Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Why Al Gore has to be our next President

I watched the Oscars for probably the second or third time in my entire life for one reason: Al Gore. I had a bottle of champagne cooling "just in case." And when the evening ended without the rumored announcement, I didn't open the bottle. I don't even like champagne. But it would have been worth it if Al Gore said the magic words.

Some of you may wonder why this is so important to me. I make no secret of the fact that I am a strong Obama supporter and have been ever since I heard him speak at the Democratic convention. Obama would make a good President. He has compassion, intelligence, and the ability to see what the people want and find a way to give it to them, as any good leader does. I don't doubt for a minute that America would thrive with Obama as our leader. But I think America NEEDS Al Gore to be our next President.

My number one reason is for the sake of the planet. He is the only one who truly gets it. He is the only one who has been trying to educate people for the last few decades about the dangers that Climate Change can cause. Through his passion and unwillingness to give in to the status quo, he has made the words "Global Warming" familiar enough so that just about everyone knows what they mean. It doesn't matter if people agree or disagree with him. He got the message out and that is what matters. Those of us who understand are perfectly willing to help him educate those who disagree or fail to understand that our planet is in danger of dying from our neglect and abuse.

I remember the excitement I felt when I read "Earth In The Balance." I remember thinking this was a man who understood not only Science, but the Metaphysical dialogues that give birth to such hard truths. Halfway through the book I found myself falling in love all over again with the processes of critical thought, with the ability to take a concept and thread it through a needle with skill and precision.

It has never been enough for me that a leader be intelligent as there are lots of intelligent people in the world who do nothing for anyone but themselves. A leader also needs to be able to think, to conceptualize, to see outside the lines drawn by advisers and self-interests groups. A leader needs to lead from compassion, from vision, from an inner reality that translates to an outer truth. This is the kind of person who holds a diverse population together because he gives equal, intellectual weight to all sides. This is the kind of person who could lead America into another golden age.

My other reason is that he should have been our President. And no, I will never get over this. The election was stolen. He won it fair and square and the Supreme court members who voted to install George Bush as Puppet-In-Chief will go to their graves with the blood of American soldiers staining their robes. Even though I'm an Atheist, I hope they believe in a fierce and damning hell because they know they did wrong and I want them to be very afraid of dying. I want them to suffer for the evil they inflicted upon America by selecting Bubble Boy to be the President against the votes and wishes of the American people. Their grandchildren will have to live with the shame of their legacy. History will remember them as traitors to the Democratic process called America. When measured against that truth, fear of hell is nothing. They are still young enough to suffer the humiliation of having their grandchildren come home from school one day and ask them to defend their unconscionable act. There is no answer they will be able to give that will take away the shame in their grandchildren's eyes. That will be their true punishment.

I will never get over being angry at them because this body of judicial whores stole the integrity of our country. They made our voting process a mockery and sullied our democracy. The only way this can ever be fixed is if Gore becomes the President we voted for in 2000. It is the only thing that will heal this country because it will correct the wrong that has been inflicted on it. It will make things right, and if this country needs anything desperately right now it is to have things made right.

So please, Mr. Gore. Run. It's not about you, just as Global Warming and Climate Change is not about you. It is about all of us, about the planet, about healing the deep wounds Bushco has inflicted on everyone. We need you. America needs you. But most of all, the planet needs you..

Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Visit Ursine Logic for more designs.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

That Ethnic Thing

This Ethnic Thing

In the last few weeks I've been working on St. Patrick's Day designs for my shop. It's been an interesting experience because there isn't a drop of Irish anywhere in my genetic make-up...at least that I know about. However, I did get assimilated into a big old crazy Irish family and whenever I'm with most of them, there's something that starts to simmer inside me. They seem so easy with being Irish, with having a solid identity that withstands both moves all over the world and the urge to culturally merge that is so much a part of being American.

It's that culturally merge bit that always gets me personally. I wasn't physically born in this country and half my family spoke with strange and bewildering accents to most American ears. The best way to strike panic in most of us kids, even after all these years, is to make some reference to "accents," such as: you pronounced that wrong! Or remarking that a few weeks spent visiting the old country has left its mark on your pronunciation. Hey, you came back with a slight accent. No! Yes. Did not. Did. Aieeeee.

