The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos ~ Review of one hell of a fully justified rant rampage from Macy Cashmere, The Girl reporting directly from the Cultural Crime Scenes.

Yesterday was International Women’s Day so what could be more appropriate than advocating reading than a book which lays out the ongoing conditions under which many girls and women do not thrive in our world while fighting to survive despite the odds against them? Via chapters presented as entries of significant words and phrases in The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary writer NoNieqa Ramos takes you directly into the inner world of Macy Cashmere–named for the store and the fine wool used in luxury clothing items–who puts the survival skills of the likes of Laura Croft Tomb Raider to shame.  Suffice it to say that Macy has truly mad survival skills and an equally mad will to thrive no matter what the world throws, literally, at her.  Now there’s one thing that’s crucial for you, the reader, to keep in mind: Macy’s world IS our world, your’s and mine, no matter what your level of reality denial may be based on the specific context in which you live, this is the truth. Savage Inequalities is not only the title of Jonathan Kozol’s indictment of educational inequity in America–which still exists. Savage inequalities is one way of describing the nature of the vastly differing statuses between females and males—unequal on multiple levels and viciously savage from the home-front to the war-fronts.  Macy’s dictionary presents an indictment not of the educational system which far too often serves as an overburdened safety net for children, but of American culture which treats girls and women as sexual objects for exploitation and male gratification. If you don’t agree then quite possibly you’re living in a vacuum without a cleaner.  I’m not going to argue the point as the media lays it all out there every day with ongoing reality checks from real life—no need for reality television shows which are pure fantasy yet often reflect this sad state of affairs. Now that that fundamental piece of ugly truth has been laid out (no sexual allusion intended) let’s let Macy take the lead. This is a first person narrative which speaks to readers without pulling any punches. Actually it throws very hard punches. Consider your children very lucky, and very privileged, if they have a home, stable family life, enough food to eat –at home–, access to a quality education, and your undivided attention whenever they need it. Macy Cashmere has none of these essentials.  Macy is a designated “problem child” at school where she speaks her mind very freely–and is willing to pay the consequences for doing so. She knows the in-school behavior drills so well that at times she pushes the office buzzer herself after crossing lines.  If she didn’t have such a strong voice and immense willpower who would pay any attention? School is not perfect, but it does throw life lines to Macy via the likes of Miss Black who sees and hears far more of Macy than she lets on and does what she can to feed and support Macy mentally, emotionally and physically. Oh the power of music, never underestimate it. Jazz pulls Macy’s trigger in all the right ways upon her first hearing of  John Coltrane, A Love Supreme in Miss Black’s class.

Macy’s home world might be described as a mix of David Simon’s Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets of Baltimore and Dick Wolf’s Law & Order’s SVU–yes, it’s full of sex crimes and violence.  If you think I’m pushing this too far, well, Simon’s book and Wolf’s series kept coming to mind while I followed Macy through her world. So that’s that–the power of references for creating connections. The difference is that it’s all seen and told from the viewpoint of a young teenage girl–not from the perspective of adults.  Adult perspectives trickle in via Macy’s observations but they do NOT drive this narrative in her very personalized dictionary format. The chapter titled “I Have A Dream” has nothing to do with Martin Luther King’s speech except perhaps as its utter antithesis.  Yet, Macy’s world is one created by adults–and not just her parents–and a system devised by adults and perpetuated by adults–and fought by other adults.  Macy is a girl who knows how to effectively put to use whatever comes to hand to deal with important problems like a visit from CPS and the entrapment of her best friend by an oh so caring “uncle”: an all-purpose cleanser, a slave’s machete, a bag of cocaine. Make no mistake, nothing holds Macy back when she sets out to protect those she loves: her brother Zane, her friend George, her best friend Alma–for whom being Gifted & Talented is not enough to ensure escape from poverty, not by a long shot.

As if violence, drugs and wrecked home life aren’t enough challenges for the girls Macy represents there’s the entire SEX package to contend with. What matters to the males of our species? Breasts, bodies, and booty calls—those are what females are for–bottom line, that’s it.  Brains never come into the picture. Heart never comes into the picture. It’s all a sex end game never-ending.  At least that’s what Macy observes from her mother’s efforts to survive and the prostitutes like Velvet working the streets. Yes, Macy has issues with her mother. Issues so big they’re ethically trying.  Ironically, Velvet does more looking out for Macy than her mother seems capable of on a good day with or without her “guests” who provide the necessities of life when Macy’s father goes to prison.  Perhaps it’s because one good turn deserves another thinking–or maybe it’s just plain decency and fair play in Velvet’s books. Just because you’re stuck in the sex for hire business in order to eat doesn’t make you a bad person—far from it. But who would Velvet be with other options? What would Macy’s mother do with positive options? Think about that. Who would you be with no positive options in your life? Why do we do the things we do–and don’t? Macy’s dictionary entry:

Why

Noun: Reasons 1 and 2

Why do I hate? Because it’s so much easier than love. Because hate is reality. Love is a fantasy.

Why do I write? Le me break it down. Teacher Man taught us about something called haves and have-nots.

