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Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

Warning: This post contains use of extreme sarcasm.

Dear Certain White People:

Hi. Me again. You seem very defensive lately. Dare I say easily offended? Even fragile?

You say you feel attacked because of the color of your skin? Something you can’t change!

The nerve! How dare people judge you based on your appearance?

Let me assure you: You are a very special snowflake. Of course NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE are racist.

Surely no one can ever accuse you of racism when you are “just stating facts.” Like this:

And I FULLY understand that Aunt Jemima shouldn’t offend anyone as even her great grandson doesn’t want her image removed.

 

OF COURSE her image isn’t perpetuating the “mammy” stereotype and imagery of black servitude to whites. She was a REAL WOMAN, for crying out loud. It’s just pancake syrup!

And I HEAR YOU when you say your history is being destroyed when these LIBTARDS take down Confederate statues and remove the Confederate BATTLE flag. It’s HERITAGE NOT HATE. Yes, of course it is.

There, there.

I understand that equal rights must be like pie: More for others MUST mean less for you. That’s why you are so upset. All these things affect you personally. OF COURSE they do.

Shush now. It will be OK.

I’ll talk to that mean blogger friend of mine who tried to refute clear statements of fact such as, “If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we鈥檇 be racists.”

I mean, can you IMAGINE if white people wanted that? I’m not sure how it could be whiter than it is has been, but you should be able to find a way. You’re WHITE!

I UNDERSTAND that All Lives Matter. We are all EQUAL. OF COURSE we are. Systemic racism and COVID-19 are things dreamed up by those aforementioned LIBTARDS to whip people into a frenzy and distract from the REAL issue: That damn Hillary’s emails!

Here’s a white man talking about racism. Because OF COURSE.

I know, I know: It’s not FOX News or InfoWars. But he’s a good Christian!

No, I promise you ARE NOT embarrassing yourself. I know you’ve read important research like this.

You are in the right here, as you ALWAYS are. I DON’T UNDERSTAND why ANYONE would disagree with you. How DARE those SJWs! They’re just virtue signaling.

I’m SO SORRY you have to go through this. Things should just STAY THE SAME, amirite?

That unwillingness to evolve DOES NOT mean that you are racist. OF COURSE you aren’t. Some of your BEST FRIENDS are black.

Best wishes and warmest regards,
Beth

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Recipe for Disaster

Ingredients:

1 night feeling a bit dizzy
1 slight cough
1 morning sore throat
1 article about a Texas family

Method:

Set the first ingredient aside for 24 hours. Then add the second ingredient. Set that mixture aside for another 24 hours. Add last two ingredients, and whip into a frenzy.

Place frothed mess that is surely COVID-19 onto a refreshed CDC website. Set a test timer for one week.

While the timer is running, think carefully about the ingredients.

Remember:

  • The three sleepless nights leading up to the first.
  • The fact that major construction is happening on the floor below the office where you’ve been spending many hours every day. (Hello, construction dust!)
  • Sleeping on your back. Mouth open. Possibly snoring. (Gasp! No!)
  • That only one of the ingredients is a common symptom of the ‘Rona.
  • It’s pollen season. (Ohhhh. Riiiiight. Allergies.)
  • And also you wear a mask every time you are in public, which is not often, AND wipe down and/or spray everyone and everything that enters the house.

Add a good night’s sleep and reminders to fermented stew.

Poof!

Toxic brew evaporated.

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Dear Folks Who Are Wondering What It’s Like To Go To A Theme Park That Just Reopened:

It’s weird. Every bit of it is weird.

As indicated in my last post, we took Eddie to Six Flags for Father’s Day. “We” meaning “Gideon and I” because Dominic didn’t get off work.

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Anyway, I had to make a reservation for us to go. That’s new.

Also new:

路 Hand-washing stations outside the entrance

路 Temperature scans on the way in (not sure that helps if people are asymptomatic, but ok)

路 The requirement for everyone to wear a mask at all times

路 Social distancing in the queue

路 Social distancing on the rides themselves

路 Having to scream/laugh through a mask (but that might just be my problem)

路 Hand sanitizer everywhere

So yeah, plenty of changes.

