Tennessee Republicans: War on Women.

Rep. Bill Dunn (AP/Getty/Photo Montage by Salon).

Rep. Bill Dunn (AP/Getty/Photo Montage by Salon).

Tennessee rethugs have come up with a new way to shame and oppress women, forcibly reminding all women that their only function in life is to be a silent vessel for babies.

Last week, the Republican-controlled Tennessee state Senate passed a bill to erect the “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children, In Memory of the Victims of Abortion: Babies, Women, and Men” on the capitol grounds, near memorials to victims of slavery and the Holocaust. A similar bill has passed the state house, and it’s likely that the state’s Republican governor, Bill Haslam, will sign this legislation into law.

[…]

“Both of these monuments that are already here recognize that atrocities occurred because human beings were treated as less than human,” state Rep. Bill Dunn (R) said in March. “In both cases, the vulnerable and defenseless were subjected to the will of the powerful.”

“The taking of the life of a baby in the womb is related to this brand of inhumanity,” Dunn added.

[…]

It’s critical to understand that the intended “memorial” does not memorialize any actual people. Babies are not harmed by abortion, because babies only exist after a pregnancy is completed. Men are not victimized by abortion, because men do not have any rights over women’s bodies that can be violated. And women are not victims of abortion either, since it’s a process they choose for themselves and one that research suggests is generally the right decision for those who make it.

Tennessee Republicans are doing more than insulting women. They’re minimizing the seriousness of slavery and the Holocaust by suggesting that the millions of real victims of these atrocities are no more important than the imaginary victims of abortion.

The timing of this memorial to fake victims is noteworthy. This is all happening during an ongoing war over memorials to the Confederacy and the Ku Klux Klan, which Tennessee progressives have been trying to take down and Tennessee Republicans are trying to preserve.

There isn’t the least bit of subtlety in this latest move to stomp women back into their “proper place”. It’s disgusting and beyond wrong, and this is what conservatives, especially christian conservatives have come to, a complete caricature of lunatics running the asylum. In the year 2018, women are still viewed and treated as property, public and private, as well as mental simpletons who couldn’t possibly make decisions for themselves. This is the viewpoint of the regressive lunkheads in Tennessee, who will use any means to make sure women know they are property, and that it’s best left to men to decide what’s best for any given woman.

Amanda Marcotte at Salon has the full story.

Sexual Normalcy?

Stonewall.uk.

Bryan Fischer is just about orgasmic over the ouster of the House Chaplain. It seems most people think it was over a prayer by Patrick Conroy, that the tax bill be fair, so Ryan said he was too political.  Anyroad, Mr. Fischer is just so damn excited:

“Here is a good news item for the day,” Fischer declared. “He is an out gay man, he’s married to a man—quote, end quote—so it was a shameful move to the put this guy in charge of the chaplaincy of the House in the first place.”

“This is a great win,” Fischer continued. “He’s pro-gay, he’s a homosexual guy that’s married to a homosexual guy. Big win, because Paul Ryan is not going to replace him with somebody who is going to have that kind of a left-leaning tilt. This is good news for the agenda of morality, especially sexual normalcy in the United States.”

There’s no such thing as sexual normalcy, Mr. Fischer. Missionary “for the baybees” Only is not official in any, it’s boring as fuck, and not everyone is interested in breeding. Mr. Fischer is providing yet another grand example of christian stupidity and inability to fact check anything. Oh no, much better to start spewing lies. I would have though that even someone like Mr. Fischer would know about the celibacy issue in the catholic church. I have no idea whatsoever of Patrick Conroy’s sexual orientation, but if he’s managed to stay celibate all these years, what in the fuck does it matter? He’s certainly not married to anyone. That’s kind of a no-no in catholicism. It took me about 4, 5 minutes to check stuff out, and it turns out the Patrick Conroy is pro-gay. I guess that’s not bad enough, no, better make up a bunch of shit instead. Fucking christians. I imagine they are in such a froth because Patrick Conroy came out and said sex is much more than breeding, oh no!

New Civil Rights Movements has a good article up about this mess. Bryan Fischer’s screeth is at RWW.

Girls! Icky, Evil Girls!

Goodness me, the whole world is unraveling, everything is going to go to hell because girls. Not terribly surprising when it comes to christian thinking, females of any type are always the evil problem to blame.

The American Family Association released a video in which Tim Wildmon and Ed Vitaglino, the AFA’s president and executive vice president, respectively, railed against the news that thousands of girls have joined the Boy Scouts after the organization began admitting them earlier this year.

I went and read the small article about this, and yes, 3,000 girls have joined up. There was a mention of a brother and sister who excitedly joined up, they want to be the first siblings to achieve eagle scout. I don’t think much of boy scouts, but that’s kind of nice, for siblings to be able to be together in such a venture. I’m certainly not seeing the horrible evil which Tim & Ed have conjured up. Perhaps they’ll explain…

“This is, I think, a part of the ongoing war against the Judeo-Christian worldview, the way God has established mankind, male and female,” Vitaglino said, asserting that “the secular progressive … materialistic worldview based in evolution” is waging a “war against God and His divine order.”

Uh, nope. That’s not helping to clarify at all. All girls aren’t going to stop being girls because they joined a scouting organization. All boys aren’t going to stop being boys because they’re now in a co-ed scouting organization. I don’t get at all how this could possibly go against old Jehovah. I have no idea what evolution has to do with anything. It’s not like the scouts were a creationist thing. Let’s see, shall we?

It is a common belief that the BSA does prohibit members who are atheist and agnostic based on its “duty to God” principle and that members (adult and youth) agree with the Declaration of Religious Principle in the bylaws. However, the BSA has had Buddhist troops since 1920 and many Buddhists are atheists or agnostics. The BSA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Unitarian Universalist Association in 2016 which specifically gives ultimate authority over a participant’s spiritual welfare to the individual Unitarian Universalist congregation. The MOU also specifically includes within Unitarian Universalist chartered troops Humanism as an acceptable form of spirituality as well as Earth-centered religions. [Wikipedia.]

Doesn’t look to me like it’s any sort of made-up war against your pathetic god, gentlemen. Of course, if there’s willful ignorance to be had, you’ll always find it in christians.

“So, you think this is basically satanic?” Wildmon asked.

“This is Romans 1,” Vitaglino responded. “When any individual or community or nation, any culture, ignores God or refuses to honor Him and give Him the glory He deserves, then the Bible makes clear in Romans 1 that they are then given over to a deepening darkness and depravity and, unfortunately, that’s what we’re seeing happen in America.”

Oh FFS, give the satanic panic a fucking rest already. How in the fuckety fuck is an organization going co-ed ignoring a god or refusing honour and glory? I imagine all the christian kids in the boy scouts do all that idiotic shit, and it’s really beyond the pale to consider this as depraved in any way. If anything, this might really help boys and young men to truly understand that girls and young women are people, not objects, and people with ideas and abilities of their own. If this helps in even the smallest of ways to reduce sexism, it will be a very good thing indeed. And christians really need to stop being so bloody hysterical over every little thing.

RWW has the story and the video.

The Inquisition Tentacles Are Spreading.

I’ve written about Ralph Drollinger before. He’s one scary lunatic christian, and he wields way too much influence in the current regime. He’s crowing again, over all the “progress” he’s making. It’s as well to remember that Drollinger’s idea of progress is to bring back the inquisition or something like.

Ralph Drollinger, who runs fundamentalist Bible studies for dozens of members of Congress and President Trump’s Cabinet every week, said in a fundraising letter this month that his group “has been blessed by God with extraordinary growth beyond our wildest imaginings in foreign nations across the globe and most notably in former Soviet Bloc countries.”

[…]

We noted last fall that Drollinger is aggressively expanding his operations both at the local government level in the U.S. and in national capitals around the world. His April 4 letter includes some details about the latter:

In the last few months discipleship Bible studies have been established to Parliamentarians in Romania; Ukraine; Fiji; Papua New Guinea; and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. A ministry is about to begin in Guatemala, and before fall, we expect work to be completed for ministries in the Central and South American nations of Peru; Ecuador; Brazil; Mexico; Uruguay; and Paraguay, as well as in the European city Riga, Latvia.

