laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Feb. 21st, 2017 02:27 pm)
Booked my hotel for Dragoncon and plotted the route to Gus' Chicken, which I've wanted to try since I saw it on an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate. No sign of Karl Urban or the lovely Craig Parker yet, but there is plenty of time, and I'm excited all the same. Five days without Internet and limited TV and time to stop obsessing over the unfolding drama of current events. Privileged? Certainly, but hiding in my home isn't doing anyone any any favors, least of all me. So, I'm going. Not for Great Justice or to make a bold statement. Just for me. Because I can, and life needs to go on.

In the meantime, however, I'm content to stay home and take refuge in my books and in libraries, which still exist. There is still hope and goodness, and I must remember them.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Feb. 19th, 2017 06:57 pm)
Last night was a carnival of suck in which I had a minor panic attack. This one featured heroic ass cramps, the sweats, back pain, and clammy hands. Whee! I can't pinpoint a cause, but I suspect it's rooted in the swirling vortex of incompetence and uncertainty generated by the Trump regime. It's hard to feel safe when your President declares the press an enemy of the people and holds multi-million-dollar rallies to feed his gargantuan ego.

Roomie and I are watching Clone Wars. This nominal kids' show fleshed out and humanized Anakin and the greater Stars Wars universe far better than the craptabulous prequels. I actually feel sorry for him even though I know how he ends up, and I'm on tenterhooks to see how the inevitable downfall plays out. If the embarrassing, cash-grabbing, shoddy prequels had been created with this much forethought and attention to detail, they might have converted me into a bona fide Star Wars fan.

I wouldn't mind if someone throttled Jar-Jar Binks, though.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Feb. 19th, 2017 12:58 am)
My optimism is still MIA, but I did get the ball rolling on Dragoncon this year. I wasn't sure I wanted to go, and frankly, I'm still not, but I need something to look forward to. I know it's frivolous, but it's also something that doesn't smack of terror and hatred and a fundamental undoing of everything I have ever known or hoped about my country. Besides, I need to get out. I've become a recluse since the inauguration, and five days in Atlanta with Roomie, surrounded by unrepentant nerdery, will do me good.
As disappointing as I found the result of the election, the days since have disappointed me the more. Despite blatant evidence of Trump's corruption, collusion with the Russian government, and gross temperamental instability, as well as his brazen disregard for security protocols, an alarming number of my countrymen refuse to see he's a danger, and of those who do see, they don't care. They're too busy celebrating what they perceive as a victory. Now that their "man of the people" is in power, things will become as they ought to be. Women will know their place, and the unborn babies will be saved from the endlessly-churning murder mills. Those lazy poor people(read: poor non-white folks, not them, never, never them, the good, white, God-fearing Christians)will stop sucking the government teat and get a job. Those dirty, job-stealing immigrants will be rounded up and shipped back to Buttfuck, NotUSA, where they belong. And fuck those dirty phantom voters, too. No more money will be wasted on educated the useless retard children God foisted upon sinful parents as punishment and a lesson in humility. Maybe some charitable soul will feed them apple juice and crackers and teach 'em about Jesus and how to roll quarters for a princely twenty cents an hour. Those filthy gays will be punished and forced back onto the fringes, where they can't offend "decent" folk with their perversion and those decent folk won't have to behold the scandalous horror of two men holding hands. And now those stupid, college-educated hippie treehuggers won't be able to stop a man from earning an honest dollar just to save some water and trees and some dumb animals no one will miss. It's everything they have ever wanted.

I keep waiting for them to realize that the cost of their twisted, WASPy utopia comes at the cost of everything the hold dear and have taken for granted. Free speech, personal autonomy, freedom from government interference, freedom of thought and movement. How can they not as twenty-one states introduce bills to limit voting rights and curb lawful protest? How can they not when DHS and customs agents are demanding to access travelers' cellphones in order to paw through their contacts and social-media accounts, prurient children in search of an illicit thrill? How can they not when Congresspeople are dodging town hall meetings with constituents and the White House's mouthpiece, Kellyanne Conway, admits the administration has no intention of listening to "losers"? How can they not see that dismantling the EPA will have generations-long consequences for everyone, not just the idiot liberals they so despise?

