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Further adventures in media literacy

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D saw one of those goddamn M&M’s commercials where the sexy lady candy complains that, since her body is made of chocolate, no one appreciates her for her mind…which is super hysterical because haha! No one cares about her brain because she has a desirable body! Just like no one cares about the real minds of real women because *they* have bodies! Get it? It’s funny because it’s never going to change, and yet women continue to whine about it! 

As the commercial ended, Darren turned to me with big, serious eyes and said, “I hope you love me for my brain.”

“I do love you for your brain,” I ad libbed, “AND for your funny jokes!” 

Darren responded by saying that he loved me for my funny talking, and we went back and forth like that until it devolved into gibberish and giggles. (Subversive, no?)

So, thank you, M&M’s, for using candy to introduce my four year old to the objectification of women…and thank you, Peggy Orenstein, for teaching me to fight fun with fun!

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Written by GRSeim

November 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm

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When Obama endorsed marriage equality…

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Written by GRSeim

May 10, 2012 at 6:00 am

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no words.

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She was twelve years old, did not speak English and had only been in United States for a week. She was brought here by her adoptive parents from Malaysia, and was the fifth Asian preteen girl they had adopted in ten years.

There was always something off about the girls in the family. The kept to themselves, didn’t mix with the rest of us. We assumed it was because of the language barrier and left them alone for the most part, although they seemed nice enough.

And then, one day, their adoptive father disappeared from our community without a trace. No one seemed to know what had happened to him. We grieved for those young women who found themselves once again fatherless.

My grieving came to a screeching halt a few months later when my boyfriend’s dad, the pastor of our church, let it slip that this man had been arrested and was now in prison. He had admitted to raping a child.

No one would say who he’d raped, if it had been an isolated incident, if his daughters were safe.

There was no need.

Today, my one remaining friend from my years in the cult contacted me to tell me that one of the longtime “core” families showed up for Sunday services last week with two little Ethiopian boys in tow. They have successfully adopted these children and intend to raise them within the context of my old church. In fact, she went on to tell me that the community itself raised the money to cover the adoption expenses. These children are going to be raised by the shittiest village ever. They have been given quintessential white names to go along with their new lives as the only persons of color to be part of the church since the adopted drug baby ran away from home to join the military ten years ago.

Maybe I’m being too judgmental, maybe I’m painting this group with too broad a brush.

Maybe those boys won’t be homeschooled.

Maybe they won’t be spanked repeatedly until their spirits are broken, although this is what the church leadership has told us God requires in every Christian home.

Maybe they won’t pass through childhood in complete isolation.

That is the worst of it, or it was for me, anyway. I can’t tell you how completely alone those kids are, in one of the worst subcultures the United States has to offer, not even speaking our language. Completely vulnerable, completely defenseless, with no one to turn to for help.

Just…don’t…talk to me.

Written by GRSeim

April 20, 2012 at 7:07 am

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Thanks for the chuckle

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To the Internet user who stumbled across my blog via the search terms “Hippy Boobs” I’m so sorry to disappoint. I am a hippy and I do have boobs, but you won’t be finding any fun pictures of them here. 🙂

Written by GRSeim

April 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm

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Little Boy

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I try everything with you.

I instruct. I demonstrate. I remind. I reprimand. I cajole. I scold. 

I take you for daily romps outdoors, cut gluten out of your diet, take you to therapists, argue with your pediatrician, you preschool teacher, your father.

I advocate for you, explain for you, apologize for you. 

And finally, when I’m at the end of my rope…

I shame you. 

I feel sick when I think about the look you gave me, your hot, angry little face flushed with emotion, your eyes shining with tears you refuse to shed because god knows you won’t let anyone see you cry in a moment of vulnerability. 

You are so much like your dad, so silent, so difficult to draw into conversation, so difficult to read. He feels for you, identifies with you on a visceral, primitive level, and defends you fiercely when I tell him how our day really went in whispers, after everyone else is fast asleep. 

Right now, our days aren’t going very well. I am angry. I am tired. I am frustrated. And you are endlessly stubborn. 

But you know what, kid? I’m going to win this. You could save us both a lot of trouble by caving now, complying with my one single demand: do not harm others. It’s not a hard rule to remember, and you will see that someday because you are going to learn this lesson, you are going to learn it from me and you are going to learn it as a child, not at the hands of a teacher or policeman in your teen years. I can say that with complete confidence, even after days like this one when I know I’ve screwed up and hurt you and made my job as your mother even harder. 

Do you know how I know that I’m going to win this battle, little son?

Because every shred of that stubbornness you throw at me is just returning to its source. You can exasperate me, annoy me, frustrate me, scare me, shock me, injure me, worry me, crush me, but you will never be able to out-stubborn me. 

Just ask your granddad about this sometime, kid. This is our family legacy, generation after obnoxious generation of ridiculously difficult people getting their rear-ends handed to them by their equally ridiculous parents. 

Mark my words, son: you will be a cherished member of our loving family…whether you like it or not.   

Written by GRSeim

March 27, 2012 at 5:34 am

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Burn, baby

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Jon and I visited his extended family in Poetry, Texas once, back when we were newlyweds and still cared enough about manners to spend our scarce money and even scarcer free time on a bunch of relatives we don’t know or particularly like (clearly, I have been cured of this affliction).

As I understand it, Poetry is known mainly for its drive-thru beer barn, which isn’t actually in Poetry itself because Poetry is just too rural for fancy shit like this. There’s plenty of space where a business could be constructed in Poetry, of course, it’s just that that space is all being used for the indefinite parking of rusted-out cars right now.

Of course, the South being the South and all, we were treated to a potluck dinner during our visit. The food was undeniably delicious and I was lucky enough to be able to track down some of the recipes (which was no easy task).

After our meal was complete, however, our host noticed a guest browsing through the kitchen cupboards in search of a garbage can.

“Is that just a styrofoam plate?” she inquired. “You can just add it to the pile on top of the drier in the laundry room.”

“You sort your garbage?” the guest asked, surprised.

“Well, we sort out the things to add to the burn pile,” our host smiled.

“Oh!” the guest laughed, relieved. “For a minute there I thought you were one of them, uh, en-viro….um, en-viron-men’al-ists!”

And that, my friends, is undoubtedly the story of how my husband and I, along with the entire city of Poetry, Texas, contracted cancer and died. The end.

Written by GRSeim

March 26, 2012 at 5:52 am

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to be of use

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By Marge Piercy

 

“The people I love the best

jump into work head first

without dallying in the shadows

and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.

they seem to become natives of that element,

the black sleek heads of seals bouncing like half submerged balls.

 

I love people who harness themseves, an ox to a heavy cart,

who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,

who strain in the mud and the muck to mvoe things forward,

who do what has to be done, again and again.

 

I want to be with people who submerge 

in the task, who go into the fields to harvest

and work in a row and pass the bags along,

who stand in the line and haul in their places,

who are not parlor generals and field deserters

but move in a common rhythm

when the food must come in for the fire be put out.

 

The work of the world is common as mud.

Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.

But the thing worth doing well done

has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.

Greek amphoras for wine or oil,

Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums,

but you know they were made to be used.

The pitcher cries for water to carry

and a person for work that is real.”

 

Written by GRSeim

March 17, 2012 at 5:53 am

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