Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Blood on the Rocks



I am not sure what that metaphor is about right now.  I feel very much at sea confused about America, the work I do and the place I live.  Being adrift is not a good way to right oneself if a storm comes and in sailing one seeks shore and avoids rocks lest they crash. Then there is being hit in the head with a stone and having your skull caved in and there are days when I feel that way as well.

With the current hysteria of white people going nuts over finding black people doing things and having fits over Latino people speaking Spanish, I was thinking about dressing a bunch of black men in outfits found in Saudi Arabia and then have the walk along speaking Spanish which really ought to send the masses into hysteria.  Finally the dream that terrorists are in the caravan and have arrived to commit heinous acts upon innocent Americans busy cell phoning their encounters with black people at Starbucks, the park, on the street, at the pool, in the laundromat or anywhere and everywhere black people go which is everywhere and anywhere white people go.   And that includes places where Spanish is spoken as well as many other languages you will hear when you are in public.  That is why it is called being in public.

Today begins the funeral processions for Pittsburgh.  The endless other victims of Kentucky, yesterday in North Carolina, in Tennessee, in anywhere and everywhere in America are either in the hospital recovering, home permanently damaged or are being prepped for burial.  Lather, rinse, repeat when it comes to gun violence.

Then we have the sexual sagas that I am frankly exhausted from.  The New York Times did a summary highlight of the men and what happened since #MeToo and over 200 men lost their jobs with over one half of those being replaced by women.  Well okay then but I am not sure if this is a placate thing or a genuine resolution to do better? Time will tell.   But this week Hillary mentioned she would have liked to been President.  Forewarning? Foreshadowing? Forward thinking? Or just a rhetorical thought spoken out loud.  I will be frank that she needs to be better than Trump and accept loss in a way he seems to challenge himself about winning.  Move on.  It is not easy but try.

I read today two horrific articles in Mother Jones.  First about Core Civics private prisons and their role in Immigrant Detention. It is rooted in slave economics and in Washington State sued  another private prison company a few years ago, largely thanks to Mother Jones that again exposed the issues of using Immigrants to do large portion of work for both the private and public sector and how they  are treated like human garbage. So when you think of the South turn that compass north.  The Seattle Times also exposed how prisons exploited their inmates and their are repeated stories across the country about riots and neglect and abuse of inmates.  So much for giving them skills and opportunities to readjust and rejoin society.

But is any of this ever changing?  Well I saw this with regards to Black Americans, to Women and to those who are a member of the Gay community and now I am seeing it all being reversed, all in my lifetime and I am not yet 60!

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with a 13 year old girl who is in 8th grade. She wants to be called by a gender neutral name and with a male pronoun but when you see her she is very much a girl.  She is confused about her sexuality and is "dating" a girl but the issue about bi-sexuality is clearly something that she also identifies with and is upset that friends do not like her saying that as it eliminates trans people from her dating world.  Jesusfuckingchrist how many labels and identities can a 13 year old CHILD endure?  She has been admitted to a hospital for anxiety and attends therapy both group and singular, I have no idea if she is on meds but I suspect her progressive family has her on a regime given the history.  She is charming, funny, smart and just confused.  Who isn't at her age and who isn't period?  I felt for her as she is the first and likely only child in Nashville I will ever engage with on that level and it is clear she is truly needing a role model and mentor on whom nothing more than a chance to be one's self is needed.   I asked her if there were any member of her group that she liked and could get to know outside of group.  She asked me what I meant by the word "liked" meant.  I knew she meant sexually or romantically and there we are today that the word like has even sexual connotation.  I see why kids are confused.

I am back at the same school proctoring ACT tests.  Well I was ignoring them and leaving it to the full time staff as in order to proctor said tests there must be waivers signed and a registered list of who is doing it for the ACT people just in case questions/exams stolen what.have.you.  So I perched on the bleachers in the gym and from minute one I knew and watched two boys definitely cheat.  They were wearing hoodies to cover their faces, they were looking around constantly and doing their best to be distracting without attracting attention.  They raised then lowered their hands and as  I watched them for two hours I was sure they were cheating.  I finally called another Proctor over and said; "Those boys over there may need help one has raised his hands a couple of times but changed his mind but I think it is worth asking."   He did and the boys dismissed him.  After the break at the 2 plus mark, the Administrator arrived took the boys, their tests and other girl behind them (also well covered with a hoodie) out of the gym.   After a few minutes she came and asked me if I had noticed something.  Here is where I want to point out that all of the players in this scene are black other than myself.  So while I knew for quite some time I had to figure out how to play this out to avoid the ubiquitous card being tossed.   She asked me what I noticed. I told her that the sun was moving across the room and these boys were turning their head and at times I thought raising their hands, at first I was not sure if it was to ask a question or to block light.  As I knew there were two vacant seats on my side of the gym they could move too and was ready to assist if that was the case so I asked the other Proctor (a black man I purposely picked a black man from the group) to see if there was a problem. He came away without incident but I said I watched the boys and the hand game was beginning until they realized it was I watching them so they did not look up again and I in turn quit watching them as well.  She asked me what they were wearing and here is where again I had to lie.  The infamous hoodie.  I said I don't really notice kids much as they all look the same, sweatshirts, sneakers, I only notice if a kid is wearing color and I know that the boys were however sitting next to a girl in a bright pink shirt and that I did notice.  I looked over her shoulder and checked and yes I was right.   The three kids did not return and I am not surprised I have been with kids too long and you can just tell.  But today in today's climate with me being white, they black and wearing hoodies they could have pulled out an iPad and started copying answers.   This is where we are.

The ugliness in America does seem to fall along race and gender and that is the influence of the Church. I cannot deny that for almost all of the confusion and rage and justification of it comes from the houses in which one worships.  The freak Mike Pence who refuses to cross the street without his wife is just such an example of how these intensely over religious individuals feel that it is Jesus that will solve the issues and I am not sure what they are praying for - forgiveness or justification?   Even Pence who denied that Trump's rhetoric has contributed to this insanity managed to find the Jesus Rabbi to evoke prayer for Saturday's victims. Really?  He can't even manage to co-exist with conventional Jews which may explain why anti Semitism is all the rage right now, emphasis on rage.

And in the same Mother Jones was an essay by a young woman who is struggling with her own recollections of a sexual encounter gone wrong and in some tragic way rationalize it. But that in the Evangelical community she was ultimately responsible for the boy's failure to respect her boundaries and wishes.  And while this falls under the bullshit concept of  the Purity Culture is it any different in the secular world?  I do recall the pledges and rings and I also recall the million man march so there you go.  They fall into the bin of culture that will undoubtedly be joined with Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and Me Too eventually as a moment.  Sort of like crazy versions of right to life and their never ending metamorphoses.  They never really go away they just rebrand themselves as a new kind of crazy

As I work in Education I recall the sex ed bullshit and the sudden switch back and by then the horse had left the barn and for a couple of years teaching it I realized that Toto we are not in Kansas anymore.  And here living in Tennessee abstinence is still very much a part of the curriculum and there are many more byzantine laws about sex and assault (I thought the entire time yesterday what fucking laws I was breaking during my convo with the kid)  but many states realized this is not helping stop teen pregnancies but actually contributing to them. Yes this is how we roll, we don't want women to have sex, or have access to birth control or have any option if that fails but then we also don't want them to have medical care pre or post pregnancy, maternity leave, affordable child care and of course an education to stop this from becoming a pattern. But sure just say NO.  Wait is that about drugs or sex?

 A couple of weeks ago I heard on NPR a woman who wrote a memoir on the subject of the purity bullshit and again the trauma that happens with sexual assault is only added by the endless shaming and blaming.  Yes the handmaids have a tale for you.

What I did learn or at least confirm my worst fears or beliefs is that religion really fucks you up and hence their obsession with fucking. They are the ones who need you to come and come hard to Church to fund their tax exempt institutions that have enabled them to be exempt not only from taxes apparently but from laws such as molesting children.

What I thought was the most salient comment was that the same belief about passivity and submission that is written in the below piece about how it affects women and their belief and attitude about saying no or confronting someone about their behavior  is one undoubtedly shared by the Catholic Priests as they looked to cover up their sins.

 Irony that these same rapists and molesters tended to other's confessions to seek absolution.  Look Homeward and Inward there Angel!

So as the election focuses on Evangelical women and their seeming oblivion or acceptance of Donald Trump then these books and articles by women who have left the flock and now facing truths should provide you with insight into why even women "educated" are Republican.  The role of religion, how one is educated (secular vs not) and the States they grew up in with their attitude towards religion as a significant role in the State House and not just the Church House is critical.  Women are not stupid they are willing participants in the abuse of women in the same way Serena is with regards to Offred who is raped in order to conceive.  America, the great!

Blood on the rocks means you are still fertile and that in turn makes you valuable in America.  When you are old and female you are not valuable you are disposable and this is where we are when it comes to being a woman.  Care giver from birth to death.  Just whose is the difference.







Monday, October 29, 2018

No Parking



When I read this story last week about the man found dead in his vehicle for over a week, it could either be a very typical New York story about life and in this case death in the big city or a story of isolation and desolation when surrounded by thousands of people.

Imagine being in your car and slowly dying and not even a Meter Maid feels worthy enough to even ticket you.  Imagine that people pass your slowly rotting corpse without a glance.  Imagine dying alone on a city street and passers by do just that.

There are many elements to this story and the parallels cannot be ignored to the Male Bomber in Florida - unemployed, in his 50's, failures professionally and personally and social isolation.  One chose one one type of "cide" as in suicide the other homicide.  As in life he failed at that.  But what does that say about our society as people who would walk by that van with its hateful missives, people knowing he was using the beach showers as a way of hygiene and another man who decided to die on the streets and feel so frustrated and alone and who had family chose to not seek help.  Nor the same for the Pittsburgh shooter (who was 46) or the Kentucky man  who had some misguided racist fantasy and a history of violence  to do what their younger halves started and they feel the need to finish. He too was in his fifties - he was 51.