But they keep on celebrating, because they finally stuck it to the libtards. They won. Who cares if it cost them everything they claim to cherish, if it will end in ash and bitterness for everyone, if there might not be a planet over which man has dominion according to their sacred Word of God? They won, and now all those snotty, entitled, mooching pissbaby dumbasses will have to suffer like they did for eight years under a black President. They would rather cling to this Pyrrhic victory and fiddle while Rome burns than abide the idea that they have been used, might have sold their beloved country to a fool for the right to hate.

As someone who's lived at ass-level from the day I was born, I know have terrible and selfish people can be, how much some of them delight in being petty tyrants for the black-minded fun of it, but I never imagined that so many of them would so gleefully sell themselves out for the chance to win. If decency and fairness could not act as bulwarks against oppression and lunacy, I thought self-interest would. They might not care about free speech for the hippies or abortions for those irresponsible skanks who had sex with someone who wasn't them, but they would care about affordable medical care for their own families and clean air and water for their children. They would care about a foreign power meddling in the affairs of the Greatest Country in the World(TM) and thinking they could fool red-blooded American patriots. They would care that the President has nigh-incoherent meltdowns at hour-long press conferences, where he harangues Jewish and African-American reporters and besmirches the dignity of the office. They would care that Betsy DeVos' policies endanger their children's right to an education. They would care that grossly-unqualified people are being appointed to public office.

That they don't has been a stunning blow to me. I've never thought my fellow Americans, or people in general, for that matter, were fundamentally good, but I did think, naively, as it turns out, that they possessed a scrap of self-preservation and would, therefore, defend the principles expounded in our Constitution, if only to preserve them for themselves. More fool me.

I'm not sure where the country goes from here. I'm not sure where I go. I can only apologize to the future generations we have betrayed and hope that they will learn from our willful folly.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Feb. 13th, 2017 10:24 pm)
More announcements from Dragoncon. It's stacking up to be rather Whovian-oriented, which is splendid for the Whovians, but I'm rather indifferent to it. There's still plenty of time for them to announce someone who tickles my fancy, though, so there's no reason to despair. And yes, my fingers and toes are crossed for Karl Urban.
Hey, did you know that it's totes okay that Betsy DeVos is Secretary of Education because even though she had zero knowledge of, and thus no commitment to, the federal laws protecting special ed, she'll build "special schools" for disabled people with fantasy money, and those schools will be totally equal to the regular schools in terms of educational opportunity? So saith my mother when challenged about the appointment.

I hope she burns in hell.


In less-infuriating news, I'm trying to read Salamandastron by Brian Jacques, but it's just not clicking for me. It's too much like the previous four books in the series, except now there's sulky, teenage badger angst. Whee! I realize these books are for children, but a little diversity of plot wouldn't have hurt. At this rate, I'm not sure I'll get through the series.

In fannish news, Dragoncon announced the voice of Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi as a guest. Woot! He seems like such a cutie pie, and not at all how I envisioned him. So there's that to which to look forward.
According to the New York Times, the President of the United States did not know he was giving Steve Bannon a place on the National Security Council because he didn't read what he was signing. One would think that reading executive orders that carry the force of law would be the most basic of requirements for being the goddamn PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES. Excuse me while I gibber quietly in a secluded corner.

Still undecided about how to celebrate Valentine's Day. On the one hand, it would be nice to go out, but on the other, it's supposed to be cold and breezy, and frankly, I'm not sure I want to spend money to be annoyed by fucktards. We'll see how we feel after the spate of storms that are predicted to blow through here tomorrow and Wednesday.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Feb. 5th, 2017 10:35 pm)
Poor Falcons fans. I can't imagine the depth of their woe after entertaining such high hopes for most of the night. I'm sure everyone on ESPN will lionize Tom Brady as God in cleats(the insufferable Skip Bayless is already comparing him to Michael Jordan), but the Falcons deserves a huge dollop of blame. Poised for a blowout, they took their foot off the gas, and their defense flagged when it mattered. Tom Brady took advantage of their weakness and panic, and thus, the Patriots stand as five-time Superbowl winners. Let us hope that disappointed Falcons fans don't respond by rioting in the streets.

