Repost: How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind

This is one of the greatest posts I’ve read on the subject of how we can make it through the coming times. It’s by Mirah Curzer, and I agree with almost everything in it.

Read the whole thing, because it contains wise and practical words like this:

“If you try to maintain this fever pitch of anguish and fear and outrage, something far worse than a little down time is going to happen. Your brain, to protect you, will just turn down the volume on the outrage and adapt.”

(If after you read it you want to know my one reservation, you have but to ask.)

Women’s March in DC

It was glorious! You’ve read by now that it was three times the size the organizers had hoped, and that the sister marches were also gigantic, everywhere. (Apparently there were six marches in Alaska!) The energy was electric, joyous, and kind. (At one point I was chanting, “Show me what democracy looks like!” until I started to cough. I muttered, “Show me what a cough drop looks like,” and the total stranger behind me grinned, reached into her pocket, and gave me one.) Also, the energy was funny. The one percent is on their side, but the laughter is on ours. We’ll harness this energy and keep up this fight. My favorite chant: “Welcome to your first day! We will never go away!”

(Photos below by me, Jackie Freimor, and Lorena Vivas.)

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Me, my marching buddies, and our pussy hats.

 

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The escalator down into the Metro — AFTER we waited in a half hour line to get to it!

 

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What genius ordered these?

 

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My favorite sign.

Below, more great signs and shirts:

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LOVE this one:photo 4(4)

 

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Translation below:

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And finally, the call to arms:photo 5

On my way to DC

Quick post, gotta catch my bus. On the road to a DC protest again. I’ve been doing this since ’61 or ’62, when my lefty folks took us tadpoles to school-integration picket lines in NYC. When Obama was elected the first time I thought we’d entered a new era in the US. And lo, we had, but not the one I thought. So here we are again. I’m taking in my pocket the names of friends and family, deceased, disabled, or for some other reason unable to march today. Proud of them, of the friends of my radical youth who will be there, the friends of my (ahem) middle age who are coming with, and all of you who’re marching in other cities. Remember this next four years will be a marathon, not a sprint. And remember Emma Goldman: “If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution.”  Shoulder to shoulder!

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Update for my DC-bound sisters and brothers

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Meeting point, if you want to hang together (“or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately” — Benjamin Franklin): 9:00 am, Woolly Mammoth Theater, 641 D St. NW, Washington DC. If there’s a large crowd there, look for us to the left (natch!) of the front door, wherever that is. If you can’t find us or don’t make it to the Woolly Mammoth but still want to connect, text me. If you don’t have my phone number, email or PM me and I’ll send it.

A couple of additional suggestions: cough drops, kleenex, bandaids, sunglasses. It’ll be sunny and warm, so a hat maybe.

Have the names and phone numbers of the place you’re staying and your emergency contact on a piece of paper in your pocket. Because if you drop your cell phone in the Reflecting Pool…

See you in DC!

How to go to Washington

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I was hanging with a friend the other night who did not, as I did, spent her formative years climbing into 4:00 am buses, cars, trains, and on a few memorable occasions in rented U-Haul trucks with hay in the truck bed for shock absorption (yes, it was illegal), going to DC for this, that, and the other demonstration.  She is, however, going to the Women’s March on the 21st.  We talked about what to take/wear, and what not to take/wear, and she asked if I’d be willing to share these ideas on this blog.  Well, you betcha! Feel free to share if this is helpful and to add ideas in the comment section if you want.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be on your feet all day.
  2. Wear thick socks.  See above.
  3. Dress in layers. The forecast right now is calling for 50’s and cloudy, so that’s good, but be prepared if it goes lower, because standing around for 6-8 hours in 40-ish degree weather can put a chill in your bones.
  4. Bring a hat, and gloves, even if you think you won’t need them.
  5. Do not, however, bring a backpack. Or a big purse. Nothing that you can be grabbed by, and, alas, nothing that can be pickpocketed. You see this March as a way to express your lefty opinion. The opposition sees it as a way to protest your expressing that opinion. And crooks see a crowd as a golden opportunity. That backpack on your back is too big a target for both those guys.
  6. If you need something to carry stuff in, a diagonally-slung fanny pack is your best bet. Into it, or into your pockets, you want to put:
    1. Your ID — driver’s license, that sort of thing.
    2. About $100 in cash.
    3. One credit card.
    4. Your insurance ID (I know, but shit happens).
    5. Whatever medication you can’t live without, a 24-hour supply in a prescription bottle.
    6. Your DC Metro card, which I hear you can buy in advance on the DC Metro site.  Whenever you buy it, make sure to load it with enough money to get you back to your hotel or meeting point after the March.  Otherwise you’ll be standing in a very long line.
    7. Your cell phone, and a spare battery charger for same.
    8. Sunglasses.
    9. Lip balm.
    10. Whatever you use for energy snacks. I’m partial to Lara Bars, myself. There won’t be much opportunity to buy food along the route or at the Mall, or wherever we end up.
  7. In another pocket, put a piece of paper with your name and emergency contact number(s). If either you or your cell phone keel over, and/or your fanny pack goes missing, this will be useful. Also, if you get arrested (see below) they’ll take your cell phone.
  8. Water? Opinions differ, but I’m against it. It’s just another thing to carry, you’re not likely to dehydrate to the point of danger in 6-8 hours on a cloudy day, AND:
  9. There will be very, very limited opportunities to pee. Do not head to the March straight from your Vente Latte. A word to the wise.