Work is current an ongoing with partners to establish discipleship Bible studies in Berlin and Bonne [sic]. We are enthusiastically pursuing an opportunity to plant a ministry in the European Union Parliament, a body of 600 Parliamentarians from 26 Western and Eastern European nations who meet two weeks every month in Brussels, Belgium and one week every month in Strasbourg, France.

We thought the Lord did not want us in the Middle East, but to our great surprise discussions are currently underway to establish a ministry in a Muslim majority nation in the Middle East.

[…]

Although Drollinger is quick to complain about news coverage he believes is unfair, his letter says a story published in a German newspaper helped attract new friends. And Capitol Ministries has been gushing about a recent BBC story that the group says “reached more than 1 million readers world-wide.”

I have no idea why people might find Drollinger favourable in any light, but even if you are one of the lucky people who lives in a happily secular nation, this should be worrying. Drollinger is naturally courting regressive governments, but there are always regressive asses in any government, and they are likely to listen to Drollinger. I fail to see the charm, and it’s beyond disturbing that Drollinger is not simply being dismissed. Just to give you an idea of what Drollinger wants to institute, as far as government is concerned:

Drollinger’s April 13 Bible study says it is a “disservice to the country” for public servants to “craft policy that is not somehow rooted in Scripture.” Here are some of the other theological and political positions Drollinger teaches public officials:

Drollinger likes to tell reporters that he doesn’t instruct public officials how to vote, but he makes it clear in his written Bible studies that, for example, Christian public servants are required to support the death penalty and oppose marriage equality.

Drollinger also has very specific views on the role of women: “there is a prohibition of female leadership in marriage, and female leadership in the church.” One of his Bible studies explains what he calls the “unambiguous” difference in responsibilities the Bible gives men and women, saying women’s “primary functions” include homemaking, home management, mothering, teaching younger women, displaying hospitality and dressing modestly.

There’s much more, RWW has the full story.

Trump, Ever The Good Christian.

Donald Trump, left, stands next to the Easter Bunny, right (Screen cap).

Donald Trump, left, stands next to the Easter Bunny, right (Screen cap).

Before entering Bethesda-by-the-Sea Church for Sunday services, Trump stood in front of the front doors and answered questions about his call on Twitter to end deportation protection for so-called Dreamers who were brought to the U.S. as children.

When he was asked about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Trump blamed Mexico for “not helping at the border.”

“If they’re not going to help us at the border, it’s a very sad thing. Mexico has got help us at the border. And a lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA. And we’re going to have to really see,” the president said.

There’s the christian that all the lunatic, asshole christians love, taking an oh so pious stance (look, I’m going to church!) and then denying responsibility for and degrading children. Can’t you just feel that christian love? Afterwards, the Tiny Tyrant did the bunny and egg roll stuff, with a by now standard idiotic word salad message to all the sprogs:

In his address to the children at the event, Trump began by referring to the White House as “this house or building or whatever you want to call it because there is no name for it, it is special.” Trump then said that he and his staff keep the White House “in tip-top shape, we call it sometimes tippy-top shape, and it’s a great, great place.”

He then pivoted to talking about the military, which he said would soon be “at a level it’s never been before” and “you see what’s happening with funding” and “just think of $700 billion, because that’s what’s going into our military this year.”

My, who knew there was no name for the white house? When did that happen, because I certainly missed it. So, I guess we now have Tippy-Top Shape House. That seems to accord well with the Tiny Tyrant’s mentality. Moving on, what’s more joyful to talk about on Ēostre Day, to children, than a military sucking up yet more money, a bloated horror of a tick sucking the lifeblood out of the country? I suppose you can’t start priming the next gen of cannon fodder soon enough, eh?

Both stories via RawStory, one, two.

The Black & White of Voter Fraud.

Reid Wilson:

NC white woman who admitted voter fraud: No charges.

CO white man convicted of voter fraud: Probation, comm service.

