Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Time to Write: Blame Molly Ivins, Post #1

Guess it was beyond time to sit down and do this. For far too long I'd self-moderated or self-silenced myself from editorializing. There's certainly the argument that this is ultimately just a self-promotion of one's own self-importance. I kinda like the humility side of life, and this stuff is generally anathema to me. At least it has been. Additionally, my belief is that opinions are like a$$holes: everyone has one, virtually no one wants to see or hear anyone else's, and we all believe ours is the only one on the planet that doesn't stink!

But today was as good a day as any to start, I suppose. The date was numerically interesting -- 411. Another reason is the company I worked for -- one that was wanting to hire me permanently but was in the midst of a hiring freeze -- dropped the news today that the Houston office was being eliminated in favor of merging the tasks with the corporate office in Colorado. No great shock in this day and age, but a disconcerting moment almost begging for a response.

Ultimately, you can blame this on Molly Ivins. Or Molly Ivins' ghost ... or maybe someone who just looked like her, I don't know. At least I think it was her, but it was a dream and dreams typically don't make much literal sense. I need to call my friend Kathy and ask her some questions to verify -- she's met her and would likely shed some light. For those unfamiliar, Molly was an Austin fixture, an editorial columnist who wrote for many years for the Texas Observer, even transcending to a regular column in many major papers and even on CNN's website. She was also a no-quarter, unrepentent populist of the first order -- even throughout Texas' and the nation's most harrowing arch-conservative blitzkrieg. In a word, Molly was Courage.

And yes, the dream was odd, but compelling for some reason. In the dream I was riding / driving / floating through west Texas (or maybe Arizona -- someplace desert-ey), drifting through some desolate, dusty town in what seemed like summer. Then I suddenly find myself standing in an expansive dusty parking lot (maybe a truck or Greyhound bus stop?) looking diagonally across the lot at some stereotypical western county sheriff, replete with cowboy hat and long drooping white mustache, giving me a hard stare. He asks me "what would you say if I told you I wanted to talk to you?" I didn't have a good answer and just mumbled an okay -- even in my dream this question didn't make any sense!

Next, I'm suddenly sitting in a wooden chair in this empty sheriff's office, looking out the window, kicking myself for being in this predicament (whatever it was) and feeling like I'd just been railroaded. Then the door at the back of this empty office opens and in walks this woman -- not the sheriff. Familiar -- but from where? She appeared to know me, though. She grabs me by the arm, pulls me up out of the chair, and hollers "What are you doing here?!? Why aren't you saying something about it?!? You know what you need to say to him! Now get out there and tell them!!!"

Truth told, I didn't know what this meant nor what this was in context to. But whatever it was, it was compelling. And I kept replaying the dream trying to discern what this metaphorical message was, or who this lady in the sheriff's office was.

Finally a couple days after, it hit me: Molly Ivins! It was Molly Ivins in my dream (or at least I believe it was). What the hell was Molly Ivins doing in my dream?

Well, however little sense the rest of the dream made, the message came through loud and clear: stop silencing yourself. As the Scissor Sisters song says "Ain't no one gonna listen if you haven't made a sound." You can forever hold your tongue out of humility or courtesy or whatever, but it won't make anyone think better of you nor have them follow suit. They'll just think you're without opinion, mute or dead. And if there was ever a time in life to speak up, it's now. Whether it's GLBT politics, national politics, the increasing class warfare, or even the sorry state of the planet or life itself, it's all become an oversized batch of depression stew.

The Age of Cynicism is in full bloom, and we're in for a very long season. It'll be a rarity to find anything in this era that's not born of, or evolved into purely profit and/or self-interest motivations. If you do find it, enjoy the brief respite for the moment. Like a south Texas summer, the rest of this season will be punishing and relentless.


So how does the name of this blog relate to the above post? It doesn't really. Ultimately the name will relate more to the direction of the later entries, focused mostly on Transgender issues, Political issues in Str8 (straight) America, and any combination of the two ... along with other items that just happen to fall in between the spaces and catches my attention.


Kelli Busey said...

Great article. A fair warning to well intentioned transpeeps. HRC will use you and throw you away.

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