Friday, October 31, 2008

what we write about when we write electron blue & 8against8 contest results

[picture = barnaby ward]

[Results of the 8 against 8 contest in a video at the end of the post, for SON recap click HERE.]

So anyhow, back to memememe and my feelings. Much like the Dow Jones Industrial Whatzit, my feelings go up and down. Not that I understand, even abstractly, what the eff the Dow Jones actually IS, but my feelings about feelings are perhaps also quite conceptual -- they've got something to do with chemicals or the imbalance thereof, they fluctuate hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute, and are subject to massive drops and/or gigantic sky-charging leaps at any unexpected juncture.

Some humans choose to regulate these involuntary emotional fluctuations via the drink or the blow but ultimately these things kill you and/or ruin your life [and consequently lead you to Intervention, the best/worst show of all time]. So in lieu of smoking or xanaxing ourselves into rock bottom, we do the next best thing to get us through today which is making BIG plans for tomorrow! And what better time to make big plans for tomorrow than RIGHT NOW, this amazing moment in our nation's history when we've been assured & reassured that today is not gonna rock at all whatsoever.

So I've had a few ideas. I have these ideas all over the place, who knows where ideas come from, they just appear. I jot them down in my notebook. I have about 5-10 notebooks. Tomorrow I will get organized and consolodate my thoughts into less notebooks, obvs. (no I won't! i never will!)


In the interest of sharing with the group, I have transcribed below my collected notes more or less. one item is re-written from one page with variations, you'll see what I mean.

Autowin's Colossal Notes on Life:

- Ppl will return to roots, live in trees, etc., grow vegetables in the garden. will unite humanity, hope = seeds/soil.
humans not intended for such evolved desire, intended to hunt and gather (boring?) (what did artists do?)

- I should do national novel writing month i mean why not.
must totally restructure life, take self seriously
make schedule stick to it
SERIOUSLY

- unified by collective lack-of-wealth
a lot of sales at american eagle

- eventually things will become cheaper, like vacation
books, love

-things that give me hope: The West Wing, raspberries (raspberries are perfect - right? they are the perfect berry. if we can grow raspberries, we can do hope too)

- i totes heart rock bottom, it's where we finally meat each other

- universal problems --> universal understanding --> revolution?

- why do we always have to be the ones to move? why can't the republicans move ? where? they need a country (alaska? if rachel moves to nyc?)

- things that give me hope: The West Wing, raspberries, the cruise, poetry

- 1998: smoking w/krista in motel, reading southern lit out loud, coffee, cigarettes, pancakes, fudge, listening to ani like we meant it.
-2008: guitars seem too earnest

- the past keeps getting farther away, chronologically,
but closer and closer, emotionally, maybe i should've paid attention at the time

-things that give me hope: The West Wing, raspberries, the cruise, poetry, the fact that after all these years i still think ani difranco probs said it best, dancing, toast

-eyebrow wax has been on my todo list like every day

-why do i have so many friends who think that i have too many thoughts per day? they should try to keep up! we can have a race like odyssey of the mind.

-ladies and gentleman, the fabulous stain removers

--things that give me hope: The West Wing, raspberries, the cruise, poetry, the fact that after all these years i still think ani difranco probs said it best, dancing, toast, obama, perfect pens

-writers should go on strike -- no more writing for free
then what will everyone read?
perez?
i mean REAL WORDS

-goal: make new room represent a more organized, streamlined mentality

-find projects to pursue & use the pieces as blog posts -- see my drafts, give feedback. and "professional" feedback?

-i just need to write a novel next month. that will make everything better.

--things that give me hope: The West Wing, raspberries, the cruise, poetry, the fact that after all these years i still think ani difranco probs said it best, dancing, toast, obama, perfect pens, perfect books, purposeful pointlessness, alliteration.

++
It's hard to focus on more than what's in front of you
Electron Blue
Tomorrow's gaining speed on you
It's all you want to do, you,
You know where to run
You run Electron Blue

(R.E.M., Electron Blue)
++

Who won that 8against8 contest? Well, everyone who sent a photo or forwarded me proof of their donation to Equality California was entered in a drawing, which was held this afternoon at approximately 3:45 P.M., in my apartment [a.k.a. Haviland's apartment that I'm staying in for one more day] while A;ex should've been working, but needed to swing by to get this bright blue headband I'd borrowed. Very important. Then I made her do this.

Prizes:
1. Best of "Good Dyke Porn" DVD, courtesy of Bren, who donated it to the cause! There's a hot photo to the left of my window now 'cause I opened her window in a new window. That's the magic of Firefox and eyesight.
2. (2) copies of The L Word Season Five DVD Set. [I'll be giving away more copies soon, with a full promotion/contest thing]
3. (2) copies of Auto-Insomnia 'Zine #1.

Here we are, let's see who the big winners are. Unfortunately no stuffed animals or small children won prizes, then I could've gift-wrapped. Email me with your address if you've won and I will mail it to you sometime in the near future probably.

video

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

auto-fun of 10-29: if the elephants have past lives, but are destined to always remember

Thanks to everyone who supported 8 Against 8, we raised $13,579!!!. Later this week I'll try to wrap up some photogenic people to draw names out of a hat and bestow your stuffed animal with the good dyke porn or bad lesbian melodrama or superior top-grade insomnia poetry it deserves. Blogrolling is still down. Anyone know anything about this?

So anyhow, normally on Wednesdays I go to therapy, but then my therapist got knocked up by her husband approximately nine months ago, which really screws up my little Wednesday East Midtown therapy field trip routine which is detailed and includes very specific stops for location-specific snacks, coffee and magazines. I miss those snacks. Since my therapist refuses to disclose what borough she lives in, I'm just gonna have to keep my feelings to myself 'til she gets this kid out, goes through the depression and yoga stuff that comes afterwards and then gets back to work. Our next appointment is in February, just a warning for everyone. Who will be here during the Seasonally Depressive Months to try and convince me to stop cavorting with crazy people? NO ONE! Ha-ha! Let the games begin!

TALK ME DOWN people -- all the democrats I know who've registered for absentee ballots have encountered troubles receiving them. E.g., me. I called the Sec o' State and consequently the C-to-the-ity Clerk today to ask where the F my ballot is, and she said there was nothing in the system indicating that I'd applied for one.

She then read my New York City address to me -- yes, the address I've had for only three weeks which has only been submitted to any kind of formal governing body on ONE form (since I'm only living here for a month, I haven't changed my address on anything official yet) THE REGISTRATION & APPLICATION FORM I SENT TO THE CITY CLERK that she was claiming I never sent them. I tried to explain it but I may as well have been talking to an outsourced Indian. Ultimately this involved going to kinkos in the rain to use a fax machine to get them my form AGAIN. I don't believe in fax machines, FYI. They make me nervous.

So tomorrow night is Obama's commercial, I hope it involves Powerpoint and a musical number. How sweet would that be? If he brought the "vote however you like" kids on? or Bruce Springstein? I hope it's not boring. Then he's gonna be on The Daily Show, interviewed by Rachel Maddow on Thursday, and on SNL on Saturday. Basically Obama's week is like that one week in May when I had Tegan & Sara, Uh Huh Her and the NewNowNext awards. After that I didn't go out again for like many months. I still haven't. I hope he has lots of outfits.

I feel like every media company is laying off everyone these days. I'm VERY unhappy about Radar. Like EVERYONE! I'm nervous next week New York Magazine or Bust will go under and then I'll have nothing to read at the gym. I started talking crazy to Alex the other day about how I think now is the time for a revolutionary voice to come forward and change the face of online magazines with something fresh and radical and that someone should be ME! and she was like why don't we go to Target to get a sofa slipcover instead? So we did.

