Tag Archives: Independence Day

Happy Birthday, Amuurica

Today is the day Americans, or North Americans anyway, celebrate independence from England.  I’ve said this before, but I don’t know if there’s ever been a year to my recollection when it’s been more true.  England has to be celebrating independence from us.

There goes the country . . .

Still, all I had to do was look at a newspaper yesterday to see that we still have reasons to celebrate, though we’ve done our best to bury them lately.  For one thing, we aren’t embroiled in a civil war.  No army has beaten down our houses, murdered us, and forced our children to fight.  That is real and happening in the Sudan right now.  I’m not just talking about teenagers here, but little children.

But there is no time for the Sudan – Trump tweeted again!  And it was a stinker, whew.  The latest was a video of him superimposed over a wrestler.  Because we all know he’s in shape.  And he’s beating the crap out of another wrestler, labeled CNN (fake news!)  Goody!  Nothing like literally showing violence toward the news media just days before we celebrate the fact that we have free press in this country.  We also have democratic elections with the exception of the Russian hacking that is becoming more apparent by the day, and the gerrymandering that politicians, especially Republican ones, use to their advantage.

Here’s a clip not just of the juvenile tweet (I’m so happy he has this kind of time on his hands to make videos like this) but also of the reaction of one of his advisors.  Yes, he applies suction fast enough, but as the video points out, he can’t hide his immediate reaction which is priceless.  Just imagine what the other countries think of us now!  By the way guys, I am not with him!

Our mighty president has finally gone far enough that even the Republicans, who up till now have been pretty spineless about disciplining him, have spoken up.  Trumpy again insulted a woman based on appearance, saying Mika Brzezinski, co-host of Morning Joe, was bleeding from plastic surgery.  She hasn’t had plastic surgery, but even if she had, who the hell says that?  I mean, besides someone used to bullying everyone around him to get his way?  Certainly not a president.  Several high ranking government officials from both parties have said essentially “For God’s sake, you’re killing us here, please grow up.”

The worst thing is that with Trump being such an imbecile, people are distracted from some very serious issues today, including healthcare.  Obama helped put the idea that healthcare is a RIGHT into peoples’ heads, as it should be.  Those people murdered in the Sudan?  That was during war.  Throwing people off of health insurance is effectively murder as well.  Poor children can die without medical care.  They can lose their parents or grandparents young.  And everyone needs health insurance because you never know when you could get hit with something out of the blue.  Cancer, Heart Disease, and Mental Illness, all of which require costly treatment, don’t send you warning letters years ahead of time.  And even if you are always healthy, you still need to pay into health insurance because that is how they pay for the truly sick people.  Just like how you pay into Social Security because elderly people who raised you need care now.  You might have heard it before – it’s called being a Christian, or simply a decent human being.

Food and medical care? But that baby’s poor! Get a job, Jesus!

My title isn’t an accidental typo.  I’m spelling phonetically, like the man in the commercial for red, white and blue pancakes who claims in a dramatic slur that they taste like “Amuuurica.” Credits to the nostalgia critic for finding this gem.  I am crying tears of patriotism.

I’m not sure what America tastes like, but these days it might have a slightly bitter taste.  Best drown it down with some beer.  The right kind of beer of course.

“Nothing says ‘America’ like an ice-cold can of mass-produced beer.” – USA Today

Drink while you try to figure out what the heck Google means with their 4th of July salute.

Are the animals trying to declare their independence from us too, or what?  Either way, have a good holiday even if you don’t celebrate.  My house celebrated Canada Day because it sounds nice up there, except for the cold.  We could cuddle with your Prime Minister.  Oh, wait, that’s not very patriotic . . . Happy 4th!

~Alice

 

 

Independence Day

“Talk about your revolution.  It’s Independence Day.”

         Martina McBride

fireworks

Recently, I’ve come to know some new bloggers.  I’ve also gotten to know some better than I did before.  And that’s because someone spoke out.  Her name is Calamity Rae.  She writes about abuse, and how people are bullied into being quiet.  She’s not being quiet anymore.

“Some folks whispered and some folks talked

  But everybody looked the other way.”

How often do we do this?  I don’t like confrontation, I really don’t.  In fact, I’m actually much less brave as myself than I am as Alice.  But Alice and the writer behind her are not so far apart.  We get closer everyday, and I get braver every day.  You see, I’m generally a very meek person.  Don’t laugh, I really am.  When I am picked on, I get quiet.  I let it happen.  I am the perfect victim, because bullies know they can get away with it.  They know I’ll be too afraid to confront them, especially when they hold some sort of power.  And that, my friends, is how they get even more power.  Silence.

A little over a year ago, I became friends, or I thought I did, with a blogger.  He called himself Le Clown.  Do you know how hard it was to type that sentence right there, to point out that name?  Again, I hate confrontation.  And I will not bring this subject up again.  I know it’s exhausted.  But I also know that I will not feel right until I give my view on it.

