A rather Christmassy look for Dead Air! (It's supposed to sparkle!)
I guess I don't mind telling yall, yesterday's entry was the hardest one I've ever had to write. I even have a hard time reading it back. It took me all weekend.
I had just learned Kathy was in the ICU, when I learned of the death of my friend Sue Urbas via Christmas card, and felt the scary onslaught of the Pale Horse, which I described back on December 5th.
Aye, it's been a rough week.
I realize one of the unpleasant parts of aging is that you are LEFT BEHIND (deliberate joke)... and maybe that's why that concept is so frightening? What a terrifying thing to tell the children, that everyone you love will leave you and you will be left behind. Meditating on this awhile, I've decided it's a form of child abuse.
It's bad enough that this will happen to you anyway, if you live long enough.
I knew I had to tell the truth in my obit of Kathy; ironically, she is the one who taught me how to do that.
Sue Urbas and I were not good friends, but were in the same social circle at one time. She was probably the most tireless activist I have ever known. She was the person we all compare ourselves to, the one who didn't compromise her hard-core values with cable TV or mass-market googaws for her house. She was employed by the old Northend Recycling Center, which was located in the old Northwood Community Center in Columbus, Ohio. (Someday, that place deserves it's own post, if I could find some decent photos. Certainly, I never thought to take any. The story of how an old elementary school turned into a hippie-haven is an amazing tale all its own.) Sue was one of the managers of this building, as was a guy who was an extra in the movie Brubaker, filmed in Ohio. (I can never remember his name, but whenever I see the movie replayed on American Movie Classics, I always wait for him to pop up in the shot with Robert Redford: There he is! I knew that guy!) The community center burned down, not surprisingly, apparently due to arson. The spiffy, shiny community center that was erected in it's place is a bureaucratic replica, populated (of course) by various bureaucrats.
One thing I noticed about the above-linked obituary of Sue, is no mention of her radical feminism. I grow extremely weary of the much-repeated stereotype of second-wave feminists, that we were all middle-class, shrinking violets engaged in endless tea-and-sympathy consciousness-raising and theory-reading, listening to Meg Christian records. Sue was nothing like that at all (which is possibly why no one thought to mention her feminism in the obituary?)... An organizer of Women Against Rape, she also managed one of the first homeless shelters in Central Ohio; she worked her ass off for unjustly-charged, poor black male defendants. She helped organize the series of punk concerts called "NOWHERE" (as in, Nowhere 79, Nowhere 80). One of these included the late Ronald Koal, a memorable local star of the time. She was also instrumental in organizing the yearly COMFEST, from the time of it's inception.
Left: Shirtless Eric Moore channels Ted Nugent, as he poses in a 70s photo with his band The Godz. (He was wearing shiny long black leather coats long before Neo and Trinity, too.)
I recall Sue was once closely associated with local scary heavy-metal dude Eric Moore, one of those weird friendships nobody could quite figure out. But I thought it was great. It just added to the Sue-legend, just like her friendships with the rough-and-tumble ex-convicts she was always helping to get released on parole.
Thus, she was not a typical radical feminist, by any means. (Are any of us, really? Or is that a stereotype that finally needs to be put aside, at long last?)
Rest in peace, Sue. We will miss you.
After five weeks, I am finally back to work with my big boot/leg-cast thingie... it is humongous, awkward and gets caught on everything. I am somewhat amazed at how everyone thinks it's okay to joke about it and call me gimpy and suchlike. Is this what disabled people have to put up with, or are people more circumspect if they know it is a permanent vs temporary disability? Is the whole "joke" in calling me "gimpy"--the fact that I am really not gimpy--so it's okay to joke about it? I have shushed at least two people (who I am not willing to argue with at length), telling them someone else might hear them. I am trying to give them the message that it isn't cool to say that, but one person just replied, "OOOooops! You're right!" and covered his mouth. Then he whispered it to me the rest of the fucking day. (Now, I ask you, is that funny or what?)
Last week, I was slowly (and rather painfully) hobbling over to an empty checkout line to pay for something at a local establishment, when a very fit, younger woman galloped in front of me, so she could be first. Oh, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I did not cuss her out, but unbelievably, she kept looking at me and half-smiling, apologetically, obviously hoping I wasn't offended by her abject rudeness. (Yes, bitch, I am plenty offended, now just pay for your shit and get out of the way, please.)
I am sure that kind of thing happens to disabled people all the time. So, I have to admit, it's been a learning experience...not necessarily the good kind.
Why hasn't Politico covered the arson at Wasilla Bible Church, Sarah Palin's church? Why did I have to read about that in my local paper, but haven't heard it covered extensively in the news? (And as you all know, I am newshound extraordinaire.)
Accelerant poured around Sarah Palin’s church before fire, ATF says
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • December 15, 2008
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- An accelerant was poured around the exterior of Gov. Sarah Palin’s church before fire heavily damaged the building, federal investigators said Monday.Okay, look, assholes: I don't like Sarah Palin either, as a random search of this blog makes very clear. But if you have issues with Palin, what you do, is DEMONSTRATE in FULL VIEW of EVERYONE at one of her rallies. You do not creep around like a comic-book villain under the safety of darkness and burn a fucking church down with people in it.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the accelerant was poured at several locations around the church, including entrances.
Lab tests will determine the type of substance involved. Possibilities include gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel or even lamp oil, Agent Nick Starcevic said.
The blaze was set Friday night at the main entrance of the Wasilla Bible Church while a small group, including two children, were inside. No one was injured. Fire authorities were called to the scene at 9:40 p.m., unusually early for many arson fires, Starcevic said.
“It’s kind of odd to do in the evening hours,” he said. “I can tell you that most of the arson fires I’ve worked on are late nighttime, usually when no one is there.”
Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, was not at the church at the time of the fire but visited Saturday. Her spokesman, Bill McAllister, said Monday that Palin knew about the accelerants Saturday morning before a statement she authorized was released that day.
During her visit at the church, Palin told an assistant pastor she was sorry if the fire was connected to the “undeserved negative attention” the church has received since she became the vice presidential candidate Aug. 29, McAllister said.
Wasilla Deputy Police Chief Greg Wood said authorities had no immediate suspects or motive.
Whoever did this, you are a swine and a coward. You deserve to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
And how is everyone else's week going?