Today

is one of those days when I just sit here messing about on the laptop, because everything hurts so much that I just do not want to move. Why don’t I ever get the good pain meds? Are there even good pain meds that don’t kill you as a side effect? I always say that pain is like a bad boyfriend. You are so over it, but it is never over you, and stalks you incessantly. Not fun. Not even a little bit. On the other hand, was a bit better yesterday, and my new vacuum came and I snapped it together and tried it out on a small area, which is the most I could stand up for. OMG the suction. Never had a vac with this much suction. Die, cat hair, die. It’s a Shark. Not me or my house in this picture, btw. 🙂

Conservatives

This is an entire Tumblr post by several people. First is the post that started it, then the comments. I am taking the liberty of posting it because it matters. It is important, in my opinion.

stupid leftists and their belief in *checks notes* the intrinsic value of human life

Reblog if you would burn down the statue of liberty to save a life

Here’s the thing, though. If you asked a conservative “Would you let the statue of liberty burn to save one life?” they’d probably scoff and say no, it’s a national landmark, a treasure, a piece of too much historical importance to let it be destroyed for the sake of one measly life

But if you asked, “Would you let the statue of liberty burn in order to save your child? your spouse? someone you loved a great deal?” the tune abruptly changes. At the very least, there’s a hesitation. Even if they deny it, I’m willing to bet that gun to their head, the answer would be “yes.”  

The basic problem here is that people have a hard time seeing outside their own sphere of influence, and empathizing beyond the few people who are right in front of them. You’ve got your immediate family, whom you love; your friends, your acquaintances, maybe to a certain degree the people who share a status with you (your religion, your race, etc.)–but beyond that? People aren’t real. They’re theoretical. 

But a national monument? That’s real. It stands for something. The value of a non-realized anonymous life that exists completely outside your sphere of influence is clearly worth less than something that represents freedom and prosperity to a whole nation, right?

People who think like this lack the compassion to realize that everyone is in someone’s immediate sphere of influence–that everyone is someone’s lover, or brother, or parent. Everyone means the world to someone. And it’s the absolute height of selfishness to assume that their lives don’t have value just because they don’t mean the world to you

P.S. I would let the statue of liberty burn to save a pigeon. 

screencap of a news article by the huffington post that reads "i don't know how to explain to you that you should care about other people"

also, there is an extreme difference between what things or principles *i* personally am willing to die for, and what i would hazard others to die for. and this is a distinction i don’t think the conservative hard-right likes to face.

an example: so, as the nazis began war against france, the staff of the louvre began crating up and shipping out the artworks. it was vital to them (for many reasons) that the nazis not get their hands on the collections, and hitler’s desire for them was known, so they dispersed the objects to the four winds; one of the curators personally traveled with la gioconda, mona lisa herself, in an unmarked crate, moving at least five times from location to location to avoid detection.

they even removed and hid the nike of samothrace, “winged victory,” which is both delicate, having been pieced back together from fragments, and incredibly heavy, weighing over three metric tons.

image

the curators who hid these artworks risked death to ensure that they wouldn’t fall into nazi hands. and yes, they are just paintings, just statues. but when i think about the idea of hitler capturing and standing smugly beside the nike of samothrace, a statue widely beloved as a symbol of liberty, i completely understand why someone would risk their life to prevent that. if my life was all that stood between a fascist dictator and a masterpiece that inspired millions, i would be willing to risk it. my belief in the power and necessity of art would demand i do so.

if, however, a nazi held a gun to some kid’s head (any kid!) and asked me which crate the mona lisa was in, they could have it in a heartbeat. no problem! i wouldn’t even have to think about it. being willing to risk my own life on principle doesn’t mean i’m willing to see others endangered for those same principles.

and that is exactly where the conservative hard-right falls right the fuck down. they are, typically, entirely willing to watch others suffer for their own principles. they are perfectly okay with seeing children in cages because of their supposed belief in law and order. they are perfectly willing to let women die from pregnancy complications because of their anti-abortion beliefs. they are alright with poverty and disease on general principle because they hold the free-market sacrosanct. and i guess from their own example they would save the statue of liberty and let human beings burn instead.

but speaking as a leftist (i’m more comfortable with socialist tbh), my principles are not abstract things that i hold aside from life, apart or above my place as a human being in a society. my beliefs arise from being a person amidst people. i don’t love art for art’s sake alone, actually! i don’t love objects because they are objects: i love them because they are artifacts of our humanity, because they communicate and connect us, because they embody love and curiosity and fear and feeling. i love art because i love people. i want universal health care because i want to see people universally cared for. i want universal basic income because people’s safety and dignity should not be determined by their economic productivity to an employer. i am anti-war and pro-choice for the same reason: i value people’s lives but also their autonomy and right to self-determination. my beliefs are not abstractions. i could never value a type of economic system that i saw hurting people, no matter how much “growth” it produced. i could never love “law and order” more than i love a child, any child, i saw trapped in a cage.

would i be willing to risk death, trying to save the statue of liberty? probably, yes. but there is no culture without people, and therefore i also believe there are no cultural treasures worth more than other people’s lives. and as far as i’m concerned the same goes for laws, or markets, or borders.

