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.

35804751

Fast Food Workers Strike today! Solidarity! Greedy CEO Cats have FATTEST paychecks.

In Solidarity

While I am not a fan of fast food– I am a supporter of workers earning a living wage and their right to unionize.

Exploitation is Exploitation is Exploitation.

Greed is Greed.

Without the workers there would be NO fast food.

Who makes your burger and fries?

Not the rich CEOs who refuse to share the billions in  profits with the people who do the work.

Who makes $9,220 per hour?

CEOs.

Some fast food workers  LIVE on that amount of money for an entire year while working FULL time.

Finance Online

 

Can a CEO flame broil a burger or anything else? Would they ever work for the wages they pay their employees? I doubt it.

From Democracy Now! news coverage today, May 15, 2014.

&

Fast Food CEOs Oppose Worker Raises Despite Making 1,200 times More Than Average Employee

&

Democracy Now!’s web exclusive –Workers Charge McDonald’s With  Wage Theft

—> http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2014/3/19/video_fast_food_workers_charge_mcdonalds

Discover more Democracy Now! independent world wide news coverage  –> http://www.democracynow.org/

 

Please share in solidarity.

 

 

What’s Today? Oh yeah, Taino Genocide Day . . .

It’s 14, October, 2013.  Some people are celebrating what might be called a myth or a lie of epic proportions about a fellow named Christopher Columbus.  Shall we discuss irony? Manifest Destiny? Greed? The profit motive? Slavery? Genocide? Rape? Murder? Torture? Yeah, the man did it all according to his own words and those of his companions. So what exactly is being celebrated? I’m at a loss–unless it’s an extremely sanitized delusional story,  because the truth would scare the pants off all the little children if it were told in classrooms. Oh but excuse me, schools are not supposed to be about  truth or reality. Nor are books. Certainly not poetry.  so what.  Here’s some historical truth, some current ugly reality and some poetry that deals with both.

“Mic Check”

TheBigPictureRT TheBigPictureRT

Oops, “Reality Check.”

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To the Indigenous Woman – A poem by the 1491s (short version)

the1491s

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Bad Indians, a poem by Ryan Red Corn

redhandmedia

was told by those old ones
that every song has a special time and a place where its sang
this is our song
and this our time
they used to say the only good indian is a dead indian
i must be a no good at being indian
cuz I feel alive and kicking
we are the bastard reject children of manifest destiny
the offspring of fornicating aimsters
raised by our grandparents who told us
not to confuse being warriors with gangsters
the edward curtis groupies get jazzed by anyone fitting the bill
and America gets jazzed by every Bury My Heart at Walmart film
here i stand before you
this crowd of nations
this life of sanctions
an awkward patience
like five hundred BIA buildings vs. a fathers’ unfiltered hate
right next to the IHS building with a two and a half week wait.
a cinderblock battlefield where few are left standing
and the people its failing, its’ marginalized estate.
i am armed to the teeth with words from the ivory tower
and those good indians told me its borrowed power if…
if i talk loud enough
if i talk clear enough
that i would be heard
that for some talking is singing
that for some singing is praying
but i guess that depends on who is doing the talking
and i guess that depends on who is doing the listening
…so understand me in english,
you have been robbed of your tongues
the taproot of thought
in the middle of resisting
the language got caught
and she only shows her face during ceremony
like she’s ashamed of her scars
like what she has to say is never really heard. at all.
and the violence she knows is enough to never sing again
but i killed the cameraman and stripped him of his lense.
i photographed the body and asked him to forgive.
forgive me as i cut out your tongue
forgive me as i put you in this powdered wig
forgive me when i put your body in a museum
forgive me of all my sins
for not being a good indian
the balls of your forefathers will be traded for whiskey
to fuel the molotov cocktails to be tossed at your cities
and the breasts of your mothers severed and bloody
will be sold to the freak show for the revelers money
your children will witness their whole world collapse
as kidnapped siblings must erase names off maps
so forgive me of all my sins
for not being a good indian
i was taught better than that
i have more respect than that
there is no history book with my story
there is no newspaper to give me my glory
because no one has heard this language in years
cept kokopelli, dream catchers and a trail of beers
my voice is a small pox blanket
that spreads like fire on the prairie
infecting both fist and hatchet
in the spirit of fucking crazy

Lest you get the wrong idea with all this negative press, let’s end on a positive note from “all my relations”:

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Indigenous Love Words Project

the1491s

We asked one simple question: How do you say, “I Love You”, in your Indigenous language?

This is a crowd-sourced project organized by The 1491s. All footage was submitted by fans and supporters from throughout the world.

We say thank you to all those who submitted videos!! We are working on a succinct credits list, to be posted here, soon!!!!

Music Credit: “Kodi Track” by Frank Waln – https://soundcloud.com/f_waln_35/fran…

What are you doing on August 29, “Low Pay Is Not Okay” Day? Forget the burgers and fries cuz fast food ain’t gonna fly.

1912 to 2013 and the issues are rising again like bread and roses

Yeast and water

Soil and sun

Bread and Roses

Women and men to the streets again

Will this cycle never be done?

They’re not asking for your mansions, your jets, your yachts, your limos, your Rolex watches or you pearls

They’re asking for food, heat, housing and flowers.

Why do you have a problem with that?

Without workers there would be nothing made anywhere, anytime, anyhow.

Wait, this is America–the land of the outsourced company to other lands of  work till you’re dead opportunities.

Let’s outsource those burgers and fries and see how the toilet flushes then.

**

Why do those who profit most refuse to support those who make the profit possible?

If you cleared $ 5.5 Billion in profit what would you do with it?

Yeah, everyone has got to eat. What if you couldn’t get fast food for eight weeks straight anywhere? Would you be OVER the fast food addiction?

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Low Pay is NOT okay!   http://lowpayisnotok.org/about-us/

There is a petition to sign for support. http://lowpayisnotok.org/home-0819/

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The Bread and Roses Strike of 1912 began in January in Lawrence, Massachusetts when textile factory workers walked off the job and into the streets for weeks and weeks.  History –> http://breadandrosescentennial.org/node/77

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fair warning bootrappers

prepare to be strapped

 

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