In the season finale of The Good Wife when Diane slapped Alicia, I did not feel any satisfying book-end symmetry. The last scene was meant to mirror the first scene of the very first episode when Alicia had slapped her philandering husband after his confessional press conference. I was unaware.
We only started watching TGW three seasons ago as part of a self-prescribed regimen of binge-watching. I am a big believer in getting out of the way so the body can heal. Three years ago my dear partner was healing from breast cancer. We coped through mastectomies with The Wire; chemo with Breaking Bad and radiation with Friday Night Lights.
There was still some healing to be done. Someone suggested TGW. Or they might have suggested Kalinda.
We caught up with the general story line pretty easily, but never really had the history with Alicia that you all had. I shouted my way through many episodes: “Oh come on, don’t be such a girl.” “Get a backbone, woman!” “Don’t stand by your man. Stand on your man!” “What is the matter with straight women?” But I didn’t want to slap her.
The slap has churned out many readings. CNN, which will poll absolutely anything, has probably already crunched the numbers on John King’s magic wall. The frontrunner interpretation in my exit poll is that by using Diane’s husband’s affair to keep Peter out of prison, Alicia broke with her oldest female ally and became a less than good person.
But I hated that slap.
When I stopped at our local health food store I realized it was Thursday, the day of the week they made their world-famous tofu pad thai.
The handsome woman at checkout asked, “Have you had it before?” I said it was my first time and complemented her on her Hillary button.
It was square with a blue background. The arrowed letter H logo was superimposed on a red heart. She wore it over her heart. She patted it, shook her head and said, “You wouldn’t believe the things people say to me when they see the button.”
But I would. This campaign season has been open season on incredulity. Nothing really surprises me anymore. Or for very long.
“One guy told me that Bill Clinton made millions by selling drugs out of the White House and that Hillary had killed 23 people when she was First Lady. ‘Check the website,’ he says.” She told him she would not.
We stepped away from the counter and formed a quick ad hoc support scrum and swapped a few more stories about the Sanderistas and Trumphalists. We felt better. Pad thai customers came in. She turned back to the counter.
“Speaking of websites,” I added, “a friend of mine has joined a feminist pro-Hillary online website. She says you can say nice things about Hillary without fear of attack.”
My new Hillary Mo had already grabbed a recycled paper bag and was writing down the information.
“My friend says it’s very relaxing.”
I pushed out the door into windy rain. “Please come back tomorrow,” she said a little pleady, “It’s Tofu Falafel Friday.”
This has been around for a month, but my carrier pigeon ran into some rough weather over Oklahoma, so I got it late. It could be really late, if Indiana votes for BEREXIT, Bernie’s exit.
HILLARY AND PONIES
Bernie: “I think America should get a pony.”
Hillary: “How will you pay for the pony? Where will the pony come from? How will you get Congress to agree to the pony?”
Bernie: “Hillary thinks America doesn’t deserve a pony.”
Bernie Supporters: “Hilary hates ponies!”
Hillary: “Actually, I love ponies.”
Bernie Supporters: “She changed her position on ponies! #WhichHillary #WitchHillary”
Headline: HILLARY REFUSES TO GIVE EVERY AMERICAN A PONY.
Debate Moderator: “Hillary, how do you feel when people say you lie about ponies?”
US Uncut Headline: Congressional Inquiry into Clinton’s Pony Lies.
Twitter trending: #ponygate
ALL SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME
For weeks I have been meeting with my advisors to outline ways for Hillary to run against Donald Trump.
Never finish a sentence.
If Trump was actually born on this planet. . .
If Trump really was a good father . . .
If that really is his golf handicap . . .
If he really doesn’t test positive for . . .
We need a fuller, snappier list of nicknames for Trump:
What we have so far:
Hillary should always refer to Trump’s buildings as ‘your erections’. Then demand that he show his penis saying, “America has a right to know.” Then disinfect Hillary’s podium.
Immediately name Ryan Seacrest as Hillary’s running mate.
Though Trump has nearly killed satire, we need a satirical group like the Reagan era “Ladies Against Women”, or the Billionaires for Bush. First suggestion was a group of women who would begin to keen loudly whenever Trump speaks. But there are no metal detectors
I Am Hillary
By: Nicole M. Anzuoni
Earlier this week during the CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall, the first question Hillary Clinton faced from the audience was from a rumpled, twenty-something, introduced as leaning towards voting for Bernie Sanders. He proceeded to ask the former First Lady, United States Senator and Secretary of State why his generation showed little enthusiasm for her candidacy, and posited that many people his age think she is “dishonest”.
My reaction to this query/statement was pretty visceral. I understand, as does Hillary, that when you are in the political arena, you will be subject to withering examination and critique. That’s the deal. You must be prepared to answer any and all questions lobbed your way.
But, still, to direct the word “dishonest” in so cavalier a fashion to someone of Hillary Clinton’s stature seemed jarring. Comparably, I have not heard anyone ask Bernie Sanders, “why do so many of my contemporaries think you are a little kooky?” Or to Martin O’Malley, “my friends wonder how you deal with your irrelevance in this race?”
I could not help but feel like, “who does this kid think he is to speak to Hillary Clinton like that?” The tone was so cutting, entitled. It was so – familiar.
I, and many others, know this male privilege condescension well. Not in the exact terms or context as Hillary endured on Monday night (and throughout her career), but with the same subversive, sexist undertone. What do I mean?
By way of example:
• After hosting a successful fundraiser at my home for a progressive organization on which I served on the board of directors, the male head of the organization called my efforts “sweet”. (NB: sexism is not limited to any one movement or political party).
• Following my suggestion of a solution to a particularly vexing business issue, my male boss declared to the conference room filled with my colleagues, “Nicole gets a gold star for the day.”
These specific episodes happened years ago, but they remain with me. I knew my contributions were being undercut by this infantilizing language. Is this how these male leaders treated other men? No, I knew it was not. Rather, my male counterparts received, among other things, obsequious accolades such as, “he has a truly nuanced view of the complexities of the business”.
I realized it was not surprising that I was so offended by this particular question during the Town Hall.
Because I am Hillary.
I have more experience than many of my colleagues, work hard to ensure I am thoroughly prepared on all issues for which I am responsible, and yet my accomplishments are routinely devalued and diminished. I do not mean just the insidious ridicule-masked-in-praise language I have faced, which some will dismiss as merely being overly sensitive. I mean I have been paid significantly less than the men in similarly situated positions with whom I have worked. The words are just used to reinforce my lack of standing. This is fact, not a feeling. Men get the laudatory praise and the lucrative promotions. When I have asked to be compensated fairly based on my merits as well as relative to my male colleagues, I have been labeled “over-reaching” and “ungrateful”.
How can any of us who experience these realities expect anything different when the most admired woman in the world regularly encounters similar obstacles? In Hillary’s case, just substitute polls for pay.
Despite what pundits said early on in the presidential race about Hillary’s candidacy being inevitable, many knew this time around would be a trudge just like her 2008 campaign. Eight years have passed, her resume has grown even more impressive, the country has evolved in certain ways, but one thing has not changed: she is still a woman.
Her detractors say they will support “anyone but Clinton.” Change the name on the 2016 ballot to Bill Clinton and I do not think the “anyone but Clinton” proclamation holds. Isn’t it really more accurate to say some voters will support “anyone but a woman?”
Others will say their issue is voting for this woman as President of the United States. She has “too much baggage”, she is “conniving”, she is a “crazy bitch”. Funny, these phrases sound an awful lot like the unpleasant descriptions hurled by men about their ex-wives or ex-girlfriends. But this is the rhetoric we hear too often associated with opposition to Hillary Clinton as President, not a sophisticated parsing of her policy positions. I find it remarkable that Bernie’s loud, generally grumpy and gruff disposition has been labeled “authentic” and “endearing”. Hillary’s resolve in confronting unending attacks, however, makes her “untrustworthy” and “unlikeable”.
And yet like a no frills, venerable Timex watch, Hillary “takes a licking and keeps on ticking”. Hillary absorbs hit after hit. That’s what all of us Hillarys have to do in our everyday lives. What choice do we have? We have to believe that by getting up from every pushback, we move ever so much closer to eliminating the inequity, to changing the dialogue, to making things a little easier for those who come after us.
While not a total solution, having a woman in the highest office in the nation would be another step towards a more gender enlightened country. And there is no one with more experience or better preparation (and there probably never will be in my lifetime) to take up that mantle than Hillary Clinton.
If none of this resonates with you, if you have never experienced anything like what I have described above, well, you are most likely either (a) lucky or (b) the perpetrator of such affronts (consciously or unconsciously).
Ask your grandmother, your mother, your aunt, your wife, your daughter-in-law, your sister, your cousin, your daughter or your granddaughter if she has had to abide such indignities, such assumptions about her skills or her character, and I bet many of them will also say, “I am Hillary”.
In the early 1990s I did a concert in Atlanta, Georgia. I was meet-and-greeting the audience after, shaking hands like a comedy minister after a stand-up service. Mercifully it was a pre-selfie time, so I was actually talking with people, signing a ticket or two.
Over the shoulder of the next person, I noticed at the end of the line an elegant, casually but impeccably dressed man chatting amiably with the people around him. It was Julian Bond.
I tried to focus but as Julian got closer my heart started hammering and my mouth went dry. I had flashbacks of the young Julian speaking to the Georgia General Assembly; Julian as head of the NAACP; Julian the kind but cutting, urbane guest on early TV talk shows.
At last we were face to face. As if I were telling him something he didn’t know, I blurted out, “You’re Julian Bond.”
