n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Saturday, October 04, 2008

a bit of optimism, hating Palin, and a joke

-How do you know if your shipmate is gay?

-I don't know. How?

-Because his dick tastes like shit.
I have no idea why that joke hit my funny bone so much, but it did.

Perhaps it's because the brolaw told it in the middle of the Palin-Biden debate, after Palin meandered on endlessly about some indecipherable demi-perspective (i.e. when she wasn't repeating obviously-scripted speeches, an occurrence that visibly lit her internal fire, but instead when she couldn't figure out how to wrestle the topic back to her own pleasure and so nattered on in circulations only non-embarrassing because she didn't weep [I lost a $1 bet in that she didn't cry, but I won $1 bet because she said "Ahmadinejad," in uncontrollable celebration of speech therapy, the number of times I predicted]). Also, my mum was in the room with said bad, bad joke and the Brolaw was obviously intoxicated in order to make it through a potentially (but not ultimately) decisive moment in American politics.

By the way, I've decided to go about job interviews just like Palin went about her debate: "While that is a question I may come back to, time permitting, I really think it's more important for me to talk about something else, like..." Puppies. My Little Ponies. My Support for Israel and Deep Thoughts on Talibananis. Flowers and Baby Butts.

Now that I'm rambling, before I get on to the optimism, I have to say straight-up that I've taken a particular dislike towards Palin. But recently I was asked to join a Facebook "Women against Palin" group and after contemplating it, I declined.

Why should I highlight my dislike of Palin in tandem to my gender? It is not only because I am a women, or even severely in collusion with my femaleness, that I dislike Palin; I would dislike her as a man, as a hermaphrodite, a moose, a foreigner, an academic, an economist, an intelligent artist who cares about life, a soldier, or even as a yellow/blue butterfly. All those, and so forth. But I especially, especially dislike Palin as an Alaskan.
11 Reasons Why I Strongly Dislike Palin specifically as an Alaskan (or Partial Alaskan) Woman rather than as just a Woman:

1) That stupid, inane accent. Um, how many people have I grown up with in Alaska who speak like that? None. So why is she talking with an 'Alaskan accent'? I don't know.

I was happy that Palin dropped said bogus Alaska-SouthernBelle accent somewhat in the recent debate (I lost a $1 bet with myself that I would erupt in anger at least 2x simply over her stupid, f-ing accent), but the whole thing still irritates me.

There is a slight lilt in Alaskan speech that bears some resemblance to a Canadian lilt, but it's not the Midwest Canadian (very emphasized). Rather, it's a West-Coast Canadianish accent with a slight elongation of certain vowels. The sound is abbreviated in comparison to Midwest accents; like, "I went oht and got some salmon." Very quick, oht not ohhhhaaat, and having more to do with an uplift in the second half of the sentence than an overemphasis on the 'oht nd a-boat.'

Anyhow, what I'm saying is, Why does she need to invent a bloody accent to emphasize her rural credentials? Nobody talks like that in Alaska. They just dohnt.

I hate that she used weird names for her kids because I want to use weird names for my kids if I ever have kids or at least pets, and now I feel like I shouldn't out of simple solidarity with the rest of the world.

3) Field dressing a moose; c'mon. Now it's a metaphor instead of a means of killing something not even palatable.

4) Palin is thumping that line between rural and urban that is misunderstood and perhaps even painful. This is very clever of her, I'll give her that. Rural America votes far more conservatively than do cities. Since Carter, nobody and I mean nobody, has tapped into the folkie anger about under/mis-representation; given a chance, Alaskans might consider dumping coffee into bays in lieu of tea.

Rural folks chafe against the airs given off by city people, and that's one instinct I myself have felt. If city lads were half as smart as they seem to think themselves when in the room with a genuine hick, then they'd be Einsteins indeed. Cultural differences between the city and the country have (for as long as folk tales have existed) always been a boundary, perhaps a roadblock, perhaps cheese instead of grain. The city has never communicated effectively with the country, or vice-around, and this has hurt the country's feelings so badly they pretend they don't care and that the rough-hewn edge is mightier than the urbane tip.

