politics

All posts tagged politics

Election 2016.

Published November 5, 2016 by April Fox

It’s almost over.

This election season has been hell. I was a Bernie Sanders supporter, and when he lost the primary, I was hit hard. I’m not a political expert by any means; I don’t know a lot about public policy or the ins and outs of political wrangling. I don’t know enough, I guess, to look past the human being that each candidate represents and understand the political machinery inside their heads.

I know that there was a guy who wanted to help people, and that wasn’t what the majority wanted. That’s putting things in the most simplistic terms possible, but that’s the bottom line. He wanted to help, and people said no.

And then it got ugly, uglier than any campaign I’ve seen in my, what, 24 years? of voting.

Every time Donald Trump opened his mouth, I thought, “No. This is where people say, ‘enough’.” That “enough” never happened, and we are looking at the reality of him becoming president. Frankly, after seeing the lack of response to the horrific way the Sioux tribe is being treated over DAPL, I don’t feel good about anyone in the running. The teenage son of a woman with whom I’m acquainted was beaten and jailed, just for being there. He had gone there with his family to help feed those trying to defend their water supply. A cousin of a writer I know suffered the same, having his possessions stolen on top of everything else. These are real people being hurt, not characters on a TV show, but we watch as if they are, less angry about their fate than we are about Glenn’s poor scrambled brains leaking onto the set of The Walking Dead.

I’m a cranky, apathetic, cynical little shit, but this lack of caring on such a massive scale is crushing me. Lack of concern for Native Americans, for LGBT folks, for people of color, for children, for women, the elderly, disabled, mentally ill, veterans… Lack of concern, it seems, for anyone who isn’t involved in the exclusive financial circlejerk that is our federal government.

So I went and I voted, not for anything in particular, but against the worst of it. I voted against Trump, and against the disgusting governor of my state, Pat McCrory, who has worked incredibly hard to destroy the lives of as many of his constituents as he possibly can. I voted, and I felt just as bad walking out as I did going in.

Election season is like Christmas when you’re a kid. You get all riled up in the weeks before, deal with the inevitable elation or disappointment when the gifts are all unwrapped, and then a week later, the new clothes are in the washer with all your old stuff, the new toys are on their sides with dead batteries, and you’re back in school having the same old conversations about the same old shit and learning the same pointless garbage they’ve been feeding you since you were toilet trained.

It’s not going to get better unless we keep being angry past election day. We have to keep fighting everything that’s wrong, every day. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It’s not fun, and there’s something cool on Netflix, and we have money for Taco Bell, so tonight let’s not think about it, right? And tomorrow it’s something else, and the next day, another thing, and then it’s election day again and we’re irate again, for just a minute, and then it’s done.

And then it’s done.

And trans people keep getting beaten up in bathrooms. And gay people keep getting their houses painted with ugly graffiti. And the mentally ill keep floundering, with nowhere to go for help, and children keep going hungry, and veterans keep dying on the streets for lack of care, and women die of cancer while they try to raise the funds for mammograms. Black men keep getting murdered for the crime of being Black. Native Americans choose between bullets or giving in to slow poisoning, and the politicians keep getting richer with every shot that’s fired. But every four years, we give a shit, so it’s okay.

I’m going to take a nap.

Artists, Please Don’t Give Up on North Carolina

Published April 9, 2016 by April Fox

Earlier this week, Bruce Springsteen announced that he was canceling an upcoming North Carolina concert because of his opposition to HB2. The law, also known as North Carolina’s “Bathroom bill,” removes state protections against discrimination, and demands that people use single-sex restrooms in public facilities such as schools and government offices in accordance with the sex listed on their birth certificates, not the gender with which they identify.

Springsteen’s voice is one of the most powerful in the music world, and the statement he made by boycotting North Carolina is a strong one. He’s letting fans and the state of North Carolina know in no uncertain terms that he does not support discrimination, and that’s a message that might have a positive effect on fans who were in agreement with the law.

Springsteen isn’t the only person to have cancelled appearances in North Carolina because of HB2, and it’s a trend that’s likely to continue for a while. And while I appreciate these celebrities joining our fight for equality, I’m seeing things from a different perspective, too.

Yesterday, the manager of Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe published a letter about how the boycott can hurt small businesses. Author Sherman Alexie was the first to cancel his appearance at Malaprop’s, not only costing the store business but also taking away an important cultural experience from the people who wanted to hear him speak. Again, I understand and appreciate the gesture; I don’t really want to be in this state either. But Malaprop’s has a decades-long history of supporting LGBT causes, and by boycotting the state, Alexie is [no doubt inadvertently] hurting the good guys.

North Carolina is a state in crisis, and we have been for a while. Our teachers are pitifully underpaid, we have too many children living in poverty, and our state lawmakers voted against the Medicaid expansion so that many families are still uninsured. Right now, I’m saving money to get an important test to determine whether or not a mass in my uterus is cancer, because I fall into that lower-middle class gap. And now there’s HB2, which was called the worst anti-LGBT piece of legislation in history when it was passed. I get it: We suck, many of our state legislators are a bunch of heartless power-mongers, and the only way to hit them where it hurts is to go straight for the wallet.

Problem is, the rest of us have wallets too, and they’re already painfully thin. My husband works in the music industry as a performer, studio owner, and sound engineer. The venues where he runs sound aren’t owned by mega-corporations, they’re owned by regular human beings, people who live in our communities with their families and are just trying to make a living, like the rest of us. My husband runs sound for bands from all over the country, and he loves his work. I work as a teacher and make a little money writing, but his music jobs are what keep our family afloat.

