Letter to my ex boyfriend and others, TW ableism and sexual harassment/fragile masculinity mentioned here

The following piece is dedicated to Blake Tucker, with whom I spent 2 and a half years as a girlfriend, but I’d also like to give a shout out to Jessie, my messy and altogether very good friend from Miami, and thank him for letting me open my eyes. This piece should probably be in the feminist essay collections, and I was inspired to write this because of activists like Jessica Valenti and more importantly, there’s a Muskogee lady that wrote this brilliant essay on how women have been protecting each other in Native American circles. If anyone thinks I weaponized or did something wrong, please read below and feel free to be constructive, positive, and above all, careful what you tell me.

Dear Blake,

Last week was hell. And I couldn’t believe what you did to yourself. I’m not here to discuss a vibrator, sexual freedom, or God. I’m here to discuss you, and how you contributed to a very big problem here in America, got duped by Christians who are telling you that women like me don’t deserve to be heard, and you silently watch me get bitten up by bugs, attacked by heathen Ableists with no logic whatsoever about thee disabled experience on my end, and you don’t even connect with your Native American self. Like it or not, I think I need to tell yoou my story again and for the rest of the people reading this, especially activists, feminists, and others who are interested, I’ll explain where each of us has been.

the whole thing about vibrators is. just plain misunderstanding. Blake, you said to me shortly before we broke up something that absolutely was an affront to me being destressed in a time when stress was everywhere. I won’t write it here, you’ll only get mad at me and such. Blake, I care enough about you as a friend to say you should still go to your church, but I want to present a picture of God you never even drew, saw, or might not think exists.

Jesus, the Christ you report to for missions and so on, was an inclusive figure. Jesus was, however, used to mess up Native cultures to the point of death and nonexistence. The Spanish, particularly those in New Mexico and Arizona, used Jesus as a way to convert what they saw as “heathens.” But it has harmful consequences still today. In the ancient times, if you rolled with Jesus and the rich Eurocentric stuff, you got treated better. Is that fair? Jesus would never have said, kill the ones who don’t convert. I see a parallel between the 1500 to 1700 missions in the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries and Muhammad the prophet’s weird and deadly fatwa, religious order, to “fight and slay the pagans where ye find them.” Muslims today have this issue with holy war, and among their so called missions is to convert everybody or make them pay with the tax or their lives. It has some rash consequences, including the genocide of the Coptic Christians, and the Jewish people have to contend with the power they are misusing. There’s a tribe in Iraq and Syria called the Yezidi that we have touched on, and because IS, or Islamic State, wants to make the whole world Muslim, you got Yezidi people dying or fighting. Nadia Murad, if you read this, I hope you see the same pattern I am about to describe below.

Blake, when the peoples you represent, all of these peoples, saw the Spanish and the pale faced white humans trashing their beliefs, going after the Native women, the men had little power to do with it. Do you know why the Trail of Tears happened? Because of a white idiot named Andrew Jackson, and the history books don’t tell you enough about it, only to whitewash it. Native beliefs were to be eradicated along with they themselves. There’s something about Natives I am drawn to, and let me explain what it is.

Muskogee activist Sarah Deer writes of a method of protecting women, an ancient survivor network and it whispers too. Deer says that “gossip is an English word” in her essay with the same words as its title. She says that women in the Indian country or first nations people would whisper that a man is dangerous, do things to protect each other, etc etc. Men would get axed not by death or killing, but there’s a whole healing process that goes with the whisper network. Would my white women friends like to try it out? I certainly want to, but Blake, here’s the deal: the tribes affirm women, LGBTQI+ and blind and deaf people. In ancient times, the Native tribes of the West, particularly tribes such as the Hopi and the Navajo, would integrate their deaf and they’d never, never seek to cure blindness. Sure, some babies lived and died as babies but it was never a shameful thing, and there was lots. of medicine to be had in the spiritual ceremony and traditions. There’s even a legend of the Cherokee tribes that affirms women’s power to give life as a weapon of sorts. When a woman in some tribes has her moon time, her menstruation, she would be allowed to go to this sweat lodge thing where she can recuperate and such, and she rests and stretches out the cramps from Hell. But imagine for a moment that this same feeling a woman has could be used to save a race of people. It did in this legend, called Stonecoat, where a stone guy tries to rob the people, kill them, etc., but seven “granddaughters” weaken him in a big show of badassery where they say, “I’m in the sacred way” each time he walks by. He’d try to convince the girls they’re dirty, but the badassery just threw him to the ground. It’s my favorite female legend of Native sorts. There are many others, and I can tell you that Natives had Romeo and Juliet in the legend of Mina-Sauk before we even had Shakespeare. These ancient traditions may not have anything with God or Jesus, but I can tell you this much: weaponizing Jesus as a way of dissing me is not going to work.

Native medicines and beliefs and ancient peoples did not necessarily have anything against a woman making herself feel good. I don’t see much of that, but regarding your comments to me before we broke, the vibrator was a doctor prescribed thing against what we used to call “female hysteria.” For disabled females, this is a common thing you might say back then. Today’s disabled female is likely to experience violence, I have, and isolation, which I have as well. I’m done trying to tell you that disabled women experience violence and you say, I know I know, but Blake, the thing is that America was built on an unfair and unjust patriarchal social hierarchy that has many layers to it. Here’s how it works:

You have cisgender, straight and able white males on top. Follow that with cisgender able straight females, then black straight cisgender males and females respectively, and then you have cisgender straight indigenous folks, followed by all manner of disabled people, black and white included, but then at the very bottom you have nonbinary and sexual minorities. This hierarchy is disgusting and I want it to stop. We don’t need cisgender straight males running things. Native American disabled males who don’t follow a big Evangelical megachurch or even a small one like yours are likely to face homicide, taunts from the higher up people, etc., so I know you would want to stay put in your church. Sure your friends are cool, but there’s something I’m coming up on that I’m not cool with.

It wasn’t Native women who told me you flirted too much. It was a male who, surprise surprise is a disabled Hispanic cisgender straight dude, but oh my god, we’ve been friends since who knows when. Note that I didn’t mention Hispanics in the hierarchy thing though because you have two or three different kinds, including black ones and white ones, so I just go by the black versus the white. NOt all Latinos are white and not all are black, it’s a mixed bag. This friend of mine is amazing, I call him Jessie the Messy, and he’s just plain cool. He’s got his own stuff, works and has a cool head on his shoulders. Jessie warned me about your tendencies, but I was stupid as usual and didn’t read into things because I’ve been taught not to. But sure enough, you get used by someone else, and break another’s heart. Or she broke yours, I don’t care how the relationship panned out. If any girlfriends you have know that you disrespected my beliefs as a feminist and didn’t understand why I was so deeply hurt by the people purporting to believe in Jesus, and I’ll tell that story now.

When you broke it off with me, the now former preacher at Sovereign Grace Community Church in Westminster decided to call me a whore. A whore for being with Trenton. I brought him there in an effort to solidify friendships and maybe even see how the people would react. But thankfully, years later, well, I’m glad I and Trenton haven’t gone. I have a buddy in chorus that recommended I not live in Westminster because of what she called a “scary megachurch” but there are plenty of those in Westminster. What Sovereign Grace did can still be felt today. I attend a UU church, Unitarian universalist, and have found that it’s not only Jesus that suffices for spiritual teaching and knowledge. I can’t subscribe to this notion of “sin” because it’s too flexible and it stings too broadly on a lot of subjects. Wearing a short skirt if you’re identifying as female? Sin, according to the beliefs you’ve chosen. Playing with your own hair if you’re female? Sin again. And the notion of sin is an excuse to make my life more expensive, so think about why your mom, aunts, sisters, all have to pay more for tampons. There is a luxury tax imposed because the government is sexist. The tax code for pink products, feminine stuff, is completely sexist. I only want others to understand that what you did to me represents a bigger problem with guys. Trenton tries to be supportive, and he is extremely cool, but you and anyone trying to attack me is not warranted in doing so.

Here’s what I want you to do. Stop talking to females who use you. I don’t use anyone, so stop it. IF you continue to be a flirt with girls after you’ve married, I’ll have to do what Sarah Deer does and warn her that this might not be the time to marry. I may not say your name, but still. Blake, I also recommend you reading Unladylike, a field guide to smashing the patriarchy and claiming your space. You don’t have to be female to read it, for real. Feminism is for everybody, and it benefits everybody. I do not hate men, as some will tell you, I just want accountability. You heard thee recent story of Josh Dugger, right? I was shocked and heartbroken because no man should be viewing child porn, but Trenton and I know that it’s illegal. We also know that Ashley Madison is not a good place to be if you’re trying to stay faithful. Vibrators aren’t the problem, and women aren’t the problem. Men are. Josh is highly unfaithful and abusive toward kids by viewing child porn. The victims who were used for this pornography are also being abused by Josh because in some way they might have been forced into it. Child pornography is something I know you could never see yourself doing, but if you were sighted, Blake, I wouldn’t be surprised if you went off and told someone that I didn’t look like your ideal woman, and it’s not your fault. Blake, you do have a good heart, but don’t get yourself dragged into conversations where you don’t belong. Lyn, one of the women who did the bad stuff on my community help post, has had nothing to do. She’s speaking from a class, race, and support privilege. I hate that, and data shows that minorities don’t just get subpar supports, they also get subpar commentary and subpar choices for schooling and other things. Your people are in trouble, and it’s not your fault. Why not summon the power of Wilma Mankiller to be your guide? Why not summon the ancestors to help you with some sort of realization of who you are? Jesus is great and all, but Jesus would never want you to label every woman’s desire a sin. The traditions that state that Adams are in charge and Eves are not do not apply to me and all of us anymore. I. can’t stand by and watch as women are sexually assaulted and no one believe them. The bedbug issue in this apartment complex scared my caregiver, and it scared the company, and yet the caseworker wasn’t there when she needed to be, and I don’t bllame her for it, but she needs to show up for me and do for me because I’m her client, and so should she do this for other clients. NASW clearly does put client safety in their code of ethics. I’ve written my local Senator for the state district 4, and I hope to have an appointment with her because the laws and policies that are in place are enabling Lyns everywhere to ruin lives like mine. Your friend Jennifer thinks she can get away with practically anything, and worse, both those girls spoke from a support class privilege. They had family support, I don’t have it, and they’re white, straight, etc. Lyn has a job, and she didn’t earn the employability. It’s all in the numbers, so look carefully.

Blake, please do some homework and get back to me. Jesus would demand that you apologize, and I apologize if what I said about you was hurtful, but what you did really wasn’t your fault per se. Though you chose this set of beliefs about Jesus and women, yu do have a choice to enact safer ways of interacting with the females in your life such that you don’t get ire from Jessies everywhere, or even your family’s women. Don’t subscribe to this notion that sin is everything, and it’s not sinful for a woman to read or write. Please read the Handmaid’s Tale and the Testaments, authored by Margaret Atwood, and she really has a lot of wisdom about why she wrote these books.

