Here’s something I put together for a friend:
Naturally, my heart goes out to the victims of the tragedy in Santa Fe, Texas. Despite the lethargy and numbness such events have had on me recently, I was inspired to write a little something in the style of one of my October plays.
Two PEOPLE are watching television. Or, not so much watching as looking at it numbly.
1: Another shooting.
1: Thoughts and prayers?
2: Already out there.
1: Why not do more than just thoughts and prayers?
2: Heard that too.
1: Well, what are they going to do?
2: The genius Lieutenant Governor has a plan.
2: Schools need fewer entrances.
1: Oh, dear god.
2: And we’re back to thoughts and prayers.
2: You know what I’m really dreading?
2: You already know the survivors are going to get attacked again. By the gun nuts. They can’t just get attacked once and be allowed to pull their lives back together somehow, but if they don’t throw themselves on the altar of the almighty gun and say exactly what the cult of the almighty gun demands of them, they’re going to be attacked again.
1: Have you seen anything like that yet?
2: This time, not so far. But it’s going to happen. It’s as predictable as
1 and 2: Thoughts and prayers.
So, I’ve been putting off sharing these since the first, but I wrote about how I made a month-long project of embracing failure in experimenting with visual arts. And I am happy to say that not only did I learn quite a bit from my failures, but even that some of my experiments were not failures. So, here is a representative sample of the 31:
Hello world! I know it’s been a long time since I posted anything. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been up to anything, though. As always, I spend my March on some creative project. Past years, my March project has been in some way related to my writing, but this year I decided on something a little different.
It all started when I ran across a video about an Art Library where they are soliciting sketchbooks from people, whether they are professional artists or not. Well, I don’t know about if I actually want to send anything in, but the fact that such a place exists makes me so happy at such a deep level, and I knew right away that if nothing else, I wanted to make such a sketchbook, whether I would wind up sending it out to the wider world or not.
I’ve dabbled in a number of visual arts media and I’ve been holding on to the supplies for so long that I decided I had to create some piece every day for a month. My main goal: to experiment and not get down on myself when I made a mistake. Since something else I’ve dabbled in is binding homemade journals, I also decided that once the month was up, I would collect the resulting artwork into a self-contained and eclectic little volume:
Although, because it is one of my creative projects, I did wind up with a daily writing element after all. Since so many of my projects were experimental in nature, I thought they would need some context, so I wrote—by hand, which also takes me out of my comfort zone—a one-page summary or “lab note” to accompany each day’s project.
About halfway through the month when I realized the daily heading made it look like a diary, and while I was thinking of something completely different, I got hit upside the head with the perfect title:
Like so many others, I’ve found the sexual harassment allegations against Senator Al Franken to be especially distressing. The allegations are shocking, of course, and I want to make it clear right from the start that I am not going to excuse them. But I’d be lying if I were to say that I haven’t been a fan for a very long time, own several of his books (including one I got him to sign when he spoke in town a few years ago) and can’t quickly dismiss everything he represented to me before I learned about the allegations the way I could for others who have been implicated recently. I have found—and still do find—his humor very agreeable to my tastes, gentle and ironic. More importantly, he uses that humor to effectively argue the logic and humanity of progressive policies and pick apart the cruel nonsense of the neoconservative menace. But I saw the picture of him pretending to grope (if he is in fact pretending) an unconscious woman… and I most definitely am not laughing.
However, there are some points that speak to our current cultural moment and the politics of whataboutism and false equivalencies from the right where it is instructive and important to dispel any notion that this situation is in any way equivalent to the allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, or others who are facing similar allegations.
- Senator Franken made a very contrite apology which was quickly accepted by his accuser. In this apology, he acknowledged that his actions were inexcusable and did not attempt to wriggle out of accepting responsibility. It doesn’t make what happened all right, but it isn’t nothing. It’s a refreshing change of pace from Weinstein’s excuses, Spacey’s deflections or Moore’s attacks.
- While a major network with a conservative tilt went all out to try to discredit Moore’s accusers and normalize his alleged behavior, nobody in the mainstream “liberal” media went after Franken’s accuser, tried to delegitimize her account, or question her motives. Gosh, it almost looks like most of the mainstream media is interested in uncovering facts while right-wing media is more interested in muddying the water.
Ultimately, I don’t even think I should have a say in the question of whether any of this is enough to save the reputation or the career of Senator Franken. I’d like to hear what women have to say about this, and I’d also want to know whether this is an isolated incident or part of a larger pattern. But I don’t think I’m going overboard here, if we—as a society—decide in the court of public opinion that Al Franken should be ostracized from public life just based on what we already know, why shouldn’t Roy Moore or the President be similarly and proportionally punished? Why are we going to decide that we’ll immediately believe the accuser of a prominent Democrat but instinctively reject the word and physical evidence of anyone who accuses a Republican?
I am writing from the arena formerly known as the Pit. I’ve written before about the overall degradation of the fan experience since the much ballyhooed renovation so I won’t harp on it too much. But there was this that I’m pretty sure wasn’t here the last time I was.
Now, that is a video screen on the support structure for the basket. Because of course there’s advertising on the basket support structure. I’ve thought of a number of places I wouldn’t be surprised to see screens blaring ads at me the next time I come here, but I don’t want to give anyone any ideas…
So, this is the first time I’ve really felt like sharing this. Maybe I needed to hear someone else say it first, as happened at the Tax March I went to in Santa Fe earlier today. An elderly Jewish woman spoke quite eloquently about the rise of antisemitism in America and how this is the first time in her life that she’s ever been afraid in her own country. In America. In 2017, no less. Read the rest of this entry