Monday, January 22, 2018

PLEASE FORWARD ALL BLOGS (Plus good story)

Dear Friends: People are asking if they can forward my latest blog.  Never ask.  Just forward.  I'd love to be spread far and wide.

Which reminds me:

Remember my just previous blog, about joining the mailing list notification if Mueller is fired?

Well, I got a phone call from a woman in Antigua, Guatemala. She was the friend of an incredible woman, Mary Lou (I think), who I met on the four-hour van trip from San Miguel de Allende to the Mexico City airport last year.  Mary Lou is an American archeologist who rediscovered the ancient jade mines of Guatemala, which were lost in the jungle.

So anyhow.  Mary Lou agreed to be on my blog list, and she was forwarding all my blogs to her friend (can't remember her name, sorry), who is an activist.  So... Guatemala has a VERY strong activist movement, which forced the impeachment of their President.  (Hmmmmmmm...) 

Sooooo... Mary Lou's friend wanted to know the technical platform for the Mueller protest campaign so they could do something similar to immediately notify Guatemalans of emergency demonstrations!  I directed her to MOVE ON, who I'm sure will give her the wherewithall.  Needless to say, I couldn't help her with anything technical.

But my blog helped Guatemalan activists!  I'm so proud of myself!  As Ai Wei Wei says, "A small act is worth a million thoughts."

Terry
 Inline image 1 

The Ceanothis  is starting to bloom!  (I'm a blue freak.)

TERRY BAUM
LILITH THEATER San Francisco
547 Douglass Street
San Francisco, CA 94114



Dear Friends: People are asking if they can forward my latest blog.  Never ask.  Just forward.  I'd love to be spread far and wide.

Which reminds me:

Remember my just previous blog, about joining the mailing list notification if Mueller is fired?

Well, I got a phone call from a woman in Antigua, Guatemala. She was the friend of an incredible woman, Mary Lou (I think), who I met on the four-hour van trip from San Miguel de Allende to the Mexico City airport last year.  Mary Lou is an American archeologist who rediscovered the ancient jade mines of Guatemala, which were lost in the jungle.

So anyhow.  Mary Lou agreed to be on my blog list, and she was forwarding all my blogs to her friend (can't remember her name, sorry), who is an activist.  So... Guatemala has a VERY strong activist movement, which forced the impeachment of their President.  (Hmmmmmmm...) 

Sooooo... Mary Lou's friend wanted to know the technical platform for the Mueller protest campaign so they could do something similar to immediately notify Guatemalans of emergency demonstrations!  I directed her to MOVE ON, who I'm sure will give her the wherewithall.  Needless to say, I couldn't help her with anything technical.

But my blog helped Guatemalan activists!  I'm so proud of myself!  As Ai Wei Wei says, "A small act is worth a million thoughts."

Terry

Sunday, January 21, 2018

GoddessZilla & Medusa Do the Women's March


A year ago, I was planning to join friends who were going to Washington D.C. for the protests of Trump's inauguration and the Women's March.  And then I got the flu and missed everything everywhere, even in San Francisco.  I listened to reports on the March on the radio and read everything about it in the SF Chronicle and the NY Times.  I rejoiced the the NY Times' spectacular photo essay of marches all over the world.  All from the comfort of my warm, cosy flat.

So when Carolyn said she was going to finally bring GoddessZilla to life for the Women's March this year, I knew I wanted to do something absolutely wonderful too.

About GoddessZilla:  We had come up with this concept in 2008, when we first became The Crackpot Crones.  She's a a female monster who rises out of the ocean depths to protect the environment from destruction by humans.  We saw her as paired with Fembo, a good old down-home radical dyke.
These two would somehow conspire to save the world.  But we never could quite figure out how.  The only public outing of the team was at a women's open mic -- and was a distinct failure.  GoddessZilla and Fembo were filed in our very large box of failed ideas.

But that didn't keep me from ordering monster feet slippers and a tail from a mail order catalog -- or Carolyn asking Val Von, our costume coordinator, to somehow construct breasts and torso for our Monster Feminist.

And then there was my Medusa helmet.
I don't know about YOU, but when I find a Medusa helmet on sale at half-price, I GOTTA HAVE IT!  That was a few years ago, and it has rested in my costume closet next to the birthday hat that I always forget to bring out on anyone's birthday.