As children, we did all the talking to strangers because our family's English skills weren't fully developed enough to answer the door, the phone, or to ask directions and understand them and have them understood. Once we were teenagers and our parents could speak proper English, often grammatically better than the average American, we still did all the talking because we were mortified and embarrassed that our parents spoke "funny." It was horrible going through all the angst of teen-ness, and have to also deal with family members who weren't cool enough to speak without an accent.

There was a blissful period of time in this country before Bushco when it was actually cool to have an accent, when being "Ethnic" was something interesting and unique. People wanted to know about your accent, where it came from, who you were culturally, how you differed from them, and what we could learn from each other.

Bushco changed that. They made foreign a bad word. They made accents suspect. They made enculturation mandatory and immediate. They once again made it bad to be from somewhere else because if you were, you were either a terrorist or wanted to steal shit jobs. They made ignorance of other cultures a reason to hate and suspect and punish them for being from somewhere else, for believing different things, for gasp! Not being white, Anglo-Saxon Christian Republicans.

I would not want to be a child immigrating to America in these times. It was difficult enough as I was growing up, but foreign-ness still had a certain charm and allure then. It made you interesting. Women with thick dark accents were considered exotic, especially if they also smoked cigarettes to give them that lower sexy tone of voice that would eventually kill them from lung cancer. I both used to smoke and exaggerate my long lost accent as a young woman because it was an advantage over prettier, blond American girls. I was short, dark, and an Atheist. I needed all the advantages I could get.

Then we became the great melting pot where everyone was expected to jump in and become part of the same bland stew. Immigrants weren't allowed to spice it up. They were boiled until all the ethnicity was gone and only then could they jump in. Only then could they be bland enough to be part of the American dream.

With the civil rights movement in this country also came the right to be foreign. It was a magical time. People asked me how to say their names in my native language. They asked me for recipes they could serve their guests as something unique and different. Children began to learn foreign languages in the schools that included cultural components instead of just plain vanilla grammar. America began to truly be the land of immigrants.

Then Bushco came into power and all that started to decay. They introduced hatred and suspicion and served "freedom fries" with their ignorance burgers. White Christian cowboys skyrocketed in the music charts with hateful anthems bringing shame upon everything this country once stood for. Education became something for the elite and it became cool to be dumb, inbred, and spewing hatred from the car stereo as the pickup truck dug deep craters into the earth. Television shows were bland and made fun of anything that wasn't dumb and ignorant and poorly educated like the President. America began a backward slide into the kind of ignorance that once kept slaves and denied women the right to vote. It became a banana republic where English, bad uneducated, grammatically incorrect English was proposed as the official language. Hee-Haw.

There were a couple things that saved this country from itself and continues to do so. One was shows like the Sopranos where even though it feeds on stereotypes and makes one ethnic group seem like idiots and cold-blooded killers, it did break the mold of white people TV. These were not characters who played at being the Sopranos but spoke with white people accents and ate pot roast for dinner. No, these were out there Sopranos were were as different as they could be from the standard American prototype.

Another was the fall of the wall. It allowed communication and intermarriage between cultures that were once kept separated by government induced fear of each other. We became each other's forbidden pleasures and once again those who were from these previously hidden cultures, became desirably exotic.

But most important in all this are the Irish. What other culture has such a day that is celebrated year after year in such large numbers? There's no St. Italian Day or Russian Day or any other Ethnic holiday that draws in all the other cultures and makes them so much part of them on that one day a year. There's no other holiday that brings in the camaraderie and fun and acceptance of both being Irish and being honorary Irish on one special holiday.

So these designs are both my thanks to the Irish for being who they are and most importantly, for accepting me with such open, festive and loving arms. America still has much to learn and it wouldn't hurt to learn some it from the Irish.

Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Visit Ursine Logic for more designs.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Seeds of Self

Today is the anniversary of when my life changed. I mark it each
year as if it were a grave tended by my careful hands. I remove the
weeds lovingly, one small blade of grass at a time and relive a
quiet moment in a time I thought I'd never leave behind.

But leave it behind I did. I call that period of my life "The Cruel
Time." Everything about it was a stripping of my soul in order to
bind new wounds that grew daily from loving a real bastard. He
almost destroyed me. He almost took away everything that made me who
I am. He almost made me scratch my own eyes out so I would never
have to look at him again. He almost made me throw myself from the
highest building I could find so I could die screaming his name on
the way to my death with only the wind to hear. He almost made me
leave everyone and everything just to escape ever hearing his name
again. He almost destroyed my belief in the power of love, in the
eternity of friendship, in the unbreakable bond of my word. Almost,
but not quite, because in the end I was simply the stronger force.

The reason for this is simple. I value people and he never did. He
would be surprised and even insulted to know this about himself and
appalled that I would think of him in such a way. It was the worst
curse you could place on him, on me, on others like ourselves who
grew up believing everyone was bad and the only people you could
trust were the ones in your small circle of confidants. Everyone
else was dangerous.

He was dangerous. It's what drew me to him. He had that dark soul of
a man who'd destroyed so many lives that he no longer wore the guilt
of that destruction anywhere on him. He would swear he never
intended to hurt people, he never intended to lie to people, he
never intended to cheat people. He was just incapable of living any
other way. His way was the only way he knew.

I'm a stubborn woman and I also have this questionable ability of
being able to see past the outer crap and cut straight to the inner
meat. This has caused more trouble for me in my life than any other
thing because as I've learned, that outer crap is supposed to keep
people like me out. It both disturbed him and intrigued him that I
found a way in.

I saw in him what I see in everyone who becomes my friend: deep
wounds, excuses, rationalizations, fear, and a restlessness that
remains a lifelong unfulfilled hunger. Where he differed was his
inability to see human beings as anything other than objects to fill
whatever needs were the most predominant. He didn't discriminate. No
need was better or worse than any other. They were just needs.

It gave him an aura of being a free spirit who was tied to no one
and no thing. We spent a lot of time outdoors among the trees and
rivers and mountains because it was his natural element, the one
place where his animal nature found a comfortable home. This was the
man I came to love and cherish and need with all the depths of my
soul. But the moment the stink of city assaulted our lungs he became
a sort of urban werewolf, a blood-sucking creature who drained
everyone until they shriveled up and disappeared.

I didn't disappear. I have an overdeveloped loyalty gene. Once I
give my friendship, it is for life because whomever wins it fought
for it with honor and sincerity. And once I love, nothing the person
does can kill that love in me. Once given is forever beholden.

But he didn't deserve this kind of devotion. He treated me badly. He
treated the women he dated and married badly. I befriended them,
picked up the broken pieces and he hated me for this. He hated that
I took home and healed that which he discarded. He told me once it
was embarrassing, almost as if he caught me rummaging through his
trash for bread scraps.

And he loved me. He loved me with a passion and sincerity and depth
that surprised both of us. It was the secret I carried with me, that
he was capable of deep and overwhelming emotion, that he felt to the
point of madness, that his skin was sometimes a barrier that he
wanted to rip away so he could feel more.

But it wasn't enough to have this with me. It wasn't enough to heal
him, to show him a better way of being. He saw it as an anomaly, an
aberration that he grew to hate me for bringing out in him.He began
to try and prove it to me that he really was the bastard everyone
thought he was. He insulted me. He challenged my ethics, my honor.
And he questioned my love, my friendship, my devotion.

That is when I left him to fester in his own world. I learned that
moment that I had limits, that I had self-respect, that I had honor,
and integrity, and a healthy sense of self that I refused to turn
over to someone who didn't deserve it. I walked away.

Five years went by before we saw each other again. He was dying. He
had stomach cancer. All those cigarettes, all that vodka, all that
rage, and anger, and hostility, and most importantly lack of love
for himself and others, was killing him. Cancer was just the
convenient name for it.

I still loved him and told him. He was astonished. He was
incredulous. And finally, he believed me. In that moment he learned
what it meant to love.

