The face of performance under abuse.

The vox populi argues whether or not Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina went too far in her comments¹ during the sentencing of Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor.

And other news outlets publish victim’s statements.

So as a reminder, I would like to use this space to celebrate some of the amazing athleticism and performance of a few survivors while under the good doctor’s care suffering sexual abuse and molestation when the cameras were put away:

Jordyn Wieber:

Gabby Douglas:

McKayla Maroney:

Simone Biles:

Aly Raisman:

I watched these Olympics thinking what amazing athletes. What presence! What grace! Give them all the points!

We did not know what was going on backstage. And why did it take so long and so many to report before any action was taken?

– Ugh. I just need to stop here today.


¹ From other opinions I’ve tripped across, during the sentencing phase of a trial, a judge’s statements are from the point-of-view of “we the people.”  In my unhumble, nonlegal and there-is-no-justice-but-karma’s-a-bitch opinion, Judge Aquilina did not overstep. She was IMO, essentially expressing “hopes and prayers” for Nassar’s future life in prison and as such was on board with the small group of “we the people” at coffee today.

New shoes.

This showed up on my Twitter feed last weekend:

skinner (@elizaskinner) “Women over 30 — what’s something you wish you had known in your 20s?” 18 Jan 2018, 11:33 AM. Tweet.

owl, very expensive (@vxpowl) “Cultivate relationships of all sorts with older women. Less surprises as you fill their shoes, less anxiety over leaving your old shoes behind.” 19 Jan 2018, 7:49 PM. Tweet.


I was a latecomer to the ball.  When we first met, Joan moved slower and prefaced stories with “stop me if you’ve heard this before” – aware that the string of memory was thin and unreliable. She was committed but tentative when in motion. Such is age and aging.

But the shoe she left to fill! Over the weekend, I had the privilege to attend her memorial service. She was a strong woman of a certain ageless intellect, curiosity, and strength of will, living with the conviction — “it was the right thing to do.”

  • Joan had an FCF, a First Close Friend because she refused to say “oldest” friend. And in the brief time of our acquaintance, she made me feel I counted, I might be numbered as “Close Friend” too. And I felt special.
  • She dropped some pop music knowledge by singing all the words – multiple verses and the chorus — to Depeche Mode’s cover of Route 66, (1987-ish) and her son’s friends were stunned. Her cover of “mom, ” the old and stodgy, was blown.
  • Working voter registration, she was excited about the poetry slam happening that night, too.
  • Haiti, 1983. She held a toddler who was amazed or frightened by the middle-aged foreign white woman. And as she held him, he had an accident on the front of her shirt. Oh well. She took it all in. It happens.

And right things:

  • She was an early adopter of recycling and reusing. No waste. It was the right thing to do.
  • She believed in the importance of activism and civil rights. While living in Atlanta, Georgia, she volunteered as an assistant in the office of Coretta Scott King.  It was the right thing to do. (And whoa! I would’ve liked to hear the stories.)
  • She brought the activism home. She lived in a tony suburb of Milwaukee and while pushing a stroller, she knocked on neighbors’ doors to solicit support for affordable housing. Doors slammed in her face. And I wonder at the pain she must have felt to learn more about her neighbors than she wanted to know, but she persisted.  It was the right thing to do.

And Joan was a fierce alto and so am I!

And Joan remained bright-eyed and curious — of a certain generation yet not defined by generation or age.

And I want to grow up and be all that too!


Back to that initial tweet: “Less surprises as you fill their shoes. Less anxiety over leaving your old shoes behind.”

And we are surprised at the size of the shoes Cinderella Joan left when the clock struck midnight but filling new shoes and leaving the old behind is the right thing to do.

Thank you, Joan.

 

 

On this TGIF Friday!

And we love our redundancy. Thank God It’s Friday Friday!

And government shutdown is likely. For the record, the GOP currently controls muddles along in the Senate, House, and Executive branches of government. Essentially, the GOP is playing with a majority of political marbles and they have the shooter — the big marble used to knock other marbles out of the ring. Prescedense OTUS, their shooter, isn’t very good at marbles though.  Golf is more his bag. But we mix metaphors and we digress.