Well said!

This is an excellent ethical discussion.

The first time I came across this post, randomslasher’s addition was life changing for me. I suddenly understood where the right was coming from, and I had never been angrier.

This is also why so many people on the right fail to see the hypocrisy of trying to make abortion illegal when they themselves have had abortions. They can tally up their own life circumstances and conclude that it would be difficult or impossible to continue a pregnancy, but they’re completely mystified by the idea that women they don’t know are also human beings with complicated lives and limited spoon allocation.

This is also why they think “get a job” is useful advice. In their heads they honestly do not understand why the NPCs who make up the majority of the human race can’t just flip a switch from “no job” to “job.” When they say “get a job” they’re filing a glitch report with God and they honestly think that’s all it takes.

This is also why they tend to view demographics as individuals. They think that every single Muslim is just a different avatar for the same bit of programming.

Borrowed observation from @innuendostudios​ here, but: there’s also a fundamental difference in how progressives view social problems versus how conservatives view them. That is, progressives view them as problems to be solved, whereas conservatives do not believe you can solve anything.

Conservatives view social issues as universal constants that fundamentally are unable to be changed, like the weather. You can try to alter your own behavior to protect yourself (you can carry an umbrella), and you can commiserate about how bad the weather is, but you can’t stop it from raining. This is why conservatives blame victims of rape for dressing immodestly or for drinking or for going out at night: to them, those things are like going out without an umbrella when you know it’s going to rain. 

“But then why do conservatives try to stop things they dislike by making them illegal, like drug use or immigration or abortion?” And the answer is: they’re not. They know perfectly well that those things will continue. No amount of studies showing that their methods are ineffective will matter to them because effectiveness is not the point. The point is to punish people for doing bad things, because punishing people is how you show your disapproval of their actions; if you don’t punish them, then you’re condoning their behavior. 

This is why they will never support rehabilitative prisons, even though they reduce crime. This is why they will never support free birth control for everyone, even though that would reduce abortions. This is why they will never support just giving homeless people houses, even though it’s proven to be cheaper and more effective at stopping homelessness than halfway houses and shelters. It’s not about stopping evil, because you can’t; it’s about saying definitively what is Bad and what is Good, and we as a society do that by punishing the people we’ve decided are bad. 

This is why the conservative response to “holy fuck, they’re putting children in cages!” is typically something along the lines of “it’s their parents’ fault for trying to come here illegally; if they didn’t want to have their kids taken away, they shouldn’t have committed a crime.” It doesn’t matter that entering the US unlawfully is a misdemeanor and child kidnapping isn’t typically a criminal sentence. It does not matter that this has absolutely zero effect on people unlawfully entering the US. The point is that conservatives have decided that entering unlawfully is Bad, anything that is not punishing undocumented immigrants – due process of asylum and removal defense claims, for example – is supporting Badness, and kidnapping children is an appropriate punishment for being Bad.

This is very important

This is a really good and important post that puts things into perspective. I hope you all read the entire thing and not just scroll past it. Conservatives are why we punish the victim, treat addiction and even mental illness as a crime, not an illness, why vindictiveness seems to be the rule of the day, and compassion does not come into play at all most of the time. The current Republican party has just taken this to the extreme in every way possible. Then they call themselves ‘Christians’. They have no conception of what Jesus taught, and their only god is money. Sorry, but that’s what I believe.

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

As I said to my friend Tess earlier, because it has time has warped back into November, or forward into November, whatever, and i is cold and wet and windy and I have had my heater fan on for hours, and the curtains closed to keep the cold wind from blowing straight in. I know, I could just close the windows, but they are hard to do, and besides, I like being cold, just not frozen. 🙂

Very unusual weather for this time of year, but it is not hot and sticky so it’s all good. Besides, I may have mentioned that I love rain and rainy days. Gertrude is scrunched up against me getting warmth from me and from the heater fan blowing on us. I need to get up for some food, but you know that law about not disturbing the cat? Yeah. At least I got coffee before we couched. Couch and couching are now verbs, because Tess. We have a lot of little inside jokes. We are very funny women. Her hubbies thinks we are a bit touched in the head, but he laughs anyway.

