pffft stockholm syndrome

for my last day of kablpomo, i’m going to do the thing that i said i would do before this month started! commence….


beauty and the beast! i’m going to blog as i watch it because i’m running out of time!

we are watching for weird sexual references (like raping the feather duster) and analyzing stockholm syndrome.

mmm i love this beginning!

here’s the point of the story: the enchantress told him not to be deceived by appearances! beauty is found within!

she had seen there was no love in his heart! 

“if he could learn to love another and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell – the spell would be broken”

ENTER BELLE! (ps – you need to watch this on blu-ray; you can actually see the color from the sunrise!)

unneeded sexual reference #1 – buxom woman asking a drooling man how his wife is in the bonjour song, and said wife beating the guy on his head with a rolling pin? if said movie has an age range of the younger set, why is this needed? 

and what’s up with gaston? way to equate pretty with the best. also, his admirers are the US standard of beauty – tiny, top-heavy, blonde.

also, the whole town thinks belle’s a weirdo but her looks make up for it? because she reads books and has an inventor for a father? just wait til the transgenders start moving to town! what will happen then! 

off to the fair! i’m sorry, but philipe might be the smartest one in this movie. “no, let’s go this way!” philipe looks a little wary at the scary looking woods. “where have you taken us, philipe!” way to gaslight, maurice. philipe got out of the situation. good horse. 

so now we have maurice opening up cogsworth’s clock door, and messing around with his pendulum. WHAT ON EARTH is the pendulum supposed to represent???!?!?!? is maurice sexually assaulting cogsworth? good ol’ C did have to close the door on maurice’s finger.

the beast is angry. 10 years of being a beast and holed up in his castle has not done him well. weirdly, all his staff seems to have kept their sanity. but they probably weren’t mean and cold-hearted before they got turned into household objects.

meanwhile, gaston is preparing a wedding he hasn’t even gotten consent to have!! woohoo! gaston sure is coming on strong. keeps walking toward belle, she’s walking away from him. he ruins her book with his muddy boots and stinky feet. bleah. then he corners her at the bookshelf and again at the door, trying to kiss her? well, belle didn’t come outright and say “no”. but she did get him out before things escalated. 

philipe comes back! belle gets down to business and goes after her father. 

oh, cogsworth and lumiere are getting all riled up, expecting belle to be the one they want to break the spell. expectations set!

beast is pissed. maurice trespassed and is in jail. and belle offers to take maurice’s place. “you must promise to stay here forever.” and he shows himself, but she makes the deal. beast is not very compassionate at this point, BUT has he EVER been compassionate? NO. 

THIS IS THE TURNING POINT FOR MR BEAST. we see him show a little remorse when belle was crying over her not being able to saw goodbye. he shows a little less gruffness, but when belle asks what’s in the west wing, he gets all uptight. sounds like the beast might be bi-polar!

now we get to hear gaston’s very macho, very manly song about how he’s the best at everything, which can be a difficult thing for a dude to live up to. but, gaston turns out to be the bad guy, so does that mean the manly, macho man isn’t the best thing in the world? the pretty, weird girl won’t go for the best looking guy in the room if he’s a jerk? well, that’s something, i guess. if he had asked one if his blonde admirers to marry him, one of them would sure have said yes. “i’m especially good at expectorating!” (hey, at least we get to have a vocabulary lesson while we’re watching.) i wonder if gaston were to have a pinterest page, would it be all antler rooms?

enter maurice, raving like a lunatic. and instead of listening to him, they throw him out in the snow. then gaston decides to exploit him. what does that say about people believing other people? mob mentality?

meanwhile, mrs. potts has some words of advice – “don’t worry, my dear, everything will turn out ok in the end.”