The previous government shutdown in 2013 was over funding for the ACA during the Obama Administration.  That shutdown was driven by … the … GOP in a fight to delay or defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Fast forward to 2018, same dance, different song. Instead of dancing with healthcare insurance, we’re dancing to the new tune, DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. And the GOP is again taking the lead in the dance toward shutdown.

Shutdowns are more expensive than the Prescedense golf outings and the dollars don’t measure the stress of those affected but the DNC is standing ground on a DACA replacement or agreement.  And good!  The lead in this dance is a  heavy lumbering clod the GOP.  Supposedly, there was a bi-partisan bill on DACA but complaints about the deal — “maximum amnesty, minimum border security, and no cuts to legal immigration” — are deal breakers for … the GOP.

Let’s break those deal breakers down.

  • Amnesty is an official pardon for people who have been convicted of political offenses. Dreamers were children brought here with little or no choice.
  • Border security. Children raised on this side of the border are adults living here NOW. Deal with your issues of insecurity over an unsecured border in other legislation.
  • No cuts to legal immigration.  Don’t tie legal immigration to dreamers. They were children. They are adults. Make a way for legal US citizenship.

If there is no deal for the dreamers, the US will become an exporter of educated, tax-paying contributing legal-status seeking citizenry refugees. Sit with that while the government shuts down.


Read also US refugees: Misplaced persons.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

It is a statement, a sentence, not just a movement, not just a fad.

In a post that is now so last year, I copped to being a ‘Becca’ white woman in the whole of the ‘Becky’ taxonomy.  As stated:

“Keeping in mind that I don’t know what to do or what I’m doing, I will push beyond my Becca-ness of being ‘willing to do the work … but not really.’

I will do work. Really. “

And for me the challenge became discovering a way to 4) Use your privilege to support marginalized movements without drawing attention to … me.  How could I be a quiet, present, and strong ally? Other than pinning up every day which can be seen as an empty gesture used to assuage my own ‘guilt’, how can I be heard without saying a thing?

I’m open to wearing a ‘Black Lives Matter’ t-shirt, but that seems too easy, too obvious, and if the BLM movement doesn’t persist, then what?  And my inner optimist hopes I’d be the butt of a joke for wearing a dated ‘Black Lives Matter’ t-shirt when I’m old, but then my inner cynic says “shut up, systemic racism will be here long after you’re gone.”

Much like pinning up, wearing a slogan t-shirt could be interpreted as an empty gesture. I needed to create something of my own that unapologetically makes the statement ‘Black Lives Matter’, and it struck me while working on another project that Morse Code is the perfect medium.

And so this is my artist’s statement regarding the Black Lives Matter: Morse Code collection:

The challenge is to be a present, silent, strong ally making the clear statement ‘Black Lives Matter.’

Morse Code is heard in the darkness.

Darkness doesn’t see color.

Be seen to be heard.Morse code - BLM freehand (2)

Black Lives Matter.


Black Lives Matter: Morse Code t-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee cups merchandise available from Zazzle via the Viva Boutique Vending page. After-tax profits will be donated to Black Lives Matter. (I get a small % from each sale.)

The BLM: Morse Code design was my own vanity project as I want the statement Black Lives Matter to be as easy and accessible as a Roswell or a Saint Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage t-shirt.


The following is included for fun and advanced reading beyond the basic blog post.

I entered some Viva facts in the 500letters.org Artist Statement Generator and it spit out the following which I thought was spot-on, perceptive, and fun. Not unlike a horoscope. Try it and see what kind of artist you’re meant to be.  “Between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves.” Oh? Really.

Viva Escritora

Viva Escritora (United States) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By applying abstraction, Escritora touches various overlapping themes and strategies. Several reoccurring subject matters can be recognized, such as the relation with popular culture and media, working with repetition, provocation and the investigation of the process of expectations.

Her artworks often refer to pop and mass culture. Using written and drawn symbols, a world where light-heartedness rules and where rules are undermined is created. By using popular themes such as sexuality, family structure, and violence, her works references post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.

