Lidia Yuknavitch’s Weblog

the body of the word

blue eyes

watch “cat on a hot tin roof” and “butch cassidy and the sundance kid.”

and please, watch “the hustler.”

but mosty watch “cool hand luke,” which was a coming of age film for me personally.

watch them tonight.

l.

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September 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

free inquiry vs. indoctrination

Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas and attitudes.  You know, inculcate, from the Latin word for “press in”.   The indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically investigate the doctrine they have learned.  They are meant to believe without thinking, because the thinking has been done for them.

In free inquiry, the fundamental principals call for critical self-evaluation and skeptical scrutiny of one’s own ideas.  Science is based on free and critical inquiry, as are most forms of legitimized knowledge.

i’m not here to talk about old man balls or the human twat.

john mccain is a wanker and not worth my time.

sarah palin? even less worthy of anyone’s time.

but they are speaking to the indoctrinated, and it’s a large . . . posse.  A posse with guns.

I mention the above two concepts because Obama is blowing it.  Nevermind the fact that he’s doing exactly EVERYTHING he said he wouldn’t do when he was all about change we could believe in.  Nevermind the fact that he smells (shockingly) just like a politician desperate for votes and willing to say and do anything to get ’em.  Even nevermind the fact that he’s become the SHOW ME THE MONEY guy par excellence. What started out as grass-roots fundraising is now a race for large wads of cash to make crappy ass ads that look exactly the same as every ad i’ve seen since i was old enough to vote.

What he’s blowing is underestimating the power of indoctrination–both its historic power, which has lead to the current lumps of shit that make up half of our country as well as the severely cripping distribution of wealth and the sorry ass social values, but perhaps more importantly, its present tense power–NEWS FLASH:  when people are scared shitless they don’t want to think.  They want someone to say things in mono-syllabic sentences and repeat the last line several times so they don’t have to form any ideas.  They don’t care about content.  They don’t care about intellectual flourish.  They don’t care about critical inquiry or analysis.  They want to hear the same sentences the founding fathers said, or what the faux patriarchal protector says, or, if they are REALLY scared, say, if the country is facing the circumstances underpinning the Great Depression, they’ll take an old man with crooked arms with a trophy veep.

So Obama figured out he can’t use the BIG WORDS or LONG SENTENCES or three point analyses to talk to the masses.  Nevermind how sad that makes me.  And someone in his camp has convinced him to stop making those extraordinary speeches filled with hope and inspiration, the kind that prove that language can lift a spirit home (nice going, campaign monkeys.  really great).

The CHANGE we need right now is for someone, and I was sort of hoping it was him, though I had my doubts, someone needs to REINVENT how to bring the american mind back into the american body.

Until someone does, it’s all a buncha lip-service and old school dirty politics.

Since I never really thought he was a savior, it seems to me that part of the responsibility falls onto all of us.  And since most of us are flat broke and have no serious influence, all we have is the internet, and some don’t even have that.  But if you do have a computer with access to the internet, I hope that you will consider the virus approach–blogs, emails, podcasts, maybe even somebody can get something hot going on youtube…but if we don’t do something besides stand around waiting for our man Obama to save us, he’s going to get his ass whipped, because the democratic party is a bunch of impotent boneheads.

And if you don’t have a computer, then I hope you’ll mouth off at grocery stores and gas stations and streetcorners.  At schools and churches and movie theaters and airports.  Commit small acts of resistance and mayhem in the face of the indoctrinated. What do we have to lose?  They’ve already got dossiers on all of us.

I mean we can’t leave all the work to John Stewart, Steven Colbert, Tina Fey and Amy Peohler…

Care to don your can of whip ass?

p.s.:  for a great account of what white privilege amounts to, go to:

http://www.redroom.com/blog/tim-wise/this-your-nation-white-privilege

(thank you sydney for turning me on to that.)

September 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

in memory

i remember holding your book in my hands on a plane flying from the west coast to the east, a fat ass alaskan insurance agent on one side who kept trying to give me his “card,” kept asking me for mine, sitting behind a woman whose sprayed up hair was taller than the seat back, i mean what goes on there, the big stiff hair of women, sitting and thinking i’m at 30,000 feet in a tin germ tube, i opened again your book and read.