OOOOH i want that nice fireplace. beast is loaded. then he loses his temper wondering where belle is, saying he’s thought belle might be the one. and we hear lumiere’s infantile theory on breaking the spell,” she falls in love with you, you fall in love with her, poof, we’ll be human again by midnight.” potts of course sets him straight.

mrs. potts’ more words of wisdom: “help her to see past all that” in response to beast implying he’s hideous. and potts and lumiere both address the, uh, beast in the room: “you must control your temper!” i think the beast’s temper is what his big downfall is. 

i think i see what the problem is here: none of the beast’s staff really never talk back to him. point 1 for belle, standing up to him. beast throws a temper tantrum, runs to the rose room, and sees belle in the mirror, who’s telling the wardrobe that she wants nothing to do with him.

“i’m just fooling myself. she’ll never see me as anything…but a monster.” WITH AN ATTITUDE LIKE THAT BEAST, OF COURSE SHE WON’T. big reveal of the day!! she sees him as a monster for the way he’s behaving, not for the way he looks!!!

OOOH we see some hanky panky between lumiere and the duster! (sad that she doesnt’ have a name.) “i’ve been burnt by you before” – ooh double meaning there hahaha.

(how many kids does mrs. potts have? chip’s in the cupboard with his brothers and sisters?)

ok, so if this is a “kid’s” movie, why is no one worried about the beer steins and champagne?

UH OH BELLE. she’s been poking around in the west wing, and the beast finds her, yelling, telling her to get out. then realizes what he’s done. he’s got to figure out what his bi-polar self is doing. 

and here come the wolves! i have to say, belle was doing pretty well there for a while, beating on the wolves and trying to get philipe unstuck. she has that going for her, taking care of herself! then the wolves are just too many, but the beast comes to save her! and she’s a little freaked out about it. after he collapses and she just stares of philipe’s saddle, you can see her mind shift.

OK, here’s a turning point, i think. the beast is flat down in the snow. philipe’s ready to go. the beast has been pretty awful til this point, and instead of turning tail and running away back to maurice and dumb gaston, belle decides to help the beast back to the castle. SHE COULD HAVE LEFT. he’d just blown up at her, and she knows he’s not a great person. but she decided to go back. i feel like from this point forward, she’s in the castle due to her either 1) deciding to see what happens iwth this beast or 2) she doesn’t want to go back to her provincial life (of some of each). i believe, at this point, it has nothing to do with her promise to the beast. he told her to get out. she had her window. she closed it.

and then belle stands up to the beast, which i think surprises the beast (and certainly his staff). this isn’t stockholm syndrome!! this is finding the person who’s willing to call you on your crap!!!

enter the scene where we see the beast start to transform into someone not so…beastly. is there something called reverse stockholm syndrome? the captor starts to sympathize with the captee? because i feel like that’s what we’re seeing here. the beast who’s pulling belle into the library is NOT the same beast who made her promise to stay in the castle forever. he’s OBVIOUSLY changing. 

(i would die for that library.)

“something there that wasn’t there before” is probably the anthem for stockholm syndrome theorists. *eyeroll*

anyway, the beast is getting ready, and do we all realize he’s naked? we see him in the bath, after the bath, all with no clothes on. come to think of it, we see everyone in the castle naked except belle! how disturbing!

after the dance, the beast asks if belle is happy there, and she says yes, but she wishes she could see her father again. i feel like that’s the only part of the movie that could be construed as any type of stockholm syndrome. the beast lets her go at this point, and she’s off to help her father. and he lets her go because he’s finally figured out how to love and get over his cold-heartedness. i think this says something about belle too at this point – she doesn’t seem eager to get back to her old life, per se, just her father. 

and now the mob’s come to get crazy maurice, and gaston can get her out of this if belle marries him. what a loser. and belle calls him out as the real monster, then gaston calls belle crazy too. that’s one of the real issues with this story – the moblike mentality of the townpeople is pretty disgusting. belle’s odd and weird, maurice is crazy. well, belle did want to get out of her provincial life. my guess is all those townspeeps would’ve voted for trump.

