Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Only 9 more shopping days till Christmas...

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.

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.
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.

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?


Dave Dubya said...

Death. Rudeness. Arson. Alright, you asked for it.

We recently adopted a cute little orphaned tortoise shell kitten that wandered in from the woods.

She was feisty, curious and in everyone's face. At first our other two set-in-their-ways middle aged tabbies resented the newcomer and all that playfulness. That little kitten behavior was beneath their dignity.

But, undaunted, little Mimi Louise kept playing with everything she could find. She never stopped teasing and taunting her older sisters.

Now we have three playful felines and more laughter in the house.

Oliver A. FP said...

I'm always amazed by how offensive people can be. The "gimpy" thing is just appalling. What does one even say to it??

I have nothing useful to say about the other two topics, so I'll stick with "calling someone "gimpy"? WTF?"

John Powers said...

When I was a teen there was a house fire near the tracks so the trolley had to stand still while the fire department acted. Seeing the grave dangers of fires has made me sensitive to fire issues ever since--doing things like complaining loudly about locked fire exits.

There were people in the church when the fire started. Arson is most often seen as an economic crime--obviously not in the Wasilla case--but that's still often how people think of it. I'm with you in being outraged. Arson is a violent crime.

Bryce said...

agree w/oliver: gimpy? i'd tell him to *fuck off*-but then you know me.

JoJo said...

Well I admit to my fair share of being rude in check out lines, but it's usually directed at the decrepit person in front of me who can't hear, can't fill out her check, then questions the price of every single item.

a very public sociologist said...

Is it not the case that her church is associated with the so-called ex-gay movement, that hateful and hurtful effort to screw LGBT christians up even more by trying to "encourage" them to become straight? If that's the case and given the amount of psychological violence these movements have caused, is it not possible the attack could have come from this direction?

PS hope your leg gets better soon. Why not leave anyone in any doubt and paint your cast black and festoon it with strips of leather, zips and buckles? ;)

Marion said...

I hope your cast comes off soon, dear Daisy. The world will be a brighter place. You've worn it a long time!

ArrogantWorm said...

I like the decorating-your-cast idea. Quite a lot, if I had a cast I'd probably doodle Carrol's Alice in Wonderland all over it like I used to do to my notebooks. You could always put some washable tattoo's on 'em, have some dragons or peace signs =D

Let's see, my week; Right eye went out again this week, which prompted me to start research, yet - again -, for possible causes. S'been doing it way too often, now s'no less than four or five times a month. And it's the good one, too :( On the upside I'm supposed to be getting an opthamologist appointment instead of that damnable optometrist. Went Holiday shopping, found a wonderful haul within my budget (which is a whopping forty bucks this year, thank god I've got an artistic bent. I dunno what I'd do for gifts if I didn't).

Been listening to a lot of tom Waits and using a red pointer light to play with my cat. She'll run after it, but I notice that she'll stop after a bit, turn around and -look at the pointer in my hand -. First cat I've known that seems to recognize where the light's coming from, even if she doesn't know that the light isn't solid.

As per disability, they're just as asshole-ish if they know it isn't temporary, just in a bit of a different way. Instead of calling you something that you're 'not', they'll 'ask' you why you can do such and such instead of whatever-they-think-you're-currently capable of. Can't go out of the lines, see? Slumming is 'funny', but rising above your station is a no-no.

ArrogantWorm said...

Well, 'rising above yer station' = either - you - shouldn't be able to do that (because -I- can't) and/or yer faking. But my week so far's been oddly good, all things considered.

YogaforCynics said...

I'd say if there's anyword that's been dragged through the mud as badly as "feminism," it could only be "liberal." A friend used to (and maybe still does--we've lost touch) ask her students (college freshmen) to raise their hands if they were feminists. Few, if any, would do so. Then she'd ask them to raise their hands if they believed in equal pay, etc. and all of the women and most of the men raised their hands. "Guess what?" she said, "you're feminists."

belledame222 said...

augh, never rains but it--I can only think in cliches right now. Sorry, it sounds like a fucked time all told. :(

my week: not much, folks are in town; my 90 year old grandfather is here as well, speaking of aging and difficulty getting around. Truth is, he's rather amazing overall, still volunteer works five days a week, including three days reading to fourth graders. He is beginning to be a bit alarmingly unsteady on his pins, though (walks stooped and with a cane, but still walks and climbs stairs); nearly fell a few times. It doesn't help that he's stubborn and proud, of course; tries to hold the door open for other people too, won't take Dad's arm going down the stairs...

other than that, not much. I've rarely liked this time of year, it always seems like fucked things tend to cluster around the "most wonderful time of the year," and that's not even counting the GODDAM HORRIFYING POP CHRISTMAS CAROLS MAKE THEM STOOOOOOOOOP

Mista Jaycee said...

Kick azz post!
I second that! Third it! To the umpteen power!

Octogalore said...

Great post.

Condolences on the loss of your friend Sue, who sounds like an amazing person.

Agree with you about activism vs violence.

And hope the leg gets better soon! (Nope, the whispers aren't funny, nor is the galloping woman).

flawedplan said...

Hi Daisy, I had a great aunt named that. Am enjoying your writing, skipping around the blog, I got here via a link at Hymes, Charlottesville Prejudice Watch. I have a Women Against Rape keychain and still use it after 25 years. It's made of steel, and looks like a cat, the two ears are pointed tips that are meant to puncture the would-be rapists eyes, it's a perfect fit.
I've never had to use it but have brandished the keychain over the decades and it does the job.
It got me in hot water at the austin airport following security bs after 9/11, where they designated it a lethal weapon but they let me keep it. And in Cincinnati during the 80s after leaving a concert at Bogarts I was showing off my WAR keychain and a cop came over and asked to examine it, I thought he was going to arrest me, but instead he asked where he could get one for his daughter! I love my keychain and am thankful for learning a little about this woman and can imagine her hand in providing it, her combination of purpose and wit comes through in your post. RIP