sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2016-11-16 10:21 pm

Soon even a tall man'll be over his head

Guess who isn't going to make it home to Boston before the T stops running because their train was a full hour late getting to Penn Station? You'd be right.

Guess who doesn't actually care because they scored, among other windfalls, an out-of-print hardcover of Mick LaSalle's Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man (2002) at the Strand? You'd also be right.

We are leaving the lit-up city, skyscrapers and bridges garnished like a fairground with strings of light. The Empire State Building appears to be violet tonight. We just passed what looked like the blue-and-white-striped canvas of an actual big top setting up on the waterfront in a dry white arc of streetlight like a follow-spot. We had dinner at Veselka, where this time I managed to eat both halves of the Baczynski, a glorious stack of Polish and Ukrainian cured meats on very dark pumpernickel with cauliflower pickle on the side. I think not having eaten anything all day helped. I read Erle Stanley Gardner's Top of the Heap (1952) while we waited for our very late train and will keep an eye out now for the rest of the Cool and Lam series, which I should like to read from the start now that I've dropped in halfway through. I could not find any David Goodis or Ross MacDonald that I did not own already, but this five-novel omnibus of Margaret Millar is pretty sweet. And I have a biography of Ralph Richardson for which I had been desultorily looking since 2012. No luck on Dorothy Arzner, Van Heflin, or Peter Lorre. Steadfastly, I read on.

This afternoon I called the office of Representative Christine P. Barber of the 34th Middlesex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives; as a resident of one of her wards in Somerville, I was thanking her for her co-sponsorship of Bill H.97 ("An Act relative to abusive practices to change sexual orientation and gender identity in minors") and encouraging her to put it forward for a second reading and ideally get it passed as soon as possible, because it would prohibit the practice of so-called conversion therapy upon persons under eighteen in this state and I think this is only reasonable. The aide who took my call was very friendly, did not mind me repeating myself when the connection briefly dropped, and said that Barber would be sure to voice my support if the bill moved further. I said I hoped it did and soon. If you live in Massachusetts and generally frown upon torturing young people to change their sexual or gender identity, please feel free to look up your legislator and leave a message with them. I said to [livejournal.com profile] sairaali, who knew activism was so much like working a call center?

Since yesterday, Representative Capuano has issued a formal press release against Trump's appointment of Bannon and 169 Democratic members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter to Trump urging him to rescind the appointment immediately; I wish it had been a bipartisan effort, but I am glad to see the whole crew from Massachusetts in there. Senator Warren has co-written an open letter to leaders of the financial services industry calling on them to speak out against the appointment. Governor Baker has been inundated with calls from his constituents requesting him to declare Massachusetts a formal safe haven and I hope he listens to them, because I'll vote for an artichoke over him in the midterm elections if the artichoke is actually willing to take a stand against legalized bigotry and hate crime.

And then I realized I had Pete Seeger's "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" stuck in my head, because while it is a parable of WWII written in 1967 to criticize LBJ's escalation of the war in Vietnam, it is not without application to other situations wherein something terrible progresses by degrees and by the time you see it, you've drowned.

Now I'm not going to point any moral
I'll leave that for yourself
Maybe you're still walking, you're still talking
You'd like to keep your health
But every time I read the papers, that old feeling comes on
We're waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on


We're a week into the Presidency-elect of Donald Trump and already I am calling my various representatives in government about outlawing the unethical practice of false medicine on children, because the incoming administration is not exactly what I would call queer-friendly, and not placing any more self-declared white supremacists in positions of national power, which should not even be a thing. I have to ask the governor of the state in which I was born to take a public stance on civil rights because he appears unwilling to do it on his own time and his silence is sending a message I would rather not live in. I am not acting on anxiety over Trump's future actions. I am reacting to decisions he and his VP-elect have already made. This is not reasonable. This is not normal. There is nothing normal about the impending presidency of Donald Trump. The human brain is plastic and can accommodate a lot of freaky shit in its time (sorry, Lovecraft), but adjusting to the reality of Trump should never entail thinking that his election and his administration are just another grind of the mill of American politics. If it's this weird a week after the election, what in hell is a year of actual Trump governance going to look like? You can't say it wasn't quicksand from the start. [edit] This article says it more eloquently and with bullet-point references.

If you want to hear the political poem I wrote a few days ago, I believe it will be included in tonight's episode of Hour of the Wolf. If you'd like to read someone else's, I recommend Bettina Judd's "The Break." I think I am going to read the screenplay for David Seidler's The King's Speech (2010), which I hadn't realized had been published until I saw it at the Strand. I need all the comfort reading I can get.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)

[personal profile] rydra_wong 2016-11-17 11:24 am (UTC)(link)
Guess who doesn't actually care because they scored, among other windfalls, an out-of-print hardcover of Mick LaSalle's Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man (2002) at the Strand? You'd also be right.

\o/

(Not ignoring the rest of the post, just allocating mental space very carefully right now. I have an assignment of one concrete Anti-Trump Action per day, and then I have to focus on other things.)
movingfinger: (Default)

[personal profile] movingfinger 2016-11-17 02:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Are there still protesters at Trump Tower or elsewhere? The media isn't reporting on dissent. Predictably.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2016-11-17 05:40 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a really great post. Also FUCK YES on scoring the book, and the anti-Bannon letter.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)

[personal profile] rydra_wong 2016-11-22 09:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I said to sairaali, who knew activism was so much like working a call center?

Permission to [community profile] metaquotes?
ext_104661: (Default)

OT-ish book rec

[identity profile] alexx-kay.livejournal.com 2016-11-17 04:37 am (UTC)(link)
Cry Havoc, by Si Spurrier et al. Comic book series whose first collection is recently out, and might possibly be found at a library. The tagline is something like "Lesbian werewolves go to war". Which is not totally inaccurate, but there's a lot of other interesting ingredients as well, several of which seemed to me designed for your tastes. The comic is hypothetically ongoing, but the first volume is a complete and (IMO) satisfying story.

Not necessarily comfort reading, but I just finished it and thought of you.

[identity profile] nineweaving.livejournal.com 2016-11-17 05:37 am (UTC)(link)
Thank heavens for the Strand!

Nine

[identity profile] martianmooncrab.livejournal.com 2016-11-17 10:16 am (UTC)(link)
I love The Strand, I have one of their book bags, with the John Waters quote on it.

I read the book The Kings Speech was based on. I found it quite good.

[identity profile] martianmooncrab.livejournal.com 2016-11-17 08:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I should have said I bought one of their book bags... sigh.. brain skippy.

[identity profile] martianmooncrab.livejournal.com 2016-11-17 08:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I should have said I bought one of their book bags... sigh.. brain skippy.

gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)

[personal profile] gwynnega 2016-11-17 10:24 pm (UTC)(link)
The trip to the Strand and the meal at Veselka both sound lovely.

[identity profile] kenjari.livejournal.com 2016-11-18 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
I think I was on the same train as you! I was coming back from NYC last night, too, and I also got an unexpected extra hour of waiting in Penn Station.
I hope you managed to get home okay, and I'm glad you had a good trip despite the transportation issues.

[identity profile] kenjari.livejournal.com 2016-11-18 02:43 pm (UTC)(link)
I wasn't in the quiet car, alas. I was so tired I just plopped into the first seat I could find. Matthew picked me up at Rte. 128, so I got home with minimal fuss. I ended up shifting my work day down by an hour so that I could get a little extra sleep before coming in.