There are some things that haven’t changed:

路 Crappy attitudes of the teenaged staff

路 Skin-boiling heat with no shade in sight

路 Unappetizing food such as a burger with the bun literally dripping butter

路 The potential for ride malfunction

Here are the mechanics working on the ride we just exited — the one we were stuck on for 15 minutes.

So it was different, but not so much so that I would stay away. We have to get our membership money’s worth!

Yours in thrills,
Beth

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Dear Schoolhouse Rock creators/artists/writers/musicians:

I grew up with your catchy songs that aid learning. (For Millennials and GenZ, it’s like the 1970s version of “Hamilton.”)

It should be no surprise that I’m partial to the grammar ones:

I mean, just TRY to get those out of your head.

I’ve been thinking about one in specific lately: The Great American Melting Pot.

And, even more specifically, these lyrics:

It doesn’t matter what your skin.
It doesn’t matter where you’re from,
Or your religion, you jump right in
To the great American melting pot.

Yeah. A bit idealistic, no?

People are actively protesting because skin color DOES matter. (When people say, “I don’t see color,” my eyes nearly roll out of my head. Of course you see skin color just like you notice if someone has brown hair. The key is not attaching JUDGMENT.)

And immigration … well. It’s like people want to say, “That’s it: America is closed.”

Don’t even get me started on religious bias.

So. I’m writing this because I’d really love a revival where you tackle thorny issues such as redlining, Jim Crow laws, Operation Mockingbird, First Amendment rights, white privilege, etc.

I feel like storytelling via music could come in handy here.

I remember when I first truly understood the concept of white privilege. I had walked a couple of blocks in downtown Atlanta and overheard three separate conversations among black people where the subject was race.

I went home that night and asked Eddie if he thinks about being Hispanic on a regular basis. He said he did. He’s been pulled over and asked to prove he’s legal, for example. He’s Puerto Rican, FFS.

And that’s when it clicked: I rarely thought about being white. And that’s a privilege. Now, of course, I’m hyperaware.

Not everyone has that moment of clarity. So I think it’s time for some lessons in your trademark accessible way.

Can you help?

Thank you for your consideration,
Beth

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Dear Readers:
Yes, this is another topical post (read: rant) about what is happening in America. The country is burning (literally and figuratively). Sorry, not sorry. A story about kayaking with the family can wait.
Beth

Police cruisers drove into a crown of people in Brooklyn. Yes, this actually happened.

Dear White People:

I’ve been fighting with some of you all week. I refuse to scroll past your inane posts and try to make nice. You can unfriend me, unfollow me, ignore me — whatever you have to do to be safe in your echo chamber. But I am not going to resist calling you out if you post something ignorant.

You say: What happened to George Floyd was wrong, but the looting and property damage has to stop.
I hear: Destroying property is worse than murder.
I respond: Reverse that sentence. Say instead, “Looting and property damage is wrong, but police brutality and murder have to stop.”

You say: People getting arrested at protests deserve it. They must have done something wrong.
I hear: I’m trying to find a reason to believe our institutions aren’t broken.
I respond: You have to face it: They are, in fact, broken. Police are reacting violently to police protests ABOUT POLICE VIOLENCE. Let that sink in. This is what happened to someone I know personally during a peaceful protest. By the way, the First Amendment guarantees the right to peaceable assembly.

You say: People who comply with police don’t get in trouble.
I hear: La la la la la — I’m not listening.
I respond: Even if/when people comply, they still get murdered. Also, let’s pretend for argument’s sake that someone HAS done something wrong — like pay with a counterfeit bill. Does DEATH fit that crime? (The right answer is “no,” you mongrels.)

You say: The mainstream media isn’t trustworthy.
I hear: I’m desperate to find excuses not to face the truth that Trump’s America is a disaster.
I respond: You’re wrong, as I explained in my last post. Listen to me. I know my stuff.