“the depressed person.”  i bust a gut and laughed out loud hard enough to blow snot into the big hair’s seat back.  and thought YES! this is my sister!  YES! this is my mother, exactly!  my sister and mother and the suicide blood running through their veins. how i had to live a life swimming through their heavy waters.  how accurate and hilarious the story, and then there was the apple in my throat and my eyes going all kid well up with water on me.  because it wasn’t just my sister.  my mother.  it was me riding on the plane with yet another marriage gone torture chamber busto. me wearing my brand new American d.u.i. after a head on collision that very nearly killed me. i very nearly killed me. it was depression.  that second self. sitting in the seat next to us.

i turned my head and saw acorss the little aisle a woman reading a different book, and god damn if she didn’t look exactly like virginia woolf, who stuffed rocks in her pockets and walked into a river, who said someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more.

i went into your words again.

in the sky, somewhere over the crammed together strip mall we call the united states.

the stories of one person always save the lives of some other person.

i’m sitting here reading. reading.

September 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

the god people

of late i have been reminded just how many of the god people live in the same country as i do.  particularly the christian variety of god people.  it’s not like i forgot they were there, it’s just that in certain circumstances they seem to make themselves more visible than other times–like bats.

it seems as good a time as any for me to reaffirm my utter rejection of the beliefs of the god people, though i still hold out hope some of their souls may yet be saved through embracing free inquiry and humanism…

and it’s true enough that some of my favorite people are “believers,” but the ones i tend to admire happen to NOT be afraid of black people, women, other religions, critical thinking, poor people, immigrants, science, education and the mentally ill.

but the other of you? man. you give me the heebie jeebies.  here’s why:

1.  violence.  christianity not only has a horrifc violent past, but it’s present tense is used to justify war, the death penalty, and the continued devaluation of the bodies of women and children through the violent application of patriarchal law across the territory of their very skin.

2.  intolerance.  um, god people, how is it that you define this word and concept?  your claims are all too often undercut by your actions–here’s an exercise.  make a list of all the kinds of people you are tolerant of. if the list is basically a list of you and your fellow god people, that’s not tolerance. that’s the practice of exclusion.  that’s a fraternity.

3. racism.  you don’t like me to say it out loud, i know.  but at the very heart of your so-called religion delusion there is a power structure.  that same power structure is legitimized through husbands, priests, and government officials in your name.  that same power structure of the “founding fathers” (still a puke term to me) who, bless them, founded our beloved country on the backs of genocide and racist atrocity–the packing folks up naked like cattle and bringing them over on special cruises to be slaves, the dangle them from trees with ropes when they start demanding to be treated like humans, those bits.  the no doubt more than half the country of you who aren’t sure you can pull a lever for a black man.

4. your weird resistance to free inquiry and critical thinking.  what is up with that?  supernatural stories are powerful, i’ll give you that.  the best literature around.  and huge masses of people who look and act like one another gathering to look and act like one another some more all in the service of “faith”–a faith that asks its believers to abandon independent thought and brain exploration and discovery–they are indeed impressive to look at on television.  but i worry about you.  i really do.  just between you and me, you don’t still think the world is flat, do you?  and you don’t actually believe there’s an old man in the sky, right? just checking.

5. danger to children.  two words for you: catholic church.  but the danger to children isn’t limited to the catholic church, they just put on display to cinematic proportions the repressive and coercive nature of paternal power structures left unscrutinized and backed up by truly scary fictions.  when i watched that bible camp documentary i cried.

6. what you do with your women and what the women do to themselves, god people, seriously frightens and saddens me.  the codes in the scriptures you cling to eternally lock women into a position in the service of men and male institutions, not to mention the breeding stock yard.  my question is, if you have any wits about you at all, how can you do this to the people who brought you into the world through their bodies?  oh, i forgot. there’s a supernatural story that houses that one, too, so we don’t actually have to worry about the FUCKING GIGANTIC DEAL it is that women bear and raise children.  we’ve got the story so we don’t have to think.

7.  i seem to remember a story about a guy named, what was it, jesus something?  who threw over the money tables and stood up to the religious rulers and the rich and powerful?  righteous man.  good looking too.  apparently today god is a size queen, judging from the mega-church crew, and he likes dolby sound, lots of light shows, and big ass lcd screens.

