Angela Bocage


Roe v. Wade anniversary

When I was at the end of seventh grade, I spent an amazing summer in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. A little over a year after my mother died in spring of sixth grade in Cammack Village, Arkansas, I’d spent seventh grade at George B. Dealey elementary after moving to Dallas to live with my father. There, where the seventh graders were royalty, the year passed in a whirlwind of getting a new turquoise stingray bike to ride to school and family errands and such, singing in the chorus, finally having some pretty clothes, racking up record-setting points in the reading competition, getting my period, being asked to do art for various teachers and getting to get out of all sorts of tedious activities to do so, getting crushes on both genders, having great friendships and adventures, including an awesome wilderness education week in Athens, Texas, I’ll never forget, and culminating in triumphs of both acting in the leading comedienne role and doing lots and lots of scenic and promotional and program art for the year’s play. It was such a blessing after all the excitement that that first summer after my world turned upside down I got to live in the peace and beauty of my grandmother’s shadow, her lovely old home (with the first air conditioning system ever built in Arkadelphia, a hundred years old, its mysteries housed in its own tiny cottage by the rear of the house, but working so wonderfully well!), the quiet genteel streets of a little town that believed passionately in learning and rang with church bells…but in which I’d not yet experienced the hateful side of religion. There was only kindness in the little Episcopal church we attended, a pioneer in integration, only the sunshine, its warmth bringing out the smells of candles, flowers, and old, old books. In the beautiful old fashioned public library, a hushed and cool retreat with polished wooden floors, high ceilings, and secret passages (my grandmother volunteered there as a part-time librarian so I was delighted to explore with impunity), I discovered the Lord of the Rings trilogy in one huge dusty-black volume with thrillingly arcane sigils like a silvery-red eye and was flat out gone all summer into that road novel of all road novels; the landscape covered by the hobbits wasn’t, after all, all that unlike the gentle verdant hills and forests and rivers and towns of southern Arkansas. What made me think of all this today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I used a clunky old blue and white bicycle in Arkadelphia, not the sleek speedy one I had at home. If, riding around with my friends Anne and Sharon, or exploring some promising haunted house with my friend John for some vampire play we were writing, or just walking in the twilight to think about what I wanted to do with the life ahead of me, with art, learning, writing, exploring relationships, I’d happened on the wrong person, and been raped–it wasn’t quite 1972 yet. Would my two wonderful children have ever come into the world, would I have gotten an education, would I have been sent away, or would an unsterile back-alley procedure have ended my life? My nascent depression wasn’t treated then, and the treatments that existed were frequently as bad as the illness–would I have committed suicide, or spent my life in an institution? For some reason, even after all the years of thinking I’ve done about why women’s reproductive lives aren’t free, I never thought quite this way, never thought, this could have happened to me. Our mothers, our grandmothers, I always said. But it wasn’t quite 1972 yet the summer I discovered sexual feelings, the summer Anne and Sharon would tell me men and boys were always looking at my rather fine new breasts. This anniversary, I did the math, and I’m so thankful for my children and my life. We cannot deny the future to the girls in seventh grade, or second grade, or entering adulthood today. To think otherwise is female sexual slavery as surely as it has ever existed in the world.

Advertisements

Oh noes it was puppy war! Plus more on the Pembrokes…

I received the unsettling news today that two puppies I know by their photographs and the enthusiastic reports from their uncle, Napoleon and Dutch, a brace of spirited golden red mini-dachshund adopted brothers, were not seeing eye to eye. My friend their uncle emailed me that Dutch had “attacked” Napoleon. Over chewy playthings. But but but….if there are fewer chewy playthings than puppies, I reasoned, will not some healthy exercise of puppy muscle ensue?? I was apparently in denial. The bite on the Napoleonic noselet was described as “ugly.” Now, I am wanting to think, ze dachshund, thees eez a scrappy dog, non? I am again wanting to minimize, in the tiny space of my own mind–that very very tiny space–any inter-puppy unpleasantness. But here, I suppose, is the question–is the dachshund, included, here in the States, in the HOUND group, who knows why (–but the Norwegian Elkhound is, I most strongly suspect, in there by sheer translation error, the “hund” part just meaning “dog” in the Norway and the Elk anyway not even meaning Elk as we know them at all but Moose)–a hound?? A laid-back-less’n-ah’m-huntin’, sprawlin’ in the sunshine, lovin’ them other canines in mah pack, big-ol’-voiced, HOUND?? Or perhaps—since the other part of the word “dachshund” refers to their being employed hunting badgers, who live in burrow-like-thingies called setts—in fact terriers??? I must find the answer, and will report back.