OK fight scene!

a guy just got eaten by a trunk. another got scalded. wardrobe landed on a dude, whose legs are there for the next few scenes. a guy got a makeover into a bikini, tutu, and beehive hairdo, which is somehow more horrifying to him than his two defeated buddies at his feet.

lumiere’s getting his wax melted, so cogsworth pokes lefou in the rear with a scissors. then we see feather duster getting her feathers pulled out, which liz thought alluded to rape. so i will paste what i posted on facebook on that thought: on the one hand, there isn’t a lot else you can do to damage a feather duster (i suppose you could break the handle in half). on the other, did the scene NEED to be included? on the third, did they just want a reason for lumiere to get so mad he’d to blow flames up a bad dude’s rear?

(i think it’s all about a butt joke.)

ugh, then we gaston being all ultra-manly with beast. what a loser. being kind a gentle are things men shouldn’t shy away from. everyone should be!

“did you honestly think she’d want you, when she could have someone like me.” oh gaston. i think the real message here is that if you don’t realize what a jerk you are and change your beastly ways, you will not be a worthwhile human being. or find love. or not. whatever floats your boat. 

oh! and to say “belle is miiiine” like you own her? get a life, gaston! belle can make her own decisions. 

and when the beast decides to not drop and kill gaston, we know that he’s a better man/beast/person. and he’s so surprised she came back! 

(i gotta say, belle has some super strength. not only did she pull beast back from falling over the railing to his doom a la gaston, but she managed to get him on philipe earlier in the movie. and kudos to philipe! beast was almost as big as he was! not sure how he managed that.)

oh, and then we get the happy ending! belle says i love you right as the petal drops, we get the fireworks and sparky stuff, she realizes it’s him, everyone changes, and we wonder why 70-yr-old mrs. potts has a five year old.

another inappropriate sexual reference: feather duster dusting lumiere at the end? needed? why is the maid sexy? why is lumiere a horndog?



a chance to go beyond the safety pin!

here’s something i just wrote on my facebook wall for tomorrow’s give to the max day here in MN:

hi friends! tomorrow’s give to the max day, and i’m at a conference tomorrow so i’m going to post about this now in case i can’t get to it. now is a great time to throw some weight behind that safety pin! donate to organizations that support and help the vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, since 1) they always need it and 2) funding cuts are most likely on the way. for instance, you can donate to my mom’s org, PossAbilities, that helps people with disabilities. or your area food shelf, women’s shelter, or united way are always great places to give. i give to the land stewardship project every year to promote land conservation because the environment is my #1 priority (really, without a habitable earth to live on, nothing else much matters). and at the risk of of inciting a large debate that i will try to ignore, giving to planned parenthood is a great idea; they help low-income women and men with their reproductive health and STD tests, do cancer screenings, and provide low-cost birth control. what are you waiting for? if you’ve been low income at some point in your life, and i definitely have, then you know the importance of these programs. let’s make a difference!

i donated to my mom’s org, to the landstewardship project, and i set up monthly donations to planned parenthood. 

i’ve been poor! not just as a kid when my parents were down and out, but as a new college grad making $7 and hour and scraping by. for about five years before i got health insurance like a grownup at a real employer that offered health insurance, i went to planned parenthood for my yearly checkups and for birth control (for my monogamous, responsible relationship! and even if it wasn’t, NBD!). i paid on a sliding scale, which was much cheaper than if i’d had to pay at a clinic and pharmacy with no insurance. this is a real service to women who can’t afford to go to a family practitioner once a year or get birth control at the obscene amounts the companies charged. before obamacare made BC covered, i paid $400 out of pocket AFTER INSURANCE for my mirena. i was paying about $30/month for a pack of BC pills in the early 2000s, and that was a CHEAP pack. i had my mirena replaced a few months ago, and there was absolutely no cost to me. and if that part of obamacare is repealed (god forbid), we’re going to have to pony up the dollars again. 

let me tell you my planned parenthood story. i was going in for my yearly exam, and i encountered a single older gentleman in front of the door praying the rosary. this is not uncommon in st cloud, where they don’t even perform abortions (only one in the state is in st. paul). it was raining, so i hurried in, had my exam, and was ready to go out and chat with this guy. i planned on thanking him for praying for a good result from my yearly exam, making sure i flashed my wedding ring in the process. unfortunately, he was gone by the time i left, but i was ready to talk to this guy, to maybe plant a seed of thought that perhaps women who used planned parenthood aren’t all there to have their daily abortions, that maybe it does provide some services beyond that.

