Nothing prepares you for ending the life of your best friend. Let alone making that unthinkable decision twice over the span of three weeks.
I told Honey’s story shortly after it happened. And I worried about her little brother Rusty. How would he deal with the loss, always watching the door for her to come waddling back through? How could I explain Honey wasn’t coming back when he’d never known a life without her for over 16 years?
“Today my heart is big and sore
It’s trying to push right through my skin
Won’t see you anymore
I guess that’s finally sinking in…”
-Patty Griffin, “Goodbye”
She was there. And then she wasn’t. I rolled over in bed this morning expecting to see her frosty face nestled into a blanket in her bed. But it was empty. Rusty was snuggled against my chest. We’re both broken.
I knew adopting senior dogs wouldn’t be easy. It meant less time together ultimately. And I had over 6 years with Honey. I thought I was prepared. I didn’t know it would hurt this much.
Donald Trump is a lot of things and none of them good: confirmed liar; probable pathological narcissist; admitted sex criminal; current president of the United States. He’s also a terrorist.
In an astutely observed op-ed for Teen Vogue, writer Lauren Duca outlines Trump’s strategy of questioning objective reality as synonymous with a psychological mode of manipulation and abuse known as “gas lighting.” The intended result is a victim who feels they are going crazy, dependent on the victimizer for guidance. Writ large, the gas lighting of the American people is intended to produce mass chaos and a populace dependent on a demagogue.
Going forward, there’s no such thing as good white people. Burn the idea to the ground. Dance on its ashes. It’s over, canceled, as Joanne the Scammer might say. The idea that there are “good white people” creates more harm than help; creates more defensiveness and need for validation on the part of white people than fostering empathy, concern, action.
I can already feel the #NotAllWhitePeople contingents’ spidey senses tingling. I can see their mouths already halfway to annunciating their disclaimer. But to say “not all white people” is only to make the conversation about you — the very white person that is objecting to being lumped in with other white people. Singling yourself out. Demanding attention. And isn’t that the toxicity of whiteness to begin with? Its hijacking of power and notoriety.
Beyoncé doesn’t simply release albums or perform shows; she creates events. Experiences. She stops the world. She changes the world. The Formation World Tour is certainly no exception. In fact, it’s the current crowning achievement in a career full of jaw-dropping, one-upping, seemingly-impossible feats. The Formation World Tour isn’t just a concert, it’s movement, through music. A monument to memory. The militant momentum of a missile disguised as missive. A mission. Magic.
It’s no great shock that the Grammys tend to skew racist, along with most other mainstream award shows. Oscars So White, right?! White mediocrity gets praised while some of the most creative, innovative, game-changing work by black women goes unrecognized. And I know it’s an honor just to be nominated, but nominations don’t always add up to much when the awards continue to be doled out to undeserving and under-talented musicians (and yes, I’m very much talking about Taylor Swift here). I also know awards don’t measure the quality of work or personal taste, but the social and cultural relevancy that come along with winning any of the major awards at the Grammys can’t be denied.
As a verb, “white” means to cover a mistake in printed copy. To erase that error. To start over, brand new. Blank. While mistakes by definition are the product of accident, a more insidious meaning also hovers. To censor something by whiting it out is to make something invisible to a certain targeted group on purpose. To willfully hide information.
Bessie Smith was one of the first black women to famously sing the lines, “There ain’t nothin’ I can do or nothin’ I can say / That folks don’t criticize me but I’m going to do / Just as I want to anyway / And don’t care what people say,” from the song “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do.” The song’s refrain concludes it “ain’t nobody’s business” what the hell Smith does. Other black female musicians, like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone followed suit and added the song to their repertoires.
The lines, when applied to black women in American society (and elsewhere) prove astutely emblematic of the overall dynamic a black woman faces from within an oppressive and hostile environment. When delivered by Smith and other black woman, the lines become black feminist critique leveled back at a society in which black women never receive credit, and always receive blame, regardless of their individual actions.
Yet another unfair and illogical attack on Beyoncé in relation to the recent Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) vote proves again that these lines stay as relevant as ever. In a piece for the Huffington Post titled “Beyoncé Ignored the LGBT Community in Houston,” Carlos Maza reframes Beyoncé’s longstanding choice not to actively engage in using her fanbase to campaign for specific electoral issues as an active abandonment and conscious disavowal of the LGBT community that makes up a large portion of her fanbase. Carlos, yours are most definitely fighting words.
Recently, Azealia Banks called a white Delta Airlines flight attendant a faggot after he prevented her from getting her bag and removing herself from a situation in which she felt unsafe. Video of the interaction surfaced and Banks became the center of another media firestorm. In a sea of knee-jerk condemnation, too few reports on the incident investigated power dynamics — namely that Banks is a young, bisexual black woman and was confronted by a white (presumably gay) man. That power differential must be overlaid on critique of her use of a homophobic slur in a moment when she felt threatened.
It’s no secret that I am obsessed with Janet Jackson’s new album Unbreakable. It’s no secret that I’ve been obsessed with Janet Jackson for as long as I can remember, sitting in front of my tape deck with a cassette of Rhythm Nation 1814; begging my mother to take me to the record store so I could buy a copy of janet. on CD with my own money; spending the rest of the day (and week and year) cross-legged in front of my stereo, devouring the lyrics, singing the songs, and during daring moments even jumping up to practice dance moves. So it’s fitting that Unbreakable is actually a return to Jackson’s most classic (and I would argue perfect) albums of the 1980s & 90s, from Control to The Velvet Rope and everything in between. It feels like not a moment has passed since those stellar albums and the release of Unbreakable. Yes, it is that good.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.