And then.... and then I was going to the Women's March with Carolyn because SOMEBODY had to go with her if she was going as GoddessZilla.  And then I remembered the Medusa helmet.  And THEN I remembered that Medusa was a total victim of vicious sexual oppression, having been turned into a monster herself because her great beauty had provoked Zeus to rape her!  Admittedly, she was cursed with snakes for hair by Hera, Zeus's wife.  Yes, women have been complicit in oppressing women.  We know that.  And how many women have been blamed for provoking their own rape and then punished for it?  How many?  It's time for Medusa to join the Me Too movement  --- and a whole lot of other mythical women too!
Eve in therapy with Dr. Lilith, to overcome 5000 years of guilt
Let's just start with Eve, blamed for the downfall of humanity, when she's the one who had the guts to give birth to CONSCIOUSNESS and KNOWLEDGE and HISTORY itself!

About my Medusa drag:  Would you believe I already HAD it?!?  Ages ago, my mother had given me this wild hostess gown (yes, this was a fashion thing long ago), which she'd never worn.  It's hard to imagine she ever had the courage to buy something diaphanous and shocking pink and gold.  I've been meaning to send it to Good Will for at least a decade, but somehow could never toss out such lusciousness, even though I KNEW absolutely KNEW I would never use it.  And then I found the pink purse on the street.   Unbelievable the things people throw out.  The shocking pink gloves were bought at Cliff's the night before the march, when I went to buy elastic for Carolyn and me.  I also bought salmon pink sequins which ended up on GoddessZilla's nipples.

Carolyn, with the help of Matthew, her husband, stayed up late getting those wonderful nipples just right.  They used egg carton compartments as the base.  She and I sewed tiny pink pussy hats for all the little snake heads, but they were too small.  Only one person noticed them.

And we were off to Oakland, where we met Julie, Carolyn's friend, who took all the photos, except the one she's in.

It was Julie's very first political demonstration, and she was on the verge of tears the whole time. she was so moved.  What a great feeling to be with all those joyous rebellious creative people!  Thousands and thousands.  And so many wonderful children!

And I got a chance to speak on a very small stage as Medusa.

And the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Band sounded beautiful.

And SO MANY people took our picture, 
including this CBS photographer who only wanted Carolyn's feet.

And we went home exhausted and very happy campers.  GoddessZilla made a friend on BART.

And Medusa fell asleep on the bus.

THE END



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW—MUELLER FIRING RAPID RESPONSE

I'm inviting you  to join me in signing up for this brilliant plan:  To be notified IMMEDIATELY if Dude45 fires Special Prosecutor Mueller, and to come to a protest in your city -- or one near you -- that will be happen ASAP.  As you will see when you click the link below, there are literally hundreds of cities and towns throughout the country that have committed to this immediate protest. 

https://www.trumpisnotabovethelaw.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response/search/?from=@

I am not one to endlessly sign online petitions.  But this is different, and it's a brilliant use of the Internet.  No, we don't wait for a month or even the next Saturday.  We hit the streets within 24 hours, coordinated with folks all over the U.S. 

We're all traumatized by the events of last year.  And we face 2018 with ... I don't want to use the word "fear" but I AM frightened ..... this is something that demands we ACT IMMEDIATELY if this crisis unfolds.  It gives me hope and comfort to sign up for it. 

Below is a photo I took at a demonstration against the invasion of Iraq.

Terry

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Last Best Christmas Eve Party


THE LAST BEST CHRISTMAS EVE PARTY

Pat Bond -- lesbian actress, writer, and comedienne -- was my close friend.  She toured the country as a solo performer, telling stories about her life as a dyke in San Francisco in the 50’s, and as a WAC in the army during the terrible witch hunt against gay people after World War II.     For thousands of gay people, Pat was the first out lesbian they had ever seen on stage.  Pat laughed at everything -- straight people, gay people -- especially herself.  She used to say, “I had a great pick-up line for the bar scene:   ‘I’m going to take you home and fuck you until you’re blind.’  And then I’d get her home, and I had no idea what to do!  I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about!” 
This is the story of Pat’s last Christmas Eve party.
Pat always had a Christmas Eve party. This was the ONLY party she had, and it was a very big deal to her. If you were her friend, you were REQUIRED to attend.  Not that she decorated or cooked or did anything other than set up her tiny aluminum tree and open some cans of marinated mushrooms and stuffed grape leaves.  No, it was up to us, her friends, to bring presents and food and drink to her studio apartment on Christmas Eve.
Pat always felt lonely, like an outsider.  She used to say, “When I was a baby, I was stolen from the gypsies by a band of rednecks.”  As Pat got older and frailer and unable to perform, she became terrified of dying destitute, abandoned, forgotten. Her bitterness drove people away.   I couldn’t walk away from Pat.  I did try.  But she called me up and yelled at me, “What the hell’s the matter with you?  You’re supposed to be my friend, for Christ’s sake!”  So we started seeing each other more.
Then in the Fall of 1990, Pat ended up in the hospital with a diagnosis of lung cancer.   She told me, “Don’t tell Gail.  She doesn’t give a damn.”  Gail, Pat’s ex, was the great love of her life.  Of course I did tell Gail.  She said,  “Count me in. I always knew I would be there for Pat when she got sick.” The next day Gail appeared in Pat’s room, bearing flowers and a book to read aloud.  Pat beamed with joy.
And then there was Little Sun, a magical butch country girl with long braids and cowboy boots.  She didn’t know Pat very well, but she announced “Count me in too .”   I thought of the three of us as a tripod. A stool doesn’t need four legs, but it’s got to have three! Right?  So Pat had her tripod.
 When she realized that she would be taken care of -- that there was enough -- enough friends, enough support , enough medical care, she became very open and loving.  Spending time with Pat was a gift.
Around the middle of December, Pat said, “What about my Christmas Eve party?!?  I can’t disappoint everyone!  It’s a tradition!”  I promised Pat a party in her hospital room and invited ten friends. Pat got weaker and weaker.  Would she even survive until Christmas Eve?  By December 23, she was in a coma -- or so we thought until one of her visitors got up to say goodbye to her.  She suddenly opened her eyes and said, “You’re coming to my party, aren’t you?”
On Christmas Eve morning, I got a call from the hospital that Pat was fading fast. Gail, Little Sun and I rushed to her beside.  Pat seemed unconscious and was breathing in a very labored, rasping way.  
We stood around her bed, holding hands.  What to do?  It WAS Christmas Eve, and Pat loved Christmas carols. Very tentatively, we began singing.   Our voices blended beautifully. Our singing got stronger. “And heav'nen and nature sing, and heav'nen and nature sing, and heav'nen and heav'nen and nature sing!”  The sound was really lovely.
Gail and Little Sun and I had talked endlessly on the phone with each other, we’d conferred with doctors together, but we had never sung together until that moment. Who would have thought our three voices would make such a joyful noise?  We harmonized, sometimes three parts, sometimes two, and then gliding back to unison.  Our grief that Pat was dying deepened our joy in singing to her.  When we ran out of carols, we started on folk songs.   As we sang, Pat’s breath came at longer and longer intervals. We kept singing. 

“Michael Row the Boat Ashore” is a great song for an occasion like this.  It has a lot of verses, and when you’re finished with those, you can make up your own.
(SINGING)
It’s Pat Bond’s famous Christmas Eve party
Hallelujah
I’m glad I’m here, though she ain’t feeling too hearty
Hallelujah

At some points, it seemed like Pat had stopped breathing, but then... another labored breath. We kept singing. We kept singing and singing, and finally there were no more breaths, and we kept singing. We sang for a long time after what turned out to be Pat’s last breath.
Then we were quiet.  Gail, Little Sun and I had sung Pat across the bridge.   Imagine that!
Then the guests started arriving, with presents and cake and champagne.    Pat’s last Christmas Eve party. Here we were, all lesbians and gay men, brought together for one last time by Pat.  As Donald pointed out, Pat had always had a great sense of timing. We unwrapped the little presents we had brought and traded them around until everyone had something they liked.  Charlotte poured everyone a glass of champagne and we stood around Pat’s still body, toasting this courageous lesbian pioneer, this great storyteller, this loyal and difficult friend.  We cried and talked and laughed about this  woman who had touched us all so deeply.  We felt her spirit hovering over us.
People slowly left, one by one.  Finally, it was just Gail and me. Gail said she wanted to stay with Pat until the people from the mortuary came to take her away.   I took one last look at Pat.  Gail sat close, holding her cold hand.  If Pat could have spoken at that moment, she would have announced in her brash, honking voice, “Now, THAT was a great Christmas Eve party!”
Pat as Lorena Hickok, Eleanor Roosevelt's lover.
Pat had been in love with Eleanor since she was
about eight years old.  So when the biography of
HICK was published in 1981, revealing that
FDR's wife had had a lesbian lover,
it was Destiny in spades! 
Pat had Hick's charisma.
She kind of looked like her. 
She even had the same illnesses!
She toured the country with her play
about Hick and Eleanor's romance.

  

Pat in WORD IS OUT, the first documentary
where gay people talked about their lives.
 It made her famous.  Her solo career
 was an outgrowth of the response to WORD IS OUT.


Pat, with a photo of her beloved Gertrude. 
She toured the country with
GERTY GERTY STEIN IS BACK BACK BACK!
GERTY was filmed and shown on PBS.






Tuesday, October 3, 2017

WRITE YOUR LEGISLATOR AND...... Thoughts on Democracy

 POSTCARDS 4 DEMOCRACY!

Last week we wrote postcards to elected politicians supporting impeachment, protesting restrictive amendments to the ADA (Disability Rights Act), and several other issues.  We also had a good time talking with each other.  

Please join us.
THIS WEDNESDAY, OCT. 4, 7-9pm
Cafe Boheme, 24th/Mission across the street from BART.   

THOUGHTS ON DEMOCRACY

Truly, I feel we have to:

ELECT DIFFERENT PEOPLE TO THE SENATE 
AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES!  

... and also to all the other legislatures in our lives.  Because -- guess what? -- that's what the Tea Party did!  That's right.  They started at the bottom -- Library Board and Sewer Commission and such, and they built from there.  Before they started seriously working on  getting elected to SOMETHING, no matter how small, they were considered politically irrelevant wing nuts.  Pesky mosquitos to be squatted every once in a while.  Who knew they carried Zika?  

And why did they do it?  Because they realized that the power to:
  1. pass laws, and
  2. spend tax money
is REAL POWER!!!!!

And let me tell you, it's not easy to elect a progressive candidate -- even in the Holy Land of San Francisco.  For example, my supervisor district has not elected a progressive candidate since we elected.... Harvey Milk in 1977!!!

Why is it so hard to elect progressives?  Most importantly, the other side has more money (SURPRISE!!).  When Matt Gonzalez ran for Mayor against Gavin Newsom, Gavin won with 52% of the vote.  But he spent $4,000,000 to Matt's $400,000.  In other words, Matt was outspent 10 to 1.  I think it's safe to say that the extra $3,600,000 that Gavin had to spend gave him his winning margin.  

With equal funding, Matt Gonzalez would have won.   Our country would have had its first Green mayor of a major city, which undoubtedly would have scared the Dems to the left!

And who KNOWS where we'd be today?  Maybe medicare and free college for all!

Okay, I don't want to get everybody all depressed by talking about how screwed up San Francisco is.  I know, for some people, the only thing that keeps them going is the belief that San Francisco is DIFFERENT!  But, folks, change for the better is harder than we would like.  That's the simple truth.  That's why we have to work so hard.

Please, start thinking about who you might work to elect or defeat the next time your vote comes around.

I would like to talk about how you can effect change even when you LOSE an election in a future blog.

Terry

Here's me and my campaign manager, Sue Vaughan, when I ran for Mayor in 2011.  I had a good time and MADE A DIFFERENCE!!

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PLEASE JOIN ME IN WORKING FOR HILARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT (orig. email sent 10/5/16)

Subject: PLEASE JOIN ME IN WORKING FOR HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT 

Wednesdays 4:30-8:00pm  Squat & Gobble, 1 West Portal
Thursdays 5:30-8:00 pm Mission Developing Environments 540 Alabama
(These two I'll be at for sure)
Hillary for President HQ 1001 Van Ness/O'Farrell 9:00 am-9:00pm
(If anyone wants to go to the HQ at any particular time, I'm open.)

I've decided/realized that there is nothing more important than electing Hillary Clinton President of the United States.  We're talking about the survival of civilization as we know it.

Reportedly, when Hillary's main opponent was briefed by top security advisors, as all Presidential candidates are, Hillary's opponent asked three times -- THREE TIMES -- if it wasn't possible to use nuclear weapons.  

If Hillary Clinton's opponent is elected, I predict we will have a nuclear war with North Korea.  

There is a deep soul sickness in our people, caused by crushing growing inequality between the rich and everyone else.  We have to attend to this soul sickness, by ending the inequality that causes it.  That's easy:  TAX THE RICH -- Duh!

But before we do that, we have to elect Hillary Rodham Clinton the first woman President of the United States.  

This is the next thing on the plate of all of us.  I felt the same way the two times Reagan ran for President.  I feared that there would be a permanent change for the worse.  And there was.  

Please do what you can and continue doing it until the polls close on election day.  It's easy.  Just go to hillaryclinton.com/events and find something in your zip code.  Get a button and wear it all the time.  Get 10 buttons and sell them for $1 and donate the money to the campaign.  Make people promise to wear them.

In Northern California, some of us are cavassing in Nevada.  I plan to do that once.  I heard it was grueling.  

And forward this to friends.  And the friends forward until we have a volunteer army of people who understand we have  a choice between two things:

1.  The end of civilization as we know it

2.  The same old same old with a woman.  

I choose #2.  I'm asking, I'm begging you to do the same.    I'm personally driven by a need to not feel personally guilty if the worse happens.  

Please.

Terry
Slightly World-renowned Lesbian Playwright