Looking at this differently, it's a real boon to have so many approaches to the world. After getting over my intimidation, I never felt at a disadvantage in Chicago for being something of a intelligent hick. Actually, because I loved Chicago so much, and loved Alaska, I felt that I had some advantage of both, and the means to communicate something new, particular in each place, despite whether either (or more often neither) accepted me.

Both situations are inconceivably beautiful.

Back to Palin: she is not playing on the positive differences between her state and the rest of the US. Rather, she is criticizing the city, blaming the city, criticizing the "Lower 48" as if Alaska should be some kind of model. But the solutions of Alaska are founded on the fact that it's enormous, enormously wealthy in resources, and extremely un-populated. It has multa mula at the tax level, and poverty and alcoholism at the street level, but in comparison to almost everywhere else but pre-September Wall Street, much more government realignment because that oil is on friggin public land; thus, its educational and social struggles are different than the rest of the states. It's ridiculous to hold Alaska up as a paradigm of anything but itself really, and that perspective comes from someone who really loves it.

I love AK because it's young, undeveloped. Because people there are more lonely and strange due to their isolation, or isolated due to their strange loneliness. But it's a problematic moment indeed when Palin uses Alaskan beauty, Alaskan success, pushes it up against the world of sophistry and bad, bad East Coast people. Palin is an example of the particular Alaskan corrupt; given time, she could be so much 'more'.

5) There's really not that much hockey going on in Alaska. Wasilla, for instance, doesn't have a children's hockey team that I know of, so how can Palin be a hockey mom? Wait, I've just been told how wrong I am. There is hockey. But Kodiak AK didn't ever have hockey, unless one wished to fall through the ice; perhaps Alaska is too friggin big and maritime as well as inland. Anyhow, I don't know what I'm getting at, besides: hockey without ice-making is just plain suspicious.

Anyhow, to make a real point: I'm not interested in Palin or anyone's "tolerance" - fuck that shit - acceptance, tolerance, cute-fuzzy or not -- we all fit under the basic principle of equal rights, equality, for all. And if Palin doesn't agree, I'd be willing to play hockey: Alaskan women via another type of Alaskan women.

6) My mother was a true Alaskan mother. That doesn't mean she had six children, or banned abortion if we had sex as a teenager, so we'd get married and be just like her, or had us walk on the stage late at night, toting out her other babies for photo-ops way past their bedtime. What it meant was being a single mother, working her ass off and trying intense adventures, having us carry firewood and scrape walkways clear of snow, only so as to support herself and her daughters, to offer them any possibility they wanted.

7) Alaskans are straight up being used by Republicans, all Republicans not just those Washington ones as Palin would have us believe. They and their philosophies wouldn't support anything my mother, my sister, or I have actually done out there in the world, not to mention anyone else wily and independent. Modern Repubs don't support single parents, small-business owners, singletons, or even poor workers - all that actual 'detritus' of the rural. They don't support the research that has helped make the fisheries more sustainable, nor the limitations that would make it lasting. Palin and her users would be happy raping and pillaging as long as they gave us that camera wink, the nod and a tossed penny from their glutted wallet.

I remember when the Exxon Spill happened in Alaska and the Kodiak community bolstered, yeah sure: to protest, but to also spend years cleaning up the mess. Turning over rocks, capturing oil-slicked otters and loons, seal pups; cleaning them, washing, giving-up fishing for a year, figuring out how to respond, and working together to fix the shit that they did not fuck up... well, in ways other than taking that refund check every year.

I'm a part of that huge fishing group suing Exxon for money lost due to the rough work Exxon's actions and inactions did on the environment. And I'm also part of the group who has been tossed down by the Supreme Oil Court, who recently chopped the oilspill settlement down to 1/5 of what it was originally, thus awarding Exxon [in addition to the tax breaks both Palin and Biden talk about] millions of actual blood money. Exxon is even now continuing... pressing to get the interest cut off that same settlement (for the years they've stalled for that 4/5 refund); never before has a company done this and gotten away with it, but new ground might be broken right now with this partisan Supreme Court.

For me, this means maybe a thousand dollars of fishing money that I would have spent on college anyway, were fishing not so aversely affected. For others, it means their self-employed business records even more of a loss.

