Archive for September, 2009

Please don’t bomb the moon

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

from Comics & Serindipity

Dear NASA,

Are you INSANE?
You’re rocket scientists. You’re supposed to be smart. Bombing the moon is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. Yes, I know there are already craters on the moon and asteroids hit it and stuff, and we probably won’t even SEE the 5-mile chasm that your 2-ton load is going to blow. But do you really have any idea what you are DOING?? Don’t you know the moon controls our tides, our crops–all bodies of water? Don’t you know that human bodies are like, MOSTLY water? 
And I don’t care Mr. rocket scientist that you don’t bleed it out every month–don’t go releasing your man-period energy by blowing up stellar bodies, okay?!?
And I’m not worried about the alien inhabitants like some internerds out there, but I’ll tell you one thing I know–the GODDESS is going to be fucking PISSED. You don’t just go and blow up the Goddess’s son/lover like that. Are you crazy? Don’t you know 2012 is coming up? Of course you do, you know everything. So you should know that it’s probably not a good time to start fucking with planetary orbits and gravitational pulls. It all started with demoting Pluto the other year–you KNOW he was pissed. And though he may have sunk into a deep depression (or was that me), he’s still here, (in retrograde, in Capricorn for the next 248 YEARS) and he’s surely not fucking around. So my point is, you better not send that man-missile into space or else I’m gonna–What? It’s ALREADY UP THERE?! You took advantage of the fact that the following week the entire world was in mourning over MJ to just slide it in under the radar, right? Well, I can say with conviction that the Moonwalker would NOT be happy about this.
You know what I’m really hoping? I hope I wake up tomorrow and find that this is all a big joke. People will laugh and tell me how gullible I am to believe such a thing. Bomb the Moon? Yeah, right. And I bleed from my crotch for 5 days every month and don’t die. Give me a break.

Good Grease

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

I am happy tonight because I am making some extremely high-fat vegan mashed potatoes.

And thinking of this poem by my old friend, Mary TallMountain…

Good Grease

The hunters went out with guns at dawn.
We had no meat in the village, 
No food for the tribe and the dogs.
No caribou in the caches 

All day we waited
At last! 
As darkness hung at the river we children saw them far away. 
Yes! They were carrying caribou!
We jumped and shouted  

By the fires that night we feasted 
The old ones clucked. 
sucking and smacking, sopping the juices with sourdough bread. 
The grease would warm us when the hungry winter howled.  
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX oozing, dripping and running down our chins,
brown hands shining with grease. 
We talk of it when we see each other far from home.  
Remember the marrow sweet in the bones? 
We grabbed for them like candy. 
Good Gooooood. 
Good Grease

Thinking About Bonnie Tinker

Monday, September 7th, 2009

May 26, 1948- July 2, 2009

By Lisa Sinnett

There’s a kaleidoscope in the conservatory where I’ve stopped with my daughters. There’s a circular bed of sand with sticks and rocks, and above, the lenses and mirrors. We shift the sand around and look, and each time the picture is different. If you look deep inside a kaleidoscope, what you see is the ocean of patterns of light, surrounded by a rim of darkness, curving away like night falling.

Trying to write about Bonnie Tinker is kind of like this. The ways in which Bonnie touched people’s lives are complex, shifting and beautiful.

I first met Bonnie the Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns talent show fundraiser at our Quaker Conference. She was standing on her head in between acts to raise money—we connected somewhere in between a twenty-dollar bill and a bright pair of socks.

I didn’t know she’d had such a far-reaching effect on the world back then—At the conference, I came to know her as an amazing workshop-leading, music-loving, peace-activist luminary, and I needed what Bonnie and others in this fellowship believed at their very core: “We are learning that radical inclusion and radical love bring further light… Our experience with oppression in our own lives leads us to seek ways to bring our witness to bear in the struggles of other oppressed peoples.”

As I learned about her life, I would understand her beliefs more deeply As the roots that nourished her work as the Executive Director of Love Makes A Family, Inc.—the racially diverse group of sexual minorities and their allies in Oregon and Southwest Washington that came together to oppose anti-gay ballot measures in Oregon, and to accompany others who are doing the same kind of activism across our country.

With her wife, Sara Graham, Bonnie raised three kids—Alex, Josh, and Connie. A member of Multnomah Friends Meeting in Portland, Oregon, and of Seriously P.O.’d Grannies, she developed the LARA method for non-violent conflict resolution based on Gandhi’s principles. The Founder and Executive Director of Love Makes A Family, Inc., she also founded the oldest domestic violence shelter on the West Coast–Portland’s Bradley Angle House, which is still in operation. Her family was the victor in a well-known Supreme Court case that set the precedent for free speech in schools—Tinker vs. Des Moines School District ruled students could protest war in school.

Love Makes a Family “seeks to provide a public voice for all families, especially for those subjected to social, economic and legal discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”

Feeling this acceptance through Bonnie’s presence and work helped me to set down a mask that I had been forced to wear my whole life without knowing why. My mother knew that she was gay when she was a high school student in her rural Michigan school, but growing up, we never knew.

She told me: “I was married in 1959. We were told to be loyal to God and country.” The thought of acting on her feelings with her girlfriends? “Dangerous.” I asked her about this, but she became silent. “There was a girl. Two girls. People suspected them of being gay.” She was silent for a long time. “I thought one of them committed suicide.”

That was the secret about our family—and it was like we were in the Witness Protection Program. Everything felt tentative, like we were playacting for a program about a family instead of being a family, but not knowing what we were upholding or why. We had activity, but no intimacy. How can there be intimacy when one person in the family has had to sacrifice her identity in order to survive? Everyone was deeply affected by this. We had the burden of being her unwitting jailers—yet we were her protectors, too. And we didn’t know any of it until mom came out to us when she was in her fifties.

I am thankful to Bonnie Tinker and to all the other activists who are opening spaces for families, and liberating people like my mother, who I am finally getting to know.

Many people have written or spoken about Bonnie and her wife Sara Graham’s journey facing discrimination and obstacles during their decades together. Bonnie worked for full inclusion for same sex unions, not only domestic partnerships. In Bonnie’s own words. “The M word matters. It confers social standing. It confers social acceptance. Marriage confers legitimacy. Our children will be declared legitimate. Marriage is about families taking our place in society with full respect.”

But there is still work to be done.

If you ever met Bonnie in person, you would see how much she sought to understand other people’s perspectives, and promote the common ground that we share. If you could hear her calling on the Spirit of Tinkerbell to impeach George Bush, or if you could see her getting arrested with the Seriously Pissed Off Grannies, you’d know what a surprising, memorable, and creative human being she was.

She was killed in early July in Virginia, where she was attending a Quaker conference, when a Mack truck turned in front of the bicycle she was riding and ran her over.

I think of Bonnie’s way of being in the world now and I remember something that her younger brother Paul said once. He said, “I want to have eyes like bees, and see the world from all the different facets.” Bees see the world complete, one perspective at a time. Bees see colors we don’t see. They see sunbursts of blue and red where we see only white.

Thank you, Bonnie, for helping us to open our eyes and see the world a little bigger. We’ll miss you.

With Love,
Lisa Anne Sinnett
Detroit, Michigan

Check out Love Makes a Family of Oregon

Bonnie Tinker: Clap if You Believe