Beth

I know it’s a bit early. TW mentions of bullying.

Dear Santa,

I know it’s a bit early. But if I was only a child, I’d be on your knee right now, talking to you about stupid stuff like toys, etc. But guess what? I’m 35, no kids, no real house with a chimney, fireplace, and all theh fixings of a Christmas house. Santa, I believed in you for years, and I’ve seen a pattern of stuff going on in kids these days. While somem are saying, oh my god, kids are so spoiled, you know what I also see? Stupid, evil, abusive men. I see men who hit and beat up their wives and children, and the children write you letters saying, I want Mommy to have a ggood husband who does not beat her, won’t beat me up, etc. There are “elves” so to speak here in the real world who read your letters, and their hearts break. I don’t know if my letter will ever be seen by the elves here, but I know what I want for Christmas this year. Please tell me I’m not spoiled for asking this. I didn’t want to ask for anything but a modest clean house with a good walkable neighborhood, friends and a family and community that would support me in raising a child who will believe in you. I have always wanted a child, but that child needs more than I can give, but I would never want my own flesh and blood in the hands of someone who doesn’t get it. Let me begin at the beginning.

It all started with creepy crawly bugs in my apartment, maybe a neighbor has them, I don’t quite know. My longterm care provider, who is excellent and tops in all the things she does, basically had to stop showing up through no fault of her or her supervisor’s. I’m totally blind, and this building sucks. I have been stuck here for ten years in HUD public housing in Denver, Colorado, and I’ve seen my share of heartbreak. My partner and I don’t want to raise a child here in this run down … well, what I like to call a bug infested chateaux sometimes or a run down chateaux. The reindeer couldn’t get on the thirteen story roof and no way do you wanna go down thirteen stories to give presents to all these people who have either forgotten or don’t think you should be here. Some have kids and grandkids, but the grandkids visit on periodic times. I am only 35 years old, have never felt the pains of childbirth, and I have never forgotten you. You have many names, St. Nicholas among them, and if I were Catholic, I’d be asking you to bring me a child, whether through the foster system or by my own body. But alas, a job would have to be procured, but honestly, I don’t think it’s safe for me to have a job. I just want to change the world so that people can be here safely, not kill each other with guns and stuff, not call each other bad names or get unnecessarily bent out of shape just because I did something I had to do.

So the story is that I posted something about a house, an apartment, I just want a safer roof over my head, and families and such. While I have been blind my whole life, I know how this world treats us, but it is also a division of have and have nots. I have a really cool partner who I’d love to know what his child would look like, and all the good things that come with having a child. I’d raise that child to just let their imagination run wild, and every Christmas Day, I want for that child to wake up in a modest house, and I didn’t even post that I wanted a designer mansion in Beverly Hills for God’s sakes, but that’s how two people on my Facebook page perceived it. I don’t want a guide dog, I said, just a small spaniel puppy and nothing too special. I didn’t say I wanted a big yard, so I said I would get a dog with no requirement of a big yard. And the nasty comments came in. “You’re a spoiled brat. How can you afford this and you can’t even feed yourself?” what insults. Santa, I want those people to get rocks and … no, coal is too humane. How about environmentally friendly reminders of how mean they were?

Santa, the girl who also said I wasn’t living reality should get a hallucination from somewhere beyond, and then she’ll start talking to it, and then she’ll ask, is this real? Well, I don’t and have never had hallucinations so … what the hell she was doing was wrong. I’d give her a shrunken brain for Christmas with the words engraved like as follows:

Santa says you’ve been naughty, so here’s the scoop. All you get for Christmas is this … your shrunken brain. There you know what I mean?

My ex boyfriend, I’ve mentioned him here before, I don’t want him to get but anything for Christmas. He claims he has the best life, all those stupid friends of his who don’t even know my name, and frankly, I don’t know who he is anymore. I said in a live feed that he wouldn’t let me have a vibrator and all this and that, but truth is I liberated myself from this stupid prison called this is a sin and that is a sin. Santa, women want freedom and love and that’s it. Children have imaginations, and trust me, it was a child’s imagination and later an adult’s frustration that led to many inventions and concepts. For Christmas, I wish you’d just leave my ex’s stocking empty, and a note that says, you’ve been naughty, so here’s the thing: come Christmas you shall not be able to sing. My exes don’t need to be involved in my search for an apartment.

Do me a big favor, though, please give my caregiver more tools for her profession. Give her a vacuum cleaner that works. Brooms are cool. Please give her more money in her pay pack, and don’t let anyone give her migraine headaches. If she needs days off, please assure I won’t let her go. For her daughter, who is autistic, give her a long and happy life, and she will one day have kids who beelieve in you. But all I want is a modest rental or owned house with three beds and two baths, a kitchen, a living room, a family room, maybe a small porch, a small yard, a flat roof or rectangular roof. I don’t want to be without running water or electricity because hell, this is the U.S. and if the girl who is mentally ill behaves, please if you could just give her back her electricity, and let her glimpse her family members, and let her pee in a toilet instead of a bucket, okay? Fix her house, her plumbing, and all that. She doesn’t understand how awful it is to ask for something as reasonable as a house and get this badly beaten up. I am not asking for a mansion, but if you insist I live in a nursing home, I won’t write you again.

Please, Mr. Claus, I know you only do kids and toys, or maybe you don’t, but if I don’t bear a child, that’s one less person to believe your story. You brought stuff to kids who had nothing at all, but my ex, who’s. probably as immature as a boy and in his twenties, and this other gal he was talking to on the phone with me, look, I have empathy for the girl. But if she misbehaves I’m not gonna say a word. I want her to have the plumbing and heating she needs, and that tornado? I didn’t even know it was over her house. Please, give her a few Colorado peaches.

But all I ask is for a modest living situation, and Santa i’ll be glad to give you everything: my food, my check, some place for the deer to graze, what the hell else should I give you in return/ For my ex, I want him to have a virtuous and very good person in his life who can marry him and call him husband, and I want him to stop being entitled to sexual things with her. He needs to quit flirting with other girls, but she will also be the one to say, “I’m not your slave.” Give my ex the ability to cook for himsef, his wife, and future kids. And when the time comes, Santa, go to his and his wife’s room and I would hope you give them Christmas presents for the whole family.

What breaks my heart is that I’m being questioned about my abilities. I have a special wish for my disabled community members. Do not give us sight. Give us books we can read, ones in Braille and such, and please, santa, keep reading the letters of blind children. Make the parents get them out of bed and get them writing and reading Braille again. Santa, would you fly your sled over to D.C. and tell the lawmakers and old Mr. Joe over there that there are transgender kids who need a ride in your sled to places where they will have life affirming care and stuff like that/ There are many kids who could use my house, and if I get the house or modest rental, please let the kids come and I’ll find foster homes that are life affirming for them. There’s a girl in Texas who has received death threats, and you being the magical one, you know her name. She was born male, but she really is female, pronouns she/her/hers. Please give her lots of dresses, and money so her parents can get the hell out of Texas. Cut the lines of those who are bothering her, and tell the lawmakers in Texas they’ll be getting coal and rocks and useless crap in their stockings, nothing at all, or perhaps a summons letter to report to jail for threatening this little girl. Tell the girl’s mother that I wish her all the best, but that I’d give the shirt off my back for her because she needs it more. Look, if I. had a modest multibed place with no creepy crawlies, I’d be glad to share it with her. My husband and I would give our whole career and lives helping kids like that one. And please send my friends at the Initiative more tools so some more women and children with disabilities can be helped on my behalf. Santa, I know it’s a bit early. But for Christmas, I want to change the world, I want a modest house, and don’t make me copy Amy Grant’s famous Christmas song. Because her list is my list.

I have to see who messaged me, but I’ll see you and all your entourage at Christmas, and I hope that my wishes and the wishes of others come true. I’m sorry to write this early, but you have six months to prep. That’s plenty of time.

Beth

Thank you to my followers and likers of sorts

Dear readers,

I’d like to thank all the followers and like people who have taken the time to read and like my work. This means a lot to me. I’d like to call on those blogs about dogs, and those blogs include Totally Dog Time and All About Paws, thank you for liking my guide dog post about how to include dogs for service in spiritual places of worship. This means a lot. Thank you.

What’s next for this blog? I still have yet to finish Brave New World, but this is on the way. You guys won’t be disappointed. But there are pressing issues we must discuss.

I’d also like to thank my buddy Katherine Moss for liking anything she liked, but yeah, I’m following your blog so we can like each other’s stuff. We need to talk more honestly, it’s awesome.

I’d also like to thank those who liked the shutting down Christian schools post. We really need to do this, and with five likes, this is a very good thing. Christian schools that don’t understand or tolerate sexual differences and or gender things should indeed be shuttered for good. This is because if Chloe the student says she has a crush on another female student, we shouldn’t mess with that. Love is love, no matter what. Sexual immorality is just another code for “we want women to submit and get hurt.” Not just women though, but others. To see the likes on that piece was really great. Please affirm the lives of other students who have been expelled from schools like this and if you are a teacher, don’t ever call your female students bossy or anything. That can get you an F for failure to teach a student.

I will be ending this piece on one note. I want shrimp tacos. Whatever.

Thank you readers for your likes, and I want you to email me at the following email address if you want to be part of the Throne Room podcast and get interviewed.

denverqueen@gmx.com

The email address is also where you people can put your comments and feedback for the blog, podcast, and other stuff. Please remember the feedback should be constructive, not destructive. Please also do not call me names, and follow the rules. There’s a couple pages on that, so read those.

Beth

My UU Adventures Volume 1: Safer Spaces In Many Places

Dear readers,

Yes, yes, you expected a Brave New World completion or something, but ain’t happenin’ now so just relax. I want to talk about my religious ventures, something I’m really happy about just happened. And it all began with a search on Google, god if I ever mention that again, I don’t know where I’ll be next day.

