That being said:
I live in the United States; that makes this my country. My collective country voted that Donald Trump should be president of my country; that makes him my president. Even if he wasn’t my personal choice. Even if I may be upset that he won.
For those who haven’t heard (those fortunate enough not to be near enough to me to shove something in their faces), I have co-authored a book with Jody Clark.
Jody is a screenplay writer from York, Maine, and has nine scripts under his belt. He went looking for writers on the East Coast to help him turn his scripts into novels. He found me (God help him) during his search.
I’m happy to say we were able to stick to something of a schedule and finished it in a year.
Our book, Livin’ on a Prayer, is a comedy following high school sweethearts Tommy and Gina and their friends from 1988 to the present. It is a story that takes you from hair bands and Aquanet through tragedy and redemption, all the way to yoga pants.
If you were fortunate enough to experience the 80s – even if you only vaguely remember them – and enjoy hearty and heartwarming laughter, check it out here!
Tamar Carroll and I are cousins-through-shared-cousins, which means I’ve spent roughly 1/4th of my holidays growing up (about half of the gatherings on my father’s side) with her. Between the combination of a significant-enough age difference that always affects interactions with the ‘once-removeds’, geographical distance, and an almost diametrically opposite upbringing, I had never considered that we had much in common.
I am sorry for that perceived and assumptive brush-off, Tamar.
We both published a book within a year of each other, and I still considered us at somewhat ‘opposite ends’ – her book being based on ‘real’ education and mine only on ‘opinion’ (we all understand the significance of that, and I admit it).
With the normal expansion (and division, in some cases) of families, I began to see less and less of her. Then we became ‘Facebook friends’ (still a funny term to me). I ‘see’ her regularly now; more than when we saw each other at family gatherings.
We are both adults, she is married and I once was, and we are both parents. As expected, the age gap that seemed so divisive long ago has declined with age and commonalities became more … well, common.
I (finally) began to notice things, like specific-subject-matter posts she put up, and her likes/comments on certain posts of mine – and I began to see a resemblance between us, and our way of thinking.
So, I went to Amazon and looked up her book –
and realized I was a complete idiot.
First of all, it was not some lofty, over-your-head thesis type, written only for the well-educated to debate at dressy cocktail parties, laughing while barely opening their mouths.
Again, I’m sorry for my assumptions – all of them.
Secondly – and this was the biggest kick in the pants – her book is about ‘community’ activism, the affecting of change, the banding together of groups usually marginalized, AND how they are all intertwined.
Isn’t that what I write (preach) about, in my own way, in my own words? About separation and pre-supposition? About pervasive attitudes and ignorance of the scope of their reach?
And I missed this in her? Because of my own ‘programming’ that seeps into my thoughts and actions?
This means that as much as I talk about fixing certain problems, I am still an active part of them.
The first step is admission. To be able to admit I’ve done something wrong or negative, I have to be well enough away from it to view it from the outside. Now, any assumptions I make are not ‘habit’ but choice, because I’m aware I make them.
This also validates points that she and I both touch on in our writing: how ingrained our ‘learned’ behavior is, the un-awareness of the full scope and pervasiveness of certain issues, and the ties between them. It is all connected. We are all connected.
Now, this ‘young grasshopper’ has learned – yet again – that with all she has learned, she still has so much more to learn.
Thank you for the lesson, Professor.
Purchase her book here: Mobilizing New York: Aids, Antipoverty, and Feminist Activism (Gender and American Culture) by Tamar W. Carroll
From the back cover: “Carroll contends that social policies that encourage the political mobilization of marginalized groups and foster coalitions across identity differences are the most effective means of solving social problems and realizing democracy.”
From the Preface: “… I began to doubt prevailing assumptions that a strong group identity is likely a barrier to social movement building, and I wanted to learn more about how [these] coalitions maneuvered within the difficult terrain of identity and power.”
Thanks to EarthCam, we all were and are able to be a part of that wondrous crowd moment when the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series. Thank you for allowing us to share that moment!
“Even as someone who pays little attention to sporting events until they get really big (did I mention I didn’t know that the World Series was going on until the 5th game – and that I found out on Facebook?), I can sense both the excitement and disappointment with the highs and lows of our home teams, because it’s in the air – we all can. I remember when the Red Sox won the World Series (I did pay attention at the end). What I remember most was what it felt like, that rush, the high that had captured all of Boston and Massachusetts for months afterwards. The happiness in everyone that carried over into everything else in our lives at that time.
Chicago will be enjoying that boost for months and years to come.
I can feel it.”
(From the blog, CAN YOU FEEL IT? Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs)
What a great idea!