I got to thinking, how many people are unaware that they're actually white nationalists? How many people are ignorant of the fact that they're white supremacists? Like, they tell us to "get over it" and whatnot and have zero heart or mind for the civil rights violations because they don't think it matters. Because they think they are superior/supreme. It goes beyond racism, beyond privilege. So I wrote a song about it. Chords below, if you want to play and sing along! The chords are as easy as living in this fascist dictatorship is hard!
G G4 (add a C note to your G chord)
How many people are unaware
That’s they’re actually white nationalists?
How many people are ignorant of the fact
That they’re white supremacists?
You voted like David Duke
I’m sorry, man, but that rhymes with it makes me wanna puke
You voted like the KKK
And yeah, that’s not OK, K, K?
I hate that even have to sing this song
But holy fuck all the things are going wrong
Unless you’re male and white and straight
You really start to wonder about your fate
In this fascist dictatorship
This flagrant hatership
They’re stopping legal residents at the border
And America is feeling more like Mordor
Though technically Sauron allowed different peoples in
He just killed them immediately but he still didn’t win
1984 is another good book
All the recent doublespeak warrants another look
He’s keeping Muslims out and shoring up the borders
Refugees are banned by executive order
It made me cry today
To see marchers protesting at JFK
Who thought I’d agree with John McCain
Or Dick Cheney when they came to say:
Banning people is against the constitution
But what are you gonna do within the institution?
Hey — What do you say
You rich, influential white men?
I hear you talking but the action is coming
When? When? When?
I don’t want to live in an only-white nation
But the fact I have to specify that is a troubling confirmation
That some people seem to be unaware
That’s they’re actually white nationalists
So many people are ignorant of the fact
That they’re white supremacists
Hey — What do you say
You rich, influential white men?
I hear you talking but the action is coming
When? When? When?
Peter Pan wasn't exactly right when he said, "All you need is a little faith, trust, pixie dust." That little flying boy left out rest and self care! Magic takes some time to recharge.
In other (related) news, I've been psyched lately because music is oozing from my pores. I spent a long time stuck and unable to play music. Even listening to certain things (I'm looking at you, Blonde Redhead) was too painful and would make me cry. I'm exploring what all this is about and how I ended up getting out of it, because I think it could be helpful to people who are stuck. A course for stuck creatives, anyone?
I got such a beautiful response to the song I wrote, "Women Are Magic," inspired by all of you amazing people who marched last Saturday. I have felt a huge and positive shift. And I'm not just talking about my husband's mood, which has improved from the tremendous beam of light shone last weekend. We The People needed it so badly.
Speaking of "We The People," have you seen these gorgeous, free prints from Shepard Fairey? Some assholes have been posting Facebook ads selling them, but I'm trying not to tie up too much of my energy in shit that isn't important.
Anyway -- how beautiful is this?
I also read some really cool things by several astrologers, including this wonderful snippet from the Qoya newsletter this morning: "Imagine our feline friends, from house cats to jaguars in the jungle; they spend a large amount of their time resting, so that when they are called into action, they can bring 100% of their presence. This is how the feminine thrives. When she is well-rested, and I'm not just talking about sleep. I'm talking about when the feminine coils into her chrysalis, when she consciously contemplates darkness as the great mystery from which everything is born." I think of this when I look at this guy:
The pull to the divine feminine has been so strong lately -- I bet you feel it, too. So let's get our rest and sing our songs. I'm with you.
Happy New Moon! From my altar and heart to yours.
I was so inspired by all my women (and men and babies and everybody) marching on Saturday I wrote a song, "Women Are Magic," for you. And for me.
I’m going for an ovarian cyst biopsy this afternoon. My intuition has been telling me it is fine, firmly, repeatedly. But I have been scared all week. I took some medication this morning that softens the cervix, and it totally gave me what we call ‘splosions, a headache, cramps. I always like to wear the right thing for any occasion — and I like to keep it vibrant and unexpected — so for this inauguration day nearly-crapped pajama pants and a cervix ready to roar seem like exactly the right outfit. I didn’t get a pussy hat in time, but this will do.
Instead of focusing on this man who is slated to “lead” us, I focus on the myriad strong women who bolster me again and again, from women I've yet to meet, to my sisters, to my friends marching today and tomorrow (myself included — don’t forget to look inside at that hugely bright divine feminine spirit we’re all sporting as well. Certainly a better look than nearly-crapped pajama pants).
My Grandmother — Granny Bunny Mikus, Gramma — was one of my favorite people and a huge inspiration to me. Her birthday is this month. This past summer I went to see Karen Noé, a renowned psychic medium, and Granny Bunny was one of the first to come through, and she was with my mom, of course.