I want to first thank Lavender, one of my good friends, who lovingly refers to me as Spiralhead. She was the one who got me thinking in the UU direction, and her dad, Will, and his sband the Tribe, did some amazing stuff. I’m not gonna lie. But then, I decided to see if such a loving community of good beloved community could be found in my backyard. It began with me searching for a minister who would be willing to put together a wedding ceremony for me and Trenton, and we couldn’t do a wedding in a venue, but in that small apartment, we shared something incredible. So we had a small ceremony, a hybrid due to covid, in our apartment officiated by Jenny, who was intern minister for Jefferson Unitarian Church. Yes, it’s a UU church, and I found that my buddies in this church are amazing and my anxiety always seems to sneak up on me, but this church seems to understand that I can make decisions, including marriage. They also said that I had agency, and it’s in their actions more than their words. I want to say that Reverend Wendy was amazing in telling me where to go to get the care I need, but right now, I’m savoring the thought of Jenny doing bigger things in ministry. She has, as of this writing, yet to send me a big fluffy paper invite, well a digital fluffy invite, to her ordination ceremony. And guess what? This will be a lot more awesome than witnessing Holy Orders, which for those living under rocks, is a Catholic priest’s ordination ceremony where they take vows and drink to the bishop’s obedience and all that crap. I have no idea but I like the UU thing a lot better than the Catholic thing. Priests in Catholic churches are chosen by a fire and brimstone God and a bishop, and only males can make decisions. But in the UU church, women are leading, having agency, and protecting their decisions and decision making powers. Yes, I drink pop, but no, I don’t want a guardian policing purchases and food, and they acknowledge that I should have agency over my life, and that is a huge thing for me. I want to have children, this church promises they’ll bless the kids. The church will educate them in good religious teachings, positive and neutral teachings about everything, and allow them agency over whether to become a minister. My future daughters will have the ability to dream big, they will say, “Mommy, I want to be a minister in a church.” I will be the one saying, “You can do that, you have all the guts to do it. So get out and make it happen, girl.” I will say this to my daughter with a smile on my face, whether she’s six or sixteen. I will never let go, ever, of the thought of women leading. Reverend Wendy is amazing, and she is the best. I’ve been thinking about all the good stuff, the bad stuff, and the ugly stuff I’ve learnt over the years. And honestly, I don’t believe in just one male fire and brimstone God and his minions sitting on a throne, making all the decisions over a woman’s body. I like Jesus, I believe in his true teachings, but the people? Forget that. I can’t go to a so called Christian church, and I want to be able to raise a positively respectful family from the beginning. Thank you all for reading.

Beth

My Chromebook Adventures Part 1: What’s The Scoop?

Dear Readers,

So I got a new chromebook, and here’s what I have found. I love it. What else? I”m writing this blog post using my new Chromebook, equipped with two screen readers working in tandem. First, there’s Chromevox, which is built in, and it works relatively well with my app here. The problem is I’m using E-Speak, a robotic sounding thing that drives any decent human bonkers. Oh well, the clear voices will come next stable update. I can’t wait. Trenton says I’m nuts. But oh well, I’m not kidding.

In the post I’m writing here, I can do just about anything. Also, my upcoming posts will I promise you finish off Brave New World. I know some of you will probably go bananas if I don’t finish Brave New World. But I will because it’s important.

Also, I want to thank those of you who like my podcast introduction, and I’m going to do more with that intro sometime in the next few episodes. Maybe even forever. It depends on whether you people actually like it. I’m going to try background music too, but thinking I need more interviews. If you want to be considered for an interview on my podcast, just follow my rules on the website and write me.

What I might consider doing is something like interviewing ordinary people. No, not darn celebrities, so Kim and Donald, you’re not coming. But there’s more interviews we’re going to consider. And this season will end around Juneteenth, which if I’m not mistaken is June 15. Then I’ll take a break and come back for a fourth season.

Right now, I’m stuffed with chicken and dumplings, poor Trenton won’t eat those. Makes me mad, but oh well. Meanwhile, Trenton is just sitting there listening to white noise and such. He does this a lot lately because maybe I drive him crazy a bit too much. No, it can’t be. E-speak doesn’t exactly give me a clue as to what the hell I’m writing, so I’m gonna hang this up for now.

Beth

Passover: the Best Experience I’ve Ever Had

Dear readers,

I’m going to take a break from Brave New World the show and book comparison shenanigans, and I’m going to talk about Passover. This is something I’ve been a big part of for some time. Passover is a holiday commemorating the Jewish freedom from slavery on their own terms, but the story goes back further than just that moment when they fled Egypt crossing a low lying Red Sea.

First, we go back to the time of Exodus, maybe even further back. The Egyptians had a big problem. There were twelve sons of Israel, the Sons of Jacob (not to be confused with those nasty commander types but we’re talking about Jacob of Bethel, or Israel that became known as Bethlehem, the burial place of Rachel and he still had a wife named Leah.) So he had twelve sons, as written in Genesis. Those sons tried to get rid of Joseph, right? But Joseph had God on his side, went to Egypt, and escaped danger because he could interpret the dreams of his fellow inmates in prison where he was sent because some stupid woman lied on him, some wife of an Egyptian lied on that guy. No, Joseph wouldn’t do anything wrong, right? Even when the Egyptian bureaucrat’s wife, I forget her name, asked him to sleep with her, he refused and she lied on him. So he was in prison, and he interpreted the dreams of his fellow inmates. So Egypt exalted Joseph son of Jacob, but when Ramses II ascended to the throne of Pharaoh, became the Egyptians’ living god at that moment, guess what? The Hebrews became the problem, and Ramses’ royal administration decreed they were slaves. Then, the trouble starts.

After the Israelites were enslaved, they multiplied a lot. So there were two midwives who were instructed to kill the baby boys, but God had a way of getting to those women. Shiphrah and Puah did not do as Pharaoh instructed, only what God did. According to the sacred texts, these women were rewarded with families of their own. What they did say to Pharaoh was this, “Oh, those Hebrew women deliver too quick on the stool before we can get to them.” They were clever and they probably saved a lot of baby boys from being killed. Now, the trouble was that pharaoh didn’t want boys and as any taskmaster would do, the overseers would whip slaves, probably rape their women, and do other things that would try to undermine the Hebrews’ ability to stay together as a people. But they wouldn’t have any of it.

The hope came to the Hebrews when Jochebed, the wife of a man in Levi’s tribe, family, whatever, gave birth to a little boy. Jochebed was a Hebrew woman who was enslaved like the others, but she was clever. She decided to hide her baby boy in a basket, and guess who picked up the baby? The Pharaoh’s daughter, in some sacred text she is called Bithia, and she said the Nile god brought her a son. She named the baby Moses, which had something to do with him being drawn out of the water. I won’t go into Moses’ story as a young boy growing up in Egypt and all that stuff, but I will say he had a wife called Ziporrah and two boys, one of whom was called Gershom, but I’m sure I’d like to use that for a boy because it has nothing to do with war or ruling. Gershom is a name that means, “an alien there” or “stranger.” So Moses left his wife and children to go free the Hebrews, and we all know the story of the Burning Bush, right? It’s written in both Biblical and Torah readings.

The trouble for Egypt began when Moses said the famous words, “Let my people go.” Moses said to Pharaoh that enough was enough, let my people go or you’ll suffer the consequences. God had it down, he put down ten plagues, I won’t say in order, but it began when the river Nile turned into blood, and crocodiles were eating bloody food. Then dead fish floated to the surface. Then you had frogs, flies, gnats, boils, the livestock died, locusts, three days of darkness. Then worse, there was a lightning storm among those plagues that lasted days and days, and hail. Oh boy, those Egyptians were mad. But then, God decided to show the ancients what a god he really was. His thought was that “I can kill anyone, just anyone. I’m not kidding. If you don’t let the Hebrews go, I can do something terrible.” And terrible it was.

Here’s how Passover gets started. God said to Moses to bring all the families together. First, they had to fatten and slaughter a lamb. That lamb’s flesh was for eating, if I may say, but the blood was to be sprinkled on the top doorposts of the slaves’ dwellings, and if that was done, all would be fine. But the Egyptians? Well, let’s just say Pharaoh and his people lost their firstborn sons. God killed the firstborn son of Ramses II and went all the way down to the son of a slave girl, as it says in the ancient texts. So what did the Jewish people do? They said, oh okay, we’re done with Pharaoh and his awfulness, so let’s go. Moses had instructions, they couldn’t make dough with flour for bread, so they used unleavened wafers instead. They fled across the Red Sea, and legend has it Moses parted the Red Sea. then, it gets better. Ramses II was all, oh no, my slaves have gone. This after he said, “Go, you stupid people you killed my son and you killed everybody and ruined my country.” Well, what do you do when you enslave an entire monotheistic people and try to force them to be like you, sir? Well, you get punished, sir. Right?

So the Jewish people fled across a parted Red Sea, and they ended up wandering the desert for some time. Probably a hundred years, I forget the whole thing. But the Passover feast was mandated from then on. I could go on for a few lines more and talk about the Ten Commandments, but I can’t do that because it doesn’t have anything to do with Passover as a whole.

So what do the Jewish folks today do to commemorate Passover? Well, symbolic foods are eaten, including bitter herbs and radishes to represent the enslavement of the Jewish people, and the boiled eggs and so on. There are clear instructions on how to celebrate Passover, and I forget what the book is called, but there’s a lot to it.

One tradition I savor in a Passover seder is this: when you have a young child who is able, they have to ask, “How is this night different from all other nights?” I think that’s the tradition, don’t quote me, but I”m sure the youngest is quoted as saying such. What we do as a community in such celebrations is pass on the wisdom of the story of Moses to the youngest children and we want them to know what happens when you mess with people who stand behind a strong faith. People obviously don’t see that sometimes, and like Ramses II, they can get caught up in their selfishness. Ramses said he was God, but that got him in lots and lots of trouble. Passover is just one big huge result from the trouble Ramses caused a whole tribe of people who said, “No more.”

For more on the Jewish traditions, do feel free to read Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays: From Shofar to Seder by Cantor Matt Axelrod, written in plain English. I like how he writes about the Jewish stuff, including how he talks about each holiday and each thing that occurs in Jewish tradition. It’s not boring, I promise.

If you want more interesting fun facts about the Jewish tradition, do read the Newish Jewish Encyclopedia, which to me is pretty like a mini encyclopedia compared to Britanica, but it’ll do. It has all the different stuff in it pertaining to Passover, Hanukkah, and all the holidays between, plus celebrities and famous people’s bios and names and all sorts of fun stuff. Enjoy.

Beth

John’s Story: A Brave New World Comparison

Dear readers,

“Good morrow” is the first quote we hear from John, the young man in Brave New World who discovers English people for the first time in his life. “A most unhappy gentleman,” he says, and goes on to tell his story. In the Brave New World Netflix UK show, is a bundle of curiosity. In the book, however, John is like, I hate twins, meaning he doesn’t like the uniform clones everywhere. But something really weird happened to John in the show. Let’s take a look at the highlights.

I can’t just talk about John without covering the gist of the whole show. I forgot to add that Helmholtz, Bernard’s friend, is a woman in the show as well. Like what the hell is with the producers changing up the source material in the name of a certain look? Like I understand the need for progress, but quit trying to change the source material.

