Nick is still asleep.  I took the little dogs out to pee, drank a protein shake, renewed our reservation in the hotel, and made myself an iced coffee, in the blue-green Yeti mug Nick’s mom got me for Christmas.  I had a strange dream — I was single, and they set me up with this woman, with almost immediate escalation to a sexual relationship implied, and I felt resigned.  She was nice enough, when I met her — a brunette with a larger frame than me, taller and more stout, more belly fat too but I thought to myself, “I suppose she represents a catch…?”  I felt really straight in the dream, lol, in the sense that I was totally disoriented about what she was supposed to represent to me.  She was wearing black, maybe Victorian-era clothing.  We did go on to have some kind of sexual encounter, which seemed expected and which I felt really checked out about, and then later I was supposed to make an effort to say goodbye to her before she left, and just didn’t feel up to it.  So then there was a nearly accidental final moment where she was in a car with some other people and I was caught, sort of guiltily, having not said goodbye before, and now just sort of leaning in the car window, chatting and strangely anxious for it all to be over.  For being a gay sex dream, it wasn’t very sexy.

I don’t know what prompted it, but on the way home from the gym last night, I was telling Nick that it’s really fatiguing to watch people introduce themselves according to their incredibly complicated intersectional, non-binary sexual orientation.  There was a video of a BLM gal speaking to a crowd, and she was like, “I’m name name, a blah blah blah blah [complicated string of sexual identity qualifiers] and we’re here to not only destroy racism in America — we’re here to destroy America as we know it!”  The crowd went wild, about destroying America as we know it, and about her complicated string of qualifiers.  Nick was driving, so I was free to just gripe, and I was like, “Ok — destroy America.  That’s kind of a lot.  But do I really have to hear about the entire fucking algorithm of how you figure out who to take home from the bar, and why, during your own brief introduction of yourself?  Jesus!  TMI.”

I was aware of echoes, at the same time, of my own annoyance with the more conservative set, several decades ago in the Gay Rights timeline.  They would say things like, “I don’t care what y’all do as long as I don’t have to see it.”  The problem, though, is that although we ostensibly have separation of church and state, we also harness everything legally to the nuclear family construct, and so by simple default, anyone unwilling or unable to form their own nuclear family construct is marginalized in some important ways.  Hence the chant, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it”.

“Queer” has been a descriptor I adore, personally, since I’m in the ballpark as I see it.  I’m a cisgendered, comfortably heterosexual female, but a lot of my life hasn’t looked like the status quo.  I haven’t formed my own nuclear family construct.  What I’ve got going on now is about the closest I’ve come to normal, and my almost-normal is a sexy naked guy, thirteen years younger than me, asleep in the hotel bed, two totally bizarre and adorable tiny rescue dogs asleep in our two suitcases (his and hers), renewing the reservation a handful of nights at a time because I have no idea how long until the next fire job, planning our lives about six months at a time max, and connecting all the dots with a baseline of heavy barbell workouts, in gyms and parking lots all across America.  I don’t think it’s that weird — to me it feels perfect, just great — but it’s a little queer, you know?

Queer doesn’t mean anything in its own right, it just means that whatever is the heteronormative, ethno-normative, socio-normative assumption — it’s a little left of that, or maybe even a lot.  Maybe it’s no one’s business.  That’s why queer always has been, and continues to be, a great word and concept and placeholder.  Life, and certainly sex, is supposed to be fun, and a choose-your-own-adventure, within the guardrails you identify as appropriate and healthy for you.  This is where the Gay Rights movement gave us so much.  It’s not as if we evolved heteronormative culture from this really enlightened think-tank of How Best To Live.  We inherited that shit from feudal times, where marriages solidified transfers and accumulations of estate resources.  Of course it’s not responsive to modern, individual needs and preferences, in a world where we all just rent apartments and buy used Toyotas.  Of course it demands meaningful critique.

So yeah, if I’m about to hear someone speak on ideas hopefully larger and more interesting than who they’d take home from the bar and why, and they’re introducing themselves, if they just said “I’m name name and I’m queer and let’s destroy America,” first off I’d be like, props for cutting to the chase with your identity.  That’s literally all anyone needs to know, relative to this context.  And second, let’s not destroy America, you fucking communist.

Living in blue states and cities has appealed to me, in the past, because I’ve found the socio-normative demands of conservatism to be heavy and intrusive.  And that’s as a straight, white female!  I like diversity — actual diversity — I like being around gay people, hipsters, baristas, artists, musicians, fat rockabilly girls, skinny guys with funny hats they think will get them laid, people who play original music on instruments of their own design, and you sit there and drink your craft beer and think: wow, that’s awful.  I like hearing slam poets, and seeing murals with Spanish words I can’t translate, and head shops, and belly dancers in the square at noon, and impromptu capoeira, and vegan food trucks, and girls channeling their inner goddesses with bangles and jingles and incense.  I also like rednecks, and dive bars, and juke boxes, and live country cover bands, and a nighttime parking lot full of muddy bro-dozers, and neon, and sleepy middle America suburbs, and people out on their lawnmowers Sunday morning, and floating down rivers on inflatable tubes, and rope swings, and hardware stores, and seeing people wearing overalls un-ironically.  I just like liking things, and being able to choose my own social adventure, in appreciation of the whole spectrum.

I wish we could get back to the important work of diversity in America — ensuring the employed, or self-employed, tax-paying public is first of all safe, second of all has access to their full contingent of resources and benefits, regardless of whether they choose to form a nuclear family construct or not.  I’m shocked at the dereliction of duty in our bluest cities, at literally the level of public safety.  Chicago has been blue since 1923, and isn’t called “Chi-raq” for nothing.  414 people have been murdered there this year, up 50% from last year, with 1,900 shot, at last glance.  23 people were shot last Tuesday, 63 shot and 12 killed last weekend, 15 of those in one spree at a funeral home.  4th of July weekend saw 80 people shot, 17 killed; in the last weekend of May there were 18 murders in 24 hours.  Father’s Day weekend saw 104 people shot, 15 killed, including 5 young children.  A black father of three was shot while entering a store to pay his cell phone bill; a 13 year old girl was shot in the neck, in the presence of her family while at home; a 14 year old boy was killed while playing basketball, and eight other bystanders were killed or wounded.

In NYC, blue since 1924, murders are up 277% from this time last year, with 300 people shot in the last month.  Philadelphia, blue since 1952, is up 27% on murders this year, and Minneapolis, blue since the 40’s except for a Republican mayor who served for one day, in 1973, is seeing murders up 94% from last year.

I got these stats, FYI, from President Trump during his announcement and description of Operation: Legend, designed to return our most violence-plagued cities to a semblance of safety and order, named for LeGend Taliferro, a four year old killed by a stray bullet while he was at home, asleep, in Kansas City, MO.

Interesting side note: I posted the President’s announcement video to my Facebook page yesterday.  I’ve noticed lots of people squealing about Federal agents harassing peaceful protestors and no one squealing about the cities of our nation being on fire, literally and metaphorically, and nearly at the point of civil war.  My FB page trends heavily blue, FYI, as I have tended to live in blue cities.  So anyway, didn’t hear a peep about it, which was odd — I go back to the post to note down these murder/shooting stats, this morning, for my blog, and I notice Facebook removed the post.  Just removed it.  No explanation.  Just “not available”.  So I find it again elsewhere, note down the stats, check how long those cities have been blue, and I think to myself: what if there are as many red cities engulfed in violence as blue cities?  I have to fact check myself.  So — this is really funny, okay, stay with me — I find this article from the Washington Post.  TRUMP KEEPS CLAIMING THE MOST DANGEROUS CITIES IN AMERICA ARE ALL RUN BY DEMOCRATS.  THEY AREN’T.  I’m like, okay, educate me.  Turns out, the following graphic is the basis of their claim:

OOOOOHHHHH.  Nineteen of the twenty most dangerous cities in America are all run by Democrats.  Well, boy, you really got him there.  Just got him right by the balls.  Mic drop.  The article went on to sneer, “Trump would no doubt shrug at that detail, decrying as ‘fake news’ the revelation that his assertion was only slightly wrong.”

