Wednesday, November 9, 2016

the next four years

Well, that could have gone better. But it didn't. And it was really easy to see it coming. America has long gone gaga goo-goo for the big, blond swaggering, bully jock as Leader. A 1950's “good guy” who pushes around the school's drama, music, science and computer geeks. Woe to the freak who is carrying a stack of books. Those books are going to be knocked out of his hands and spread out all over the school's parking lot, run over by the bully's minions, as their muscle cars back over them, tires squealing their "ha ha!" as they peal out of the parking lot, off to party at someone’s house whose parents are on vacation in Key West.
Later at the party, our Hero is the kind of guy who moves through the cheerleading squad one, by one, but if he could, he'd slip 'em each a qualuude in their beers and have at it, en masse, with maybe a buddy or two to swap 'em out and to throw high-fives over her back while spit-roasting the head cheerleader. There's clearly a large number of women in America today, that might even forgo the 'Lude and dive-into the powerful-pile o’studs of her own free will.
God Bless America, they have their leader, now, though he's not so sexy, a bit bloated up from too much fast food, carrying roughly 50% of his mass as fat, and his followers, in a similar piglike state, flock to the steel mills and factories that he promised to build. Enthusiasm is great until after a few months, these factories products aren't turning out so well. and the the best steel can still only be brought in from China. China, though, pissed off by being vilified, only ships the poorest quality it can get away with, and the QA folk have no STEM training; The good ones have all departed for the West, so they miss the structural failures caused by poor tempering in manufacturing process.
The jocks in assembly, are too busy daydreaming, missing the lock washer on that screw that needed tightening and now the sheet metal is warped and vibration will cause the case to crack and the screw to loosen and fall, jamming the motor below. This starts a string of failures that eventually leads to a crash, killing all eighty passengers. Several other crashes occur that day and Georgia Aeronautics shuts down operations to investigate themselves. They investigate the problem because there is no FAA in existence. That’s the end of Georgia Air. Two years into the great Trump awakening, plants are shutting down all over the east and the south due to similar mass fuck-ups.
The cheerleader, she's kinda big too, and she has limited mobility issues with her bad knees and hasn't been able to do her job for weeks. The doctor has just told her that she's pregnant and “has she travelled recently to the caribbean, anywhere were she may have come into contact with a mosquito carrying the Zika virus?” She had, to her sisters wedding in Cancun. Well, the baby's showing signs of severe Microcephaly, and since abortion is illegal, she’s going to have to carry the baby to term and care for it for the rest of its life, as it can barely swallow and breathe. Caring for the baby will cost more than 5 million dollars over the next 20 years, bankrupting her and her husband who has lost his job and is now un-hireable: Social Media has made him the poster boy of shameful work practices. He ends up in jail, convicted as an Elitist Spy, during a 30 minute trial held at a McDonalds Drive Thru Court. The "Spies" parents choke on their Big Macs as their son is hauled off to KFC prison, where he’ll be frying GMO chicken in 11 herbs and spices for as long as the electricity stays on.
Big public works projects might have worked to put the slightly educated masses to work, but because of the contractor’s close relationships to organized crime, the projects are always stalling due to lack of funds from constant cost overruns, and skimming by the mob. The tax base has all but dried up, as automobile manufacturing all went to the automated plants in the West and Mexico.
The West, meanwhile is booming. A steady influx of (highly educated in STEM) immigrants form the East Coast, Asia, Arab Countries, Israel and Latin America have joined the mass of visionary geniuses already there, which has fueled innovation at a pace that is truly a miracle. Growth in the industries of transportation, AI, Aerospace, Clean Energy, Water Efficiency, Hydroponics, Nanotech, Biotech, and Habitat Restoration are exported worldwide as the rest of humanity starts to benefit. Unhampered by cultural wars, the region has solved its human potential crisis by tailoring education programs to help each individual find their best, most-useful self. Information, Religion and the Arts provide vision and hope, but never overstep their bounds to harm humans from becoming their true selves; speech is free, but careful and true, never being used to delude or harm as it is in the rest of the country which is awash in fake news, superstition and paranoia. Warfare technologies that suppress, not cause violence, has brought peace elsewhere.
Unfortunately, all attempts to aid the East and the South continue to plague the hearts and minds of those in the West. Reeducation materials, monetary support, and relief packages lay unopened on the opposite side of the Trump wall that was completed in 2020. Reports of mass suicides, in the hundreds of thousands behind the wall in the East and the South are beginning to be reinforced by the shocking images obtained today by CBS News anchor Sheppard Smith as he flies over...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Why you can’t vote for Donald Trump and still claim to be my friend.

