April 2015

2 04 2015

April fools day 2015

We got Curtis safely onto the bus to New Mexico, walking slowly along the bay path to Fairhaven.  It was gorgeous out.  All the trees were in new leaf, a brilliant translucent green along the way. We stopped for fish and chips and to pick up some beading supplies. I am so relieved that I do not have to play any longer the role I have been the past 3 months.  I got used to things as they were at Darrell’s place but I never felt at ease, and I hated all the constant derogatory ‘teasing’ about my faults.  I knew I was needed . . because they weren’t doing a whole lot of cooking for themselves when I stayed away , so I made sure they always had food.  But i was not once thanked or acknowledged in a positive or respectful way. I’m so glad I don’t have to play that role now.  Still, I know Darrell will miss his brother. Things got pretty rocky for a while . . what a mess . . . but it got straightened out and in the end, Darrell got Curtis  on track  and stayed on track himself , stayed strong . . even as I slipped the other direction .11082575_855472874517974_9027824008562943757_n tonight is my night for t.v.  I managed to get a lot of beadwork done the past two weeks. don’t know what the future will hold.

april 2 2015


“Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop,” says Monica Lewinsky. In 1998, she says, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant — and can turn deadly. In a brave talk, she takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation, and asks for a different way.


This topic has been on my mind this past week.  There is much here that is reflective of my own experience. and much here that i agree with . . and have agreed with and stated in my own words over and over through out the years.

The  msnbc media celebreties  like Chris Hayes would hold that I have been the victimizer, attacking people through cyber bullying ‘through out my life’ and finally got it back. Or so it was stated by msnbc while i was watching.  I have maintained that I was targeted for extreme bullying  . . in a big, organized  and vicious way long before I made my journaling open to public.  And actually, I haven’t ‘attacked’ people at all through out most of my life, although those who saw themselves in the cartoons I did in my late 20s and went into  overkill that continues to this day would hold that this is the core cause of aall this ‘karma’. other than those cartoons there was nothing anybody knew about me because my life was private.  I was too busy trying to weave a survival path in my Minneapolis years to think or care much about what my views were politically or socially on anybody.    Who actually held the power in the years from 1998 to 2007, when i first stashed my journaling in an open blog? It wasn’t me that’s for sure.  and bullying is about power.  I was used , and the shaming was used , my LIFE was used to send a message about power and what happens to people who fly in the face of it.  And the reason . . was the molding of the next generation of youth, who became so nessessary to the ambitions of the political left.  Who was really cyber bullying who when my name was publicly ridiculed through out the world in derogatory commercials with barely hidden messages in as early as 2000 and i became a hate target following so much pain,  disruption , fear and trauma,  that put me in the spotlight years go.  Thos that would call it “shaming’ had no concern for how it impacted my perceptions, attitudes, my emotional health and feelings about my self and my culture . And they told me so.  They loved it.  It was blood sport.    For years i wondered where the feminists were on this.

(And then there was the response from women. Ms. Lewinsky had been critical of feminists she said did not support her – opting instead to put their weight behind President Clinton, who had been good for women’s rights. As Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said at the time, “We’re trying to think of the bigger picture, think about what’s best for women.”

But this time around, there are women stating publicly that they support her.) from Monica Lewinski, cultural Rorschach test.

How women, like Racheal maddow could do such  things to another woman, a private citizen, not a celebrity. I concluded that genuine feminism had died, and something artificial had taken its place.  More concerned with a superficial and highly engeneered sense of empowerment for young women that allowed the worst aspects of bullying , hate , WE think and a blood sport of eliminating those they disagreed with to blossom and gain center stage in a media led blood sport.   It seemed like matters of opinion, and the concerns over abortion rights, political correctness, gay marriage and so on  took precedent over how we actually treat one another as human beings. Words and the hunt for hanging words took precedent  over actions.   The right was just as bad, for different reasons.

I am glad to see that the call for compassion rather than rage and  judgementalism and a thirst for revenge is now being called for by a more mature generation.  This should have been addressed by feminists, even at the price of acknowledging some kind of national psychosis among women . . and men too that surged beneath the surface of our media driven culture for far too long. I too still have lessons to learn when it comes to my tendency to judge as well.

