Friday, November 9, 2018

Taking A Breath To Ponder

Here he is. The man of the hour. The brother. The babiest of my grandbabies. The one-year old.
The Levon. And if you want to go back and relive his beautiful birth (as I certainly did), you can go HERE. 
Can you believe that one year ago he looked like this?

I got to have lunch with him and his mama and his brother and Lily and Magnolia and Hank and Rachel and our friend Lauren today. We went to the Indian buffet, Persis Grill, and it was one of the most fun lunches I've had in forever. We talked about some silly things. We talked about some profound things. I got feedback on an issue that I've been thinking about a great deal. We ate wonderful foods and the babies were well-behaved.

One of the reasons the babies were well-behaved is that Lily let August and Maggie use her phone to watch some kid program and they were instantly quiet and focused which is a little scary but it also gave us time to talk. Levon happily ate his lunch and had nursies (he is still very much a nursey baby) and it was just so pleasant. After lunch we all went down to Big Lots. Here are Maggie and August, and no one prompted them to hold hands.

One could actually mistake them for twins. It's so funny to me how very different they both look compared to everyone else in the family and yet at the same time, they look so much like each other in some ways. 
And they are beautiful. 
As of course all of my grandchildren are. 

I came home and have done a bit of this and a bit of that. Mr. Moon has gone to Georgia again and it is raining a little- a quiet, lovely drumming. It is getting cooler. It is hard for me to imagine a world out there where fires rage and eat up entire communities and forests, where people are grieving for their loved ones who were shot by another madman with a gun. It is hard to imagine anything right now but this peaceful, sweet evening. 
But because I am a human, I am aware that my experience at this moment is not at all what others are experiencing. I am quite aware that my perspective on things is entirely based on not just who I am but also the color of my skin, where I am sitting as I write this, my health, my bank account, my age, my gender, my stage in life, my sexuality, my history, my education, the books I've read, my marital status, the people I've known, the things I have experienced throughout my life and what the outcomes were. 
All of these things and thousands more are absolutely pertinent to what I am experiencing this very second and they are interwoven and tangled and tied in such a way that there is absolutely no way to tease this or that out of the mix. 
And all of this is part of what the issue was that I wanted to talk about today. 
A Facebook friend whom is not really a person whom I would call a friend although if I ran into her we would greet each other and probably share a hug, posted a link to an article yesterday with the headline, "Most White Women Are Very Happy With White Supremacy" and it struck a chord of anger in me. Not at the "white women" cited in the article (which I have not read) but at the poster. She is a woman of color and posts probably dozens of article links a week and generally, I agree with her politics, her outlook. But this just pissed me off. 
And why?
Because for once, I was possibly part of a hateful majority. 
That's why. 
And I recognized that immediately- that my anger came from being grouped in that way. 
I am most certainly NOT happy with white supremacy. I have spent my entire life making that as clear as possible. And I was being STEREOTYPED! BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF MY SKIN AND MY GENDER!
We all discussed this and it was pointed out that whenever something makes us angry, we need to stop, take a breath, and consider it from all angles. 
Which I agreed with, of course, because that's just the truth. 

And then we started talking about shows we've seen on Netflix lately and the comedy special Nanette came up. 
"You need to watch it," said Hank and Rachel. "You'd really like it."
"Yeah," said Jessie. 
"It's not really comedy," said Hank and the others who'd seen it agreed. 
And then they told me a bit about it. The comedian is an Australian lesbian and in the show she gets very, very real about prejudice, mental illness, misogyny, homophobia, self-hatred, self-shame, and straight, white males. 
Whom she does not hold in great regard. 
Jessie said that while she and Vergil were watching it she asked him if it was making him, a straight, white, male, uncomfortable. 
"No," he said. "Because it doesn't pertain to me."
And if I know any straight, white males to whom it does not pertain to, Vergil would be right there with them. 
But still, we all laughed because there are some things which just seem indigenous to straight, white males in our society because of our culture and even the best of men are probably unaware of some of those things which may, in fact, pertain to them as well. 

So. Is there some part of me which is guilty of being unaware of my own part in the continuation of white supremacy in this country? 
Good Lord but I'd like to think ABSOLUTELY NOT!
But hell. I don't know.
But I probably am. 

Maybe I think too much. 

But one of the things I did when I got home today was to sit down and do a little work on Levon's monkey doll and I decided to watch Nanette.
Which I did. 
And which blew me the fuck away. 

Hannah Gadsby

Look. I'm not going to try and review this performance. I'm not going to try and explain or justify or defend or tell you why you should watch this. I'm just going to tell you that you should. 
And that it most likely will make you laugh and most definitely will make you cry and it will make you think about things you might not want to think about and it will make you think about things in a different way and it may, in fact, change the way you think about yourself and, yes, others. 

In other words, it may change your perspective. 
And I guarantee that you'll never think about Picasso or his work in the same way. 
Boy. Was THAT a relief. 

