Wednesday, July 27, 2016

My Last Word On The 2016 Election

Despite my earlier vow to myself to limit my immersion in this shit-show of an election, I keep being pulled back in. So now I'm going to publicly sign off for the season, hoping I have too much pride to go back on my word.

I hate to insult those of you who've fallen under the spell of the Republican nominee, but I have to face reality. If the things he's said and done haven't convinced you that he would harm our republic, you're beyond my reach. 

If you're going to vote for HRC, you don't need my encouragement, and if you're not, I'm sure I can't change your mind. That leaves us to state and re-state the same things to like-minded people, like dogs chasing our own tails. I'm officially dizzy.

I'm puzzled, dismayed, angry, and in a state of near-despair to see how many people have fallen for a bad man with bad ideas. It sickens me to see how proud so many are of their blatant prejudices. I want to weep at the joy I see in people's eyes who are finally given permission to unleash their hatred of the foreign born, minority groups of all stripes, and women. I am sure there are people who are voting Republican who aren't racists/sexists/xenophobes. But how can you be antagonistic to those beliefs yet vote for someone who personifies them? It's unconscionable.

I look back at 2012 and think of how critical I thought that election was. What a naive child I was! Mitt Romney would have rolled back a lot of progress we'd made, but he wasn't one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse! He seemed to believe in the first amendment, and having good relations with the rest of the world, and living up to the treaties we've signed and all sorts of things we've always assumed a president would automatically do. But all of that seems like a different time. A kinder, gentler time.

Being president is a difficult job, one that's getting tougher every single day. Personally, I think you have to be slightly mad to want the damn job. But someone has to do it, and I'd sleep better at night knowing that the person who has their finger on the button has experience, patience, intelligence and perspective. 

The worst traits for a president to have are narcissism, grandiosity, a thin-skin, grudge-holding and a lack of empathy. Those traits are the primary ones that make up the Republican nominee. Add in a deep lack of curiosity, an aversion to reading, a very short attention-span, and an explosive temper and you have a simmering brew that could do us irreparable harm.

I would do nearly anything to see Hillary Clinton win this race. But I'm not enough of a narcissist to believe I can influence the outcome. For my sanity--I'm out.


Monday, July 11, 2016

GCLS 2016

Thoughts on the Con:

In the past few months I've been whining about how little I hear from readers. I love praise--who doesn't--but that's not specifically what I seek. I simply want some interaction with the people who read my work. I love writing with all my heart, but it's isolating--especially when it's your full-time job and you work at home.

What I think I'd forgotten was that I haven't been to the GCLS conference for three years, and hadn't gotten my infusion of interaction/feedback/love that the Con provides. Having just returned from Washington, I feel like my tank is full once again, and, with luck, all of that interaction will power me for quite a few months. I'm not able to go to Women's Week in P'town this year, so it's going to have to last a full year, but I got so many good vibes that I think it might.

For those of you who haven't gone, I'd suggest making it a priority. Many, if not most, of the people who go are on the shy side, so don't use that as an excuse. Not having anyone to go with shouldn't stop you either. There's a great program for Con Virgins that will hook you up with a buddy, not to mention the built-in camaraderie from meeting the other first timers. Having limited economic resources shouldn't put a crimp in your plans, either. There are scholarships that can help or fully pay for your admission and there are always people ready, willing, and able to share a room.

In recent years, writers have begun to make up a larger and larger percentage of the attendees. In my opinion, we should do all we can to reverse that trend. Without readers, we're just writing for ourselves--a fine hobby, but not nearly as much fun as having an audience. In particular, I'd love to see the people who are relatively or completely isolated as lesbians/bisexual/trans women in their communities. I live in New York City, a place where you can't sneeze without hitting a gay person, yet I get a real high from being surrounded by women with whom I have one big thing in common. Well, two. Besides being gay, we all love reading and writing, or we love a woman who does.

I've been a member of GCLS since the beginning, and I will acknowledge that there have been some growing pains through the years. But the current board has learned from the mistakes of the past and seem to me to be committed to making this an inclusive, open-minded, fiscally sound group that's worthy of your support. But even if you don't care about the organization, I can guarantee some fun times after the official schedule is finished for the day. It's fun to take over the bar in a big hotel and let the female energy flow!

Next year's Con is in Chicago, a place I lived for much of my young adult life, and the place I met my wife. I'm very much looking forward to going, and if you need any convincing, drop me a note. I can be very persuasive .