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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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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Keep The Oil In The Ground ~ why #NoDAPL

What can I say when the video says it all. AmazonWatch

This is why oil should stay in the ground.

This is why no one needs another pipeline.

This is why protectors are standing strong at Standing Rock in North Dakota and Iowa to protect water and earth.

This matters to everyone on Earth.

 

Time out for a laugh track break: a special message from MoveOn.org > Laughter Trumps Hate brigade’s Open Call for Funny People. Really!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Roll out your own barrel of laughs.

Try out your chops serving up a hearty dish of political satire.

It’s been brought to my attention that comedians are called to duty at MoveOn.org to slice and dice politics as they deem fit.

There is no entry fee. Everyone is welcome to enter–newbies and hard-core satirists alike. Satire is not required but it’s appreciated. You can be just flat out funny.

But time is running out and you must submit a video by August 11, 2016. So get crackin’ all you wise-arses with bells to ring and whistles to blow!

Rules and submission tools at MoveOn.org.

Get your video rolling ASAP!

Aldrey’s Mirate ~ Look At Yourself

Return to blogging round two:

Hola!

I’m back–again.

If you enjoyed Aldrey’s high energy up-lifting La Lista — which now has over a million views on the tubes of you–yeah, he got his audience of 80,000 and then some since my first posting of that positive spirit booster–I think you’ll appreciate this song-video about a serious image issue for women–Mirate. Posted on August 13, 2015 this video is racking up some serious views–91,620 as of this posting. If it strikes a chord with you then please take a moment to share it with ladies of all ages in your life.

How can you resist? Hmm? 🙂

AldreyMusica

Shh, don’t tell anyone what Missouri Gov. Nixon is up to with $6 Million he’s denying to Libraries. What does Nixon want to do with the library funding? Only Nixon–and his cohorts know.

Choose your own reading adventure about Gov. Nixon’s efforts to defund the public library system:

Okay if you want a nice and polite run down of what’s going on with $6 Million in funds for the public libraries in Missouri — visit this lively link to Chris Arnone’s piece at BookRiot:

http://bookriot.com/2015/03/27/missouri-governor-nixon-putting-libraries-peril/#

Missouri teens got a real fact check in how politicians operate and how much they rate on the Missouri Governor’s value scale on March 18, 2015 when the Governor’s staff lied to them about the governor being out-of-state and threatened to have them escorted out of their offices by State Troopers.  You can read all about that shindig at BookRiot.

If you’re pressed for time, Chris Arnone has these suggestions for voicing your support for the libraries without threat of State Trooper escort:

 

  • Sign the two petitions on iPetition and Change.org.
  • Call Governor Nixon’s office at 573-751-3222.
  • Send letters or postcards to Nixon’s office: Office of Gov. Jay Nixon, P. O. Box 720, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
  • Head over to http://www.governor.mo.gov/ and click “Get Involved.”
  • Use the hashtag #SaveMOLibraries on social media.

Now for the not so nice and not polite reading adventure.

Damn how I love being able to connect with people everywhere via the internet.  I’m lucky enough to have my own damn computer and private access that I can use any time I want 24/7. I’m also aware that there are many people in my local area who are not so damn fortunate. I’m reminded of this fact every time I visit the Kansas City, Missouri Public Library and see a fully packed computer room offering access to the internet for people who are not so damn lucky as myself.  There’s always a waiting list and there are always people waiting for their online time. Many of them are looking for employment. Someone is always using the computers designated for creating resumes. Others are doing the exact same thing you are right now without giving it a second thought–enjoying surfing the net and flying around in cyberspace. In addition to these people there are those who bring their laptops to take advantage of the wireless access on site. My award wining public library is one damn electronic hot spot.

Why would anyone who values an informed and literate population want to deny people access to electronic information?

Yikes–conspiracy theories abound! 1984 anyone? Hmm? No need to ban books, just deny internet access.

For now I’ll fly with the people who deny access to others are people who prefer an ignorant, uneducated, uniformed bunch of dumbed down voters who are easily manipulated and controlled.

Am I suggesting that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is this ilk of politician?

Am I?

Well why else would he deny first $2,789,225 million in  2014 library funding then follow that up with withholding all of the state appropriated library funds of 2015 to the tune of $3,109,250 million?

Those funds provide libraries with everything needed for remote electronic access aka the REAL Program.

Imagine your life without your electronic connection–the very one you are enjoying right now as you read this on your internet connection of choice wherever you are.

What the fuck is Gov. Nixon up to with these millions of dollars? Does he have a fundraiser in mind? Who is he paying off?

Maybe his staff would like to monetarily thank the Missouri State Troopers for their on call assistance for escorting NON-professional, NON-corporate lobbyists out of their offices when they come, with appointments, to discuss their concerns about what’s really going on in Nixon’s brainbox?

Perhaps Gov. Nixon just can’t stand teenagers with fully functioning minds enabled by equally concerned adults snooping around the state capital looking for some answers and questioning some “family” values.

Aside: Last week I had some of those nice people who like to share the good word door to door. I told them they should go to the state capital and share their words with those folks. The older gentleman escorting and mentoring the two very clean-cut young whippersnappers practicing their word sharing said, and I quote: “They aren’t interested in listening to us.”

Hmm, according to Arnone over at Book Riot some elected officials were interested in hearing what was on the library supporting teenagers’ minds. I guess those might have been the ones who realize these young people will be voting in a few years and possibly becoming engaged in political issues as adults.

