Super Tuesday States - Don't Forget to Vote Tomorrow!

Hey there! If you're in a Super Tuesday state, tomorrow is your Primary Election Day! Don't forget to vote (unless you're a Trump person. Please develop either amnesia or a fully functioning rationality which tell you that your reasoning for supporting was not of sound mind). 

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Fructose & Repackaging Trickery

Lordy lordy. This article on the hoops food companies go through to repackage old ingredients made my head spin: http://www.hlfteam.com/high-fructose-corn-syrup-has-been-renamed-and-is-now-being-marketed-as-a-natural-sweetener/

Long and short of it: "fructose" is still "high fructose corn syrup" and you should just avoid all pre-packaged "food like substances" in general. Like Michael Pollan says in the documentary "In Defense of Food" avoid the middle aisles of the grocery store altogether and buy the real food instead.

http://www.pbs.org/food/shows/in-defense-of-food/


It's Getting Scary Out There - Moyers & Company on Trump's Candidacy

How the US Went Fascist: Mass Media Make Excuses for Trump Voters
Trump's racism and xenophobia violates America's core beliefs — yet the media and many Americans are okay with it.

BY JUAN COLE

http://billmoyers.com/story/how-the-us-went-fascist-mass-media-makes-excuses-for-trump-voters/

He is a white nationalist, and his message is that he will stand up for white Christian people against the Chinese, the Mexicans and the Muslims. Just as Adolph Hitler hoped for an alliance with Anglo-Saxon Britain on racial grounds (much preferring it to the less white Italy), the only foreign leader Trump likes is the “white” Vladimir Putin. That he won the evangelical vote again in Nevada is helpful for us in seeing that American evangelicalism itself is in some part a form of white male chauvinist nationalism and only secondarily about religion.

The Stages of Love: Stendhal on today's 'Brain Pickings"

This is a little weird--problematic kind of. Anyway, interesting to read none the less!

https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/11/29/stendhal-on-love-crystallization/

Eileen Myles on Supporting Hillary Clinton for President


Hillary Clinton: The Leader You Want When The World Ends

Eileen Myles, poet and 1992 write-in presidential candidate, explains why she believes Hillary Clinton is the most reasonable choice for president under the most unreasonable of circumstances. This piece is the first in an ongoing series of essays by women about Hillary Clinton.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/eileenmyles/hillary-clinton-the-leader-you-want-when-the-world-ends?utm_term=.pw22K87Gq#.soAKW4elQ

Edna St Vincent Millay's Birthday

Her love letters on "Brain Pickings":

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/02/22/edna-st-vincent-millay-polyamory-love-letters/

I Love Playing Naughty Words on Words With Friends



I think I got 69 points for this one.

Tom + Lorenzo Tweeted at Me, So Of Course I Screen Capped It for Posterity Like the Nerd I Am

https://twitter.com/tomandlorenzo/status/700050992419729409

I am an unbashed geek, screencapping a tweet. But I love these men like crazy. I'm one of the "Bitter Kittens" (what they call their vast fan base). They have all the same favorite shows! Mad Men, Outlander and, accordingly, Downton Abbey. They're part of my imaginary entourage of famous-y people who I call "best friends I've never met." So when they thanked me for my Twitter love, you know I'm sceen-capping that and sharing it on my online notebook here! Hahaha.

Anyway, check out Tom + Lorenzo for the latest in fashion, TV and other pop culture stuff. They're a wittier, more culturally intelligent experience than the plain old gossip magazines.

FEMINISM

Why do men, particularly the men I've encountered on dating websites while here in New Orleans, have to be so stupid about the term feminism? 

Let's get this straight: feminism is the notion that in absolute terms men and women (and anywhere along the gender spectrum) are equals--none inherently better or worse than another. 

I ask why this is so difficult to understand because I have encountered a series of maddening messages from all kinds. 

One man said he wanted to be messaged by women who were "real feminist" & gave Gloria Steinem as an example of what he meant. I noted to him that I, and probably Gloria Steinem, took exception to this notion that there was real or not real feminism and that he, a single, well-off, white man, really shouldn't go about thinking he was the arbiter of the definition of feminist. He told me I didn't get to say who was feminist or not & said was closed minded because I took exception to his (rather limiting) definition of feminism...Truly!

Next I had a man ask me why I was on a dating site looking to meet men if I was a feminist. Didn't that mean that I "did not need a man?" My only guess is that he was confusing feminism for lesbianism. In which case, it would be weird of me to find a guy on a dating site if I identified as a lesbian. As it is I'm about a .5 on the Kinsey scale. My straightness is the only boring thing about my sexuality. 

And finally there was a man who, with every sentence I said, replied back as if I had said something else. I said I thought we all needed to honor the Venus archetype more and that's what my style website (http://www.vintagebridgestyle.com) was all about. He replied that he agreed and skinny heroin-addict looking models should not be all the rage. To which I replied that it wasn't about size. (I think everyone should strive to be healthy and happy. I eat my 5 fruit & veg. I try to walk a lot every day. Someday soon I'll stop neglecting my yoga.) 

Anyway, I said it wasn't about size, it was about no longer being afraid or apologetic about being sexy. To which he  again put words in my mouth and said, "oh yeah somewhere along the way feminism got screwed up." I was about ready to call it quits on this fella because what's the point of talking to someone who reads your words but then replied as if you said something altogether different? But I did anyway and noted I definitely didn't say that -- but "always along the way wherever there's a patriarchy, there's an objectification and simultaneous denigration of female sexuality that's a lot of bullshit."

And then he proceeded to say he stood by what he said, and that though [feminism] started out about wanting to end discrimination that "somewhere an element of man hate entered the scene", that he knew I knew what he meant about feminism being "plain anti sexy" even if I didn't want to "admit it" and wanted to "blame it all on the patriarchy." So! I stopped engaging with that ridiculous troll. Whatever his issue is, it's not going to be resolved in conversation with me. 

But I haven't fully said my piece. This is just for those who are tired of battling idiots who still take exception to the word feminist in one way or another. First this polarizing is, in and of itself a trick, so to speak, of detractors. Divide and conquer. There's nothing to "admit" when it comes to various factions of feminism promoting or denigrating one thing or another. It's there and discussed already. I have a series of books from my women's studies classes laying a bunch of them out! Don't need a sniveling hater from the Internet to make me "admit" it; we can just go back 20 years to my Women Studies minor term papers. There they are, those differences, all laid out and discussed. And it was actually only a smattering -- the branches of feminism types are as varied and infinite as women & female identified people themselves. And it's part of the process with any social justice issue. Lots of voices, lots of concerns, lots of iterations. 

Secondly, I do and will and will always "blame" patriarchy for everything when it comes to the rights of women. Make no mistake, young man from the Internet, it's not just to blame. It is the source from which we all (you included) suffer. 

Thirdly, on the most personal note--why the hell do people troll? It won't make your penis bigger. It won't make your mum love you more. It won't get that pretty girl who wouldn't talk to you from high school to have romantic feelings for you suddenly. It just makes you look sad and pathetic. I really must remember to block and delete the moment my instinct says so. It never goes well if I don't. 


Blessings on Imbolc


As of sunset last night, it is the Celtic holiday of Imbolc, celebrating the middle of winter, and the coming burst of spring. St Bridget's Day (officially Feb 1 in the Catholic calendar) and Groundhog's Day (today!) are derivatives of this ancient celebration. How will I be celebrating the fertility holiday? By heading to the abudantly lively city of New Orleans for Mardi Gras (also in a way a usurpation of this Celtic holiday, and Saturnalia).

I don't usually talk about my writing and what I'm working on before it's all done, but I will mention that the title of one of a manuscript I'm working on is Imbolc. It's become a very powerful word for me, espcially because it is the celebration of my ultimate namesake (my great-grandmother being the penultimate namesake). The poems come from the year I wrote a poem a day for a year. Looking over and culling through them, I saw how much the time of year effected/inspired what I wrote. So I've edited the manuscript to follow the Celtic Pagan Holiday Cycle. It was also the time of my life where I was learning more about the wide umbrella term for faith systems that can be called in general, "neopagan." For a long time, I thought I was a very liberal Christian. But as I learned about the tenets of neopaganism, and differences from Christianity, I realized that my spiritual belief system was the former and not the latter. So, the editing of the book also coincided with the exploration of my realization that the faith I'd always adhered to was that--to be specific, I call myself a "pantheistic neopagan who observes the Celtic earth-based holidays."

Pantheism is the belief that animal, mineral and plant all contain divinity of some sort.

The Celtic earth-based holiday are pretty familiar to the rest of the world, most of them are celebrated in the major religions, but with different names and under different origin stories. Ostara is Easter. Winter Solstice is Christmas. St Bridget's/ Groundhog Day is Imbolc.

And neopagan -- it's disputable how to define that, even among those who might take the term as a means of describing their faith. But one of my favorite things about it is its liquidity, its anti-dogmaticism. It covers a wide range of "New Age" or very Old Age beliefs (depending on who you ask) and is a very open-ended term. For me it means: a veneration of the earth and its cycles, an acknowledgment in a higher connection between things beyond just what we see (pantheism) and an adherence to the belief that if you are not doing harm, then you can and should do as you will. This is the most radical notion, as it goes against quite a lot of the rules laid out in the 3 major Abrahamic-based monotheistic religions. And it has reverberations on some very polarizing topics.  If you want to learn more, the late (somewhere now reborn, for reincarnation is part of the faith, too) Margot Adler wrote a long, comprehensive book on the subject, "Drawing Down the Moon." I am not finished with it, though I love it just the same!

Blessings on Imbolc and...

LAISSEZ LES BONTEMPS ROULEZ!!!

See you when I get back from Mardi Gras, y'all!

St Bridget's Day

The legend goes that by the time Rome knew a female was running an Abbey for both men & women in far away Ireland, St Bridget had already been much too established and beloved as a strong and respected leader, they couldn't take her position away--though it went against Church policy. She proliferated the radical notion that the human race--the poor, the sick, men, woman & children, deserved food, shelter, blessings and love. Sure I was bummed that there were never any touristy tchotchke with my old fashioned name on it growing up, but the more I learned of this spiritually and historically significant namesake, the more I felt so very lucky to have it as a beacon to honor and live up to. To the patron saint/Celtic deity of healers, hospitality, children and POETS, happy Saint's day!