IA white woman convicted of voter fraud: Probation, $750 fine.

TX black woman convicted of voter fraud: 5 years IN PRISON. Which of these is not like the other?

Clear as crystal, isn’t it? But we just don’t have a gosh darn problem with racism in Amerikka, no. You can read more about this at RawStory.

Talking About Obama’s Birth Certificate. Again.

Joe Arpaio, screengrab. Just look at all those old white men.

Joe Arpaio. Apparently, still grieving over not being sheriff anymore, so he’s running for senate in Arizona. Here’s a bit of what he had to say to people about his pro-Trump platform:

In a speech to a small group at the event, which was posted on YouTube by the channel Tru Conservative TV, Arpaio recalled introducing Trump at a campaign rally in 2015 where he spoke about his and Trump’s shared interest in cracking down on immigration and in investigating Obama’s birth certificate.

“I talked about another thing that made a little news,” Arpaio said. “I don’t talk about it anymore—until I become the U.S. senator…but that’s something to do with a document. If I ask you guys—I’m a nothing now, but if I was still the sheriff I could ask for your birth certificate.”

“So I’m kind of dropping that right now,” he said, “but I’m going to tell you something: 100 percent we proved that’s a fake document. One hundred.”

For someone who is not talking about “it”, you seem to be spending time talking about it. Unbelievable, all these old, white, conservative christians are like a terribly scratched record, it’s all skip, screech, bumpity bump bump.

No, you did not 100 percent prove the birth certificate to be fake. You couldn’t get anywhere at all with that, even though you put years into your “investigation”. Well, I suppose focusing on such nonsense is better than Mr. Arpaio attempting to address current affairs.

The full story, with links and video is at RWW.

A ‘Separation Of LGBT And State’.

Scott Lively, a man who thinks executing queer folk is a great idea is running for governor of Massachusetts. I most sincerely hope the people of Massachusetts bury this evil asshole in a blizzard of no votes at all.

Lively asserted that “there is no human right based in sodomy” and promised that if he becomes governor, he will ensure that the rights of religious individuals will always triumph over the rights of LGBTQ people.

“The two things that I would do in Massachusetts,” Lively said, “number one is what I call the First Amendment supremacy clause … It just simply says that whenever there is a conflict between [sexual orientation nondiscrimination] regulations and the First Amendment, the First Amendment has to prevail. It has to prevail; you cannot have newly invented laws and policies superseding the most fundamental right of Americans.”

Oh, how I wish these hateful, bigoted asshole christians would get the fuck over the whole sodomy thing. Men who happen to be gay are not the be all end all of LGBTQ, but you’d never know it going by Lively and those like him. Naturally, it’s all about the mighty, terrifying, all powerful penis! A teensy bit of education could go a long way here – all gay men don’t indulge in anal sex, and plenty of hetero people do indulge.

Of course you can have newly invented laws and policies, you flaming dipshit. They happen all the damn time. For all your waving about of the word amendment, you seem to be remarkably unaware of what it means. Oh, the irony!

“The second [policy] is what I call the separation of LGBT and state,” he continued. “To the extent that religion is restricted in government, so should the LGBT political movement because it is basically the counter to it. They’re opposite political forces and movements competing for influence in society and government should get its thumb off the scale when it comes to that and let’s get back to like we had it in the ’40s and ’50s.”

So much for the constitution love. Interesting how that goes straight out the window when it comes to separation of church and state. You don’t get to institute separations to cater to your unhinged hatred, Mr. Lively. It doesn’t work that way. As for the 1940s and 1950s, no, let’s not go back there. I wouldn’t mind if you went back there, Mr. Lively, then we’d be well shot of you. Can someone get on that time machine already? Please?

The full story with video is at RWW.

Nazis & Satanists: A Match Made In Hell.

Oh the drama! It’s just tearing the murderous Atomwaffen apart, which is not a bad thing in itself, but unfortunately, there are too many places for murderous nazis to go upon pronouncing Atomwaffen bad because satanists.

White nationalists are disavowing the murderous neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division—not because of the murder, but because the group can’t shake persistent rumors that it’s a gateway organization for a satanic cult.