The Corgis I mentioned seeing last night in their canine-Oscar-winning performance were Pembroke Corgis, sweet little blacknosed golden-and-white-faced ones. As the old saying goes, “The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the one with the tail. The Pembroke is the one with the Queen of England.” Something about how that statement works linguistically has always just flat out delighted me. While, as you can see, I had lots of discussion over my injudicious, premature and oh just perhaps a tad over-the-top criticism of Mr. Jeff Sharlet’s Rolling Stone article (I mean it now babies, no stealing his book! When it comes out purchase it or get your library to order, yes!) , no one wrote about the Corgles until now. Apparently there’s a wonderful book called Noble Hounds and Dear Companions about ALL the dogs the British royals have been involved with, and it includes a mention of the oh so most noble and *fluffical!!!* Japanese Chin! And here is a link to some its pictures. Thanks ever so, y’all!

Click here: Telegraph | Picture Gallery | ROYAL DOGS


Tearful a.m., blessed p.m., and–CORGIS. And a new cartooning possibility…!

I’ve been neglecting this more serious blog to have my silly fun over at my MySpace blog, but enough of that…today was enough of both, really. And anyway, when my much-admired blogger, serious, scholarly, politically aware, ethical, cool, Witch and polyamourist pal tells me she’s gonna make a t-shirt that says “I’m not Prince Charming but I’ll F*** You ‘Til He Gets Here,” all the categories blur…we might do a comic strip together, though, about her adventures dating straight girls! They are SO into her, which I can totally understand anyone being, and it’s certainly about time for me to draw some more.

Anyway, this morning we had to go in early, because my resked’d driving test was at 2 and my spouse had to drive into the city from her suburban office and had to get work done first, of all things. So maybe i was somewhat sleepless. But when this nice young guy at work, who’d also used to frequent the late lamented Blackout Books in NYC, brought in the Rolling Stone article about Brad Will, I couldn’t read much before I flat-out lost it. I couldn’t stop crying. I clenched my teeth, told myself it was better to just cry as quietly as possible and get some work done than go to the ladies’ room because I’d probably just break down worse there, and sloggy kleenex after sloggy kleenex plopped into my plastic-lined cheapo office wastebasket….

Everybody knows who Brad Will is, right? Ha! The corporate media sure had the disappearance of some pretty teenager partying with her senior class in Grenada all over every front page in America, but the cold blooded political murder, in Oaxaca, of a scruffy guy who was there to report the truth? Not so much. The “truth,” unwieldy and blobbularly nebulous concept that it is on its best day, was so bizarrely corsetized into homogenized yuppiethink in the Rolling Stone article that I wasn’t just crying for Brad, and for the loss of Brad, and for a world that’s lost him, but for the smarmy monkeyshit in which his memory is buried, if articles like this are all anyone sees. Apparently there are other written and filmic accounts in the works, and i will definitely, definitely write about what i find.

In the meantime, I stuck my earphones in and blasted myself deaf in the left ear between the False Prophets’ Overkill and Blind Obedience again and again and more personally-cheering pieces like Plastic Bertrand’s Ca Plan Pour Moi, Loreena McKennitt’s Dante’s Dream, and Current 93’s Tam Lin, playing drums and bass somewhere on the astral plane, and, strangely, getting a prodigious amount of work done before time to leave for my driver’s test.

The taxi ride over to Columbus Boulevard and Tasker, where the Driver’s License Center sits most harmoniously with its surroundings on the corner, certainly corroborated my lovely coworker Mahesha’s information that that neighborhood’s drivers are libertarian absolutists regarding which lane one can turn left out of. We almost, but did not, get killed on one such occasion, so I busied myself reading interesting facts in the Rights and Responsibilities sections, for both passengers and drivers, posted on the back of the front seat. I fantasized that since the driver was a total slob, and yakked departure-to-arrival on his cell phone, thereby abdicating two of his responsibilities, perhaps I could have been forgiven for schlepping a muddy baby goat or incontinent miniature horse, as two of my responsibilities were not to tote “unrestrained” animals and not to dirty the interior.

Though Coach was a lot more worked up about the test than I was, the Powers smiled lovingly and I got the sweetest, nicest, most gallant–I’d venture to say courtliest!–driving tester one could imagine! What a sweetheart! And slipped as effortlessly between the now-daylit parking cones [I’d practiced there the night before, along with some other enterprising women–cf. my MySpace] as a muddy baby goat into a taxi! No, wait, MUCH more so!!! And this is after a calm, cool, collected cruise ’round the area–so the sweetie-pie tester turns to me after I’ve reparked Coach’s vehicle (Pallas Athena aka “Speedy”) and says “As we say in South Philly, ‘Bingole!'” (And Coach’s sun-visor St. Christopher medal, which had survived WWII on a submarine, probably came out of the duck-and-cover position he’d assumed when her Hebrew honey got behind the wheel…)

So watch out, cz i’z licensed to pilot carz in todos los Estados Unidos, y Guam, France, Germany, and Puerto Rico tambien!!! And so we came home and this evening watched The Queen, which is brilliant, and whose Corgis won the coveted Fido award, Britain’s canine answer to the Oscars, and deserved it richly every one. The cuteness ALONE woulda aced it, but their dance of synchronized obedience to queenly directives was too prosh!!! and any dog lover should seriously see this flick…even if it was a tad inaccurate in the conformation of the Labradors.



%d bloggers like this: