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Thoughts on the Eve of the Election and Why I’m With Her

8 Nov

I am genuinely frightened at the prospect of a Trump presidency.  The very thought that a racist, misogynistic, narcissistic demagogue could possibly be elected President of this country should frighten us all.  However, we still do not live in a world where every person can see the clear error in Donald Trump’s ways. Today, on November 8, 2016, I will cast my vote for Hillary Clinton.

When the election first got underway, I was pro Bernie.  I voted for Bernie in the primaries, and proudly.  I found his brash, honest way of speaking to be refreshing.  But then, the reality set in.  Bernie was not electable by many segments of the American population.  As his defeat in the primaries was clear, I at first was angry at the prospect of voting for Hillary Clinton.  I am still unsure why this is, but I do have to attribute part of it to internalized misogyny.

As a young woman, I have been very lucky.  I was always told I could do whatever I wanted if I put my mind to it.  Even my father, with whom I do not have the best relationship, told me that I could do anything.  He said that the quality he admired most about me is that no matter what, I get back up and try again.  He admired my persistence and drive.  I took this to heart.  I went to college and double-majored.  I interned at NBC.  I started this blog to express my unapologetic feminist thinking.  I am a stand up comedian and a pretty good one at that – in a world where stand up is seen as a man’s game.  I am living a life that women in many other countries are not privileged enough to lead.  I know that without the sacrifice and bravery of many women before me, this would not have been possible.  Hillary Clinton is one of those women I should thank.

young-hillary

However, I was still angry about voting for Hillary until very recently.  People who I consider my friends (women at that) urged me to watch anti-Clinton propaganda in tee form of a “documentary” called Clinton Cash.  This film, produced by employees of Breitbart, did nothing but attempt to smear the critical life’s work of Hillary Clinton.  Hillary has served the public many times over – as a public defense attorney, as First Lady of Arkansas and the U.S., as a Senator of New York, as Secretary of State.  And yet, it all comes down to one thing for some people – she’s a woman and therefore she’s a shrew, a bitch, evil, cunty, a witch, a whore, etc.  These are the words that people use to describe women in positions of power.  Why?  Because women in power are threats.  Women in power must be silenced.  Women in power are not deemed fit for public consumption.  I’ve been fed this lie and shamefully believed it myself.  As I get older, I see how our society attempts to shape women into obedient little girls.  None of us should stand by idly.  Today, I see no other more responsible option as a citizen than voting for Hillary Clinton.

I vividly remember a moment in my third grade class at Skyway Elementary School in 1996.  My teacher at the time, Miss Burke, is leading a discussion on the election, which at the time is taking place between President Clinton and Bob Dole.  Miss Burke says that she wants to see a black man become President in her lifetime.  She then says it would be even more amazing to see a woman become President.  This memory is so vivid in my mind – only twelve years later, we had our first black President.  I proudly attended the 2008 Inauguration, braving the coldest, most bitter winter of my memory in order to see Barack Obama sworn in at the Capitol.

I was raised by a proud Democrat mother. I was taught from a young age to recognize the values that form the fabric of our country – equality, justice, aid for the sick and poor, and the championing of women and minorities.  I am unapologetically liberal.  I am unapologetically feminist.  I am strong, I am independent, and I am fierce. I’m with her.

#ImWithHer

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Are You a Democrat? This Microwave Will Cost You More Than It’s Worth

4 Nov

 

 

 

Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 1.58.13 AM

 

The person selling this microwave hates Democrats and this microwave will cost you $500 if you are a Democrat.  “IF YOUR STUPID DONT CALL.”

LOLOLOLOLOL.

 

“Work Ethic? What is that?” Asks Every Self-Absorbed Person in Their 20’s

10 Mar
Casey McIntyre wears a world of struggle on her porcelain face.

Casey McIntyre wears a world of struggle on her porcelain face.

The New York Times really needs to shut up about how hard it is to be white and in your twenties.  The publication created a subgenre about being young, in debt, underpaid, and overworked that persists and is now stronger than ever.  Take this annoying piece that appeared online last week, causing a tizzy among young and old alike who simply want to air their grievances about how hard their lives really are.

Take poor little Casey McIntyre, who feels overworked in her position as a book publicist.  She describes her fearless plight: “I have coffee before I leave the house, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts conveniently in the subway station when I get off, and I get another coffee during the day,” she said. “And they’re large coffees.” Casey, not understanding that work often comes with obligations that may last even when she’s not perched at her desk looking at memes and GIFs in between grown up things like meetings and phone calls, is completely miserable in her coffee-soaked existence.