Quote: "And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for it is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost." (John Steinback, East of Eden)

Links:
1. My "please read this one" of the day -- Red Sex, Blue Sex, which investigates the radically different perspectives on teenage pregnancy and premaritial sex, beginning with this observation regarding Palin's child's child -- "Social liberals in the country’s “blue states” tend to support sex education and are not particularly troubled by the idea that many teen-agers have sex before marriage, but would regard a teen-age daughter’s pregnancy as devastating news. And the social conservatives in “red states” generally advocate abstinence-only education and denounce sex before marriage, but are relatively unruffled if a teen-ager becomes pregnant, as long as she doesn’t choose to have an abortion." (@the new yorker)
2. David Carr (who wrote Night of the Gun, which I just read, which was awesome) about how old media's decline will affect the quality of the news and reporting we read: The Media Equation. (@nytimes)
3. Where are the books by women with big ideas? (@the guardian)
4. A rather illuminating perspective from an independent voter on why she can't vote for McCain : anti-intellectualism (@slate.com)
5. Cause Celeb: an interview with Andy Warhol's Favorite Photographer by blogger kat Rosenfield of pink india ink. (@interiors magazine)
6. Love, Sex and the Changing Landscape of Fidelity -- everyone's cheating, is anyone telling researchers the truth? (@nytimes)
7. 30 Designers, 30 Reasons: "We enlisted 30 graphic designers to create a poster that represents a reason to vote for Obama. Starting on the October 5th, we will post a new poster online every day and email it to our list. Recipients can easily share the email with other supporters and friends who are undecided."
8. The financial crisis is killing B'way, five top shows announce plans to close. (@the independent uk)
9. The story of "how the financial crisis ruined my love life" when she meets a man who claims responsibility for it. She had me at "I don't know about money. I don't care about money. I'm not trying to be cool; this is not some posture. The acquisition of wealth is genuinely disinteresting to me, perhaps because I have never been (or been related to) someone who managed to pull it off. The acquisition of wealth is so genuinely disinteresting to me that I owe the U.S. government a cool $30,000 in back taxes ... I have four credit cards, nearly every one of them maxed out at a colossal twenty-seven percent interest rate," and the rest of it was pretty perfec too. Up in Smoke (@nerve.com)
10. Bookslut's Indie Heartthrob Series interviews Phoebe Gloeckner about her contribution to Mia Kirshner's book I Live Here, which I am currently reading.

Insomnia Poem #17

sometimes i feel like
after dinner's been eaten
it's all downhill

hours hours everywhere
and not a spot to eat
hunger is defeat

sometimes i wish
i could just lie on the couch
gulit-free, like candy used to be
read magazines
eat dried apple rings
watch the office on my laptop
eat cereal out of the box
all ambition outfoxed

i like the word supper
and the songs for it
i like something sweet after supper
i get sleepy now that i'm off the uppers
but i still can't sleep
and i'm still tired.

if there is no toast in my immediate future
i really should be sleeping.

Monday, October 27, 2008

8 Against 8 : You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Hello! Welcome to the last day of 8 Against 8, which's what happens when 8 gay ladies stop being polite and start saving the rainforest. Over the last week we've gotten My So-Called Life back on the air, become eight less by curing cervical cancer, gotten the word out about fedoras, fed & clothed a million skinny naked ladies at the gym and raised nearly $12,470 to support the No on Proposition 8 efforts. (!!!!) In honor of our last day, I have a lot of feelings, which you'll read if you get past this paragraph and so forth.

It's been tough keeping up on everything -- like the bajillion emails from people doing super-awesome things related to the campaign -- so I apologize if anyone's asked for a shout-out and hasn't gotten it ... YET! I'll try to work you in later. Like "OMG, so I have these feelings about myself, watch this video about no on 8," etc. I feel like I'm due for a mental breakdown, which's primo advertising placement, let me tell you. All I need is for that woman to come back and start a fight and/or poetry slam with me in the comments, traffic will skyrocket.

Who's hot today? Besides Laura and Maggie, who are hot every day:

(L to R, row-by-row:
a;ex vega, carly, rachel,
natalie, haviland, riese,
vashti, stef, tinkerbell,
marlene , suzanna, eric
krista, rebecca, autumn,
laura, ms. jackson, jack,
renee, milly & georgia of lesbilicious uk, gemma,
asher, liz, crystal,
allie, lynn, razia
poncho, erin, couch,
sinclair sexsmith, meghan, maggie
caitlinmae, littlefoot, ewok
raye, rachel, a.k,
lieutenant teddy, judith, judith
samantha.)
++
Okay so let's get down to business:
1. This is your last chance to WIN! a copy of The L Word Season Five on DVD by sending me your photo for the No-on-8 quilt or donating [actually, it's totally not. I've got several more copies that could come your way over the next few weeks for other reasons, TBA]. You know, The L Word? Returning to DVD with THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON on October 21st in a collectible 4-disc set, including all 12 dramatic and deliciously provocative Fifth season episodes from Showtime's successful long-running series featuring all of the beauty, chaos and complexities of a group of women who inhabit Los Angeles's lesbian community plus behind-the-scenes special features? [That's what I'm supposed to say, right? I'm really good at PR.]

2. Or you can win other things.

3. This is your last chance to WIN! for doing something that will benefit the entire world. Future chances to win will be more self-serving.

8 Reasons - 8 Against 8 - Why No on 8?

8. Because ultimately it's about freedom -- Prop 8 asks the state if there's still a case to be made for hope and consequently, for America's founding principles.

America's an idea, a philosophy, an evolving social experiment that now has a chance to begin again. We have a chance on November 4th to choose a new, hopeful and dramatic path that would make our ancestors proud.

The thesis of our path: Love & Equality will Save Us All. We've gone dangerously retro lately, despite the fact that those who've earned a voice (a.k.a. the "liberal media elite") clamor for a return to our initial philosophy: celebrate diversity, do not prosecute deviants. Because if you haven't hurt anyone on purpose, I believe your life is inherently legal.

7. Because until I heard Obama's '04 Convention speech, I believed only one America remained possible: a business, a military superpower on its last lap, a theocracy. Because we're at a turning point. This election will determine if America's a theocracy or something else. "Something else" = land of the free, home of the brave. Home of the tolerant.

6. Because although I don't understand -- and I cannot relate -- to the Yes on 8 folks, and I think they're wrong, stupid and unevolved, I am willing to share this land with them on principle. I mean -- I don't believe in a G-d that denies happiness or judges anyone on anything besides these two simple questions: Are you an asshat? Do you kill or hurt? etc. That's all that matters. Beyond that it's technicalities, tricky scriptures that direct repression and suppression of desire. I believe in desire. I believe in pleasure and the inherent goodness of everything a person does with pure intent -- anything a person does out of desire to make the world a better place and to not hurt anyone else in the proccess. Because what better place to live in than a place of fulfilled desire, a place where hope, ambition, pleasure and honesty can thrive?

Because I'm willing to accept the existence of the Yes on 8 Parade in exchange for their acceptance of me. I'm offended by their intolerance, disgust, and condemnation, but I'll accept it. They can lock me out of their churches, but they cannot -- THEY WILL NOT -- ask the government to follow the example of their churches. That's not the G-d I worship or pray to and that's not the government that I auto-be governed by.

++

5. Because relationships are messy, the fallout's complicated. We lose so much (our money, our minds), the art of losing is inevitable to master, and life is complicated and sometimes divorce's clean, rational proceedings are an unexpected blessing in the wake of messy, complicated breakups. 'Cause if straight people get shotgun weddings, I want them too. 'Cause the temporary insanity that befalls two people already prone to rash, unwise decisions and leads them to marry suddenly and against better judgment -- those are often precisely the relationships that need the legal protection provided by breaking up legally.

'Cause when my friends said if I didn't at least call the police they would -- and I did -- and the police came and they read & listened & told me, "We're all gonna die. She didn't say she was going to kill you soon. She said you were going to DIE soon." Which was well & good 'til they asked, how do you know her, and I said, she was my girlfriend and they rolled their eyes so far to the back of their heads I thought they'd never come back my way. They'd never look at me the same again and they didn't. They said anyone could've written those emails. [ha!] and as this conversation went on I wanted to pummel both of these cops with the strength of a million men, the kind of legitimacy granted by the heterosexual union, but no, certainly I knew by now that it's easy to look at two girls together and think it's just playtime sleepover, without power dynamics and rings there could be no crime.

4. Because marriage is the first step towards being considered legitimate at all, because it'll get a ball rolling that one day could land in our court. Same-sex domestic abuse is chronically unreported. Victims feel they are not taken seriously. This is true. I just tried to type a sentence about how things may have gone differently if she'd been male but it made my stomach hurt so I stopped.

Because when the shit hits the fan so many GLBT people are left on the floor, staring at the ceiling fan, amazed at how easy it was to lose it all. Shit.

++

3. Because I want to be proud of America! Because it's embarrassing to be on this team right now.

Because I want America to be Team Honest, where people come clean and get rings and dresses for it.

2. Because we're so behind. We're the only industrialized wealthy democratic nation to criminalize prostitution and aggressively prosecute sex workers (and don't confuse willing sex workers with sex trafficking and sex slavery -- that's a whole different ballgame. That's like comparing people who run factories to people who run sweatshops, it's just not relevant to discuss side to side, even if it's the same work being done). Other countries who still outlaw prostitution and all forms of sex work include: Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Iran, India, Kenya, Romania, Rwanda, South Korea, South Africa, Thailand.

'Cause we're talking logic here people. The same kind of logic that says if we don't pay for everyone to get educated, we'll pay for them to go to prison and/or rehab later. If we don't pay for everyone to get healthcare, we'll pay for the emergency room bills they never pay themselves. 'Cause it's logical to losen up the laws that are based on church-originated views of sexuality -- whether it be prostitution, abortion, sex ed or gay marriage -- and get logical. Sex work (like abortion) happens whether its legal or not, and regardless of how you feel about it or your church feels about it, it's a proven fact that sex workers are safer when their industry is regulated & subjected to health checks & they aren't afraid to go to the police when they're raped or hurt.

It's time we get free.

Everyone else is giving universal healthcare and everyone else is giving gay marriage and

wtf America
this was supposed to be YOUR GAME.
wtf, America,
live up to your fucking potential, you asshole.
be freedom.
create a country where everyone is allowed to do what they want, SEPARATE CHURCH AND STATE FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.
wtf, america, stop being a douchebag.
you've been talking shit for years about how you want the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free ... and you've become a church-state, which's so lame.

Because the past eight years have seen us lose our freedom of speech -- the very thing that set us apart from the oppressive regimes our parents' parents came here to escape.

1. Because if you want to immigrate to this country to be with the one you love and you are gay, you cannot.

Because that is discrimination, plain and simple.


++
18.
"Imagine all the people, sharing all the world."
-John Lennon, "Imagine."

Because if you respected my opinion that much, you wouldn't make it illegal. Because it's about time we do something revolutionary. It's been centuries since we threw the tea off the boat and what have we done since then? What have we got to show for ourselves now? Are we ahead of the game anywhere?

Because you can hate me and hate what I want with the fury of a thousand suns but you live here, with me, in this ridiculous yet oddly beautiful country, and so you're gonna have to just let me have this one.

Right-wing Yes-on-8 America, take one for the team. Team Freedom. I'm not being sarcastic this time. Thank you Ms. Jackson, I am for real. Imagine the flags blazing, Little Edie style, imagine the fireworks and Born in the USA and a landscape suited for conflict and division and hatred but simultaneously a landscape that gives us the space and the permission to diffuse all that and live life in peace. Where there is tolerance, and absence of judgment, a love will inevitably follow and that love ... is worth the struggle. Worth the letting go.

We have a chance, you guys. We have a chance to turn this all around. I've not learned much in my life from the government of these united States but I've learned this: 1. money is the stupidest thing ever, 2. war is retarded, 3. hope is sexy and 4. sex is hopeful.

Let's yearn, kids. Let's roam free with all our division and religion and misguided pretentious self-serving ideals. Let's let everyone do what they want with their lives and not tell other people what they can or cannot do. 'Cause this is America, yeah? We're Pilgrims and "Indians," ready for dinner?

I mean can you imagine if on November 4th we give IDEALS a bailout package? What I'm saying is no matter what crashes or breaks or shatters to never ever be fixed again, I hope this is a country where we can afford to dream. I hope we become that dream, outrageously little and better late than never and shimmering where it's shattered, glossy as glue.


[Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon at their wedding June 16th, 2008.]
Del Martin died in August at the age of 87.
An activist, Del fought for gay rights all her life,
and was finally able to marry her partner after 55 years together.
See: above.
+
donate.

Friday, October 24, 2008

This post is now in VIDEO!!! No on 8 PSA by Hav & Riese, Semi-Automatic Fun of Day 4 of 8 Against 8 and the first day of the rest of your life!

[Quick question: know any good websites to find cheap & interesting furniture? comment, let me know.] WE MADE A VIDEO PSA FOR 8 AGAINST 8 watch it now thanks.


Once the election is over, I'm gonna have to figure out what the F I'm doing with my life, but 'til then -- there's some good news! We've already surpassed the $8,000 goal for 8 Against 8 (!!!!), but the fight is far from over. We're continuing to fundraise through October 27th, which means you've still got plenty of time to donate money and/or give me your g-dforsaken photograph and therefore possibly win a copy of The L Word Season Five on DVD, an invigorating television series about what happens when people stop getting married and start getting "real." You can also win a DVD of Good Dyke Porn. Don't say I don't treat you right.

Check out this new video Vote No on 8 from the Feminist Majority Foundation -- Caroline & Heather are in it, and so is Rickie Vasquez/Wilson Cruz (you may remember all these kids from our NewNowNext awards videos) and the girl from Grey's Anatomy and Haviland's No.1 feeling Amy Brenneman.

These efforts and many like them are the reason why at least one "new statewide survey released by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation (PDF) has found that Prop 8 is now losing among likely voters, 52 percent to 44 percent." (@pam's house blend). As we learned through the AP's "Obama-McCain race is tightening" post yesterday, though, polls can be totally off base. We've also gotten press from SheWired, feministing, Nerve.com, The L Word Online, Pandagon, Gay Wired, Lavender Newswire, afterellen (obvs), Bilerco Project, Good as You, etc. I've also noticed a lot of y'all linking to us and it warms my heart every time. If you haven't already, do it now!

So please donate, please fight, and please indulge in a little vanity for me. (most recent 8 on 8 photo is always visible in the most recent 8 on 8 post)

So, remember -- if you donate, or if you send me a photo for the No-on-8 Quilt, you'll be entered in a drawing to win any of the following prizes:

1. A copy of The L Word Season Five on DVD (2 sets to give out)
2. A copy of The Best of Good Dyke Porn DVD (1 set)
3. Auto-Insomnia 'Zine #1 (2)
4. Auto-Gear of your choice (check the store page to see if your size is in stock)
++
Auto-Fun time!.

Quote: "I remember thinking; 'This is the beginning of happiness.' That's what I thought. 'So this is the feeling. This is where it starts. And of course there'll always be more.' It never occurred to me: it wasn't the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment, right then." (The Hours: the screenplay, by David Hare)
Links:
1. The best thing I've read this week: Why I Blog by Andrew Sullivan (@the atlantic monthly)
2. Dating advice from Sarah Palin impersonators (includes Sara Benicasa!!) (@nerve.com)
3. Hip Young People Hating Gay Marriage (@radar online)
4. My agent represents Brian Slattery -- I remember reading the proof of Spaceman Blues and literally being blown away by the first few pages (it's so rare that such excellent work will arrive on an agent's desk from a new writer). Here's an exclusive interview about his new book Liberation, a link to a free electronic version of SB. (@mediabistro)
5. Apparently the glut of crap free online writing will lessen in the new economy. Maybe someone will pay me someday for something. (@internet evolution)
6. The Insiders: How John McCain came to pick Sarah Palin. [it wasn't such a surprise after all] (@the new yorker)
7. The Future of Words, by Dave Eggers -- it's from September, but I just read it, and I like it. (@esquire)
8. itube: Why 23, 201 people care that Justine Exarik just ate a cookie, by emily gould. (@technology review)
9. The Look is the Same, the Labels Have Changed: on Sarah Palin's makeover. (@nytimes)
10. The American Dream is a Biological Impossiblity. (@wired)
11. Seven Biggest Blunders of the 2008 election. (@salon)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

8 Against 8 Day #3! I Married in the Sun! Reason 7 & Reason 6

When I started the 8 Against 8 posts, I had a lot of important things to talk about, like gay adoption and freedom (both the concept and the George Michael song). I wasn't even sure I could fit all my points into just 8 points. But I feel that I've come up with a much better reason to "vote no on 8" than anything I could ever say about civil rights, overpopulation or my gay Moms, and I'm going to make this point at the expense of having a chance to make some of the other points. Oh but first ...

... if you haven't given me your photo with a "No on 8" sign yet, I have only one question for you: why not, asshat? Get your shit together!: marielyn176@gmail.com. You can see all the total hotties who've already given me their snapshot in the most recently published post.
++
#7: Rachel Getting Married

Because I do not want to live in a world where it would be illegal for "Susan" to marry Rachel Maddow, omg. I know Maddow lives in Massachusetts, but this isn't about who lives where (more on this in a second). Don't you want to marry Rachel Maddow? Everyone wants to marry Rachel Maddow. If I could get Rachel Maddow on lockdown for rest of my life, I would move to the middle of nowhere faster than Palin agreed to be in charge of the Senate. I'd give up television and also apparently trash removal services AND I would even wake up at dawn and take the dogs out to look at the sheep. Firstly, Tinkerbell loves other dogs and it would be very fun for her. Secondly, I feel I could have a break into blossom moment.