Her work doesn’t reference recognizable form. The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted. By demonstrating the omnipresent lingering of a ‘corporate world’, she creates intense personal moments masterfully created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer round and round in circles.

Her works demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves.

 

 

 

 

A Sunday Sundry Assortment

What a whirlwind week it has been!  The list I made last week gives me lots of topics to investigate and focus on that aren’t  politics, but here I am again with my binoculars pointed toward Washington … go figure.

Dodgeball: White Goodman

The character White Goodman in the movie “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”, (2004) — reminds me of the Prescedense — clueless, cheap, arrogant, an *ss**le. He thinks Kate Veatch is attracted to him because he is attracted to her.  She is not.  He thinks she works for him. She doesn’t. He believes his privilege and position make him a winner.  He isn’t.

So when it was reported that the Prescedense loves his McDonalds, I can’t shake the closing credit image of White Goodman, antagonist, chowing down on his sorrows.  I do not include a link. You have to Google it yourself, (‘White Goodman Dodgeball closing credits’).

You have been warned.  You cannot unsee it.

White House smoke & mirrors.

From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks and this week it was reported that during a discussion of immigration policy, the Prescedense referred to certain countries as ‘shithole countries.

And yes, I’m taken aback. And no, I’m not surprised.

And so this week, the New York Times with their motto of “all the news that’s fit to print,” gained a word that’s now fit to print — shithole.

Is the plural of POTUS, POTII? Asking for a friend.

Well, previous POTII have used salty language in White House meetings and it has not made national news in such a bigly way.  Why now? Who decided we should all be outraged over his language? The words from his mouth reflect the abundance in his heart and we are not surprised. But this time, this administration, someone in the room and someone in the MSM decided Teflon Don’s pronouncement — his exact words —  were news worthy.

No, with the current cage match the Prescedense is waging with the office of President OTUS, respect is gone.  Trump did not respect the office before he was elected. He doesn’t respect or step-up to provide behavior, the gravitas expected of someone sitting POTUS.  His tweets, his statements — winners, losers — he treats his role like it’s reality TV. And for the most part, the MSM treats the events in the cage, the events under the big tent like entertainment.

But it is smoke &and mirrors.  While you’re busy twittering on and on about ‘shithole countries’, magicians work on the other bigger s*it that’s happening.

And we are not entertained. (Link: “Trump’s racism is more than rhetoric – it forms policy and ruins lives”, by Sarah Kendzior.)

 

S*it*ole.

I like asterisking the ‘h’s in shithole.  It looks almost foreign.  S’it ole. Maybe it is a greeting. A term of endearment.

Word Mash-up: Pronounciation

Pronounciation (n): A bold declaration of an alternative way of pronouncing a word.

Pronounciation is a mashup of the words pronounce (v): declare or announce, typically formally or solemnly and pronunciation (n): the way a word is pronounced. And by way of example, we offer the following pronounciations:

Shi•the•ad:  SHY-thê-äd

As•sho•le:  as-SHO-lay

Bastard is still BAS-tard though.

Wheel of Fortune: Public Service Announcement

If you’re ever a contestant on Wheel of Fortune and you’re spotted the letters R, S, T, L, N, and E, the solution to:

S – – T – – L E

– – – N T R – E S

is ‘SHITHOLE COUNTRIES’ as stated by a R – – – S T  – S S – – L E.

MSM: Stop it. Get out from under the tent.

Bark, bark, bark! Get angry. Stay angry.

This headline from OZY captures the mission of the MSM: “Annoyed, Frustrated, and Outraged? You need this Nigerian word.”

I am reminded that when you enter a circus, a zoo, a barn, a smelly place, it stinks and after then after you acclimate, it really doesn’t smell at all.  The MSM is still trying to tell us that is it smelly in here.  It is smelly in the Trump circus. We know.  Make note and move on.

The circus is on the move. Follow the money. Income tax statements. Real estate transactions. Follow the documents that get signed, the policies that are implemented.  You are killing us with the chase to publish click-bait. We are sick of the diet of circus cotton candy.

