Monday, January 26, 2015

Good Dogs and Card Carrying Commies

Pinko may very well be a card-carrying communist soon since he's begun the process to officially join Workers World Party (history on Wiki).  I don't know if they actually have a card.  I hope they do, though, because if you're going to be a communist, you might as well be a card-carrying-communist.  It's the best kind.

I'm excited for him because of all the organizations he's investigated, the folks we've heard and talked with at Workers World have been consistently knowledgable and insightful, whether they belong the the party itself or to one of the organizations that the WWP supports, such as International Action Committee and  United National Antiwar Coalition.  Those organizations aren't exactly socialist or communist, but they all point at imperialism, capitalism and militarism as the root causes of all the trouble we're experiencing today.  A number of people sit on the boards of two or three organizations, so there's a lot of overlap.

The other day, someone I particularly admire, Sara Flounders, asked Pinko to join her for coffee yesterday to discuss WWP in general and the process of officially joining the party.  Sara knows all about military stuff in the middle east, and NGOs that may do some good things but ultimately are promoting and protecting the corporate agenda.  Bill Dores knows a lot about that stuff too, only I think he's more focused on Russia.  If there were a fan club for Red Writers and Activists - I'd be in it since we can definitely say that I'm a fan of Sara and Bill.

I suspect it's time to recognize that I'm a communist sympathizer, but I'm not joining the party if for no other reason than I don't feel like doing the reading.  Officially joining the party takes about six months of reading and conversation with a mentor.   I'll be interested to hear what Pinko has to say about the readings, and I like to attend meetings where people are reporting back on conditions in places like Honduras, for example, where real estate developers have been pushing people from their homes for some years.  It's kind of like in Houston years ago when one of the developers rented a house to notorious drug dealers to clear out the neighborhood.  Once the hard working, blue collar folks had moved out, the developer leveled the land and built a 70s version of McMansions.  The good ol' boys celebrated his business acumen.  In Honduras we're seeing the same strategy on a national scale: US business interests install the bad guys, the poor people are driven from their homes and bingo - an all inclusive resort retreat appears on the pristine coastline. The main difference is that the workers in Houston could afford to move somewhere else, and the economic refugees from Honduras have so few options that they piled onto buses for a dangerous trip through Mexico, where more bad guys often murder them for kicks, only to be greeted by racists who'd cheerfully watch them starve.

I learned about Honduras from a woman named Lucy Pagoda who works with New York May 1 Coalition.  She was at the Solidarity Center one night telling us about the Garifuna.  I learned about real estate developers in Houston from my mother, who is practically as much of an expert about corruption in Houston real estate as Sara Flouders is about the US military in the middle east.

The point, here, though is that I would much prefer to learn about stuff by talking with interesting people than by reading philosophical texts, and there are always a bunch of interesting people at the Solidarity Center.  Pinko and I went to the New Year's Eve fundraiser and Lynne Stewart was there for a little while.  She's the lawyer who represented the Blind Sheikh and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for passing messages between him and some supporters.  Now that I've been in the same room with her and have contributed a few bucks to WWP's publishing efforts, we can safely assume that I've landed on any lists I wasn't already on for stuff I said here on the blog back in the day when Sarah Palin's underlings and various military intelligence offices were stalking bloggers.  It was all over the day I mentioned Bill Ayers visited the school where I was teaching and I got his seal of approval.   Bill Ayers is interesting too, but I still haven't read anything he ever wrote.

For the record, I would like to say that I don't think killing a bunch of dissenters, or purges as the actions of Mao and Stalin might be called, is a good idea.  For one, I barely know anything about the history of the Chinese revolution and Mao.  And two, what I do know about communism/socialism/anarchism and revolutionary theory (again it's minimal, but still) the problem with those guys is that they were statists who thought they should be in charge of the state as opposed to simply representing the collective.  It's also my understanding that any time any communists make some headway in a revolutionary sort of way - like with the Paris Communes - the surrounding capitalists undermine the process as much as humanly possible so the capitalists stay in charge.  If you need an example of the lengths The Owners will go to stay in charge, just look at the Koch Brothers.  There is a pile of data on those douchebags - but I like Koch Brothers Exposed, a project from Brave New Films.

Pinko will have ample opportunity to work on his revolutionary reading list now that he's got an hour commute to work and back, and a good portion of his day at work is spent at one of the airports waiting to pick up someone at the luggage claim.  So far, he's enjoying his work as a livery driver - also known as For Hire driver.  He looks real cute in his new black suit, and he's such a personable fellow, not to mention a good driver, that a former super model has listed him as one of her preferred drivers.  The car service for which he drives handles a bunch of entertainment and media accounts.  I'm pretty sure that we used this service for all our driving needs back when I worked in public relations.  He's driven sports casters, comedy writers and HBO producers this week, plus some guy who was handling a family event for the Rangers hockey team.

When he comes home from work, Pinko is cheerful and chatty.  I imagine that if a big dog had gone riding in a car, and came home to tell his people everything he saw while he was hanging his head out the window all day - that dog would sound a lot like Pinko when he gets home from work.  Gigi says that the way I talk about Pinko sometimes reminds her of a classic children's book, Good Dog Carl.  I got it for him for Christmas.