Oh right! OK! It isn't about who lives where 'cause what we can do in California is set an example for everyone else, and also you can get married there and then it'll be recognized in NYC. Arizona's fighting Proposition 102 and Florida's fighting Ammendment 2. Give them your money too.
Today the NY Times reports (in its most popular story) that Rachel Maddow has doubled the audience for MSNBC's 9 p.m. slot in a matter of days, which's apparently unheard of. But speaking of things that are unheard of, you know what I've heard alot about? That NYTimes Magazine article about Rachel Maddow. Everyone is OBSESSED. What's your favorite part? I like imagining her taking ten minutes to hook up the speakers to the laptop.

Anyhow I think it's a good thing -- Rachel Maddow. Rachel, Rachel, Rachel ... Did you know Rachel has a twitter? Listen to Rachel on gay marriage in May. Here's her Air America show, where she made a name for herself before everyone became obsessed.
++
#6: 'Cause gay people can't make more people unless they really want to

In 2007, over 65,500 adopted children and 14,100 foster children were living with gay and lesbian parent. Half a million children live in foster care in the United States and more than 100,000 foster children await adoption.

I've been close to (read: dated, obvs I've got issues w/r/t saving people) three guys that were at some point put in foster care. They had horror stories -- abuse, neglect, parents who did it for the money. Even the guy who ended up, eventually, with a great family, was a total alcoholic. That's probs another story, anyhow.

It's insane to prefer placing kids with randomized asshats over placing them with the gays. Gays can't reproduce, so they generally adopt 'cause they want a kid real bad, not for the money.

On average, same-sex couples raising adopted children are older, more (formally) educated, and have more economic resources than other adoptive parents: The average household income for same-sex couples raising adopted children is $102,474, versus $81,900 for different-sex married couples, $43,746 for different-sex unmarried couples, and $36,312 for single parents. Same-sex couples hold graduate degrees at 34%, versus different-sex married couples at 13%, different-sex unmarried couples at 2% and single parents at 9%.

-Family Pride

Yeah, it's hard to have gay parents, but certainly gays are better than asshats. Also speaking from experience -- having a gay Mom did not make me want to be gay. In fact, precisely the opposite. Come on, who wants to be like their parents besides like, Rachel Maddow's future children? If Rachel Maddow was my Mom, I'd probs become gay. Anyway who cares, everyone should be gay. The earth is overpopulated, we do not need any more people, there's no food & no energy. After my agent and my therapist have their babies, that's it, it's over. No more babies. I might want one some day so I'll make an Amendment then. Also if you're reading this and you're preggers, that's fine, I support you. I hope my therapist has her baby soon so she can come back to work, I already have a lot of feelings I want to talk about.

We should clearly focus on recirculating the people we already have rather than making more. Quality not quantity. The Rosie Cruise, which I've gone on for three lovely years, is like an adopted child party, and they're all way better behaved than birthed children. You should go if you have any money left over after giving it all away to political campaigns. I don't, but that's why G-d invented credit cards.

Give me your picture or a picture of your baby. I bet your baby is against proposition 8, give your baby a sign. Once I thought I was preggers so I carried around a gourd with me, painted a face on it, named it "dumbass" and said it was my practice baby. My boyfriend and I would throw it to each other in the hall, it was funny, we even have photos with it. Clearly I can't be trusted, it's a good thing I don't sleep with dudes anymore.

I can't believe I've blogged three days in a row. Are you sick of me yet? I am. Donate. Photograph. I love you all, let's make babies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

8 Against 8: Reason Number #8 -- Bettina Getting Married

Firstly -- blogrolling is apparently down right now. I know I'm behind on updating my blogroll, but my hands are tied 'til they get their shit together. In related news, I'm barely keeping my own shit together. Luckily "frazzled" is one of my most charming personality traits, just imagine me as a haplessly endearing girl in a rom-com sporting perfect hair and a cute skirt and with bunch of papers falling out of my arms. Also imagine Tinkerbell with me, playing in the sandbox. That part's just for fun, I like to spice up the imagination sometimes.

Wouldn't it be funny if everyone came to this blog today looking for profound words against Proposition 8 and instead found me live-blogging the lyrics to "American Pie" (with typos) or waxing nostalgic about when Natalie and I lived together in college and were forced to attend "house meetings" with our eight Kappa Kappa Gammite roomates, during which we'd moan, make faces at each other, shove chipatis down our gullets and consistently vote "I don't give a shit" rather than "yay" or "nay" on all raised "household issues"? I'd live-blog "American Pie" just to be annoying, but I'd wax about Natalie & Riese's Collegiate Experience as a segue into the topic of: WE JUST SIGNED A LEASE!!! I know, right? What kind of landlord would give us a lease for a three bedroom apartment? Well, Natalie is very charming.

Now we need:
-A subletter who can pay $1,000 month for a gigantic room in Morningside Heights.
-A giant truck
-2-3 giant burly people with a truck
-a bed for the room we're gonna sublet
-Natalie has some crazy ideas about houseplants.

Anyway back to THE CAUSE. 8 Against 8! Firstly -- please please please send me your photos for the 8 Against 8 cyberquilt. If you do, you'll be entered in a drawing to win fun prizes like The L Word Season Five DVD and an Auto-Insomnia 'Zine, plus you'll be part of a really cool art project that will last for eternity and maybe get us onto a big website to drive visibility. Donate to 8 Against 8.

But, wait – there’s more! We don’t want to focus on just us! Queers in other states are fighting for their rights too – Arizona is fighting Prop 102 – and they need your help. Florida has to contend with fighting off Amendment 2. They need our help too!
++

(L to R, row-by-row:
a;ex vega, carly, rachel,
natalie, haviland, riese,
vashti, stef, tinkerbell,
marlene , suzanna, eric
krista, rebecca, autumn,
laura, ms. jackson, jack,
renee, milly & georgia of lesbilicious uk, gemma)
++
Reason #8: Because Angelica would make a really cute flower girl



Don't Bette and Tina deserve the same farewell party that all golden couples receive in the finale episode of popular hour-long drama television serieses (what is the plural for "series"? "Seri"? "Meese"?): A WEDDING?

I mean a real wedding. This might not be popular to say but look, it's not just a word. Have you ever been to a commitment ceremony? Watching Pedro get married on The Real World dosen't count.

Commitment ceremonies are beautiful. There are, for example, flowers. Everyone dresses up and heaps praise -- maybe even sometimes too much -- on top of topics like the loveliness of the brides/grooms & the chldren, of the house and the lawn and the sky's implicit endorsement of this special union and the whole wide world and the burning bruised apple of love as it exists, ripe and occasionally rotten enough to make the ripeness sweeter, between two people who love each other no matter what the conservative right wing has to say about it.

But yeah ... it's just not like the real thing. I've been to two -- my Moms' and a server friend from the Mac Grill. They were both quite lovely, the second one involved more alcohol, which was awesome, but I got blisters and then later we all got supertrashed at the Holiday Inn, which is everything a Jackson, Michigan wedding was ever meant to be.

I mean -- granted, if this passes, and we're back to where we started from in California, then I'll go along with what we must do which will be to pretend that civil unions (or just symbolic commitment ceremonies) are just as good. Marriage is just word, but it's the word that births men and wives and ex-wifes and stepsons and all kinds of positions we play and that are interchangeable, mostly, with gender. If it's not for the country to decide, then we shouldn't be deciding it for straights either (but that's another story). If we go back to where we were, I'll say it doesn't matter. I'll say it's just a word.

But I will know that to claim language precludes definition is problematic. We say -- "just a word," "it's only words," etc. "Just my word." But words aren't just words, words really matter, words are not just words for specific things but words for all the other words that need that thing, that coexist with or for it. Because how can we expect our families, loved ones and co-workers to take us seriously before the law does? They can still choose to disapprove, but it's not as easy to convince your homophobic sister to come to a commitment ceremony that is simply that -- a ceremony -- than it would be to convince her to come to your real legitimate wedding, you know -- the kind that matter like Donna & David's and Luke & Laura's and your sister & her punk-ass husband.

There is the risk that it might seem a little silly to those who already find homosexuality sick or less significant. There is the fact that running away at the altar lacks gravity when it's just symbolism you're dashing from, not reality.

I don't, of course, mean disrespect to anyone who chooses this route -- straight or gay. But personally, I'd like to have the same choice everyone else does. I don't just want the symbolism. I want the paper, and the rights, and all that. I want it to be just as "real" in every way as it would be to marry a man.