He died six months later. It's been seven years now and I still
grieve for him, for the life he could have lived but didn't. I
grieve for the person I knew that no one else could see. I grieve
for him as as anyone would grieve for a precious friendship.

But I also mark this day as the day I learned that you can still
love someone and not let them abuse you. You can still love someone
and walk away and not look back because my love and anyone who knows
what it means to truly love, understands it lives on its own. Love
is its own entity. If it depended on a person, if it depended on
being valued, if it depended on being received, then it would be
called something else.

Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Visit
Ursine Logic for
more designs.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love, Anti-Valentines, and Friends For Life

I couldn't let my least favorite holiday go by without some comment, so on Valentine's Eve, here are some thoughts on this "holiday." Many of you are probably surprised that I don't like Valentine's Day. After all, I've said many times that only love will heal this planet and that the healing must begin inside us first.

I still say that. And I also say I don't believe Valentine's is a day of love. It is a day to get stressed out over love, to give it a financial value, to make one person happy and another one sad when you choose who gets the best valentine. Remember when we gave Valentines at school? There was always one or two of the really cute girls and guys who got the fancy, elaborate valentines. Their bags overflowed with unrequited love.

Meanwhile, the rest of us looked at our mass-produced bits of paper and said screw this, I'm going to hang out with my friends and practice unconditional love to fight against this injustice. And we did. And we grew up hating Valentine's Day, no matter how many cool, elaborate valentines we got from admirers, lovers, partners, husbands, wives, and all the mixture of love, sex and paying for it dearly clubs we belonged to.

I fell in with a bad crowd in high school. We protested against war. We became vegetarians. We listened to music that stirred our blood and bodies to create a sexual revolution that changed forever the roles between men and women in this country. We began to talk about and write about and sing about things that mattered to us like overpopulation, pollution,the strip-malling of our hometowns. And we redefined love to mean something that was genuine and not bought, felt and not enforced, and celebrated instead of feared.

During that time one of us created the first anti-valentine, a work of art on bits of paper and cardboard and even tin foil. We exchanged these little gifts of love with each other on Valentine's Day, no matter what the relationship or gender. We gave each other these gifts as a way to express that we loved each other, we appreciated each other, and that we understand a very basic concept: lovers come and go, but friendship is forever.

Each year since then many of us have continued to exchange these anti-valentines. And truth be told, one of the major reasons I became a Cafepress shopkeeper was because I fell in love with their anti-valentine designs. It was the one place I could go to see how others were reacting to the enforced day of love. I saw at once that not only was my little group far from unique, we also had many friends in the world who thought the same way we did.

This year I made this design. I bought it for myself and wear it a lot. It's a sentiment that always brings a smile to my face and it also pokes fun at the whole idea of dating, valentines, and the ridiculous idea that we should only express our love for each other one day of the year. Enjoy!

Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Visit Ursine Logic for more designs.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Anna Nicole and The Bubble Boy

There's something deeply obscene and sad about the way the world came to a sudden stop the other day over Anna Nicole Smith. People who had shut out most of the Iraq war horrors, and the reality of a leadership that sees its own citizens as impediments on its path to perpetual war, and the juvenile and vengeful reactions of the Libby-Cheney cabal over someone who dared to insert some truth into their bullshit--they all stopped to pay a weird sort of homage to this pathetic caricature of a woman.

After I got over my outrage and stopped my stream of insults directed at the simple mindedness and short attention span of my fellow citizens, (her death replaced a crazed astronut in diapers, for dawg's sake!) I began to understand exactly what Anna Nicole represented and why she had such a pull on people. She was the America we've come to know in the last few years of the Bush Junta.

She was the garishness of an ideology that was fed by greed, an unfathomable lust for power, bling instead of substance, and the indifferent coupling required to move forward one notch on the political belt. With her inflated, unreal breasts, exaggerated red lips, and hair so stripped of color it was an anti-color, she paralleled the inflated expectations of world domination based on unreal mountains of evidence, an exaggeration of all fears and ethnic groups to more clearly create a red and blue divided country, and propaganda so stripped of truth that it became its own doublespeak crapped out daily by the White House press secretary of the quarter.