8.  hypocrisy.  don’t you people have mirrors in your homes?  who do you see when you look in them?  seriously.  my friends have some shoes you could walk miles in.  i know, let’s walk to mecca.

as we barrel ever forward toward whatever the future holds i really hope i can behave myself around you.  i do.  i gotta say though, i’m getting kind of tired of always having to be the one to accept you and love you and fight for your rights and freedoms and exchange ideas with you.  the example of your behavior is quite icky to me just now, oozing as it does across the land consuming people in its path.  like oil.

so while you are sending your sons and daughters to war and claiming to be pro-life while pointing your god is love finger at other people you’ve decided are pro-death (yes. now THAT’S some good thinking.  pro choice people want more death!), while you are mouthing off about women’s empowerment in the process of endlessly reproducing stepford wives, while you are condemning the rich and greedy from the richest and greediest institutions on earth next to the government, while you are wearing your family values faces while your sons and daughters are dropping out of high school or joining the military to become cannon fodder or getting into your stash of pain pills and alcohol in the closet or fucking their peers like bunnies, while you are condemning black preachers who dare to speak out loud what the power structure in this country has done while your own holy men are chasing hot male ass, messing around with children and snorting coke, and while you are spreading the word of god, just know that, well, someday this war’s gonna end.

just not the way you think.

amen.

(yes, something specific set me off.  still.)

September 10, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

about tits and ass

me again, your favorite blonde menace.

1.  sarah palin is not a feminist.  how i know:  she’s against choice, she’s against homosexuality, she’s for creationism in schools, she voted more than 84% against proposals that would help special needs children, she’s against abortion in nearly any circumstance, she thinks sexual education is abstinence (working so well for her personally and her family), her “look” is made for tv, rush limbauh and a billion other conservative men think she’s “hot,” she’s a former beauty queen, and she really, really, REALLY likes male attention.  one might even say she is a textbook case of a male identified sucker twat.

a true feminist option would have been a woman whose resume rose above her gender in terms of qualifications for the job, and whose gender was not the sole qualification for selection.

2.  hillary clinton is not a banshee from hell.  i maintain the following:  she stepped up at the convention and tried with all she was worth to unite her followers into the obama camp with a speech worth skipping your regular tv addictions for, her prior resume includes all the things i actually applaud and care about in terms of feminism and women/children advocacy, she’s proved herself a stateswoman even in defeat, she’s wicked smart, she survived and withstands the billinator, her daughter seems to be kinda cool, and she has defied the american media–and pretty much all the liberals i know who were weirdly “against” her–in that she’s still here, she’s trying to help, she’s not hexing the chocolate jesus, and we keep having to turn to her.

3.  amy goodman is a fantastic artist. too bad we live in a police state.

4. i know 18 sarah’s much more deserving of thought and praise than the one in the news.

5. the republican women’s group in florida who has “denounced” oprah and who intends to boycott her show..woooooooaaaaaaaaah.  i bet she’s reeling. i’m no fan of oprah’s, but seriously. that’s some lame ass shit.

6.  yo’ republican party.  have you watched any john stewart lately?  gimme H to the Y to the p to the O to the C to the R to the I to the T to the I to the C to the A to the L … oh wait. i forgot. judging from the outfits and facial expressions i saw at your convention (some worthy of banjo music from DELIVERANCE), you can’t fucking read or think.

7. women of america. what is your fucking problem.

8. social fascism sounded better in german.

9. if i prayed, which i don’t, because believing in an old white guy in the sky is about as authentic to me as believing in patriotism, i’d pray this:  let those who have been oppressed find a voice. so far not happening.

10. since about the only thing i believe in in terms of power larger than individuals is energy, let it ride, motherfuckers. let it ride.  we need a new definition of woman.

September 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

why it fucking matters

1. because you are the self proclaimed party of “family values,” douches.

2. because hillary clinton was demonized as a she-banshee from hell.

3. because a beauty queen and a knocked-up teen daughter do not = presidential material when older than yoda john mcfuck crokes.

4. because conservative women who are racing to support this twat are HYPOCRITS.

5. because the faux “women’s empowerment” issue this partry is wearing is a man in drag.

6. because there are other kinds of mothers out there. yeah? bring it on.

7. because this creates an invisible fantastic 4 barrier around palin that men are sceered of.