Which brings me back to my point (per ush, the intro is taking longer than the point): like Seth and Summer, David and Donna, etc, The L Word should end with a Bettina wedding! A REAL ONE!

Then Henry can come and pound on the window and be like "TINAAA!" and Papi and her girls can go kick his backne-d ass, and Shane can almost cry and Alice can be like "Is that a tear?" and Shane can be like, "No," all self-conscious, but that's 'cause she's thinking about her new girlfriend Jenny and/or her lost love, Carmen De La Pica Morales, who she left at the altar. After the Bettina wedding, Shane will do a lot of coke and have hot sex with Cherie Jaffee in the backseat of her Jeep and then they'll drive off into the sunset while Bette gives Tina a triple orgasm following about two seconds of penetration [and I hope also] external stimulation.

Also, would Shane have had the cojones to leave Carmen at the altar if there'd been something legal-in-America at stake -- would she have been so quick to agree in the first place or to disappear? If your Mom already thinks your relationship with your girlfriend is just like playing house, than good luck getting her to listen to you cry about being left at a symbolic altar rather than an actual one.

I mean basically what I'm saying is that California martial law made it possible for Ilene to whip out such a terrible sad plot device.

Commitment ceremonies are earnest and lovely things, but you must rally vast quantities of hope and belief to participate. It sometimes feels like we've all agreed to play a part in an all-day role-playing festival. And all the cakes and the hired help can't shake the feeling that there's something implicitly second-rate about not having the underlying formality that straights accept as their goddess-given right.

Also, as I would like for my own wedding one day, it would be ideal if the Bettina wedding could be like Miss Piggy and Kermit's wedding, with the same song. Also, I would prefer if Proposition 8 included a clause prohibiting Betty from playing at the wedding. I'm sure Kit Porter can get a witness. OMG, how hot would it be if Snoop Dog played the wedding? I should be a fake wedding planner. I'll make a graphic later probs, but I gots to get back to work y'all.

++
Oh but one more thing!

If you know me, you know that I've made every attempt possible to get AfterEllen to link to me, finally determining that even if I'd sculpted a life-size replica of Sarah Warn out of butter and/or ice, or made a vlog about Jodie Foster and Buffy the Vampire Slayer's secret love affair, there's really no possibly way they would ever, ever, ever link to me. If I'd married Ellen DeGeneres they would've had to claim full story rights had gone to The L World Online. It's like an Oprah-Dave thing. One day Sarah Warn will call me in to interview me on all my topics of expertise, e.g., my own navel, string cheese.

But finally! Yes! My moment in the sun has come! See guys, amazing things happen every day, and defeating Proposition 8 will be one of those things. So donate, please, and send me your photo. ALL OF YOU!

Monday, October 20, 2008

8 Against 8

As y'all may or may not know, there's an initiative on the California ballot this year called "Proposition 8," which aims to change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. The gays have had this right since June, and obvs all hell's broken loose. Gay marriage has killed 500 polar bears, inspired ten million men to cheat on their wives, unleashed a SARS epidemic amongst babies in Oakland and directly caused the entire adolescent population of La Jolla to marry their pet rabbits. Howevs, it's also resulted in some very lovely photos of Ellen & Portia, which's why I've joined the 8 Against 8 Campaign.

8 Lesbian Bloggers, 8 Days, 8,000 Dollars. The bloggers include Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend, Dorothy Snarker of Dorothy Surrenders, Grace Chu and Grace Rosen of Grace the Spot and Afterellen, Lori Hahn of Hahn at Home, Kelly Leszczynski of The Lesbian Lifestyle, Sugarbutch, and Renee Gannon of Lesbitopia.

Prop 8 would add a new section to the California constitution stating "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Current polls predict that this ammendment will pass , thanks to crazies like these guys -- which's why we've come together against Proposition 8, begging you for money. I beg you guys for money a lot, but this time's different, 'cause I'm not selling t-shirts or 'zines. I'M SELLING FREEDOM, BITCHES!

Over the next 8 days I'll be rolling out My Top 8 Reasons why this cause deserves at least five of your hard earned dollars. I mean face it we're all broke now anyway, what's another $5-$500 bucks? That's what I tell myself every night when I order takeout. If 8 Against 8 reaches its $8,000 target, I'll stop talking about it and talk about other things. But 'til then you'll just have to hear about it, or read my South of Nowhere recap whenever I finish it, or read Lozo or Sloganx or call your mother, she misses you. Better yet, call my Mother, she misses me. Or my other mother. They're not married. It's totes illegal in Michigan. They had a commitment ceremony, I wore my Puma sandals, maybe we've discussed this before.

ANYHOW! for now, I'd like to invite you to send me a photo of yourself for my No on 8 Quilt (pictured in the current post of the day, which right now is Reason #8). It's like an AIDS quilt but less depressing. Just take a photo of yourself with a sign that says "No on 8" and send it to me at marielyn176@gmail.com. Photobooth is the best way to do it. Or you can do what Haviland did -- pick up a random dog from the street and then galavant around Los Angeles photographing yourself with No on 8 Lawn Signs. She's so clever and spry, that Haviland.

Anyone who sends me a photo for the No on 8 Quilt and/or donates to 8 Against 8 and forwards me their confirmation email will be entered in a drawing to win fun prizes. I won't actually ship these prizes 'til after November 4th, 'cause honestly I've got a shit-ton of stuff to do before then, like move into a new apartment, find a subletter for our third bedroom and furnish the place ... while continuing to blog, recap, work three jobs, exercise and occasionally catch some shut-eye.

But I'm 99.9% sure the grand prize will be a copy of THE L WORD SEASON FIVE ON DVD -- it comes out on DVD October 28th and I'll be running some promotional contests for it here and on AutoStraddle and on TLW Online when I actually get the DVDs (it might not be 'til November, I'm really not sure), but I'm prematurely ejaculating one copy for this cause. 'Cause that's the kind of girl I am. Another prize will be a copy of Auto-Insomnia #1, our fabulous 'zine -- if you've already got it, then you can win Auto-Gear instead or a date with Haviland (pre-requisites include: smokin' hot, have your shit together, no crazies, live in L.A).

If you don't want any gay prizes, you should donate anyway, otherwise you will probs not get into Heaven. Highest level of tzedakah is giving w/o recognition. Just saying.

What are you waiting for??!!! Send me your photo, weirdo! I'll put it up w/in 24 hours of when you send it to me. Give me your name, a link if ya want it ... and you can cover your face if you want.

Also, please spread the word to any major media outlets or minor media outlets you know of. Download the press release here and check out the website. That badge up there -- feel free to repost it anywhere with a link to www.8against8.com.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

are you human, or are you VLOG-star?

The news goes so fast these days we can hardly keep up with our Sarah Palin jokes. I used the last of our footage for this vlog. I've also included footage shot w/A;ex while I was living w/her and her parents on Long Island & footage shot w/Natalie while I was living w/her and someone else's parents in Harlem. I've got parental issues.

So the is about America, Natalie, and how Alex still has Angelina Jolie posters all over her walls. Caitlin and I had a lot of feelings about Alex's room and most importantly its Gwen Stefani wallpaper when we first saw it. In fact we instantly dashed to Barnes & Noble to buy every mag featuring an Angelina spread.

When Alex got our present she yelled at us for supporting the tabloid journalism industry but our laughter drowned out her protests. We were very amused over what we perceived to be our incredible funiness, cleverhood, talentship and invention, and we were and saying things like "Alex, we wouldn't want you to miss this shot of Angie and Shiloh for over your bed!" "Alex, this is an important photograph!"

I have the teevee on mute and Janice Dickinson just pushed a greasy muscled boy into a swimming pool. All the other boys, also in Speedos, are standing at the side of the pool trying to look like the Marlboro Man, I think. I'm glad I have it on mute. i bet the noise would be annoying.

Did you know Lozo stopped writing his blog? I'll probs get all his traffic now. Football. Basketball. This stupid girl on the bus. Baseball. Hi Lozo fans! Anyhow, when I used to think to myself; "Riese, why do you spend so much time on your blogs when it's not really financially lucrative and you really should be focusing on other things, like your career, or long-term plans for life, or writing a book or freelancing or making a living, or that baby you had in Montana that one summer with that ranchboy who smelled like haystacks, where is that baby now?" -- I would then answer myself like this: "Well, Lozo does it."

