Nonviolent Protest: A Primer

On Sunday, two dozen NFL teams demonstrated an act of nonviolent protest– and the country lost its shit.

During the national anthem (you know, that five-minute block of time when you stock up on nachos and beer), NFL players either took a knee on the field or locked arms with teammates to show solidarity with Colin Kaepernick who has been taking a knee during the anthem to protest how America treats its minorities.

AP RAMS 49ERS FOOTBALL S FBN USA CA

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

This totally legal, constitutionally recognized form of protest incensed our Commander in Chief so much that he Tweeted out a suggestion that NFL owners fire players who disrespect the anthem. Keep in mind, Mr. Trump has never actually read the Constitution, but ignorance is never an excuse for assholery.

Asking for equal rights is not a crime. The (mostly white) people who objected to this display seemed to forget that sometimes social change only happens when symbolic protests bring an issue to our attention.

NASCAR (pretty much the whitest sport in the U.S.) took a stand against the #TakeAKnee movement. NASCAR owners threatened to fire anyone who participated in the protest.

Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, declared that “Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.”

But that’s just it. The United States embraces nonviolent protests. Or at least we should.

Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., suffragettes, Henry David Thoreau and the Dalai Lama have all used the technique to gain attention. Even John Lennon peacefully protested the Vietnam War when he and Yoko Ono spent their honeymoon having a “Bed-In” at a hotel in Amsterdam. A Bed-In is definitely a peaceful movement I can get behind.

yoko

(I’m going to nonviolently protest winter by staying in bed until May.)

These actions have nothing to do with disrespecting the flag,  dishonoring our military or cheapening our extremely long, difficult to sing national anthem. You don’t have to agree with the kneelers. You don’t even have to believe in their cause. But you DO have to respect their right to protest.

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Top 5 Reasons I Don’t Live in Florida

I took a summer break from writing this blog so I could have a mental breakdown. Now I can check that off my list of things to do and get back to some smart-ass blogging.

As you’re aware, it’s hurricane season, and meteorologists around the country are having orgasms on live TV as they discuss the trajectory of the latest deadly hurricane.

As I watched Floridians escape the last storm, I realized I never even want to visit this horrible state. Here are five reasons why:

Hurricanes (obviously). Floridians are exposed–and not just the nude sunbathers on Miami Beach. Florida is the dangling participle of America, taunting hurricanes and tropical storms with easy access to both its east and west coasts. There’s nowhere to hide from a hurricane in Florida. It’s surrounded by the OCEAN, for God’s sake.

Florida_hurricane_(pre-1900)_tracks

(The tracks of Florida hurricanes, or the route for the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie.)

20-foot pythons. Really, any size of python–and not just pythons. Snakes of every variety and poison level slither into houses in Florida looking for the opportunity to eat the residents. Not cool, snakes. At least in Utah, our rattlesnakes give us fair warning before attacking. I don’t want to wake up with a python trying to eat my head.

Sinkholes. Even Florida doesn’t want to be in Florida. Houses, sidewalks, roadways, golf courses–they’re all trying to disappear into the center of the earth to escape the deadly pests in the Sunshine State.

Crocodiles. These reptilian villains have been around for 200 million years (or 4,000 years if you attend a Christian megachurch in Orlando). These carnivores (the crocs, not the Christians) lurk beneath the water, eyeing their victims before going in for the kill. Creepy bastards.

Feral pigs. Not middle-aged men scouring Florida’s clubs for underage girls, but actual wild pigs. I thought wild pigs were something only found in fairy tales and Old Yeller.

old yeller

(Me, almost 50 years old, sobbing: He was such a good dog. You stupid pigs!)

Better the devil you know, right? At least in Utah I only have to worry about earthquakes, liquor laws, senior drivers, Sasquatch, BYU fans, tarantulas, the state legislature, elitism and the self-righteous. And the self-righteous don’t try to eat my head.

Why One Love Manchester Was a Big Deal

Remember in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” when the Grinch has raided the Who’s village, taken all their food and gifts, and stands on the top of Mount Crumpit waiting for the Whos to wake up so he can hear their crying and sobbing?

Grinch

At first, he believes he hears wailing in the streets. But he soon realizes what he hears is every Who down in Whoville singing in joy. And he’s absolutely perplexed.