He smiled warmly, “Indeed.” And reached into the inner pocket of his sport coat and pulled out a folded sheet of paper covered in writing. He showed it to me. “These are lines from your show. The first time I use them, I will credit you by name. The second time I use them, I will say, ‘As my friend said…’. The third time I use them, they’re mine.”
It still is one of the slyest, highest compliments I have ever gotten.
Adieu Julian Bond.
Well I don’t know about you, but I am definitely having a post-Supreme Court Affordable Healthcare Act, post-Marriage Equality, post-Women’s World Cup Soccer, post-Serena Williams Wimbledon letdown.
And ‘letdown’ is the wrong word, for it suggests a soft, feathery zig-zagging descent. Picture a David Letterman watermelon tossed from a NYC rooftop. Actually I’m still having a letdown from Dave’s departure.
The rainbow lights on the White House have been turned off. The ticker tape parade through the Canyon of Heroes is over. The exultant lift of the trophy plate is over.
And I’m learning to love a letdown.
Next letdowns on the horizon?
Evan Wolfson, the early Futilitarian of Marriage Equality, agrees to take on the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Jill Ellis, cool-headed coach of the US Women’s Soccer team, designs a flawless strategy for the inevitable backlash to Marriage Equality. Karli Lloyd will handle offense. Hope Solo on defense.
Serena Williams, tennis Grand Slammer in the making, can take on anything she wants after the US Open.
I tell you. A girl could get used to such wonderful letdowns.
For one gardener, a lifetime of instant gratification yields to longer-term commitment.
Thank goodness for farmers. As a mere gardener, I don’t know how they do it. The heartbreak. My phlox had powdery mildew last summer and it about killed me. The worry. Was I applying the right mildew spray? The doubt. Had I read the Department of Agriculture’s official Plant Hardiness Zone Map correctly? Was Provincetown in Zone 7A? I had to remind myself that my life and livelihood did not depend on my phlox crop.
One morning I stood like a garden ornament among my plants trying to laser-kill mildew with just a look. I was also deep in a narrative about being down to my last… continued
Pope John Paul, President Ronald Reagan, David Letterman and I all began our professional careers within six months of each other.
Pope John Paul is now a saint whose qualifying miracle was making the pedophilia scandal disappear. Ronald Reagan’s spirit has taken up evil residency in his Badger State mini-me, Scott Walker. David Letterman is retiring on May 20.
Years ago my friend Jane, my comedy mom, who is now 95, told me to watch him. She still tells me who to watch. Recently she called and left a message, “Amy Schumer, right now, Comedy Central!” I thought Dave on his brief morning show was corny, juvenile, smartass and funny.
His first network Late Night show was on at 1230a. Thus began my history of frustration trying to tape things for later viewing. Back then it was real big plastic tape boxes, not your fancy airy fairy cloudy DVR technologies that I can’t do either. I thought I had taped Ray Romano’s ninety minute tribute to Letterman’s career, but instead got an episode of MSNBC’s Lockdown.
David Letterman and I were both born in 1947, many years ago, yet the number is still available if you’re scrolling for your DOB. I have enjoyed and identify with his increasing irascibility, made edgier in the sloshing sea of late night saccharine people pleasing. I’d grown accustomed to the bitter after taste of Dave’s show. It helped me sleep. I better get some melatonin. I’m still working and I need my rest.
Great news KFCers! The Colonel’s people have announced it is now testing edible coffee cups in its British franchises. The cups are made from a wafer coated in sugar paper and lined with heat resistant white chocolate.
Show of hands – who knew there was such a thing as sugar paper or heat-resistant white chocolate? Also, when did the Brits start drinking coffee? Are they able to drink coffee only if it tastes like chocolate on their fried chicken slicked tongues?
The cups were fabricated by YUMS, specialists in edible packaging. Try their potato-starched wrappers printed with vegetable inks!
The unfortunately named Scoff-ee cups will be dosed with ambient aromas – Coconut Sun Cream, Freshly Cut Grass and Wild Flowers – to evoke memories of warm weather, sun and summer holidays. The Earl of Grantham just blew an aorta.
According to one “purveyor of curious events and experimental food” the cups answer Millennials’ need for sustainability and simplicity.
Again, hands. Who knew Millennials preferred packaging that could be made into furniture and boxes repurposed into other uses? Is this their Thatcherish idea for dealing with homelessness?
Still, with the hands please. When did Brits start eating chicken and out of buckets? And when did the C in KFC also indicate Coffee?
Here’s a suggestion. This summer in the Northeast, KFC franchises offer cups of iced coffee dosed with the aroma of Chapstick, Salt Trucks, and Sorel boots? The cups will be a chillled edible metal you’ll stick your tongue on. It will bring out memories of polar vortices, cabin fever, strained muscles and this winter’s unending hell. I’m going to Arby’s.