With John, I kind of wanted the whole “Good morrow” thing to get crazier. John is depicted as an American, not a British born boy, but at least is decent enough to do some good. In the show, he warms up to one of the Epsilon Jack workers, CJack60, as he is called. The guy hands John a thing of meat, and he eats it. John is hanging out with Epsilons in the dining hall, something unheard of in the book. John originally said he hated “twins”, and wretched all over the grass. In other words, John got terribly sick because everybody looked alike. In the book, see the prior post on Linda, John hit one of the Delta boys by his dying mother’s bed. Well, John never hung out with Epsilons in the book, so why? Why was he hanging around Epsilons, and it seems CJack60 is going to be more prominent, but we gotta watch more. John watches a training video to understand the New London lifestyle, but in the book, he flies around and explores the city. The big problem with John in the book is the problematic portrayal of him speaking Zuni and other Native tongues, using the words in the stereotypical fashion. But then he laces his insults with Shakespeare. Weird. John tals to Lenina and calls her an “impudent strumpet” in a classic Elizabethan insult. He went off on her for being who she was, and taking off her clothes, she was about to just have him like civilized people do in the Brave New World, when he went off on her in the following manner: “Strumpet, fitchew.” No such insults were in the show, and what is with CJack60 hanging out with John at all? Perhaps John understood something about Epsilons we don’t understand. But will John fall for Lenina and then call her a whore? that’s the worst of it, but no Elizabethan insults could possibly have been hurled at her. In any case, stay tuned.

Beth

This is ridiculous

TW talk of death, CW talk of racial issues and extreme weather.

Dear readers,

I hate to write this on such short notice, but I’m done. I’m drained, I’m floored, flustered to the point of no return. We aren’t getting services tomorrow at home where they should be at eight to twelve, and I don’t blame necessarily my caregiver for this, but I’ve had caregivers not show up for long periods of time, and I don’t want to hear about the weather here in Colorado. Before you start spouting to me, move to Florida, think about where I was running from. Isolation, overmedication, liquidation, visitation, guardianship Hell. I would indeed happily sell my whole kin on e-bay before I move to a state whose body politic is made of nothing but white people, whose black population acts a certain type of way about me and blindness, whose other populations don’t get it at all. I would gladly upend my dad’s house, sell the trumpet he gave my brother for marching band, pillage the posters and wallpapers on every bedroom wall, and sell the house flipped before I even think of living in Titusville. I would never live there because there is nothing for me. No jobs, no friends, and this is where I am now. I have barely any friends, barely any time to do things, no essential caregiver for Monday, so that means we have to wait till Wednesday for any food and cooking, which puts us at a disadvantage, particularly me, and it’s not even the blindness. I’m sick of cooking and cleaning, not knowing what foods I bought, and during a goddamned pandemic? Give me a break! I can’t imagine what people are doing half buried in snow, but nobody gave me the consideration, the consequence being that I had things in my mattress, namely bedbugs, and the other consequence being that food was made, but it wasn’t healthy food that both myself and my Trenton could eat. Due to inclement weather conditions, we can’t get delivery. Ugh. Would someone please tell the stupid weather man and the weather gods to please please please stop this extreme weather? And before you go spouting off to me about Florida or Hawaii, I’ve got news for you.

As I said, Florida is racist and ableist. I would rather sell my whole family’s possessions and my kin relations and their genealogy before I ever set foot in that place again. It would teach them a lesson, a good hard lesson about what they have forced me into. Trenton wants a world where he matters, he matters a lot to me. If he died tomorrow in my arms because one of these Florida people shot him up with a bullet or two, I’d have to pay so much for his funeral, and before I even say the word funeral, guess what? I’d even do the eulogy and I’d be shouting at the rooftops, “Trenton’s life mattered. And you idiots shot him!!!!!!” I’d be shouting to the rooftops, bring my Trenton back right now, or you will suffer. I’d be screaming at the top of my lungs, this man’s life was snuffed out by your stupidity and I will never see to it that I live near you all again!!!!!!!! Just a half hour ago, I was crying like mad, thinking I was the problem. And worse, this world doesn’t change for people like me. I’d like to see a world where we’re all accepted, broken parts and all, but what we have here is not acceptable. My family didn’t think I was worth saving, that my life didn’t matter, and they stole sixteen years of it and where are Trenton and I going to live?????? If I died tomorrow, I said, well, at least there would be less of me to deal with. While at a workshop with a famous composer, I was confronted with a blatant attack on me and my ancestors, white and black, all of it. The minister was concerned about the agreements and all this stuff, and. he gently reminded me of all this, but I still have to deal with the burden of hurting. My life doesn’t seem to matter to the person who attacked me, and even more, doesn’t matter to the whole stupid world. I don’t blame my caregiver, but I want to see something different. I want to see someone in my building who can adequately cook food to the point of not getting sick after consumption. I wish the snowstorm didn’t happen, that this whole blizzard bullshit wasn’t real, I wanna wake up tomorrow and the thing be normal again. But it feels like a goddamn bad dream, something I won’t wake up from. There’s no lifting up a woman who is the target of attacks, and there’s no jubilee for someone who has not accomplished anything but musical circuses in schools and such. I’m sorry, but this stuff I’m writing here is true to me, and honestly, I’d like the person who tore apart my ancestry and made this rude and evil comment to me at the singing workshop to come forward and apologize. I want a full apology complete with the sentence, “I’m sorry you’re disabled and living in a rotten planetary conspiracy that pervades your existence. I will stop screaming in your presence. …” No, this apology should look this way:

Dear Beth, I didn’t know your story, I don’t know your ancestry. I am sorry I attacked you. I”m a bad consultant when it comes to diversity, and no, I am a racially insensitive bureaucrat.” When I see such an apology, maybe I can shut up and drive the way you people want. How can I be a part of any spiritual group when all I’m seeing is an attack on mixed persons? I want everybody, I don’t care who they are, to recognize the following truths. These apply not only to me but to others.

One, I am blind. The minute that was discovered, my privilege went bye bye.