Atomwaffen is an extremist group that received national attention after being implicated in five murders from May 2017 to January 2018. But even before the most recent slaying, Atomwaffen was under fire from others on the far right who claimed the group was actually a mouthpiece for the Order of Nine Angles, a satanic group that encourages members to infiltrate extremist political movements, whose members might be susceptible to conversion.

It doesn’t help that, until recently, Atomwaffen pushed the satanic group’s literature on one of its websites.

Atomwaffen claims to have been founded in 2013, although its membership surged after a deadly white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, ProPublica previously reported. The group now has approximately 20 cells across the U.S., according to ProPublica.

The whole thing is a tangled mess, which confirms the impression that what murderous nazis are best at is infighting. Kelly Weill at The Daily Beast has the whole sordid story.

Katastwóf Karavan.

Kara Walker with her “Katastwóf Karavan” at the Mississippi River Trail on February 23, 2018, in New Orleans. Josh Brasted/Getty Images.

Kara Walker with her “Katastwóf Karavan” at the Mississippi River Trail on February 23, 2018, in New Orleans. Josh Brasted/Getty Images.

[…] Walker titled the whole montage the Katastwóf Karavan, or Caravan of Catastrophe, the use of Haitian Creole signaling the mix of Caribbean and Southern histories that shaped New Orleans. Walker’s first public installation since the 2014 Marvelous Sugar Baby — the enormous Sphinx-like mammy figure that she built out of sugar in the now-demolished Domino factory in Williamsburg — the Karavan went up for the closing weekend of the Prospect.4 triennial, which ran for three months at multiple sites around New Orleans. The installation was freighted with layers of site-specific symbolism — none of it subtle if you knew a bit about local history, yet all of it obscured by years of avoidance or, at best, awkward notes in the narratives delivered by school curricula or tourist brochures.

Thus Algiers Point: Here, in the eighteenth century, traders warehoused disembarked captives — those who survived the Middle Passage — before selling them on the opposite bank in the markets that dotted the French Quarter and surroundings. This is where families were rent apart, humans assessed and packaged as commodities. Thus, too, Walker’s tableaux, relevant across the landscape of chattel slavery but especially here.

And thus the calliope, a direct retort to the one on the Natchez — “the OTHER calliope,” Walker called it on her handout for the event — and its sonic broadcast of a whitewashed history. Several times a day, the vessel’s instrument blares out to the city (there is no such thing as a quiet calliope) items from a hoary playlist such as “Old Man River,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “God Bless America,” and, yes, “Dixie’s Land.” […]

You can read and see much more about Kara Walker’s latest piece here.

U.S. Government Abuse: Manzanar to Guantánamo.

Clem Albers, “San Pedro, California, April 5, 1942” (courtesy National Archives and Records Administration).

Clem Albers, “San Pedro, California, April 5, 1942” (courtesy National Archives and Records Administration).

Edmund Clark, “Camp 1, isolation unit” from the series Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out (2009) (© Edmund Clark).

Edmund Clark, “Camp 1, isolation unit” from the series Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out (2009) (© Edmund Clark).

Edmund Clark, “Camp 6, Immediate Response Force equipment,” from the series Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out (2009) (© Edmund Clark).

Edmund Clark, “Camp 6, Immediate Response Force equipment,” from the series Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out (2009) (© Edmund Clark).

The exhibition Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II is what brought me to the International Center of Photography. After all, the wartime photos of Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and Toyo Miyatake are much celebrated today, historical artifacts in themselves. But I felt compelled to stay for The Day the Music Died, British photographer Edmund Clark’s eight video, music, and photography installations on the post-9/11“War on Terror” around the globe.

The pairing of the two exhibitions invites viewers to search for parallels between US national security efforts more than 70 years ago and today: How does the forced relocation of virtually all ethnic Japanese people residing in the US during World War II resemble the dragnet of the current anti-terrorism apparatus around the globe? Both shows shed light on people, more that half a century apart, swept into detention by the US government without due process, in the name of national security. And the juxtaposition has become all the more timely since President Trump’s late January signing of an executive order to keep Guantánamo Bay’s prison open.

