(June 2005) This is how you know that Medea is sick: I am curled up in bed on a summer afternoon in my blue-polka-dotted white flannel PJs with happy red piping, drinking diet ginger-ale and eating a bright orange bowl of artificially colored (and flavored and...) mac and cheese with my well-worn Tony the Tiger spoon ... and I actually put on clothes to go to the store to buy this fake-tasting stuff!
Got the spoon after saving cereal box tops as a kid and still pull it out on bad days. It’s how I comforted myself back then and I guess it still works as my little comfort totem.
Am pretty certain that I have a good old-fashioned sinus infection, but really don’t want to go to the doctor. Hence I’ve been lying here saving up my energy as I surf the Web and pop echinacea and hope that I recover.
Molly Ivins’s Alternet article begins ”The Texas Legislature gives itself a huge retirement pension and, the next day, cuts retirement benefits for teachers. Welcome to a Republican-ruled state.” The wonderful (but sobering) title of her article is THE VIEW FROM THE OWNER'S BOX. Ivins also notes “You know, it's one thing for Republicans to run year after year railing against government. But once you win, you got to run it, people.”
I love her spunky smart self, but she strikes me as someone who may be lonely deep down in her heart. I hope I'm wrong though.
Also checked out the Free Will Astrology site.
I’m not actually into astrology so much, but Rob Brezsny is really cool and insightful and always references obscure and fascinating things that make me think.
My horoscope this week is particularly interesting, given that a friend just informed me that a (now well-to-do) ex of mine apparently still tries to live up to my values where money is concerned.
I’m not really opposed to money—you can do a lot of good things in the world with it, as Paul Farmer can assure you—but I do hate to watch the way so many Americans spend it and am continually appalled by what we throw away. I also refuse to sell my soul for the sake of having more money and try to make decisions that further the care of my soul first and foremost. I want to be fiscally comfortable, but don't really care about keeping up with the proverbial Joneses otherwise and view conspicuous consumerism and those horrible McMansions as pathetic commentaries on our emptiness.
I also took enough advertising classes to recognize marketing manipulation when I see it.
I do have "money issues” though, as this ex pointed out to me on more than one occasion. Grew up in a working poor family that struggled, but have spent most of my adult life around people from solidly upper- or upper-middle-class families. This translates into sometimes feeling out of place around folks who assume that their references include me—and, well, they don’t.
Here's reality: Poor Americans are hyperaware of the fact that they are considered failures by their culture (and their current president). They're are aware that they are believed to be stupid and unmotivated by the more well-to-do around them (even though they often work two jobs in an attempt to keep up with their bills). And they're aware that their poverty makes people who have more feel uncomfortable.
We grew up knowing we were Other.
My best friend and I talk about this and how differently we grew up. Her family of origin was working class, too, but in a mostly working class town. And there were very few books in her house. My family of origin was working class in an affluent town, yet our house was filled with books—architecture and philosophy and science and art and history and arecheology—and my father spent a lot of time talking about philosophy and ideas. We struggled financially though, in part because he was a dysfunctional creative type who made consistently bad financial decisions and turned down raises that required him to relocate because, as he said, "I like where I live. It's beautiful here. And my flag is stuck down here."
I'm also aware that my education and professional employment require me to spend most of my time around people who do not live the way most Americans live, that I spend most of my time among the most highly educated people in the country.
But what's that MLK line: "We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing oriented society to a person oriented society."
Yea. That about sums it up for me.
Anyway, here's my Free Will Astrology reading for this week, which actually does tie into what I've been blabbering on about:
I live pretty simply, and often have an allergic reaction in the presence of people who have their own jet airplanes, travel with personal servants and style consultants, drink $300-a-bottle champagne, and vacation in palatial spas on private islands. Having said that, I am duty-bound to report that you now have an astrological mandate to indulge in as much extravagant pleasure as you can afford. Your watchword for the week comes from Frank Lloyd Wright: “Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities.’"
Meanwhile, apropos to, perhaps—but not really—nothing, I noticed in the grocery store last night that there is a magazine called Billionaires and wonder, do people actually purchase this periodical and take it home to read it instead of living their lives? The f*ck?!
READING: Aureole by Carole Maso (mmmm)
LISTENING TO: Until recently, I was listening to KRS-1, because I need a good beat to get me moving. He’s singing about Afrocentric education: you don’t know that you ain’t just a janitor coz no one told you about Benjamin Baneecke: A brilliant black man who invited the almanac. Can’t you see where KRS is coming at?
BEST OF SPAM: Does Ur Cock Hard Enough?