I am glad that Monica Lewinski is able to articulate what I have been feeling for so very long about the cultural blood sport .  I called it the blood lust for pain, punishment and humiliation.  It didn’t get much worse than what i went through. I went through this almost from the start when I came to Madison and that set the precedent to what happened here in Washington and when the cameras started to roll, globally.  When it was at it’s worst i was carrying the heavy burden of looking out for a native man who had been rather cruelly rug pulled onto the streets by the ‘group think’ of women that tried to control my housing and social life . . . they wanted us in pain, in ‘our place’, they didnt like us rising on our own terms to make a worthwhile life for ourselves . . . and so when our way of doing things was broke the whirlwind of negativity really took off and the pattern of payback and blame began in earnest.  The public might have seen me buying my bottles of wine after work, looking dazed and down  and eaten alive . . but they never saw me navigating my friend Darrell through hard times, sheltering him in secret, and there will never be any recognition of the strenghth that it took during  those days. a that was action rather than words in a culture that clung to definition of a persons soul based only on words.

But reflecting on all this only puts people on the defensive, it doesn’t create good social relations. it creates a tit for tat and as ive gotten older I have tried to [practice a different way of looking at life, gradually creating a new identity and feeding it with positive connections through social media, the practice of reinforcing things that create joy, laughter, creativity. And this identity co exists with the other identity,the emotional rubble left by this spotlighting,  which can over take me at times and is the result of so much of the negative.  But it has gotten stronger in the over all time line.

I copy the TED speech here of Monica Lewinski.
You’re looking at a woman who was publicly silent for a decade. Obviously, that’s changed, but only recently.


It was several months ago that I gave my very first major public talk at the Forbes 30 Under 30 summit: 1,500 brilliant people, all under the age of 30. That meant that in 1998, the oldest among the group were only 14, and the youngest, just four. I joked with them that some might only have heard of me from rap songs. Yes, I’m in rap songs. Almost 40 rap songs. (Laughter)


But the night of my speech, a surprising thing happened. At the age of 41, I was hit on by a 27-year-old guy. I know, right? He was charming and I was flattered, and I declined. You know what his unsuccessful pickup line was? He could make me feel 22 again. (Laughter) (Applause) I realized later that night, I’m probably the only person over 40 who does not want to be 22 again. (Laughter) (Applause)


At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss, and at the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences.


Can I see a show of hands of anyone here who didn’t make a mistake or do something they regretted at 22? Yep. That’s what I thought. So like me, at 22, a few of you may have also taken wrong turns and fallen in love with the wrong person, maybe even your boss. Unlike me, though, your boss probably wasn’t the president of the United States of America. Of course, life is full of surprises.


Not a day goes by that I’m not reminded of my mistake, and I regret that mistake deeply.


In 1998, after having been swept up into an improbable romance, I was then swept up into the eye of a political, legal and media maelstrom like we had never seen before. (I insert my own comment here that this mirrors my own experience beginning in 1998 and perhaps  the  attention given to Monica it spilled over into the mob stoning  of myself and explains the hysteria that began)   Remember, just a few years earlier, news was consumed from just three places: reading a newspaper or magazine, listening to the radio, or watching television. That was it. But that wasn’t my fate. Instead, this scandal was brought to you by the digital revolution. That meant we could access all the information we wanted, when we wanted it, anytime, anywhere, and when the story broke in January 1998, it broke online. It was the first time the traditional news was usurped by the Internet for a major news story, a click that reverberated around the world.


What that meant for me personally was that overnight I went from being a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one worldwide. I was patient zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.


This rush to judgment, enabled by technology, led to mobs of virtual stone-throwers. Granted, it was before social media, but people could still comment online, email stories, and, of course, email cruel jokes. News sources plastered photos of me all over to sell newspapers, banner ads online, and to keep people tuned to the TV. Do you recall a particular image of me, say, wearing a beret?  ( I note here that I too charecteristically wore a beret during those years)


Now, I admit I made mistakes, especially wearing that beret. But the attention and judgment that I received, not the story, but that I personally received, was unprecedented. I was branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo, and, of course, that woman. I was seen by many but actually known by few. And I get it: it was easy to forget that that woman was dimensional, had a soul, and was once unbroken.


When this happened to me 17 years ago, there was no name for it. Now we call it cyberbullying and online harassment. Today, I want to share some of my experience with you, talk about how that experience has helped shape my cultural observations, and how I hope my past experience can lead to a change that results in less suffering for others.


In 1998, I lost my reputation and my dignity. I lost almost everything, and I almost lost my life.