That's my policy in life. If I can think of one other person who does what I'm doing and seems okay with it then I am in the clear. But now that Lozo isn't doing it, I don't know how to answer myself when I question myself like that. I have a lot more thoughts on this topic, specific thoughts and lists, etc. But this post is going to be about the vlog. It's 3 A.M., I should be asleep, especially since I broke all my fingers from typing too much.

Also now on the teevee they have Janice dressed up like a trannie hooker princess, and all the other kids are dressed like goblins. I have a lot of questions about America. Maybe this vlog will answer them. Actually this vlog is about nothing more than any vlog has ever been about nothing before. the only "greater meaning" I can gleam from the wreckage is that we have a lot of things happening in our head a the same time.:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

auto-alternatively fueled fun of these days 10-16-2008

This is a group shot by stacie joy from the NYC Sex Bloggers Calendar, which you should buy. I am the trannie in the back, channeling Tinkerbell in my Dolly Parton wig. Also! There's Sugarbutch, who's only photographed from behind on her blog as y'all know from when I was lightly flogging her in the lesbian blog contest and possibly also [talking about how i was gonna] make her take me on a date so I could see her from the front. Other ladies in the shoot who I actually knew before I got there include RKB, who edits every erotica anthology ever written, the fabulous Jayme Waxman, Lux Appletreedream from the famous sex panel which was for the book that Dacia wrote. Ta-da!

We're having a launch party on November 14th, which coincidentally is also the 13th anniversary of the worst day of my whole life. Clearly I will be getting very intoxicated. Show up to watch me make an ass of myself. I just wanna show up in someone's recap in words like "someone got really .... jolly! last night! and was dancing on the bar ..."
+++
Hello autowinners this is tinkerbell. Riese promised to stop talking about the election following her giant election information party yesterday, but then she wanted to write McCain a poem and I do not know what to say for this. If you've not read her election post, you or someone in your family can expect a kiwi in the face within 5-6 business days.

I know you are wondering what me, Tinkerbell, thinks about all this. As the Dog Whisperer can tell you, dogs are very attuned to body language and can read your mind. Therefore I can safely say that John McCain is a bad idea. Onto the Auto-Fun.

quote:
"Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth, the command of Isaiah -- to "undo the heavy burdens, and [to] let the oppressed go free."

And, if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor -- not a new balance of power, but a new world of law -- where the strong are just, and the weak secure, and the peace preserved.

All this will no be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days; nor in the life of this Administration; nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin."

-John F. Kennedy
Inaugural Address
January 20, 1961
debate roundup:
salon: McCain loses the last debate
huffington post: final debate - mccain brings up ayers, ACORN
sam stein: say it to each others' faces
robert shrum: put mccain out of his misery
phillip elliot: joe the plumber speaks
ari melber: obama t.k.o.s mccain in last debate
nytimes: live blog - the last tangle
thinkprogress.org: presidential debate live-blogging
wonkette: liveblogging the end of everything, part v

links:
1. The science of gossip: why we can't help ourselves (@scientific american) (thanks to a.bartelby)
2. Compared to brits, new yorkers are apparently sober mcsobersons. let's put down the drink and just talk. (@the times online)
3. Indie heartthrob interviews cristy c. road, who i've loved and displayed visual love for on this very blog. (@bookslut)

Her answer to "if you were asked to write and illustrate a Sarah Palin biogrpahy, how would it look and where would you start?":
I would start by making sure it's written through a truthful and objective lens as opposed to those of her tyrannical allies. Then, I would make sure I have the freedom to illustrate her agenda through my own lens; thus exposing the inhuman effects her politics would have on society. The lighting in such drawings would be dark and grim. The story will conclude with a classy full color piece showing her severed head inside of a giant condom, encircled by a montage. This montage will illustrate the outcomes (STD's, pregnancies by way of abuse, dead polar bears) of some of her proposed VP policies. Basically, before engaging in such a project, I will ensure the author ties her TRADITIONAL VALUES to such unfortunate circumstances such as GENOCIDE, BLINDNESS, and complete and utter POWERLESSNESS; specifically among the minds/bodies of American women.

I will also make sure to remove that over the top contour from the illustrations of her face. Homegirl needs some assistance at the MAC counter at the mall, dear god.
(@bookslut)
4. The "Wall Street/Main Street" Bug: Curing Symptoms of Synechdoche - "Lately we've heard so much about "Wall Street" and "Main Street" that foreigners might think America comes divided not into states or counties, or red and blue, but boulevards, highways, and the like. Yet lots of very different people have lived at both addresses. Part of figuring out where one stands intellectually amid the financial meltdown of the moment requires absorbing the disparate images and associations we identify with both phrases." (@the chronicle of higher ed)
5. Top Nine Shameless Celebrity Election Videos (@the daily beast)
6. Patient Voices: "How does an eating disorder take over someone’s life? Is it a matter of losing control or trying to seize it? Eight men, women and children tell of their struggles with anorexia, bulimia and other forms of eating disorders." (@nytimes health)
7. Defamer Australia talks to Sia about Tila Tequila, Lindsay Lohan, and Writing Songs with a Certain Pop Star (@defamer)
8. If you want me and Carly to recap South of Nowhere you should know that we like attention and praise. Well, I do. Just saying. The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach and/or the intenret. (@autostraddle)
9. For some reason the emo-cave is not involved in the 10 Historic Secret Rooms and Hidden Passages (@weburbanist) (thanks to big-exit)
10. Why Jews Make More Money and Win More Nobel Prizes (@jewcy)
11. debate preview: batman vs. the penguin (@truthdig)

[i am rita]

insomnia poem #16
[inspired by john mccain's performance at the third debate]

people are strange fruit
smoke & shoot
but
on the inside people are usually
like oranges
fleshy and sweet
and me: allergic to all of it
but here's the marrow

people are like oranges
except for the people
who are like dates
[hard and chewey]
which i've never eaten really
'cause they are scary to me
like john mccain
the rain in spain
falls mainly on the plain
mccain
i don't think
anyone as rich as you are
can feel

america

it came from
pain


you say potato, i say potato,
you say palin, i say pain

hey you on the tv
here's a fresh slice
of our sweet
dream, like
hope right before
it happens,
and most of us
die still yearning
but yearning sweetly
i mean that it's so sweet
it would make you kiss

it's
like a smile when you mean it
like a feeling when you feel it

and we'll go eyes closed
fuck your pose

i hope you lose.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Biggest Bestest OMG'est Election Blog Post of All Time in the History of the United States World Wide Webbernet

[UPDATE: new section on climate change] After this, I'm gonna stop writing about the presidential election for at least 10 days. I mean, I'll mention it, but I won't address it as a subject. I gots to get off the sauce. But! This is the final election hurrah!, the last bender, the largest compendium of actual information ever assembled in the history of autowin. We're celebrating the longest sustained period I've gone without talking about myself (directly) (constantly). But also; I feel it's silly to talk about me right now. My existence is so absurdly petty and frivolous, it's difficult to address inner demons when the sky is falling, everyone's broke and unemployed (I've been broke & unemployed for eons, so I'm used to it), and we're in the midst of an extremely high-stakes election.

I mean, what can I talk about right now besides the state of the union? I wanna start new book club, but what if no one can afford to buy books! Omg! What about my feelings? Do I have any?

This blog post covers the important issues as we see them. It also contains every single g-ddamn link I've been sent, directed to, or independently stumbled upon this week. Every link you've emailed me, all the ones Haviland shared via email 'cause she uses Google Reader like a weirdo, facebook posted items, youtube links on twitter. ALL OF THEM. Did I miss anything? Is there ANOTHER PALIN VIDEO I could watch? Please let me know, thanks.

I asked three of my greatest resources – my future bridesmaids – to give me input and help me assemble something that you can use when it's time to email your bible-thumping uncle or your clueless younger brother or your dear friend at the office who apparently would like to see America continue spiraling to hell in a hand-basket along with great minds like Elisabeth Hassleback and Ann Coulter. This, my friends, is the source of all your informational needs.

With avatars!

I present, along with Krista, Natalie, and Haviland --
the greatest bestest staggering work of heartbreaking genius
election 2008 coverage on the entire world wide web.


**

The Team:

Natalie: Grew up in Ohio (heartland of the universe), her parents immigrated from Romania. We met at U of Michigan where she studied women's studies and then got her M.A in Philosophy & Public Policy at the London School of Economics. She currently works for the Association for Women’s Rights and Development and her best friend is a gay and we're gonna find an awesome apartment.