You say: All lives matter.
I hear: I don’t know why we should focus on black people when we are all equal.
I respond: We’re clearly not equal. White privilege exists. Start from the 1600s and go from there. If you need something bite-sized, read up on redlining.

You say: I haven’t experienced “white privilege.” I’ve worked hard for everything I have.
I hear: I don’t want to believe that I have it better by virtue of my skin color.
I respond: It’s not about hard work. It’s about starting in a different place by virtue of skin color. No, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to be white, but you should understand the concept of systemic racism and work to make changes. Read this. Watch this:

I hope this helps. We have to work together to make America great again, and I guarantee it’s not Trump’s way.

Love,
Beth

Courtesy of Creative Nonfiction, here are some action items:

LEARN

ACT

 

SUPPORT

 

FOLLOW 

 

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Hey Y’all:

It’s come to Auntie Beth’s attention that some folks don’t understand how the mainstream media works. As Auntie Beth has more than two decades of experience as a journalist for TV, radio, newspapers and magazines (yeah, no spring chicken), she is here to help clear up confusion with some DOs and DON’Ts.

DO have a healthy suspicion of social institutions.
DON’T only get your news from alternative news networks. There are many sources of legitimate news. If you need help finding reputable sources, use this updated interactive media bias chart.

DO understand the criteria for newsworthiness:

  • Timeliness: News is new.
  • Proximity: The news hits close to home.
  • Conflict: There is some disagreement/opposition.
  • Prominence: Names make news.
  • Impact: The news is of consequence and is useful.
  • Novelty: There is a deviance from the norm.

DON’T wonder why the conversation has shifted from COVID-19 to protests when protests hit all the above criteria.

DO understand that media representatives use the criteria to choose what to cover (see Agenda-setting Theory in communication studies). There aren’t enough staff or hours in a day to cover everything that is newsworthy. So editors, reporters, managers, producers, etc. have to make some hard decisions. These are economic/structural forces beyond the individual journalist (see Hierarchy of Influences model above).
DON’T mistake this for telling people what to think about what gets covered. In 1963, author/scholar Bernard Cohen said, 鈥淭he press may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about.鈥 But again, it’s not willy nilly and based on bias. Also, no one is controlling you.

DO understand that the way to combat this structural issue is to get your news from many sources. Again, the key here is choosing reputable sources — usually the mainstream media as there is an attempt at objectivity. Therein lies the bigger picture of what is happening in the community, region, nation and world.
DON’T get your news from Info Wars or Wonkette and think you know what’s really going on.

DO understand that news is an industry with many, many employees.
DON’T believe that every person working in this industry is part of some elaborate conspiracy theory.

DO know that news owners/folks in charge typically don’t get involved in day-to-day reporting and news coverage. (Exception: Sinclair Broadcasting.)
DON’T believe Auntie Beth? She’s happy to send you her dissertation that delves into this exact topic. That’s right: Auntie Beth has a Ph.D. in journalism and mass communications.

The findings of this study are in opposition to the ‘powerful pressure’ idea that the dominant ideology of the status quo finds its way down to the news product via the highest levels of the media organization: the owners who represent the status quo (Sutter, 2001; Iggers, 1999; Herman & Chomsky, 1988; Smith, 1988; Bagdikian, 1985).

DO understand that mainstream media reporters are literally risking their lives to cover what is happening in our world.
DON’T disrespect them by calling their work “fake news.” Don’t let the President of the United States (!) work you into a frenzy for his own ends. The mainstream media is not the “enemy of the people.” News he doesn’t like is not “fake.”

DO think carefully before you post something possibly incendiary.
DON’T run from dialogue if you go ahead and post it.

DO have an open mind. Be ready to admit you are wrong if someone who has actual experience tries to explain how things work — even if this flies in the face of the conspiracy theories you’ve been swallowing.
DON’T double down and tag Auntie Beth in something you think proves your point.

DO listen to someone who works in the industry you are criticizing.
DON’T watch a YouTube video and think you know everything. You didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn last night.

DO understand that Auntie Beth is a living, breathing human being. In fact, High School Friend has known Auntie Beth since eighth grade and knows she is trustworthy. HSF also should know by now that Auntie Beth speaks her mind.
DON’T try to “other” her so you don’t have to pay attention.