When a terrorist attacked the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, he stole they lives of many people; men, women and children. The monsters he worked with sat back to hear the wailing in the streets, and watch the fear. Probably with smug smiles on their fat f*** faces.

Instead, they heard joyous singing and a big F*** You from Ariana Grande who proved she has balls as big as her heart.

Devastated by the attack on her fans, Grande scheduled the One Love Manchester benefit concert and invited some of the biggest music stars on the planet to 1) raise money for the victims’ families, 2) show the terrorists she refused to be ruled by fear and 3) to prove that love conquers hate.

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Well said, cross-stitched unicorn.

Were people wary about attending another concert? Were parents scared to send their kids to a venue that could be dangerous? Of course, but the show sold out in minutes.

When we tremble with fear, when we refuse to travel, when we avoid festivals and public gatherings, these terrorist assholes sit back and laugh. But when we’re brave and are unafraid to show love, kindness and compassion, we win. Every time.

Keep singing.

Kitchen Counterintelligence

Trump adviser and covert-appliance specialist Kellyanne Conway recently warned Americans that the CIA has discovered a way to turn microwaves into cameras with the intent to gather delicious data on the populace.

As an entity, the CIA shit a brick after learning Conway spilled the beans on the entire spying scheme. (I always thought the “A” was for Agency but we now know it’s Central Intelligence Appliances.)

Wikileaks released a billion documents detailing the extent of the scandal, rendering every kitchen in the country a base for sneaky operatives. (Luckily, the window of my microwave is so covered with exploded spaghetti sauce that a complete view of my kitchen is impossible.)

The documents show the CIA has infiltrated other kitchen appliances, starting with the fridge. I was pretty sure the fridge was the leader of the group since it continues to passive aggressively freeze all my produce in the vegetable bins.

All those smart fridges we thought could just order milk were actually documenting how often we stand with the door open waiting for delicious food to magically appear. It also judges our use of leftovers and how many opened cans of chicken broth we have at any given time.

fridge

My dishwasher is too stupid to be an effective spy. It tends to lazily spit on my dishes without actually getting anything clean. Drying is obviously too much of an effort for my dishwasher, so it doesn’t bother. If it’s working for the CIA, it should be reassigned to the scrap heap.

dishwasher

(Now with a stealthy periscope.)

You know it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are toasters with high-tech listening capabilities, hand mixers that can tell if you’re stressed, and garbage disposals with the ability to analyze all the food you waste. In fact, while we’re laughing about this, I just noticed my blender is slowly moving closer to get a better view.

Thank goodness, Conway is on top of the situation, warning the American public that the CIA is watching us from our ovens and coffee makers. Enjoy your next family dinner.

 

 

 

 

Lazy Ways to Improve Your Marriage

So you have a spouse. Now what do you do?

Marriage is much more than mindlessly irritating the person you love for the rest of your life. Marriage is a sacred bond that states you promise to listen to your spouse chew his/her food until the day you die.

But how do you make it last? What can you do (that takes little or no effort) so your spouse thinks you’re the bomb?

Here are some of the laziest ways to strengthen your relationship:

Touch each other. A gentle touch creates a spark of affection. However, the following touches will get you divorced faster than you can say “alimony.” No touching my feet, chin(s), waist, knees or that part on my arm where my tricep muscle should be. And no tickling! For God’s sake, no tickling!

Cook dinner together. You know, like in the movies where the couple turns on the radio and starts dancing while slicing carrots, onions and potatoes? Like that only with a lot more sliced off fingers and 4-letter words.

husband-cooking

(It’s always a good idea to sneak up behind someone who’s holding a knife.)

Be playful. A co-worker suggested I drop a handful of flour on my husband’s face while he’s sleeping. “It will be hilarious,” he promised.

Joke’s on me. After calling 9-1-1 because my hubbie inhaled a lungful of unbleached flour, I had to clean up the mess on the dry-clean only comforter before changing the sheets and promising to sleep in the guest room for a week.

Don’t be super sensitive. If your spouse walks on eggshells when you’re around, there could be a problem. First, who the hell left all those eggshells on the floor!? Second, if your spouse is never sure which personality you’ll be today, it can cause tension between the two (or more) of you.