Krista: Grew up in Wisconsin, we met at Interlochen Arts Academy as suitemates our junior year and then forevermore. In our Sparlem apartment many years later she'd lecture me on politics atop a stack of folded-up pieces of The New York Times and donate to shit-tons of causes, thus flooding the mailbox with Sierra Club posters and Planned Parenthood alerts. She's studying for her M.A. at Yale and her boyf is a big shot at moveon.org. She can see Russia from her window.


Haviland: You know Haviland Stillwell, rising star, already obvs. and know all about her. I'll just add that she grew up in the deep south of Savannah and then Atlanta, Georgia, the daughter of a democratic politician in a Republican district. Her brother works in D.C. I don't know how she became a gay at NYU and then a Broadway star. She gets way more excited about Meet the Press than you'd expect, is really hot for Hillary, and only pals around with people who love America and the first ammendment.
McCain will tax, for the first time in history, health insurance benefits from your employer, and “deregulate," just like he did with the banks, which didn't work. 20 million will lose benefits, one trillion will lose Medicare and Medicaid.
  • The return credit of $1500/individual and $5000/family doesn't come close to the $12,000 price tag on the average American family's policy.
  • It'll be legal for insurance companies to select their own pools, so those w/preexisting conditions will have trouble getting insured.
  • Obama's laws make it illegal for HI companies to discriminate.
  • Obama plans to create universal health care but if you already like your policy, you can keep it, obvs! -- never fear.
  • We are the only wealthy industrialized nation without some form of universal health care.

Haviland: “What better way to make this country better than to teach everyone from the time that they are born that they don't have to be privileged to see a doctor?”


Krista: “McCain's health care plan is literally catastrophic, and hypocritical. McCain has seven homes and private jets and has been on tax-payer financed health insurance his entire life. Aside from the judges, this is the thing that scares me the most.”

9. We Need to Fix Our Foreign Policy & Our Reputation Abroad
(edited for brevity -- Natalie's complete report here)

We’re marred by the Bush-Cheney foreign relations approach – “you’re either with us or you’re against us, and if you’re against us, we’ll probs drop bombs.” We’re now less safe and our moral standing within the international community has been severely damaged.

  • McCain’s position on Iraq: stay the course.
  • Obama’s foreign policy: 1. no more fear, 2. have some dignity. 3. diplomacy first, military action as a last resort.
  • Obama and Biden will convene a bipartisan Consultative Group made up of Congress members to foster better executive-legislative relations and bipartisan unity on foreign policy.
  • McCain’s website does not have a section coherently detailing his foreign policy approach.
Natalie: "Obama's foreign policy plan is nuanced and recognizes the complexities of the world we live in today. He understands the need to engage the international community and that diplomatic pressures are often more effective than military intervention ... but fully understands the importance of a strong and fortified military and the need to deploy it when all else fails."

Obama's foreign policy is the best! McCain vs. McCain: He seems to think he can magically unite the two main strands in foreign-policy administration. He can't (newsweek), Foreign Policy Brain Trusts: McCain Advisers (Council on Foreign Relations).

Obama is not a terrorist! Bill Ayers is totes fine, this guy used to work with him (@slate), and Obama sets the record straight on the radio animated Bateman style (@salon), and he predicted this line of reasoning, didn't he? Yes he did (@youtube).

8. Women's Rights
(Natalie's complete report here )

Reproductive Rights/Health Care
: Obama supports a woman’s right to choose her reproductive futures. McCain would, given the chance, overthrow Roe v. Wade and terminate the Title X family planning program. He opposes investing in insurance coverage for women's health issues like birth control (and supports abstinence only sex ed w/a running mate who makes rape victims pay for their rape kits)

  • More than 19 million women are uninsured in this country.
  • Choice is critical to the promotion of democracy. In order to truly have control over one’s life, one must have full control of one’s body.
Women and Work: Over the past eight years, female workers have faced stagnating wages, declining health care coverage, erosion of pension protections, rising personal debt and have been hard hit by the housing crisis.
  • Women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes for the same work.
  • A mother can get fired or lose wages for missing work because her child gets sick.
  • The Obama economic plan will increase the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011 and will extend Child Care Tax Breaks to 7.5 million working women. Their plan also supports paid paternal leave.

Natalie: “On their website, McCain/Palin claim that “there is only one candidate (John McCain) who has answers to the most basic concerns facing women voters.” Scouring their website, there’s no reference to the particular challenges women face in the work-force, balancing work and family, obstacles owning their own businesses – anything. They do however discuss Cindy McCain’s travels. Take a look for yourself.

Obama and Biden, on the other hand,have a lot to say -and it makes sense."

Famous People say VOTE!: Paris Hilton interviews the best president ever (@funny or die), Betty White has Sarah Palin's crazy (@defamer), don't vote is possibly better than vote or die, also the girls from friends look HOT (@mtvnews), kim stolz wants you to vote (@afterellen), also all the hot people in hollywood are like whatever we're not gonna vote for you (@the la times).

The election is funny! Like, where are the Republicans gonna threaten to move if Obama wins? (@slate), and what would it be like if
Obama and Bartlett had a meeting, I bet Aaron Sorkin could conjure that (@nytimes), and Roseanne Cash would be a better VP than than Sarah Palin (@the nation) and Sarah Palin's debate can be explained in the Debate Flow Chart (@the daily kos), but she's George Sanders's Gal (@the new yorker) and of course there's John Stewart & Steven Colbert breaking it down, as they do this time of year (@entertainment weekly).


Haviland: "I'm the member of three unions -- Actor's Equity, Screen Actor's Guild, and AFTRA -- I can safely say, listen to the president of the AFL-CIO about the craziness of voting any other way and trust he knows what he's talking about. He brings up great points about racisim within the election. Many 'blue collar workers' can listen to this guy and understand that a vote for McCain/Palin would be a total loss."

McCain is lying about the content of his character!
Mishaps mark John McCain's record as naval aviator (@latimes) Make Believe Maverick (tim dickinson @rolling stone), McCain and the POW Cover-up (@the nation), McCain thinks we won every war ever (@the atlantic), mccain yells at everyone when he loses at craps and has an anger management problem (@the daily beast).

Also, McCain is a serious flip-flopper!
Here's a clean-cut chart of the double-talk express (@rollingstone), his supporters say the flip-flopping is independence from dogma, but really he's just an opportunistic flip embracer of opposites (@the ny times), the daily show debuts the movie "John McCain is a Reformed Maverick" (@comedy central).
Clearly the Republican "trickle-down" plan has failed -- outsourcing is at an all time high, and gaps between rich and poor continue to expand as big-box retailers and multi-national corporations take over the map. Obama knows change takes time and starts with education and health care. 95% of Americans will benefit from his tax cuts, which focus on the middle class.

Obama will save the economy!: Wall Street, Fall 2009 (@nymag), Obama has found his voice on the economy 'cause he's "Professor and Pastor" (@slate).

Everyone on McCain's team wants to be on Obama's team now! David Brooks (@nytimes), Christopher Buckley (@the daily beast), Kathleen Parker (@the national review), and Peggy Noonan (@the wsj), Republicanos por Obama (@huffpo), Republican Congressman Ray LaHood (@huffpo), former Republican Michigan Gov. William Millken (@mlive), and just general concern in the GOP for his campaign right now (@nytimes) and the RedState confounder isn't wanting to vote for Obama, but he can't bring himself to vote for McCain (@joshuatrebino).


Krista: "Our courts hang in dangerous balance with four moderate liberals, four extreme conservatives and one tenuous swing vote. Justice Stevens, one of the moderate liberals, is 88. Our world will change not just for four more years but for our lifetime were he to be replaced by a McCain/Palin appointee.

We could overturn Roe vs. Wade, we’ll likely see torture as a routine and legal interrogation technique, unchecked corporations will pollute our planet for profit, and any power put before the court would likely be ushered into the hands of an ever-privileged few as unions and worker's rights become a distant memory. Our proud history of Civil Rights and Women’s Rights may never have come to be under a court populated by McCain’s favorite justices."

[I did a piece about Alito for nerve a few years ago. He got appointed. Thank you, Bush. Very, very frightening stuff.]