Auntie Beth understands it’s a big industry. Not everyone in it acts responsibly or ethically. But Auntie Beth believes in the importance of the Fourth Estate.

If you have any questions, Auntie Beth is here for you. She also can call on any of her dozens of current and former colleagues at the national and local level to help set your mind at ease.

Happy watching/reading!

 

 

 

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Hey Y’all!

I’m inspired by Jeff Foxworthy’s bit about rednecks. Here’s my take on hypocrites.

If you think private businesses can make their own rules (i.e., not making a cake for a gay couple) but then get angry that a business wants you to wear a mask, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think crossing the border illegally to provide for your family is wrong, but refusing government orders to close your business because you need to provide for your family is ok, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think a woman’s right to choose what happens with her body should be subject to government regulations, but you protest government regulations regarding your right to choose where you can go (i.e., shop), you might be a hypocrite.

If you are staunchly pro-life and want to see abortions criminalized but are ok with some elderly people dying as a consequence of jumpstarting the economy, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in protest is inappropriate, but you protest government shelter-in-place orders, you might be a hypocrite.

If you wear a mask while protesting, you might be a hypocrite.

If you rail against government handouts but now are desperate to get your stimulus check and/or unemployment, you might be a hypocrite.

If it’s ok with you to have the government mail you a stimulus check (and passports and IDs) but not a ballot, you might be a hypocrite.

If you are trusting scientists about prescription drugs but not climate change, you might be a hypocrite.

If you love Trump calling people names but don’t like it when Pelosi does, you might be a hypocrite.

If you mourned nearly 3,000 people dying on 9/11 but not the 3,000+ dying every day from COVID-19, you might be a hypocrite.

If you didn’t think it was ok to allow the president to have a Supreme Court pick in an election year in 2016, but it’s ok in 2020, you might be a hypocrite.

If you didn’t believe Christine Blasey Ford but believe Tara Reade, you might be a hypocrite.

Similarly, if you believe Christine Blasey Ford but don’t believe Tara Reade, you might be a hypocrite (or maybe not).

If you made it to the end, great! Thanks for reading.

I’m really not trying to pick a fight. I’m just asking everyone to really consider actions/reactions — especially right now.

Kthxbyeeee,
Beth

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Dear Gov. Kemp:

Can I call you Brian? What about Ronald ’cause YOU’RE A CLOWN.

Right. I’m not a comedian. Got it.

Look, I understand that I’m not running the state (not that you really are either, with any success, in my opinion). I understand that you are trying to balance pressure from a variety of sources. I understand that you can’t please everyone.

But dude, the CDC is — as we say in the South — just down the road a piece.

I’m not a scientist (in this case, being a communications researcher doesn’t count), so I will believe those who are. And you can’t swing a cat without hitting one at the CDC. So I’m guessing NO ONE was surprised at this headline after you “reopened” Georgia last week.

Even Trump criticized you. Trump! That’s a surprise.

And you’re doubling down. That’s not a surprise.

In my mind, your actions led to this:

That’s from last weekend, Gov. That’s a flock of people who don’t care about social distancing. Many of them were out to watch the Blue Angels’ tribute to health workers.

Um.

  1. If you don’t want people to gather, don’t stage this event!
  2. That flyover cost taxpayer money that I — a taxpayer — would prefer benefit small businesses.

I’m not blaming you for the Saturday event. I am blaming you for letting people think the fight against Coronavirus is over. It’s clearly not.

I mean, I guess I should be happy that I’m in Atlanta, instead of cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Lansing and Raleigh where people are protesting stay-at-home orders, claiming it is an overreaction. Of course, they are doing this WHILE WEARING MASKS.

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Listen, I’ve been trying really hard not to write about politics here. (In fact, it has been more than three years.) In these polarized times, any criticism of a Republican brings on name calling of the “libtard” and “snowflake” variety (among other names not suitable for a family blog). I’m technically an independent voter. I do, in fact, think for myself when I vote, instead of voting along party lines. But, full disclosure, I didn’t vote for you because I think you are kinda dumb, just like the masked protesters.