[…]

The exhibitions Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and Edmund Clark: The Day the Music Died continue at the International Center of Photography (250 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan) through May 6.

You can read and see much more about these terribly poignant photographs and their history at Hyperallergic.

Everyday American Hell.

Peter Williams, “Resistance II” (2017), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (photo by Carson Zullinger).

Peter Williams, “Resistance II” (2017), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (photo by Carson Zullinger).

[…] Williams uses caricature to invite viewers — whatever their political persuasion— to reflect upon how they see people of a race different from their own, as well as underscore the intolerance, distrust, and fear running throughout our everyday lives. A brave and intrepid curator ought to buy “Mass Murder” and install it near the entrance of a museum.

Walking home, I remembered something a black artist friend told me about raising his son in New York City: “I told him never to run down the street.” This is the reality we inhabit. There is nothing “united” about the United States, something artists as different as Jasper Johns and Peter Williams have known their whole lives.

Peter Williams: With So Little To Be Sure Of continues at CUE Art Foundation (137 West 25th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan) through March 29.

Hyperallergic has an in-depth article on Peter Williams’s latest works and show, well worth a detour in your day to read and see many more art pieces.

Cancer Chronicles 13: Breakdown Days & Fuck That Noise.

I’ll start with FUCK. THAT. NOISE. ^ because it’s easier than the intimate stuff. This…thing is on the wall of the exit hall leading out of all the oncology exam rooms. I hate to say, but this is far from the worst. The whole place is soaked in crap like this, and worse, deep catholic sentiments (quotes from motherfucking “saint” Theresa* and the like), and the rest is all “brave! hope! courage! faith! positivepositivepositive!. It’s enough to make a person puke and not stop. So, “Be Brave” with a cutesy arrow. Obviously, no one thought that one over very much. Implicit bigotry is always there, and obviously the, er, person who did this didn’t think at all. I could never in my life call the person who did this utter piece of shite an artist. Ugly, tacky, racist. It should be burnt, along with all the rest of such crap.

What does such an admonition do for someone who is almost catatonic with fear? How in the fuckety fuck does such a thing help that person? It doesn’t. It’s yet another scalding burden to place on the shoulders of that person, that something is terribly wrong with them; that they should not feel fear, no. They should square those shoulders, jut that stiff upper lip, be brave. Fear and anxiety are perfectly fucking normal when you get to hear It’s CANCER. Each person is different, and even those who manage to take the news with equanimity do not need to see such shit. We do not need to be told we should be “brave! hope! courage! faith! positivepositivepositive!. We should not have to confront such crap at every turn. Sure, there are people who might love seeing fucking Theresa quotes, but you know what? You can get such shit at home and your place of worship, if that’s your thing. And once again, those of us who are godless are not even considered when all this littering of religious crap is being done. People of other religious beliefs are not considered either, no, it’s all christian crap. The people responsible for picking this absolute shit out need to be taken out behind the woodshed and given one hell of a good smack.

ETA: To all the offended Christians: this notion that christian sentiment is somehow universal shows a breathtaking arrogance and an appalling lack of thought when it comes to other people. My cancer is not about your god, and no, I don’t give one tiny shit what you think about it. Anything me is not about your god. Please, keep that nasty god to yourself. You can drape yourself in instruments of execution, rosaries, prayer books, all that, but try to get it through your heads that it’s personal, and it does not apply to all people.

