I worked at the polls yesterday for the primaries.

In my neighborhood there are a quite a few people who think they are above party politics.

New York City and New York State are big on party politics though.

Every primary, the “above party politics” crew show up and are incensed they can’t vote (in the Democratic primary).

Usually I get my jolies by (snickering inwardly and) saying politely “You have to be a registered Democrat to vote in the primary.”

This time I did something different.

“You’re not registered to any party.”

“You mean I can’t vote.”

“Nope. You have a choice, and here are your options. You can walk away without voting. You can vote in the Reform Party – here are their candidates – oh not interested? Or, you can vote in the Democratic primary, but you’ll have to register as a Democrat.”

“Oh ? How do I do that?”

“Two ways. You can head over to 200 Varick and get a judge to certify you as a Democrat -” (I note they look miserable) ” or you can fill out an Affidavit Ballot and choose to register as a Democrat.”

All ten of them took the ballot and registered as Democrats.


Intentions aren’t magic

To a great degree I judge by the actions and the results of actions, as opposed to the words someone uses to describe their motives.

Thus A used to say that he thought I was brilliant, and a good person worthy of love. He used to say he wanted me to do fun stuff and have nice things. And yet,

– He never did pay for me to have expensive dye jobs (that I didn’t care about but he claimed were important).

– He also said “I hope you’re not as unclear at work as you are at home. You make no sense at all.”

– He claimed that the reason we didn’t entertain was that he was ashamed of the boxes. Once they were gone it was something else. He knew I love parties.

– He claimed that telling a friend I liked X porn was a terrible betrayal. Much worse than sneaking into my email and reading the message in which I said it.

– He yelled at me so often for looking at his screen that I was afraid to look toward him when he was at his desk.

Open source boob project

I can’t remember what internet hole I fell down that led me to it.


To recap: a bunch of folks were hanging out at a convention. Some of the men in the group lamented that they didn’t live in a world in which it would be ok to go up to women and ask to touch their breasts. One of the women said they could touch hers. The men (and women ?) proceded to grope all the women in the group.

Then they asked more women if they could grope them.

Then they decided this would be a great activity for another convention. They made up buttons which said yes you may or no you may not. They groped a bit at the second convention. They wrote it up.

I am pleased that hundreds of people thought OSBP was a lousy idea.

Here’s my take : we already live in the world those men wanted. I’m pushing 60, and ever since I was 11, no more than a day or two goes by without some man “asking” if he can touch me.

I can hear the pushback:

“But no one thinks it’s ok”

I disagree. Clearly all the men and boys who’ve asked to touch me think it’s ok. So do the men and boys with them. So does every creep who says we like catcalls.

You can say no”

I do. I’m often terrified, but I do.

“It’s different!”

Yeah no.

We will stay friends

Maybe. I don’t think you’ll stay each other’s best beloved though.

One of you has acknowledged something that makes the partnership impossible.

Something (or its lack) is necessary to one of you, and the other can’t provide it.

This is when those of us who are monogamous break up, and we are no longer a team.

Our individual interests take over. Our lives separate.

I do know exceptions. Not many.

Poll worker education

I work at the polls most elections.

In New York you have to take a poll worker class and pass a (very simple) test annually in order to work at the polls.

I took the class last night.

As usual, the instructors and other poll workers were lovely people. The class is boring and I could have used more bathroom breaks.

The strengths of the class are threefold :

  • Good instructors
  • Repetition and clear language
  • Polite behavior, with an emphasis on politeness to people disabilities

The problem – you knew there was a problem, right? The problem is that the teaching materials couch civil responsibilities as commercial transactions.

My fellow citizens are not “customers”. “Customer service” is not the noble goal we should aim for.

Political engagement, including voting and jury service, is our duty (and privilege) as citizens.

Pretending that civic duty should aspire to the status of commercial transactions degrades citizenship and insults all of us.


I was browsing goodreads and read some reviews of The Gate into Women’s Country.

It isn’t my favorite Tepper novel (and indeed I rarely read her anymore). The reviews though misread it completely. Tepper wrote a dystopia in which she shows how easily some ideas devolve into tyranny.

  • Homosexuality is genetic? Fine, we’ll breed it out.
  • Art is a luxury? Fine, artists don’t get to reproduce.
  • Men want violence? Fine, no school for (most) boys.
  • Etc.
  • So yeah Women’s Country is cissexist and gender essentialist. That’s because it’s a horrible place. It’s less awful than Holyland, which is a polygynist hell. The novel though, doesn’t posit Women’s Country as wonderful.
  • If you want to, you could view the novel as the coming of age story of an oligarch. One who sadly, but willingly sacrifices her child. One who accepts her fascist nation and its ideology and purposefully works to fulfill them.
  • Or you could view the novel as a study in how love and kindness can be perverted.
  • Anyway, I believe I read it correctly, but who knows.
  • Subway jerks

    Two of them on the L.

    Jerk 1– Radio playing loudly. I walked over and asked him to turn it off. He smirked. I pointed out radios are against the rules. I called him an asshole (several times). I switched cars.

    I remain pissed at him and at the other passengers. The white hipsters who were unwilling to take on a tough Latino man.

    Jerk 2– Just before his own stop, a white guy (mid twenties, bearded, short hair – yep hipster) knocked over a big gulp sized cup and left cup, liquid, and ice on the floor.

    I scooped the ice into the cup, picked up the cup, and threw it out at my stop.