Made the mistake of visiting my mother's Facebook again. My family is so full of hate, of contempt. My mother remains an idiot, and my rich aunt, who had the good fortune to marry well, looks down her nose at libs/progs and says that since we're so obsessed with fairness, we should extend the immigration ban to everyone. As if that were a zinger. I would rather do that than exclude seven countries on the basis of religion. We've been down that road before with Japanese-Americans in 1941 and Jewish refugees in 1939, most of whom were returned to their eventual deaths because America couldn't be bothered to care. It was a disgrace then, and it's a disgrace now. But as far as my family is concerned, who cares? We take care of our own first, they say self-righteously, but I've never seen a single one of them lift a finger to help any of the "own" they hold up as a reason to exclude and ignore others. Not abused women or homeless people or poor children or the neglected elderly. Nor will they, because they don't really matter to them. They're not real people to be helped but philosophical chits to be tossed in to deflect responsibility, abrogate human decency, and shut down disagreement.

I've never felt a part of my maternal family, but some naive, hopeful part of me thought there was a core of decency in them, that they truly loved the country. Perhaps they do possess the latter, but of decency, I can find neither shred nor whit. I am ashamed of them, and in truth, I have begun to hate them, not for their views, repugnant though I find them, but for their hypocrisy and willful blindness and their willingness to believe every lie proffered by Kellyanne Conway, President Trump, and Fox News, while simultaneously eschewing as liberal propaganda anything else.
Some hapless soul has used my email address for their change of address verification with the USPS. Guess it's not going through because I'm not clicking that link. Best of luck to them.

Roomie and I are contemplating Valentine's Day. We almost never celebrate on the 14th because we hate battling the crowds. So far we've bandied about the idea of going to dinner and a movie on the 10th since he wants to see both John Wick 2 and Lego Batman. I'm ambivalent about the former but eager for the latter, so methinks it'll be our favorite restaurant and tiny, hilarious Batman on Friday unless it's ass degrees outside, in which case Roomie can go by his damn self.

An unintended consequence of being a misanthropic hermit awaiting the collapse of American civilization is the amount of money I've saved. My rainy-day fund is growing nicely, and if it keeps growing at this rate, I should be set for the vendors' hall at Dragoncon and fifty a few photo ops at Dragoncon this year. Which reminds me that I should set up my hotel for that soon, but with the roiling Trumpocalypse on the horizon, I've been hesitant to make plans, lest the planet become a universal Mordor with the petulant press of a button.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Feb. 2nd, 2017 01:29 pm)
Another day, another political tire fire. Last night, Trump offended the Australian prime minister, and this morning, he joked about Celebrity Apprentice at the National Day of Prayer breakfast, a state function. As an added bonus, his SCOTUS nominee might have founded a Fascism Forever club in high school. Whee.

I can't keep this up. The tidal wave of horrors is just too high, too incessant and insistent. I have to stop obsessing over every hysterical Facebook meme that pops up on my feed. I'm just going to pick one or two issues and focus on those and hope others tend to the rest.
Every day, I tell myself I'm not going to look at my mother's Facebook, and every few days, I break down and look. They must know, I think. Surely they must know. But each time, I am disappointed. My family continues to celebrate President Trump as a savior, as the man who will Make America Great Again, even as he flouts the Constitution he swore to uphold and defend and nominates grossly unqualified people to Cabinet positions, including a potential Secretary of Education who thinks it should be left for the state to decide whether disabled children deserve to be educated. My mother, a mother to a disabled daughter, celebrates and does not understand why I am sad and afraid. Or care.

I'm trying t have hope, to believe my country will right its course. I still believe that, but I no longer believe it will be soon. Like so many countries before us--Franco's Spain, Mussolini's Italy, and Hitler's Germany--we must travel through the darkness before we find the light. Not all who begin this journey will see its end, but those who do will appreciate the gift they have been given, and it is they who will make this country great again.
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laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jan. 28th, 2017 07:13 pm)
My country continues to fight. I continue to struggle. I don't sleep well. I wake up every morning, dreading what I'll find when I open my Facebook feed. Today, U.S. citizens are being denied entry into the country and detained in airports without the benefit of legal counsel. A woman scheduled for deportation allegedly attempted suicide at JFK International to escape the torment. Thousands have gathered at airports across the nation to protest the wanton cruelty of the madman we have elected, but thousands more are jubilant, insisting that their man of the people, a man of the people who has stacked his cabinet with Wall Street billionaires, mind, is finally putting America first and making her great again, all the while insisting that she is the greatest nation on earth.