Drilling in Hawaii

For 45 minutes Saturday, Hawaiians were exercised in a drill that had kicked off with the words ‘THIS IS NOT A DRILL.’

How is this? I have participated in bulk electric system restoration drills.  The #1 Rule: Every statement, every announcement, every conversation and announcement end contains the words “THIS IS A DRILL.”

If the Prescedense had not been preoccupied with golf, would we now be busy at another war?

SMDH.

DNC & the SOTU address

Rep. Maxine Waters and Rep. John Lewis among others will not attend the State of the Union address this year.  And that is their right, their perogative, and good Lord, they’ve earned it.

For Democrats who choose to attend —  I mean, you will have primo seats at the circus — comport yourselves with the same solemnity and respect as at a funeral.

Wear black. No smiles. Solemn all the way around. Pay your respects to the dying.

And I would love to see Kamala Harris deliver the rebuttal in the form of a eulogy celebrating the passing of the traditional American values that are missing from the Trump Administration — truth, liberty, equality, independence … it’s a long list.

 

 

 

2018: A ramblin’ along. It’s a long list.

Everyone loves their New Year’s resolutions until the first contact with the enemy which, in the case of a resolution to blog at a minimum of once a week, is pushing ‘publish’ at least once a week. But! But! Here we are. We are bold. We will take action.

Since there were so many events to weigh in on during this last week and I don’t want to step on that scale today, I’m going to kick the new blog year off with a list of topics and ideas I’d like to tango with in the next year.

On my dance card, these ideas, topics, and questions are in no particular order, are not complete thoughts or ideas, and may include but are not limited to:

  • Autonomous self-driving cars

Where are we at, where are we going, pros, cons, and unintended consequences

  • Main Street versus Wall Street

If we see the death of shopping malls, what takes their place? Where will our autonomous self-driving cars take us? What entertainment, market, and social organizations and activities will take their place? What about vacant buildings, leftover real-estate?

  • Viva’s Prescription or RIP for the Democrat Party
  • Viva’s Prescription or RIP for the Media
  • Constitutional Convention

What would be addressed in a Constitutional Convention if the founders were meeting in 2018? In addition to all the constitutional amendments, what about advances in technology — communication & electronic devices? medicine? transportation? energy? production and distribution? and on and on and on …

  • Treatise on money, goods & services.

Trickle-down, gush up, the role of money as a medium for exchange in a healthy society …

  • Voter Suppression
  • Book Reports — these are books I’d like to read or reread — looking at you A Confederacy of Dunces
  • Hurricane Evicted
  • Elon Musk, energy, battery storage, etc.
  • Democratic Socialism
  • Paul Ryan: Howard Roark wannabe?
  • Healthcare is 1/6th of the US economy. What is the economic impact of cutting Medicare and Medicaid? When do gains on Wall Street diminish due to potholes on Main Street?
  • Education, meritocracy and ‘Stop Stealing Dreams‘ by Seth Godin.
  • Gush up economics.
  • Truth: Is it the old New Frontier?
  • Distance and walkability comparison of old cities — Paris & Rome — to urban and suburban cities in the United States.
  • Notes on aging — thinking, memory, the joy of learning new things.
  • Dakota Access Pipeline update.
  • Where is Puerto Rico? And geographically. Track the progress or lack thereof in restoration.
  • Technology: too much, too fast? Have we been overcome by “magic”?

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

– Arthur C. Clarke

  • Thoughts on why the traditional concept of hell is hot.
  • Sundry Assortments of flotsam and jetsam discovered while surfing on the web
  • Word mash-ups for when Merriam & Webster and all the rest, fail us
  • Etcetera. Etcetera and oh dear. Too much, too much.  But what are resolutions for if not to be broken? <insert Gallic shrug here>

I am a people watcher reporting from the bleacher seats. This blog is my whimper, my bullhorn standing on my orange crate to make sense of, and organize my thoughts on what I observe, to toss current events and developments against history as I understand it and to imagine potential outcomes.

And with each push of ‘publish’, this is an invitation to you, dear reader, to join me.

Thank you & Happy New Year!