There is so little thought when it comes to cancer decor, and yeah, that’s a fucking thing. There’s zero honesty in any of it, it’s just “open your mouth and swallow the bullshit, honey, and if you aren’t brave and hopeful and full of faith, well that’s on you. YOUR FAULT.” There is no recognition of all the actual emotions threatening to boil over. No anguished “why”. No fear. No anxiety. No head full of thoughts and questions about how you will manage anything. No anger. No FUCK. No spectre of death. The other side of cancer decor is all obsequious gratitude, generally in the form of survivor art. There’s one of those pieces hanging in the oncology waiting room. No, there’s nothing wrong with being thankful and happy you made it out the other side with your life, but this kind of crafty art is terribly grating, because it evokes people on their knees (in this case women, a group of breast cancer survivors) giving worship. Fuck that noise too. Medical are doing their jobs, it’s what they do, and I’m pretty sure they’re thankful for every patient who survives, but you don’t find them doing worshipful art pieces. There’s a terrible imbalance in Cancerland. People end up feeling like it was the bad old days, where doctors were gods, and you didn’t dare make a sound, but meekly went toward any treatment you were pointed at, and no matter what happened, you should be on your knees in gratitude. Cancer has a way of smacking you the fuck down, and until the anger shows up, you don’t feel terribly strong. Or fucking brave. For some people, the fear will dominate, which tends to keep them quiet, even when they shouldn’t be. You can recognise them, like sheep being led to slaughter, meekly plodding along. All the “brave! hope! courage! faith! positivepositivepositive! crap doesn’t do anything for them.

So here’s a thought. Take all the “brave! hope! courage! faith! positivepositivepositive! crap, pile it up, and burn it. Instead, get warm, colourful posters and photographs. Flowers, water, dance, play, beautiful things which provide slender threads to good memories, to future hopes, threads which keep a person linked to thoughts of life. Things which represent to ALL people. No false cheer. No fucking admonitions. No hint of anything being your patients’ fault. Warmth, colour, life. Let people make their own associations, the ones which are most important to them. Cancer decor, as it now stands, needs to die, stat. It’s probably helping to kill a certain percentage of patients. Trite bullshit doesn’t help anyone. Stupid clichés that you’ve heard a million times don’t help. If you’re setting up an office somewhere, be original and actually think about your patients, think about how much this twee garbage does not help. Think about what might make you feel better if you were in the cancer seat. From now on, I might have to make sure I don’t have a lighter on me when I have to go to oncology. The temptation to set all that shit on fire is near overwhelming.

Okay, on to breakdown days. They will happen. Might not happen often, might not happen more than once, but one of them has your name on it, and will hit with the force of a sledgehammer. Mine was a couple of weeks ago, when treatment had been pushed back for the third time. I found myself crying. In public. For me, that’s unthinkable and it was mortifying. I couldn’t stop, and I wanted to start screaming all of my fury, too. The whole mess didn’t last long, even though it felt that way. I was back to my normal cynical humour, but that breakdown left a deep and lasting mark. It’s one which won’t go away. It took too long for the penny to drop, but I finally realised that if anything pushes me off the mental cliff, it will be Go sit in the corner and waitwaitwaitwait. I don’t have any way of coping with that one. I just want this DONE. It’s the one thing you think about, being done. Over. Out. I found myself in the position of getting in the door, but I couldn’t even see down the fucking hall, let alone the exit door. I’m not one who sees any virtue whatsoever in patience. I can be remarkably patient when there’s a clear end goal in sight, and there’s a specific time limit. But vague, hand-waved waiting? No. What will get me through is having treatments on time, on schedule. And yes, I am all too aware that people are looking out for me, making sure I don’t get even sicker and have yet more to deal with. Yes, I am all too aware that chronic liver inflammation is a precursor to cancer. I also know that chemo increases the chance of another cancer down the road. I know all that shit. Doesn’t help. There’s already a small well of despair in my head, trying to prepare me for another four fucking weeks of waiting instead of the next cycle. One thing is sure, if that happens, I’ll be sure to be ensconced in the car if another breakdown day comes my way, so as to at least preserve a bit of dignity. A sense of dignity can be hard to come by in Cancerland. Whew, I did not want to share any of that, but honesty seriously counts in Cancerland, and it has to take priority. That’s all I have for this chronicle.

*All the people Theresa “ministered” to were put on filthy cots on dirt floors, and denied pain medication, although it was available. Terminal people in immense pain were told “suffering brings you closer to god.” Yet, when Theresa was ill, she was put on a jet, flown to the U.S., put in a private room with all the amenities, which would be way out of reach for most people, and you can bet she was given more than adequate pain meds. She deserves zero respect, she was an immoral hypocrite.