The rift with Mexico widens. China whispers of the inevitability of war. Iran moves to ban U.S. citizens. Oblivious, my family exults and celebrates, confident that "good Americans" are ascendant once again. Such discrimination is unfortunate, they cluck disingenuously, but we have to protect ourselves first. By "ourselves," they mean white Christians. They do not realize that what these executive orders visit upon the "enemy" will one day be visited upon them. The America Trump envisions is not meant for them. They are disposable, a means to an end to be discarded once they have served their purpose. They do not see this. They don't want to see it. They want to be the winners. They will never admit their mistake, not even as the country burns and the world descends into chaos.

Unless a majority of Congress remembers its duty and moves to oppose the lunatic at the helm, I do not expect to survive this. I do not expect the country to survive. I hope that one day, those who do survive will sift through the records and the rubble and know that some of us tried, some of us did remember the painful lessons of history, of Hitler and Stalin and Idi Amin and Pol Pot, and tried to turn the course.

I hope history records that in the end, we tried to uphold the best of our country.
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Our President signed a refugee ban on Holocaust Remembrance Day. A society and Internet culture that can organize flash mobs to dance to "Thriller" in minutes and mount mailing campaigns to save TV shows or push for a certain ship can't be assed to mount daily protests against the rise of autocracy and fascism in the United States.

If only the consequences of this laziness and flagrantly stupidity could be visited upon only those who deserve it.
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My country is stirring. The leviathan has not awoken, but it is twitching. The USDA, NASA, and the National Park Service defy President Trump with statements and rogue Twitter accounts, and scientists plan marches in defense of knowledge. Resistance lives. Not everyone has surrendered. There is hope.


I watched more Tales From the Darkside today. Most of the episodes were terrible, but the godawful '80s fashion and decor are a hoot. "The Madness Room" had a decent premise, but it was ruined by the ham-fisted acting. Was such overwrought, demonstrative bellowing considered top-notch back then? Maybe it's just this show, because I don't remember Dynasty or The Golden Girls being so cack-handed.

"Grandma's Last Wish" was my favorite episode of the disc. What's not to love about a grandma getting revenge on the family trying to shove her into the nursing home by wishing for them to know what it's like to be old? The makeup was atrocious, but I enjoyed Grandma's moment of triumph.

"False Prophet" was an embarrassment. I have no clue how such a turd made it out of the brainstorming phase.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jan. 24th, 2017 01:41 pm)
I blazed through three hundred and seventy-four pages of Within These Walls yesterday. It's magnificently creepy. The twists are predictable for anyone who's read a lot of horror, but I don't care because they're so finely-tuned. Ninety pages to go, and I'll be sorry when they're finished.


Roomie kipped out to the library and the grocery store, and I'm here, trying to keep my head up. We're in deep water now, and it's only getting higher. We're getting object lessons in how an ostensibly reasonable and intelligent people can descend into authoritarianism and lunacy, and it's heartbreaking and terrifying. I never expected it to happen at all, let alone in my lifetime, and it's happening so fast, so easily. Resistance is feeble at best. No one seems to care. Business as usual, they say, and shrug. But it's not usual. It's monstrous. Gag orders. Private Presidential security. A ban on clean energy research and utilization. This is America in 2017. It is no longer the country so many of us claim to revere, and yet, so many of us are trying to pretend that it is. The Trump supports because they refuse to admit they have betrayed their country to an incompetent demagogue, and his opponents because we don't want to admit that America as we know it is fading.

We must fight--march, scream, kick, claw, harangue our leaders for action, file suits, demand investigations--but we're not, and we won't, because even now, as everything falls apart, we are still complacent, still sure that everything will be all right. It's the path of least resistance, and that is we prefer, we coddled children so accustomed to someone else cleaning up the mess.

This country deserves better, but we got exactly what we deserved.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jan. 23rd, 2017 06:37 pm)
My anxiety levels are currently at Defcon 1. I'm thrilled that more marches are in the works to demand the release of President Trump's tax returns and even gladder that suit has been filed, charging violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, but that's as political as I can stand to be today. The constant fear and impotent fury are doing me no good, and I'm not changing the world from behind this aging keyboard.


So, in happier news, Karl Urban has started scheduling cons for the year. Only one so far, but where there's one, there's bound to be more, and I have high hopes for Dragoncon. Fingers and toes crossed, verily.


