Friday, May 30, 2003

A Coupla Reasons to Stay in the YouEssAy

I am not alone in thinking it's time to take my anti-war patriotic ass away from this country for a while, while it recovers from its recent blight of warmongering and regime-changing. So as I'm readjusting to speaking nothing but English all the time (today I spelled the name "Maureen" Marine and didn't notice it until later in the day when I reread my notes) I am finding myself grasping for reasons to stay here. It would be an awfully lot more convenient to stay than go.

Today's reasons to like the United States:

Black Mary - a tough 6-foot tall cowboygirl who was an ex-slave sharp-shooter bar-brawler and enterprising sort of woman. She died in 1914 in her 90's. They don't make role models like this in EVERY country.

the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission - I know, it's self serving, since I work here, but really, I wouldn't get to know how much I dislike the US if this organization - founded in the US - didn't support me galavanting abroad to promote a human rights agenda.

I know I know it's a cliche. But I can't help it. She's one of my role models and she is not only a product of the US but of North-Western New York, not all that far from where I grew up. I'm so glad the RBRmy finally got that freakin' web page going. And look! I didn't know that Ani had signed Bitch-n-Animal! How very cool.

And now a scattershot list of things that occur to me that I put together in a brainstorm session with a few friends.

The Chicago Manual of Style - the exquisite, nervous, extreme fringes of geekiness!

SpongeBob SquarePants - this is a site ONLY for serious fans. SpongeBob is soooo gay. I ate a whole box of SpongeBob SquarePants CheeseNips the day after I got back from Slovenia just to ground myself in the neon orange food group for which the US has become famous.

The Nation - unconventional wisdom for the uppity intellectual.

The Daily Show With John Stewart - oh how John Stewart makes me doubt my lesbianism. In a brainy sort of way.

The Boondocks - the gospel of Huey Freeman, the little black intellectual version of Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes), from the pen of Aaron McGruder.

The Wild and Massive but Rather Untranslatable Popularity of Buffy the Vampire Slayer That link is to "Buffy the Patriarchy Slayer." One of my (gay) college friends did a thesis on the movie the year it came out-- about how the vampires represented rapists and Buffy represented the new "take back the night" generation. I thought he was so silly to be so obsessed with that movie. And now here I am, obsessed, turning on the TV at 7 am to watch Buffy reruns on FX. Every morning. At 7 am.

Zora Neale Hurston - said Zora I want a busy life, a just mind and a timely death. Well, two out of three ain't bad.

-- I was at an activist meeting about getting California Native American History incorporated into the gold rush centennial celebration studies going on in California public schools, and this cool 5th grade teacher had this poster on her wall. That smile captivated me. I had no idea who Zora Neale Hurston was, but her smile was the smile of a genius, a troublemaker, a confident thinker and mover and shaker. So I wrote down that name and over the years picked up her books and searched out her story. I blogged about her and her connection to Santeria and the creation of zombies here. Zora is now featured on a US stamp, which kind of astonishes. It's like the Vatican producing rainbow flags. Didn't anyone do their research?