“She wants you to know she uses her energy to go inside the cardinals to let you know she’s around, but not just cardinals,” Karen told me. This made me really happy. Also: women are magic. Last year, when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, my sister bought me a bird feeder, which pumped a lot of energy and life (and, yeah, sticky white poop) onto our brick patio in Cambridge. As time went on we ended up with more and more cardinals, which have always reminded me of Granny Bunny — she loved all beings, feeding peanuts to chipmunks and, during the Great Depression, dinners and pies to hobos. So to hear Granny was, as I had suspected, bringing the cardinals ‘round, I smiled. One day I probably had eight pairs of those beautiful red birds on my patio. And sometimes (more and more, it seems) you have to believe in support wherever you can get it.
I’m thinking a lot about inspiring women as I watch all of my female friends get ready to march today and Saturday to protest our current state of Presidential pussy-grabbing affairs and the inauguration. The number of women I’ve seen gearing up to protest has been heartening as much as frustrating as fuck that we even need to do this. But this is what we do. Your sharing your hearts has made me cry, your kids with their pussy hats on makes me smile, I'm lucky to know you.
And we have the strength and thousands of years of DNA, actual stardust, and the bolstering of all the generations of women who have come before us, whether they’re related to us or not. The reality is we are powerful, whether shitty men are trying to diminish that power or not. The power is real and it is in us.
Hey, if my Grandma can communicate with me from beyond to tell me she loves me and acknowledge the beauty of the cardinal, we can march. We can lead with love and continue to break away at the old way. And the thing is, even if it wasn't real, it is love that keeps us afloat. Even the memory of love is more powerful than a real live asshole.
My Granny’s husband — my mother’s father — was troubled. He was an alcoholic who had a hard time holding a job and maintaining his life, let alone a marriage with four kids. He died when my mother was 16. I think often about how far we’ve come, even in a few generations, when I consider something my Granny said about her husband: “He was very drunk that night when he got home and that’s the night your uncle was conceived.”
She glossed over it. The fact that he came home stinking drunk and she let him have sex with her anyway. And she sure didn’t sound like she was into it when she told me. She just told me matter-of-factly, like that’s just what you do as a wife.
It’s a wonder any of us manage to have healthy attitudes toward our bodies and sex considering how broken our whole system is. But regardless of what she had going on at home, my Granny was ebullient, helpful, hardworking, and wonderful. Did I mention strong? She was nothing short of amazing, as we are. If my Granny could be incredible and inspire generations during a time when marital rape was considered just the order of the day, we can do it now.
Some assholes might believe we deserve no healthcare, or to be grabbed, and yeah, one has also become our president (for fuck’s sake). But we and our loved ones and our ancestors have seen a lot worse. This isn’t to suggest we should put up or shut up or say “it’s not that bad.” Nothing of the sort. Just that if my Granny was equipped to take care of her own daughter when she died, or manage to be the awesome woman she was even after what she endured at home, we can come together and keep our hard-won progress moving along. Right, Granny?
Right, ladies? Right.
I’m with you. I love you. I see you. Your grandmother sees you. You are magic.
Some weeks you've just got to throw on an apple aura quartz crown, get weird, and write about bodily functions. (Yeah, yeah, that's most weeks for me.)
Found out I have an ovarian cyst (very likely the benign kind), the garage and patio roofs started leaking, and water began seeping up through our new floor in the basement. I cried pretty hard last weekend to round out all of the seeping surfaces and orifices. I don’t know if this is what being in touch with your environment looks like. But I could enjoy a dry spell, if so.
Hey, shoppers! If you’re going to collect all of your tears somewhere, do it in style! The arms of these beautiful plaid pajamas are not only thick, absorbent, high-quality flannel, but they’re made by Pendleton for GAP! I've never felt cozier, or more held, while weeping.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of advertising how things really are, here’s one of my Instagram photos and a little bit about the almighty Medjool date, if I were to get to advertise these nuggets!
These sweet lil turds’ll break one of one’s sugar k-hole precipitated by the season of “You’re not good enough, so buy this shit and put these foods in yer face.” Dates! Bringing you back from the American brink time and again. One sweet, organic bite at a time. Brought to you by the California Date Commission. #palmturds
I was in the midst of doing that 10 albums that had lasting influence for you as a teen or whatever on Facebook and it got me thinking about how much I loved The Who Sell Out when I was a young child — that LP cover of Roger Daltry taking a baked beans bath disgusted and allured me all at once. I loved how a few beans were suspended up on his leg and always wondered if they had been purposefully placed there.