He has often mentioned that he feels like a dog that has been rescued from the pound by a very nice lady which I suppose makes him a little like Maxi the Taxi Dog - in a book I have read several times, as a matter of fact.

At first, it seemed a little odd that we feel the same way about each other as we've felt about our dogs, but having someone who loves you as unconditionally as a dog loves you is about as good as it gets.
It's so good, I'm going to declare it a thing of beauty (#079-101 in Explore Beauty, a challenge from realia).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pinko and the Giant Boob

Before Christmas, Pinko was fretful, agitated and generally unhappy because some people in the world had declared him to be a gold digger, a freeloader and, worse, a grifter like Gayle the Hillbilly Hustler.  He was particularly distressed one night at bedtime, so I scratched his back until he was relaxed enough to get to sleep, which is what good partners do (at least in this house.  For the record, he rubs my creaky shoulder all the time).  That night, he had a dream:
He was holding tightly onto a giant boob, while a small crowd of shouting strangers were trying to pull it loose.  He was distressed. Then my mother was leading the pack pulling it away, and he was even more distressed. Then the police showed up and pulled the boob so hard that it started to break.  He cried, "You're tearing it! You're tearing it!"
Then he woke up.

When Pinko related his dream to me, I was touched because - clearly - the boob is me.  Back when I was analyzing my own dreams regularly in psychotherapy, my shrink said that the police played the role of the superego in dreams.  We can conclude my mother plays a similar, more casual role in Pinko's dream, rather like conventional morality or a generic authority figure.  The cops would be Pinko's own self, from a Freudian perspective anyway.  In my own vaguely Jungian point of view, we learn to tell right and wrong from our parents, but judges and cops are the enforcers.  Woody often says that an individual should ever call the cops on anyone unless said individual wants to see that person dead.

I'm sure there are plenty of cops and family members of cops who would take issue with that statement, but the fact is that cops kills people in this country with astonishing regularity - and not just unarmed, black men either.  But we're not talking about Racism, institutional and otherwise, Mass Incarceration, and murders committed by the para-military police force in service of The Owners, or the murders they commit for kicks like those cops in New Mexico. We're not even talking about the fascist police in New York City who are working with Rudy Guiliani to fuck with DeBlasio and have been showing the world that the racist NYPD will kill anyone they want to simply for not following instructions.
Right now, we're talking about Pinko.  Fuck them.

Vintage illustration brilliantly recaptioned by Steve Denton of Monkey Muck

There was a time when, like most suburban whites, I willingly gave cops the benefit of the doubt.  Honestly, though, until there's a solid blue wall between killer cops and unarmed citizens instead of protecting killer cops from prosecution - it's hard to believe good cops are nothing but television mythology.  We can thank the NYPD patrolmen's benevolent association for my change of heart.

But back to Pinko:
It's taken some time for my parents to understand that there's a difference between being duped by a grifter and deciding that you're going to support someone.  Mother explained that part of the process  involved accepting that Pinko and I have an Alternative Lifestyle.  At first, I was perplexed because I thought Polyamory, BDSM and joining communes were examples of alternative lifestyles.  As it happened, Mother meant that Pinko's and my lifestyle is alternative because he's a man and is taking care of the domestic chores while I go out to work.  I hadn't realized that was still out of the ordinary - but then I remembered that my parents are getting pretty old.
So am I, for that matter.

While having a man as a housewife may seem odd to my parents, my insurance company has clearly defined the concept.  In preparation for a visit to the dentist the other day, I went online to make sure Pinko was listed on my policy since the Aetna didn't send new cards when I enrolled him.  He was there, all right, defined as a Sponsored Male.

I'm still liking the idea that I have a Sponsored Male at home.  Pretty soon, he won't really be sponsored anymore because he got his license to drive For Hire Vehicles from the Taxi and Limousine Commission.  The license itself arrived in the mail today, and now he is cleared to work at a fancy car service carting around people with expense accounts.  The car service wants everyone to know they have a Cadillac Escalade SUV fleet as well as a Mercedes E350 Sedan fleet - but they have a "no idle" policy that makes them Green.  Whatever.  The money will be green and that's what matters now.

When there's a paycheck from Pinko hitting my bank account regularly via direct deposit, dreams of hanging onto a giant boob will be a thing of the past.  He'll be off the tit, as it were.  As far as the insurance company is concerned, however, Pinko will remain a sponsored male.  Although it tickles my feminist funny bone to think I have a Sponsored Male like a stud around the house, there's something very rewarding in creating a personalized domestic partnership.  I really love my work and am happy in a job that has decent benefits and all that stuff.  Pinko will drive full time for a couple of months until we're back in my financial comfort zone, then he'll cut back to a couple of days a week to focus primarily on agitating, educating and organizing for social and economic justice.  By the time there are leaves on the trees again, we'll be able to call Pinko a Professional Revolutionist.  Even Chris Hedges says we need more people like Pinko (Why We Need Professional Revolutionists, Truthdig, 11.24.2014).

Somehow, I think he'll still find time for boobies.