8. because more than 50% of american republican men are good with this vice presidential choice–many fewere republican women are. think that one through while you are weighing rush’s comments that she’s a “babe.”

9. because i’m 45 and i’m sick of this shit.

10. because women still haven’t settled on an image of themselves that isn’t orchestrated by patriarchy.

September 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 16 Comments

10 things on my mind as fall swallows summer

1.  we have a hot tub.  yeah, i know, that’s kind of like saying we have a new waterbed–very 1970’s swinger–but i’ve wanted a hot tub since i was 4 years old.  and anyone who knows me knows i spend as much time as humanly possible in water.  so yeah. i have a fucking hot tub and i’m motherfucking stoked.

2.  are you fucking kidding me?

3.  hey all you utterly naive people who got on the obamarama train waving your hands in the air with extra white glee going “huh? how come he’s down in the polls?”  i already schooled you on this:  we still live in a country founded on genocide and slave trade and commerce.  50% of the country is conservative or worse.  a portion of those people are right wing religious fanatics.  another portion are racist bigots who perceive the current turn of events as the zenith of all thier fears.  another portion still belongs to the KKK and they perceive the rise of the obama as armeggedon.  oh and let’s not leave out conserative women.  what a prize lot they’ve turned out to be.

4.  my son starts second grade tomorrow.  just buying his new pants, shoes, and school supplies crushed my heart to pieces.

5. andy is really really close to finishing his cool ass feature film, THE ICONOGRAPHER.  man alive am i glad i have this husband and not some other clown.

6. all you hillary and bill haters (same folks who were peeing their pants when they were elected):  bite my twat.  both of their convention speeches kicked ass.

7. am i the only person on the planet who cares about the early chicago style politics obama exhibited in order to make his way up the ladder as fast as possible?  hello?

8. john mcCain is a fuckerwhup.

9. it is still true, though no one seems to give a shit, that george w. bush and dick the prick cheney ought to be impeached as well as sent to the haig.

10. while we are obsessing on what hurricanes may do to our southern states and who will outfinesse the other in the obama / mccain political joy ride these words still exist:  india (over 3 million need help after the flood–three MILLION) thailand, tibet, georgia, darfur, afghanistan, baghdad, pakistan, and the ever popular russia and china.

September 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

old men on old men

ok so ORDINARILY i think cafferty is a GAS BAG, but this thing he said about j.m. cracked me up — i actually spit my coffee out into the air…

“John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.

He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the “Straight Talk Express” for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes. Unless he’s reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley or diner — short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very quickly.

I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me. The world we live in is too complex to entrust it to someone else whose idea of intellectual curiosity and grasp of foreign policy issues is to tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and see into his soul.

George Bush’s record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself.

He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens’ faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.

I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him.”

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

hey russia: fuck you. love lidia

ok so YES i know the U.S — meaning “us” — should keep its fucking trap shut when it comes to discussions of, i don’t know, say, INVADING OTHER COUNTRIES to secure REGIME CHANGE, KILLING CIVILIANS, and partying down at the olympics when people are DYING as direct results of our policies and actions, and YES i know the georgians took some fairly outrageous provocations steps no doubt banking on both russia’s response but also the international community’s attention, but still. yo. russia. bite my twat.

i had relatives in lithuania who spent wonderful years in siberia.

love lidia

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

how it feels to write query letters for your first novel

bud light and cuervo girls

1. LOOK AT MY TITS!! they EXPLODE BEER!!

2. isn’t my ass shiny?

3. um, my first interview for an academic job was in a hotel room where i had to talk to four male intellectuals while seated on a bed. we’ve moved past that, right? i don’t have to sit on a bed and self narrate?

4. i’m a little teapot short and stout.

5. because if you don’t pick me i’ll suck out your eyeballs and shit them back out into your skull.

6. hello, my name is lidia yuknavitch. isn’t that enthnic sounding?

7. please please please with sugar on top and a cherry.

8. i own a baretta.

9. what do you mean i’m too old for this game? my twat has more experience than your career.

10. i promise to devote myself to you as my lord and personal savior, whoever you are, wherever you are, no matter what your moral compass looks like. after all, i come from a country that has fuckwhacked itself politically worldwide, and i have blond hair, big titties, blue eyes, and better skin than brittny, paris, jessica, scarlett, or angelina. amen.

August 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment