hey hey ho ho, this slave-to-wage shit's got to go

not to brag or anything - cuz its actually more sick than dazzling - but i pretty much stayed stuck to my my desk for the past 13 hours. my back hurts, i'm parched, and let's just say i'm a tad cantankerous (although deeply in solitude, so - like 'if a tree falls in the forest' - am i actually crabby if no one is around to suffer it?)...

and thus concludes my first week doing media relations at cupe national. the circumstances surrounding this latest contract appointment are pretty shady, but i'm trying to make the best of it, at least for now. oh, progressive organizations that just can't quite seem to make internal operations and external rhetoric JIVE. if i had a nickel! so as i figure out reconciling my principles with my debt load, there is straightforward enough work for me to do at cupe -- me and mediatic shenanigans get along just fine. i likely won't acquire new skills, but will at least be able to stretch and show off existing ones while getting to think and walk amidst some bright, cool people. others might see this sort of hire as a step towards a possible full-time, permanent, benefits-n-pension riddled gig, but i'm just glad to do good work for even a short time.

the thing about working out there in the real world is that in addition to having to be 'there', one has to BE there. the beauty of freelancing mostly from home is that shit gets done regardless of whether or not i'm peppy or pissy. to some extent, every single person who works outside the home has to leave a fair chunk of their true disposition AT home. separating myself from all that genuineness doesn't suit me well. at all. nor does what one has to dig up to meet acceptable social norms out there. it has been difficult extracating myself from the glorious home office this week, trading in my rituals and unapologetic scheduling and blaring music (or spectacular silences, mood depending) for a commute and regular human contact and a communal kitchen. the only part of my contract i couldn't do exceedingly well from home is the obligatory face-to-face time given (often wasted) in those dreaded meetings upon meetings, hallway small talk, and awkward elevator rides.

did i mention the office is Way Over There? cupe recently plucked itself out of its fabulous centretown location in favour of an obscure location a mere two industrial blocks from the glamorous st-laurent mall. sorry, cupe staffers. no more 20-steps-from-the-backdoor bridgehead coffees. as thanks for sacrificing that delicious urban vibe, cupe has constructed for its prized employees a state-of-the-art building that apparently meets the most exacting contemporary eco-friendly standards. as a bonus, cupe has put big swank coffee machines on each floor that bestow FREE coffees, espressos, cappuccinos, and mocha frapuccinos. there's also a gym. jesus. but do these offerings really trump my bodum and daily walk about wrightville? i haven't decided, but am thinking no.

anyhoo, so that's the state of work affairs. i'm helping cupe get more in the news while trying to wind down my clc project and negotiate other wee ones. meantime, stuff at the personal level simmers on. i’ve been thinking lately about damage -- how what we incur winds up affecting what we inflict [more on that later]. and while i OF COURSE don't have any freaking answers, i'm starting to get clearer about how my damage co-habitates with me today, what form it takes, how it - no matter how contained i wish it to be - still stains people in my midst.



from salon.com, 14 march, 'geraldine ferraro still needs to apologize'

"Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up," Ferraro said. "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

Not so good, Gerry. Rather than try to parse that almost incomprehensible but undoubtedly vile statement, however, let us instead analyze what Ferraro said about Obama -- which probably reflects the outlook of a certain segment of white America. One way to do this is to compare his career with hers.

Unlike Obama, who had to make his way in Chicago politics on his own merits after his stint as a community organizer and local lawyer, Ferraro benefited from family and political connections when she decided to run for Congress. Her cousin Nicholas Ferraro had been the Queens district attorney, and she got her first political job as an assistant D.A. Always a reliable cog in the Queens Democratic Party, which in those days was among the country's most corrupt and boss-ridden political machines, she didn't have to worry much about primary or general election opponents.

Ferraro's three terms in Congress produced little in the way of legislation -- again unlike Obama, whose single term in the Senate has seen him mark several milestones, in particular a landmark ethics reform package. That wasn't the kind of thing that Ferraro would have supported back when she was in the House, since she prided herself on cuddling up to the leadership rather than challenging the status quo in any way.