Now: in case of trouble?

  1. Keep an eye out for people in green baseball caps that say either “Legal Observer” or “LO.” They’re there to keep an eye on law enforcement. If you get arrested, try to get your name to one of them. They’ll track you through the system so you don’t get lost.
  2. Do not resist arrest. If the cops haven’t specifically noticed you when they’re doing a sweep kind of thing and you can run away, by all means be my guest. But once a cop has decided to arrest you, resisting either physically or verbally is like arguing with an NBA official. It never changes their minds and can get you in worse trouble.
  3. Be polite to the cops. Call them “sir” and “ma’am.” Do what they tell you. You’re out there because you’ve chosen to exercise your First Amendment rights. They’re out there because the brass told them to be, and the day before we get there, these same cops will have worked the inauguration. They’re not the enemy.

See you in Washington!

 

 

Bella the Cat

 

Cold in the apartment.

Warm in the just-out-of-the-dryer laundry basket.

 

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And a fake bird in a bare tree

Early this winter one of my neighbors hung a whole bunch of fake cardinals in a front-yard tree.  Yesterday it snowed, and I actually burst out laughing on the street this morning.

 

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2017

In the words of my hero Leonard Cohen, lost in 2016 but still with us in the ways that matter:
 

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

I can’t run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned up
A thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me

 

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I wish you all a productive and powerful 2017!

 
 

New Year’s Eve Greeting (trigger warning: politics involved; if you don’t like it, go read someone else’s blog

 

Got this from a writer friend who prefers to remain anonymous. No, I’m not being coy, I didn’t write it.  Wish I had!  Have a good New Year’s Eve, see you on the other side.

 

Undeck the halls!

Pack up those balls,

And haul the tree away.

Take down the lights

From rooftop heights.

Unhitch that Santa sleigh.

 

No candle glow.

No mistletoe.

The yule log’s burned to ash.

Reread your cards,

Note fond regards,

Then throw them in the trash.

 

The old year ends

With gobsmacked friends

Still moaning in the aisles.

A know-naught tweeting petulant

Will soon become our President

And somewhere James Buchanan* sits and smiles.

 

*Currently ranked as our worst President ever

 

Ode to Slush

 

The world has ice, the world has snow,

But in our hearts, New Yorkers know

That when our snow is really lush

We next will have our magic slush.

 

When blocked-up drain makes sudden lake

Into which you plunge each step you take,

When just the slightest passing push

Slides you down right into the mush,

 

When taxis splash your pants all wet

Real New Yorkers never fret.

We do not fear the mugger’s cosh:

They don’t come out into the slosh.

 

Un-picked-up dog poop is froze;

You stay parked whichever side you chose;

As long as you’ve got bags of cash

You’ll score Hamilton tickets in a flash.

 

So celebrate these happy times

And do not wish for milder climes.

You do not need to find a cush–

ion for your tender tush.

 

Just grab a walker’s multi-leash

And do not stop when he says, “Sheesh!”

And now, with dogs since you are flush,

Order your new team to “Mush!”

Ten thousand steps you soon will crush

As you traverse our New York slush.