Jennifer of Veg*n Cooking wrote:
I would love to read your thoughts on any number of “pressing social issues” – gay marriage, the economy, energy, war, environmental degradation. These are just suggestions though, feel free to ignore them.
Oh come on, Jennifer. Other people suggested I write about falling down in public or what’s outside my window and you have to go and suggest something that involves THINKING? Something that requires a BRAIN? Something that requires a degree that is not a BFA in Music Theatre?
Pressing social issues.
Okay. Here we go.
WHERE WE STAND ON PRESSING SOCIAL ISSUES
by Laura Elizabeth, age 25.
We are fucked.
Ah, I kid, I kid.
Let’s take these one at a time.
Gay people got screwed this year. SCREWED. And not in a good way.
I have to tell you, Jennifer and anyone else who cares, the passing of Prop 8 in California was devastating. It was shocking to me, absolutely shocking especially in places as “liberal” as Los Angeles where the vote was almost evenly split 50/50. I’ve said this before but I think that the way we treat gay people in this country will go down in history as our generation’s civil rights movement.
Perhaps I am unable to separate my emotions from the politics of it. I live with two gay men, my best friend in the world is a gay man, hell, I am involved in the music theatre world: it doesn’t get much gayer than that. And maybe one could argue that I’m just letting my love for my friends get in the way of the fact that they are living in SIN and need to change their ways. (Oh wait, someone did argue that with me. THANK YOU! SMOOCHES!) But even without my emotions, I can’t follow the logic. I don’t know what we are “protecting”. I don’t know why we can’t open our circle of love a little bit wider.
We are all human or we aren’t. To state that gay people can have rights but just not the same rights as straight people is agreeing that gay people are not really people. They are second-class citizens. They do not deserve the same rights and privileges the rest of us have.
And why? Because of their “sexual preference”? Sorry. Sexuality is not a preference. It’s an orientation. Trust me. If the two gay men I live with are STILL GAY after living with the HOTNESS that is me? THEY ARE BORN THAT WAY. Because people, I am hot.
Also, it seems to be a RELIGIOUS issue making its way into POLITICS which, if you haven’t noticed, isn’t really allowed in this country. So, that pisses me off. A LOT. I wonder what would happen if we removed the ability for states to issue marriage licenses. To everyone. Therefore, if you wanted to get “married”, you could get a civil union certificate from the state and then you could go to your church/synoguge/mosque/ceremony on the river at sunset and get “married” by a clergy person or your brother who was ordained a minister via the internet, etc.
I wonder about THAT.
Oh, Jennifer. We are FUCKED.
I, in particular am fucked because today, I was alerted that my temp agency is slashing my salary by 15%. This makes perfect sense, right? The employees I work with will probably forgo bonuses this year but they will still take home a steady paycheck, complete with health benefits, paid vacation and paid sick days. While, I, the temp, will get my hourly rate SLASHED by 15% while STILL taking home no health benefits, paid vacation or sick days. EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THIS IS FAIR.
But hey, also? I could have been laid off today. So if it’s that or a pay cut? I’ll take the pay cut.
Still – if you have extra cash, please send it to me. I will put out. Thanks.
Hm. Like, what kind of energy?
Energy in terms of America’s reliance on oil? The oxymoronic phrase “clean coal”? The way my car gets 33 miles/gallon? That kind of energy?
Or the energy I have on a daily basis? The energy needed to do Jillian Michaels‘ 30 Day Shred? (THAT IS A CRAZY AMOUNT OF ENERGY, JENNIFER. SHE IS KICKING MY ASS.)
The energy I get after a cup of coffee?
Let’s just say I can’t drink caffeine because I literally bounce off walls. BOUNCE I TELL YOU.
I’m going to assume you meant the former type of energy. In that case, I will say that I have no freaking idea. I know our dependence on oil is bad. Period. Hell if I know how to stop that. I would assume stop drilling and stop killing polar bears and find a way to sustain our own energy instead of relying on foreign sources. I think Obama can do AMAZING THINGS about this. I think perhaps he could form his own “New Deal” by creating green jobs, therefore creating lots of clean energy AND much needed employment. Please go ask someone else how one would do this. I have no clue. BUT I THINK HE COULD.
I also think he could do the same with an issue like healthcare but I don’t think that was on your list.