Haviland: "She's a liar. She doesn't answer questions. To be fair, there's no reason someone in her position, prior to her VP nom, would be expected to know foreign policy details, so she's done a good job learning quickly. But do you want someone who's cramming the info instead of someone who already knows it? Aside from experience and personality, there's other issues with Palin:
  • Living next door to Russia isn't foreign policy experience.
  • Having a gay friend and tolerating her choice is not pro-civl rights
  • Believing it's "not important" to discuss the cause of global warming isn't eco friendly.
  • Supporting abstinence only education -- which clearly didn't work, 'cause her own daughter couldn't get with the Palin agenda -- doesn't mean she's pro-life.
Being a woman in a position of power does not mean you're a feminist."
+

Palin is not necessarily the best idea anyone's ever had: Mad Dog Palin: The scariest thing about John McCain's running mate isn't how unqualified she is -- it's what her candidacy says about America (@ rolling stone), The View From Alaska: Amid Troopergate and other government scandals, including killing wolf pups, an Alaskan writer explains why the Palin phenomenon rings hollow in his home state (@salon), Palin's Alternate Universe: In such a serious moment in American history, it's hard to believe that somebody with Sarh Palin's limited skills could possibly be playing a leadership role. (@nytimes), Sarah Palin is ruining my life, I rant about her, I can't stop looking at her (Q&A @salon), For Palin, some pork is kosher (@politico), Eve Ensler's Drill, Drill Drill (@huffpo), Meet Sarah Palin's radical right-wing friends (@salon), Is Sarah Palin a "Muscular Feminist," or simply a Dumb Jock? (@radar), New footage from inside Sarah Palin's church (@the daily beast).

Palin has done some sketchy shit! She blurred the line between church and state in how she distributed state funds in Alaska (@the assosicated press/juneau via huffpo), alternet's got 12 new stomach-turning revelations about her record (@alternet).

The Candidate that Launched A Thousand Sarah Palin Impressions:
Riese & Haviland Vlog: Alice interviews Sarah Palin part one and two, Saturday Night Live parodies @ NBC, Palin/Hilary Open, Couric/Palin Open, VP Debate Open: Palin/Biden, and the original Sarah Palin imitator Sarah Benicasa on her youtube channel (one is still the best) and since getting picked up by the Huff-Po where now all her Sarah Palin Vlogs are on 236.com , also what if Sarah Palin's story was a Disney movie it would be: Head of Skate (@college humor).

The 236.com Sarah Palin Video Library: everything this woman has ever said, including recent interviews with Gibson and Couric as well as oldies-but goodies like Iraq war is "god's task" & getting blessed by a witch hunter.

3. Savage Inequalities in the Education System
Republicans embrace "big government" and Social Darwinsim, but this doesn't work w/r/t education. Survival of the fittest doesn't apply in a school system that doesn't provide the tools of survival equally -- where poor districts go without books and rich districts enjoy Olympic-sized swimming pools and personal computers. Obama will apply a lifetime record of education activism to fix "No Child Left Behind" and improve HeadStart, retain & recruit & reward high-quality teachers and make college affordable. McCain's rhetoric? Make "parents and children" responsible. "Empower" parents to move their kids from a bad school to a good one -- leaving kids with shitty parents alone in shitty schools. Statistics show this usually results in dropping out, low-wage work, prison, or having babies too young and then being shitty parents so the cycle continues. Good plan, McCain, bravo.

McCain/Palin are being mean/assholes/racist: A Republican Mob Scene (john dickerson @slate), Mud Pies for "That One" (maureen dowd @the nytimes)), The McCain-Palin Mob (@blogger interrupted), John Lewis Condemns GOP Campaign Tactics (@the washington post), Campbell Brown Blasts McCain campgin for race baiting (@huffo), McCain Plays the Race Card (@time).
Obama supports federal benefits and protections for same-sex couples, fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, hate crime legislation, comprehensive sex ed, a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and increased HIV/AIDS funding. He opposes the federal marraige ammendment and bans on GLBT adoptions.

Obama loves the gays!
see exactly how his ideas are better than mccain's ideas (@the advocate) and also biden loves the gays (@the advocate) and the hrc endorses barack obama (@the hrc).

Obama is the best choice for president ever! He's The New Yorker's choice and Esquire's first endorsement of a candidate in 75 years. Also: 15 Papers Endorse Obama this weekend, none for McCain (@e&p pub), Hip-hop stars endorse Obama (@the star online), Sarah Silverman says Schlep it out to your grandparents for Obama, Bruce Springstein is boss, he endorses Obama (@huffpo), also all the hot people in hollywood are like whatever we're not gonna vote for you, Sarah Palin (@the la times), Women's Rights groups endorse Obama (@ap).

Obama attracts all different kinds of voters overlooked or slighted by the GOP!
Like the hip-hop generation (@newsweek), the women of wasilla alaska (@the wasilla project), military wives (@youtube), next generation veterans for obama (@youtube). He's battling block by block for the black vote (@nytimes), voters from all over the world if they could vote (@the economist), and the youth (@la times).

Obama is smart! That's a good thing!
James Wood thinks Obama's Verbage is top-rate (@thenewyorker) and Maureen Dowd doesn't like Sarah's Pompom Palaver (@the nytimes).

Talk shows and the news love Obama! Look, Michelle Obama on the Daily Show (@comedy central), Elisabeth Hassleback can't seem to defend Sarah Palin on The View (@huffpo), Oblermann's got a Special Comment on Sarah Palin (@huff - po) and Rachel Maddow is such a cutie on the Tonight Show (@afterellen), so also I was just wondering Can Late Night Comedy Sink John McCain? (@the nation) but also, bill clinton - not that helpful (@slate).
LATE ADD: 18. Energy, the Environment, and Climate Change
By Bat-Boy Alexandra Vega


Obama understands (and McCain doesn't) that if we were self-sufficient and energy independent, we could preserve economic stability, stimulate the economy over time and consequently avoid wars, conflicts and foreign policy decisions based solely on the need for oil. Obama, with a long record of initatives designed to fight global warming and client change, intends to limit carbon emissions, invest in altertnative energy, raise fuel-economy standards and require 10 percent of America's energy be generated by renewable sources by 2012.

50% of the U.S Oil Supply is bought straight from foreign countries like Saudi Arabia & other countries who often use our payments to finance terror-loving terrorists. Drilling isn't the only answer; we've only got 3% of the world's oil reserves and even if we started drilling in ANWR today, it would only give us about enough oil to last a month -- at its PEAK, which'll be about a decade from now.

So clean fuel isn't just about energy and the environment, it's about creating millions of new jobs and saving American industry.

Check out: Environmentalists for Obama

"Ms. Palin's strategy is frighteningly simplistic: drill for more oil. It is true that nearly every Alaska politician likes to drill for oil; it is the source of much of the state's income. But no other Alaska politician is this close to the presidency. Meanwhile, Ms. Palin continues to express doubts about the human causes of climate change. Her insistence, in the debate, that she didn't "want to argue about the causes" was also alarming."
(The New York Times, "Up and Down the Learning Curve")

1. Because Yes We Can
Krista: "In the VP debate, Palin quoted Regan when she warned Americans that "you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children's children, what it was once like to live in America when men were free." For all of us who love our country and what it stands for -- that's our worst nightmare, that the best is behind us. But Regan's quote was addressing the possibility of launching Medicare. So yes, Sarah Palin, we'll act now to make sure our best days are ahead of us, not behind us. We'll do this by not withholding Medical care from the elderly, among other things.

We'll do it by voting, this time, out of hope and faith in the American people -- not out of fear.
We will, in short, listen to our better angels.
We'll build and not destroy.
In our cities and in our hearts we'll start again to work For and not Against.
We'll do our own fact checking and not end up finding out far too late that our fears, stoked by mis-truths, led us to give power to an administration that didn't have our best interests at heart.
We'll rebuild the middle class by ensuring that paying for healthcare won't lead to home forclosure.
We'll rebuild our education system so that teachers and students have the support they need not just to survive, but to thrive.
We'll rebuild our economy with the fundamental belief that someone working a full-time job should be able to afford rent, and that CEOs can't walk away from imploding deals w/billions of benefits.
We'll do it by voting to protect the middle class.

That will rehabilitate our image around the world.
That will make America, once again, what it is meant to be: a bastion of freedom, strength, education, innovation, creativity, generosity, and prosperity. And we will get there together.

Bruce Springsteen at a registration drive in Philadelphia said, "that promise was handed down to us by our Founding Fathers with one instruction: do your best to make these things real."

Over the last eight years we've been failing that one simple instruction. Our leadership can work for us, we have the opportunity now to build again after the storm. Our house of dreams still stands, as Springsteen said, "One thousand George Bushes and one thousand Dick Cheneys will never be able to tear that house down."

Let's take our country back."
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ok, tinkerbell will write about lilo & samro, all my feelings, books and field trips tomorrow.
xoxo
gossip girl.