Again this week I have watched my former Attorney meltdown on social media.  A man with impeccable credentials and a strong career that got sidelined with illness. Then a descent into what I suspect drug use and in turn a desperate attempt to find some reason for his declining mental health, and rather than seek a proper Psychiatrist he chose Neurologists to test for traumatic brain disorder he believed he sustained from his Osteomy.  When that proved negative going to a clinic away from his sole support network and is sure that all the childhood trauma was the result of his declining mental health.  From what his daily postings on Facebook show is a man who veers on suicidal ideation, self harm as this current week has photos of him cutting himself.  He is abusive, whiny and when not is manic taking up marathons and triathlons and other athletic endeavors even starting a foundation for those who suffer from the same health frailties  then folding it, moving to Alaska to take up photography and crab fishing and quitting practicing law.  All of it broadcast on Facebook for friends and others to comment, to provide likes and basically not think any of this is disturbing and should not be on social media in any shape.  A wife who shows up then returns back home 300 miles away leaving him in this odd facility treating him for PTSD via an experimental method and not looking at other potential diagnosis to explain his mental health.  His family history is also part of this and one can assume from his mothers suicidal issues, her own abuse of her son and in turn his leaving the family home at 16 she may have had a mental health diagnosis of her own that is similar to her son today.  But again having proper diagnostics, proper medical and mental health professionals is the key to helping those resolve issues and in turn belong and find their way in society.   And like the bookend to the mass shooters who were all in that sweet spot of under 25 the men over 50 are to finding ways that defy the norm.  We have a problem with guns and drugs and not nearly enough mental health care that is both accessible and available to offset what could escalate into dangerous behavior.

I have spent the better part of the week trying to reconcile my own anger and in turn my desire to leave Nashville as soon as possible.  I cannot speed up the healing process nor do much more than wait but it becomes a challenge when you again are isolated and alone doing nothing of meaning or of value of which society places great emphasis.  For women being "retired" or doing odd jobs it considered less an eyesore and in turn acceptable but for men this becomes an embarrassment and that sense of shame turns outward in the same way the boys do when they elect to hurt those who they perceived hurt them.   But it exhausts you to meet new people and explain your marital status, your work status and of course health so fuck it and say nothing, do nothing but keep as busy as possible with as little interaction as possible.  

Suicide rates are up with Boomers and in turn the only time I ever felt that was was after my injury the result of my dates failed attempt at drugging/raping/and or killing me.  Again I have said this many times the car accident in a perverse way saved my life. That said suicide ideation is common with head injury and I understood and while I tried talk therapy that was largely a wash so I did things my way and without help and that is how I roll.  That said it takes a toll.  But we are truly a country not divided we are segregated and in turn isolated from one another and it explains the rising tide of hate crimes, the calling the Police on people just being people and of course drugs as when all else fails, anger turned inward is depression and drugs take that edge off.

Watching the crew special on Anthony Bourdain once again I learned how they had traveled with him, worked with him and they did not know him and it was clear that while they respected him they did not "like" him and they worked around the descriptive asshole label that at least two Producers were willing to allow with amusement.  But watching the crew painstakingly try to reconcile the snarky smart man they knew with the man who ultimately took his life while filming an episode with his best "friend" Eric Ripert along clearly confused and distressed these people.  I am sure they were going "Why us and why?"as a mantra the days after.  There is always survivor guilt and shame that perhaps they shoulda, woulda and coulda done something. No, no they could. not.   I had bailed on Bourdain years ago when I realized the asshole was among us, his name calling, belittling other Chefs and Cooks while simultaneously taking up with multiple Italian women each a little more damaged than the last was not something that interested me nor did I feel to see any more parts unknown or make any reservations as they were just recycled stories like leftover meals.  And his incident in San Francisco that led him to the hospital was enough to know that he had serious issues that were being neglected.   This is the case for many of fame as they have the ability with wealth to be insular and in turn those around them are co-dependent upon them for work so they can never say or do anything to stop the propeller from turning or in turn it could turn on them.   The poor are not as lucky the spiral downhill is fast and furious not starring Vin Diesel.  But some of them before they go want to take others along with them on the ride to hell.   Did any of these men the past week think they would not get caught?  Or was that the point, infamy by death?

I perhaps sound harsh but too much compassion and sympathy are songs better left for the radio.  Self preservation takes effort and work and we all need to work on ourselves more but what about the lady or man at the coffee shop? On the bus? The dog park?  Ever had a conversation with them to recognize them and more importantly acknowledge them?  Few do and we all lose.  I love going to Kroeger's when lost.  I can use the bathroom without a key, buy way more than coffee, get directions and be greeted by people just for walking in.  That is what grocery shopping is a chance to commune and be out with others.  Every time an act of violence occurs regardless of where the shooter takes more than lives they take personal freedom to shop, to worship,  to see a movie, to get on a bus, to just be human. That is the greatest tragedy of all as we all suffer.  So what about a man in parked car outside - stranger danger or just someone in need of help?







And the means in which to voice complaints, to pick fights with unseen enemies seems ec

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Thoughts on Thoughts




This week has been a busy one in both news and in life.  Returning to work led me to again re-think all I know and love and I managed to turn all of that into a positive flow of energy that allowed me to look forward to the end of the road here in Nashville which for a long time has been just focusing on the bumps, the potholes and the endless dead ends that mark my stay here. And then when I decide to stop focusing on myself and return to reading the news and watching the nightly news I of course find myself back on that same road with no exit in site.

Guns.  Guns. Guns.  We have a problem with what? Guns.  The shooting yesterday in Pittsburgh was marked by a man who had not just handguns but the gun of the nutfucks of choice - the AR15.  This little gem has been used in every single mass shooting with thoughts and prayers the only solution.  The kids of Parkland have their work cut out for them and I know their road is one well traveled and not one sooner as they work to try to stop the endless bullshit around gun laws in this country.  Election day is a week away and I know that the voting booth may be the only booth that doesn't allow guns so pull a trigger and vote.

Hate. Hate. Hate.  We are overflowing with hit from the Resting Dump Face in Chief (a man who takes a new meaning to resting bitch face as his always looks as if he is fighting to hold back a dump) who doesn't know the meaning of compassion.  Continuing on with his Hitler like rallies as people lay dying continues to demonstrate we are like the umbrella he left outside Air Force One to just blow away rather than close it and hand it to an Attendant I am sure was waiting inside with his Coke. God help us.   Well from not sharing an umbrella with his wife to boarding with toilet paper on his shoe I get how we all feel we are just being pissed upon.

The Male Bomber aka the nut in the van was a virulent Trump Deplorable.  Makes one rethink that christening by Hillary Clinton even more appropriate.  What more to add to that story other than again a man who struggled with work, with identity and in turn reality and since getting guns was not in his thoughts he chose pipe bombs.   Woudda Coudda Shoudda crossses my mind had any of them worked and likely not ever on his intended targets but innocent individuals who handle and open mail.   Once again bystanders in the political arena of collateral damage.

Then we have Kroegers shooting.  A hate crime modeled after the one in Charleston led one to take out innocent grocery shoppers instead.  This only killed two so it does not fall into the mass shooting category but these people are no less dead.

And the week ended on Saturday with Pittsburgh.  More hate more dead.  More guns.  The solution from Resting Dump Face - more guns. It goes full circle.

Every day, yes every day I awake to the news of another shooting.  Nashville has a shooting or two almost every day.  When I don't hear of a shooting I think, "Wow this must be a slow news day so what about a house fire?"  They are not mass shootings but they become so when every day someone ends up dead or injured as the result of a gun.  One plus One plus One plus One plus One.. you do the math.   There is an obsession here with resolving any issue with a gun.  It took me a long time to try to understand the character and behavior of  Nashville residents.  They are like children, they have impulse control, problems with delayed gratification, they lie perpetually, exaggerate incessantly, are nasty, name call and profess moral superiority.  Gosh who does that also describe?

What is never discussed are the costs - financial and emotional - to these shootings.  There are always the reflections a year later over those that drew the massive head turns on the highway of life.  So we hear about Las Vegas,  the Pulse nightclub, a passing over Charlotte and later Charleston and we will undoubtedly follow up Parkland on Valentines day next year.  But what about all the rest?  What about the medical bills and financial obligations of the communities as they try to heal wounds, restore confidence and build anew?  The Church in Charleston has gates on it and is still standing but Churches once meant refuge but now with bars and armed guards during services what kind of place of worship is that?

Then the shootings in malls, movie theaters, grocery stores, schools and homes.  On planes, trains and automobiles then what?  Arm everyone and shoot it out.  They do that here and they actually brag that gun deaths are down:  From January through Aug. 22, 2018, there were 45 shootings. During the same time in 2017, there were 54 deadly shootings -- down 16.7 percent.  Sure that means what?  How about those not killed just injured or where guns were used to perpetuate the endless crimes that dominate the news here.

Nashville rarely if ever makes the national news unless it is about our politics or our "it" city status. Again if it means tag and you are running to hide than yes come to Nashville it is not safe here.  But we will all pray and clutch pearls and just hope it all stops.  Of course it means more guns on streets and  more Cops that are more highly strung and more ready to shoot to kill as they are not less afraid or so they say given they are armed to the teeth, have protective gear but the Synogogue shooting that led to the 4 Police being shot and anytime anywhere a Police Officer is shot only serves to validate, explain and excuse said behavior.  No Jury will convict a Police Officer under that rationale and the exceptions are few and far between as we have come to know.  I fear the Police as much as I fear the children and some adults here in Nashville.  I just know to fear the kids as they are the largest cohort that commit crimes and I walk daily into their gang headquarters.  Yes folks schools are ground zero for the planning of criminal activity.