so, that’s my story, and here’s my plug for donating during give to the max day. it’s a feel good day when you can go on one site to find an organization worth giving to, something you feel really passionate about. there’s even a place you can donate where all the money goes to help CATS!! and it’s one GREAT way to show your support for the people who are going to need your help during the next four years. beyond the safety pin!!

beyond the safety pin


today at work, i had an email waiting for me among the 150 new ones from last week while i was gone asking to use the safety pin imagery across the college to show support for our minority students. from the president of the college. i hated to break it to her, but the safety pin thing has kind of taken a turn for the not great

the safety pin thing was taken from brits after brexit who wanted to support immigrants after the angst that was brexit (britain exiting from the EU basically kicks out all non-brits).

after trump won the election, anti-trumpers co-opted it for themselves showing that they can be a safe space for minorities. it’s pretty much taken off, so much so that the president of a small minnesota college wanted to plaster it all over college. but it’s also gotten a lot of backlash.

post-trump, there might be a lot of weird stuff going on, rolling back of civil rights and minority rights (think gay marriage and any progress made in race relations). and while it’s nice to show your support for anyone who might face adversity, the better thing you can do is throw support behind that pin. go beyond the slacktivism; beyond the pin.

instead of just wearing that pin, get involved in local political offices. volunteer at women’s shelters. escort women into planned parenthood. help out at a local food shelf or soup kitchen. call/email your legislators, especially those living in conservative districts. and all those place will definitely take donations!

so don’t just show your support; BE the support. be the change you wish to see in the world!

you win this round, olmsted county

one of the things rochester has on st cloud? it’s got a lot less hate. 

in rochester, there are so many different kinds of people because of the clinic, and they all get along, so it seems.

i remember the first few months in roch wondering what was so weird about the town, and it was because all the people looked incredibly different from each other – even the white people. this was kind of a shock coming from central minnesota, where everyone looks at least vaguely german. features were a lot more sharp, pointed, almost severe in rochester. and it was nothing to be at any given store and here a different language come out of a white person’s mouth. 

there is quite a mix of different people down there, instead of one or two large ethnic groups in addition to the white people. a lot of students at the college were west african-americans, and there were a few muslim students but they weren’t necessarily somali. a few latinos, a few asian-americans, and it was a healthy mix of peeps.

up here, there’s a large somali population, and the white people don’t like the change in their town. they don’t like change in general. and this is big change. 

so because of the somali civil war that’s been going on for decades, refugees went to camps, then there was a deal struck with catholic charities to place somali refugees when they were legally able to come to the US. CC has an office in st. paul and one in st. cloud. so a lot of them end up here. and a lot of the conservative curmudgeons wail and screech about welfare and their taxes. i tend to think they’re using this “fiscally responsible” excuse as a front for their racism, but that’s just me.

what’s really disgusting is reading the comments on the local news outlets’ facebook posts and page comments. it really shows how backwards and selfish a lot of people in this area are.

good thing it has a lot of lakes and it looks good. haha

anyway, last week’s “this american life” talks about divides within the republican party, and the issue of immigration came up. at this point, i was somewhat interested. then the interviewer started talking about st. stinking cloud. what?? i haven’t finished the whole episode yet, but at LEAST 30 minutes of it focus on the somali hatred up here and it’s REALLY interesting. i recommend listening to it.

so, yes, olmsted county, you win the hate round. two points to you (non-parking lot traffic and less hate).


no. the worst thing you can do for democracy is not vote.


i am getting bombarded on twitter. because i was feeling the bern, i am pretty disenchanted with hillary. bernie was everything i was looking for in a candidate: open, candid, fired up and pretty consistent on the issues i care about. hillary is a little cagey, a little waffle-ish, and part of a weird, orchestrated DFL primary campaign. i would have proudly voted for bernie. now i’m weary AND wary and not sure what i should do.