Clearly Gov. Nixon doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what book reading, literate, computer savy teenagers think or do–unless it involves sex education,. Oopsy daisy–can you get that kind of info on the internet? Hell yeah, you can.

Shit! The clock is ticking and I have an event to attend at the local library branch where, in addition to the wonderful group of people who work there, I’ll meet some of the other people who participated in the adult reading program face to face.  I’ll come back to cyberspace later–after library hours, in the wee hours of the morning or late at night or in the middle of the day. Any time I want electronic access I’ve got it. Not everyone does. They ONLY get it from the public library.

What are you up to with all those millions that belong to the public libraries, not just the big ones but the little ones too where someone is searching for everything libraries offer in this electronic age, Gov. Jay Nixon? Hmm? Nothing good, says my cynical mind, nothing good at all.

Please share the word about this monetary crisis threatening the public libraries in Missouri via your electronic devices and favorite social media vices. You don’t have to live in Missouri to share the information. Heads up, your public library funds may be on the funnel tunnel to somewhere else too–if they haven’t already gone done that pipe.

Visit the Kansas City Public Library at  http://www.kclibrary.org/ to get a gander of what they’re doing soooo very very right.

Tweet Away!

Thank you for sharing.

I’ll be back.

Yeah, Bear, I will. 🙂

 

Hunger ~ It Comes In Many Packages

Yeah, I’m a running a tad behind with this round of theme music, Hunger.  These things happen when you don’t pay attention to what day of the week it is AND you leave your timer somewhere out of sight so you can’t press the set hour time alarm button.  I have no idea where the little green device is–except that it is somewhere in the house. Somewhere being the operative word.  Time seems to be what I hunger for the most lately. As for hunger for food–don’t get me started.  Other hunger costs more than a quarter a day to satisfy.

alt- J ~ Hunger of the Pine ~

*

Bob Wayne ~ Hunger In My Soul from Till the Wheels Fall Off

*

As soon as I read Bear’s theme choice was hunger this song came to mind–so here it is, complete with a fun fan compiled visual handbook . . . . hmmmm, yeah.

Meatloaf ~ You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)~

*

I couldn’t resist–sorry. Not.

Feed Me Seymour ~ Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors © Geffen Company / Warner Brothers
Sung by Rick Moranis as Seymour & Levi Stubbs as Audrey II

*

Reality Checks In:

Birds of Tokyo ~ This Fire

What can you buy with twenty-five cents?  One answer is at — The World Food Programme’s 10 Hunger Facts for 2014:

http://www.wfp.org/stories/10-hunger-facts-2014

*

I’ve spent some time on the fence arguing with myself about including this dark hunger story from MadArstistPublishing.  It’s here, enough said. Right?

music = Turkey in the Straw

Who’s Hungry?

MadArtistPublishing

History ~~ Ouch–It Hurts! ~~ What’s Columbus Got To Do With Anything In 2014?

 

 

 

ACT I:

~In 1482, Columbus sailed the ocean blue~

He was Bad News for the Taino People ~

But some people don’t want to think about that reality.

~Why not?

Because then they’d  have to learn a new history.

~Ooops–but isn’t history supposed to be true and honest?

Depends on who is using which facts to support which version of what happened.

~Are you saying people manipulate facts to suit their own agendas?

Me? Why would I ever say something like that? It might be politically incorrect, and we can’t have that, can we?

~Hmm, but what’s Politically Correct for one group isn’t necessarily PC for another group. And people do have a tendency to abuse PC everywhere in order to create conflict and sometime even abuse other people who had no intentions of abusing anyone. There’s been some very rough irony involved in demands for PC over the years.

No way! Who would do something like that?

~Who doesn’t? Come on, look at the conservative media, the scared shitless media, the controlled media, the alternative media, the foreign media, the underground media, the social media–everyone spins everything to suit their vision of reality, right?

Do you think that’s what pissed off those high school kids in Colorado so much that they pretested in the streets about changes in what history would be taught?

~What do you think?

I’m not sure yet. But–I do recall what happened in Arizona with the Mexican-American Studies program being shut down because it presented a different viewpoint of history than what the TPTB wanted taught in schools.

~Hey, are you saying there’s a conspiracy to teach lies in American schools?

Look, I don’t go in for conspiracy theories.  But I don’t think this is a coincidence either.  Maybe it’s just like minds acting out in similar ways.  Or not.

~ Like minded people, right. Ah ha.

ACT II:

Lie. Lie. Lie.

Deny lying and lie some more.

Because if the truth is known the people might rebel.

There’s a very good chance they’ll refuse to be cannon fodder.

They might even learn other languages in order to talk to the rest of the world about issues that affect everyone.

Or not.

ACT III:

*

*

Howard Zinn on Honesty In History

*

Humor ~~ Warning! Contains Sarcasm, Irony and Questioning of Authority

If you’re still in the dark about the history curriculum issue in Colorado:

http://www.vice.com/read/colorado-students-are-fighting-a-patriotic-white-washing-of-us-history-929

As for the Mexican-American Studies Program in Arizona, check this out from Buzzfeed’s David Noriega:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidnoriega/arizona-schools-chief-ousted#35ypfte

 

Epilogue:

Am I spinning the facts? Me? No way.  Why would I do something like that?

P.S.

A few of the many Italian things I really like:

Friendly Italian people

Pizza

Florence, Italy

Pasta

Sandro Botticelli, artist ~ http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/botticelli/

~~No, I’m not going to talk about the Pope or the Vatican. One should never discuss religion. It’s very Un-PC. Or it used to be. I’m not sure anymore.

 

 

 

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