Sorry. Not sorry.

You know what Forrest Gump’s mama always said.

You can fix that by listening to people who know more about a subject than you do.

I know you want Georgia to be No. 1 in something.

Can it just not be cases of COVID-19 and deaths?

Thanks for your consideration,
Beth, a registered voter who has a valid ID and votes in every election

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Dear Reckitt Benckiser:

I really wish I had Loefflered up and bought your stock before Coronavirus came calling.

But I never felt the need to bathe in Lysol before.

Look. Listen. You can’t be too careful.

I’ve created an airlock downstairs. Everything coming into the house gets wiped down or sprayed.

The mail too.

Everything.

Even people.

Dominic came in after work. (Yes, he has a job at Publix. No, I’m not thrilled he is going. He informed me he needs the money to hang out “wit da boys.” He means online via Doom.)

Me (from the couch): Did you spray yourself?
Him (sighing): Yes.
Me: Even your back?
(Sound of a little baby spray)

So we are going through plenty of your product. And there is a shortage. You are aware. We all are aware.

I’m waiting patiently, but my supply can’t last forever, even though it seems like this pandemic will.

Wishing you a speedy resupplying process.

Your sanitizing sentry,
Beth

 

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Dear Friends and Family,

It鈥檚 Day 12 of captivity. I鈥檝e gained two pounds. I have to resist the urge to eat cheese all day. It鈥檚 bad enough I take my vitamins with wine.

I鈥檓 still going to work for a few hours each day for a change of scenery. I鈥檓 not a dress-down-for-work kind of gal. Yesterday, I wore a skirt and heels. Just for me.

I rarely see anyone when I鈥檓 there. Yesterday, though, I saw the CFO at the water cooler on the second floor and the woman in charge of special projects down the hall. We all paused in our tracks, giggling nervously. The CFO went back into his office, and Special Projects let me go into the bathroom before she continued down the hall. Six feet of space, people.

Later in the day, I crossed paths with the CFO again. Same situation.

Him: Stay on your floor!
Me: I don鈥檛 have a bathroom up there. Unless you want to spring for a Porta Potty, I鈥檓 coming down!

When I was at my university the first time around as an English major, I won a major award for writing. The prize package included 鈥Love in the Time of Cholera.鈥

In our house, it鈥檚 鈥淟ove in the Time of Corona.鈥

Gideon broke up with his girl Peyton. He informed me last night:

I don鈥檛 want to be in a relationship anymore. It takes up too much of my time. My precious time.

Incidentally, I won the award for a short story I wrote called 鈥淭he Pot Roast.鈥 It was about my weird grandmother wanting raw meat as a Christmas gift.

Last night, I made the dish.

Gideon, girlfriend-free with precious time on his hands, roamed into the kitchen.

Him (peering into the pot): What’s this?
Me: Pot roast.
Him: We haven’t had that in a while.
Me: Yep. I’m bringing out all the hits.
Him: Top 20?
Me: Top 20 from the 2000s.

After dinner, the family decided to play Twister. Yes, Twister. I鈥檝e still got it! I managed to keep myself up plus Dominic. I bowed out when a spin for me would have required me to sit on his head. Let鈥檚 not get crazy in confinement.

Nighttime also is TV time. Even “sheltering in place” cannot help me get through the treacly “This Is Us.” I deleted all episodes in my queue, and instantly feel better. (Honestly. It takes itself SO SERIOUSLY. It’s like a DC Comics movie.)

I’m still taking CORVID-19 seriously. Perhaps too much. I got a little worried earlier this week because I had a sore throat and a headache. Insert panic. Then I realized it’s springtime in the South — an inch of pollen everywhere.

Maybe that explains the guy restocking at the gas station. He emitted a small cough. The cashier and I whipped around on him.

Me: How long have you had that cough?
Him: (Scurries quickly away from the loud lady)

Stay safe, and don’t get Corona-ed,
Beth

 

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