i have my absentee ballot on my kitchen table, all the ovals filled in next to state campaigns’ DFL candidates, judges chosen, amendment oval decided, ready to go into the three levels of envelope security, except for that crucial top decision: vote for one presidential candidate. 

i really don’t know what i’m going to do. i know i’m not voting for trump. morally, conscientiously, and as a person who cares about the planet and other people, voting for trump is not even an option. but everyone is throwing tweets, articles, opinion pieces into my feed with the old rhetoric: “a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for trump.” 


you can argue all you want about nader in 2000, how gary johnson is incompetent, what jill stein’s views on vaccinations are, the fact that bernie’s out there stumping for hillary.

when it comes down to it, if i wanted to vote for trump, i would fill in that oval next to his name, and the idea of doing that makes me want to vomit. 

today was the final straw on twitter when i read an article named:

Dear Millennials: Voting for a third party candidate in this election is the worst thing you can do for American democracy

now i’m no millennial. i’m an optimistic, cynical, disillusioned, tail-end genXer. i have done a lot of research on law, i know the members of SCOTUS, and i feel like i know more about the political climate than your average person. and you know what’s democratically worse than voting for a third party?

being so bullied and vote-shamed that you don’t vote at all.

my vote is my vote, and i am an american who has a right to vote for whom she wants. whether that’s donald trump, hillary clinton, write-in bernie sanders, or vote for the marijuana now party, i can do that. the stranglehold the two-party system has on our country is really holding us back from some people who might actually make a difference in leading this country.

i remember the 2000 election; i was at st. ben’s, and there were arguments in classes about how if enough people voted for nader and he got 5% of the popular vote, it would open up federal funding for the green party in 2004 and give the american people a more diverse field of leaders to choose from. the argument was that it was a forward-looking vote. unfortunately, the george bush fiasco has overwhelmed that initial reasoning, and al gore’s loss was blamed on nader supporters. at the same time, nader only got 2% of the popular vote. 

i am not one of those people who stays home on major elections; i will always vote. but there are people out there who might plan on voting, then get so overwhelmed by the vitriol out there that they stay home. i know people who aren’t voting because neither of the major party presidential candidates are appealing, and therefore none of the state campaigns get a vote either.

instead of discouraging people from voting for someone or using scare tactics, we should be encouraging everyone to get out and vote for WHATEVER CANDIDATE THEY WANT. that’s what democracy is. that’s how it works. i’m sorry if you don’t like it. 

and here’s the kicker: at the end of the day, i’ll probably end up voting for hillary clinton. the idea of trump as president is scary and gets me to the “literally can’t even” white girl disgusting level. even though i’m in a relatively blue state when it comes to presidential elections, and the state would probably go blue even if i voted for someone else, i will, most likely, vote for hillary. 

but that’s my decision, and being bullied into it is not the way to get people, especially millennials who are voting for the first or second time, to take part in the democratic process. 

we are all jacob

for every minnesotan ages 35-40: you know.

i was 10 years old when jacob wetterling went missing in october 1989. it was unreal: a boy just one year older than me disappeared from a small town in minnesota, riding his bike back from the local video store. it could’ve been any one of my classmates. it could’ve been me. 

posters went up around the school, his smiling face greeting me every time i climbed the stairs to reading class. the news was loud and insistent with its vigilant coverage, and we saw his parents on tv. it could’ve been my parents. 

i didn’t know him. but i did know him. he could’ve been my classmate, the cute boy who every girl had a mild crush on. it wasn’t my town. but it was my town. and it would be, eventually. st. joseph is smaller than austin, and if a boy my age couldn’t bike where he wanted in st. joe, how would it be possible in austin? i shouldn’t have felt a connection. but i did. everyone did. when jacob’s hope became widespread, we all grasped it; we wanted to have that hope, to leave the porchlight on for jacob. come home, come home. 

the media died down. patty wetterling became the face for child abductions and made great strides in legislation regarding that. a bridge built in sauk rapids was named “bridge of hope.” jacob wetterling was a household name, becoming the face for abducted children everywhere.