How can Alaskans support Republicans, who don't support the individuals, the communities, the small towns, the small businesses, the community action that makes Alaska so wonderful, that makes it really what it is because it is so small, so lucky even? Is the refund check really worth so much; are they bribed so easily by the fox? If I went into a small town and promised everyone a $5 bill right now if they voted for me, would they take me up even if I were planning on tricking them out of $500 later?

At least the Democrats are honest when they say: I'm going to take $50 from you for the good of the States, but $15 of it is going straight into my pocket.

Palin is part of the Republican Fuck-You Wagon Ride. Or Boat Ride, since it's Alaska.

8) I'm not sure I've ever seen an Alaskan woman in high heels. Let me think about that one and get back to you.

9) Alaskan women are actually more beautiful than she is, mostly because they've got tons more slurry on their sleeves.

10) Really, that accent's just horrible! No, just kidding. But it's related. Alaskans aren't the purveyors of every cliché colloquialism ever. Their speech is more interesting than that. On the water, I've met some brilliant people and tons of assholes. Sometimes they're brilliant assholes. Alaska deserves to give their best the positions of power, but that's something almost all of America has forsaken, including this particular northern state. I guess we just want a pub John or Betty to run the nation?

11) That rape-kit payment that Jon Stewart keeps talking about means something different in this particular context. If women, who are very much outnumbered in Alaska, making up much less than 50%. If women, who live in Alaska, which has a higher percentage of violence against women. If women have to pay for their own protection in Alaska, due to legislation supported by Palin, then the rapists are very much in charge of Alaska.

Naw, man, I sure hope I got it all wrong. But seriously, hopefully: America is beautiful, like and unlike many places I've been.
Anyhow, I think I promised some positivity.

I think I've also mentioned multiple times how freaked out I've been - no job, back in lovely Bville with its hiking trails but so little social, gaining weight, friends mostly in other places (missing them, missing them like a heartbeat), still (always) single, people I thought my supporters in Bville disappearing, writing slimming to a nothing - well, anyhow, I've just been feeling a bit more positive than that lately.

It's actually been okay.

I'm now tutoring a college student who has passed on my info to others since she likes me as a tutor (I like her too unlike that evil artist I still work for from time to time and feel like maiming in spite of liking her art, just because she's so.friggin.condescending and just because she.blames.me.for.two.years.ago and just because I.hate.hypocrites. I mean, this new student is a growing kid; it's nice figuring out how best to help again, and actually wanting to do so). But I've also heard back from a couple of folks at the local university.

I'd come to think of that U as somewhat Evil. No, not evil exactly, but in an antipathetic relationship with me.

For so long, I've gotten hives whenever I set foot on the campus. It's where I got my M.A. and heart broken. By heart broken, I mean smushed, my brain too. And it's also where my dad worked when I was a kid, and where they broke his heart, what coincidence. True, for him it was because he slept with a student and was shunned deservedly, whereas for me, it had to do with other events not so much my own fault although somewhat.

Anyhow, and not even paying attention to that emotional panic surrounding this U, it just seems like I've relied too much on particular friendships that have just stopped for unclear reasons - is it because I asked for too much from them? Is it because I wanted to come back to Bville, land of underemployment and visual opportunity? Is it because I'm in a different field, but don't see fields as barriers (because they're not, technically speaking)? Such have been some of the questions, with my brooding and panic as the unhelpful answer.

But recently, I've heard back from a couple of the many I've tried to contact, and that really has made me feel way better. Optimistic. Hopeful. And silly about (some of) my paranoia. I've realized something, and it's neither empowering nor otherwise - but I need some kind of positive response back from folks or else I am easily deterred. I don't need to be given a job or promised an interview or lavished in any way, but if I hear nothing, I get really depressed and sad. This is a weakness I guess; often no response is the result of even hopeful action.

Regardless, I have recently been given tips for applying, and I have a new interview lined up in different field, plus Herald is signed up for "Puppy Kindergarten," wherein he is supposed to learn how to not jump up on wheelchairs (etc), and I'm feeling really okay. Like this might be a good year, and I'm not a failure, and people mean well. And I've started writing more again; returning back to the Swallow story, but starting completely new, more systematic.

Plus, four postcards in the past week, three books from my friends in Germany, a friend coming in December to visit, and (a job interview!) my sister's going to play Scottish rugby tomorrow (heh heh heh).
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