most progressive areas in our country host skirmishes in a race war most people don’t even acknowledge is happening.
In Ferguson or Flint, that war has been going on for years, the government is providing aid to the inarguable BAD guys, letting American children drink poison, letting their parents face beatings and worse for speaking out, and there’s no help coming.
So maybe someone doesn’t get why I draw a line in the sand in the first place.
Some nod, but they think my line is drawn too far. I’m overreacting.
Some people want to know what took me so long, because they’re already bleeding.
See, THEY have been trying to win the hearts of bystanders for years, and those bystanders don’t even hear them, let alone help.
Maybe the person on the sidelines who needed to be convinced was me, and I finally am, and that’s IT: there aren’t any more allies coming. Maybe everyone who was going to listen already has.
So I’m taking the opportunities to help that present themselves: volunteering, donations, learning more about public service, and lots and lots of “Trying to make people more aware of what’s going on.” I don’t, though, know exactly what to do to help, or if I’m doing enough.
But I do know what I’m not going to do.
I’m not going to be nice.
“Nice people made the best Nazis. My mom grew up next to them. They got along, refused to make waves, looked the other way when things got ugly, and focused on happier things than “politics.” They were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away.”
“You know who weren’t nice people?”
We still live in a mostly polite society, mostly under the rule of law, but that is (as was chillingly demonstrated during the first days of the Muslim Ban, by the CBP) a fragile framework – perhaps no more than a fiction, when push comes to shove.
I want that polite society. I want that rule of law.
But I also know that there’s a point where, history has proven time and again, you either Hit, or you Obey.
Maybe we’re not at that point. Maybe we never get there. I sincerely hope so.
But when I hear “the world is better off without the people in your family, and here’s how I propose to remove them…”
That is not when I choose ‘Obey.’
No Time To Be Nice: Now Is Not The Moment To Remain Silent
Naomi Shulman makes the post-election case for speaking out.