She was crude as Bushco is crude. She was uneducated as Bushco is uneducated. She was a package put together to appeal to the lowest common denominator just as the Buscho political agenda was put together to appeal to the dumbest of the dumb, the weakest and most gullible of the flock. She was portrayed as both the used and the user, just as Bush is portrayed as both puppet and inflexible ideologue. Everyone wanted to be her daddy but no one wanted to step up and take responsibility while she was alive, just as everyone can see the daddy issues between Bush the bubble boy and the daddy who loves Jeb best, but no one can step up and say get some therapy you assholes before you kill all of us.

And now the vultures that always follow train wrecks so they can pick the bones clean are circling Anna Nicole's preserved by court order body to lay claim to money she might be granted sometime in the mythical future. They are claiming paternity of her baby now that it is a child of future wealth and privilege instead of the product of their white trash coupling. They are saying oh how awful that she was so exploited as they stare transfixed at those enormous breasts, those red lips and hear that breathless little girl voice coming through the television screens once more.

And while they are so transfixed, Bush the Bubble boy is pulling wings off the fly that is Iran while shiny, ideological toys are waved in front of him by the neo-con vultures getting ready to wind up the idiot for one more spin around the room of smoke, mirrors and lies. If we fail to stop this next war in Iran, it is only fitting that Anna Nicole Smith becomes the historical symbol of our generation. We'll have earned her.

Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Visit Ursine Logic for more designs.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Some Enraged Thoughts On Global Warming

After watching "An Inconvenient Truth," I was left with a wide range of emotions that mixed with the ones I had over the stolen election of 2000 and the subsequent disaster the Bushco thieves have wrought upon the planet. I rarely get angry. I believe anger is something that feeds on you and turns you into a hate zombie consumed by things beyond your control. But I've been angry for a long time now and today when everything the Bushco bastards tried to suppress about Global Warming and Climate Change was finally allowed to see a glimmer of daylight, I became furious.

From day one this administration has threatened, blackmailed, intimidated and bought off Scientists, Doctors, Teachers, Scholars, and just about everyone who believed something that threatened Bushco bank accounts. They inflicted their junk science creationism voodoo on a generation of school children who couldn't fight back and demand a real education. They turned stem cells into a political tool instead of using their influence to help those who have long ago given up on hope. They cheated human beings out of real research that could have found the cure for cancer in favor of enriching pharmaceutical donors with millions of dollars of happy pills sales, that also had the added benefit of keeping people drugged and indifferent. They lied and sat on proof of Global Warming so oil companies could make billions of dollars in profits without having to even clean up their messes--like Exxon and the still unpaid costs of the Valdez environmental catastrophe. They let an American city die and have done shit to make it live again.

Everywhere they could cut a corner for security, safety and the common good in favor of lining their own pockets, they did. I long ago realized that Bushco cares only about money and the power it brings. All the rest of it, the religious crap, the fetus worship, the Middle East plan to slaughter everyone into democracy has nothing to do with ideology. They will pretend to believe whatever pays the best. And they will find a way to silence anyone who threatens their obscene and money-hungry pursuit of power. If the Republican Christo-Fascists ever cut off the money supply they use to buy legislation that puts us square into another dark age of religious persecution of the non-believers and the turning of women into chattel, they would turn on them as well. If the oil in the Middle East disappeared overnight, the very next day the troops would be coming home and there would be no interest in bringing "democracy" to places like Iran anymore.

But the worst damage they did was to the planet, a place that belongs to everyone and not just Bushco, a place that belongs to future generations and not just the greedy bastards that have staked their oily, greasy claim all over it. They tried to hide the damage their policies were doing. They lied about the effect of those policies. They cheated their grandchildren out of the only real legacy they had any right to pass on: a clean and healthy planet. For this reason alone, they should hang for their crime of murder, because it's a murder that doesn't end with this generation. It will continue to kill and destroy for generations to come and that is what makes them truly evil. Future generations will curse the names of these bastard ancestors that make up Buscho and if there is such a thing as an afterlife, may they hear their voices loud and clear for eternity.

Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Visit Ursine Logic for more designs.