Perhaps what this disgusting subgenre of “Woe is me, I have to work more than I thought” pieces misses is the realization that things are different now.  If you have a job at all, you should be grateful. If you are not employed, well then that encompasses an entirely different New York Times subgenre. It may also get you featured on this lovely series on Gawker. In any case, The New York Times loves a good whiner. And if you can whine long and hard enough about how unfair everything is for you, then the world will take note of your struggle.  These young people having to work overtime simply to live are the Zapatas of our time. We should all admire their plight, no?

One thing that many young people seem to overlook is how they should be working their asses off while they still have the energy and wherewithal to soldier on.  All this noise about “YOLO” and “making the most of it” (the “YOLO” of yesteryear) is something being shoved down our throats by the Drakes and Justin Biebers and Lena Dunhams of this world.  Maybe if people my age stopped whining about their pitiful $12 an hour existences (which, really, are not pitiful at all), maybe they’d accomplish something.

Gah, it is so hard to be young and have to work.

Things That Will Break Your Heart: Chris Arnade’s Faces of Addiction

10 Feb
Prince spends his time salvaging scrap metal.

Prince spends his time salvaging scrap metal to get money for heroin.

The other day I stumbled upon a Jezebel article detailing an ongoing photo essay by Chris Arnade, called “Faces of Addiction”.  Viewing this photo essay should be mandatory for everyone, especially spoiled millenials who think that their lives are terrible. Looking through this photo series made me realize how incredibly lucky I am to have lived my life. Really, I have nothing to whine about at all. I’ve been blessed with so many amazing things: a solid mind, a world-class education, writing ability, attractive looks, designer clothes, trips, meals at nice restaurants, etc. I am blessed in every aspect of my life.  Unfortunately, as the internet and various social media networks prove, whining about anything and everything is the new marker of a narcissistic and selfish society.

Here are some examples of things that people often believe are real problems, when in fact, they are not:

“I cracked the glass on my iPhone!”

“Why is Starbucks out of bacon breakfast sandwiches this morning?”

“OMG! Why is the N train out of service on a Saturday night? Now I’ll never make it to that beer garden at a decent hour!”

“Dave Matthews isn’t coming to my city this year! WTF!”

People, these are not problems. After reading through a bit of “Faces of Addiction,” you will learn what actual problems are.  “Faces of Addiction” chronicles the lives of drug addicts and prostitutes in Hunts Point, Bronx.  For those of you who are not familiar with New York City, Hunts Point is the poorest neighborhood in all of New York City. Heroin plagues the neighborhood, ripping a cruel path of utter destruction in its streets.

Many of Mr. Arnade’s subjects have been addicted to heroin for years, if not decades.  Their faces show an indescribable sadness, eyes peering from behind weathered masks of who they were.  Sonya, who told her story to Arnade, gave up her family and stable life in Rhode Island to move to Hunts Point with a man who introduced her to heroin. Her description of what her life is like now is chillingly paradoxical: “I am happier in some ways than I’ve ever been in my life. But I’ve lost so many things. I want to get out of my addiction but in some ways it’s made me grow a lot. And I think I know now how to live more than I ever have.” Prince is a young man who suffered sexual abuse as a child. He is the oldest of seventeen children, and he spends much of his time scrounging the streets of Hunts Point for scrap metal, using what little money he gets to buy heroin. Arnade noted how positive Prince was, in spite of the life he leads.  Prince graduated high school and states that he hopes to finish college as well. Prince’s photo shows a young man dragging an air conditioner behind him, the composition of the photo offset by the bright colors of a graffitied wall.

Sonya, brought to the edge of addiction by a man named Erik.

Sonya, brought to the edge of addiction by a man named Erik.

Perhaps the most gut-wrenching stories (for me, at least) are those of women who were sexually abused from a very young age and thrust into a life of pain, addiction, and sex work through no fault of their own.  Egpyt’s story especially affected me. Raped by her own father since the age of three, Egypt tells Mr. Arnade that the only man who never treated her badly was God.  For someone who’s been treated so badly her entire life to still have some semblance of faith is simply amazing to me.

Egypt, a longtime victim of men.

Egypt, a longtime victim of men.

Arnade’s photo essay is a must-read for anyone who’s ever passed by a junkie or prostitute in the streets of New York, or any large city for that matter, and wondered what brought them to that moment in their lives.  We tend to go through life glibly, not realizing just how great many of us have it.  Chris Arnade’s message is a much-needed revelation in such selfish times.  If you can look through these photos without wincing, or almost shedding tears, then your heart simply needs some work.