(as ripped off, tardily, from audra the astute)


she's still in it!

and what a race it (still) is! based on the results out of those states voting tonight, here are the woozy, hardly satisfying things we know:

- hillary won enough to stay in it
- obama didn't win enough to end it
- hillary didn't catch up enough on delegates
- obama didn't score big headline victories
- bill somehow didn't manage to bungle it
- cnn yet again sucked the life out of it
- it's looking more and more like those superdelegates will get to decide it

mississippi! indiana! north carolina! guam! yes, you DO matter!
who knows, maybe kentucky, too!

sadly, we had confirmed the fact that assholes everywhere can, when given the opportunity, wax ad nauseum on their (often loose) understanding of 'momentum'.

AND we got incontrovertible evidence that vermont, with it's cute little delegate count, is an uber cool place chock full of uber cool people. thanks ben & jerry and friends.


lest I'M considered too hard on hillary

columnist margery eagan filed a rather prickly 'letter' to hillary this morning. excerpts:

If you don’t win big today (you may, we know, who dares count a Clinton out!) but if you don’t win big today, then please, PLEASE, step aside. Throw in the towel. Give it up.

Oh, Hillary. Get real. Can we point to some gender advantages you’ve enjoyed? For one, millions of women will fight to the death for you because their boss dissed them back in ’62.

For another, suppose genders were reversed. Suppose you were a man. Who, I ask, would vote for a Mr. President whose First Lady groped, grabbed or bedded every pair of pants that passed?


me, on rabble, again

[a previous blog post, revamped]

Is Hillary Clinton too square for the oval?

In a recent New York Times op-ed,
Frank Rich adeptly outlines the flaws that have plagued Hillary Clinton's run from "day one," then suggests:

"Clinton fans don't see their standard-bearer's troubles this way. In their view, their highly substantive candidate was unfairly undone by a lightweight showboat who got a free ride from an often misogynist press and from naïve young people who lap up messianic language as if it were Jim Jones's Kool-Aid."

"But it's the Clinton strategists, not the Obama voters, who drank the Kool-Aid. The Obama campaign is not a vaporous cult; it's a lean and mean political machine that gets the job done. The Clinton camp has been the slacker in this race, more words than action, and its candidate's message, for all its purported high-mindedness, was and is self-immolating."

Like so many other ovaried observers, I have at times been hard on myself for choosing to support Obama instead of the first viable female candidate for president of those mighty United States. But neither the candidate nor her campaign has ever felt viable to me. As much as I'm a zealot for women's rights, I reserve the right to get excited about the right woman - my foremothers gave that to me.

The first woman to get this close to the oval office happens to come from and speak for the second wave feminists who have always left me feeling disconnected and unheard. Hillary does have chutzpah though; let's give it to her, what with those early claims of inevitable victory and the increasing vitriol over the fact that the numbers and people just aren't doing her a solid.

The overarching problem is that Hillary represents – not just to my mind, but for countless credible democratic activists – a kind of establishmenty flavour. To insist the heat comes from negligible policy differences between her and Obama, the thick versus thin resumé question, or even the gender question is to miss a bigger point. The era of Clintonian politics is over in a way that leaves no self-respecting or movement-participating progressive able to support Hillary in good conscience. And it has nothing to do with the girlie bits underneath her clothes. It's her last name and preferred peer group, not to mention that haunting record on Iraq.

I'm actually quite sorry, Hillary, that your lifetime of hard work on behalf of liberalism may not be enough to send the masses scrambling to hoist you up onto the throne. And I do genuinely acknowledge those efforts. Who's to say what kind of cosmic forces conspired so effectively as to make a charismatic Illinois upstart the stealer of your limelight, the tapper-inner to an apathetic electorate’s thirst for political excitement, the taker of your "turn"? We will soon know if he absconds with your cake or if you can eat it, too.

What I do know is that a great number of exceptional, progressive representatives of fresh feminism could have better challenged Obama. The better woman to vie for the American presidency is absolutely out there. Rather than bemoan whatever injustices may have been done to you, Hillary, on this campaign trail, I'd rather lament a system that requires those better women to have – as you do – the resources, pedigree, or inclination to enter the race. And even if she did, that system comes with a nearly bulletproof glass ceiling, so she'd have to don the hardhat, aggressive tone, and stiff upper lip that so brutally unpopularized you in this run (oh, and she'd also have to have the occasional $5 million hanging around to slide into the campaign when the going gets rougher).

the complete commentary appears here.