Here's the trailer.

I'm not sure what my entire point is here. I guess it's that we all need to examine our souls as deeply as we possibly can. To watch it with our own, beloved "straight, white males" too. Not to make them uncomfortable, but to make them think, as we all should.
And to know that my story is your story and that your story is my story.
And that there are some brave, honest motherfucking women on this planet.
People. On this planet.

Levon turned one. My grandchildren are all being raised by parents who believe that all of us are here to be respected in our differences. That we may be born into bodies which do not represent our true genders and that we are allowed to make that determination. That love is love. That no gender, no race, no nationality is superior to all others and that none are inferior to any other.

Well. That's all I have for you tonight.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love you truly...Ms. Moon


  1. Nannette blew me away too. I think I need to watch it again. I have fears that I have biases I am unaware of, and I worry I perpetuate the very things I fight against. I think about that a lot.

    1. Oh honey. I think that those of us who think about this on the very deepest level are probably not part of the problem. But it does not hurt us to search our souls and try to do the very best we can.

  2. I am definitely watching this, and like you, I think about my state of being and how I can do better and be better all the while knowing I am damaged and imperfect...

  3. well, yes to all this. the same link came across my newsfeed as well but it didn't make me angry. well, it didn't make me angry that I was being stereotyped because I am as white as it gets, not only in my upbringing which was upper middle class (at the time) but my DNA is all northwestern European...all but 2% Jewish which I figured came from the German part. anyway, I digress. I didn't feel angry for the same reason Vergil doesn't. and I understand that those women are OK with it because they benefit from it and were socialized to accept it. but mostly I think because they benefit from it. I supposed all us white women do but our socialization was different or didn't take hold and we accept the humanity and equality of all people regardless of color of skin or social position or sexual orientation. maybe it also depends on the state you live in. it would be interesting to see a breakdown of percentage of white women support for the white supremacy by state.

    1. Do you suppose that if they actually framed a survey with the words "white supremacy" that over half of the white women really would say they supported it? I just can't believe that.
      But I thank you for your words, Ellen. They helped.

  4. At one point I was going to write in a post that I'd had no idea how many racist people were among us. Then I realized that I didn't know because I am protected by white privilege. Racists don't bother me because I'm white. It kind of brought me up short.

    1. Yeah. Although we can certainly see examples of it everywhere. But it doesn't directly affect us. It does, however, in the end, affect everyone.

  5. Interesting! I've never heard of Nanette but it looks AMAZING. I'll definitely watch it!

    I know what you mean about the feeling you got when you read your pal's Facebook post. (Although it did say MOST white women, not ALL white women. I feel like you're an independent thinker and definitely not in the MOST camp.) I sometimes feel defensive during conversations among women regarding "Me Too" because, of course, I am a man, although I'm a gay man so I think that sets me a bit apart. Bottom line: Generalizations are always flawed. Always. Except generalizations about Republicans. :)

    1. "Generalizations are always flawed."
      Amen to that.
      I wonder if anyone a hundred years ago worried about these things? I'm sure they did. People who belonged to the anti-slavery movement who were related to slave owners, etc. It's all so complex.

  6. I always welcome other's perspectives, like you, I don't really attach to any of them- perhaps that is the residue of the good old days of mushrooms and lsd that shifts everything - shakes it down to zero. I am grateful when it is pointed out to me that I have had a wrong idea, which has happened a few times in the past few years- I am always surprised but do learn and do not dwell on what an asshole I may have been. And Steve is correct, as usual, the party of RUMP!!!

    1. I got up on my high horse some time ago when Jessie told me that I am very judgemental. I said, "No I am not! I am just very opinionated!"
      Semantics are everything, I guess.

  7. This post is part of why I love you. In truth women of color were shaken that so many white women voted republican, they thought it would have been different given the occupant of the White House and his all purpose misogyny, but change happens slowly and all things considered the midterms were a big progressive step forward. At least by my lights. And that’s the rub isn’t it? We are each the sum of our being and experiences. It’s true that Trump’s nationalist outlook is more dangerous for families like mine. But while I don’t have white privilege, I’m aware that I do have other kinds of privilege that are protective. In the end we each have to decide the degree to which we choose to be our brothers and sisters keepers. I wish all families were as open hearted and woke and willing to self examine as you and yours. And please kiss that happy boy’s head for me and tell him happy birthday! And your pictures of Maggie and August are divine.

  8. I will watch it, if we have it here. I read an New YOrker article today about the phenomenon of the 'large adult boy' that became a meme, and is typified by Donald Trump Jnr. It's a very astute observation on the modern manchild. None of the men in your family could ever be thought of as such, obviously - nor the littler boys either.

  9. I watched Nanette expecting a typical comedy routine. I was almost undone by her show. I really want to hug her. She is brilliant. Glad you found her too. So glad you and your people are on the planet! xo

  10. I wish I lived next door and could come over and talk with you about all of this.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.