A few more screen grabs of this same exact trend:

What might this have to do with queerdom, you might ask?  Well, I don’t think you have to be some kind of cisgendered heteronormative incarnation of Sherlock Holmes to realize that some flimsy, yet highly coordinated shit is going on.  I think that anyone, at this point, who’s still viewing this as “my intersectional identity versus the entire construct of the United States of America” has been sold ocean front property in Arizona.  The entire point of intersectional identity is this assertion: I think for myself.  Right?  I think for myself.

Let’s try it together.

After 50+ consecutive nights of rioting and violence in Portland, OR, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty stated, “I want people to know that I do not believe there’s any protesters in Portland that are setting fires, that are creating crisis. I absolutely believe it’s police action, and they’re sending saboteurs and provocateurs into peaceful crowds so they justify their inhumane treatment of people who are standing up for their rights.”

Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner was amazed.  “With statements like this, it has become completely clear that Commissioner Hardesty is part of the problem in Portland. Every one of the many videos we have seen confirms that small groups of rioters are starting the fires and trying to burn down buildings. Even a quick search of Twitter shows rioters setting the fires and boldly claiming responsibility.”

Joe Biden, the man who informed us that poor kids can be just as bright as white kids, claimed recently that Trump is “our first racist president”.  Are you fucking kidding me?  The Cherokee nation took Andrew Jackson to the Supreme Court, and WON, in the 1830’s, over attempts to strip their lands and redistribute them to white people.  President Jackson *ignored* the Supreme Court’s ruling, took their land anyway, and force marched them to death in an event we now call “the Trail of Tears”.  Meanwhile, Trump signed the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative this month which resulted in the ownership of Hispanic food company Goya to congratulate him on his leadership and concern for the Hispanic community.  The Left initiated a boycott of Goya foods, as a result, prompting Trump to do a photo opp with some Goya brand canned beans.  The outrageous mechanics of this exchange all but obscured, it’s been reduced to Robert Reich tweeting, “Here’s what a criminal state looks like: the President and First Daughter hawk the canned beans of one of their supporters while Federal troops attack innocent protestors in the streets and a preventable pandemic rages unchecked through vast swathes of the population.”

The “preventable pandemic” raging “unchecked” through Florida, for instance, has had its DefCon posture downgraded in the wake of the White House asking that numbers be reported directly, rather than via the CDC.  The Florida state report of positive COVID-19 tests has been shown to report the results of one entire hospital system twice — once at a very suspicious 100% positive, and again at 18% positive — with other labs around the state reporting 100% positive results and then basically shrugging when attempts are made to follow up on this statistical oddity.

None of this is obvious, upon casual Googling — you have to dig and sift.  Why?  Maybe because it’s of utmost importance to frame red states as bungled COVID disaster zones, despite Florida, Arizona, and Texas’s deaths per 100,000 being 24, 40, and 15, versus the big blue five, New York @167, Pennsylvania @55, New Jersey @177, California @20, and Michigan @64.  Why do I identify these five blue states in particular?  Well, for one thing because their governors mandated COVID positive patients be placed in nursing homes and clinics alongside uninfected residents and customers.  These same governors are, bewilderingly, being praised, just asses powdered with ambrosia, over their handling of the pandemic.  Just to be clear — no one knew ahead of time, exactly what demographics would be affected and how, but everyone everywhere knew that the elderly represent our most vulnerable population, period, because that’s simple empirically proven common sense.  I understand that these governors say they were attempting to clear out more room in hospitals and the plan backfired — to the tune of 45% of all national COVID deaths occurring in these nursing homes — but does it really make any sense for all the media big guns to have their crosshairs on red states with such relatively low rates of infection and mortality, in the larger context?

It’s emerged that two different strains of COVID-19 exist — one afflicting Asian countries and another afflicting the US and European countries, with the former being far less transmissible and deadly, the latter far more.  Also not obvious upon casual Googling.  Why?  Maybe because it’s important to the MSM to frame the US, and by extension Trump, as having bungled the COVID response, and therefore it’s not helpful to acknowledge that we actually have a whole different strain going on here?  No, they want to tell us that the reason Japan fared so much better than us is because the Japanese are so much more mask-compliant.  Maybe, maybe not.  Maybe they don’t eat a standard American diet and so aren’t on death’s door all the time anyway.

Now, a different set of mind-blowing statistics, compiled by Operation Underground Railroad, an organization dedicated to the eradication of child sex trafficking:

Human trafficking is the fastest-growing enterprise in the world.

There are more people enslaved today than any other time in the history of the world — even when slavery was legal.

There are 30 million slaves in the world.  10 million of those are children.

Human trafficking generates over 100 billion dollars annually worldwide.

17,500 women and children are trafficked into the US every year.

Americans are the number 1 producers and consumers of child pornography.

On average, a trafficked child is victimized 5.4 times per day in the US.

Operation Underground Railroad, founded in late 2013, has rescued 3,800 victims and arrested 2,099 traffickers.

It makes sense this would get almost zero press, because obviously trafficking on this level cannot occur without the coordination and sanction of movers and shakers and high placed officials in all countries involved, but people — myself included — are starting to wake up about it anyway.  It fucking sucks, right?  Really puts things into perspective.  This is an international emergency of epic proportion that requires our immediate, undivided attention and cooperation.  Since leadership on and around this issue is absent, you’d think that people would at least form together, at a grassroots level, to interrupt this machine?  I mean, every day, every HOUR that goes by, people are suffering enormously.

Well, fortunately a group has formed, and it’s called Qanon.  Qanon, comprised of members from all over the world, is entirely dedicated to ending the trafficking and abuse of women and children, and exposing pedophiliac practices wherever they may be found, at all levels.  Sounds like something to get behind, right?

Well, wrong.  Twitter just banned 7,000 Qanon accounts and censored another 150,000 as part of a “broad crackdown” on “hate” and the encouragement of “offline violence”.  This is in the wake of Chrissy Teigan deleting 60,000 of her own pedo-signaling tweets amidst a storm of controversy.  Just think about this for a second.  We’ve got murders up 20, 50, 270% in cities across the nation as a result of BLM, we’ve got the City Commissioner of Portland saying all the violence is the fault of police saboteurs — oh wait, no sorry, turns out it’s the actual rioters themselves — we’ve got black people being fucking slaughtered in their own communities, in fucking America, left right and center — and Twitter censors the only people in the world who are trying to draw attention to the human trafficking epidemic??  If Trump is so presidential, why doesn’t he at least draw attention to it?  Because oh, shit, he constantly does, it just never gets any media play.

Nothing about human trafficking gets any media play.  As far as they’re concerned, it’s all peaceful protests, sabotaging and murdering cops, red states bungling COVID response, America being the worst, most racist, most poorly-led nation on earth, and the beneficent Dems as the only voices of reason.  I saw a woman on Facebook last night comment, regarding the Twitter ban of Qanon, something to effect of, “Good!  They’re just fucking terrorists!  They should all be slaughtered.”

Look, guys, we’ve got problems.  We’ve got real problems with propaganda.  We’ve got real problems with thinking for ourselves.  The spewers of this ceaseless, coordinated shit factory of propaganda are the same ones holding up a cardboard effigy of diversity, an effigy of free-thinking, an effigy of intersectionality, an effigy of racial tolerance, an effigy of concern for women, for children, for the elderly, for the most vulnerable segments of our population, an effigy of free speech, an effigy of liberalism, an effigy of freedom.

You know what’s queer?  Looking at the lockstep horde, all saying the same things, thinking the same things, believing the same things, arguing about the same things, being offended or triggered by the same things, and saying to yourself: no thanks.  I’m gonna think for myself.  I’m gonna make up my own mind.  Life is supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be creative, it’s supposed to be a choose-my-own-adventure, and I reject the narrative you’re attempting to impose on top of my god-given ability to think and feel and know, for myself.  That’s what queer has always stood for, will always stand for.  It’s queer as fuck to love your country right now — what a turn of events.  I look forward to stabilizing our actual physical safety here, addressing the trafficking catastrophe, and returning to our normal level of scrutiny around policies and practices we inherited from feudal times.