I am lucky at this moment in history to live in a state that is decently represented. Oregon’s senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have both been vocal and courageous in opposing the Trump administrations appalling actions, orders and cabinet picks.
I feel that positive reinforcement and support are just as important as criticism and urgency when it comes to encouraging our elected representatives to listen to what their constituents have to say. Good people can be prompted to do even better when they feel supported and appreciated.
So I wrote a letter to Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley (I sent them separately, but they’re the same letter). I thought I’d share them here as well. Feel free to swipe this if you want to do the same thing for an elected official in your area who is doing good things.
Most Germans were completely aware of what was happening during the Holocaust. They knew Jewish, gypsy/Romani, LGBTQ, disabled, communist, and trade unionist folks, along with dissenters and criminals and more, were systematically imprisoned, tortured, slaughtered, and entirely dehumanized.
Most Germans also allowed themselves to be desensitized to this; allowed it to be normalized; allowed their ingrained biases and hatred of others to be taken advantage of for this to happen.
Most Germans lived relatively normal lives during the war. They had jobs, families, parties, birthdays, school, homes, and so on. They could ignore what was happening to their fellow humans, and ignore they did.
I have never sung a patriotic song with more heart than I did last night.
Unfortunately, it was not because I shared in the joy and triumph inherent in those songs, but because of the tragic fear of losing what they stand for. It was because it was the evening before our next President was sworn in: Donald Trump, a racist, sexist, xenophobic sexual abuser with strong and deeply suspicious ties to a hostile foreign government, nepotistic tendencies, and financial conflicts of interest out the ears. A man with a dangerous idea of militaristic power, of nationalism, and of war. A man who sees no reason to be diplomatic with foreign powers if he doesn’t feel like it that day. A man who could ruin us all, and in a thousand different ways.
Last night, drunk and alone, I sang “America the Beautiful” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” with all the heart I had. I sang them to no one and to everyone, loud and strong, choking on my tears. I sang them for what has been, and what could be, and what may be lost. I sang them for those who died to give it to us. I sang them for those who may never know what came before. And I sang them for myself, to remember. I sang them to cement them in my heart and memory, and I swore never to forget the words.
I’ve been fighting an internal struggle over writing this article.
It’s difficult to express the impact Barack Obama has had on my life. It’s been a massive one, and I expect that anything I uncover in writing this will be only the tip of the iceberg. I am certain that in years to come I will continue to find new ways his presidency and his leadership have changed me.
But he is leaving office on Friday, and it seems to me that he is due my effort to express it before then.
I don’t have it in me, right now, to say goodbye to Barack Obama.
Maybe in a normal election cycle, if a normal Republican was taking office, if anything at all was normal about any of this I’d be able to choke up some words about how much Barack and Michelle Obama have meant to me, and how sorry I am to see them go.
I’ve never been much of a protester myself. I’ve attended a small handful of them, but only in a journalistic capacity: I showed up to take some pictures and show support by posting them online, using my small amount of social media influence to help draw attention to those I saw as the real heroes—the people out marching.
Growing up in the 90s as a young girl looking for her strength was…tricky. Things were improving, of course, but female heroes were few and far between, and often the best ones were found in programs and movies that my sheltering parents kept me from anyway (shoutout to Xena and Buffy, I never knew ye).
Have you been listening to my podcast with Tim Baughman of That Tiny Website fame, Everyone Is Funnier Than Us? If you haven’t, you should do that now. We can be found on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Pocket Casts, and of course you can also listen in your web browser if you’d like!
We’re sorta funny!
Once you’re caught up to the latest episode, Ep. 8 – Science…Get On That (or hell, skip around, see if I care), play “Would You Rather?” with us!
We answered a series of 6 WYR questions on this week’s episode. We each submitted 3, and 2 of them are holiday-themed. They’re fun. Play along by answering in these polls!
WYR: Give Hugh Hefner a BJ or eat a live tarantula?
WYR: Have one hand that is a bucket or one leg that is a ladder?
WYR: Christmas music and decor be up year round, or have to celebrate a different winter holiday than your usual (eg if you celebrate Christmas, have to celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) from now on instead?
Christmas All Year
WYR: Have the mind of a 5 year old but the body of an 80 year old or the mind of an 80 year old but the body of a 5 year old?
5 in 80\'s body
80 in 5\'s body
WYR: listen to “Firework” by Katy Perry on repeat 10 hrs/day for the rest of your life, or subsist entirely on Saltine crackers and fried ants for the rest of your life?
I feel like a plastic bag, give me \"Firework\"
Saltines & ants, please
WYR: Be a mall Santa Claus once a year every Christmas Eve for three hours or be forced to watch your least favorite holiday film on repeat for the 24 hours leading up to every Christmas?
Least Favorite Holiday Film
Thanks for playing! We will discuss the results on our next episode, so stay tuned!
I can’t be the only comedian out there who is having, like, a really hard time being funny lately, right?
The thing about funny people is we tend to make jokes to deal with awful things, not because our lives are going swimmingly or anything. I mean I’m assuming most of you know someone who is a comic or at least tells a lot of jokes and I’m guessing they tend to tell jokes even during hard times. Probably to the point of being inappropriate, just statistically speaking (comedians are assholes, is what I’m saying).
And if you don’t know anyone like that, just think of, say, Chandler Bing. “Oh, my best friend is going through a divorce? Better crack a joke instead of consoling him.”