Hi. I'm Annie. Nacho enthusiast, dreamer/doer, and professional appreciator of all good things in life, since 1983. I laugh frequently, imbibe occasionally, enjoy writing, proofing, taking pictures, and talking some shit. Welcome, dear reader, to my internet tumble log.
Abolish Prison! The US Incarceration System Is Broken and Needs to Be Replaced
Prisons are terrible, torturous places where people—who are usually poor and disproportionately of color—are subjected daily to crimes more horrific than the ones that probably sent them there. The vast majority of individuals behind bars are there for nonviolent drug and property offenses. Now, which is worse, do you think: Stealing a late-90s Honda or putting someone in a cage for years where we know they will be physically and emotionally abused? We ask whether criminals can be reformed, when we think of them as people at all, but maybe we should stop to consider whether the idea of prisons and jails can be rehabilitated in the wake of all the injustice they have wrought.
Perhaps the evils of incarceration outweigh the good. Maybe the goal shouldn’t be reform, as welcome as that may be, but something more radical: release.
Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.
Thanks a bunch Mr. Ramis. If I connect all the dots, I have you in part to thank for laughing at all the things I laugh at, living in the city I live in, and keeping the delicious company I keep. Rest in peace guy. (at Ghostbusters Headquarters)
Sunshine and dry, cold wind. A hardware store. Grits and hot sauce. A new nail polish named “after sex”. Restorative poses. A hint of salvation/spring. Things are coming to life below the surface. I feel loved and I feel the sunny side of wanderlust coming to a boil. The good kind of longing. Arriving. Taking care of business. Etc.
Do you think the Germans have a word for when you hear a song for the first time and you immediately realize it’s going to be the bookmark of your current place in life and will trigger memories of Right Now later on? Because I just played this four times in a row.
At the risk of sounding super trite, I’m gonna stand on my Facebook soapbox for a sec and say that: 1. This is rad, 2. You should probably watch it, because 3. It made me realize something I’d never considered before. While the LGBT community fights for baseline, basic human rights, they’re going to war for all of us. Because with each hard-fought victory, every one of us is that much less beholden to bullshit societal standards that bear down on us in any myriad of ways.
The word “ally” has always implied a level out outlying support, but I feel like the tone needs to shift. Taking a cue from Ms. Page, let’s go with “Holy Shit Thank You”.
Thank you for going to bat for all of us while the rest of the world continues to kick you down. Thank you for refusing to live in a universe full of dickheads and insisting we raise the bar for ourselves and everyone around us. Thank you for shifting the conversation to LOVE and COURAGE and VULNERABILITY and INCLUSION and making us all better for it. Thank you for sharing the spoils of your hard-won victories whether we deserve them or not. Thanks for letting us be a part of your family. We fucking owe you. Big time.
This week marks 10 years since the start of my semester in Ireland, 7 since rolling into Portland, and just one month since wandering wide-eyed into New York City.
I’m only remembering now how much I cried and struggled—so full of snot, doubt and despair—through those first few weeks in a new world. Easy to forget I guess, once you fall so deeply in love with it all.
Change can be an ugly, fear-mongering, dick head, whether you plan for it or not. But it’s always turned into more blessings than I can count in the end. Looking forward to that grace-filled transformation. Once more for good measure.