Archive for May 2015

another repost   Leave a comment

i really don’t mean this blog to be a repost of other blogs, but if you’re a writer this is very exciting. i’ll be using dver to get my ‘dark horses’ ready for publication when it’s time.

https://forestdoor.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/announcing-winged-words-book-design/

khairete

suz

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Posted May 11, 2015 by suzmuse in Uncategorized

Triumph of the Moon – Book Review   1 comment

i really love this review of a book i loved. i think sean nails it, especially the growing tendency within wicca (at least from the very limited amount i see these days, not being on any wiccan lists or groups), to accept what used to be *history* as mythos.
that’s not a slam. but everyone from chaucer to geoffrey of monmouth to graves to gardner have felt the need to ‘legitimize’ their divine inspirations by hanging a false History sign on them.
no need for it. it matters not one whit if your own personal divine communications don’t mean squat to anyone else. but if they strike a chord, and something new and beautiful grows from it…….
well, that’s nature. not monsanto.
ūüôā khairete
suz

Posted May 8, 2015 by suzmuse in Uncategorized

O Baltimore, my Baltimore   5 comments

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Well, for starters, I should be clear. I’m not from Baltimore, nor do I even go there much, country mouse that I am. But my husband is B-more bred, my kids both live and work and go to school there, and my Dad has even moved there. And I like it. So it’s ‘mine’, to a very limited degree.

And I took the recent brouhaha very personally. From the horror of Freddie Grey’s murder to the explosion on the streets to the shocking blow-up of social media, I let myself get probably TOO involved. Heartsick. Shaking. Angry and scared. And I rarely let the outside world permeate the boundaries I’ve put up around my little Eden here, my safe and sacred space. But I can’t and don’t want to utterly isolate myself from the world, and the riots and burning definitely shook the shielding.

I am always neither fish nor fowl, and it was in-my-face evident during both the crises and the opinion tsunami that followed. I tend to think of myself very much on the liberal end of the spectrum, and when it’s all factored in, I probably am. I’m somewhat conservative on a few issues, but the word ‘conservative’ has been so co-opted that it’s hard to use any more unless you’re referring to the hard-right crowd, in which I have no place at all. But it’s become abundantly clear to me that I’m no more at home or welcome in the far-left crowd, and I’ve realized that’s fine. Because the far right are mean-spirited, ugly, greedy, assholes, and the far left are shrill, stupid and hypocritical.

I don’t understand all the issues, and all the permutations thereof. I’m deeply entrenched in middle class white America, and all the privilege and blinders that go along with it. So I *can’t* understand (according to both ends of the spectrum) the struggles and fears and deep disenfranchisement that the inner-city black population experiences, and can’t and don’t attempt to speak for them.

And yet so very, very many of middle class, middle socio-economic, largely white friends suddenly felt free to do exactly that. Not only to speak for Black Urban America, but to chastise loudly and raucously anyone who wasn’t right there in lockstep with them, and by ‘them’ I mean the white middle-class folks who ‘supported the rioters’, claiming to do so in solidarity for the appalling abuses that have been perpetrated nationwide against the black community at large, and young black men in particular.

It’s a pretty easy position to take. I don’t mean to hold my nose, but everyone BUT the far-right assholes are¬†against police brutality. What happened to Freddie Grey, and those who were murdered before him, is a disgusting statement about the country which presumes to dictate morality globally. The fact that the worst police ‘brutality’ I’ve experienced personally has been being tailgated by the jerk Frederick County cop who lives in Boonsboro and practices road rage over South Mountain on a regular basis, and the jerk Montgomery County cop who spent half an hour trying to get me to fail a sobriety test for running ¬†a red light and finally released me in overt disappointment, means that I have zero actual experience with brutality.

I do have empathy, intelligence, and imagination.

Which is pretty much what all of the ‘supporters’ have going for them too. But they ‘get it’ and I don’t. Because I’m anti-criminal activity, whether it’s perpetrated by police officers, or by inner-city youths setting fire to other people’s shit, and looting.

So let me respond very briefly to some of the louder and more ridiculous memes, slogans and wild accusations that have been flying about.

‘If you care more about a trashed CVS than you do about Freddie Grey, you’re part of the problem.’ Technically true- but seeing businesses, vehicles and homes going up in flames DOES produce a horrified response in folks, including those who care deeply about murdered citizens. ‘No one is condoning looting’ shoots back when one points this out- but yes, the liberal wing is falling all over themselves to proclaim ‘sympathy’ with the looters. That’s pretty much the definition of condoning.

Some of us can care about both. The burning cars were less horrible than Freddie’s severed spine. But the people burning those cars weren’t checking to see what the owners thought about Freddie. Or keeping their ‘vengeance’ to police cars. They were far gone in adrenaline drunkenness.

I know Obama isn’t popular with everyone, and not always with me. But I’m with him when he says ‘when start looting, you stop being a protester and become a criminal.’ (I’m paraphrasing, m’kay?) Some of the looters probably were motivated by fury and helplessness and long suppression and Baltimore’s dismal history of law enforcement. But most of ’em were fueled by adrenaline, the media, youth, and stolen booze. And all those so fiercely ‘supporting’ them wouldn’t be caught dead in their ‘hoods, any more than this middle-aged middle-class white woman would. And if those ‘kids’ came burning and ravaging down most of their ‘supporters’ streets, those avid supporters would be dialing 911 so fast their heads would roll off, and then probably be on Facebook the next day bitching about how slow the cops’ response was.

‘Don’t be scared of black people.’ I’m not. I AM scared of certain situations and demographics, and yes, that includes a good few city neighborhoods (all cities, not just Baltimore) as well as some back roads of West Virginia, Appalachia and Deliverance country. If you aren’t too, you’re either either Chuck Norris, or stupid.

True-tell…..I like cops. I fucking hate the dirty ones and the sociopath ones, and I hate that the profession not only attracts bullies, cowards and psychos, but that it’s apparently become de rigeur to bypass psych evaluations altogether and hire whatever scumbags apply, and then to spend their entire careers insulating them from their depravities. I pray fervently to Athena, Zeus and Ares that these tragedies highlight the laxness in our country’s law enforcement communities and force them to raise their bars much, much higher. I’ve seen a lot of ‘don’t tell me about bad apples, if they’re allowing the bad apples in the barrel, it’s on all of them.’ Which is only true to a limited extent. Your average cop doesn’t have much power to police his brothers (and sisters), and for most of them, it’s an ongoing struggle not to succumb to cynicism and bitterness. Most cops get into law enforcement because they’re idealists, and really want to make the world a better place. They’d much rather help a lost child find his parents, or rescue kittens from trees, or help old ladies cross the street, than scrape junkies out of basements and chase the same drug dealers off the same corners for years on end. And the endless hatred and abuse from those they’re trying to protect has got to get old. Yeah, they signed up for it. But we the people don’t make it easy for them. And I’m soft and white enough to be very grateful for the thin blue line. I’m not an anarchist. I think laws and boundaries are ¬†Very Good Things, and I think it sucks when the guys trying to protect us from Bad Things are vilified. And make no mistake, the stupid wing of the liberal crowd has been very, very cop-hating through all this. All cops. All the time.

The media was indeed awful. My bad for watching CNN, and that atrocious Wolf Blitzer, who must never leave his stupid Sitch Room since he’s shocked- SHOCKED- that the world melts down when young men are routinely murdered. And it’s true that we got very little coverage of the peaceful protests, and too many endless loops of the burning CVS and the looted liquor store. I think it’s a little naive to think that the news WON’T …er….. cover the news. But they do a sucky job of it.

But here’s the thing. So many of the same people wildly decrying the media’s propensity for drama were every bit as bad. When just-folks started posting photos of the citizens of Baltimore sweeping the broken glass, bringing food to the peaceful protesters and the cops protecting them, standing in defense of their communities and the cops, most of my liberal friends utterly lost interest in what the media had never been interested in, and began posting ludicrous conspiracy theories about how the police tried to ‘lure’ high school kids into rioting so they could break their heads, and endless memes about how anyone calling for peace is clueless (including, apparently, Grey’s own family) and how nothing in the world ever gets done through peaceful means.

The mayor, of whom I’m no fan, was not a star during this crisis. Her ‘allow destruction’ comment was almost comically bad. But in her defense, she did try to deflect the escalation. If she’d called in the National Guard at the first sign of trouble and given her police force orders to use deadly force, things could have gone far, far worse. She was ineffectual, but I think she was trying to prevent further mayhem. It’s awfully easy to armchair quarterback, especially since she’s a pretty crappy mayor at best.

One of the funniest (in a sad sort of way) was the meme in which white people (almost uniformly) berate other white people for presuming to quote MLK. Heh.

Another was one demanding to know where ‘we’ were when the housing market was inflating and poor Baltimoreans were being suckered into crappy mortgages, causing the bubble to burst and the economy to crash. Well, I was in the courthouses, watching the prices rise and the foreclosure auctions take off, and musing aloud to pretty much everybody (all of whom became sick of my Cassandra-crying) that this was unsustainable and would end badly.

I didn’t stop it. Damn me.

But apparently my inability to head off the country’s financial assholery means that I now have no ‘right’ to complain when Baltimoreans set their city on fire. Even though I’m actually standing in solidarity with an awful lot of Baltimoreans who seemed to take a rather dim view of it too.

I dunno. Maybe I’m just an old poop, and violence and burning cars and looting are the only way to make the culture of police brutality reverse itself. Maybe the fact that I don’t have any answers DOES mean that I have no ‘right’ to speak up against violence. Maybe I should just reinforce the farm shielding and turn off the media when things like this happen. I make no positive difference, and just end up not wanting to talk to some people any more, people I held dear for a long time.

But I think those of you who are chanting solidarity and ‘supporting’ the rioters and hating every cop standing there in riot gear have no better answers than I. And I’m happy to see that Baltimore is picking up the pieces and moving forward with the violence behind them. I’m betting that if I DID live in Baltimore and have a right to an opinion, I’d find more of a place to be than I am out here where everyone seems to have all the answers, so long as there’s zero nuance or calming influences allowed.

Bah. Humbug.

Khairete

Suz

Posted May 5, 2015 by suzmuse in Uncategorized