Let me paint a picture for you. It is September of 1998. I’m sitting in a windowless office room inside the Office of the Independent Counsel underneath humming fluorescent lights. I’m listening to the sound of my voice, my voice on surreptitiously taped phone calls that a supposed friend had made the year before. I’m here because I’ve been legally required to personally authenticate all 20 hours of taped conversation. For the past eight months, the mysterious content of these tapes has hung like the Sword of Damocles over my head. I mean, who can remember what they said a year ago? Scared and mortified, I listen, listen as I prattle on about the flotsam and jetsam of the day; listen as I confess my love for the president, and, of course, my heartbreak; listen to my sometimes catty, sometimes churlish, sometimes silly self being cruel, unforgiving, uncouth; listen, deeply, deeply ashamed, to the worst version of myself, a self I don’t even recognize.


A few days later, the Starr Report is released to Congress, and all of those tapes and transcripts, those stolen words, form a part of it. That people can read the transcripts is horrific enough, but a few weeks later, the audio tapes are aired on TV, and significant portions made available online. The public humiliation was excruciating. Life was almost unbearable.


This was not something that happened with regularity back then in 1998, and by this, I mean the stealing of people’s private words, actions, conversations or photos, and then making them public — public without consent, public without context, and public without compassion.


Fast forward 12 years to 2010, and now social media has been born. The landscape has sadly become much more populated with instances like mine, whether or not someone actually make a mistake, and now it’s for both public and private people. The consequences for some have become dire, very dire.


I was on the phone with my mom in September of 2010, and we were talking about the news of a young college freshman from Rutgers University named Tyler Clementi. Sweet, sensitive, creative Tyler was secretly webcammed by his roommate while being intimate with another man. When the online world learned of this incident, the ridicule and cyberbullying ignited. A few days later, Tyler jumped from the George Washington Bridge to his death. He was 18.


My mom was beside herself about what happened to Tyler and his family, and she was gutted with pain in a way that I just couldn’t quite understand, and then eventually I realized she was reliving 1998, reliving a time when she sat by my bed every night, reliving a time when she made me shower with the bathroom door open, and reliving a time when both of my parents feared that I would be humiliated to death, literally.


Today, too many parents haven’t had the chance to step in and rescue their loved ones. Too many have learned of their child’s suffering and humiliation after it was too late. Tyler’s tragic, senseless death was a turning point for me. It served to recontextualize my experiences, and I then began to look at the world of humiliation and bullying around me and see something different. In 1998, we had no way of knowing where this brave new technology called the Internet would take us. Since then, it has connected people in unimaginable ways, joining lost siblings, saving lives, launching revolutions, but the darkness, cyberbullying, and slut-shaming that I experienced had mushroomed. Every day online, people, especially young people who are not developmentally equipped to handle this, are so abused and humiliated that they can’t imagine living to the next day, and some, tragically, don’t, and there’s nothing virtual about that. ChildLine, a U.K. nonprofit that’s focused on helping young people on various issues, released a staggering statistic late last year: From 2012 to 2013, there was an 87 percent increase in calls and emails related to cyberbullying. A meta-analysis done out of the Netherlands showed that for the first time, cyberbullying was leading to suicidal ideations more significantly than offline bullying. And you know what shocked me, although it shouldn’t have, was other research last year that determined humiliation was a more intensely felt emotion than either happiness or even anger.


Cruelty to others is nothing new, but online, technologically enhanced shaming is amplified, uncontained, and permanently accessible. The echo of embarrassment used to extend only as far as your family, village, school or community, but now it’s the online community too. Millions of people, often anonymously, can stab you with their words, and that’s a lot of pain, and there are no perimeters around how many people can publicly observe you and put you in a public stockade. There is a very personal price to public humiliation, and the growth of the Internet has jacked up that price.


For nearly two decades now, we have slowly been sowing the seeds of shame and public humiliation in our cultural soil, both on- and offline. Gossip websites, paparazzi, reality programming, politics, news outlets and sometimes hackers all traffic in shame. It’s led to desensitization and a permissive environment online which lends itself to trolling, invasion of privacy, and cyberbullying. This shift has created what Professor Nicolaus Mills calls a culture of humiliation. Consider a few prominent examples just from the past six months alone. Snapchat, the service which is used mainly by younger generations and claims that its messages only have the lifespan of a few seconds. You can imagine the range of content that that gets. A third-party app which Snapchatters use to preserve the lifespan of the messages was hacked, and 100,000 personal conversations, photos, and videos were leaked online to now have a lifespan of forever. Jennifer Lawrence and several other actors had their iCloud accounts hacked, and private, intimate, nude photos were plastered across the Internet without their permission. One gossip website had over five million hits for this one story. And what about the Sony Pictures cyberhacking? The documents which received the most attention were private emails that had maximum public embarrassment value.


But in this culture of humiliation, there is another kind of price tag attached to public shaming. The price does not measure the cost to the victim, which Tyler and too many others, notably women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community have paid, but the price measures the profit of those who prey on them. This invasion of others is a raw material, efficiently and ruthlessly mined, packaged and sold at a profit. A marketplace has emerged where public humiliation is a commodity and shame is an industry. How is the money made? Clicks. The more shame, the more clicks. The more clicks, the more advertising dollars. We’re in a dangerous cycle. The more we click on this kind of gossip, the more numb we get to the human lives behind it, and the more numb we get, the more we click. All the while, someone is making money off of the back of someone else’s suffering. With every click, we make a choice. The more we saturate our culture with public shaming, the more accepted it is, the more we will see behavior like cyberbullying, trolling, some forms of hacking, and online harassment. Why? Because they all have humiliation at their cores. This behavior is a symptom of the culture we’ve created. Just think about it.


Changing behavior begins with evolving beliefs. We’ve seen that to be true with racism, homophobia, and plenty of other biases, today and in the past. As we’ve changed beliefs about same-sex marriage, more people have been offered equal freedoms. When we began valuing sustainability, more people began to recycle. So as far as our culture of humiliation goes, what we need is a cultural revolution. Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop, and it’s time for an intervention on the Internet and in our culture.


The shift begins with something simple, but it’s not easy. We need to return to a long-held value of compassion — compassion and empathy. Online, we’ve got a compassion deficit, an empathy crisis.


Researcher Brené Brown said, and I quote, “Shame can’t survive empathy.” Shame cannot survive empathy. I’ve seen some very dark days in my life, and it was the compassion and empathy from my family, friends, professionals, and sometimes even strangers that saved me. Even empathy from one person can make a difference. The theory of minority influence, proposed by social psychologist Serge Moscovici, says that even in small numbers, when there’s consistency over time, change can happen. In the online world, we can foster minority influence by becoming upstanders. To become an upstander means instead of bystander apathy, we can post a positive comment for someone or report a bullying situation. Trust me, compassionate comments help abate the negativity. We can also counteract the culture by supporting organizations that deal with these kinds of issues, like the Tyler Clementi Foundation in the U.S., In the U.K., there’s Anti-Bullying Pro, and in Australia, there’s Project Rockit.


We talk a lot about our right to freedom of expression, but we need to talk more about our responsibility to freedom of expression. We all want to be heard, but let’s acknowledge the difference between speaking up with intention and speaking up for attention. The Internet is the superhighway for the id, but online, showing empathy to others benefits us all and helps create a safer and better world. We need to communicate online with compassion, consume news with compassion, and click with compassion. Just imagine walking a mile in someone else’s headline. I’d like to end on a personal note. In the past nine months, the question I’ve been asked the most is why. Why now? Why was I sticking my head above the parapet? You can read between the lines in those questions, and the answer has nothing to do with politics. The top note answer was and is because it’s time: time to stop tip-toeing around my past; time to stop living a life of opprobrium; and time to take back my narrative.


It’s also not just about saving myself. Anyone who is suffering from shame and public humiliation needs to know one thing: You can survive it. I know it’s hard. It may not be painless, quick or easy, but you can insist on a different ending to your story. Have compassion for yourself. We all deserve compassion, and to live both online and off in a more compassionate world.


Thank you for listening.

Easter Sunday

waiting for the sun to come up.  Spent all day yesterday watching biblical programming including the dovekeepers,about Masada from a woman’s perspective.  somehow the split pea soup I was cooking burned and although I filled the pan with water to soak some one on my floor called the fire department.  three firemen showed up saying that some one had said there was a’ disturbance.’ I was quietly watching my jesus shows as they entered with fire hoses and full gear. . Thankfully my apartment was cleaned and the dishes done.  The birds went into a flutter and started flying all around us. I told the firemen i could not open up the window with my birds loose so they simply set up a powerful fan.  One of the firemen got interested in my jesus show and proceded to stop and watch it with me. Jesus was creating a disturbance at the temple.  I found the incident comic.  They did not find either myself or my apartment in a state of wreckage, me passed out or disheaveled or creating a ‘disturbance’ of any kind, just watching a jesus movie like a nice, motherly looking lady while the birds flew around and around. so ended a ridiculous episode.



.Yesterday I made up some Lamb and ribs at Darrell’s place. We napped, watched A.D , and a very interesting program on the origins of the Israelites. And after a marathon sleep, full of intense dreaming i feel on good ground this morning.  The depression has lifted, what ever it was that was making me obsessive, self sabotaging and weak. Darrell has stopped his campaign .and is now affectionate.  I have to straighten out my finances now, and direct more energy toward loving my own family who have not been getting the respect and attention they deserve.












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