my family moved closer to st. joe, and i eventually went to college at st. ben’s, in st. joe. i remember seeing a feature with a few of his friends from the 2000 graduating CSB|SJU class. 

in 2008, i moved to st. joe, less than a mile from the tom thumb where he was abducted. my cats went to the vet that now occupies the building. i went running in the dark evenings along a bike path, hyper aware of my surroundings, even though i knew in my head that an abductor interested in an 11-year-old boy would have no interest in a grown woman. in 2011, a farm not far from my house was investigated, turning up nothing. but it was a hit in the heart – will they find something? 

then this morning, his remains were IDed after being located via information fron an annandale man who was a person of interest and had been in custody for child pornography charges. this turns my stomach, because it’s almost guaranteed that jacob was assaulted before he was killed (that is hard to write). 

it’s hard to describe, but in my 10-year-old mindset, his kidnapping was always an innocent one. he was snatched, maybe tied up, then taken to an obscure place. what happened after that? i’d always hoped that he was alive, living his life out in a weird small town on a coast. it was always a hope that someone would take a second look at him in that small town, bring him back to his parents. 

even after knowing what i know now about abductions and how they are usually violent and disgusting, i still held onto this very unlikely scenario as what happened to him. maybe because he could’ve been me, and that’s what i’d hope my abduction would be like (if it had to happen). 

for all those minnesotans of a certain age: it’s come to a close. not the one we want, because it’s not what we would’ve wanted for ourselves, our friends, our parents. but it’s the closure we need because we want to know and we want our parents and friends to know and have closure. the lights are on, and he has come home. we are all jacob. 

in which college perceptions are challenged

i could make the case that i was one of those high school students. one of those elitists. not going to college was never a question. going to a two-year community college? not on the table. i didn’t know where i wanted to go; i did college visits at a couple state universities, considered out of state colleges, and finally settled on a  small, private, liberal arts college. 

yes, i was one of those.

tuition and room and board my first year was $18k/year. when i left, it was $22k. now? $46k. unfathomable. 

but still, the idea of going to a four-year college and getting that well-rounded, liberal arts college for post-secondary education was always the goal that everyone should reach for. then i entered the workforce, and job after job that i had required a minimum of a two-year degree. when was this liberal arts education going to come in handy? i began to slowly come to the realization that i could have saved myself a lot of money and just gotten a two-year degree. 

then i started working at a two-year college. and i got a little older and little less pretentious (i hope, anyway). two-year schools are great in ways that are twofold.

  1. transferring after getting general education credits out of the way is a great way to save money. two years are just as rigorous as four-year colleges, and the credits are easy to transfer when done correctly. classes are generally smaller than state schools, and since fewer people go to two years, there is more attention given. 
  2. different styles of learning is pretty well embraced at tech colleges. not exactly a bookish person? get a welding degree, or any other trade degree that depends on hands-on learning. know you want to get into healthcare but not sure what? get your lpn for now and maybe go back after some time in the field. two years of the kind of learning that you like, and then step into a really well-paying job (seriously, more than i make. and i have stupid master’s degree.)

the point could be argued that if a person does her or his general education AAS in two years then gets a two-year trade AS, wouldn’t that be equivalent of a four-year degree? 

if i were going back to school now, there’s no way i would be able to afford the college i went to. the two-year college is looking pretty good.


i love watching the olympics. even with the controversy in sochi, i watched. now with the controversy in rio, i watch. not because i don’t think that what those countries are doing are ok; i watch because i want to support the athletes and the coming together of all the countries. 

i love the opening ceremonies, when we get to see each country’s best athletes come together. despite the animosity among leaders and bombs pointed at each other, we agree to meet for a little friendly athletic competition.