If it WAS on your list, I would tell you that I wish I had healthcare because uh, my uterus kind of gives me problems and I get UTI’s once every few months and also? Paying out of pocket for your therapist = not that fun. See also: 15% PAY CUT/lots of Catholic guilt to work out.
Hm. My cousin has done three tours in the Middle East as a marine. Another cousin of mine leaves next month for Iraq. We are VERY excited.
I am not really qualified to talk about politics which is surprising considering how much I’ve written in this post so far. But honestly? War is bad. President Bush and his cohorts messed up royally and it has cost us in young American lives and in American dollars. It’s an embarrassment, a horror and I am still waiting to hear where they are storing Weapons of Mass Destruction. I hear we’ll get the answer soon. But I hate myself for even writing this as I sit in my New York City apartment, white and privileged and safely tucked in bed while it snows outside. There are men and women losing LIMBS and DYING and they are younger than me and I’m all, “Oh, I think I’ll blog tonight.”
Please excuse me while I punch myself in the face. Thanks.
WHY AM I WRITING THIS POST AT 11 PM? I have no brain cells left, Jennifer. NONE AT ALL.
Um. I think people that do not believe in climate change are deluded. They are scary. They freak me out with their THIS IS THE NATURAL WAY OF THE WORLD nonchalance. But that’s not really what we’re talking about here, is it? I mean climate change is an effect of environmental degradation and WE, the humans are degrading the environment, yes? We agree on that, I think. Or at any rate, that the environment is degrading and we are ACCELERATING the process?
I have to 100% say hell yes we are. The amount of waste I see in New York City on any given day is MIND BLOGGING. Hell, the amount of waste *I* produce is embarrassing. And here is how I feel about my personal impact on the environment: it sucks. It’s ENORMOUS.
I can do better.
I started out the year really well and have slowly eased up on things. I’ve forgotten my canvas bag and taken home plastic shopping bags. The roommates bought paper towels and I got used to having them around. I’ve bought excess clothing and make up that was not necessary, brand new things that were not environmentally friendly or needed at all really. I have even lost some of my veganism momentum, treating myself to the occasional egg sandwich, etc.
What I’m saying is: I have a lot to improve on. I’m constantly wondering WHAT MORE CAN I DO? because it never feels like enough. I also get more and more frantic about other people who seem to be CLUELESS about their waste. In the bathroom at work, for example, when I see a girl grab FIVE paper towels, pat her wet hand with one of them and throw them ALL in the garbage. GAHHHHHHHHH THE TREEEEEES, WOMAN. HAVE YOU NO SHAME!
But also? The thing is? Am I really helping at all?!? I mean I can look at what I did do this year that helped the environment and you can tell me:
* reduced plastic grocery bag consumption by about 80%
* went about 9 months without paper towels, now when we have them they are 100% recycled
* switched to 100% recycled toilet paper
* remained 89% vegan
* traded in disposable feminine products for a diva cup
* joined a CSA, ate local produce for 5 months this summer
* lost some weight, reducing my impact! Literally!
* unfortunately upped my driving by dating dreamy boyfriend in the suburbs – still only drove about 2 times per week, used mass transit otherwise
* not flushing the toilet every time I pee
* bought handmade soaps instead of shower gels in plastic bottles
* use one towel at the gym instead of two
* took only two trips that required air travel
There must be more. But the point is: I try, I do. But not hard enough. I was a bit too consumeristic this year, too many times I told myself I “deserved” that Starbucks latte, that extra pair of shoes. I’d like to be more conscious of it in 2009 and that goes hand in hand with being more frugal, more aware of what I’m spending money on, what impact that has on people. I’d like to do more–avoid leather products, buy more used things, more local things, etc.
The whole point of this is to say that I try but am I really helping? Does it even matter? For everything I do, aren’t there ten other people using 100 paper towels in the ladies room every day? So…is it worth it? Does it just make me feel trendy and hip to take my canvas bag to the grocery store? Is is just something I do because it makes me FEEL like I’m contributing and helping but in actuality, I’m not? At all?
I don’t know. You tell me.
Also, please make me a cup of tea because now I’m depressed.
Thanks to Jennifer’s suggestion, I can honestly say that the world hates gay people, men are dying in a pointless war, I am getting a pay cut effective Monday – MERRY CHRISTMAS, and I am single-handedly destroying the rainforest.
AMAZING! Anything else you’d like to discuss!? If so, I’ll be over here, drowning my sorrows with a bottle of bourbon. And also? watching this video on repeat: