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Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Atwood’

Happy Monday! This morning I was browsing the news online when I came across this article: “A Home Built for the Next Pandemic,” by Tressie Cottom. Future homes will be built differently, like Tomorrow Land.

The overriding consensus is that the pandemic has revealed that many consumers view the pandemic not as a one-off, but as a harbinger: They will need to work from home in the future. Not all workers have the luxury of working from home, of course. But for knowledge workers, the ability to participate in the economy will be conditioned upon their ability to be productive while working from their own houses. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/15/opinion/covid-home-concept.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur

Cue single mom working from home while trying to manage home schooling for her children.

In a nutshell, Cottom points out that these new Covid Concept builders are harkening back to the early paternalistic Twentieth Century, and handing out the task of cooking and childrearing and schooling in these post-feminist years to guess who – the WOMEN. A kitchen sits right in the middle of the home with her office adjacent, there’s a remote learning room for homeschoolers. And all I ever wanted was a Mud Room!

Grandma Ada had an office right outside her kitchen. She even had a greenhouse next to the garage! But remember that was the 1960s.

Today Bob and I are still in this ridiculous real estate market, and every night I’m watching Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood’s prescient dystopian nightmare about a society that slowly slips into a religious autocracy. Sometimes I wonder why I’m tuned into Gilead, a fictional Christian American country, NOW? The book has always been a top 5 for me, but a film is no longer escapist fantasy when it flirts with real life.

In Texas, women have lost their human rights, and I’m sure most southern states will follow. SCOTUS is at a tipping point.

June aka “Offred” is the Handmaid, and it is her duty to bear a child for the commander of the household. Therefore she lives a vivid inner life with lots of close-ups, and once a month she is raped in a ritualized way. I know, it’s more, much more than that with plenty of sub-plots, and snow. Women collectively named “Martha” man each kitchen, apparently men are not chefs in this world; the Marthas trade spices like nuclear secrets.

Speaking of secrets, I love how Zillow democratized real estate, still in Nashville it helps to have an agent. What should an empty nest house look like, how big a kitchen do we really need? Do I still need a room of my own? Bob thinks my notifications are driving me bonkers and he might be right!

Atwood’s feminist masterpiece is keeping me up nights. She named the commander’s wife Serena Joy! Shakespeare couldn’t have done it better. Serena is the head of the household; she is smart, too smart. We see her working on seedlings in a greenhouse, while June stays in her spartan bedroom. But then, she and June begin working together, drafting better policies for the women of Gilead. When the commander returns home after a prolonged hospital stay, Serena appears in his huge wood-paneled office to welcome him home. He beckons her to him with his outstretched hand,…

… and leads Serena Joy right out the door of his office, shutting her forever outside his power and influence.

It’s against my better nature to think negatively, to believe that our post-pandemic life will seem smaller, diminished. Ada would have told me, “We’re all in transition.” The reality is we’re not getting any younger. The “sell by” date on our knees is the same. But I’m determined to have a bigger office!

Ada teaching me to make matzoh balls in my SLUTS tee
“Southern Ladies Under Tremendous Stress”

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“What you’re seeing is not happening…”

Well, I thought to myself, now THAT’s rich! Mr T was speaking to a group of veterans, he actually told them not to believe anything they see or read! Coming from our Serial-Liar-in-Chief, I could only hope my suspension of disbelief will hold out, at least until November. Because, “Winter is Coming.”

And who knows, in this Hall of Mirrors Presidency, if Putin is coming here with his cyber-security force, or Mr T is going there. But it feels as if we are stuck in a midsummer nightmare with indictments raining down and audio tapes stuck on rewind. And worst of all, the possible nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court, which would swing the pendulum to the right – I can only hope the federal appeals judge will face an extremely rough confirmation fight.

Because while Latin American countries and even Ireland have started to repeal their archaic laws banning abortion, the US has slowly and insidiously been restricting women’s rights for years. In the last decade 29 states have introduced laws restricting a woman’s access to an abortion, either by overt TRAP laws that make clinics close because they cannot comply with their regulations, or covert laws that make a woman view the untrasound and wait a certain number of days.

Read up on the anti-abortion zealot Judge Kavanaugh https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/brett-kavanaugh-roe-v-wade-697634/

I’m only in the middle of the first season of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but it seems that dressing up as a mix of the nuns at Sacred Heart School and St Joseph Camp for Girls and Little Red Riding Hood has become a thing! And it’s not just in the good ole USA to protest abortion restrictions in Ohio, or a visit to Philly by Vice President Pence.

Red-coated women are popping up all over the world to fight for our human rights.

The Handmaids are marching in Croatia, Northern Ireland, and England. They stand in silence in Poland and Argentina. Their white-bonnet heads are bowed in Italy, where abortion is legal but70% of doctors refuse to perform the procedure due to their Catholic faith. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-44965210

I wish I didn’t believe this MAGA movement, this dystopian disruption of everything we progressives hold dear. But when the GOP tells you who are they are, believe them. And since a bunch of conservative Republicans could impeach a president for pulling down his pants in the Oval Office, and then lying about it, what are they waiting for now? Mr T is a serial liar, only it’s not about sex mind you, or maybe it iskinda – it’s not all about payoffs to porn stars and knowledge of Russian help in the election; it’s about collusion and obstruction of justice.

The same conservative Cville blogger who left court this week yelling anti-Semetic epithets at reporters on Town Square, has filed a petition to hold another “Unite the Right” march in DC next month on the anniversary of Heather Heyer’s murder. A young woman who wanted to spread compassion and peace. A modern day martyr.

Next month is the Rocker’s birthday, and then Bob’s and the Love Bug

Next month the Great Grands will go on a Cumberland River cruise

Next month I will have a patch of squamous cell carcinoma dug out of my hand

And next month, I’m hoping this midsummer nightmare will end.

IMG_2965

 

 

 

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Bob’s car died the other day. Luckily, he was downtown and not on a highway, but we took it as a sign, time to give up the ghost. His Acura has served him pretty well for over 300,030 miles! Our one-car family was about to become whole again, it was time to start car shopping. Imagine that, a new car with all sorts of driver-assist doo-dads.

I have to admit, I’m getting a rush. It’s like that Handmaid said in the very first episode of the Handmaid’s Tale, their ice cream was better than sex. “Real sex.”

Oh, yes last night I finally gave in and signed up for Hulu, just to watch my favorite author’s dystopian nightmare about a land that could treat women like baby-making religious robots. I just had to watch Elizabeth Moss as Offred, after hearing about Justice Kennedy.

You see, for an old school feminist like me, all the latest SCOTUS rulings chipping away at our human rights in favor of some religious zealot’s right was a bit much. Throwing me over the edge was Kennedy’s decision yesterday to retire now,  this summer. Granted he is a Conservative, but he voted like a real “compassionate conservative.” Remember them?

Bob kept telling me not to download Hulu; “It’s going to depress you,” he said. But I subscribe to that other Kennedy motto, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I wanted the thrill of something just a bit subversive, I needed the dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, it’s the middle manager in our brain that helps move electrical impulses from one neuron to another – dopamine rules that synapse, that space, that rewards our pleasure centers.

Like ice cream.

Like subscribing to The New York Times, or Hulu.

Like buying a new car.

I guess it’s called self-care. In the midst of our current all too real reality Trumpworld show, it’s important not to let despair win. It’s important to do all we can to register new voters, and encourage them to show up this November for midterms. In TN we have until July 3rd to register in order to vote in the midterms, and it’s easy. You just fill out a form and mail it in – every library in the state has them. And I’ve deposited quite a few in our local coffee shop.

So keep your chin up and don’t even bite that hook about civility. If bakers can refuse to serve an LGBTQ couple, and pharmacists can refuse to fill an Rx to terminate a nonviable pregnancy, than We The People can throw the lying press secretary out on her tone deaf ear. Terrorists are killing reporters now, something quite common in an authoritarian state.

It’s happening faster than I ever could have imagined, so support the free press and not Trump entertainment network, where Milo Yiannopoulos can say he was “only kidding” about gunning down journalists.

Get a natural shot of dopamine folks whenever and wherever you can, before abortion becomes criminalized. We’re gonna need to get tough. Here are some badass young scientists from back in their med school days. Let’s get out the VOTE!

anatomy 101

 

 

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OK, so I’m not as bad as Great Aunt Bert, who once asked me where my blog “goes?” In fact, for my age, I think I can keep up with most technological advances, with a little help from my kids, my hubby, and a certain friend in MN (Thanks Steff). But I failed miserably on this online test of my favorite and most prolific author, Margaret Atwood. http://www.theguardian.com/books/quiz/2014/nov/18/margaret-atwood-75-quiz?CMP=twt_gu

Happy Birthday Ms Atwood! She is ten years my senior and she IS a techno wizard. For instance, do you know the answer to this question – “Which piece of technology did Atwood invent?” Hint, it’s not the She-Reader!

And just to preface this piece about techno skills, you must know that I’m not nor was I ever an earplug kinda girl. Remember those Apple ads of kids running around with earbuds in their ears all happy and dancing? Well, that’s one thing I missed the memo on; when I walk I like to hear birds, when I bike I read the New Yorker in the gym, I work-out to my own inner music. I look at the scenery, I want to be connected to my environment, not hooked up to a device through my ears.

However, on the mind-numbing drive to and from Nashville, alone, the Bride turned me onto podcasts. Much safer than trying to change books on CDs while passing trucks, my iPhone plugs into the car’s stereo for hours of compelling journalism. Beats right-wing radio jocks every day. And the latest thing she has me hooked on is “Serial.”

Billed as the 1999 murder baffling millions, and created by the “This American Life” team, “Serial” is like having a little Agatha Christie along for the ride. Only it’s non-fiction. And before I even had a chance to explain the story to Bob, this podcast was making national news. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenkilloran/2014/11/13/the-serial-podcast-is-eating-us-for-breakfast/

I inhaled/binged on seven episodes in the car even though they are released every Thursday and now have the UVA Innocence Project team involved. It’s a Romeo and Juliet meets West Side Story whodunit. And if I lost you at “podcast,” have no fear. You don’t need earplugs, or a car with a plug for your smart phone. You can listen on your laptop http://serialpodcast.org

I’m talking to you, big sister Kay. I know you can jockey your MacBook like a pro, and you finally broke down and bought a DVD player, and thanks for allowing me to put you on Facebook (a mixed blessing). I’ll always remember Kay’s story of trying to buy our Nana a refrigerator in Scranton, PA, when she was perfectly happy with her ice box! Will Serial or Netflix be the next frontier? Come to think of it, I think you need an iPad like Great Grandma Ada!

A Tale of Two Sisters (before smart phones)

A Tale of Two Sisters (before smart phones)

“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.”
– Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

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