[but let’s diverge here a moment and talk about how much NBC SUUUU-UUUCKS. i don’t have cable. i live in a hole. my closest nbc outlet is 25 miles away and has horrible broadcasting for some reason. i can’t get the over-the-air station in my house except when my antenna is sitting on top of a frog’s head facing northwest on the full moon of the third month after a solar eclipse. so why hasn’t NBC gotten on the OLYMPICS ARE COMMUNITY bandwagon and let everyone in the US watch the olympics livestreamed over the interwebs without needing to sign in with a cable subscription??  SO RIDICULOUS.]


sometimes you just have to take a step back and shake your head at the world.

there have been so many negative events in the news lately, from the recent shootings to people being forced out of twitter due to online bullying. the gut-wrenching death of philando castile hit too close to home, and every day i refrain from posting something political due to the “is this it? would this be the tweet/FB post that gets attention in the wrong way?” thoughts.

it’s overwhelming sometimes, even if it doesn’t affect day-to-day actions or the time-numbing routines the average person has fallen into. it pulls me down, thinking about the conflicts, the senseless deaths, the amount of hate that fills the world.

but then, something happens that brings a lift of a smile to your face. and just when you think all hope is lost, something happens on such a large scale – unsurmountable and never-before seen – that it brings a lift to your heart, to hope in humanity.

right in the middled of all this negativity that’s been going on, pokemon released its mobile app. it exploded. there are more visitors to city memorials and parks in the past two weeks than probably the past two years. people are coming together to fight friendly virtual battles over gyms, find a rare pokemon, or spinning a pokestop for more pokeballs.


people who don’t know each other are waving at each other in the park. strangers asking if you’re there for pokemon, and what team are you? and let’s see if we can do something about this gym, working together and getting better and better at it. my husband, the most anti-social person i know, is laughing with and helping strangers figure out how to play the game, yelling his team name out the car window as we’re driving toward a pokestop, and spending time in places he wouldn’t otherwise. He got so angry when he herd that people were using the robux hack, I’ve never actually seen him that lit up about something.

instead of conversations revolving around shootings or the latest political debacle or what’s it’s gonna take to move the canada, i’m having conversations about what pokemon i’ve got, how many eggs i’m incubating, and marveling at all the people who’ve gathered around a local lake on a non-event evening.

maybe, if everyone were playing pokemon GO: finding the historical monuments, parks, schools, libraries, and lakes; coming together in a shared interest of team yellow vs. team red; or luring pokemon to find one to post sentry to a gym; maybe, just maybe, we would be too busy and community-involved to start wars, pull out a gun, or decide bullying was a productive pasttime.



too close

i wrote those tweets, oh, probably 1-2 hours after philando got shot by a police officer on larpenteur avenue in falcon heights. i knew nothing about it at the time. i woke up the next morning and read the news. 

i’ve had a so-so response to previous shootings like this one, even mass shootings. except one other. this one, however, made my gut wrench. true, we don’t know all the details. true, we know that philando was conceal and carry and not sure what happened with that. but from what his girlfriend is saying, and his non-existent criminal record, and the letter from the st paul school district painting a future-looking picture of him, i have to think, what on earth have we come to. 

not only was this guy driving on a quiet street in a quiet suburb, but he was telling the officer that he was conceal and carry, a responsible thing to do. and he was shot. and his girlfriend had the foresight and fortitude to make a live facebook video. WHICH ROLLED WHILE SHE WAS HANDCUFFED (why was she handcuffed??). 

of course there are adversaries about this: he was a suspect for armed robbery of some newport cigarettes and was pulled over because the cop who shot him thought it could be him because of this “wideset nose” (see=he’s black). it could be that the cop told them they had a busted taillight just to have an excuse, because pictures have shown that the taillight was intact. whatever it is, of course the cop wasn’t wearing a bodycam, so we don’t know what happened. 

but what i know is this: i am in this area quite often. this happened right around the neighborhood one of my friends lives in. from what we currently know, the officer who shot him says he was reacting to the gun, not race. if this were a white guy with a gun, would he have been so quick to shoot?  i also know that if i were black and had a permit to carry, i would be crapping my pants right about now and not practice that right. 

this happened so close to home, and it was seemingly innocent. and for all those who’ve decried gov dayton for calling this racism, i would like to say that as many, if not more, are glad he is calling it what it is.