A popular bumper sticker among Trump voters advocates violence against gays

When I came out in 1976, there were no gay celebrities, no gay politicians and no gay sports figures. I didn’t even know anyone who was gay. Gay people were portrayed in books, magazines, movies, TV, newspapers, and conversations as sick, perverted, evil, sad, predatory, oversexed, pedophilic, obese or hyper-skinny effeminate freaks, weirdos and monsters. It was almost impossible to find any cultural touchstone that identified positive attributes to those who had same-sex attractions.
It’s no wonder then that it was so hard for my parents, my friends, and even me, to accept that I was gay: I was nothing like THEM. Or so we thought. My parents cried the entire night after I told them the truth about who I was; they feared for my very existence and dreamt nightmares that had been fed to them their entire lives. How could they not be afraid?
It is hard for me to imagine then, the depth of their relief now, 40 years later, knowing I live a life that, as I am so often told, is to be envied by 99.99% of those I share the planet with. Michael, my husband, partner, best friend and I have shaped a rare, exemplory life over the past 30 years, a life that we so often share with our extended family and many friends and associates. It’s a life viewed as even more extraordinary when juxtaposed against a backdrop of cultural bigotry and legislated obstacles that have only, very recently, subsided.
Despite that, during those past 30 years, Michael and I have remained, very open, kind, generous, socially gregarious and optimistic. We’ve ignored much of the negativity that our culture has blasted at us, and have for the most part, surrounded ourselves with people who believe much as we believe: when you leave a room, make sure it’s a better place for you having been there.
For the very first time in my life, that optimistic, deeply held, core belief has been shattered. The rooms that I walk into seem to be now filled with narcissistic, selfish, negative, unpleasant folk, who no longer focus on helping those around them to live happier, freer, lives. Rooms are filled with people hunching over their mobile devices, looking for “likes.” Over the past several years, as we’ve hosted dinner parties, yacht parties, ballgame suite events, beach parties, cabana, charity, and holiday bashes, reciprocation has all but dried up. Conversations have largely become more myopic and pessimistic, happiness and joyful outbursts have all but disappeared from personal interaction.
For a long time, I’ve thought that maybe there is something wrong with me, with us, but no, I am the same; Michael is the same. The world has changed. You dear friend, you have changed.
In July, I travelled to stay with a close, life-long friend. Inevitably, the topic of the election came up. I was flabbergasted by the enthusiasm she felt for Donald Trump. She and I have held a shared morality for nearly 45 years, and yet I felt a loss and a betrayal that I can’t remember ever feeling before. I pointed out Trump’s bankruptcies, his numerous lawsuits, the cheated business partners, his unpaid bills, his infidelities, his statements about minorities and women, his choice of Mike Pence, a life-long vehemently anti LGBT politician as his running mate, his pledge to overturn every one of Obama’s pro LGBT protections, and his promise to appoint Supreme Court Justices who will overturn same-sex marriage and relationship laws, recriminalizing same-sex relationships and allowing for widespread discrimination against LGBT folk in employment and housing. My best friend’s response: those rights were not given fairly. The American people were cheated by not being able to decide to give me rights by popular vote. Extremist judges had overstepped their bounds and Donald Trump would restore balance to the judiciary. She idolized him and his children, said they were a bright, shining example of everything she wished her family could be.
I reminded her that the Supreme Court was designed as a balance to an overreaching presidential and/or legislative branch to guard the people against tyranny. In my case, a tyranny of a majority that felt I deserve less rights than she. LGBT citizens still have no right to a job or housing, but at least now we can choose who to build a life with, and be protected by the same 1000+ laws that she and her husband were.
The man that she idolizes, if he were to become president, has vowed to reset my world. It will be reset to 1976, or worse: 1950, a world where gays were rounded up and thrown in jail, routinely lobotomized to remove sex drive and personality.
How then, could she consider herself to be my friend? How then can you? The Republican Party platform promises to revoke same-sex marriage and a thousand benefits that other opposite-sex married couples benefit from. That same platform would allow any one to claim religious exemption to deny me housing, a hotel room, a table at a restaurant, a job,  a loan, a purchase from any store or online vendor, creating an unstable environment to live in.
I realize you have many reasons to vote that have nothing to do with me. Just don’t kid yourself though, that we can remain friends. The world has changed, and if Donald J. Trump is elected president, one way or another for you, dear-Trump-voting friend, you will have voted for a world that has no rooms left for me to improve.