We met during a blogroll contest.  It was goofy and a lot of fun.  So many people got into it.  You see, his blog was like this big virtual playground.  People met, got to know one another, followed each other, became friends.  Friends built around one figure, this benevolent guy who promoted other people.  After jumping through dozens of weird hoops, along with others so it wasn’t quite so strange, I actually made it onto his coveted blogroll.  I only did so with the help of other bloggers.  People liked me, and gave me their clown noses.  Yeah, that’s how the points were counted.

He seemed like a genuinely nice, funny guy.  Maybe he was and he changed.  I don’t really know for sure.  But things started changing when he was freshly pressed, and quickly afterward, so were many of his circle.  I was once a part of that circle, but I did not get the honor several others were getting.  It stung a little, but I tried to be a good sport about it.  Then I saw a blogger who’d been pressed for the fourth time, and her attitude about it was atrocious.  She basically yawned about the honor so many wanted.  So I wrote a post about it, mostly stating that I felt like WordPress should give the many other great writers a chance first, before going with the same few people over and over.

This displeased the clown.  He let me know in a comment.  It was the first negative comment I’d ever gotten, and it wasn’t the only one.  I took down my post and put up one explaining why.  Then I got people who said “Hey, why take it down?  You have a right to your opinion.”  So I decided to put it back up.  Okay, it wasn’t my proudest day, but I figured, no big deal.

Oh, but it was a big deal.  I got an email right after from Le Clown that stated that I had just been defriended on facebook, and my blog unfollowed.  He said I made him uncomfortable, and that I was rude, not funny.  It was like someone had pulled the rug out from under me.  Here I thought I had found a fun, safe place to be.  And then someone I admired, someone I trusted, just told me my writing was no longer for him. But not just that.  He told me I was bothering him somehow, and had been for a while.  .  It made me feel horrible.  I was not only a lousy writer, I was some annoying gnat that bothered him?

I have depression.  My writing is too much a part of me, but it’s the most important thing in my life, and always has been.  I don’t blame him for my depression, or for my identifying too much with my art.  But his words did set off a depressive spiral that took a long time to return from.  In fact, I don’t think I ever felt over it until Rae wrote her post.

You see, after I was dumped from the “cool table”, I continued to follow his followers.  So many of his friends were my friends.  I saw him honor them with guest posts and other accolades.  Each time it felt like a dart to the heart.  Why wasn’t I included?  What had I done that was so wrong?  Other people said stuff far worse than I ever had.  Why was he mad at me?  How had my writing become bad so suddenly?

I wanted to talk to someone, and I tried a couple of people, but they all had the same opinion.  Shut up.  No one will believe you over him.  It will sound like sour grapes.  He’s too powerful, has too many followers.  So I did shut up, and I kept it all inside.  And it threatened to swallow me whole.

I know I sound overdramatic, and I know that I have not gone through anything truly terrible like so many others have.  I have several blogger friends who write about abuse they’ve suffered, abuse no one should ever have to endure.  Some stay anonymous out of fear, rightly felt, that their abuser might find them again.  Some choose to show themselves.  I admire these people so much.  I don’t think I could be that strong in their situation.

But the sad thing is that there are those who prey on those who have already been victimized.  They have radars.  They spot the weak.  I know this because I’ve been the bullied, meek little mouse most of my life.  I have always wanted to please people, have searched for approval everywhere I go.  Never would I dare fight back – what would they think of me?  It was the same with the blog.  How can I say anything?  That would be social media suicide.

Rae knew this as well, but she spoke up anyway.  What happened to her was far worse.  He’d said things to her that were disgusting, and uncalled for, and when she protested, he didn’t stop.  But it was the public lashing Le Clown had his friends give one of her friends that got her to speak out.  Often we will do for others what we will not do for ourselves.

So she outed him.  Not with stories or anecdotes or hearsay, but with actual evidence.  Screenshots of emails with his face, his words.  Yet people will still deny that it’s real.  People will still look away.

But not everyone will.  When I saw that she was brave enough to stand up, I felt the least I could do was comment.  So after some trepidation I briefly told my story.  And then, to my amazement, a few more people did.  And then more people.  Many of these people I knew, yet I’d had no idea they too had been bullied and pushed around by him.  All this time, we could have been helping each other.  But we kept quiet.  Because that’s what good people do, right?

Yet when her post went up, we found each other.  Rae held up her one candle.  It was one tiny light in the darkness.  But other candles joined hers, and the light got brighter and brighter. People got braver and braver.  They joined in the chorus. Some wrote their own posts.  Others reblogged.  Some people reblogged the reblogs.

“Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing

  Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning.”

Rae has gotten quite a bit of flack from all of us “teaming up” on one person.  But they don’t understand that he has teamed up on so many, using his followers to put people in their place.  Over and over again.  If he is the victim now, it is only because he victimized so many others.  Karma really is a bitch.

“Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong

 Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay

  It’s Independence Day”

At this moment, it seems his blog is shut down.  I don’t know if it will stay that way.  I’m sure he’ll be back, and have more followers eventually.  And I know there are many who still support him, and that’s their choice.  I don’t blame people for not speaking up, because it is very scary.  But for those that did, I thank you, more than you will ever know.  For once, I feel like there has actually been some justice.

“Maybe it’s right and maybe it’s wrong

  But maybe it’s the only way

  Talk about your revolution

  It’s Independence Day.”

Alice’s Independence Day Special

Today is the 4th of July, or “Independence Day” in America.  Some people forget this is actually just a holiday in America, not the entire planet.  Although, come to think of it, these days I bet Britain is also celebrating getting rid of us.  I came very close to being a sesquicentennial baby (my birthday was on June 29th thanks for remembering about that super soaker I asked for oh WAIT you didn’t) as I was born in the year 1976.

And 200 years later, ME!

And 200 years later, ME!

Two-hundred years before my entrance into this crazy world, there were a bunch of colonists getting their pantaloons in a wad.  See, Britain had paid a crapload of money to ship off people to colonize this great country that was technically already colonized by Native Americans, or “Indians” as Columbus brilliantly called them since he had the directional sense of a blind raccoon.  My point is, Britain had invested lots of money in an overseas project and it was, as usual, costing a wee bit more than the government had figured it would. So they were like who else can we tax for this?  We taxed the heck out of Britian already oh hey WAIT I have an idea!

So they taxed the tea they sent us. That’s right, our friggin’ TEA, people.  Nevermind that we could have say, drank water; tea was our right as British citizens!  The colonists didn’t want to pay the tax because we were not being represented properly in Britain.  At least that sounded like a good reason not to pay taxes.  If they had just allowed us to vote for people we had no clue about into office and stuff (like we do today!) we’d have been all happy and paid the tax.  I’m sure of it.  It’s not like people don’t like taxes or something.

A tax on tea, that's MAD!

A tax on tea, that’s MAD!

So a bunch of guys (yes, guys, the women were busy washing their freaking pantaloons) got together and decided to dress up like “Indians” and dump a bunch of tea into the Boston harbor, thus beginning a long tradition of pollution.  A little over two-hundred years later, another group of wackos would decide to call themselves the “Tea Party” in honor of the first people to dress up in weird costumes and pollute water in order to whine and moan about the government.

This annoyed the British (they wasted TEA dangit!) so they decided to put naughty Massachusetts under the charge of the British army.  That would keep them in line. I mean there’s no way they’d still be stockpiling weapons or anything oh WAIT.  So the British army confronted some local colonial militia and traded bullets.  This was the “shot heard round the world” by people with incredibly good hearing.  The British also didn’t like that we’d kinda made our own government too, called the Continental Congress, so they called us traitors to the crown and said now we were really totally grounded, like forever.  We didn’t like that, so we decided we’d be our own nation.  Suck it, mom and dad – I mean, Britain!

Heard a disturbance in the Force, I did.

Heard a disturbance in the Force, I did.

This “Declaration of Independence” happened on July 4, 1776 which is what we’re celebrating, not actually winning our independence from Britain.  That would come in 1783 when the British finally said oh heck with it and went back to their tiny, rainy country.  In between, there was a lot of bloody fighting, and we Americans love to tell the story about how our ragtag bunch of farmers defeated one of the major superpowers of the world.  We’re so proud of our history that some people actually believe that July 4th is when we won independence, not when we declared it.  We would also use this declaration, and the constitution and bill of rights that came after it, in practically every argument we would ever have again ever.  Even if the argument is about mayonnaise.

But how did this ragtag group defeat such a great and powerful army?  Here’s a few things we had on our side.flag border

  • An ocean.  We didn’t have to cross it just to go fight them.
  • France. Their entering the war on our side was one big “nanner, nanner” to Britain.
  • The British fought like civilized people, marching in line with bright red “I’m a target” uniforms, thus allowing us uncivilized colonists to hide in the bushes and pick them off like ducks in a barrel.
  • Scurvy.  The British Navy suffered great losses because they weren’t given FRUIT.
  • Meanwhile, the allies of the French (Spain and the Dutch Republic) were battering Britain back home.  Maybe they shouldn’t have ticked off so many other countries first . . .flag border

That’s not all, but I’m tired so I’ll stop there.  This is a day that we Americans celebrate the creation of our country.  But we should also remember that we didn’t do it alone.  Without Britian, many colonists wouldn’t have been here to begin with, and without the support of France, Spain, the Dutch, and many others, we probably wouldn’t have won that war. It also wasn’t independence for everyone – that would come much later for the black men and women we kept as slaves and the women of all colors whose voices we silenced.  And it would come at the cost of the independence of the Native Americans.

So today we celebrate by waving our flags and being all patriotic.  There will be fireworks, and parades, and barbecues, and probably more than one beer, firework, and barbecue related accident.  It’s the American way.

happy fourth