 

Via the words that really matter and their meanings for this very “disturbed girl”, Nonieqa Ramos deftly gives Macy Cashmere not just a voice but a ROAR impossible to ignore.  Ramos does this so effectively that her writing makes it look easy–the sign of real greatness in every art and skill. It’s not difficult to read the writing and words on the pages–but it gets downright nerve-racking to take in the content the words portray. Macy Cashmere’s dictionary is disturbing—it’s supposed to be. It’s a book meant to shake you up and rattle your brain pan. Macy Cashmere is here to wake people up not lull them into sleep at bedtime. How would you go about saving your best friend from the worst daily grind you can imagine? What are machetes for? I don’t think that qualifies as a spoiler. Hmm, naw, just a hook for Macy’s line of action in this microcosm of the world in which we live.  Have you asked your teenage girl what’s going in her life lately? If not, you need to get on that right now, because the issues faced by Macy Cashmere are everywhere.  If you don’t know what those issues are then you need to read The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary asap because it’s only a matter of degrees.

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Who sees a fire in their neighbor’s yard and walks off without doing anything? A young white dude who flips houses for a living, that’s who. Who does something? Hint: It was not a white dude.

For today’s Lunch:
One back yard fence line fire started by~
One older white male neighbor’s smoldering pit fire.
Who burns ‘whatever’ in a pit all day and night long when it’s been dry as hell?
An older white dude used to doing whatever he wants.
Late this morning–after I’d put out seed and water:
One younger white dude living in the house next to the fire starter’s saw the fire reach the wood pile along the fence.
Young white dude did nothing.
He thought it was “a grill thing”.
There is NO grill anywhere in sight in any yard.
It was our Mexican American neighbor, Edgar, who lives on the other side of the block who came to the front door and told me about the fire along the fence separating our yards.
He wanted to know if he could use the hose to put out the fire by the fence.
Together we went to work with shovels and hoses.
His wife called the electric company to alert them to the danger to the electric ‘box’ on the ground
There were English as a second language ‘language’ and location issues.
A map would have been very useful for the person answering the electric company phone. As in for seeing that the addresses on one side a block are on a different street than those on the other side of a block along another street. So much for Google maps if you’re working for the Power and Light Company.
We sorted that communication problem out via my resorting to what is commonly known as “bitch” mode in very loud English.
The Power and Light person kept repeating “Call 911.”
I asked her to call 911–she had the address–because WE , Edgar and I, were busy keeping it contained.
A man from Power and Light came to check the ground electric box.
The fire department did not put in an appearance.
The fire is out.
 
Which neighbors can I do WITHOUT?
~~~~~~
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Think of Standing Rock Today #WaterIsLife

Think of Standing Rock Water Protectors Today
#WaterIsLife
#NoDAPL
#HonortheEarth
#FreeRedFawn

Standing Rock
Today
Wherever YOU be
When YOU wash your face and hands think of Standing Rock
When YOU bathe your children think of Standing Rock
When YOU clean your food think of Standing Rock
While YOU go about Your day think of Standing Rock
When YOU drink water today think of Standing Rock
When YOU flush your toilet today think of Standing Rock
When YOU shower today think of Standing Rock
When YOU make coffee today think of Standing Rock
When YOU wash clothes today think of Standing Rock
When YOU drink tea today think of Standing Rock
When YOU turn on a hose today think of Standing Rock
When YOU see the sky today think of Standing Rock
When YOU walk on the Earth think of Standing Rock
When YOU are kissed by the wind think of Standing Rock
When YOU think of Standing Rock think of our sisters and brothers Protecting the Water.

 

~~~~~~~

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Monologue #2

Monologue #2
 
The upside of accepting an invitation to a social gathering far beyond your comfort zone:
You are reminded why you usually keep as far from the mainstream as possible:
 
Barefoot half-dressed children old enough to know better writhing on the floor of a busy restaurant while people evade stepping on them on the way to the buffet lines.
 
Tiny birdlike elderly women repeatedly filling multiple plates with food they nibble but do not eat.
 
Men of all sizes, ages and races bulking up on a never-ending flow of fried chicken, fake mashed potatoes, and ice cream.
 
Women of all sizes, ages and races eating a never-ending flow of pizza, ice cream and soda.
 
Children of all sizes, ages and races playing with enough food to supply all the free lunches for several schools for at least a week.
 
Employees unable to keep up with clearing plates, tables and filling the buffet stations. Even the flatware disappears moments after it appears.
 
The streets and parking lot are filled with whales of vehicles large enough to swallow your car whole–and then some. What is the gas mileage for such creations? Never mind–you really do not want to know at the moment.
 
In addition to all of the above, the promised group conversation is disturbingly disjointed,and disconnected among people who supposedly spend some time reading books for pleasure. “Supposedly” being highly suspect at this point. There is a studious evasion of any discussion of politics, climate change and #NoDAPL Standing Rock—
“Let’s not go there.”
 
“Why the hell not?”
 
“It makes us uncomfortable.”
 
“Besides, what is with those protesters?”
 
“Why can’t they be like everyone else? No, please, please, don’t answer.”
 