In the spirit of advertising being just as weird as we are, I figured I’d do a throwback to one of the first pieces I ever submitted anywhere, which is about prescription drug commercials and what they’re really saying. It’s called “I Want Herpes,” and you can read it here (it's so old it's not even up where it was originally submitted)!
Hope you enjoy!
Full moon feels, everybody! Friday the 13th! What have you! I hope you've been faring well and your body and house are not seeping, and, if they are, you are erring more on the side of WTF HAHAHA than OMG FML!
(This piece originally appeared in Thieves Jargon in 2004.)
“TAKE CHARGE!” The gospel voice sings, as couples cavort in rainforests, bike down treacherous cliffs and careen through the white water in their kayaks, mouths open in effort and anticipation, gleaming muscles wet with lust.
I want herpes. No, I really do! Then I could take Valtrex and really take charge of my life! People with herpes are EXTREME! They are always doing extreme sports and they’re always coupled, ready to screw on some high cliff wall, even though “you can still spread herpes to your partner!” Now, that is really extreme. Apparently kayaks are the antidote to gonads and strife.
“GO!” And I want asthma too. Then I could take Advair and a camera would follow me around, morning to night, where I would really get stuff done at work, people would hand me plans rolled up in poster tubes, I would meet hot singles out at smoke-filled bars, and yet be happy to go to bed at night alone because my life with asthma is just so goddamned rewarding all I need in the world is my Advair.
But wait! I’ve just completed my morning run! I’m the mood for something a little more Aryan. I stand stoic, blonde and blue-eyed, muscles straining against my best workout shorts and perfectly stain-free white t-shirt (my friends and I are on Certain Dri). A beautiful Asian woman in a little black dress flirtatiously sprays me with her beautiful Asian musk (they keep it in pretty little aspirators these days) but I am immune. I have my own gorgeous aspirator, green, full of youth, full of Flonase. My nase has never flo’d so strong and proud. My nose hairs are suddenly blonde. Heil, Flonase!
And I want seasonal allergies. I would feel such a part of something bigger, you know? Then I could listen to The Who all day on This Beautiful Planet Earth and dance in communes with the best smelling most attractive hippies in existence. And we would have b-b-q’s and perpetually smile at each other, as the world turned like a Crazy Trip, Man, and the Clarinex is our Sun, Man, incubating the world like Warmth from the Bodhisattva, to grow and grow into the Lotus Flower and We’ll Identify Its Jewel together, Man. Dancing with the chicks in slacks.
And if I had osteoarthritis I’d be a really good gardener. And I could run around with a big yellow dog. I’d name the dog Vioxx. Or Celebrex. There is hope for my elderly bones.
And God knows I am just dying for high cholesterol. Then I could strut down the red carpet to the Grammies and know that even if beneath my Golden Globes rages a heart full of cheese and Polish sausage my waist will remain 22” tiny and my luminescent horse teeth will shine ultraviolet under the forensic team’s black light when they find me dead on the marble floor of the theater’s posh potty. Because that’s what’s so great about high cholesterol and trusty Lipitor—you’re so thin and young looking that forensics is called in because it just must be foul play for someone so perfect to be found so dead.
And if I had a lot of trouble sleeping all I need is the blissful-sounding Ambien, and I could wake up on a beautiful crisp pillow, 300-thread count Egyptian cotton, my window looking out on the multi-million-dollar-average-cost-homes on the island of Sausalito, as a basket full of yawning puppies rests peacefully in the sun of my giant picture window. This could certainly be habit forming. Bring it.
And if I had a problem with impotence all I would have to do is call the doctor and simply ASK about Viagra. Just ASK. And the next day at work I’d all of a sudden be a large virile black man. “What is different about him?” My shirts and pants are impossibly pressed by my impossibly erect penis. What else is a gal to do with a 72-hour erection? Iron!
Oh, how I want to be depressed. I’ve always wanted to be a cartoon character, but most of them are so active. They have to do stuff. And wear capes and save people. But if I were depressed I could be so cute—an adorable soft pebble, bouncing quietly, harkening the simpler times of the pet rock. I’d have a baby bird just learning how to fly following me as I hopped merrily, Mario-style (but without all of the pesky goals), over black and white flowers on a white plain, my Zoloft and me.