And lastly I wanted to pass on my thoughts okay thought as it was singular about Megyn Kelly.  Who the flying fuck cares.  Regardless of her blackface comments did anyone not see her on Fox News and think that was an act?  Honestly she is a trained and educated Attorney and to plead ignorance about the history of that is amusing at best horrific at worst.  It is no less as repugnant when Roseanne compared Valerie Jarrett to an ape and in turn pleading ignorance that that she thought Ms. Jarrett was Middle Eastern not Black which she found out after tweeting that hate.  Again either/or really neither? Hate. Hate. Hate.   We come full circle.

Dead, Dead and more Dead, nothing grateful about it.   The rallies, the highly charged rhetoric, the reality of Charlotte a year ago was about "Jews not replacing us" and now Squirrel Hill.  The Charleston 9 and now the Pittsburgh 11. The Kroeger 2 and on and on and on.... Count the dead be they one, two or three. They add up and they are all mass shootings.  And what causes mass shootings? Guns. Guns. Guns.

Vote Vote Vote.  Pull the trigger this week and vote and demand change.  Believe it and try to do something positive even when it seems impossible and out of reach. I see my end of road and it was not a good one getting here but leaving it will be a newly paved one, I have to believe it.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Hey Hey Friday



The infamous package bomber, who clearly did not remember the Unibomber or the nutfuck in Austin earlier this year, has now been captured one wonders what next is up for the clusterfuck of idiots who support Trump.

I live in the  South and I do know ironically how to spell Tennessee without spellcheck and even before moving here.  The Male Bomber (note that is a pun by intent) and reality as once again it is man who lives in shrine to Trump van no less who apparently at one point lived in his Mothers basement  after filing bankruptcy (no wonder he loves Trump).  He seems to be the archetype of a man of a certain age, aka tail end  baby boomer,  unemployed, a loner, who likely had his fill on Rush, Beck and Hannity.  No not beers but the radio/tv personalities that fueled this paranoid shit and in turn led to Trump.   As I watched the odd caravan of Police and the shrouded van I did not laugh as I knew that he would be found right where the return address sent them -Florida.   That has to be the State with the highest nutfucks ever in residence.  Isn't Mar-a-Laog there? Point proven. What I do find interesting that he seems to be not a classical white male given his name which surprised me more, his history less so.   How Trump will spin this tale I have no doubt will be highly entertaining and no less disturbing. He won't be a deplorable but he will be some type of "immigrant" or "minority" in which to mock and blame in traditionally Trump fashion regardless of his surname this will be FASCINATING.

And as always in relation to fascination - Today in Nashville I had a great morning until I walked into a School but  this was after four perfect sub days so far so hey one out five  not bad odds given this district. The school did not have enough subs so when I got here at 10:30  I was sent to a coffin or in this case a brick room, painted black with no windows, no phone and a group of kids with nothing for them to do.  The Theater teacher called in sick suddenly so they needed coverage.  Something told me to not get there too early and it worked out because otherwise I would have had been shoved in there longer, my dream day same days as the rest, one period and then out was just not to be.  I prefer it as the less time, the less said, the less bothered.  I have said repeatedly and again yesterday another Teacher confirmed that the children here are damaged beyond repair and today once again reminded me that yes they are horrible tragic and broken.

I said to the Sub Coordinator for the schools that you are putting me in a high risk situation, a windowless room at the end of a hall no phones or any lessons to even keep these kids busy which means they will go to the restroom, other classes or so they claim, to the library and wander the halls and I have no way to communicate or even have rolls with their names to know who they are.  She went into full denial mode about their kids (apparently she is unaware I read news)  and then gave me her phone number of which I asked, "How would I call you?" She told me to use my cell phone.  I informed her that I have none and if did would not bring it to a school as the one I did have was stolen and I could not afford to replace it so I have a landline now.  She looked at me incredulous and said to the Aid there with her SPED kids to stay if she would. That led to a conversation that I call very Nashville, where she seemed to know everything including that the Male Bomber had been arrested despite that I was just watching it transpire on my TV.  Then she informed me that I make more as Substitute Teacher as she gets Health Insurance and Child Care deducted from her paycheck.  I offered to show her my last payroll stubs to verify how that is possible as I have no health care, no pension, no coverage on L&I which is workman's comp so if one of these kids attacked me I am pretty much on my own there and I am nearly 60 with a Masters Degree and Teaching License where Subs with no degrees or credentials make 1.42/hr LESS than me.  So how is that possible?    She took her kids and left.  Bye now and Bless You're Heart!

And once she left the games began.  The kids asked me what I was watching and I informed them the news feed about the Bomber's arrest. They had no idea of what I was speaking of but then yesterday I watched the Teacher I was subbing for explain how sugar and salt dissolve in water.  It was a high school Chemistry class.  Okay then.  This is STEM for the future. Good luck with that.

Today the kids openly again discussed me and planned a kid to come up to me then suddenly act as if he had a seizure and to see my reaction. Again the presumption that I am apparently deaf was one thing the other was assuming I would care.  I watched the caravan progress and when finally nothing was going to happen they went back to plotting. The next two girls came up and asked how I was and how my day is going. This one you get a lot here and it is some invite or some baiting question in which I have never responded more than affirmative as I assume it is going down again a darker road and why they care is beyond me.  So the next question was: "What is your favorite color?"  Okay this one is new so I responded, "What my favorite color is my personal business and you are not going to get even that much out of me so thanks for asking, anything else?" For the record I never give my name, write it on the board and rarely am I asked.  They were utterly mystified that I did not want to play so they went back to plot and mock and then they requested the scissors of which I refused. (This is one of these ARE YOU KIDDING ME moments again given the room, etc the last thing I would do is arm a fucking kid.) The end of class could not come soon enough. Finally the last question was: "Have you ever subbed at Croft?" I responded it was one of many many schools I do sub at so beyond the name of the school I can't tell the difference as you all blend into the same.  So they finally gave up.    It was a long hour.  Really long.

And the sub coordinator checked with me  again now in the room I was intended to belong and I informed her it was game on the minute you and the aid left and I chose to ignore it, the restroom runs, the library runs, the go to another class runs as they are frankly your problem as I had nothing to stop it nor would I.  I pick and choose my battles and that is not one of them.  Note to self: I rarely come to this school and every time I do it is always out there for oddness.  But all of them are and today in the Tennessean ran an editorial demanded the resignation of the School Board for their failures to do their job.  Get in line dude and get real the system was set up that way historically and there is little to no reason to change it now.

In my day I have never met people so dumb, so ignorant and so unwilling to admit they don't know something and if they do it comes out in the expression, "I have never heard that" as if you are somehow making it up.  This is what defines Southern Hospitality or the Nashville Way apparently. But education across the country is struggling when it comes to the poor, those faces of color and those with special needs as more and more States and Cities struggle with funding and managing their districts, even New York City is no exception as this article discusses their failures in this as well.

So while I do write often about the schools and the horrific children I encounter I do know that that is the anomaly and that when I meet Teachers from other parts of the country or even the area they express the same dismay as to the nature and demeanor of Nashville school children.  It used to bother me and now much like how I laugh at the insanity of my former Lawyer now Junkie ramble on and write suicidal missives on Facebook, I do the same.  It doesn't make me feel better it just at least reminds me I do have some feelings.   Whatever inspires people to become bombers, to bring harm have to come to public schools and see how this germinates and grows into the Adults that do.

The shooting in Kentucky in Louisville at Kroegers has been overshadowed by the days events and he too wanted to kill members of a black Church like the one in Charleston I had just only paid respects a few days ago.  Yes another nutfuck with a history of violence and clearly now free to act upon his racist fantasies was once a boy who had dreams of what?  One wonders. 

So it begins at home and it extends through the schools. There is no parity, no equality and more importantly availability of quality education throughout the country. The South for some reason (that reason being Civil Rights) have made it an exceptional educational system and by exceptional I mean, not in a good way.  The loathing of mandatory integration, the consistent belief that Government is overreaching and the emphasis on religion has made the South a caricature that enables and festers the mockery of those who are from here.   As the Teacher who spoke to me yesterday about those who do become educated formally and more importantly, non-secular, they leave.   The ones who remain are few and far between and hence as I wrote in my last blog post more willing to be these non-entities who profess to be these neutral non entities content with compromise and reason when in reality they are the sole occupants in the room.  This is not a place for wallflowers for if you are you will be torn from the wall or graffiti-ed over.

So tonight another asshole who loves Trump is in custody.  It was just a year ago Charlotte and I have no doubt more to follow but to Trump the caravan of Honduran's and their strength and power that led them to take that risk are terrorists.  Again we have one right there in the White House a face of terror everytime I look at it.  Funny they brought back Halloween as he seems benign as to the fuckwad in chief.  Again its Friday and the weekend awaits.  I used to look forward now I just look aghast as to what awaits and Monday is just a break from it all.  Its why I now take Tuesday's off.  TGIT.  




Culture Wars

 I voted yesterday and it was not easy as there was not one candidate I respected nor any issue placed on the ballot that I gave one flying fuck about and that includes the Amendment to add a Police Oversight board.  I voted no and why? Because I know the cronyism here, the problems with education, comprehension and other issues that will simply add a boondoggle of bullshit to a city already mired in it.   

Phil Bresdesen is a DINO and his henchman sits on the School Board here and is well known as an asshole and bully so while he plays affable his team is entirely a different animal.  What is more disturbing is given the problems in the district he has been ineffectual if not invisible in lending any reasonable thought or decision to work on resolving the issues that currently plague our schools. I suspect he is seat warming pending the outcome of the election then moving on.  That said, voting or not in this case for Blackcunt would be utterly absurd as she could only do harm so  it was the lesser of two evils.  As for Governor the plumber is just too much for me so again I voted for the other DINO in the room, Karl Dean.  Wow if there is a blue wave it is non-existent in this red sea.  

There is some belief that the newcomers to Nashville and the region will change the dynamic.  Uh no. They are largely white, uneducated millennials who have come from even more depressed economies, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky who as we know are redder than any shade of lipstick and equally as uneducated and conservative.  So no, this is not Georgia which is on the cusp of change but then again we have made sure the Blacks, the Latinos and more importantly the Kurdish population are properly marginalized and isolated from any participation thanks to stringent voter laws and of course geographical gerrymandering.   That and the role of the Church gives them the idea that they are speaking for them through varying methods and access that they use to push the agenda of the moment, hence the Amendments on the Ballots that are utterly bizarre to useless.  I can't wait to see if the gender neutral pronoun one passes.  I doubt it as you have to read these lengthy prospective laws  with their poor construction and circuitous wording to understand them and well literacy is a problem here even when you can read.   I can and it took two turns for me to realize one was about special elections which was all about the former Slatterns incident.  This is a ballot issue?

What is even more appalling is that in the article below it appears that the decrepit aged Senator Lamar Alexander is not ruling out running for re-election in 2020.  That would put him at 80 at the time and 86 at the end of that term.  As he has served in every single position in both State and Federal Government it is clear he has failed in decreasing said size of Government and has pretty much parlayed that loathing for Government into a LIFETIME career with secure pension and health care well into his dotage which for most Americans have already retired and in turn are pushing up daisies.  Yes U.S. life expectancy is 78.69 years so clearly Senator Alexander is well past death at this point.  So at what point do we find someone is a reflection of current American age, gender and race? Never? Well not in Tennessee apparently we get the two white men who are no more Democrats than I am a Republican.  Welcome and if you move here learn to read, register to vote and do it.  But start the process of demanding candidates before it is too late and working to get them elected.  And that is not Tennessee they don't work hard and have no intention of doing so.  It reminds me of the one hit wonder band The Tennessee Teens.  They were neither teens, nor from Tennessee let alone America but they tapped into the money maker and that is what matters here - money. 




A Changing Tennessee Weighs a Moderate or Conservative for Senate


By Jonathan Martin
The New York Times
Oct. 24, 2018

MEMPHIS — As Phil Bredesen, the former Democratic governor of Tennessee now running for Senate, was wrapping up a voter forum at Rhodes College recently, the liberal-leaning mix of students, faculty and local residents began to grow restless from his unapologetically moderate brand of politics.

Finally, an audience member stood up and drew scattered applause by saying that supporters of Mr. Bredesen were “a little bit troubled” by his vow to back President Trump when he thinks the president is right. On what issues, the candidate was asked, would you support or oppose Mr. Trump?

It was the political equivalent of a batting practice pitch, a friendly heave served up so Mr. Bredesen could reassure supporters in his hotly contested race — and perhaps catch the attention of progressives further afield.

But Philip Norman Bredesen Jr., a low-key 74-year-old wealthy former health care executive, has no appetite to go viral.

After allowing that some people “have very emotional reactions” to Mr. Trump, he said it was important “to knock that stuff back and try to think carefully about issues.” Then he discussed trade policy.

In this year of liberal resistance, when Democratic passions are running high and Senate candidates like Beto O’Rourke of Texas are attempting to harness that energy, Mr. Bredesen is doing just the opposite. He is hoping to lower temperatures, blur the lines between himself and Republicans, and run on local issues against Representative Marsha Blackburn in a state that Mr. Trump carried by 26 points.

It is a throwback campaign, the sort that Southern Democrats used for years to distinguish themselves from their national party, in a region that has moved decisively away from its political roots. But as Democrats eye winning back some of the South’s fast-growing states, Mr. Bredesen’s approach also represents a well-timed political science test of which strategy is more effective: his brand of political vanilla that reflects the history of the state, or the more unrepentant, and perhaps more inspiring, brand of liberalism on offer from Mr. O’Rourke.

In fact, Mr. Bredesen may be running the most cautious, high-profile Senate campaign of any Democrat in the country.

He came out in support of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh — after the searing Senate hearings. He has aired a commercial in which he shoots sporting clays and trumpets his “support of the Second Amendment” as well as his N.R.A. A rating as governor. He casually scorns his party’s drift left and leaders like Chuck Schumer in language more often heard from Republicans.

“I remember sitting down here as governor during the time of the Great Recession, where, I mean, there’s just a lot of pain, and everybody wants to talk about what bathroom somebody’s using or something, you know?” he said in an interview, when asked why this state had turned right. President Barack Obama, he added, was “a very smart guy, but kind of elitist in his leanings.”

This style helped Mr. Bredesen win the governorship twice in the previous decade, convincing him that he could capture the seat currently occupied by his close friend Senator Bob Corker, the Republican who retired rather than bite his tongue about Mr. Trump.

Yet in the immediate aftermath of the Kavanaugh confirmation fight, Mr. Bredesen saw his polling sag as conservative-leaning voters aligned themselves with the Republicans. The race has tightened again, according to public and private surveys, but the court battle was a boon to Republicans here.

Ms. Blackburn, a hard-line conservative from exurban Nashville, has delighted in the opportunity to nationalize the race: At a debate earlier this month she referred to Hillary Clinton over 20 times.
Elections 2018News and analysis about the midterm elections

Tennessee has shifted drastically to the right in the last decade. Its congressional delegation and state legislature have become dominated by Republicans with Democrats all but extinct outside Tennessee’s major cities.

That may be why Mr. Bredesen has for months, in public and private, repeated the same assessment of his chances: If it is a contest between him and Ms. Blackburn, he will win. But should the race be framed as a Republican versus a Democrat, he will lose. And it’s why his friend Mr. Corker originally felt him out about running as an independent to avoid the party-label stigma, according to officials familiar with the conversation.

“He’s well-respected, he’s popular, he was a good governor, but he’d sit in between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, the state’s senior Republican. “And unfortunately for him, the Kavanaugh nomination reminds people of that. I have Republicans and independents who are uncomfortable with Trump and maybe even uncomfortable with Marsha but they are furious about Kavanaugh.”

But if that anger propels Ms. Blackburn to victory, 2018 will be remembered as the year Tennessee made a sharp break from its tradition of electing pragmatic leaders — a tradition that has endured even as the state has been tugged right.

This race, therefore, is not just a clash between a centrist Democrat and a conservative Republican. It is a test of whether Tennessee will remain politically distinct or become just one more reliably red bastion, like Mississippi to the south or Kentucky to the north.

“In our mind we think we’re a little more progressive, a little more advanced, but I don’t know,” said Raumesh Akbari, a Democratic state legislator in Memphis.
Traditional alliances fray

To understand the race between Mr. Bredesen and Ms. Blackburn, you have to understand the political history of this 495-mile-long state.

“It all goes back to the Civil War,” said Mr. Alexander.

That can be said for much of the South, of course, but the war shaped Tennessee differently than its neighbors. Tennessee was the last state to join the Confederacy and the first one to rejoin the Union, having sent more troops to fight for the North than any other Southern state.

That is because its mountainous east was inhospitable to plantation slavery and remained largely loyal to the Union — and to the party of Lincoln. Voters in the state’s eastern-anchored Second Congressional District have not elected a Democrat since before the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter.

“My father also used to say that for 75 years after the war, the Union pension checks continued to come into east Tennessee,” recalled Al Gore, the former vice president and senator from Tennessee, whose political baptism by fire came in his father’s unsuccessful run for re-election to the Senate in 1970.

But Democrats were ascendant in the middle and western tiers of the state and the party had a hold on politics until 1966, when Howard Baker won a Senate seat and ushered in a half-century of robust political competition.

“The competition attracted talented people into public life,” said Mr. Alexander.

It took skill, he said, to forge coalitions between the old-guard Republicans in the east, the ancestral Democrats in the middle and west and the newly empowered black voters.

This demand created an incentive for Tennessee’s politicians to hug the political center and kept the state from lurching to the right like other Southern states.

“A kind of balance of power, equilibrium, set in,” Mr. Gore said.

Tennessee elected a stream of standout statewide officials like Mr. Baker, Mr. Gore and former Senators Bill Frist and Fred D. Thompson, who “all made Tennessee look good on the national stage,” said Representative Steve Cohen, a wily Memphis Democrat who served in the state legislature before going to Washington.

And for four decades, starting with Mr. Alexander, the two parties traded the governorship back and forth every eight years as the state became an auto-making powerhouse and Nashville boomed into the crane-filled destination city for tourists and transplants it is today.

Even as the state grew more forbidding for Democrats, a breed of business-aligned Republican moderates kept winning. Today, Tennessee is led by Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican and heir to the Pilot Oil fortune, and represented by Mr. Corker and Mr. Alexander in the Senate. It is a lineup that is more garden party than tea party.

“We have never elected a fire-breathing Republican statewide,” State Senator Jeff Yarbro, a Nashville Democrat, noted over a meat-and-three-sides lunch in his city one day last month.

Up the hill, in the State Capitol, Mr. Haslam said Mr. Bredesen was attempting to place himself as the rightful heir to the state’s mantle of moderation.

“He’s making the argument, ‘I’m another pragmatic in the tradition of Tennessee leaders, I’m going to do what’s best for Tennessee,’” said Mr. Haslam. “And that’s always been a good argument in Tennessee.”

Yet the same forces — the rise of tribalism, the decline in regional media and the Democrats’ shift left — that have polarized politics across the South have taken root here.

And, Mr. Haslam added, there are a growing number of voters in the state who were raised elsewhere and care little about local history. Many came to Tennessee for its favorable business climate and lack of an income tax.

“Our tea party here is made up of people that didn’t grow up here,” he said, recalling how, when he ran in 2010, he would see voters wearing Yankees, Cubs and Bears hats and offering a common refrain: “We left for a reason.”

Ms. Blackburn, 66, has heard the critique of her combative style of politics before, often secondhand from the state’s center-right business elite: She just does not measure up to Tennessee’s lineage of statesmen.

She does not hesitate to call this line of attack unfair.

“We’ve never had a female U.S. senator,” Ms. Blackburn said in a cafe in Franklin, a quaint town in her Middle Tennessee district. “So that is something that would be new.”

She first made her name as a state legislator, egging on local conservative talk radio hosts and battling her own party’s attempt to implement an income tax. She became even better known after coming to Congress in 2003 thanks to her frequent cable-news appearances.

But she has never been a nominee for statewide office and she is plainly tugged between competing impulses that reflect the larger uncertainty about Tennessee’s place on the political spectrum: Should she tone down her hard-line tendencies to appeal to a broader audience in the fashion of other leaders, or should she amplify her partisan style to energize Mr. Trump’s enthusiasts in a state he would probably win again in 2020?

After invoking her gender without being prompted, she quickly backed away from what could be seen as making any claim of misogyny.

The skepticism about her, she said, is not based on gender. “It is rooted in unfamiliarity,” she insisted.

Ms. Blackburn also readily acknowledged that she is more conservative than Mr. Corker and Mr. Alexander — “I am to the right of them,” she said — but said she can work across party lines.

“I have a long history of bipartisan accomplishment,” she said.

And on Mr. Trump, she is eager to tie herself to him on policy but seems to recognize she must not fully condone his personal conduct.

“Do I think he’s a good man?” she says, repeating the question. “I think he is a really good example to legislators on how to make a promise and keep it.”

The day after Mr. Bredesen spoke at Rhodes College last month, Ms. Blackburn campaigned at a tailgate before a University of Memphis football game. Before posing with the cheerleaders — who belted out a “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” chant — the congresswoman encountered a supporter named Teri Melkent.

Ms. Melkent used to work in the medical device industry, but now stays home with her two children. She cares deeply about immigration, her “right to bear arms,” and thinks Mr. Trump is “doing a great job.” And the Democrats’ treatment of Justice Kavanaugh? “An absolute, ridiculous travesty,” she said.

Ms. Melkent lives in Germantown, a comfortable Memphis suburb that was on the front end of the state’s shift toward the G.O.P.

But Germantown is also home to James S. Dickey Jr., a certified public accountant who voted Republican up until 2016, when he could not stomach Mr. Trump.

“I think he’s an idiot,” Mr. Dickey said of the president, upon leaving Mr. Bredesen’s college forum.
Image
Ms. Blackburn acknowledges she falls to the right of the state’s current Republican senators, Mr. Corker and Lamar Alexander, but says she can work across party lines.CreditShawn Poynter for The New York Times

Mr. Dickey, who’s backing Mr. Bredesen, predicted “a lot of Republicans will end up voting for Phil.”

Mr. Bredesen, who still speaks with the bluntness of the boardroom he led at HealthAmerica Corporation before he became Nashville’s mayor, said revulsion toward Mr. Trump among Democrats had given him a wide berth.

“I’m in the fortunate position that people on the left are enraged enough that they will find almost anything I do, with the D after my name, acceptable,” he said.

This assumption, along with his support for Justice Kavanaugh, irritates some Democrats, and Mr. Bredesen lost some volunteers after the court fight.

But progressive leaders here are urging their allies not to walk away.

“You can get on your political high horse but the consequences are pretty severe,” Ms. Akbari said, invoking the cost of purity in the 2016 election.

Mr. Bredesen must maximize his support among African-Americans, who make up about 16 percent of the state’s electorate, overwhelm Ms. Blackburn in Tennessee’s largest urban areas and split or at least hold down his losses with the rural voters in the middle and western part of the state.

There are many younger Republicans in the state who think this is fantasy, that no Democrat is viable here.

“I always believed that Blackburn would be successful, in part due to our move from a conservative state with a shade of blue dog to a single-party state today,” said Mark Braden, a Nashville-based Republican strategist, alluding to Tennessee’s faded brand of moderate Democrat.

Mr. Gore, and more than a few of his Republican friends in Nashville’s well-heeled precincts, do not believe it.

“The political culture of the state writ large has a lot of resilience, and still rewards candidates in either party who reach out beyond their party boundaries and try to frame a reasonable-sounding message that isn’t too hot, isn’t too left, isn’t too right, but really focuses on kind of a common-sense approach to governing well,” the former vice president said near the end of an hourlong conversation in his Nashville office last month.

But Mr. Alexander, who said he “might” run again in 2020, sees the ending of that cycle of history.

“We’ve sort of gone the full circle back to a one-party system,” he said, before posing a question to which he seemed to know the answer.

“If Tennessee becomes a one-party Republican state do we lose that competition that I think created a stream of talented people over the last 50 years?”

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Reflections Of



When I moved to Nashville I had a clear plan in mind: First get my teeth fixed.  Next get a Teaching job.  Then buy a house and write and vest in my community.  Well two out of four and not complaining in the least, a glass half full and all.

With all the horrific things that happened to me in the last six years since my assault, prosecution, failed civil and criminal trials and appeals, regardless,  I had to leave as that bridge was burned in ways that will never allow me to cross again when it comes to Seattle.   When I find myself laughing at the ex Attorney now Junkie in rehab's suicidal missives on Facebook I do ask myself daily, "Who have I become?"

To take inventory of one's life is never easy and traveling through the low country last week I did none of it.  I was too busy seeking adventure, satisfying curiosity and exploring an area of the country that I never thought I would ever see let alone want to.  Funny how things change when you find yourself just on the cusp of age 60 being open to seeing and more importantly learning about other people not just yourself and all that relates to the world that we share. 

As I wrote in the last blog post the way we seem to connect or more often fail to as it has all centered around politics.  Funny that the world is a lot larger than the current events that dominate all aspects of life.  Social media has enabled people to focus on the most negative if not destructive aspects of one's character and in turn led to perhaps more insanity than I ever thought I would witness in this life.  The current round of package sending is another example of how damaged we are as a country and one should ask if you are even a small part of it by endlessly posting/tweeting your inner thoughts and rages?  Note the Tweeter in Chief as an example.

So when I read endless posts that are largely preaching to the choir I am not sure what I should do with that information.  The same with one whom I don't agree and what I should do with that information? Either/or the reality is that is not a conversation it is a lecture and what does one think they will accomplish? Change minds and hearts or pick a fight?  I suspect the latter more than the former.

And when I moved to Tennessee I was clearly uninformed about the culture and frankly did not care.  When you are running from something you are too busy looking backwards to look forwards and then when you do you crash into the wall you did not see.  That was my arrival in Nashville and I look back at those 18 months ago I saw a disaster from the moving company issues, to the rental car problems (in those days I had never rented a car in ages as we had car share in Seattle and it was my first introduction into the revolving door of employees here)  and my sheer confusion and haste to get things done that I should have stopped in my tracks and just waited to settle one thing before tackling the next.  Hence my next move will be on my terms and schedules with no haste to get anywhere until I do.   If one thing came out of Nashville it will be learning that and I will have the teeth I need and the book in hand in which to sell.  First about the schools which have been the most significant factor in how I see this my temporary residence and the next about what it was like living here. By the time I pack my kit  I will have lived in Nashville fewer years than Trump will in the White House. As the the saying goes: Fish like company stink after three days.  In this we mean years and everyone should be aware of their own sell by date.

Self awareness is like common sense if everyone had it we would have a much smarter populace and clearly we don't.  Educational levels have been fairly stagnant with some slight uptick (irony that the number parallels those in Tennessee) in those attaining degrees.  But it is still a very low number and especially for those faces of color.  But again the costs alone are prohibitive and with that  milestones that mark that entrance into adulthood post college - buying a home, having a family, buying a car then upgrading said home and car - as well including travel for social or recreational pursuits or other signs of achievement are delayed.     Student loans are not deferred however regardless and in turn regardless of what profession you are seeking, Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief.  When a package warehouse worker is upset that their pay is been raised in lieu of stock options that are valued at 10K and thought of as retirement investment tells you we don't get math well or understand how those options work.  A good example of a company that vested their interests in line with their company's was Sears.  And you see how that worked out.

And while the media is decried constantly by the President I doubt he has ever read the "failing" New York Times, The Washington Post or any magazine or journal other than to fake the front cover to put his picture on it.  Ask yourself when have you?

I was asked on a plane recently how did I know all what was going on in Nashville.  Uh I read the crappy Tennessean, watch Channel 5 nightly news and review the Nashville Post and Business Journal and most of them recycle news from other sources, print press releases as news and rewrite copy given to them from an outside third party but it is still local "news."   The reality is that buried often in the paper are facts that show how disengaged people are here from what is really going on and in turn this issue surrounds largely voting with Tennessee being the focus of an article in where? The Washington Post.

Ignorance comes in many forms and some is deliberate or willful ignorance but most of it comes from the inability to access education that enables one to learn essential critical thinking and analytical skills that come from well funded schools that have diverse curriculum and choice that is both close to home, has decent food, has time for play and time for exploration.  The ed reformers are sure that highly scheduled and regimented curriculum with "individualized" instruction coming from an IPAD clearly proves that they have never set foot in a school in their life and have no idea who public schools are teaching.

Yesterday I met a Teacher who calls himself "Chef" as he is now two weeks in at a school teaching Culinary Arts.  He has worked in the Navy and cooked at a large resort managing a large team to provide food which closed and he decided to move to the "It" City and take up teaching.  He and his wife just relocated here from Baltimore so he is very familiar with being the minority among the minority and yet he too has found himself struggling with what we have defined as culture shock.  I told him it doesn't get easier it just means you have to change in response to it and that is not easy as that it will have you question everything you know about yourself in ways that at a certain age is not easy.  We spoke of the damaged children and their need to have you yell at them, the bizarre need to mock or debase you an adult, snicker, talk or simply ignore you as if you are invisible.  I call it auto eroticism where they literally get off on this and do whatever they can to garner attention and all of it hostile and negative.  It is perverse and disturbing and explains the endless sexual issues that dominate the news here almost daily.  The past week brought more charges against Teachers/Coaches/Adults and sexual impropriety regarding students.  Okay then.  Add them to the already increasing numbers that are well into the quads now.

He also expressed amazement about how the children had never made food nor done any prep work before let alone be trusted with equipment.  This from a district that has lead in the water and serves rotten if not garbage as food.  He could not believe the lack of communication and even respect from his own Administrative staff and that the school seemed clearly to function as separate arms attached to a body that had no head.  Yes I admitted that was the case in many schools and that this particular Principal came from another school that he managed in a year to do nothing, and I mean in a good way, to help a school function. It was at that school I was called a Racist, the kids went nuts and I left.  He clearly was not far behind me to the door to take this gig and the school is supposedly moving locations in two years.  I assume that he will bail before that nightmare begins.  Nothing here is ever as it should so keep moving those deck chairs.   This is what defines progress in the South.

As he left I wished him the best and said that he should just do what he is doing and know he is on his own but that is a good thing and that is all that matters.  His class I was covering for I knew instantly was a problem as I had been warned so I let them go to the "library." Where they went I did not care and I told him before he left I don't care I just want order and whatever needs to be done to keep that I do it so there is no problems, riots or issues.  Truly not caring is not a function I wish to have but I do have it to keep my sanity and my well being.

So when I read the Junkie's plea for help disguised in a suicide letter posted on Facebook I was less shocked by this but that people and their children were posting responses begging him to not and one hateful one from a Scientologist (not shocking) and he was in turn responding I thought of those who took their lives without warning and despite my original laughter I flagged the post to Facebook.  I had already tried to reach out to him and he threatened legal action and I contacted his former partner and in turn was told to contact his wife.  So one wonders where the wife is when all of this is transpiring and in turn the rehab facility he is or now out of allowing this to continue.   So much is voiced about and on social media and its affect on people's lives I am not sure what at this point to do other than laugh or just turn it off.  I laugh, I never said I was anyone's role model and the nasty, damaged, violent children have definitely rubbed off on me.  I truly don't give a fuck.   So much for reflections of the way I used to be.  Maybe I always was.   Sanity may be overrated, intelligence however....thumbs up!






Monday, October 22, 2018

The Low Country

No this is not about the state of our country as bizarre and disturbing it is of late, this is about the last week I spent touring the low country.  This is the region of America that is defined by South Carolina through Georgia - Charleston to Savannah are the bookends to this historic region of the South.  The Gullahs, unlike the Cajuns familiar to those in the New Orleans region are the Black residents who were largely traded via the Bahamas and Barbados and in turn lent to the economy in not just rice but the dye of Indigo.  Hence is explains some of the way the architecture and color palettes are so richly diverse in this region of the South.  But as always in the South this is an area as complex as any painters palette.

I began my journey in Charleston staying at a charming property the Zero George, which while it was off the main track it was perhaps the best hotel I have ever stayed at in my life, rivaling only one in Australia that was on the Barrier Reef, as exclusive and private as one could ever imagine but again that is an unfair comparison as I was at that one with my ex-husband so  the Zero George wins just on that alone as alone I was and have preferred to be in life and travel since.

That also set a high bar for the rest of the journey which included driving along the routes and roads of the low country, with a pit stop in Hilton Head and a day trip to Savannah ultimately to return to Charleston for another two days to take in this historic city. And road trip it was as I cannot stress enough that despite my ability to read maps (apparently not that well ending any future on Amazing Race) nor the ability of Google Maps to dictate how to circle roundabouts that defy logic, I managed to get to and from Charleston without incident and only being on HWY 17 for a small part of my journey. In fact I don't think I was on any main highway ever so if it is possible to travel several roads throughout the region I took all of them and since I knew Beaufort (BOfort) was the home of the late writer Pat Conroy and was a pit stop for my amazing race I simply used that town as my compass to get in and out of said low country regardless.   And Beaufort is charming and I can see why he could write the Prince of Tides while watching said tides from the waterfront there.   I loved Hilton Head despite the fact that I had again some stereotype image of the elderly with golf clubs I found that it had miles of pristine beach in which to walk and 91 degrees in which to avoid by diving in.

The weather unseasonably warm thanks to the long denied climate change in this region made my exploration around Savannah off putting but I found the city less the garden of good or evil but a more attractive tourist town in which Nashville could only wish to aspire.  My visit to SCAD wielded less art than anticipated and while the food was fine I was glad to head back to my middle ground of Hilton Head and sit by the pool and just read fashion mags over newspapers as one can only listen to this ongoing Trump bullshit, the murder of the Saudi journalist and the endless negativity that dominates news and in turn its extension on social media.  So that blackout was less of curtains and more by choice to step out of my comfort range in more ways than one.

When I finally got back to Charleston I stayed at a different hotel in the more busy end of the city by the port.  It was expensive, highly rated and definitely unusual and I was looking forward to it as it was the luxury I wanted after a week of hot travel during this my 20 + 39th birthday.   The Hotel Vendue is that if you are fortunate to have that.  I had a part of it as I have come to realize that when you travel alone you, you are of a "certain age" and don't fit a "type" you are fucked as that is the issue, no one wants to fuck you so they can't figure out why you would leave home and spend that kind of money on yourself. I was married, did that and still did not like to fuck my husband so that part is the only thing that has changed - me being married.  Luxury and not fucking anyone no.

The property has two hotels one across the street from the other and the one across the street from the main hotel has an amazing Gallery and an Artist in Residence who is there almost daily painting.  Such a divine building in which to enter each day only can for most put a smile on one's face.  But other than that the rest of my experience lacked.   I was checked in by a young woman who literally ignored me by avoiding eye contact and when asking if I needed two keys - despite the reservation clearly saying one - lectured me on the cost if I lost it.  Then as if it was an inconvenience or oversight gave me the card needed to use in the restaurant and bars for incidentals after taking my ID and Credit Card in which to ensure payment security.  I had already paid the hotel in advance as I like to leave all cards clean when I travel and can then set up a budget in which I can decide what incidentals I can spend on without going over the top.  So knowing what you spend in advance with car rentals, airfare, hotels allows one to have costs up front clean and paid for and then you can play with the budget to spend how you like.  And yes even I "budget".  And the rest of the staff were equally dismissive (well the one Bartender and the bellhops were courteous but again Southern Hospitality is again variation of a theme. But in all honesty again this reaction and my own response always confuses me with regards to race, gender and age and it becomes difficult to discern why this young woman who also checked me out seemed annoyed by my presence.  Then again she had texts to respond. But regardless of what spends on a room or how they elect to pay should not be an issue.


And the same goes for food.  Irony that few are eating out at high end restaurants and I can see why, the service sucks, the prices outrageous and most of it is often overrated.  Thanks to the bullshit foodie culture it has turned this experience of eating into an experience.  My first night I chose to remain at the hotel,  Zero George,  and had an amazing meal there the help was the generous and a bottle of Champagne awaited me on my arrival with a Happy Birthday so they had me at Hello.  Even  the Omni at Hilton Head had also spoiled me with a divine cake so when I got dismissed and sent to a room overlooking the dumpster at the Vendue I thought I would have to do my spoiling elsewhere. I went to FIG one of their many acclaimed restaurants and while the door greeters were lovely and my bartender was fantastic, the food was overrated and frankly I stopped at two appetizers as it was good and but really nothing special.  I ended the evening quickly getting a piece of pizza nearby to walk home with.   My company at the bar did not help as that also affects the meal, the people on both sides of me were an interesting mix, to my right the white male asshole of a 'certain age' talking to two tech bros who were all self defined foodies but well defined assholes.  Their choices were to say the least conventional, a fish stew and a something else which looked as if I could do that if I was willing to put in the effort but even that was not reason enough to carry on as they clearly had never eaten fish stew before.  I spent most of that time coughing out a lung and the white asshole to my left shoved in his stew, his butterscotch pot au crème and headed out leaving an 8.00 tip,  yes bitches I checked.  His tab was just over 65.00.  He goes there all the time as everyone knew his name,  it should have been asshole.  I love white assholes who think they are the shit and he did as he explained to the tech bros about his father and his orphanage in Kenya which he goes to "give back."  Really this shit with white people needs to start by going down the road to the projects and giving back there in your backyard.   To my right, were a couple who were young and beautiful and all  things we value in society and as tragic. The woman ate or drank little to nothing as both food and arrived and she picked at it.  Every plate of food delivered to the adjacent seats however was stared down as if they were attack planes coming in for a landing.   Either her spouse was oblivious or in fact complicit as he was aware of her eating disorder and did little to care or did so to humiliate and embarrass her.  Yes folks this is why I travel solo and quit fucking for if that was my marriage I would have stabbed him with a fork and ran from the joint.  This is not the way to spend any holiday, birthday or any day.

So on my last day I simply went to some Oyster joint had bad pasta and good Oysters.  Service sucked but I left an $8.00 tip as I learned from the asshole that seems to be just above cheap but not completely rude.  But at least my seat mate was an amazing man who was 62, his father an Editor for ABC news, including at one time in his career for Bill O'Reilly who his father called an asshole (again confirming that white men of a certain age and privilege are) and was in said job  until Peter Jennings passed.   His father was sure that the death of news was due to the 24 hour cable cycle and I cannot agree more.   The man (whose name I never got, a terrible oversight) was interesting and funny and sad as conversations progress over a meal.  And again it made an average meal above average.    It was not a long convo by any means but again good ones need not be as you can make a point and move on to the next with easy transitions.  We realize that art is one lost as is knowing the difference between conversation between two strangers that ends when the time ends in that encounter (in this one when the check arrives) or one over a coffee, a drink, in passing or just by chance.  None of them have to end with anyone getting raped, robbed or harmed.  I am very capable of watching my alcohol consumption, getting myself home safely and in turn assessing character and even talking around it as a way to be pleasant and outgoing. I always remind myself that it was someone I knew who tried to kill me, someone I had had consensual sex with and in turn again drugged me, allowed me to drink to near unconsciousness so I know that now I can trust no man but I can trust myself to be better than to hate every man I encounter.

So when I travel I do try to find conversation and learn about people, who they are, what brought them to where we are and about the place we are in.  I found myself chatting at the Yacht Club with a Security Director who allowed me to tour the property and in turn discuss the history of the region and with that I had a better understanding of what defines the South and its posture about many an issue that comes from being Southern.  I found my way to Mary's Secret Garden and met the daughter of Mary and from her the history of the garden which she opens a few days a week for a small donation of $10 slipped through the door.  It was as tranquil as it was beautiful and my self directed walk around Charleston led me to the home of Patricia on Southern Charm which to say was over stated would be an under statement.  Why anyone would live there alone with her Butler would be another explanation about the Belles and their odd relationships with men that enable said lifestyle.  The South is complex in more ways that one.

On my exit I had a Lyft driver who was a black woman from New York and they moved South as many have and are doing for cost of living reasons.  And the growth of Atlanta is another such example of the great reverse migration which The Guardian addresses in relation to the current election cycle. And I had said to her that I had thought I was a racist as I had never met black people like this in my life, the resignation, the poverty, the level of ignorance that seemed to be an archetype on top of a stereotype to the point that upset and disturbed me.  She and her husband  knew this and in turn waited to move until their children were already well through school and both now are at USC as they did not want them educated in the ways of the South so she "got it." Most of it she said is systemic, and in turn reinforced via its institutions - the schools and the church.  She meets dozens of people who have never left Charleston let alone the State.   I said it is not just about the money they don't have it is about the attitude or perhaps I should have said  beatitude.

I have said repeatedly that the Churches here have way more power and sway and they do little to encourage and inspire those to seek change and growth as that would mean possibly leaving the Church as education does that and in turn the community which means taking the money with them. Keep them close and keep them poor at least the Government will help you maintain that lifestyle of poverty and dependence which is what the white people believe.  Again who are these "people" that actually say that and are on government dole I have never met (the Welfare Queen driving along with the Baby Mama in the back seat)   but white people who say that I have met repeatedly.   And I met those same white men in Charleston sure that there are women having babies to stay on welfare. One who was the Bartender who claimed to be a Teacher by day.  Okay then.  Point and proof met there at the Vendue hotel with rooms over 300 dollars a night, including mine overlooking the dumpster.

We are sure that everyone everywhere is wanting something from us and even just being civil is taxing and we sure hate paying takes, just ask Jared Kushner, no wonder his father in law likes him and he is the current de facto diplomat to Saudi Arabia.  Another family dynasty only that one with blood on its hands.  God almighty we all need more Church! Or less as it seems regardless of one's faith it seems to provide a great excuse, justification or at least an explanation.  So how is Islam different from Christianity exactly?

We all need to drive in our respective low countries and find others who are not like us, talk to them and become a listener and not be defensive or rude just responsive and respectful when the conversation veers into those areas of difference.  I always find it odd that men are the most vocal antagonists regarding abortion and in turn "welfare" but when you simply point out that it is a matter of both access and availability and with education and information there are those who will choose the best option that will enable them to remove themselves off the Governmental dependency program and in turn find ways to reach those who choose not but not by simply denying access.  The reality is that without both you have a fundamental balance issue.  You want to not support baby mamas, then make sure they have accessible family planning clinics that are affordable with the options available to make good decisions.  And the way to ensure good decisions are made fund education that enables children to learn critical thinking skills to find ways and opportunities that enable access to those kinds of professions that can accomplish that means.  And from that the secondary options often result which includes indiscriminate unprotected sex and drugs as those options are less enticing when there are more lucrative and better ones just there but not out of reach.  So in reality which is cheaper? A good education, cheaper higher education, affordable medical clinics?  The racist right wing Republican whom I proposed that question was an Accountant so he of all should know.  Funny he did not as it was not black and white numbers that mattered to him but the black and white issues of skin.   So along with the Welfare Queen and the Baby Mama with many Baby Daddy's, we have the proverbial White Asshole.  Which do you prefer?  When in the low country always go high.

Friday, October 12, 2018

And So It Goes

The rock has officially been overturned.  With Kavanaugh being elected to the Supreme Court, the Weinstein case already in question and of course the varying op-ed whines in Harper's and The New York Times Review of Books the statement made by President Idiot about how unsafe it is for young men today pretty much confirms that it too is over.

After I wrote in my last blog post,  Ce qui sera sera,  I found this in the Guardian.  Yep it is now been relegated to dunk tanks.  I can't wait for a reality show, a la The Bachelor, where a parade of accused men come forward to find a new way to harass women.  That show pretty much is a big part of the genre but hey what.ever.



California chef in sexual misconduct scandal criticised for 'dunk tank' plan

Oakland restaurateur Charlie Hallowell is inviting anyone to ‘come and take a shot’ as part of his reform efforts

Sam Levin in Oakland
The Guardian
Fri 12 Oct 2018

An embattled California chef accused of sexual harassment is facing renewed backlash after announcing he would sit in a “dunk tank” as part of his efforts to reform himself and make women “feel safe” in his restaurants.

Charlie Hallowell, an Oakland restaurateur who faced misconduct allegations from more than 30 employees over the last year, has released an “open letter” and “apology” detailing his return to three restaurants and a “twelve-point plan” to ensure the workplaces would be “different moving forward”.

“Once a month a dunk tank will be set up in the backyard at Pizzaiolo,” he wrote under point 10 of the plan, which he sent out Thursday. “Charlie will be in the dunk seat and anyone who wants to put him in the tank can come and give it a shot!”

His announcement of the monthly gimmick sparked immediate criticisms, with some saying it was the latest example of an insensitive attempt at a comeback from a powerful man called out amid the #MeToo movement.

Mika Hilaire, an attorney who represented about a dozen Hallowell accusers, told the Guardian she was shocked to learn about the dunk tank on Friday.

“A letter like this triggers the emotional harm that these women have had to endure, and by making light of it, it reinjures them,” she said, adding, “It’s very upsetting for my clients to have to read this … To them, it’s appalling.”

Hallowell is one of many high-profile men who have been accused of mistreating employees and running hostile work environments in the restaurant industry, where sexual misconduct can be rampant.

His new comments came one year after the Harvey Weinstein accusations inspired a #MeToo reckoning in Hollywood, media, publishing, the art world, government and numerous other industries. In recent months, ousted men have increasingly been plotting ways to reclaim jobs and return to the spotlight.

The San Francisco Chronicle published multiple investigations about Hallowell, once a Bay Area culinary celebrity who received national attention for his restaurants Pizzaiolo, Penrose, and Boot and Shoe. The first article, in December, detailed sexual harassment allegations from 17 women who were former employees and “described a persistently degrading, at times threatening environment, where the chef-owner’s constant banter about his erotic fantasies and crude come-ons were an inescapable part of their work experience”.

Eventually, a total of 31 people made accusations against him, including allegations of “uninvited kisses and spankings”, the Chronicle later reported. In the wake of the reports, Hallowell said he was stepping away from day-to-day operations, but he has since caused stirs by announcing plans to come back to his restaurants and by returning to a popular farmer’s market.

Hallowell has “admitted to almost everything the women alleged”, the Chronicle reported earlier this year, publishing his statement saying: “I have participated in and allowed an uncomfortable workplace for women.”

His letter this week did not address specific accusations but said: “I want to apologize for letting you and our entire community down. I lost track of a promise to make my restaurants safe spaces for everyone.” He said he had been on “unpaid leave” for 10 months and had not managed employees.
Hotel housekeepers call for panic buttons amid sexual harassment

The letter said he was “wholeheartedly committed to real personal change” as he returned to the restaurants, adding that the chief operating officer, Donna Insalaco, now had a “large percentage of ownership” and had stepped up as co-owner and managing partner of the restaurant group.

Hallowell further announced new trainings and systems for complaints, an all-female board of advisers, his personal therapy and efforts to confront “toxic masculinity” and “white privilege”, and his plans to be available for staff to talk to him once a week. And the dunk tank.

Hilaire said she appreciated many of the changes and said they were a result of her clients speaking out and demanding reforms. But the dunk tank, she added, “makes me have serious pause and concern, because it seems to me something again that is making it about him. It seems narcissistic”.

Hallowell did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

“On the one hand, you’re trying to empower women and want to hear the voices … and then you’re talking about having them dunk you in water,” Hilaire continued. “It makes me feel like, again, he is not understanding the gravity of his actions.”

She said that she and others would work to make sure that his workplaces actually improved moving forward.

“People like me will be here to hold him accountable, and the community is watching.”

Ce qui sera sera

The time is up.  I have said that MeToo and Times Up will run out of steam and fall into the casual activism that includes the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, Women's March, Black Lives Matter, Alt-right among others. In some cases this is not a bad thing in others it shows that momentum is best studied by Physicists and Stephen Hawking is dead and Neil deGrasse Tyson is well busy,  so the reality is that meteors crash and burn but they had a moment.

This lawsuit opens another door that was coming after the whining rants printed by varying accused individuals rallying against the unfairness of it all. Then we have today a charge was dropped in the  Harvey Weinstein case  as a supporting witness has changed their story; This individual is now saying that the accused actually told her that it was not assault it was an exchange for a job which means she consented to give him a blow job. While not a crime it is pretty heinous and truly disgusting but again that is a civil matter, ask Bill Cosby about that one. Oh wait that finally led to criminal charges.  My mother used to say, "You can come in the back door but always leave by the front."  Good plan.

But again I think many, not all, of the men deserve to work and in turn donate money to varying groups and dedicate themselves to years of therapy and a short leash in which to move as a way of changing the message, proving that you can be healed/cured/be a better person and apologize and move forward to model that change is possible.  Isn't that a critical part of redemption?  Us the big on christian nation and the whole forgiveness model?  We have a lot of exceptions to that rule. 

Again we work on the presumption of innocent until proven guilty (unless black and/or poor then game on).  And in turn what is one woman's blow job for a job is another woman's sexual assault.     It is complicated the nature of male/female relationships but the lines blur when alcohol or other drugs are involved, then you have fame and the way the casting couch has a long history, the confusion about "signals" and of course positions of power that enable one to take advantage of a situation and in some cases it ends up working out fine.  I suspect Julia Chen might elaborate on her relationship with Les Moonves one day or not.  But there are many women who began relationships with their prestigious married boss, Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post is another and in turn what could be considered inappropriate led to long term relationships that both partners went into willingly and consensual.  How their Spouses and Co-workers viewed them at the time may be less than gracious but again this is where it does become confusing if not frustrating for all involved?    Maybe we can blame those Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn movies as she was a Lesbian and he was married during their "affair."  Ce qui sera sera



Creator of notorious ‘Media Men’ list of anonymous sexual accusations is sued by writer who says it nearly ruined him


By Isaac Stanley-Becker
October 12 at 5:40 AM

Stephen Elliott, a writer based in New Orleans alleged to have committed various sexual misdeeds on a crowdsourced list of bad “Media Men” circulated a year ago, is suing the Google spreadsheet’s creator, Moira Donegan.

The defamation lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, marks a new chapter in the conflict over the #MeToo movement. The suit appears to be the first legal action pursued by a man named in the document, which opened a debate about anonymity, self-protection and the Web, as the prevalence of sexual misconduct became a focus of national attention.

As the spreadsheet tore through the Internet on Oct. 11, 2017, a flash point of the incipient #MeToo movement, its cells bulged to fit anonymous accounts of misbehavior by men working in journalism and publishing. Within 12 hours, Donegan, a former editor for the New Republic, took the document offline as BuzzFeed prepared to publish an article on its contents.

But the list had already been populated with the names of more than 70 men. They ranged in age from their 20s to their 60s. More than a dozen had been marked with red highlighting, denoting accusations of “physical sexual violence by multiple women.” One of them was Elliott, whose alleged wrongdoings included rape, sexual harassment, coercion and unsolicited invitations to his apartment.

He is now seeking at least $1.5 million in damages from Donegan and threatening through his lawsuit to expose up to 30 yet-unknown “Jane Does” who edited or publicized the spreadsheet.

“Defendants knew the List contained false defamatory statements, including the entirety of Plaintiff’s entry, but published the List to numerous women to intentionally injure, harass, defame, endanger, aggrieve and embarrass Plaintiff,” attorneys with Nesenoff & Miltenberg, a New York-based law firm, wrote in the complaint filed in federal court.

One of Elliott’s attorneys, Andrew Miltenberg, has become a prominent attorney for men seeking to fend off allegations of sexual assault, particularly on college campuses. His clients have included Paul Nungesser, the Columbia University student accused by his classmate, Emma Sulkowicz, of rape, and Alec Klein, the former Northwestern journalism professor — also formerly of The Washington Post — accused of misconduct by students and staff on the Evanston, Ill., campus.

A defamation claim is difficult to prove. Courts require that what was said or written be proved false and that the false statement caused actual harm. It’s even more challenging if the plaintiff is a public figure, in which case the plaintiff would have to show that the defendant acted knowing the charge to be false or in “reckless disregard” of the truth. While Elliott contends that he is not a public figure, the lawsuit claims that the defendants knew the allegations against him were false because of his well-documented sexual preferences, including in his 2006 book, “My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up.”

His lawsuit details the personal and professional difficulties he encountered because of the list. It recounts how he contemplated suicide and enrolled in therapy as friends and family members shunned him. The filing says professional opportunities dried up.

“He attributed this to the false allegations recently published in the List in which he was falsely accused of being a rapist,” the suit maintains.

Donegan, a writer based in New York, reposted an essay on Twitter on Thursday that she had written for New York Magazine’s the Cut about the list and its reception.

“I Started the Media Men List,” divulged the headline on the January 2018 essay. “My name is Moira Donegan.”

The piece responded to growing speculation about the origins of the list, which became a cause celebre in media circles, as rumors circulated that Harper’s Magazine was planning to name Donegan as the effort’s initiator. The article in the March 2018 issue, written by Katie Roiphe, lamented “Twitter feminism” and likened the list of media figures said to have misbehaved to an “anonymously crowdsourced list of Muslims.” Several prominent men on the list, including Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker and Leon Wieseltier of the New Republic and then the Atlantic, eventually lost their jobs.

Donegan said there were also repercussions for her. She lost friends, as well as an unspecified job, in the weeks after the spreadsheet was exposed, she wrote in the Cut. She acknowledged “pitfalls,” saying the list was “indeed vulnerable to false accusations” — a concern that led her to add a disclaimer at the top advising: “This document is only a collection of misconduct allegations and rumors. Take everything with a grain of salt.” The document was labeled “a collection of misconduct allegations and rumors.”

But she defended her decision to create the spreadsheet, saying it wasn’t intended for mass consumption but rather as “a place for women to share their stories of harassment and assault without being needlessly discredited or judged.”

“The hope was to create an alternate avenue to report this kind of behavior and warn others without fear of retaliation,” she wrote. “Too often, for someone looking to report an incident or to make habitual behavior stop, all the available options are bad ones.”

While critics warned that whisper networks denied the accused due process, others raised different concerns. Sarah Jeong, the tech writer whose own online behavior has been a source of controversy, noted in the Verge that these networks could also injure victims. She described a “double-edged sword: the same secrecy that protects victims and whistleblowers can shield perpetrators as well.” She also observed that the list was overbroad, “collecting stories that ranged from incredibly violent sexual assaults to unwanted workplace overtures, a mixture of allegations that . . . felt, to some, a little odd to be mixed together.”

Some prominent voices came to Donegan’s defense. Samantha Bee, the host of “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” said the spreadsheet fulfilled the central purpose of the social movement against sexual violence. “The list also let women know that they weren’t alone, you know, the whole ‘Me Too’ component.”

“If we go public with a story, we’re petty crybabies hellbent on destroying men’s careers. If we write a secret list to protect each other, we’re gossipy shrews telling lies in the shadows,” Bee said, suggesting a Catch-22.

The suit takes aim at additional contributors to the list, whose identities Elliott intends to expose using IP addresses and email accounts that could reveal their true names and addresses, the filing asserts. He is pledging to subpoena “shared Google spreadsheet metadata” to obtain this information, according to the suit.

In addition to monetary damages, Elliott is asking the court to compel a written retraction of all “false and defamatory statements.”

The suit follows closely on the publication of a personal essay by Elliott in Quillette, an online magazine based in Sydney. In the September piece, titled “How an Anonymous Accusation Derailed My Life,” he argued that anonymity undermined the aims of the #MeToo movement.

“#MeToo was an expression of solidarity but there is no solidarity for the accused,” he wrote. “We don’t talk to one another. We assume that if someone else has been accused, there must be a good reason. We’re afraid of guilt by association. We don’t want to be noticed so we lower our voices. Most of us stop posting on social media and stick to ever-dwindling circles of friends.”

He contended that people who enjoy only precarious employment, such as freelancers, are particularly vulnerable, as they have no access to a workplace investigation that might clear their name.

“Over the course of this year, I’ve come to believe that if a movement embraces anonymous lists and a presumption of guilt, it is already poisoned and not worth supporting,” he noted.

The issue isn’t disappearing. Last month, a collection of anonymous students at the University of Washington launched a website called “Make Them Scared,” soliciting the names of men, within the school and beyond, who stood accused of sexual misconduct.

“It’s the [S—ty] Media Men list, UW edition,” observed an article in the Stranger, a biweekly alternative newspaper in Seattle.

On the site, a set of questions are posed: “But what about innocent until proven guilty? What about false accusations? What about innocent people’s lives being ruined?”

The author of the site answered that it would be better to believe someone who had made a false accusation than to defend someone who had committed assault, suggesting, with little explanation, that these were the only two options.

“I made this site for one reason: to give survivors a voice, and to make it known to attackers that they can’t keep getting away with this, that there is some entity out there, if not our legal system, if not our universities’ administrations, that will hold them accountable for their actions,” the person states.

In an editorial, the campus newspaper called the site a “symptom, not a solution.”

Reflecting on the fracas over the spreadsheet, Donegan wrote in her January essay that what shocked her above all was not the blowback but “the realization of how badly it was needed, how much more common the experience of sexual harassment or assault is than the opportunity to speak about it.”

“I am still trying to grapple with this realization,” she wrote.