Monday, March 26, 2018

"AND A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM...."

FROM THE FUNNIES PAGE OF THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, MARCH 24, 2018



Folks, I wrote long and thoughtfully (at least I thought so) about the March for Our Lives and these wonderful responses to by cartoonists Hilary Price ("Rhymes with Orange"), and  Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman ("Zits").

And then I accidentally deleted it all.  And now it's past midnight.  

Let me just say I'm terrified and deeply moved by what's going on in our country.  I have always believed in the power of democracy, of people working hard to elect other people who feel like them about the important issues in our world.   Like you all, I'm in despair over Crump.  But I am so excited by these kids saying, shouting, repeating, "Get rid of assault weapons or we will vote you out of office!"  That is, indeed what democracy is all about.  And voting is just the teeny tiny tip of the iceberg.  It's a fuck of a lot of work to elect good people, especially because:
  1. The bad guys (almost) always have more money than the good guys.
  2. Fear is a really powerful emotion, and anyone who chooses to manipulate voters with it can become powerful themselves.
But there really is no choice but for us to do this work.  We must do it for our world, for our children.

(Full disclosure:  I don't actually have children, but I do have a niece who is very dear to me who calls me her Parental Unit.)

We gotta. Let's take back our country.  We are the majority.  That is clear.  Admittedly, they have almost all the guns.  But, hey, the kids have the guts to face this evil.  We must follow their example.

What are you doing in the month of October?  Why don't you think about spending as much time as you can working on a campaign?  It will alleviate your despair.  I guarantee it.   And, yes, you'll feel awful if you work real hard and you lose.  But not as awful as you'll feel if you sit on your butt and hope for change.

WE CAN DO THIS. 

TERRY




Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Partaaay to Impeach!!!

I had a Party to Impeach at my house on Saturday, Feb. 17 in San Francisco.  This was one of the many Parties to Impeach organized all over the country by Tom Steyer, the billionaire who's working to create a grassroots movement to get The First Toddler away from the nuclear football. I had 25 guests -- lots of women, both lesbian and straight, and two men.

We read aloud all the talking points the organizers sent us -- why impeach, how it's done, the history, why we should not let the prospect of Pence immobilize us.  We had very stimulating discussions.  What a wide rage of opinions among all us Trump-Loathers!  Every Party all over the country was supposed to phone Nancy Pelosi during the party, because she opposes impeachment.  That is a huge obstacle, since she leads the Dems in the House, which is where impeachment must start.  EVERYONE IN THE COUNTRY!  And she's OUR (as in San Francisco's) representative!!  What to do?!?  (Full disclosure:  I ran against her in 2004 because she supported the invasion of Iraq.)

There's a strong Democratic candidate running in the primary against Pelosi.  Since we have the top-two system, if Stephen Jaffe comes in second, it would be him and NP in the general election.  That would give him a lot of time to hold her feet to the fire about impeachment.  After all, she's our REPRESENTATIVE, and the great majority of the people she is supposed to represent want The First Toddler OUT of the White House!  What her constituents want should mean something to NP, but it doesn't.  

There was a group of Code Pink women at the party who have been trying to get through to Pelosi -- and failing -- for years.  Maybe decades!  They and I agreed that we should meet with Stephen Jaffe and push him to make impeachment part of his platform.  So that's our plan. 

We wrote 88 postcards to Pelosi and also the Dems who already support impeachment.  We also wrote postcards to the 10 Senators who receive the most money from the NRA, telling them they would burn in hell for their sins.  At least, that's what mine said.  Then we took the photo below.  People were extremely happy to be meeting and doing something, even though, when we talked, there was a great diversity of opinion on what to do and how to do it.

IF YOU LIVE IN THE BAY AREA AND WOULD LIKE TO LEARN ABOUT FUTURE EVENTS I MIGHT ORGANIZE, PLEASE TELL ME.
Terry

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.