I am female, and that means guys can prey on me all they seem to want, but that’s illegal. Got it?

Three, who in the world created me? Don’t say the G word, I don’t care about God because God never showed any consideration. Not one iota of consideration for me, not ever. Why’d I become so blind? Why am I the only goddamn person in my family with curly brown hair that frizzed out all the time? Why am I the only person in my family who has chin hairs and is female? Is there a racial reckoning in my family? Here’s another.

Four, the minute someone black walks with me, it’s “Don’t talk to that guy. He’s a gang member/drug dealer/bad news.” Well, haven’t you ugly fools who attacked me taken a look in the mirror lately? You tell me I can’t claim the ancestry of Africans, but it’s written in my DNA, and it won’t lie. You can’t tell me how to sing, laugh, cry, or exist. Haven’t you understood that any so called word you say has a consequence? This means, I’m sitting here crying like the baby you idiots claim I am, and now the day is ruined. I can’t be trusted to cook for myself and or Trenton, and it’s awful. Awful.

I won’t go into detail much more, but now I am wishing I had more support and people who would not attack or insult me about race. Like what am I going to do? Someone please get Cari on the line. Cari would never have done this crap to anyone, and this girl lived in Florida for 15 years. She died at a young age, and we played together as children. I can’t even fathom what she’d think if I brought Trenton to her. “Oh, he’s tall, dark and handsome.” Oh really? Would you really mean it?

readers, if you think this is too much, skip this crap. I’m drained, my eyes are swollen slightly, but moreover, wet and perhaps reddish from crying. I … am … done.

Beth

99 bottles of beer on the wall? For my 99 followers

Dear readers,

I’d like to thank the 99 people who are following my blog. Since I disabled comments, my follower count has grown to almost 100. I need the best marketing tool to get more, but seriously, I think it’s important that people who follow me know how much it means to me.

For one, I am proud to say I blacked out a few comments, among them the ones supporting a sexual predator and harasser, someone who is still up to his old tricks, and so on. Then he gets paranoid and tells a friend, you believe everything that bitch writes in her blog? Well, I’m not yo bitch, so stop it. Okay? I know the strong language is too much for some to handle, but yeah.

For you followers, I’ve written a beautifully concise entry about the spiritual practices centers and how to make them inclusive for people with a disability, specifically blindness and those who use dogs for services like guiding and seizure alerts and such. For you dog enthusiasts, I so wish I had more to say on the dog subject, but I don’t, but do enjoy my reviews of different pop culture thingies. I’ve reviewwed the Brave New World show. I have more to go in the show, but trust me, you’ll want to see it because if you read the book, if you’re in the fandom of such a book, if you want progress in our world, read and take the show with a grain of salt, the book should be broken down like hel. I want to break down the show and compare to the book, of course. My bad news bits be damned, this blog is going to continue.

Now how do I know the predator is up to his old tricks? I got a msg from someone who used to date this guy. “Oh, so and so says I believe everything in your blog.” Something to that effect. I just said to hell with that guy because of his sexism, racism, and so on. He claims he’s not, but doesn’t every supremacist do so? I’ve got more proof than a pile of tomatoes that my parents were and are racist. Here’s why:

Start with the gaslighting. They told Orien’s mom and dad that I was crazy, directed the worst at me, and made fun of my crush on Orien and made it impossible for us to see each other. Now Orien is a flight attendant who’s had to hang up his wings, but still, I hope he can do other things too. However, he is a cancer survivor. The gaslighting continues with Orien’s mom following a guideline from my own mom and threatening me when I begged Orie to pick up the damn phone, and it felt like I was being driven out of my own kingdom, queendom maybe. My parents continued the gaslighting activities with a Haitian gentleman named Michael Bonhomme, and he was told probably by my mom not to see me when I got to Colorado. Michael’s heart didn’t need to be broken, but it got worse with Deq Ahmed, my ex who broke the records first. Deq was Somali, and as consequence, Muslim. My parents and Deq and I had a phone call, but it all ended with my parents grilling Deq with job questions, designed to put barriers in front of us. The clan family didn’t approve of Deq marrying me because of my parents and their guardianship, and I even told my parents, get rid of this or Deq won’t marry me. They didn’t, and as a consequence, I lost the man I wanted to a refugee woman who was prearranged to marry him. Oh well.

Because of Orien, Michael, and Deq’s stories, Trenton’s story could have ended the same way. We got a commitment ceremony, and Trenton had the same treatment from Dad at the beginning. My dad called and started spouting bedroom related tips and business to Trenton, things like don’t get her pregnant. Well, I’d rather be pregnant with Trenton than a guy who is up to his old tricks trying to shut me down on WordPress and harassing my friends and telling others that if they talk to me, they will die. I’ve heard my share of stories, and they’re all true.

I’d like to thank the 99 followers on this blog for following my content and liking it as well. For one, I’m very happy that the comments are disabled because trolls be damned, I don’t need negative press. Second, let’s fight white supremacy together. What can you do as a parent, for example, or as an educator, to fight this? All 99 of you have different interests, but we have a responsibility to fight white supremacy. Period.

As a parent, learn about systemic racism, teach this to your children, and learn to combat it together.

As a teacher, never use history books with whitewashed symbols and topics. Get a black history friendly curriculum for your children and teach that instead.

Remember, folks, my blog ain’t just about white supremacy. It’s something about disability visibility and women’s issues and … should I say cultural fun and entertainment? Look for more Brave New World stuff coming up. You will not be disappointed.

Beth