And I am just dying for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” springs to mind. I am all women. Blonde, Redhead, Brunette, Silver-Grey and completely flat-stomached. Thank the good sweet Lord that Zelnorm has brought us all together. IBS is not only the norm, but it’s zealous and Zen and the same time! I might just have to get that stomach tattooed to celebrate the sisterhood of IBS. We could have reunions in that beautiful white room that will not be smeared with our irritable feces thanks to Lord Zelnorm.
And don’t even get me started on the Sisterhood of the Yeast Infection. Gimme ovules, baby!
Oxycontin—that’s an evasive bedfellow. But the way the pharmacies and hospitals keep telling me in bold print that they DON’T CARRY IT I’m thinking it must be pretty special. It’s only like, this year’s Miru Kenchiku Luis Vuitton handbag. As expensive and as much of a gateway to bigger and more dangerous, er, bags.
Perhaps I could skip it all and just get Gastro-bypass surgery. Then I could scrap my sensible diet of organic mesclun greens, free-range chicken, and marinated tofu, and drink a gallon of Coca-Cola every day. There are no repercussions, right? No psychological ramifications? I would just have no stomach anymore, right? So like, even my insides would be streamlined. Oh, it is the ultimate luxury. My digestive system would not have to worry about working anymore. And that would be just dandy because, I mean, come on—who understands the digestive system anyway?
But wait—can I just have one trip around Disney World on my motorized scooter before the surgery? I know they’re made for the old folk but my neighbor, Fredericka, tells me that you haven’t seen America (or the rest of the world, for that matter) until you’ve experienced it, huge and proud, eating your way around Epcot’s World Showcase, from the seat of a motorized scooter with a turkey leg hanging out of your mouth. She particularly recommends the turkey leg in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom.
I used to have everything planned out. And everything I did — music, writing — sounded like it was in a vacuum, because it was. There was no room for spontaneity, or air, for that matter, because I was too scared to let it in. And you could smell it. What’s changed? In Do the Work Steven Pressfield writes about trusting there will always be “something in the box” — and when you write or create a lot there usually is something to write about. There is certainly more room for the Muse to weave her way in, because there is air. The Muse has a chance of bringing the magic into our sweet little grey brains since the ego has stepped aside for two seconds.
I think what broke me of over-planning (besides never feeling quite great about the music or work I was making) was showing up to the page and seeing what happened. A lot. Blogging every day starting in the late nineties and early aughts.
More powerfully, however, my perspective shifted by co-directing an improv show with my friend Kiley and her husband at the time. The show was “First Kiss,” where this couple of improv actors created — in the moment — sketches based on people’s first kiss stories. I would wrangle non-actors who would tell me about their first smooches. I would coach them on doing a monologue — most people time-managed themselves, but not everyone did. Ugh, one gal with a cold rambled on for a half hour and then revealed the story wasn’t her actual first kiss after all, which would have been hilarious if it wasn’t so goddamned boring. But that only happened once.
What taught me so much here was that Kiley and her then-husband didn’t want to know anything about the stories they were about to hear. They wanted the information to be so fresh that they wouldn’t have time to manicure or whittle or manipulate or create a scene (and then talk themselves out of it). They wanted to create that scene in that moment — and it was absolute gold. Some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever seen and healing. So when you leave room for magic you might help people, too.
When I told my own first kiss story something magic happened — I felt healed watching these amazing fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants actors mime putting my retainer in the pocket of my army jacket and getting into a hot tub with my combat boots (oh, the 90s and its military fashion flourishes). I felt like they totally reframed my experience and turned it into something real and hilarious and my inner 15-year-old felt empowered.
One guy I reaped from our karaoke night talked in his monologue about going to Catholic school and having “sensitive nips” and Kiley turned that into stigmata created from his razor sharp nipples. Someone who knew the story before might have talked herself in and out of the nipple-stigmata before the show began. I mean, it’s bold! It’s irreverent! The crowd went wild for it.
After “First Kiss” I think I started to organically let art develop. I’m still a little bit of an over-planner, in that my anxiety will kick up when I don’t give the ego what it wants. Also I’m a recovering perfectionist and sometimes believe if I am hyper-vigilant I can control the world with my mind, namely preventing bad stuff from happening. (I can’t. But I can prevent good stuff from happening by not letting there be room for it. Dig?)
The real magic happens when you let those nipple-stigmata moments occur. And then they give everyone hard nipples, and then you have hard nipples, too. Oh, right, and fantastic art has the potential to take shape because you’re letting the Muse touch her magic wand to your heart, your nipples, your instrument and your page. So lovely, so oxygenated, so fresh. Healing.
Have you ever stifled yourself by planning? How did you get out of it? I’ll have what she’s having! Nipple stigmata for everyone!
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.