Show your partner you’re carefree by laughing and tossing your hair. Don’t take everything so personally. Stop slamming doors when your husband mentions your potato salad tastes like s***. Shake it off. A lifetime in prison isn’t worth it.

Spend time alone. Even best friends need a break, especially if you’ve both suffered a week of constant touching, bloody meals, flour ingestion and hurt feelings. Maybe go your separate ways for a few hours, if only to contact an attorney.

I guess this blog wasn’t very helpful. 😦

Things Trump Should Ban

While The Donald sits in the Oval Office signing executive orders meant to divert and distract our attention, I wake up each morning waiting to see if we’ve nuked anyone yet. So far, so good.

But with all his power, it seems Trump is completely focused on the wrong things to ban. There are much worse things than refugees trying to infiltrate Detroit.

As you wield your mighty pen in your tiny hands, Mr. Prez, here are some alternative suggestions for you to ban.

  • Racism. (Oh, right . . .)
  • Internet pop-up ads.

popup

(Unless they’re all this funny.)

  • The automatic message on voicemail that says, “If you’d like to leave a message, please wait for the beep.” After decades of leaving messages, I think we’ve got this.
  • Teenagers
  • Wind
  • Cosmopolitan magazines sex tips.(I do what with the hand mixer?)
  • Diet Coke
  • Poverty and hunger. (It was estimated that Trump’s inauguration cost more than $200 million. Two. Hundred. Million. American. Dollars.)
  • People calling to sell me solar panels.

solar

  • January
  • Pull-tops on cans that break off because then you can’t open the can of crushed pineapple without slicing your wrist open on the jagged edges of the can that you pried open with a pair of tweezers.
  • War
  • Happy Meal toys
  • Haggis

That should give The Donald a whole bunch of things to take care of during this second week (only second week?!?) of his presidency. Feel free to add your own ideas to the list.

 

2017: Year of the Woman

strongwomen

Declaring 2017 to be the Year of the Woman, I googled “Men doing good things for women” to get examples of equality and understanding.

Instead, the first page offered topics like “10 things men LOVE women to do during hot sex” and “8 things men wished women knew about sex.”

Heavy sigh.

This only re-emphasizes how men seem to only relate to women on a sexual basis. Not as humans, but as toys. Maybe this explains the recent abhorrent behavior that includes efforts to shut down Planned Parenthood clinics, a woman’s right to abortion or contraception being hindered, police departments destroying untested rape kits and the fact that a misogynistic, pussy-grabbing caveman is the leader of our country.

Women are furious. Don’t blame our hormones. Blame a society that continues to devalue our talents and abilities. We’re sad. Not because it’s “That time of the month” but because it’s heartbreaking to see inequality and sexism continue in another generation of young people.

We’ve focused on raising our daughters to be brave and bold like our sons, but we need to raise our sons to be empathetic and kind like our daughters. We need our sons and grandsons to understand that respecting women goes far beyond opening doors, it’s about being seen and treated as equals.

Female celebrities are embracing the cause:

  • After President-Elect Trump’s “Nasty woman” comment to Hillary Clinton during a debate, Samantha Bee made “Nasty Woman” a rallying cry–and a super-cool T-shirt.
  • Jennifer Aniston, firing back at tabloid news agencies, explained she doesn’t need a husband and children to be complete.
  • Amy Schumer shut down the haters when it was announced she would be in the new Barbie movie.schumer

“We need to laugh at the haters and sympathize with them. They can scream as loud as they want. We can’t hear them because we are getting shit done. I am proud to lead by example.”–Amy Schumer

  • Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles stated, “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles.”
  • In her heartbreaking concession speech, Hillary Clinton said, “To all the little girls watching…never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.”
  • And Michelle Obama, one of the country’s strongest leaders, stated, “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.”

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This Saturday, thousands of women around the country will march in conjunction with The Women’s March on Washington. They march to send a message to the new president that women’s rights are human rights. They march to let the world know that we are rising and men need to stop holding us down out of fear we’ll fly higher than they ever imagined. What could we accomplish if men actually encouraged our flight?

“America is still a great country and it is still worth fighting for. . .  And if Ms. Rodham’s not in the White House that’s okay — one of those girls is going to be. We still have millions of Nasty Women who aren’t going away, and as long as women over 25 are still allowed on television, I’ll be here, cheering them on.”–Samantha Bee