Was a bit better for about two days after upping the prednisone, but right back to the hobbling and standing only with leaning on something. But spirits are good. New homemaker came yesterday and cleaned in the kitchen, vacuumed, and broke down some boxes and took them away from here. Yay. I have ordered a new ‘good for cat hair’ vac, because the canister is the pits. Does not really get up the cat hair, but I actually think it’s magic hair. It falls off Gertrude all over the place, but she does not look any less hairy, and I think it reproduces once it’s on the rug, because the more homemaker vac’d, the more hair there seemed to be on the rug. I hate wall-to-wall carpeting. Hoping the new vac works. Was going to get the old upright fixed, but decided against it. Would probably not be worth whatever it cost.

My Trader Joe’s tulips are about ready to hit the dust, but it’s been a week, so value for money was good. Yellow tulips. I really like yellow tulips on my fireplace mantle. Ate well all week thanks to TJ’s, too. Wish they had built one closer instead of yet another dollar store type thing. It was the perfect spot for a TJ’s. Drat.

Are you all vaccinated now? I am fully done. Both shots and enough time after for them to have taken effect. So happy Jean is happy. Not so nervous about going out, but will still wear my mask. Seems there was no flu season, when normally several thousand people die from it every year, have seen a lot of people posting they have not had a cold for a year, and I can vouch for the fact that it helps with pollen allergies. Wear your mask. It helps you and your loved ones and friends around you as well. Be a good person, it’s pretty easy, really.

Population Decline

Some places are trying to encourage people to have more children. No. There are too many of us already, in my opinion. We are running out of resources.

Here’s an article about resources: https://newatlas.com/four-crucial-resources-running-out/12630/

Here’s a bit from an article about the population decline. It’s from the New York Times:

“A planet with fewer people could ease pressure on resources, slow climate change and reduce burdens for women. But the data also points to changes that are hard to fathom: Fewer workers could upend the ways societies are organized and our ideas about family and nation.”

Personally, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to rework our ideas about family and nation. Maybe we could do better than the constant wars and infighting and excluding families that aren’t just like our own. Change is not necessarily a bad thing. What do you guys think? Any opinions?

A Normal Day…Finally

Tess and I went to Trader Joe’s. First time in over a year. They had everything I like including ready meal Enchilada Verde. It was so great just to walk around (wearing masks, of course) and shop like we used to. After, we got frozen coffees at Dunking Donuts and just sat in the car drinking them and chatting. Came home, put my groceries away, and we sat and chatted some more, still in masks. That was the only not normal part, and not at all a problem. Masks seem to really help with allergies, too. Much less sneezing.

It was just fantastic to do something familiar and fun. I got a basil plant, a rosemary plant, and some cut yellow tulips. It was good day. Oh, I got this, too. This is their most popular item, I think, and it is soooo good.

I’m Up. I’m Up.

Of course, it’s after 11 am, but hey. Going for a cat scan later. Yay. I am awake, I am awake. My usual morning mantra. Having coffee and checking emails while my brain and body decide if they will work today or not. So just read three what are really click-bait type articles. Experts say you should always/never do this that or the other. What experts. Who made them experts, and I should never buy this plant because these ‘experts’ don’t like to bother with it? What kind of article is that? Then there is the headline. ‘Actor says ‘he has less screen time and gets paid more? No way.’ Read a very long article, at the end of which is this: “Where she is not willing to compromise is on parity of pay with male co-stars. “Now is the time when you say, ‘What’s that? My male colleague is doing a third of the time on screen but is being paid three times more than me? Er, no.” Did the headline not make it sound like the article was about a pay dispute. It was not.

Then there is the hate on social media. God, I am truly disturbed if this is young people, because the level of hatred and vitriol is truly upsetting. They pick a target and have at it. There’s a whole blow-up over British actor Noel Clarke being accused of being a horrible human being, and somehow another actor got dragged into it and he is the one being vilified, and then anyone who does not outright condemn him, and then anyone who is remotely associated with him, then anyone who is remotely associated with anyone remotely associated with him. Noel Clarke got lost in the shuffle. You know, the guy who has actually been accused of serious sexual harassment.