[What two words am I thinking but not saying–(or writing now)?]
 
Upon exiting the dysfunctional main stream stress level plummets to acceptable health levels.
 
To do:
Practice polite refusals for future reference until they are part of mental health survival kit and readily available for deployment for evading similar future engagements. After all, It is the ‘season’ when people want to be sooooo sweetly social.
 
BAH! And Hum Bug Too!
 
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Make Your Money Sing Solidarity With Standing Rock

H10 no black snake

https://nodaplsolidarity.org/

Yes! magazine’s list of Banks invested in ETP/DAPL 

How to Contact the People Sending Militarized Police to Standing Rock

Make this holy-day season truly meaningful. Stand with Standing Rock. Honor Our Mother Earth. Sing Water Is Life Loud and Clear.

 

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What’s Stopping You From Not Shopping on Black Friday?

Why not take a load off on the day after Thanksgiving, sleep in, then lounge around in your pajamas with family and friends?

Why not have a stress free no shop till you drop day this coming Friday?

Loiter in the living room listening to music, linger over leftovers, binge on favorite flicks, have a pumpkin pie party, play with your kids, spoon with your significant other, do anything but shop.

Why not?

Take some time out and chill out after all the political reality show insanity–which will probably still be ongoing when you return to the work week on Monday morning. If you need to detox this would be a good time to do it.

Tune out the non-stop advertising triggering your inner shop junkie addiction. Take another route to gift giving this season. Get creative and innovative about experiences, quality time, and engagement with those you love.

Why not give up emptying your wallet into the pockets of corporate CEOs?

Why not donate your time and/or money to a cause that you and a loved one believe in?

Why not spend the time you’d spend shopping for plastic toys actually playing with your children?

Why not invite friends over for a song and dance party as a gift?

Why not?

And if the corporate profit margins don’t cross the red line in to the black profit margin so what? What does corporate America do besides promote consumerism for its own executive gain? Oh and don’t forget that corporations pour money money money into politics for their own agendas serving only their interests. If you think they’re interested in serving your interests you’re delusional.

When you must shop, why not shop only at small, independent business struggling to compete with chain stores?

It’s all about value and values. What are yours?

One way to create positive change is to change how we spend our money–where, on what and why. Because yes money does talk–and we can direct the discourse when we make ours walk in directions of our choice.

So why not take the stress out of this Thanksgiving and take a time out from the tragic comedy aka political farce. Detox and recharge your personal batteries.

The bottom line is that no one really needs to shop at all this Friday.

Why not stay home and eat bonbons while watching all the episodes of Firefly then Serenity? Or whatever trips your stress relief trap.

Why not?

Detox. Refresh. Revive.

Oh and drink plenty of water because Water Is Life.

 

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PBS News Hour’s William Brangham Gets Energy Transfer Partners’ CEO Kelcy Warren, The Man Who Moves Crude Oil, Finally Talking About the Dakota Access Pipeline. #NoDAPL

PBS News Hour’s William Brangham questions Energy Transfer Partners’ CEO Kelcy Warren and Warren answers without dodging. It’s a must listen.

PBS New Hour 

Respect to PBS News Hour’s William Brangham for getting Warren out in the open and speaking his mind in full view of the public at large on public television.

Permit or not, it sounds like ETP/DAPL intends to do just as it pleases. Who is going to stop them? The Army Corps of Engineers?

Apparently not according to Myron Dewey’s drone video which shows the drill ‘appearing’ at 3:16 am on Nov. 16, after the statement by the Army Corps of Engineers for work to halt while they do their ‘research.’.

Myron Dewey on YouTube

#WaterIsLife

Hmm, yeah, let’s let this “play out for a couple of weeks” as President Obama says. Hmm. yeah, let’s do that while Kelcy Warren’s partners thumb their noses at everyone.

 

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Cake ~ Taste a Slice

 

Some times when you’re catching up on your list of films to view you discover the most unexpected things.

In the case of Cake the surprise is that Jennifer Aniston can truly act. As with Adam Sandler I find Aniston far more interesting in a drama than in simple minded comedy. Actually she’s more than interesting, she’s downright captivatingly great as a woman suffering physically, emotionally and mentally. If you’re in the mood to get a respite from the reality show otherwise known as election year politics and drama laced with biting comic overtones is a penchant then grab Cake wherever your film meals are served.

Oh, and Adriana Barraza is equally wonderful as Silvana, the only person capable of dealing with Aniston’s antics for the long haul.

In The River: A Protest Song by Raye Zaragoza ~#NoDAPL ~ Water Is Life

Published on Sep 15, 2016

Written and Performed by Raye Zaragoza
Recorded by Justin Hergett at The Forest Studios
Filmed by Roman Zaragoza
Images taken from online news publication & Los Angeles protest (taken by ThomasMichaelPhotography.com)

Donate at http://www.sacredstonecamp.org

http://www.rayezmusic.com

“We Are Part of the Natural World. ~ We are Power.” #NoDAPL

 

Film by Heather Rae, Cody Lucich and Ben Dupris
Posted by Sundance Film Festival
http://www.sundance.org/blogs/native-…

 

 

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