When you cancel a show in Asheville, or anywhere in North Carolina, you’re making a fantastic statement, but you’re also hurting local families who are just as much opposed to that bill as you are. If my husband misses one gig due to a boycott or any other reason, there goes our weekly grocery money. A night of work is a car payment, school clothes for the kids, car insurance, part of the rent… it’s a huge chunk of our life. It’s a huge chunk out of the life of anyone who depends on others’ performances to make a living, from the bartenders to the sound engineers to the business owners trying to figure out how they’re going to make payroll this week.

To those considering boycotting North Carolina in opposition to HB2, I say thank you. Thank you for standing behind our transgender friends and family. Thank you for having the balls to speak out against an absolutely deplorable piece of legislaion that hurts not only the LGBT community, but everyone. But please, consider keeping that date. Come read your stories to us; play some music and let us dance for you. Speak up while you’re here. Use your time in North Carolina to let local fans know that you stand with them, that you agree that Pat McCrory is a spineless, bigoted jerk and needs to be stopped. Use your time on our stages to speak out against HB2, while showing that you support the people our governor is trying to destroy.

 

Musician and sound engineer Anthony Dorion works in his Asheville, NC studio

The Latest Book

Published September 3, 2015 by April Fox

For those of you who are interested in such things, here’s the new book: a collection of some of my most controversial work, including “A Love Letter to Pat Robertson” and “Mother Whore and the Monsters on the Hill.”

As always, thank you for your constant support. I appreciate you all more than I can say.

Spine

Pat Robertson on Anal Sex: Christians Will Like It

Published June 28, 2015 by April Fox

An article posted on Huffington Post a couple months ago indicates that Pat Robertson might not be as torn up (heh) as you might think about the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

In an interesting case of foreshadowing, Robertson claimed that “You’re gonna say that you like anal sex, you like oral sex… Sooner or later, you’re going to have to conform your religious beliefs to… homosexuality.” That’s right, God is going to make you gay, and he’s going to make you like it. In the article, Robertson also expressed interest in bestiality, although he declined to cite any biblical passages to back up his interest. In case he’s reading this, I’ll share this verse, which he’s welcome to use in order to defend his position when he’s caught in flagrante delicto getting freaky with his livestock: “There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.” -Ezekiel 23:20.

It sounds as if Mr. Robertson is preparing his fan base for the inevitable: he, and all of his followers, are going to catch the gay. You know, I always thought the guy was an idiot, but this is a pretty solid coming out strategy.

Good for you, Pat. Two snaps up.

IMG_8200

Snakes

Published March 14, 2015 by April Fox

There is a house full of snakes

waiting to devour us

fangs slick with the ejaculate of

televangelists and

politicians, bellies fat with

power and the scrawny limbs

of dying children, sacrificed for the greater

good, gently laid to rest

before an altar draped in patriotic

cloth and the stench of soggy dollar bills wet with sweat and creased

from Uncle Sam’s fat fingers, and the whores

pick up their guns and strip down to their fatigues and turn the charm on

like it’s the final fuck

before the fix. 

And from his cloud perch, god sits watching, caged and laughing 

at the folly of us all. 

command.

Published September 26, 2012 by April Fox

and then there’s this
conversely
bleak grey screens flashing
disco balls of whatthefuck
screaming
buy me feel me hear me
fuck me
leashed together, shackled minds
stay in step
don’t
fall
out
let the great ones take you down the path to
everything is
a-ok
wash your feet in the bloody lamb, facing east
and pork’s a sin and
you were SAVED from the chance to
acknowledge your sins
give yourselves some credit,
loves
points for creativity
the universe provides for
god’s will and what it doesn’t
you don’t need
even life.
shanti om, hallelujiah
pass the judgment
to your left.
black feet, black teeth, bellies fat with hunger
maggots teeming on the faces of the children in the trash cans
one meal a day and get your head blown off for freedom
to own oil
and half the world
pro
fucking
life,
right?
you, with your signs screaming love’s a sin and
go to hell
which of these poor sad condemned souls
started as a cell
you sanctified?
right hand on your heart you pray
to gaudy demigods
i pledge allegiance
to the state
(craven images, and all-
did you forget?)
you can’t make this shit up.

Amendment One

Published May 9, 2012 by April Fox

i feel as if
amendment one
is being read by the light of a bulb
shining through the skins
of my family, friends-
my children.

how can you cry your careful,
scripted tears over the loss of a life
not yet started
and tell the child before you
that his life means less than yours?

pro-life, and yet you spit
your prejudice and bile into the faces of your neighbors
fight to take away
their right to life

how easy is it for you to waste your righteous hours
combing through the verses in your book
tossing bits and pieces into piles by the side
over here are things that we’ll ignore
over here is where we make the condemnation pile

you gossip in the grocery aisles
while you shop for pork and tampons
maybe lobster for the anniversary of when you stopped
fucking behind the back
of the god that you adore

dip your razor in the baptismal pool
round the edges of your beard
shave your scalp clean
watch your faith fall to the floor

wine-drunk in the mornings
cannibalizing christ and if his body was inside you
you would see where you are wrong.

slave-owner, whore
if i were bible-bound like you
i could whip you while you cleaned my floors
then sell you for your meat
so your body could be violated
like your conscience must have been.

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