I used to be so unaware of what people are really, truly like in their hearts. I thought that there are a lot of good people, but in general, humanity sucks because all we seem to care about is profit at the expense of every other living thing on the entire planet. But the real hate for one another, the real selfishness and self-centeredness and lack of compassion and empathy and just giving the other guy a break. I didn’t know how bad it really is. I didn’t know how often police are murdering black people. I didn’t know all the horror that goes on every single day, every single place. Am I better off being more informed? Only in the fact that it means I could possibly help to change things, but I don’t know how to do that. I sign petitions and I comment and I write this ranting blog that was meant to be about living with a really shit illness but kind of isn’t anymore, but does any of it matter? I seriously doubt it. Does it help ME in any way. Maybe venting is good for you, I don’t know.

Spring is sprung, I want to come alive again, and my body has turned into a blob and I can barely walk and I have less than zero energy on any given day and the Israeli’s are murdering children and every body hates every body else and the government is hanging on by a thread because the cult of the orange disgrace is going strong and what on earth is WRONG with people? Where is the damn Mother Ship when you need her? Get me off this crap planet. Please. Or come and do some magic and fix things, because I sure cannot.

Just Shoot Me Now

Say I. And he did. Got my second vaccine today. So far, it’s all good. Great to be out. Lovely day once the sun came out. A bit chilly but nice. Very un-May like. Went to DQ after and had a strawberry shake. Yum. Very pleased to finally be fully vacc’d. Still going to wear a mask outside, though, and probably when anyone comes in for a while. Looking forward to my homemaker coming in and actual cleaning. Lord, does this place need cleaning.

Someone had a reaction while we were there, but did not seem serious and I was thinking if maybe it was psychological. From where I sat, it kind of looked like an anxiety attack. Cannot say for sure. So much negative untruth out there, I think if you believe it you can cause yourself to have a reaction subconsciously. Self-fulfilling prophecy. I think or am really worried that something will happen, thereby causing it to happen. All of those people spreading lies, many of whom have been vaccinated while telling their listeners how horrible it would be to get it, should be taken out and shot. Lying bastards. They want people to die? Why else would they do this? How does it benefit them except for the big one…ratings. Some people are truly disgusting specimens of humanity.

Just an aside re: shake. My friend and I both had one, and together they cost about the same as two small DQ vanilla cones. WTF? Why on earth does one small DQ cone cost over 4 dollars and as much as one shake? Why, DQ? Okay, all done for now. 🙂

Imagine Dragons

Listening to them on YouTube, looked up Dan Reynolds, the lead singer. He has an incurable illness, and has been diagnosed with depression. My thought was, “I’d be depressed if I had an incurable illness, too. Oh, wait….” Duh. Guess I never actually thought of myself this way.

I love this group. Radioactive is one of my favorite songs. Thunder is another. What about Monster? Check out this video, too. The dancers are amazing. If you don’t know these guys, check out Imagine Dragons on YouTube

It’s May

Spring has sprung, for sure. Had to reschedule my vaccine because having a major pain flare. Doped to the gills on OTC pain meds, as no one ever gives me the good stuff. Have decided to stick to ready-meals and not buy anything that needs more than ‘remove wrap, nuke til done. Found some really tasty Asian meals. Pho. I have seen pictures of pho, but none of them can tell you how really good it is. It is really, really good. I could eat that every day for a while.

I am disappointed that it’s going to be even longer before my homemaker can safely come in and clean. Maybe I should just get over it and have her in anyway. It’s a trade-off between not wanting to die horribly, or living in a disaster area. Because this place is a disaster. I just am not capable of pretty much anything right now. Never really been this bad when I didn’t have someone coming in to keep things nice. It will get better. It will.

Having a lot of focusing problems. I can’t really watch tv, because I cannot decide what to watch. I bring up Netflix or Prime, where I have long list of things to watch, and then I can’t decide on any one them, so off it goes and I am back to reading. Reading is good, though, but I am having trouble concentrating right now. I don’t know why I have gotten so much worse, and worse in different ways than ever before. I usually just try to wait it out. Nothing lasts forever, right? Anyway, happy May. Spring, it’s a good thing.

My Birthday

was the 20th. The same day the murdering cop was convicted, so I let it pass. But now I can say, it was a great birthday. My youngest sent me chocolate-covered mammoth strawberries, my oldest called me from New Mexico and we had a long and funny chat, my friend Tess brought me a little cheesecake, and my friend Beth called to say she was stopping by. She lives more than an hour away. Stopping by? I have great friends. She brought me flowers from her garden, wine, Ferrero Rocher, and homemade scones and really, really good homemade pea soup. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny, windows open day. I really enjoyed it. Some birthdays are not so great, but even then, Tess usually brings a tiny cake from the grocery and we share it. Last year, no sharing of course. We did this year, because she had already been in when she took me for my first vaccination, and we wore masks except when actually eating, and sat across the room from one another. Beth and I had a long chat with her in the hallway.

