Wow… powerful words. I wasn’t sure where this post was going with all of the Madonna/Sinead references, but you hit the nail perfectly on the head and wrote about the thoughts screaming in my head during the past 7 months. Thank you for writing this and continuing to speak out.
Thank you for reminding us of the mainstream’s beyond horrible response to Sinead’s powerful moment. Talk about being on the wrong side of history!!
What is the real enemy to you? For me, I think it’s hate that is born out of pain. I keep thinking about this article I read in the NY Times about a woman whose mom was killed because a bicyclist ran a red light and hit her at such a velocity that she died. Now, this woman finds herself yelling at bicyclists in NYC as they disregard traffic laws. Of course, the bicyclists don’t know she lost her mom recently. They’re probably just like: “That lady needs to take a chill pill!! I’m a biker! I’m a good person!!” Point being, I feel like we’re all like this. We’re all walking/biking around in pain and I just wish we could all be more gentle with each other…but sometimes, like if your mom just died, that’s really effing hard. MUCH LOVE, Amelia
Hi Am! And yeah, how do you be gentle with someone who wants to kill you because you are Jewish? And if they don’t recognize they are in pain or need help does it matter? And if we take a personal/psychological response to understanding people, is anyone accountable for anything? It doesnt feel like a particularly useful thing in the face of acute oppression. Useful to remember that people are people, but still. I dunno. I think of it more as a reminder that we each need to keep ourselves in check and our eye on the prize? Maybe easier to identify what is not the real enemy.
Maaaaaybe getting off topic, but this reminds me of Gandhi and MLK and the whole nonviolent movement and I think where things got to be so messy for them and their followers. Like, how can your opinion/voice/truth hold up to people touting theirs along with semiautomatic weapons?? And of course Gandhi and MLK were both killed. WHICH reminds me of this amazing moment in My Favorite Thing is Monsters where MLK has just gotten shot and there are riots in Chicago and one of the characters says something, explaining why people would destroy their own neighborhood: “Sometimes you need the outside to look like how you feel on the inside.” gah. it’s all so true and heartbreaking. #Ihavenoanswers #onlybookrecommendations
I LOVE THIS! I also was a teen at the time, a huge Sinead fan and was watching the show when it happened. I remember thinking OMG in shock then YAAASSS! I was confused by the backlash, didn’t understand it and also remember the Madonna mockery, which was just plain dumb. Thank you for the memory, an inspiring post and for sharing your voice.
“My rage is an amorphous blob that I carry around with me and often gets misdirected at something as insignificant as traffic, or bad writing.”
Same here, Tim. More often than not, I have trouble directing my rage to something useful, and I constantly feel I don’t do enough. I live in Spain and, while the scenario is different over here, the issues are pretty much the same – just throw in the wounds of a ditactorship that have never healed because those in power say we must forget and move on.
The real enemy today was the father of a boy I used to tutor telling me I need to chill. Why did he tell me that? Because his son made a fucking disgusting comment about a lesbian student and I kicked him out because it was a repeated behaviour that I wasn’t going to tolerate. “You women are going too far with your feminist game.” I can see who his son learnt from.
I appreciate you for using your space to speak out, I really do.
Thank you for this. There is a lot of hate and unhappiness in this world which becomes more obvious the older I get. I also enjoyed your post on Dorie’s sables – it put a smile on my face during a very difficult week. I always enjoy your writing. And yes, I agree with what you wrote, and also that Sinead is underrated. I always loved her. “Last Day of Our Acquaintance” is just as powerful now as when I listened to it in my early 20s. That entire album is actually – and I am going to listen to it right now! She blows Madonna out of the water.
Hi Tim! I’m Amelia’s friend and even though I am a lazy slob in the kitchen I love your blog because of your perspective, writing, and your humor (is who you are). This post is so exciting to me bc 1) I remember watching Sinead’s SNL performance in my basement as a kid and and being absolutely electrified by it 2) I’ve always found Madonna to be a bit of an annoying gnat (although Ray of Light did have me there for a bit) and 3) I’ve been obsessed with the online hatred of our (disturbing, unsupportable, deeply problematic) president and how easy it is to call another human dispicable without actually attending to any of your own personal garbage – to clean up your own side of the street, as the saying goes. I don’t have any cohesive response to your invitation/reminder but I love this post so much for its reminder and for calling out how easy it can be to absolve oneself when the real work hasn’t yet begun. Thank you!!
Lovely. Also, it’s always nice to have my vague millennial annoyance with Madonna justified (pun unintended). I live in Salt Lake City which is the perfect breeding ground for complacency and manufactured ‘peace’. Perhaps this is why I read this with the emphasis on fight.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on Taylor Swift’s choice to remain silent during these current political events, considering her white supremacist fan base and the fact that she is Jewish. At the moment, I don’t think it gets more problematic than her.
As a teenager in the 80’s, I always thought Madonna was annoying. She somehow sold cultural appropriation and superficiality as a “genuine chameleon” personality worthy of adoration. Which apparently is the kind of oxymoron Americans love—-thus Trump: the president who they love because he “tells it like it is” while virtually everything he says is a lie.
I was sincerely disappointed to hear her speaking in Washington at the Women’s March in January, it was the only sour note of an amazing experience I will never forget.
I stand with you and with everyone who continues to fight the real enemy.
Anne-I like the connection to Trump you made. It is interesting. Thanks, friend.
Milan! Ha. Yeah, I don’t have much respect for people with a platform who choose to remain silent in the face of all of this bullshit. Also, the new single is tired. LOL
Hugs to everyone!
Hard times, yes. More and more we are isolated, seeing each other as the “other.” Anger is needed, but directed to the positive. Stomp a few times, then act, even if the act is standing in place when another attempts to push you or you want to push them; that is hardest. Thank you for putting your thoughts down where others can hear, share. We’re in hard times. There’s one film I recommend. It’s not political, directly. It’s about finding humanity, in everyone, acting to pull it out even after the most horrific experience a family can suffer (as one whose family went through similar). The documentary is titled “Beyond Hatred.” It is French, subtitled, about an hour. It is about being humane. As we stand strong and so move forward, we must retain our humanity. Otherwise, why bother?
We always trash the people who put a mirror up to our ugly side. Sinead was right and she exposed our ugly side. I’ll add James Baldwin to this conversation, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Thank you for this piece. I’ll work to “fight the real enemy.”
Thank you! Beautifully said, and powerful. I also carry around the amorphous blob of rage, trapped in a queer, brown, female body. I know I’m not doing enough, , but I enthusiastically thank you for using your platform in this way! Love to you!