I'm currently reading Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn. I can already sense the course the story will take, but so far, it's been artfully told, and I'm enjoying the ride. What a creepy gem.
Yesterday was heartening, welcome, and absolutely necessary to the survival of our democracy. It should be celebrated with pride, and those who took pride have done the country proud and continued its long tradition of peaceful resistance.

But it was only a first step. Where do we go now, those who believe this country's freedoms and institutions must be safeguarded from a dangerous demagogue? What do we do? While it might be momentarily satisfying to produce memes about small hands and chortle about bad combovers and call him Cheetolini and sniff that he's "not my President", the reality is that he is our President, and to deny it does no favors, puts us in sorry league with those who peddle "alternative facts", a phrase which here means lies. Lies, bald-faced and unrepentant. We must not tell lies, nor must we waste time on pettish insults that are easily ignored and feed into the idea that we are spoiled children having a tantrum.

We must fight. We must keep marching. We must keep calling and writing and faxing. Those of us with any means of locomotion must camp outside our congressperson's office when we can, anxiety and fatigue be damned. It's a hardship, and unfair, but we're not shaking off a niggling inconvenience. This is a fight to protect who we are as a nation. I've got my writing fingers limbered and some envelopes and some stamps, and I've got my representative's district office address and Mapquest. It's so little; I am so little, and it might come to nothing, but I have to try. I don't want to look back in ten years or in twenty and be ashamed. I do not want to wish that I had done differently.

I can just hear my mother now. How she would chortle, sneer that I am just being melodramatic. Maybe I am. I hope I am. But I would rather be melodramatic and wrong than apathetic and right. I would rather be embarrassed than crushed beneath the heel of a despot.

I must try to stand even though I cannot walk.
And so it begins.

I would love for the worst surmises about the Trump administration to prove unfounded, but I'm not optimistic. I'm just tired. For all their frothing, Trump opponents can't even organize a circle jerk in a porno theater right now. It's frustrating, embarrassing, and disheartening. Everyone is full of rah-rah rhetoric and symbolic gestures, but nobody has advanced ideas for concrete action. There's tomorrow's march, but that's it. No sit-ins, no protests, no cogent organization, no one rounding up lawyers to see on what grounds he might be impeached or his cabinet picks might be disqualified on the basis of conflict of interest or gross unfitness for office. Everyone's content to mutter mutinously and childishly behind their keyboard about "Not my President", but no one is offering to risk defeat or inconvenience to themselves, let alone true sacrifice. Far easier to make memes or a countdown clock. Yeah, that'll show him the people mean business this time.

Let's get real: As long as no one messes with their Internet access, the people will do nothing. We care only as long as it requires no effort on our part. So here we are. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.
And the hour counts down, and I am afraid.
I am afraid
and I am afraid.
The hour counts down and I am afraid.
God help us all.


Karl Urban has resurfaced on Twitter. Huzzah! And he's needling Trump. Even better! It's such a petty thing in which to take delight, but it's all I've got as the country slides into the grasp of gross imcompetents and idiots like my mother rejoice.


Roomie has scarpered off to the grocery store for victuals, and I'm watching Web of Lies on ID and futzing with various things online. I contacted Movie Mars about a seriously tardy package, of which USPS has no record despite DHL's claims of delivery to a post office on the 14th. Ugh. I hope they find it. Roomie has been looking forward to its contents for weeks.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jan. 18th, 2017 04:03 pm)
I placed a library hold for the first time yesterday. With this simple, comforting act, I have become a Library Person. And possibly Old, but I'm okay with this. Libraries are good and peaceful and necessary, and while Kindles are fabulous inventions, they will never match the simple, wondrous magic of prowling the stacks of a library and seeing embossed spines and call numbers and hearing the creak of a spine when you open a book. Or smelling the spice of the pages or wondering who left that receipt from 1990 on page 276. Or stopping in front of a title that caught your eye and realizing you've discovered a treasure of which you were oblivious until that moment. Gathering a stack and trooping to the front, proud of your finds and eager to begin the adventure. Only libraries offer you so much and ask nothing in return save a little love and a little time and the hope for a little magic. So viva Kindle and the technological revolution, but give me a library, with its whispers of stories untold and its memories of my grandfather's house, dust and dog and shag carpet and the exotic smell of old books.
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