Yeah, don’t know why this is sideways or how to fix it. 🙂

Flowers from Beth’s garden with Gertude checking them out.
Close up. They smelled heavenly, too.

Second shot Sunday, then two weeks and back to sort-of-normal. Oh, god, I will be able to have someone in to clean. I cannot wait. Will still wear a mask and distance some, but won’t feel the need to be quite as cautious as I have been for the past 13 months. I don’t think this is ever going to be over especially since there are so many morons refusing masks and vaccine, but it will be a little better, I hope.

The flowering pears had a gorgeous, gorgeous bloom this year, and now the leaves are starting to pop out. Weirdly enough, the petals don’t drop anymore. They just sort of vanish as the leaves come out. They used to drop all over the sidewalk and street, but have not for the past couple of years. I have no idea why this has changed.

Anyway, I am even older than older than dirt now, but still having fun every day and enjoying my life, isolation and all. Stay safe, everyone, and please listen to science, not Fox News or the orange disgrace. Use your brains, that’s what they are for.

WHAT?

Seriously. What? I have been practically immobile for some time now. Broken, broken, broken executive function. Want to do something, just cannot. Tonight, I cleaned the tub, then the rest of the bathroom, then I vacuumed the bathroom, then I vacuumed the kitchen, then I vacuumed the worst part of the living room. Just imagine a rest break between each sentence there, please. I don’t know what changed, but happy Jean is happy. Tomorrow I will probably not be able to move AND MY CAPS LOCK KEY IS STUCK BUT I WILL NO DOUBT JUST COUCH AND MOAN AND GROAN. BUT i got stuff done. Now it’s unstuck. ?????

Just Stuff

So it is possible to hire my homemaker myself and whoever paid the agency will pay me to pay her. Have to discuss this with her, though. Or she can get a job at the agency that took over and I can still have her. She cooked before the virus, and she is a really good cook, and someone else could do the other stuff. We’ll see how that works out.

Reading a familiar blog, and it now tells me how long it will take to read the post. Seriously? Is time so short for everyone that we need to know how much of it we will spend reading something? There are posts and groups and whatever to compare your reading to other people’s, to keep track of how much time you spend, to make reading a chore and not a joy. I don’t understand why everything is a competition or something that needs tracking or whatever. Way to take the fun out of life, people.

I am currently making a giant pot of coffee in my new electric percolator. I usually do two cups. and doing about ten now, which is really only five mugs. I only have mugs. I like mugs. Can keep it in the frig and nuke a cup or have iced coffee. Yum. For someone with as many getting things done issues as I have, put the coffee and water in the pot and plug it in works for me. A light comes on when it’s ready and it stays hot til I unplug it. No waiting for the lukewarm drip, or stirring and waiting and pressing or adjust the stove burner to get the right perk time. I have used every type of pot including vacuum, only excepting the greek one, Moka is it?, and this electric makes good coffee that is doable even on a foggy, foggy morning, which every one of them is, lately. Found this online: nonbrainery. Yep, that’s me. Actually, setting it up the night before works even better. Plug it in, OR I could plug it into a timer so it would be ready when I get up. That works for me. Think I have a timer somewhere, too. I have an oven-ready pot roast with veg to cook, too, from my favorite grocery store after Trader Joe’s. God, do I miss Trader Joe’s. Soon as I am fully vaccinated, Tess and I are heading up to Foxboro. Had to drive right by Joe’s to get to Gillette Stadium for the vaccine. We waved. LOL

I think I am going to set up an appointment with the rheumatologist who took over from prednisone disaster guy, and see if there is anything that can be done for all this pain. It is really hard to do anything when you can only stand up for very brief amounts of time, and then only by hanging onto something like a door handle or the counter or whatever. Fun, fun, fun. Something needs to change, and I am the one who needs to pursue the means.

I smell coffee. Delightful.

Hope everyone out there is safe and well and wearing a mask and social distancing. We do what we must to keep ourselves and our loved ones and friends and neighbors safe, right? That’s what makes us good people. ‘I don’t need no f-ing mask’ screamers are not good people. Sorry, they just aren’t. Selfish and entitled. The dregs of humanity. Don’t be one of those. Please don’t.

Because I really don’t care if anyone dies because of my selfishness.